Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Aurora Sky Cover Model Interview

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to a truly remarkable young woman. She is the face of Aurora Sky and a beautiful person inside and out. Please welcome Gabriella!

Aurora is an only child – what about you? Siblings? Youngest? Oldest?
I am second in line out of five children, I have two sisters (one older, one younger) and three little brothers. I love them all to death, but I'll be honest, sometimes they drive me so crazy that I envy Aurora for not having any!

Do you like to read? What kinds of books? Ebooks or paperback?

I love to! I don't think there is anything I am more passionate about, my whole bedroom looks like a library exploded inside.
I generally don't pigeonhole myself into one genre since my interests are very diverse, but I've been reading a lot of fantasy novels and older science fiction novels lately.
As far as my position on Ebooks vs paperback, I don't think I'll ever be able to hop on the e-reader bandwagon. I own a first edition Nook that I received as a gift, but I have a major soft spot for curling up with a worn out, much loved favorite and a cup of tea.

What’s modeling like? Do you ever feel like you’re playing a character?
It's definitely hard work. Some days you're shooting in 40 degree weather in clothes better suited for a hot summer day, others you're at a shoot for eight hours straight in impractical wardrobe and uncomfortable poses with frequent re-touching and few breaks. There's also a LOT of waiting involved (that's where a good book comes in handy!)

Despite the not so glamorous bits though, it's really a lot of fun. I've met many wonderful people and been fortunate enough to experience things I wouldn't have had I not become a model. 

Some days I do feel like I am playing a character, I've always firmly believed that models are actresses without lines and it's our job to make the viewer believe they know what kind of person we are and what experiences we are having just by seeing a photograph. 

We create this fantasy world for people, and it's definitely not anything like my real life.

What do you love about the (modeling) profession? Not love?

I love that every time I walk on set I get to forget about all of the stresses in my everyday life and just let go. When I'm in front of the camera it stops being about what paper I need on my boss's desk by Friday, whether or not my best friend and I are still fighting, and if I remembered to pick up milk on the way home last night. Modeling allows me to take a break from being myself for a little while and become a canvas for my client as well as getting to play pretend as some really sweet characters (like Aurora!)
There are drawbacks though, it's a give and take for sure. One of my biggest pet peeves about the industry is the idea that models are these living, breathing, images of perfection; it gives us waaaay too high a standard to live up to without Photoshop and it often results in self-consciousness about how we look without a stylist working on us for 4 hours. I will be the first one to admit that I have bad breakouts from time to time, horrible hair days, and huge bags under my eyes when I've been piggybacking work and photo shoots all week.
I hang out in McDonald's in my sweatpants, glasses, and no makeup on a regular basis, and people who have seen my photos are always shocked at the difference. We're not perfect I promise!

Describe your feelings on love.
It's a beautiful thing, but it can also be equally painful.
Loving someone is a selfless act.
Loving someone means forgetting your own self-serving behaviors and caring for another human being unconditionally, romantic or otherwise. It's terrifying when you think about it though, giving someone a piece of you that is so easily shattered, and trusting them that they won't.
I've been through a lot in the past few years after a broken engagement, and a painful recent relationship, so I don't think that I'm ready for a romantic kind of love any time soon, but the love I receive from my friends and my son is a feeling without equal and I can't imagine life without it.

What characteristics would the perfect man possess?
Secretly being Ryan Gosling?
Okay, okay, you can have a real answer. I don't think I have a set of requirements for perfection in a man, other than being imperfect.
Imperfections are beautiful, and I can't stand people who pretend not to have them. Embrace your quirks and individuality, they're what make you who you are!
As long as you respect me, are honest with me, and can tolerate my crazy (and often impractical) artistic endeavours, then we're cool. Of course if you happen to play an instrument, possess a strong love of thrift stores and antiquing, and are willing to drink tea, read books, and watch old British movies in the rain with me, you'll probably get first pick.

If you were a superhero and could choose one special ability or power, what would it be and why?

Hmmmm...that's a tough one! I think if I ever had the opportunity to choose, I would probably want the ability to time travel.
I think there is so much to be learned from the past, and so much I would have loved to experience throughout history (primarily much of the art and musical culture from the 40's through the 80's, as well as the women's rights movement).
On the same token though, I'm glad I'll never have the chance. It'd be too tempting to re-write past mistakes and I feel like those are the most crucial parts of what make up who we are.

Tattoos are really popular in fiction right now. Do you have any and what do they mean to you?

I have a Celtic love knot on my right bicep, I had it done shortly after my son came home from his two month stay in the NICU. It's a very personal piece for me and I actually intend to add onto it once I am done with modeling. It symbolizes both the love I have for him as well as the love that brought him into this world and will eventually become the starting point of a sleeve of tree bark and flowers dedicated to my roots, family, and heritage.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing your generation today?

Oh boy, there are so many. I think a big one is definitely the need for instant gratification that so much of our generation has.
We have been taught that everything is disposable, and in such that everything is easily replaced. As I have grown, I've watched many of my peers fall into the same pattern of prioritizing only the things that will make them happy in the now.
I feel that we've become so privileged in many ways that we undervalue what it means to work for something and truly earn it. The most unfortunate part is that it translates into our interactions with people as well, and we become disconnected in a sense. When you can have everything you want whenever you want it, why would you bother to respect it and keep it around?
Aurora Sky embodies the saying that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What keeps you strong?

Hope for something better.
I have a lot of people in my life lately that love to tell me that I can't do something, or that my attempts will end in failures. As strange as it seems to some, rejection and discouragement have always seemed to propel me further towards success than anything else.
I'm a stubborn, hotheaded Irish girl. If you tell me I can't, I'm going to push back ten times harder to prove to you that I can.
One of my favorite quotes "Without struggle there is no progress" rings true here. You're going to get knocked down, and you're going to get knocked down a lot, but if you're going to make it through this life you need to be able to take each misfortune as an opportunity for something better.

If you are a book blogger who would like to participate in the Cover Reveal of BAD BLOOD (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, Vol. 3) featuring Gabriella, you can sign-up at Xpresso Book Tours or check back here on January 9th to see the cover in all its glory.

Note: Swag packs will ship on or around January 9th following the Bad Blood cover reveal.
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Paperbacks now available at Amazon.
Aurora Sky, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, Vol. 1

Northern Bites, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, Vol. 2

Monday, December 16, 2013

STAKEOUT Cover Reveal + Bad Blood Sign Up

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Don't miss release day. Sign-up for an e-mail alert (if you haven't already). Releasing around January 14, 2014.
Noel Harper got a second chance at life when the government recruited her as an undercover vampire informant. Since the day they brought her back from the good-as-dead, she has wanted to prove herself worthy.

When a member of her investigative unit is murdered, Noel is paired up with a vampire hunter named Dante to spy on a suspect in Fairbanks. The problem? They're not the only ones on stakeout. Taking down murderous vampires is one thing. Dealing with the past is another. But this time, Noel isn't letting fear win. She's calling in help from the other side and discovers a shocking secret along the way.

(STAKEOUT is an Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter novella told from Noel Harper’s POV. Approximately 54,000 words.)
Are you a book blogger? There's still time to sign up for the BAD BLOOD, Aurora Sky, Vol. 3, cover reveal HERE. Or come back and check it out on January 9th.
Add it at Goodreads.
Aurora returns from boot camp to a new assignment, an unwelcome roommate, and the increasingly amorous attentions of a certain vampire hunter.

College is starting, and so is Aurora’s undercover work at a network of swanky parties known as “Tastings” for high rolling vampires who like their blood laced with fine wine. But Aurora’s not the only one on the prowl. An underground investigation is under way to find out who killed one of Anchorage’s most prominent vampires… and Aurora is a prime suspect.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Aurora Sky Blog Tour and Giveaway

Guest posts, excerpts, and reviews. See full schedule here.
Don't Moose With My Bag drawstring book backpack
Text Moosage notepad
Wobbly Moose Pen
(This giveaway is international.)

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Immagica Map Reveal & Giveaway


Immagica by K. A. Last
Genre: YA Fantasy/Adventure
Publication: January 31st 2014
Map Illustration: Lawrence Mann LawrenceMann.co.uk  



Where anything is possible.

Enter at your own risk.

The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.

When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their Nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.

The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/18194824-immagica 


K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Reader Appreciation $15 Giveaway


I am grateful for so many things, but right here, right now, I want to express thanks to my readers.

Because of you...

- A lifelong dream of publishing fiction has come true.

- I am able to hire talented cover artists, designers, photographers, models, musicians, copy editors, promoters, and other book loving entrepreneurs.

Your support extends beyond one writer and I think that's pretty darn cool.

Enter to Win a $15 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Personally, I find pasting too many entry links a royal pain so, to make things easier, this giveaway relies on the honor system.

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Thank you for your kind support and enthusiasm for the Aurora Sky and Spellbound characters.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Stakeout Cover Reveal Sign-Ups Open

Sign-ups are now open at Xpresso Tours for the December 16th Cover Reveal of STAKEOUT (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, Vol. 2.5).

This is another gorgeous cover by Phatpuppy Art. It's white, wintery and perfect for a December reveal. Thanks to my ninjas for helping pick the date! :D

Don't have a blog? Check back here or on my Author Facebook Page on Monday, December 16.

***If you've read Northern Bites, most likely you're not currently a fan of either Fane or Noel. All I can say is the situation is not what you think. In Stakeout they get a chance to clear their names and drop a big bombshell. I cannot wait to release this sucker!***

Book Description:

Noel Harper got a second chance at life when the government recruited her as an undercover vampire informant. Since the day they brought her back from the good-as-dead, she has wanted to prove herself worthy.

When a member of her investigative unit is murdered, Noel is paired up with a vampire hunter named Dante to spy on a suspect in Fairbanks. The problem? They’re not the only ones on stakeout. Taking down murderous vampires is one thing. Dealing with the past is another. But this time, Noel isn’t letting fear win. She’s calling in help from the other side and learns a shocking secret along the way.

(Stakeout is a novella told from Noel Harper's POV. Approximately 40,000 words. Releasing January 14, 2014.)

Add it at Goodreads.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Aurora Sky is Temporarily FREE


Amazon USNook | Sony | Kobo | iTunesSmashwords | Goodreads

Download your complimentary copy and tell your friends. If you enjoy Aurora Sky, please consider leaving a review wherever you downloaded it. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Whatever You Want - Rachael Wade Giveaway

3 Winners. International. Winners will get their choice of any ebook by Rachael Wade gifted through Amazon Kindle.

This is a long overdue author appreciation post for one of those writers I love to love!

Rachael Wade is an incredible talent, kind soul, compassionate woman, and absolutely the best writing friend you can possibly ask for.

I'm wild about this woman!

If you're unfamiliar with Rachael's work, I suggest you remedy that right away! She's got something for everyone: paranormal new adult, science fiction, and contemporary romance. Check out her list of books at Goodreads and pick one out in the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Also, check out the killer author event Rachael is putting together in San Francisco on March 29, 2014 - Authors on the Bay.

Oh yes, and Amaranth, book one in the Resistance Trilogy is now FREE so grab a copy before you go! Amazon US | B&N | Kobo | SonySmashwords

New Release!
Featuring characters from Love and Relativity, a Preservation Series Companion Novel 
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P.S. The San Juan Islands are currently without internet or phone lines. An underwater cable was severed early Tuesday morning (Nov. 5th). A few places like the power company and library have alternate internet that works, but most of the islands are out. Repairing, or even redoing, cable underwater could take anywhere from days to weeks. All that to say, I won't have much access to my social media sites or email and appreciate your help, as always, spreading the word about this current giveaway and about my books!

Much love,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Heritage (Grimoire Saga #3) Release Day!

Heritage (Grimoire Saga #3)
by S. M. Boyce is now available!

Fun news! The long-awaited Heritage by fantasy and paranormal author S. M. Boyce is now available. This is the third novel in the four-part Grimoire Saga series, so make sure you have books 1 & 2 before you dive in.

About Heritage

Grimoire Saga #3

Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it.

An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer.

Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

Books in the Grimoire Saga

#1—Lichgates | #2—Treason | #3—Heritage | #4—Illusion 

Buy your copy

Boyce's Store: ePub | Mobi | Autographed Paperback

Amazon: USA | UK | Germany |  France | Spain | Italy


About the Author

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BC Book Event (Canada Rocks!)

I had a total blast at the Strength Through Love of Books Vancouver BC event hosted by Flirty and Dirty Book Blog, benefiting the Amanda Todd Legacy.

I got a chance to meet Ali, who blogs at Ginger-Read Reviews. Not only that, she made for an amazing co-pilot crossing the border and navigating the big city, wonderful roommate, and table buddy. Best of all, she was able to laugh when I managed to get my car towed, misplaced my car keys, and locked our only keycard in the room.

Meeting and hugging (I can't help myself) one of my very favorite authors (I will read ANYTHING this woman writes!), Karina Halle.

There were such nice authors at this event, including YA romance writer Anne Eliot. I just met this woman and I already love her to bits!

The BC Book Crew!

Thrilled to meet Kim who read all of the Spellbound books and drove up from WA after a 60 hour work week to attend the event.

The lovely table poster Naj designed for me.

How best to end a killer Canadian weekend? At Fright Nights with my Scare Sisters!

Happy Halloween to all you hooligans!

Monday, October 14, 2013

$10 Gift Card * Free ebook for All * First Look!

Hello, pumpkins!

Candy's great, but books are better. I figured that you might just possibly (maybe) have an out-of-control wish list filled with tasty titles. So enter to win a $10 gift card to spend on whatever books you want!

Don't forget your freebie on the way out. (See below Rafflecopter.) And! First look at the new Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter cover by Phatpuppy Art just in time for Halloween!

Full list of Spooktacular hop participants right here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This Halloween, ENTANGLED, book one in the Spellbound Trilogy, is FREE at all online book retailers.

Download the book Examiner.com called "a must-read for all lovers of young adult paranormal."

4 Hot Espressos from Xpresso Reads: "Being a fan of witch stories, Entangled quickly topped the chart in my favourites, therefore I highly recommend it to young adult paranormal fans, but if you love witches you simply can't  pass it up!"

First Look! Aurora Sky's Killer New Covers

Over two months in the making with a photo shoot by Teresa Yeh Photography, design and artwork by Claudia at Phatpuppy Art, and typography by Ashley at The Bookish Brunette.

I love entertaining readers with my stories and I'm proud to support talented graphic artists, designers, photographers, typographers, copy editors, tour companies, and musicians. Your word of mouth helps make this possible.
New to Nikki's work? Sit back & watch the trailers!

Music scores by the amazing Simon Wilkinson. (The BlueMask.com)

Aurora Sky (Revamped) Cover Reveal

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it's to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn't hurt either. Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora's life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter in Alaska. Basically she's a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis before she has to finish the job...by hand. Now Aurora's only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire. And if he's a vampire, will she be forced to kill him?   AURORA SKY: VAMPIRE HUNTER is the first in a YA Mature/New Adult paranormal fantasy series.

Amazon US | Amazon UKNook | Sony | Kobo | iTunesSmashwords | Goodreads


Cover Credits

Design and artwork: Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppy Art
Typography: Ashley at The Bookish Brunette
Model: Gabriella



Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan with a degree in journalism from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She loves fantasy, magic, fictional bad boys, and heroines who kick butt.
Nikki married Sebastien, the love of her life, while working as a teaching assistant at a high school in Amiens, France during the 1999-2000 school year. They now reside in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands, 70 miles northeast of Forks, Wash. in a town without a single traffic light.
Follow Nikki on Twitter
Connect with her on Facebook
Visit her website.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vancouver BC Book Signing Giveaway

When: 12-4 PM * Saturday, October 26th (Singing)
Entry Fee: $5 - goes to Amanda Todd Legacy Foundation fighting against cyber bullying
Purchase your ticket HERE!
I was instantly touched by the story of Amanda Todd, a beautiful teenage girl who was bullied mercilessly. She bravely tells her story in this YouTube video published last September. Amanda committed suicide a year ago leaving behind a message of heartbreak and hope for a world free of harassment.

I bought several Amanda Todd "Stay Strong" snowflake wristbands (benefiting the foundation) that I've put into goodie packs. This is giveaway 2 of 3. Congratulations to Sheena-kay who won the first giveaway!

Win a Stay Strong / Aurora Sky Goodie Pack (INT)

In the goodie pack:
Amanda Todd Stay Strong lime green wristband
Striped Alaska socks
Northern Lights Alaska bookmark
Aurora Sky "Do Not Disturb" door hanger
Polar Bear Smooch chocolate covered peppermint

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Yo Bro!

Last month my brother and his girlfriend flew down to Seattle for PAX, some kind of gaming convention (beats me), then headed to the island to visit big sis for an afternoon.

We went to Lime Kiln (aka: Whale Watch Park) - the best place for spotting Orca whales from land.

Didn't see a whale, but found this little guy doing yoga in the sun.

Currently Lime Kiln State Park is the only place to walk Cosmo with the government shutdown and national parks blocked off (including "hidden" trails I had no idea were considered national parks. Really?). This small island just got smaller. Deep breath. Zen.

...I want access to my walking trails!