Winter Blogfest: Megan Morgan

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

The Life of a Christmas Tree

What’s the best part about Christmas? The Christmas tree, of course! Many of us put one of these up in our homes. We enjoy decorating it, lighting it up, and stuffing presents underneath it. And, for households with a cat, we cross our fingers that our furry friend at least gives it 24 hours before their first attempt to climb it or knock all the bulbs off it.

I love putting up the Christmas tree. On the day I put it up, my son and I spend hours decorating it, playing Christmas music, and having some real family time. However, I’m rather pragmatic about my tree. I know a lot of people who put up their Christmas tree very early, people who put it up on Thanksgiving, and of course, people who leave it up well into January. While I like having a Christmas tree around, I feel like putting it up too early and leaving it up too long will just oversaturate the joy of it for me. I prefer to keep my Christmas tree around for a shorter time, so it feels more special.

I never put my tree up until it’s actually December. I figure that’s good enough, especially since the stores are already shoving Christmas down my throat as soon as Halloween is over. If I want Christmas before or after my allotted Christmas tree time, I only need to take a walk through town, as Christmas isn’t hard to come by in public as soon as November begins, and then sticks around well past Christmas, into the New Year. But inside my house, I only want Christmas in December! To me, it doesn’t “feel” like Christmas until December rolls around.

Am I being a Scrooge? Not at all. I love Christmas! I love decorating for it and I love having a tree up. I just don’t want to overdo it for myself and end up resenting it. As I said, having it around for a shorter time makes it feel more special to me. Just like summer—since I unfortunately live in a part of the world where summer is short and fleeting, and all the more precious for it, we get it in small doses and have to enjoy it heartily. If I lived in a place where summer lasts for ages, I’d probably be longing for winter. If Christmas lasted for months, I’d get tired of it.

Of course, I don’t mind when I go to visit friends and they already have their tree up by Thanksgiving. To each their own, and I’ll enjoy all your trees, lights, and decorations, whenever and for however long you choose to keep them up! It’s a joyous season and we should take the time to celebrate, especially with sparkles and lights. But if you’re already feeling like there’s too much Christmas being heaped on you as soon as the turkey is eaten, stop over at my place. 😉

How about you? When do you put your tree up? When do you take it down? Do you like having a Christmas tree around for a nice long while, or would you rather have a short engagement with it? No matter how long your celebration, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Witches and Lycans and hillbillies, oh my!

Lorena Mills is a witch, but she’s not very good with potions and incantations. Working for a government agency that puts down dangerous uprisings of supernatural creatures, she does much more paperwork than spell casting. When her less-than-magical job lands her in the small Appalachian town of Blue Ditch, Kentucky, in the shadow of Black Mountain, her life starts to get a whole lot wilder.

In the forests surrounding the town, Wolvites—twisted, bestial creatures who hunt and kill humans—are posing a threat. When handsome, charming, and altogether reckless local Deacon Kelley insists on taking matters into his own hands, Lorena has more than monsters to worry about. He won’t stay out of her way, and he won’t take no for an answer.

Deacon is a Lycan–in modern terms, the non-shifting descendants of werewolves–and he and his family have protected Blue Ditch for generations. But now, something too sinister to be controlled by their efforts alone is stirring, and the Wolvites are far more vicious than they’ve ever been. Will Lorena be able to stop the threat and uncover the deadly secrets surrounding it before it’s too late?

To keep the town, and Deacon, safe, she’ll have to—and she’s really starting to like this town.

About the Author: Megan Morgan is an award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author from Cleveland, Ohio. She also writes urban fantasy. A mild-mannered bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump in the night, she’s trying to turn writing into her day job, so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. She lives on the often-wintry shores of Lake Erie with her spoiled cat and adult son, both of whom shed too much.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Star-Crossed by Megan Morgan

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Can you learn to love?

Gentry King always knew he’d find his mate someday—all werewolves do. But when he stumbles upon her in the flash and glamour of Beverly Hills, while taking a sabbatical from his pack, he’s more than a little dismayed. A foul-mouthed, abrasive club bunny punk girl was not what he had in mind for eternity.

Starr Montgomery left her small town to follow her dreams of being an actress in Hollywood, the typical story. What isn’t typical is discovering she’s a werewolf’s mate—a stuffy, pragmatic werewolf at that. Despite a physical attraction they can’t fight, their hearts don’t seem to connect.

How can you spend forever with someone you don’t really like, even if the sex is great? Can you learn to get along? Can you learn to love? Figuring out those answers is paramount, since neither of them can escape fate.

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#LASR_Anniv One Night in Chicago by Megan Morgan

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One_Night_in_ChicagoBreaking up is hard to do, especially after four years together.

Taylor Middleton, a singer striving for her big break, and her boyfriend Malcolm Darling, a mover and shaker in the music business, have decided to call it quits. Taylor wants to take her onstage persona—Gracie M—to LA, where she hopes bright lights and big dreams await.

But before they break up, the two decide to spend one last night in Chicago, the city where they once shared a passionate, romantic weekend, in hopes of preserving some good memories. In Chicago, Taylor realizes she’s not so sure about taking her talents elsewhere, as Malcolm reminds her why she fell in love—and lust—with him. Taylor may soon discover the right man, like music, can set her free and make all her dreams come true.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Megan Morgan is an urban fantasy, romance, and erotica author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump in the night, she’s trying to turn writing into her day job so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. She’s a member of the RWA and author of the Siren Song urban fantasy series from Kensington Books, as well as numerous other shorter, sexy, smutty works.
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Inside the Writer’s Brain by Megan Morgan – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcome Megan Morgan. The first book of her Siren Song series, The Wicked City, is on sale for $0.99. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Inside The Writer’s Brain

I’ve had “writer’s brain” most of my life. I think in terms of writing when it comes to real life situations, times when others just think like normal people. One of my favorite quotes comes from Australian author Shirley Hazzard: It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums to get rid of.

This condition—let’s keep calling it “writer’s brain” because that sounds neat and clinical—manifests in different ways. When observing things, I will concoct in my head how I would describe those things if I were writing about them. I consider this an exercise in keeping sharp, cataloging colors and textures and the general atmosphere of wherever I am. I’m sure most people wonder why I’m looking at everything with a glassy-eyed stare. I just tell them it’s for art.

Sometimes in the act of writing itself, I have to stop and make physical gestures so I can describe them, or look at a picture so I can describe an object better. I tend to be a visceral writer, so I like sense details. This is why Google Earth has been an invaluable writing tool for me. If I need to describe a street in some far off place, Google Earth can take me right to it and immerse me in the surroundings.

I dream about writing, especially if I’m deeply involved in a story. I’ll dream up plot twists and ways to continue when I’ve hit a wall. I’m not sure if my brain is trained well or a slave to my insanity, though. This could explain why every once in a while, it gives me a random nightmare about freezing to death on Mt. Everest. (Silly brain, you know how out of shape I am! But while we’re there, can you tell me how the sunlight looks when it hits the snow?)

I suppose this is all a product of repetition. When you’ve done something for a long time, you get into the habit of doing it. The same goes for thought patterns. I’ve had “writer’s brain” for so long I’m not sure how people who aren’t writers think. Everything is an experience to be put into words. Does your brain want to describe every puddle you see as a “rippled mirror reflecting the bleak wintry sky?” I’m not the only one…right?

7_29 megan morganShe’s got a voice to die for…

Whatever June Coffin says, goes—literally. And it’s not just because she’s a chain smoking rebel. As a Siren, June has the ability to force people to obey any command she voices. But in a world where those with supernatural powers quickly become lab rats for science, she’d rather look out for herself than fight on the front lines…until her similarly gifted twin brother, Jason, is captured by Chicago’s Institute of Supernatural Research.

To save Jason, June has no choice but to enter a hidden world of conspiracy, murder—and strange bedfellows—including a widowed paranormal advocate whose memory June accidentally erased, and a fiery paranormal separatist leader. Soon the lines between attraction and strategic alliance become blurred. But in a city exploding with paranormal crossfire, and her brother’s life at stake, June will have to face her inner demons and finally take a stand.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The first time June Coffin saw Micha Bellevue, he was giving a lecture at the Chicago Institute for Supernatural Research. June and her brother Jason weren’t yet prisoners of the unholy place and June had sneaked into a conference room. Though the subject of the lecture—something insipid about paranormal rights in the workplace—didn’t interest her, the lecturer certainly did. Micha was tall and rugged yet boyishly handsome, all her weaknesses. Meesha, not Mi-ca, much easier to yell in bed. He had sandy brown hair with gold highlights, cut shaggy with a swoopy fringe. He also had sky blue eyes and a crooked smile.

June, in contrast, was five-four, lean, and petite. Her father once called her “diminutive,” and she’d hated the word ever since. She had a flowing mane of jet-black hair, though at the moment it lacked volume or luster and she’d been keeping it in a ponytail. Her eyes were vivid green, nearly iridescent, but their color was real, unlike her hair. She was also over-fond of tattoos and piercings.

She was Micha’s exact opposite, which was fine, because she believed people needed to explore sexual pursuits outside their peer groups.

In the fifteen minutes she spoke to Micha after the lecture at the Institute, the lovely man revealed himself to be full of ostentatious ideas and painfully corny jokes. A bit later, June stood in an atrium, smoking a cigarette while he led a string of eager young supernatural neophytes across the courtyard below. She narrowed her eyes against the smoke curling around her face. I’m so gonna hit that. She hadn’t, not yet, for huge moral reasons.

Namely, because Micha had a wife.

Except, his wife currently lay trussed up in her casket, awaiting her funeral service in the morning, and June had kind of helped put her in it.

But right now they also had this issue with the gun.

Hanging out with dead people on a Sunday night didn’t rank high on June’s to-do list, despite her last name. But as she stood in a darkened funeral parlor staring at the tall, buxom, red-haired woman with said gun, she realized how much her priorities had changed.

“What the hell is that?” June’s question was rhetorical, but she still wanted an answer.

“It’s a Glock.” The redhead—whose name was Cindy—said this coolly, as if she were describing a pair of shoes. Cindy had dressed all in black for the occasion, like a cat burglar.

The three of them—June, Micha, and Ms. Congeniality herself—weren’t in the funeral home to steal anything. Even after the events of the preceding week, June wasn’t cracked enough to snatch a body.

“Why do you have it?” June asked. “We don’t need a gun.”

The whimpering aged gentleman on his knees next to Cindy probably welcomed this news but clearly was no less frightened, as Cindy had the muzzle pressed against his temple. The man wore a handsome silk robe with wide lapels, the kind rich guys sported in movies. Were all funeral directors so dashing in their choice of nightclothes?

“I brought it just in case,” Cindy said.

“Why would we need to shoot someone in a funeral home?” June raised her voice, no longer worried about being quiet. The director had probably heard them clamoring through the window at the rear of the house. June possessed some nifty skills: she was an excellent self-taught artist, she could shoot whiskey with the boys like she was one of them, and she could make wicked smoke rings. However, grace and athletics eluded her.

“I don’t think he’s armed,” June said. “I doubt you need to defend a funeral home.”

“You never know,” Micha said behind her. “Necrophiliacs probably like to break into funeral homes.”

June closed her eyes; she counted to five, and then ten, but when she opened her eyes again, she wasn’t any calmer.

“I won’t hurt you,” the man on the floor said in a small, pitiful voice. “Just take what you want and go.”

June stepped forward and waved a hand at Cindy, shooing away the gun. June had never touched a gun in her life. She had never needed to.

Cindy lowered the gun and stepped back. “I was just trying to help.” She spoke with the petulance of an admonished child. A child who didn’t get to play with her deadly weapon.

June knelt. The paunchy balding man was shaking, his eyes wide.

“It’s all right.” A heavy energy, curled in June’s stomach like a sleeping cat, rose to her sternum and surged upward again to warmly coat her throat. “Just sit there and relax and think about your favorite things until we’re gone.”

The man’s body sagged. His face slackened. He pivoted to the side and sat down on his bottom with a shuddering thump, his gaze gone distant and dreamy. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

June stood.

“There. Isn’t that awesome? Supernatural powers and stuff?” She didn’t enjoy throwing around her “hypnotic voice phenomenon,” as the scientists liked to call it, but invasive persuasion seemed far less cruel than criminal menacing.

About the Author:7_29 megan morgan author photoMegan Morgan is an urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and erotica author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump at night, she’s trying to turn writing into her day job so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. She’s a member of the RWA and author of the Siren Song urban fantasy series from Kensington Books, as well as numerous other shorter, sexy works.

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