For Writer Wednesday, we have author Brenda Pandos once again visiting. The first book of her Talisman Series, The Emerald Talisman, is now available on audiobook, so she’s celebrating its release with a tour.

Brenda’s here to talk about our time together last week, which was a blast. But first, a little about Brenda and The Emerald Talisman.

The Emerald Talisman blog tour from 10/26-11/23 hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic. There will be giveaways, interviews and a scavenger hunt!
Book Title: The Emerald Talisman, audiobook
Series name and #: Talisman series, Book #1
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Release date: 9/20/2012

 Book summary:
You can run from your destiny, but you can’t hide.
If for no other reason than to help endure the hormonal rush of high school, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would trade her ability to feel her fellow students’ emotions in a heartbeat, especially half the boys in class.

When the beguiling Nicholas uses his superhuman strength to rescue Julia from the edge of a cliff before she’s devoured by a bloodthirsty stalker, Julia is suddenly thrust into an underground world where people and animals are often one and the same. Fellow high school students disappear and only Julia and Nicholas know the truth. While Nicholas, a vampire hunter, is out stopping the ever-growing coven, an old friend entices Julia to join him on the dark side and a psychic tells Julia she alone is the key to stopping the madness, problem is it’ll require Nicholas’ life.

Author Bio:
Brenda Pandos lives in California with her husband and two boys. She attempts to balance her busy life filled with writing, being a mother and wife, and spending time with friends and family. Working formerly as an I.T. Administrator, she never believed her imagination would be put to good use. After her son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder her life completely changed. Writing paranormal romance became something she could do at home while tending to the new needs of her family, household, and herself.
Three years later, Brenda now has five books published, The Talisman Trilogy: The Emerald Talisman, The Sapphire Talisman, and The Onyx Talisman, and Mer Tales: Everblue and Evergreen. She is currently working on the third book of Mer Tales, Everlost, coming February 2013.
My Summer Vacation

When thinking about this post, I joked with Kristie about the dreaded “My Summer Vacation” assignment in school. Funny how time and a career change would change this desire.

To fill you in, I just returned home (to the rain—bleck) from a wonderful four day writing retreat and well-refill with author, Kristie Cook and her publisher, Chrissi Jackson in the beautiful Florida Keys. Talk about an amazing time. Though I didn’t get a ton of writing done, I was able to relax, talk shop, and enjoy a slice of heaven with my bosom friends.

My crazy journey started Tuesday evening with a red-eye from California to Florida so I could maximize my time with my dear friends. From there, we drove down through the Everglades (in a convertible) on a 5-hour journey to our destination. My brain was a little toasty by the time we arrived from the lack of sleep, but our adorable condo accommodations on the water were absolutely incredible and worth the trip. That evening, we ventured out to Ziggie and Mad Dog’s for dinner where we dined on salmon, lobster, scallops, and truffle mac and cheese which was to die for.

The next day we lazed about (mostly by the pool) wore out from the travel the day prior. Can I say how awesome it is to do NOTHING for once? Dinner was another tasty adventure where I had the best mahi mahi fish tacos I’ve ever had.

Our condo was conveniently located a mile away from a marine sanctuary called Theater by the Sea. They are the home to sea turtles, alligators, tropical birds, dolphins, rays, sea lions, parrots, sharks, and other aquatic life. A sign to “swim with the dolphins” caught my attention on Thursday night as we drove home from dinner. Talk about a bucket list adventure. Luckily Kristie was game when I asked if anyone wanted to go with me. When finding out what the swim involved, the introductory instructions included the words rigorous swimming activity. Though I’m out of shape (thanks to my writers butt), I do go to the gym a few days a week and I’m an excellent swimmer, so I wasn’t scared of that. But things that could nibble my toes in the water are an entirely different thing. In our planning, I imagined the dolphins lived in a beautiful clear tank like a typical marine park. OH NO. I couldn’t be further from the truth. The dolphins live in a lagoon… a green, slimy, can’t-see-the-bottom, hiding-things-lurking-about lagoon. My creep factor escalated. I looked at Kristie for help. She smiled and said “are you sure you can do this?” I gulped and nodded my head. I had to do this… I’d already paid to do it. Of course, my fears lessen if I’m not alone, because in my nightmares if I’m with someone then Jaws will eat (or the alligators) them first. But I most definitely wasn’t going to let icky water scare me away. And once we were in the water (as a group), somehow the dolphins magically took away my fears. And I found them to be such sweet and elegant creatures. I was amazed when we “held” the dolphin in our hands (as pictured), I could feel Sherry’s heartbeat. We danced, held, swam next to, were kissed by, and were towed (by holding onto their dorsal fin) through the water. Incredible. You must do it!

So, to wrap up my ramblings, I wanted to share that one of the things I never saw when becoming a writer was the friendships I’d develop along the journey. When The Sapphire Talisman released December of 2010, author Kristie Cook was releasing her second novel, Purpose as well. We happened to meet at our release Twitter parties. Little did we know how important that connection would be. Today, I’m the graphic designer for her books covers and we are each other’s editors/beta readers. She is a priceless friend to me and I’m so thankful for her. So… thanks for a fabulous time in Florida, Kristie and Chrissi!
I don’t know what this has to do with my release of my audio book of The Emerald Talisman, but that book too also has an incredible journey!
Thanks for having me on the blog, Kristie! *hugs*

Brenda’s Links:
Brenda Pandos’ Website: