Get Lost in a Story with Shawna Thomas

Get Lost in a Story Readers, today we're pleased to bring you Shawna Thomas, Author of the Tribune Stones Series.  A bit about Shawna won Romantic Times Reader's Choice Award for her debut book Altered Destiny.  Since then she's added to more books to the trilogy.  You can read about them below.  Please welcome Shawna as she answers our fun, "get to know you" questions.
Journey of Awakening – A Legend’s Birth
After her grandfather's death, Sara inherits an ancient pendant and a near-impossible quest—master the mysterious pendant's source of magic. Driven to do so, she must find the other two stones of power, long considered lost, while preventing an unknown enemy from finding her first.

Unprepared and alone, she travels to where the keepers of the stones, the Siobani, were last seen. Along the way she meets Tobar, leader of the nomadic Heleini tribe. As Sara wrestles with feelings for this intriguing man, she is also invigorated with her grandfather's passion to find the ancient Siobani race.

After a rival tribe kidnaps Tobar's son and heir, Sara must harness the stone's healing magic to unite the tribes and save the boy. But as the dark power stalking her gains ground, will she continue on her quest to reach the Siobani or risk everything to save the warring tribes from eliminating each other?

What readers are saying ~
The characters, apart from the red man who stays on the fringes for this book, are extremely well drawn, and the relationships and motivations of the characters very realistic. The elegant prose is also an enjoyable aspect of the book. - - Tahlia Newland

Beautiful description and strong character development in this coming-of-age fantasy – Nicole Luiken

This book hooked me from the beginning, mainly because Sara is such an interesting character. – Angela C

It is a good story with a well-paced solid plot and the right balance of description, action and character development, but it is the wisdom in Sara and her mentor's approach to life that gives this book not only light, but also life.

DONNELL:  Shawna:  Welcome to Get Lost in a Story.  Altered Destiny.  The title sums up so much emotion in me.  You write paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and romance.  If you had to focus on just one genre, what would it be?

SHAWNA:  Oh that’s a tough question and right of the bat too! It’s hard because I tend to blur the genre line a bit. The Triune Stones series is definitely epic fantasy, but woven with a touch of romance. The last book has more than a touch. I’d pick fantasy if you made me pick one, but I need romance too. I’m a romantic, what can I say?

DONNELL:   World building is so important in fantasy and science fiction.  How do you shake up your worlds and make them truly a standout?

SHAWNA:  History. If a world feels new, it won’t feel real. Places, people, worlds need depth. I try to build my story and the world my characters live in on the bones of an ancient civilization.

DONNELL:  When you’re not in some amazing “out there” creation, where will we find you?

SHAWNA: At home with my seven children...probably playing with the baby—who is turning one the day this interview posts!, or playing badminton with older kids, ping pong with my husband. I love to bake and garden. Although you’ll find me less often in the garden during hot California summers.

DONNELL:  Are you athletic?  Have any hobbies?

SHAWNA:  Athletic... I’m active. Does that count? LOL. We play softball, soccer, badminton, ping pong. My husband and I go bike riding every chance we get, and he’s teaching me to wrestle (MMA style)but I’m not about to run a marathon any time soon! Hobbies. Well, reading isn’t a hobby, it’s a necessity. ; ) I love to garden. There is something so awesome in the consistency of flowers blooming year after year. We have eight fruit trees too. There is never any shortage of fresh fruit in the summer. My husband and I are also both foodies. He tends toward savory and I lean toward sweet but we make an awesome team.

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

SHAWNA: Oh you would ask that! I so need to go grocery shopping. There is a little milk, a bunch of condiments from ketchup to Katza sauce. I have butter, cream cheese (staples you know) lettuce and tomatoes, apples and eggs and really, besides a left over calzone from my anniversary dinner last night—and my lunch today—that’s about it.

DONNELL:  Describe your best virtue, your worst vice. 

SHAWNA:  Why is it so easy to think of my vices, rather than my virtues? I guess because I don’t have to think about my virtues. LOL that makes me sound like a Victorian virgin, which I am not. I am loyal. Once you’re my friend, I’m your friend. That means no matter what you do, you’re my friend. I also try to see things through someone else’s perspective. I know my opinion or my way of seeing things isn’t all inclusive. Of course too much of that has led to one of my worst vices... I’m a pushover. I make excuses for people to treat me without the respect I deserve. I’ve learned though just because someone had a bad childhood or a bad day, it doesn’t mean he or she can take it out on me. Love the person, do not accept the behavior.

DONNELL:  What accomplishment are you most proud of (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be writing-related.)

SHAWNA:  My marriage. My children... I know I keep giving multiple answers to superlative questions but, yeah, I’m a rule breaker too.  And while I’m on a roll, I’m pretty darn proud of that RT Award for Altered Destiny.

DONNELL:  Who inspires you?

SHAWNA: My husband. If he were perfect he wouldn’t inspire me. In fact he’d irritate me because I am so far from perfect. But because he’s struggled and gets back up, because life has pushed him down often and he hasn’t become bitter, he is an inspiration. Less deep than that...music inspires me. But you said who not what so... ; )

 Shawna, terrific answers, now it's your turn to ask readers a question: 

SHAWNA THOMAS:   What is the condiment you must have in your refrigerator?

GIVEAWAY  An electronic copy of Journey of Awakening


 Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.
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Get Lost in Harmony, Texas!

Folks, I'm thrilled to have the chance to bring Jodi Thomas back for you!

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 37 novels and 11 short story collections. In June 2011, WELCOME TO HARMONY, the first book in the Harmony series, won a RITA, the highest award for women’s fiction. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

www.facebook.com/ JodiThomasAuthor

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes us back to Harmony, Texas, in CAN’T STOP BELIEVING. The sixth book in her popular Harmony series presents a story where big dreams are brewing—and anything and everything is possible…

Cord McMillan gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Now, ten years later, he's about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can't refuse: If he'll marry her, she'll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to ex-plain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor.

He just has one condition--she has to sleep in his bed every night as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family's legacy--and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband by necessity, she discovers something unexpected--a love so deep it takes her breath away.

"Another winner...Fans will be delighted."   Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Compelling and beautifully written." Debbie Macomber, #1 New York TImes Bestselling author 

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

I love stepping into Harmony, Texas. I’ve been there enough to know the town and most of the people. In CAN’T STOP BELIEVING, I wrote about some old friends and a few new ones who live in Harmony. I hope all my readers will come along with me in this visit and feel like they are coming home.

Like a real town, lives flow around one another, changing, influencing, and sometimes helping. Ronny, a quiet woman who works at the post office, is asked to open her heart and forgive the only man she’s ever loved when he returns. Martha Q muddles her way through trying to write and accidentally stumbles into a chance for love and Tyler Wright holds to his Kate, his love that came late to his life.

Amid them all, Cord McMillan tries to hang onto his farm in a town where no one will talk to him. He made a mistake and hurt a deputy when he was 17, and now he believes everyone hates him. When the first car in three years drives up to his place, he doesn’t trust his neighbor, Nevada Britain, or the bargain she offers him. He has nothing to offer in return, but he knows if he agrees he’ll step all into her plan, with no holding back. If she doesn’t hold up her end of the agreement, he also knows she’ll break him completely like six years of prison never could.

As you read CAN’T STOP BELIEVING, you’ll find love so deep it’ll melt your heart. So, come along with me to Harmony, Texas, a place where you’ll find a home. I promise to keep you up late reading.
Welcome, step on in and meet the folks,
Jodi Thomas




world gets bigger!

A Novel of the Light Blade, Book 3
Berkley Sensation

"The third outing in Griffin’s rousing Light Blade series provides readers with a breathtakingly strong and dedicated heroine willing to fight and sacrifice for her people. Griffin keeps the tension running high as the world she created heads ever closer to war. This is a series that is definitely improving with age!" 
4 Stars~~Romantic Times Magazine

"It’s very rare for book to have such a phenomenal world where it engrosses me so completely that I am taken away by it. Hands-down, the world alone is amazing." 
5 Stars~~Riverina Romantics

"A fantastic continuation of a story that has well and truly captured my heart." 
5 Stars~~My Book Chatter

A Novel of the Light Blade, Book 1

"Peopled with intriguing characters, the world of Vengeance Born is unique and filled with compelling mystery. I'm looking forward to seeing where Kylie Griffin takes that world next." 
~~Nalini Singh, NYTimes best-selling author

Enter a bold new series, the Light Blade, where a longstanding war between the demon and human realms rages. Promising new talent Griffin’s characters face danger and hidden secrets that threaten to change the world as they know it. A terrific debut!
~~RT Magazine

A Novel of the Light Blade, Book 2
"...does a stellar job envisioning her world and its compelling protagonists. Well worth your time!"  
~~RT Magazine

"A battle scarred, noble hero and a valiant heroine caught in a war of deep prejudice make for a powerfully affecting read."
~~Bookaholics Romance Club

"He had a hard life of abuse and condemnation and yet he was a man worthy of love. Is there anything better than that?..."
~~All About Romance


 in her 2 previous 

GLIAS interviews. 



ANGI: How often to you train for battle?
AREK: Daily. I don’t think I’ve missed more than a dozen days of training since I was ten years old. Na’Reish demons are physically bigger and stronger than a human so you can’t afford to slack off. Before I complete my final journey I intend on taking out as many of bastards as possible, so it’s my duty to be the best warrior I can be.
VARIAN: Training? (arching of one eyebrow) I wouldn’t say my scouts and I trained, not until we came to Sacred Lake. In Na’Reish territory it was more like we learned fast how to fight or we died. Survival is a great motivator when demons and humans want to kill you on sight. Now we’re living at Sacred Lake, and part of the Light Blade patrols, we train with the humans every day.
KALAN: (wry twisting of lips) More often than I like, my duties as the Chosen tend to interfere…there are always Blade Council meetings to attend, delegations and Guild representatives asking you to visit them, patrol reports to read…but I try to make it a point of visiting the training fields every day, even if it’s only for a half hour session.

ANGI: What’s your first thought when seeing the woman you love? 
AREK: My first thought? (soft chuckle) Strong. Imhara’s an incredibly driven woman when she sets her mind on something. If anything gets in the way, she adapts. You only have to look at the decisions she’s made to help her Clan survive to appreciate her courage and determination. Those qualities were some of the first things I came to respect in her, even when I thought she was the enemy.
VARIAN:  (quiet grunt) How amazing it is to be her mate. I mean, I’m not the easiest man to live with. Kymora will tell you I can be surly, stubborn, uncommunicative…(lips twitch then briefly twist in a wry upwards motion)…and that’s on a good day.
Nor am I the most desirable warrior she could have chosen… (thumb traces a jagged scar running from the corner of his eye to his jaw)…but whenever she senses me nearby and turns in my direction, I see the most joyous, heart-warming smile shape her lips…and I know it’s just for me. For me…(shakes head)…I’m Lady blessed…
KALAN: Just how lucky I am to be loved by Annika (tender smile curves lips) and how I intend spending the rest of my life letting her know how much that love is returned.

ANGI: Can you tell us about a true hero you’ve met?
AREK: (blue gaze turns inward a moment and mouth pulls downward) A few months ago Na’Reish slavers attacked and razed a small crofters’ settlement near the border. Several villagers were taken. I was part of a patrol sent to rescue them. But it turned out the raiding party wasn’t alone and I ended up captured in the melee. One of the farmers, a young man called Yenass, knew I’d be killed on sight if the Na’Reish saw me in my armor and wearing my Lady’s amulet. The Na’Reish had set their Vorc loose to track us down. Yenass told me I was of no use to them dead, so he traded clothes with me just before the Vorc attacked…(eyes close briefly)…he sacrificed his life for mine so that I could try and help the other crofters when the time was right.
VARIAN:  I doubt she’d agree with me, but Hesia, the human slave who helped the Na’Chi survive, is a true hero. For twenty years she smuggled half-blood children born to human slaves outside the Gannec Fortress. She risked her life every time she brought us food and supplies. She also taught us to dream of a better life and gave us the courage to reach for it when the time came.
KALAN: Commander Yevni, the Light Blade’s Master of Arms. He’s been the head of the Light Blade training program for the last thirty years. Every warrior who passes through the ranks, and survive each patrol, owe their lives to his knowledge, dedication and skill.

ANGI: What’s your favorite weapon of choice?
AREK: A strong, fire-tempered sword. Nothing beats a well-made blade. The weight, the length, the sound it makes as it cuts through the air…a deadly weapon in the right hands.
VARIAN: When you’ve spent most of your life hiding from your enemies, combat tends to be up close and personal. Vicious in nature. So I prefer a dagger. Time is crucial. Cutting an intruders throat from behind with a sword is unwieldy. A dagger is quiet. Swift. (Gives a wicked grin.) Much more efficient.
KALAN: I have to agree with Arek. Light Blades are physically outmatched in strength and size against the Na’Reish so we’re taught to use our Gift through a sword. We can project energy through any blade – a rare few, like Arek, can direct it through flesh to flesh contact – but we need every advantage the sword can give us in a battle against them.

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
AREK:(shares a look with the other two warriors. Kalan smiles. Varian’s mouth flattens, his brow creases.) Umm, you sure like to ask the hard questions, Angi. I’m going to have to think about that one…anyone else want to answer this first?
KALAN: (snorting a laugh) Arek, you can’t be at a loss for words. I distinctly remember one young lady you charmed with “love” words at The Traveller Rest that night we broke curfew to wander the Night Markets.
AREK: (eyebrows raise) Lady’s Breath, Kalan, that was over fifteen years ago! How can you remember that particular night so clearly?
KALAN: (grinning) You were both headed upstairs to “chat” in her room within ten minutes of meeting. I was in awe of that feat and am still wondering just what you said to her to convince her so quickly.
AREK: A gentleman never gossips…(here he levels a narrow-eyed look at Kalan)…and Imhara better not hear about that night, or any other night we spent wandering the Night Markets, my friend. She’s staked her claim on me and I’d rather not spend the rest of my life chained to her bed.
VARIAN:  (blinks and stares at both men) She has shackles attached to her bed?
KALAN:(bursting into laughter) Hasn’t Arek ever told you how he and Imhara first met? (The Na’Chi shakes his head.) He woke bound hand and foot to her bed…
AREK:(interrupting in a dry tone of voice) And you call yourself my best friend? (Glances to the Na’Chi) Varian, I’ll fill you in later. Angi, I think we’d better move onto the next question. Please.

ANGI: Who is the last Na’Reish demon you'd like to tangle with?
AREK: (grunts) The Kaal Clan aside, why would I want to avoid fighting demons, Angi? They prey on us. They want to enslave or kill those we love. We kill them. Simple.
VARIAN:  Succinct answer but well put, Arek. Kalan?
KALAN: (grimacing) Savyr. The demon king. He’s one power-hungry bastard. Ambitious. Cunning.
AREK: Cruel, too. (hands fist, gaze grows cold)
VARIAN:  (when Angi looks puzzled by Arek’s icy response) Savyr raped his mother.
AREK: To avenge his son’s death at the hands of my grandfather. (mouth tightens) Savyr kidnapped my mother and raped her until she fell pregnant with Annika.
KALAN: Annika is my wife, and Arek’s half-sister.
AREK: Savyr physically and mentally abused Annika all her life, until she escaped him by coming here.
KALAN: While I’d cross blades with Savyr if I had to, he’s one I’d think twice about challenging. He hasn’t been Na’Rei for nearly thirty years without surviving more than a few assassination attempts or emerging victorious from several leadership challenges.
VARIAN:  His ledger of offences will be repaid. (Voice deepens with lethal promise) One day.
KALAN & AREK: (grimly together) Lady willing.

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
AREK: That’s easy. Sex. Give me a bed, a willing woman, preferably Imhara…
VARIAN: (dead-pan) Chains?
AREK: (wry grin) Again, I’m too much of a gentleman to kiss and tell, but she sure makes bed time interesting, Na’Chi.
KALAN: (chuckling and shaking his head at Arek’s response) I think I’ll stick to safer ground and go for a hot bath. It’s something Annika and I have in common.
VARIAN: Sweet-treasures. Kymora introduced me to the honey-filled pastries last Summer’s End Festival. They melt in your mouth and I can’t stop at just one.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Has anything "tripped you up" while writing in the LIGHT BLADE world?
KYLIE'S GOTTA ANSWER: Oh, yes. Just something small, believe it or not. Funny how a tiny detail can be the biggest gaff out. Originally, when writing the series and casting secondary characters, I decided on the names Zarian and Vaune for two Na’Chi warriors. I eventually swapped the initial letters around to make Varian and Zaune, but in all three books I’ve managed to mix their names up constantly. A pain in the butt when you have to go back and Find & Change each instance and make sure every single one is found. Nothing worse than getting a character’s name wrong!!!

Email    Website   Facebook   Twitter   GoodReads    Blogs    Shelfari   

one signed copy of ALLEGIANCE SWORN or VENGEANCE BORN (winners’ choice) to a blog commenter  (International book giveaway)

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

DON'T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join us next week for Maureen's COMPLIANCE release. ~Angi 

AREK, VARIAN, KALAN & KYLIE WANT TO KNOW: Is there a weapon you'd like to learn to use? why? Or if you already have learned to use one, which one and why? Have you mastered a martial art and what attracted you to learn it?


Get Lost in The Sweet Spot and Laura Drake

Get Lost in a Story Readers, it is my privilege to introduce Laura Drake to you.  Romantic Times picks her debut novel, THE SWEET SPOT, as a Top Pick! 

Charla Rae Denny’s role as a traditional ranch wife and mother fits her like custom-tailored Wranglers. But when her only son is killed in a tragic accident, Char retreats to a world of grief and Valium. Her reeling husband takes up with a blonde buckle bunny half his age. Their ranch, which supplies bucking bulls to the Pro Bull Riding circuit, is split up in the divorce. All her county fair ribbons won’t help Charla now. She’s alone, addicted, ill-equipped, and has no one to blame but herself. In spite of her fear of horses and smelly cows, she stands up, takes off her apron, and learns to run a ranch. She and Jimmy have lost their way. But through months of hard work, tears, and some hard knocks, they both learn to forgive — themselves and each other. Together, they find their way back, to life, to love, to the Sweet Spot.

DONNELL:  Welcome to Get Lost in a Story, Laura.  Wow, that blurb has me choked up.  True or false, is it a tear jerker?

LAURA:  Oh yeah. I felt stupid, reading it over for edits, crying at the end. I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who does that (now that would be embarrassing!)

DONNELL:  This book sounds like it deals with real issues, grief, an affair, divorce, and it sounds like it’s my kind of read.  What was the most rewarding thing about writing it?

Then turn this, what did you find the most difficult?

LAURA: Most rewarding – this was my lesson in learning to get the emotion on the page, so if my readers answer the question above, yes, then I passed the test!

 Most difficult – Believe it or not, it wasn’t difficult! I have had major problems with books, before and since, but I knew this was a special book from the beginning; it just rolled off my fingers. Now if I could just figure out how to replicate that…

 DONNELL:  When writing, where will we find you?  And then, when you’re not writing, what will you likely be doing?

 LAURA:  Writing – at my desk in my office, with coffee, computer, and cat, watching the birds nesting in the tree outside.

Other – lately there hasn’t been much of this, due to foot surgery, but I’ll be riding my bicycle or my motorcycle.

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

LAURA:  Yikes! Okay, luckily you caught me after I took a vow of healthy. Greek yogurt (my latest passion,) romaine lettuce, iced tea. The unhealthy stuff is all Alpha Dog’s, I swear!

DONNELL:  Are you organized?

LAURA: Wow, you’re hitting all my weird buttons (or do I just have more than most people?) I’m obsessively organized. Books, record albums, all filed by author, then title. One of my sources of pride used to be that I could lay my hands on anything I owned, in the dark.

Then I married the Chaos of the Universe. It’s been interesting…

DONNELL:  Who or what inspires you?

LAURA:  Humans. I’m endlessly fascinated by people who are very different than I. Getting to know how they think – how they react in different situations. I love to explore that in my novels.

DONNELL:  What’s the most unusual thing you have in your closet?

LAURA:  Well, they’re not unusual to me, but others would probably say, my motorcycle leathers. I’ve rode over 100k miles on the back of my husband’s bike before I learned to ride my own. Now I have 100k on my two; Elvis and Sting (yes, there’s a theme there.)

 DONNELL:  If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be, and why?

Wow, Donnell, you didn’t tell me these questions would be so hard! Only one? I’ll narrow it to only writing related, or we’ll be here all day, discussing people (wouldn’t that be a fun discussion?) it would have to be Mark Twain. I love his subtle humor – I’ll bet he was a real wild card!

LAURA, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN… TIME TO ASK READERS A QUESTION.  This is also the time you decide if you’d like to do a book giveaway.

I’d love to give away a book! I don’t have any hard copies right now though, so it’ll need to be an ecopy.

You may have guessed from my answers, I’m a bit – untraditional. The Sweet Spot is my debut novel in my ‘Sweet on a Cowboy’ series, which is set in the world of Professional Bull Riding. I’m a city kid, but fell in love with the drama of the sport. But I know that it’s not ‘mainstream.’ My question is -- would you pick up a book set in a world you’re not familiar with?

Thank you so much for having me, Donnell – you made me think hard! I have to go cool my brain off with some iced tea and cheese . . . Oh no, wait, that’s not my cheese!

DONNELL:  It's been my pleasure, Laura, thank YOU for joining us!  

www.LauraDrakeBooks.com Twitter: @PBRWriter
Blogging at:

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.
DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes.