Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back to School Blog Hop with Linda Ulleseit

EXCERPT FROM Wings Over Tremeirchson

The sound of a galloping horse whipped all four heads toward the livery and the village beyond.
“Corryn, up now!” Branwen said.

He put one foot into a stirrup and swung up on Ceri’s back. The horse pointed her nose in the air and snorted, her wings stretched out to their fullest. Grigor tightened his grip on her lead rope, reaching for the clip that would release the mare once Corryn was strapped in.

Ralf’s jaw dropped in disbelief as Davyd reined in the livery horse. “Unhand that mare!” the tavern keeper called in authoritative fury.

Branwen stood between Davyd and Ceri, hands on her hips and head thrown back in her Celtic warrior pose. “She is ours now! Corryn, go!”

Corryn gathered the reins and kicked Ceri into motion. The mare reared, pulling the lead rope out of Grigor’s hand. Ralf could see the whites of her eyes as she hopped backwards, wings floundering, the rope trailing.

“Come on, baby, fly!” Corryn shouted.

Ceri bolted forward, ears still plastered against her head. The sudden jerk threw Corryn backwards. He lost his stirrups and bounced out of the saddle along the mare’s rump. Still holding the reins, he fell sideways onto a wing.
Grigor grabbed for the lead rope and missed. Branwen screamed and ran to help. She let go of the other three horses, who neighed and backed away. Still on horseback, Davyd urged his horse forward, knocking Ralf to the ground. 
From his hands and knees, Ralf stared in disbelief as Corryn slid off Ceri’s wing and landed in the grass where she’d been peacefully grazing only minutes ago. Ceri reared again, but Davyd grabbed her lead rope and pulled her down. Dismounting, he stroked the winged mare’s nose to calm her. She trembled under his touch. The three livery horses disappeared over the hill toward home.

Branwen stood horrified, eyes wide above her hands clasped over her mouth. Ralf stood up and brushed off his skinned knees, taking a deep shaky breath. Corryn did the same. Grigor hung his head in defeat. 

“You incompetent, stupid children!” Davyd raged. “You could have injured a very valuable animal!” Ceri flattened her ears again at his tone, and Davyd continued in a calmer, colder voice. “I chose to ignore you when this idea of a winged horse for Tremeirchson was just a crazy notion, but I can’t have you endangering High Meadow.” 



Linda took her first creative writing course in seventh grade, accumulating a closet full of stories that she never showed anyone until 2007, when she was already involved in a career as a teacher. Currently Linda is a sixth grade teacher at James Franklin Smith Elementary School, where her students are some of the early reviewers of her books. Her favorite subject is writing, and her students get a lot of practice scribbling stories and essays. Blending her passions for history and fantasy, Linda wrote On a Wing and a Dare, which is set in medieval Wales and features teenagers saving a herd of flying horses. Four more flying horse books followed this first book, including Wings Over Tremeirchson, which is an ebook novella that introduces the world of flying horses. Most recently, Linda released Under the Almond Trees, a novel about three California pioneer women. Linda lives in San Jose, California with her husband, two adult sons, and two young yellow Labrador retrievers. When she’s not writing or teaching, Linda loves to cook, cross-stitch, and read.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm not lazy. I just take my time.


Cover Reveal - Nowhere to Run

Well, it’s about time. It’s been three years since my first novel, Invisible was published. I am proud (and relieved) to finally have another novel under my belt.
Nowhere to Run is a romantic thriller, set in small town America. Here’s what it says on the back of the book that little thing we all call a blurb.
What’s a girl to do when she falls in love with the man whose mission it is to bring her down?
With the murder of her only sister, Sara, just a few months past, Lily Valier—a woman of beauty and substance—tops the sheriff’s list of suspects in small town Maine, and for a very good reason. Dear old Dad had willed his fortune to Sara and only Sara, leaving Lily to fend for herself. However, with no murder weapon or witnesses, the evidence against Lily is only circumstantial.
Enter P.I. Aiden O’Rourke, black-haired and blue-eyed, charged with gaining Lily’s trust and learning her secrets, all to finally get the goods on her. Things move fast and feelings run deep, yet when Lily discovers the truth about Aiden, everything begins to come apart.
Aiden’s torn. Despite his feelings for her, Lily is the most logical suspect, with a great big fat motive. Except something’s not quite right. Aiden trusts his instincts and they’re screaming at him to have a look at a former suspect with far more to hide than first appeared. With little left to lose, Lily decides to stand her ground, and staying put has its consequences when the murder weapon finally turns up—and it’s Lily’s gun.
What happens to love, when trust is betrayed?
The ghosts of those we love never leave us. They live on in our hearts but break them too, Lily thought as she flipped the sign on the door of the Higgstown Diner from “Open” to “Closed.” Then she sank wearily onto a stool at the counter, finally at the end of the workday. Now she could let loose the heaviness weighing her down. Hot tears stung her eyes and she let them. It was OK. There was no one around to witness her breakdown. She rested her head in her hands and heaved with sobs.
“Sara, please talk to me. Give me a sign you’re still around,” Lily said to the air. “I miss you so much.” More tears washed down her cheeks. It had been three months since her sister’s death, and there was still no escaping Sara’s ghost. Even the chipped Arborite counter where she now sat, with the wonky red upholstered stool that swiveled just a little too much to the right, brought back memories. Lily could see her older sister as plainly as if she were standing in front of her now, black hair piled high in a bun and that blue eye shadow she was so fond of. Lily smiled through her tears.
Sara had been a whiz at the grill, whipping up orders faster than Lily ever could. God, how long had the diner been a part of their lives? More than twenty-five years, she guessed. They were just kids when their mother, Nancy, bought the place—Lily, seven, and Sara, twelve.
A creak came from the back of the diner. Lily lifted her head to listen. Another small groan of the floorboards. Could Sara be giving her a sign?
“Sara?” Lily slid off the stool.
A tall, dark figure loomed in the doorway.
Lily froze, her heart near exploding. “What do you want?” she choked out in a thin voice.
He stepped nearer. “Open the register.” His voice was a deep whisper.
A balaclava hid his face; the seams of a dark gray coat strained over a thickly muscled physique. He aimed the gun in his right hand at her chest.
Her feet seemed rooted to the floor.
“I said, open the register.”
The man moved close enough for Lily to catch his scent—a mix of sweat and cheap aftershave. He shoved her forward, snapping her from her stupor, and followed as she made her way behind the counter to the cash register.
A glowing red light caught her attention. She hadn’t turned off the coffee maker! In one quick movement, Lily grabbed the pot’s plastic handle and launched the scorching brew at the woolen knit of the intruder’s balaclava. The gun landed with a thud between his booted feet as he clawed at the steaming mask plastered to his face.
Now was her chance. Lily shouldered past him to the front door. Her fingers, thick and clumsy with panic, fumbled as she tried in vain to turn the two deadbolt locks. She ordered herself to calm down. Take a breath. C’mon, you can do this, she told herself, but her heart jackhammered in her chest, and her ears pulsed with the rush of blood behind them.
Suddenly, a face appeared on the other side of the glass front door of the diner, sending Lily backward, nearly tripping over her own feet.
The stranger on the other side of the door took her in. A look of confusion flickered across his face. Then, as if coming back to himself, he yelled, “Hurry. Unlock the door!” The cold night air whipped his dark hair wildly around his face. His pale blue eyes locked on hers.
Panic had hijacked her brain. She didn’t know what to do. He could be an accomplice.
Finally, in case you’re interested, here’s my bio, written pretentiously in the third person:
Jeanne Bannon has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. She currently works as a freelance editor and writer and is represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

Jeanne’s debut novel, Invisible, is a young adult paranormal romance, published by Solstice Publishing and has recently been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

On October 3rd, 2014, Nowhere to Run, Jeanne’s latest novel, is set to be released by Etopia Press. Nowhere to Run tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, Jeanne is finishing up work on her third novel, Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller.
When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys spending time with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a cuddly and affectionate Boston Terrier named Lila and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.
Twitter: @JeanneBannon

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Power of Love, by Heather Scavetta

There’s an old folk tale about a young mother who lost her child and is inconsolable. The wise man of the village tells her to go from house to house to find what everyone shares—and what everyone shares—is loss. It’s the universal experience.

Although we all will grieve the loss of our loved ones, we can learn how to reconnect with them. Through prayer and meditation, we can shift our awareness from the physical to the non-physical. We can witness firsthand that death is but an illusion. We can heal. We can find joy again. Author Heather Scavetta discovered that reality when she began developing her clairvoyant abilities after the death of her daughter, Elizabeth, in 2004.

In The Power of Love, Scavetta shares her personal journey of receiving visions and afterlife communication from her daughter, loved ones, and spirit guides who encourage her to persevere through her grief. Having no previous ability, Scavetta shows that opening up spiritual gifts is accessible to everyone. Through personal examples, she shares how to open your own psychic and mediumistic abilities, and she discusses the many ways spirit can reach us.

A story of celebration about the amazing and wonderful experiences that occurred since Elizabeth’s transition, The Power of Love narrates one family’s story of how they opened their spiritual gifts to see, hear, and feel—and to know beyond any doubt—their daughter never left their side.


Over time, I slowly came to accept that Elizabeth would never be as she was in her physical form again. I would never hug her, kiss her forehead, brush her hair, or worry about her physical safety. There would be no graduations for her, no wedding, no grandchildren, but there would be beautiful new ways of seeing Elizabeth. 

July 1, 2004. Every year we have an annual Canada Day barbecue. I didn’t want to have a party this year, but I knew that Elizabeth would like it. The girls always baked when we had company. Cassandra was excited to make her maple-leaf cookies. I wanted for her to continue to have family traditions. That morning, Tony was up early taking out the patio furniture and cleaning the barbecue grill, but since it was only 5:30 a.m., I was still asleep. 

I was dreaming. And then the dream changed, and Elizabeth was standing before me. She was inches away from my face. I could see every detail of her face clearly. White light radiated behind and around her. Her eyes were so beautiful. She was love. There were no words spoken, only love. I stared at her face, taking in every detail. I finally looked away from her eyes and looked at her hair. It was short and curly brown. You’ve cut your hair. I reached up and touched a curl and pushed it back and smiled. It was over. I opened my eyes. I was in my bed. The room was dark and I was alone. But I was so excited. I ran outside to find Tony: She had come! She was here!

I have had other visits like that one. I will never forget those visits because they were real, with an energy of their own. Whereas dreams fade, those visits are forever etched in my mind, and when I recall each moment, I feel the emotions once again. I have seen Elizabeth at the end of a dream, vivid and real. And I have seen her in meditation. Sometimes, she was on her horse, galloping towards me or riding across my visual field. Often, I have seen her face. Her beautiful, big brown eyes looking at me, her flowing light brown hair around her. She always makes me cry.

Heather Scavetta, RN Non-Practising is a Reiki Master and founder of School of Miracles. She has been teaching meditation, psychic development, mediumship and Reiki since 2006. She has been channeling The Council since 2009.

Heather developed her clairvoyant abilities after the death of her daughter Elizabeth in 2004. In her studio in Caledon, Ontario, Canada, she continues to help people who have experienced loss and those seeking more in life to develop their spiritual gifts and open up to communicating with Spirit. She and her husband, Tony, have twin girls, and live on their hobby farm with Canadian and Icelandic horses and two German shepherds.

On a personal note - I have just received my copy of The Power of Love and am very much looking forward to reading it. As well, I will be meeting Heather at a local library event in our town next month. I do not believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason and it is for that reason I am very much looking forward to meeting Heather. Our paths have crossed for a reason.

Heather, I wish you only the very best of luck with your book ... Jeanne xo