Jan 18, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with Zayne Michaels!

Zayne Michaels is a small-town girl who grew up and ran off to the big city. She currently resides in the Midwest where she spends her days dreaming up dark, sexy adventures in between soccer games and the never-ending pile of laundry.

Zayne's fascination with old and discarded treasures has always been a source of inspiration for her tales. From antique clocks to old, dilapidated houses, her imagination turns to the "what ifs" and "what used to bes."
Maybe this love for the abandoned is why she is a firm advocate of second chances, or perhaps she's just a little crazy. Whatever the reason, Zayne believes everyone chooses their own path, creates their own destiny, and is the author of their own story.

Beginning of the End
Welcome to Purgatory

After losing his best friend in a meteor storm that wiped out entire cities, Brady Dane finds himself alone and scared, simply trying to make it from one day to the next. Surrounded by chaos, desperation, and death, he turns his compass toward Georgia and the refuge rumored to be established in the military base there. Forming emotional attachments will only make him vulnerable, so he keeps himself guarded, choosing to travel alone, but that all changes when he crosses paths with a stranger on a lonely stretch of highway.

Anthony Grimel—Grim to his friends—is having a really bad day. Collapsing on the side of the road after being robbed and beaten by a band of raiders, he’s ready to give up. He never expected to be saved by an angel with golden hair and a smile to rival the sun. Finding purpose once again in being Brady’s guardian, his protector, Grim vows to get his new companion safely to the refuge, but he never expected to lose his heart in the process.

Love isn’t always easy, though, a fact Brady quickly discovers. Wading through a new, complicated relationship is hard enough, but now, he’s not sure who to trust—who is friend and who is foe. One hard truth becomes glaringly obvious not long after his arrival, though. Within these walls, there is no life or death, there is only survival.

Welcome to Purgatory.


Dropping his backpack to the ground with a thunk, Brady held one hand out, knuckles up, and crept closer to the partially demolished structure. “Hey, boy. It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Grim still couldn’t see anything, but he did hear a distinct canine whine. “Where?”
“In that little hollow, right under the Marlboro sign,” Brady answered in a bright, sing-songy kind of way. “C’mere, boy. C’mon.”
The whine became louder, followed by several whimpers, and eventually a loud, booming bark. After another few minutes of coaxing, and a little bribery with some beef jerky, a dirty and scared, though completely gorgeous, Doberman finally crawled out of his hiding place and limped forward across the parking lot. “Brady…” Grim didn’t know if the compound would allow the animal, and besides, they really didn’t need the responsibility of caring for the dog.
“Oh, isn’t he beautiful? Yes, you are,” Brady cooed. “You’re such a pretty boy.”
Snorting, Grim rolled his eyes and settled back to watch Brady work his magic. Fuck, how could he say no to such childlike enthusiasm? “I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s not a he.”
“Oh.” Crouching closer to the ground, Brady tilted his head to the side to look between the pup’s legs. “Ah, I guess you’re right. Oops.” His lips split into a wide grin as the dog gently nibbled the beef jerky out of his hand and then proceeded to lick his fingers. “There you are, girl. That’s good, huh? It’s okay. Yeah, it’s okay.”
Internally rolling his eyes at himself for being such a sap, Grim sat his duffle on the seat of the motorcycle and dug through it to find a length of nylon rope, which he then fashioned into a makeshift collar and leash. Approaching cautiously, he knelt down beside Brady and dropped the rope into his lover’s lap. “Hey there, girl,” he greeted, holding his hand out for the dog to inspect.
Turning her attention from Brady to Grim, the pup sniffed at his hand, whimpered twice, and then tried to jump into his lap, knocking him on his ass. Brady’s laughter rang throughout the parking lot as the dog climbed on top of Grim’s chest, sniffing and licking his face in approval.
“I think she likes you.”
“It would seem so.” He still didn’t know how he felt about bringing the dog along with them, but he couldn’t bring himself to break Brady’s heart by saying no. “She’s going to need a name.”
Grim frowned and shook his head. “Too wimpy. Try again.” Who the hell named a Doberman Delilah?
“I like it.”
“Brady, no.”
“She looks like a Delilah.”
“Nobody looks like a Delilah,” Grim argued. “Pick another name.”
“I like it,” Brady repeated as he slipped the rope over the dog’s head. “She likes it, too, don’t you, Delilah?”
“Brady, absolutely not. You can pick anything else, but I refuse to call that damn dog something as ridiculous as Delilah.”
Ten minutes later, they crossed the highway and began the short trek to the front gates of the compound…with Delilah. “Do you think she really needs the leash?”
“Yes.” Trying to pretend the dog didn’t exist, Grim pointed at the eight-foot tall fence with rolls of barbed wire at the top. “We’re getting close. This must be the edge of the property line.”
“I think you’re right.” Brady inclined his head to indicate the watch tower positioned near the boundary fence just a quarter of a mile up the road. “It looks okay.”
By “okay,” Grim assumed Brady meant “operational,” because it certainly didn’t shine and sparkle like new. However, not many bases had watch towers so far out, and moreover, the high-powered UV spotlights mounted on ten-foot poles along the perimeter certainly weren’t part of the original design. “This is it, Brady. You were right.”
“We’re here,” Brady whispered. “It’s real, and we’re really here.”
Increasing their pace, they practically jogged the next two miles to the entrance of the compound. Delilah trotted alongside Brady in silence as if she understood the importance of maintaining a low profile. When two guards dressed in urban fatigues greeted them with assault rifles, however, her shy, gentle attitude instantly vanished. Positioning herself between Brady and the guards, she crouched low and bared her teeth, growling and snapping as the hair along her spine stood on end.
“Delilah, down.” Holding his hands up in a display of surrender, Grim nudged Brady with his shoulder. “They’re just doing their jobs, sunshine.”
“It’s okay, Delilah. C’mere, girl. They won’t hurt us.” A naïve assumption, but the pup settled at once, turned in a circle, and plopped down on her butt at Brady’s side. “Good girl.”
“Weapons?” one of the guards asked as he and his comrade approached to pat them down and search through their bags.
“Two handguns, both empty,” Grim declared.
“Does an attack dog count?” Brady asked.
The guard squatted in front of Delilah with a smile and stroked her head. “She’s just doing her job, too, ain’t ya, girl?”
Brady returned the smile and took the backpack from the other guard. “Does that mean she can stay?”
“Just keep her on a leash when you’re in public.” Shouldering his rifle, the man winked and offered his hand to Brady. “Staff Sargent Jason Rhodes, United States Marine Corps. This is Sargent Michael Whitcomb.” He motioned to the guy on his left. “Welcome to Purgatory.”


Blog Post

Every year I make the same resolutions, and every year I fail horribly at them. It’s always the same—lose weight, get in shape, cut back on coffee, try to not spend so much money—the usual. For 2014, though, I’ve decided to take a different approach. This year, my New Year’s Resolution is simple. I want to work hard, play harder, and most of all, just be happy.

I have a lot planned for the year. I’ll be at a few different conferences/conventions/retreats, including Authors After Dark, GRL, and possibly one or two more. More Welcome to Purgatory books will be coming soon. Haunted Heart, the next Once Upon a Midnight Moon releases at the end of March, and I have a special surprise project in the works that I’m very excited about and can’t wait to share with everyone!

It’s going to be a fabulous year. I just feel it. So Happy New Year to all, and may it be one of a kind!

Behind the Scenes

Ø How much research do you do?

Sometimes I spend days before starting a new project just doing research. For Welcome to Purgatory, I spent time at the shooting range, did a lot of stalking on Google Satellite. I put in a couple of phone calls to people I know who work for the fire department, the police department, and people who have military survival training. Then Google Maps helped with how to get from point A to point B, how long it would take, and what towns I’d pass along the way. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, so let’s just say that A LOT of research goes into most of my books.

Ø Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

I’ve never co-authored a book. I think I’m too big of a control freak for that. I have and will, however, co-author series. Welcome to Purgatory was written in collaboration with Skye Dragen. The next project on my list is Cupid Inc, scheduled for a Valentine’s Day release, which is also a collaboration with Skye Dragen, Cheryl Dragon, and Kalista Kyle.

Ø What books are you reading at present?

I really wish I had more time to read. When I can sneak in a few free minutes, though, I’m currently working to get caught up on the Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost.

Ø Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Absolutely! The cover is reader’s first impression of your book, and you want it to be a good one!

Ø What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I think both have their advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage for me in self-publishing is that I set my own deadlines. If something happens or there's a kink in the plans (no pun intended) I can reschedule my writing time or my release dates without a lot of red tape to navigate.
However, there is also a big advantage to being with a publisher. Namely, I don’t have to do everything on my own or find and pay someone to do it. It’s certainly less time consuming and stressful.

Flash Round

How do you feel about being the center of attention?
I hate it. I’m very low-key and fairly introverted. Large crowds make me nervous enough as it is, but being the center of attention gives me hives.

What makes you blush?
Hmm, not much really. I survived two boys and being married to a Marine—which means an extended family of other Marines.

What is your worst habit?
Always saying yes. I absolutely love to help people, even if that means that my needs, wants, and sometime sanity takes a backseat to that.

Do you have any irrational fears or phobias?
I’m terrified of cows. I can’t explain it, and I know rationally it doesn’t make sense, but I just really, really don’t like them.

What are you the most hopeless at?
Knowing when to put myself first.

What would you never do, no matter the price?
Sell out or go against my beliefs just because it’s not the popular thing to do.

Daily Contest: Enter to win an ebook copy of Beginning of the End, reader’s choice of an ebook from the Once Upon a Midnight Moon series, and naming rights to a character in an upcoming book. Ends January 22nd at MidnightPlease leave a comment with a valid email address to enter. Don’t forget to also enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter with the code word found above! Come back every day to get a new code word and match it with the author's name! Each author has a unique code word.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for sharing. Beginning of the End sounds great. Please count me in for the giveaway =)

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  2. YUM! Another Purgatory book...can't wait to read this. Saw the first one in Skye Dragen's info...these look fantastic! Thanks for the awesome giveaways!!!


    1. Thank you, Tammy! Both books are standalone, so there's no reading order. It's a great world to write in, and we had a lot of fun building it. :)

  3. I can't wait to read it!!!! I love your books.


  4. Ok I skipped the line where there was a different Key word each day :( Can it be reset?
    Love your Books. Can not wait for the next one.

    1. Thank you, Cathy! I'm not sure about the key words for the contest. :( I'll ask someone and see what we can do.

  5. Love the dichotomy of finding love in the ruins

  6. Anxiously waiting for my next payday hoping I can get the Purgatory books off the wish list and onto my laptop. :)

    carolcobun @ yahoo . com

  7. Looks great! Haven't read anything from you yet but it looks like I will now!

    Deborah H

  8. New to me author. Sounds like a great read, thank you for the opportunity.

    seelk67 at gmail dot com

  9. Goody!