Welcome to my blog, S. J. Pajonas!
Nicknames: Well, my full name is Stephanie though I use my initials for writing the books. I go by Steph mostly. My husband sometimes calls me “Scifi Stephie” when he wants to yank my chain, but that’s about it. I guess I’m not very nickname-able!
Where do you live: In northern New Jersey. We moved here from Brooklyn where I lived for 11 years. I still love Brooklyn and miss it sometimes. What I don’t miss are my screaming neighbors, having to move my car every other day, and the lack of outdoor space for my kids.
Your favorite dessert: Anything chocolate. I’m not too picky ;)
Your favorite TV series: Hmmm, tough one. I still think Star Trek: The Next Generation was pretty darned perfect. Since then I have loved Star Trek: Voyager, Stargate SG1 and Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica (which may be tops), and LOST. As you can see, I like long series with wide-sweeping storylines and complex characters. Most recently I have loved Breaking Bad and Homeland, so I do stray out from scifi and fantasy.
Last book you read: Butterman (Time) Travel by PK Hrezo. I love it so far and I’m still reading it in between blog post writing and revisions on my own books. It sometimes takes me a while to read anything for fun.
Last movie you watched: Star Trek Into Darkness. This was a rewatch. We really loved it.
Last song (or album) you bought: I bought two Neutral Milk Hotel albums that I didn’t have for some crazy reason!
A book/series you could read over and over again: I have read the Ender series (Orson Scott Card) several times and the Foundation and Robot series (Isaac Asimov) several times. But I’ve also read the Anne of Green Gables series and Harry Potter series many times too, so I’m not just stuck on science fiction.
Coke or pepsi? Coke. Pepsi is the devil.
Day or night? Day. I like to sleep at night!
Pen or pencil? Pencil. Mechanical. Preferably Japanese.
Summer or winter? Summer, hands down. I need a winter home in Brazil. Can you help me out on that?
Cat or dog? Dog. I’m actually allergic to both, but I like dogs, and there’s the chance in my future of owning a hypoallergenic dog.
Tea or coffee? Tea now. I love coffee and miss it, but it did horrible things to my stomach. Sadness.
Plotter or pantser? Pantster. Occasionally, I’ll write out a paragraph or two of plot ideas before starting a project but that’s about it.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Oh, I have no idea. I wanted to be an astronaut FOREVER, and if I were given the chance to go into space, I’d take it in a heartbeat. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and have always had a good grasp of the English language and its quirky grammar rules. I think I decided I really wanted to write when I was in college. I was taking screenwriting classes and wanted to go on into that career path. But then I graduated, had an extreme amount of debt, and realized I couldn’t afford grad school. So I learned how to build websites. I’ve been designing and building websites for the past 15 years. It paid the bills, and I’m so happy to have all that knowledge now as a self-publisher. I no longer build websites for a living (I’m a stay-at-home mom) but I use my skills to build my blog and other things for my books.
What are you working on now? More Nogiku books and a contemporary romance book that I absolutely adore. It’s also a part of a series of stand-alone books (no cliffhangers and each one is its own story) so expect both contemporary and science fiction romances from me in the future.
If you decided not to be a writer, what would your other dream job be? Why? Go back two questions and you have your answer! I really wish there was a way for civilians to easily get into space. That’s what I would do. I’ve always dreamt of a career in space. I want to look down on the world from above. That just seems mind-blowing and magical.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life? Quit my fantastic job at HBO to be a stay at home mom. Really. Scariest thing I’ve ever done. It was a six-figure salary. Gulp.
What is one talent that you’re hopeless at, but you wish you had? Whistling. I can’t whistle!! Why? I have no idea. I’ve tried my whole life and can’t do it. I really wish I could. My husband is a great whistler. I always sigh when he starts up.
What is one trait or physical characteristic that you are proud of/love about yourself? I’m extremely persistent. If I want something and there’s a way to get it, I get it. Most of my friends tell me they admire how I make goals and I go out and accomplish them. To not do that? To be stagnant? That’s not me. I have fears of rejection and yet I still try. If someone were to tell me I can’t do something, it only makes me try harder. I push the naysayers aside. And if a friend wants something and needs my help, I give it if I’m able to. I’m extremely loyal.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? This is the same advice I give everywhere :) Find a method that works for you and stick with it. If you outline, keep outlining. If you can only write in coffee shops, take the time to go to one. I am a pantster and there is no breaking me of it. It works for me and what works for one author does not always work for another. Concentrate on your own methods and definitely do not try to tell someone else that their method is “wrong.” Whatever gets the words onto the page!
Removed (The Nogiku series #1)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: September 11, 2013
Duty knows no family. Love has no price. Secrets can cost you everything. Twenty-year-old Sanaa Griffin, a sweet and smart half-Japanese girl, is about to get more than she bargained for when she wishes for love and excitement on New Year’s Eve 3103. Mark Sakai, who knows more about her than any stranger should, thinks Sanaa is the perfect person to spy on the heads of the three biggest Japanese clan leaders in Nishikyo. He wants her to gather enough evidence to keep them from going to war when they land on Earth’s colonization planet, Yusei. Nishikyo, built by the Japanese 300 years ago to house the rest of mankind, is failing and everyone is preparing to leave. Sakai has known Sanaa’s family all her life but she knows nothing of him! And despite all the time they spend together, he keeps his distance from her. Then one day, he brings her to Jiro, his nephew, to learn sword fighting, and it changes her life irrevocably. Between falling in love with Jiro and the information she is gathering on the clans, Sanaa realizes Sakai is holding back secrets about her family and her deceased parents, secrets as to why she was chosen for this job, and learning the truth puts her and all of Nishikyo in danger.
You can watch the trailer for Removed on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzShpFemIg
Released (Nogiku series #2)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: December 17, 2013
**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED (Book 1)
Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyo recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yusei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs. Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her? From Nishikyo to Yusei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.
You can find Released on Goodreads!
About the Author:
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.
Released is S. J. Pajonas’s second work, book two of four in the Nogiku Series. The first book in the series, Removed, is described as “a wonderful story” with “engaging characters, seamless world building, and an action packed plot.” It’s an “up-til-3am-because-I-read-it-in-one-sitting book.” She also writes contemporary romance and her upcoming first book in the Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.
S. J. lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of the Nogiku series. These are the prizes you can win: Amazon Gift Cards, copies of REMOVED, and eBook copies of two fantastic Japanese books: JAPANESE SOUL COOKING and THE SAKE HANDBOOK. Both will be gifted through either Amazon (kindle) or Barnes&Noble (nook).
Here are the links to both books on Amazon:
Sake Handbook on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sake-Handbook-John-Gauntner-ebook/dp/B007H9GVMI/
Japanese Soul Cooking: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BVJG5GC/
Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Alyssa Rose Ivy!
Where do you live: North Carolina
Your favorite dessert: Anything chocolate
Your favorite TV series: recently the voice
Last book you read: Taming the Wolf by Stephanie Nelson
Last movie you watched: Kung Fu Panda (it’s one of my daughter’s favorites)
Last song (or album) you bought: Snow Patrol, Just Say Yes
A book/series you could read over and over again: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Coke or pepsi? Coke
Day or night? Night
Pen or pencil? Pencil
Summer or winter? Summer
Cat or dog? Dog, but I have a cat.
Tea or coffee? Coffee!
Plotter or pantser? Both.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I’ve always loved writing, but I didn’t decide to publish until I was home with my daughter. I had so much fun, that I haven’t stopped.
What are you working on now? I’m working through final edits of Focus (The Crescent Chronicles, #2). I’m also busy with Wrecked (Clayton Falls, #3).
If you decided not to be a writer, what would your other dream job be? Why? If I wasn’t writing, I’d use my Library Science degree and work as a librarian. The dream job part would be finding the perfect job with the perfect hours.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life? Moving across the country for college was one of the scariest experiences, but it was one of the best experiences too.
Who is the one person that has singlehandedly inspired you the most in your life? My father. He taught me about taking chances, and never giving up.
What is one talent that you’re hopeless at, but you wish you had? I wish I had artistic ability.
What is one trait or physical characteristic that you are proud of/love about yourself? I love my hazel eyes.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? Write what you love, and do lots of it.
Author Bio: Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Only when you let go can you learn to live.
Between the death of her mother and pushing through law school without her best friend, it’s been a tough year for Becca. Needing a break from Boston, she moves to a tiny coastal North Carolina town for a relaxing summer. After bumping heads repeatedly with a local cop, she realizes her summer will be anything but quiet. Three years after a career ending injury ruins his chance to play Major League Baseball, Gavin has a distrust of northerners and lately girls in general. He wants nothing to do with a girl who is only in town for the summer.When the two give in to their impossible attraction, they realize that they may just have found the key to freeing themselves from the ghosts of their pasts.
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads
Freshman year of college is hard even when you’re not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.
Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she’s in far too deep to turn back.
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads!
Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Kinley Baker!
Nicknames: I don’t have any. Is that sad? Will someone give me one?
Where do you live: Pacific Northwest
Your favorite dessert: Cheesecake
Your favorite TV series: There are too many to choose from! Probably The Big Bang Theory. I quote Sheldon often.
Last book you read: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
Last movie you watched: Magic Mike
Last song (or album) you bought: Red by Taylor Swift
A book/series you could read over and over again: Any series by Nalini Singh.
Coke or pepsi? Diet Coke!
Day or night? Day. I believe in vampires too much to choose the night.
Pen or pencil? Keyboard.
Summer or winter? Winter, unless I have to drive in the snow.
Cat or dog? Dog.
Tea or coffee? Coffee.
Plotter or pantser? Both.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I always loved the idea of being an author. I went to college for creative writing. After I graduated, I went on a romance reading binge, and that’s when I knew romance was it. The road has been rocky and fabulous and more than I ever could have imagined.
What are you working on now? The final book in the Shadowed Love trilogy. Ari’s story is challenging me to my limits, but I hope it’s all for the best. I’ve cried so many tears over this book. Ari guts me. Her hero guts me. Their scenes together gut me. You get the idea. Lol.
If you decided not to be a writer, what would your other dream job be? Why? There isn’t really anything I want to be. Except maybe a rock star. But I can’t sing. Or play an instrument, despite my best efforts.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life? I scare so easily it’s hard to decide. Probably publishing. It’s very hard for me to put myself out there both on social media and in my stories. But it’s easier for me to put my stories out there than blog about myself.
Who is the one person that has singlehandedly inspired you the most in your life? My husband. I’m pretty sure all the inspiration he’s given me has been completely accidental on his part. He challenges me though. I can spend days thinking out logical conclusions related to the world and writing, and he never fails to find a flaw in it. Free philosophical help.
What is one talent that you’re hopeless at, but you wish you had? I’d love to be able to sing and rock out on stage. I love music so much.
What is one trait or physical characteristic that you are proud of/love about yourself? The chicken pox scar on my nose. I grew up figure skating with this impossible pressure to be perfect. When I saw that scar one day and decided I loved it because it made me unique, I knew beauty was much more interesting than what I’d been taught to believe.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? Whatever first made you want to write, cling to that and keep going. The destination might not be where we expect, so enjoy the journey. And if you’re having trouble enjoying the journey, you are not alone. I’m working on that, too.
Author Bio: Kinley Baker has a terminally tender heart and an inconvenient sense of humor. She loves puppies and cries at celebrity weddings. Kinley believes that romance novels are the keys to world peace, because if you’re holding a book, you can’t be holding a gun. Kinley supports all supernatural lifestyles and believes “happy ever after” isn’t only for the normal. Her books Ruined, Denied and Freed are available now from Crescent Moon Press. Excuse My Fairy releasing from Etopia Press in December 2012.
Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court’s Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient’s.
Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he’s given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family’s hold on the land–and his deceiving advisors aren’t afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.
But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.
Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.
When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits.
Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.
When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most–including each other.
After mortal invaders slay a Shadow Shifter woman, Queen Ella knows there is more blood on the horizon. As the most powerful Sensitive in the village, Ella has always known she’s destined to save the kingdom. But her task seems impossible. She must move the Well of Souls to a new realm to save her people or risk failing the Ancestor gods.
The woman King Falon loves will never love him back, despite a binding marriage built on regal decorum. Falon’s first duty is to his people, and he only wants to provide the Shadow Shifters with a safe future. He must assert his power to gain the respect of the warriors.
Harder still, King Falon must accept the salvation of his people lies with his own Queen Ella, a woman who speaks madness… a woman he’s always loved, but hardly knows.
Excuse My Fairy
Her magic breaks all the rules. He breaks all of hers.
Draybeth is broken. Her fairy powers don’t work, her magic is completely dysfunctional, and not even her bad attitude and soft heart can win her back into Fairy favor. Exiled from their land, she struggles to make a life for herself in the human world. But when her bar burns to the ground and she meets one of the Impassables–the devastating Lawman Barrett–things become even more of a struggle. An arrest, murder, and abduction challenge everything she’s worked for, and worse, the Impassable Lawman appears to be her destined mate. But darkness stirs deep within Dray’s heart, and she’s not about to drag the gorgeous lawman down with her.
Barrett never expected to find himself mated to a fairy, let alone one with such a wicked temper and a short fuse. Being an Impassable, he should be immune to fairy magic, but Dray’s magic burns through him like lightning, just as everything else about her ignites him, body and soul. The fairy’s power over Impassables threatens everything this new realm was built upon, and as a Lawman, Barrett’s job is to make sure those threats are eliminated. But his feelings for Dray make him question just where his duty lies.
Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Joanne Wadsworth
Nicknames: Jo. Yeah, that’s short and sweet.
Where do you live: New Zealand. And just an hour from where The Hobbit movie’s village is located.
Your favorite dessert: Death by Chocolate–and I have not expired yet.
Your favorite TV series: The Vampire Diaries.
Last book you read: Gossamer by Renita Pizzitola
Last movie you watched: Breaking Dawn Part Two. It was fabulous.
Last song (or album) you bought: Red by Taylor Swift.
A book/series you could read over and over again: Oh yeah, anything by Nalini Singh. I love her Guild Hunter and Psy-Changeling series. Plus, she’s a New Zealand author. Gotta love that.
Coke or pepsi? Coke.
Day or night? Day.
Pen or pencil? Pen.
Summer or winter? Summer. New Zealand has the best summers ever.
Cat or dog? Dog. My puppy would tear my leg off if I said cat.
Tea or coffee? Can I have a hot chocolate?
Plotter or pantser? I’m a little of both. I plot, then my young adult characters take over as I’m writing their story. They’re young, and have a mind of their own, so I just go with it.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? In February 2009. Young adult books like Twilight were taking off, and this genre just clicked into place for me. I sat down back then and drew up a massive cast of heroes and heroines and edgy villains. Now I’m matching them all up and having a ton of fun with my YA fantasy romance series.
What are you working on now? Three projects at once. Book two in my YA series titled WARRIOR is going through content edits with Lyrical Press, NY–I have a release date of 4th November 2013 for this. I’ve also submitted a romantic suspense and all fingers and toes are crossed as I wait to hear back. While I do, I’ve begun book three in the YA series titled ENCHANTER. It’s all go for 2013–Book one PROTECTOR has just released. I’m loving it.
If you decided not to be a writer, what would your other dream job be? Why? A hot pool tester. Yeah, I’m not sure this is even a job? But I love relaxing in a hot pool, so I’d definitely be the girl to call to test them out. J Okay, you did say a dream job!
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life? Going through labor. It was my proudest/most-painful moment, too. Of course then I forgot how scary it was, and tackled it three more times.
Who is the one person that has singlehandedly inspired you the most in your life? My mother. She’s compassionate, caring and never says no to anyone. I’ve heard it said a child’s greatest role model is their mother. That’s very true for me.
What is one talent that you’re hopeless at, but you wish you had? Snorkeling. I love swimming with my hubby and kids, but I can’t snorkel. My kids can, and I’m sooo jealous. I always get a mouthful of seawater every time I try.
What is one trait or physical characteristic that you are proud of/love about yourself? I’d say my fingers and all because of their phenomenal typing speed. When I test myself, it’s around 75-80 words per minute. That’s wicked fast–and I’ve never chipped one of my long fingernails in the process. J
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? Write because it’s your passion, and never stop. Your writing will improve the harder you work at your craft.
About the Author: Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She’d visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she’d read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, and thrilling romantic suspense.
Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.
To love and protect…across worlds.
Eighteen-year-old Faith Stryker is prepared to leap out into the unknown world beyond her home shores of New Zealand to experience life. Only she never expected to encounter Magio, a planet with two warring countries, where its people reach adulthood at eighteen by coming into their strength and prophetic abilities. Only after Faith discovers she’s a Halfling–thanks to her warrior father she’s never met–does her own skill of forethought develop.
Peacio’s Prince Davio Loveria is sent to the young Faith Stryker by his grandfather, but not all goes as planned. Davio discovers Faith isn’t just a Halfling, she’s also his soul-bound mate–an intense relationship he cannot, nor will not, give up.
With two wars now waging…one of land and the other of the heart…can the young lovers find their place in the world?