Ever After Giveaway!


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This week I am giving away a signed copy of Ever After to two lucky winners. All you have to do to enjoy the first novel in the Cursed Series is:

  1. Like my Facebook Author Page.
  2. Share my Facebook Author Page on your wall.
  3. Answer this question in the comment section of my blog: What is your favorite book or movie, and why?
  4. Post your email at the bottom of this blog with your answer or, if you prefer, private message it to me on my Facebook Author Page.

The drawing will take place on Ever Tempted’s RELEASE DAY: September 27, 2016.

Good luck and happy reading!

Below is an excerpt from Ever After:

Two oval-shaped, emerald eyes emerged from the overgrown thickets beyond the gate. Three feet away, a waist high cat crept closer. Its head was twice the size of mine. Its lip curled up. One razor-sharp tooth could have sliced straight through me. Its black, shiny coat shimmered in the moonlight. It stopped, all four muscular legs locked, twitching.
I took one step back, but the cat’s triangular head lowered as it put its weight on its back haunches. A low, guttural growl rolled over in its chest. Moonlight glinted off its eyes as it narrowed them to slits. The monstrous cat sauntered to my left. It halted. Holding lifelessly still, my breath burned in my lungs.

In a long black fluid movement, the cat turned toward me. It took one step and halted, lowering its head to assess me. Tilting its head as it took me in, it growled again.

I tried to inch back, but stopped when something dark and shadowy slinked across the ground between us.

The cat lunged.

I tried to dart to the left, but stumbled back. The cat’s long body stretched and soared over me as I tumbled backward down the embankment. I stopped rolling and slid on my stomach, but the momentum I’d built drug me downward. Rocks and exposed fingers of roots scratched my stomach and tore my nails as I grasped for something, anything to hold to.Rocks and dirt broke free from the embankment landing on my shoulders. Every tree root I grabbed for snapped causing me to slide more.

I scrambled and dug at anything I could to slow my ascension, when an arm scooped from nowhere and brought me to a stop. My nails dug into flesh as I scrambled for sturdy hold.

Hot, irregular breath washed over my face as my slight frame slammed into the long body of a human, a male.

He leaned in with me toward the embankment, grasping me firmly to his chest. His strong arms eased me down to a firmer footing. When the moonlight gave me partial view of his face, the air was sucked from my body. The smooth planes of his face weren’t possible. High cheekbones, a clenched jaw line, and a pair of perfectly set apart eyes were haloed by wavy brown hair that brushed his cheeks. And he held me so close, our noses could have touched.

I clenched taut forearms that were perfectly capable of tossing me fifty yards with no effort.

“You’re okay. I’ve got you, now. The screaming is really unnecessary,” the red lips said in an accent I couldn’t place, though I’d heard it before. A serious, aggravated, expression creased the stranger’s forehead.

Breathe. I had to breathe or I’d pass out.

He loosened his grip on me and turned me to face the embankment.

Out of his embrace, air was colder and breathing was more difficult. I didn’t like it.

The young man wiped his eyes and surveyed the roots beside and below us. He grimaced and placed my hand on a sturdy tree root. When he turned back to me, he locked me into a gaze that could have melted titanium. For a moment, the space between me and this mysterious stranger thickened with electric, sizzling air. My lungs stopped burning, and my heart stammered.

“Can I have my hand back?” he asked his body stiff under my touch.

No.

Reluctantly, I flexed my fingers, releasing him from my grip.

The stranger gently placed my other hand on another root. He left his hand over mine for a second and turned that unsettling gaze back to me. He shuddered slightly and tensed away from me. His words sparked a flame of embarrassment in my cheeks. “Now would you try not to get yourself killed if I jump to the pond edge and guide you down?”

I nodded.

“There, put your foot on that rock.” He nodded to a white stone that jutted like a bony elbow out of a wall of red mud. “You should be able to find a rock for each step almost to the bottom.”

I took a deep breath and noted where he’d jumped and landed with perfect ease. I was still four full body lengths above his head. Pressing my body closer to the embankment I used the dirt wall to support my forehead. I inhaled and exhaled trying to slow my heart.

“It’s not that far now. Just ease your right foot about two feet down. You should find the loop of a root to stand on,” the guy said. In a few seconds, he’d guided me as far down the wall as I could go without having to jump. I couldn’t use anything else for footing. “When you jump, push back from the wall. Don’t worry. I’ve got you. I promise.”

That voice. It reverberated inside me. My head swam. I gripped an unstable root. A stone under my foot loosened, and I began to slip. I pushed back from the wall.

Expecting to meet with the ground, my grateful arms shot around the guy’s neck when he caught me under my back and legs. Hot tears burned my cheeks. I buried my face in his shirt.

He put me down but kept me in the loop of his arms. His grip didn’t loosen immediately. “Can you stand?”

That accent. Where had I heard it?

The air thickened and the night sounds silenced.

His arms were vice grips, heart slamming against my chest. “You’re going to have to walk.”

My cheeks burned, and the tears dried. I stepped out of his arms as a searing pain spread through my hand.

He started to say something, but stopped. A jagged rock had slashed my palm open. He took a deep breath and held it as blood splattered the ground. It covered the front of his t-shirt. Stumbling back, he stuttered. “We should get that,” he turned away from me, “cleaned up and bandaged.” His voice was monotone. But his face said it all. He didn’t like blood. He stepped farther away.

“It’s just a little blood,” I said and started to the pond. Just as my fingers grazed the water, he grabbed me by the waist and jerked us both back where we toppled onto the ground.

* * * *

I hoped you enjoyed this tidbit. Read Ever After to see what happens next….

 

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Ever Bound (Cursed 1.5) Release


  • Apart from having some of the most controversial reviews I’ve ever received, Ever Bound has been one of my funnest releases. I loved sharing the origins if the curse, giving insight to some of Grace’s twisted background, and hopefully generating some more sympathy for Cole and Allie, who have to fight a curse through a century to be together.
  • I touched on a lot of upsetting subjects Cole and Allie had to overcome to make it to present day in a very short book. I would have loved to give the 1879 era a full-length novel so that the events wouldn’t have seemed so rushed, but the novella Ever Bound was originally Cole’s journal written in entry form. Every entry was brash, rushed, upsetting to Cole and would also be for a reader. I am so very proud of this work. It gave insight to who Cole was before centuries of suffering overcame him and whittled him down to the tortured soul he’d become in Ever After (Cursed 1).
  • This brings me to the overcoming joy I feel in announcing next month’s release of Ever Tempted Book 2 of the Cursed Series. This book picks up where Ever After left off. Allie waits for Cole to come home, and when he does, he’s changed and his love comes with a terrible price…

Ever Bound (Book 1.5 of the Cursed Series) Release


My life has been full lately, so the WordPress release for the actual release of Ever Bound Book 1.5 of my Cursed Series had to be put on a delay. I take care of two ailing parents, four children, teens I rescue, animals I rescue (c-sectioned a recently deceased cat and saved her babies–a story for another post), and work two jobs. So, needless to say, I’m a bit busy.

Ever Bound was originally a journal from Cole Kinsley’s p.o.v. that I never planned to publish, until my children read it and begged me to submit it for publication. They felt the world would love to learn in-depth details as to why my hero and heroine in Ever After had such a deadly struggle to survive. Not just in life, but in love.

So, I submitted it.

Kensington had tight deadlines, so I’ve been so overwhelmed with edits and reviews that I barely had time to breathe. The house was in shambles, my cars needed and still need a good wash, and my parents beg me to spend more time with them than just a quick stop-in to cook and clean then run. I’ve hired a cook/nanny/personal assistant who just happened to be a marketing genius. I really lucked up. Who gets all that in one person?

She is a blessing from above.

We’ve recently begun new strides to get the book in front of more faces, but it’s a feat in itself when the world of ebooks are so overran with a variety of different choices in publishing.

I’ve become a hybrid author, utilizing my publishing company and working on the side to release as many novels as possible. I hope all my hard work comes to fruition at some point. My real dream is to have my novels adapted to the big screen, but isn’t that all of us?

Enough catching up. It’s time to introduce Ever Bound:

A love as doomed as it is destined…
 
1879, Tennessee.  A farmhand on the vast Rollins estate, handsome young Colby Kinsley makes the mistake of his life when he becomes briefly entangled with conniving Grace Rollins, the plantation owner’s beautiful but unstable daughter. Yet matters become even more complicated when he finds himself falling truly in love with Grace’s clever younger sister, Annabeth…

Intent on escaping her darkly troubled father and her melancholy home, Annabeth is also determined to avoid Colby. Yet she is still drawn to his quick wit and many talents. And when he performs an act of astounding courage, she can no longer deny her true feelings for him…just as her sister cannot hide her jealous rage. Grace will do anything to destroy the blossoming romance—even invoke dark, powerful supernatural forces. And as her dangerous machinations begin, the passions of all three are set on a tragic course—with a conclusion that will echo across lifetimes…

I hope you enjoy this dark, twisted novel as much as I enjoyed writing it. And not to be confused, you must read Ever After to understand the terrible events that unfold in Ever Bound. Allie and Cole’s fight to be together didn’t start in the here and now. They have been fighting a malicious spirit for over a century just to spend one lifetime of happiness together. To find their happily Ever After.

Ever Tempted Cover Reveal


For years, Allie Knowles wondered why she dreamed of a guy with no face. In the dreams, he had the perfect masculine build but where expressions should have matched his low, sensual voice, his face was always a blur. This nameless, faceless guy would do nothing short of kill for her. Her affections were just as strong, but the bond made no sense. He didn’t exist. Or did he?

I can relate to Allie on so many levels. For years, I’ve written, rewritten, reworked scenes, killed off characters, renamed characters and through it all, it was so hard to imagine what Cole looked like. How did his hair look when it fell into his eyes? Did his eyes crinkle when he smiled or was their smoldering gaze so intoxicating that one wouldn’t notice the crinkles? I knew his eyes were green and haunted with years of loneliness. Chestnut streaks born from working in the sun highlighted his milk chocolate brown hair. He was strong but not muscled up like massive body builders. Veins didn’t bulge down his arms, but they were quite capable of putting a hurting on anyone or anything that threatened Allie.

But how would all those qualities come together for a reader?

Allie was revealed on the cover of Ever After which was just as striking beautiful as I’d always pictured her to be.

Today, I present you with Cole on the cover of Ever Tempted.

 

 

 

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Ever After Author Odessa Gillespie Black Interview by Shelby Witzel


The first installment in the Cursed Series
The first installment in the Cursed Series

I’m here to introduce acclaimed author Odessa Gillespie Black. I’d like to congratulate her on her recent release of Ever After (Cursed Series Book 1). It’s been a long time in the making, and as a teen reader, I’m glad to finally see something fresh and new hit the press. Without further adieu…

Me: Hi, Odessa. I know you’re busy, but I wanted to get in a few quick questions.

Odessa: No problem. I’m always glad to meet new people and discuss the loves of my life. (smiles)

Me: I’m going to jump right in if that’s okay. How did you come up with the idea for Ever After?

Odessa: Honestly, I feel like this is a tired answer, but I woke from a dream with the weirdest notion that I’d had a wonderful book idea. It took all day to remember what I’d actually dreamed and when it hit me, I wondered what I’d had for dinner the night before. They say if you eat pepperoni, you have some weird dreams. I hadn’t had pepperoni, but boy was the dream that I’d had a doozy. Normally, my dreams are real with people I know involved in situations that could really happen. This time it was different. I was a girl in a car driving with a few friends up to a creepy yet beautiful house. Once we were inside we were greeted by all these nice people, but at times they whispered to each other and gave us crazy looks. A really hot guy tries to get us to leave the house, but we are so fascinated with the house’s size we decide to stay the night. Over the length of the evening, we learn through listening to the butler and the maids that they want us gone. We try to figure out why and after a long night of searching dark hall ways, and encountering more and more house servants, we come upon a few of whom are see through. Ghosts. The dream sort of fades from there. I’m sure I probably dreamed an outcome, but I don’t remember it.

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Me: Is this at all like Ever After?

Odessa: In ways, but it was an idea that after being carefully molded, switched up and added to, became something different entirely. It was a weird, unconscious brainstorming session that just happened to be a hit, at least with the local teens.

Me: So you have a bit of a local following?

Odessa: Somewhat. A lot of girls who graduated around the time the first copy of Ever After went to Kensington and was accepted fell in love with the Grace, Cole, and Allie love triangle from hell.

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Me: So it’s got a love triangle base?

Odessa: It’s not your run-of-the-mill love triangle. That’s for sure. There’s a lot of love and a lot of hate working together to make a wonderfully romantic and scary story. At least in my opinion. I wrote something I’d never seen before. It’s sort of a mix of all things I love put together. Horror, romance, comedy, drama and action. There’s a little something in there for every reader.

Me: How do you feel about your characters? I guess writers get attached.

Odessa: I think writers are the only people of whom can be given the diagnosis of split personality disorder. It’s like the voices of the characters just scream to get out of your head and aren’t satisfied until you’ve written their views down on paper, or in my case the screen.

Me: What is your favorite line from the novel?

Odessa: Ooh. There are so many. I guess if I had to choose, it’d be a paragraph as Ava reads her will aloud on video camera to her family and friends. Her final words were, “I’ve oftentimes wondered if everything I’ve ever done in my life was a mistake, but in this final moment, as I leave this world and enter into the next life, I can rest knowing I’ve done at least one thing with precision. I leave all of my worldly possessions other than the aforementioned property to Allison Ainsley Knowles… Live life to the fullest, love like you’ve never loved before, and when you find something worth fighting for, don’t let anything come in your way.”

Me: That was one of my favorites, too. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. I can’t wait for book two. Do you know if there are any plans for it?

Odessa: A prequel to the novel called Ever Bound is due out early 2016, and Ever Tempted (Cursed Series Book 2) will release later in the year. Stay up to date on my Facebook Author Page. I’d love as many visitors as possible.

Ever After’s Release


The first installment in the Cursed Series
The first installment in the Cursed Series

As my family and I sit around the dinner table with a myriad of different electronics impatiently awaitng our download of Ever After (Cursed Series) http://www.amazon.com/After-Cursed-Odessa-Gillespie-Black-ebook/dp/B00QP3CZUO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427223322&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Beautiful+Soul+Odessa+Gillespie+Black, the previous year comes to mind. This has been a rewarding road.

When #KensingtonBooks sent me the contract, I cried.

When I saw all the work involved, I almost cried. 🙂 But I knew it would be the means to an amazing end. Or beginning.

And it has.

When Cora Graphics Cover Art released the cover, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was as if Cora had crawled in my head and tapped into the very soul of the novel. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.

When the editing rounds started, I was a little overwhelmed, but one of Lyrical’s best freelance editors Penny-Jo Barber-Schwartz baby-stepped me through the process. We ended up with a professional grade novel.

I was suddenly so glad I hadn’t tried to self-publish it. I could have never done a better job than Kensington Books, Lyrical Press and Cora Graphics. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Ever After Cover Reveal


It’s been awhile since I’ve updated everyone, but I’ve been busy editing and writing new books. I’ll make myself less of a stranger now that I have more time. Since we’ve last talked I have some exciting news. Ever After (Cursed Series Book One) will release September 1, 2015.

After working with the cover designers for a week, they finally revealed one of the most beautiful covers I could have ever hoped for. The picture depicts so much of the novel, I wondered if the designer at Cora Graphics hadn’t gotten in my head and picked my brain. The colors are gorgeous. So eye-catching. The backdrop of the house behind the girl is exactly as I depicted it in the novel. I could go on and on about how great it is, but I’ll let you see. I’m tickled pink.

Pre-order here

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