Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tick tock

Wow, is it really going to be 2011 in a day and a half? And I missed wishing you all a Merry Christmas (though I did it on Twitter and Facebook). Shame on me. This month has been a whirlwind.

This year, in reflection has been one of the growingest (is that a word?) years for me. On a whim during a dark time in my life, I wrote a novel in 2008 to give me light. With the help of my dear friend Dori, it was edited in 2009 and entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest January 2010. To my shock, it placed it in the top 250 out of 5,000 Young Adult novels. On a wing and a prayer, Obsidian Mountain Publishing was born and birthed The Emerald Talisman into the world on 3/23/10.

Then, in the midst of taking care of two wonderful (and busy) preschooler boys (ages 2 and 5), I wrote its sequel, The Sapphire Talisman, birthed 12/15/10. I designed, promoted, marketed, networked, begged, borrowed and stole to get my work in front of as many readers as possible. I'm very proud of The Talisman Series' success. To date, both books hold a strong 4 star rating on GoodReads and TET has been shelved by over 1,000 readers.

In the process, I've made some incredible book blogger friends: Eleni from LafemmeReaders, Jessica from Bookaholic, Jen from Extreme Reader Book Reviews, Julie from 5 Monkeys, Yara from Once Upon a Twilight and Kari from A Good Addiction (to name a few). They all have been a tremendous source of encouragement and support in promotion and feedback for me. I can't even begin to thank them enough.

Little did I imagine in my journey I would be introduced to some incredibly talented authors: Abra Ebner- Knight Angels, Book of Revenge; Estevan Vega, Arson; Laura Kreitzer - Shadow of the Sun, Soul Stalker; Lisa Sanchez - Eve of Samhain;  Robin DeJarnett - Whirlwind; Kristie Cook - Promise; Killian McRae- 12.21.12, Kristin Miller, debuting Dark Tide Rising. They've been a huge source of encouragement and so gifted. I'm devouring their works as quickly as possible.

My beta reader and Wonder Woman, Lisa aka Lucy Wolfe, who was sent from God by a random click of the mouse. Without her, my sequel wouldn't have been on time. A million hugs to you my dear friend. And I'd be lost without the folks who surround me at home (Donna, Lori, Michele, Corinne, Samantha, Savannah, AnneMarie, MOPS... gosh, I know I'm forgetting someone) and my dear husband makes all of it possible by being my helpmate and support. I love you dearly!

I am happy. Blessed. Loved. Lucky. What an amazing year.

Thank you, everyone, for your support and enthusiasm. In 2011, I have a few goals: finish up the Talisman Series with The Onyx Talisman and start a new series. I'm excited to grow again and share it with you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Hugs always, Brenda

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winners of Remake Contest!

Thank YOU all for your participation! I had a very hard time picking my favorites since all the entries were phenomenally done. Below are the three winners, if you haven't contacted me already, please do. As for Kathleen Brown's Cover please e-mail Eleni at 
Thank you all!

Here we go...

First Place Winner:

JL's Cover!

This embodies the book exactly. I love how on the cover, Alora (the bad girl) is holding the talisman and not wearing it. Without revealing what happens, it's very symbolic. And her walking on the bridge looking into the oncoming storm on the horizon... Oh and does a storm come. And you included a back page with Julia and possibly Nicholas... possibly someone else. I wonder... Wonderfully done!

What he won:

Finished copy of The Sapphire Talisman
A Sapphire Talisman necklace
A shout-out in Brenda's acknowledgment's section in the third installment

Second Place Winner:

Bere @ SueƱos en la Luna!

This girl makes a perfect Alora: "sweet looking" but has a devious look in her eye like she's up to no good. Also, it's shot at night with the moon up in the corner. My vampires can't go in the sun, so this is perfect!

What you won:

Finished copy of The Sapphire Talisman
(donated by Kim from The Book Butterfly -- thank you hun!)
Bookmark and a shout-out in the acknowledgments section in the third installment

Third Place Winner:

Kathleen Brown's Cover!

This is also a great dipiction of Alora (my bad girl). She's smug with her head lifted high like she knows something we don't. And with the flame just going out, it's almost a foreshadowing of the light going out for our hero/heroine. And she's wearing the talisman... Hmmmm.... Interesting.

What you won:

Bookmark and a shout-out in the acknowledgments section in the third installment
A 50% discount on The Sapphire Talisman if wanted.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BIG DAY! 12/15

Wednesday is the big day! Book release for The Sapphire Talisman (though you can already purchase today at Amazon and Kindle early if you want).

For the celebration, Eleni and Jessica have a big TWITTER party planned. Never been to a twitter party? It's easy!

To join, follow these steps:
Step 1: Use tweetgrid to join the party at

Step 2: You should see this page.
Step 3: You want to enter in the party hashtag which is: #sapphiretalisman
Step 4: Enter in the hosts: @lafemmereaders, @brendapandos, @totalbookaholic
Step 5: Enter in YOUR ID
Step 6: Press JOIN THE PARTY

What you see is the party on the left, hosts in the middle, your tweets on the right.

Step 7: Enter in your id and password (it's secure)

Then you are ready to PARTYYYYY! :) There will be fun trivia, prizes and cyber food! Hope to see you there!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Praise for The Sapphire Talisman

I'm happy to announce, from the early reviewers from the recent book tour on Teen Book Scene, a few were selected to be published in The Sapphire Talisman .

Congrats! Thank you ladies! Feel free to post button on your blogs!

“. . . an enticing and compelling follow up to The Emerald Talisman. The unexpected plot twists and defined characters helped me once again get lost.”
– Eleni, La Femme Readers

“The Sapphire Talisman forever left me on the tips of my toes with all the twist and turns it managed to pack in between the characters and their relationships. It’s definitely one of the best sequels I've read in a long time. . .”
– Lauren, Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

“. . . a well written and unique series that will appeal to all kinds of readers. Whenever I thought I might know what was going to happen, Brenda threw a curve ball and completely took me by surprise.”
– Kelsey, The Book Scout

“By the time I got to the end of the book I was biting my fingernails and hoping for the best.”
– Katie, Katie’s Book Blog

“. . . a roller coaster ride from the beginning to the end.”
– Yara, Once Upon a Twilight

“I am still reeling from just recently finishing the last page.”
– Jessica, A Fanatics Book Blog

“. . . an outstanding, and worthy, successor to The Emerald Talisman . . . engaging and deliciously vampiric read.”
–Corrine, Lost For Words

“. . . is full of suspense, mystery, action, romance, and surprising moments of humor that will grab the reader from the first page. Curious to see what's in store for readers next.”
–Jessica, Confessions of a Bookaholic

"A stellar follow up to The Emerald Talisman! Once again I found myself turning pages late into the night because I had to know what happened next!
–Jennifer, Extreme Reader Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My First Manuscript... in 7th grade.

Only a few more days everyone! I'm so excited to share my baby with you. I'll be stalking the mailman daily to deliver my books *please be on time*. I hoped to have them early, but you know how it goes this time of year. Let's just pray they come by the 15th for Christmas deliveries... Please don't hate me if they don't.

When people ask me "Have you always aspired to be a writer?", my answer is no. I found out yesterday, actually ...*hangs head*... I've been lying. While rummaging through boxes for old tax files (don't ask), I found my first manuscript "Erica and the 7th grade". Mind you, there's a handwritten and typed version (on blue paper). I almost fell over with laughter at how stinking cute my first attempt was. I faintly remember back to how painfully long it took to type, hunting and pecking for each key (hadn't taken typing yet). I'd also drawn little pictures of all of my nine characters (the poor mother). This household had 7 children, ranging from ages sixteen to two. Six girls and one boy...Oh my. My father was a computer wiz... go figure.

Here's an excerpt:

So, I guess I knew what I wanted to do in 7th grade. I just needed to apply myself... I think someone told me that somewhere. *ponders*

Only 1 more week! Squeeee!

Hugs, Brenda

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#4 Song for The Sapphire Talisman

Lonely Girl by Oceanlab

Staring at the top sheet
Listening to my hearth beat
Wondering how to say it
Playing over one track
Wanting you to come back
Want to have you here

Lying on a cold sheet
Jump into my car seat
Drive down to the river
Nightlight its reflecting
Somehow I'm expecting
Your voice in my ear

I wish that I could tell you
I wish that I could tell you
I wish that I could tell you
All the things that you do

Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl again
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl again
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl

Lying in the long grass
Watching as the clouds pass
Hands held in silence
Your arms right around me
Feeling glad you found me
Feeling like I'm home

Wish you would remember
April to september
Wanting to be near me
Racing for the sunrise
Staring into my eyes
You and I alone

I wish that I could tell you
I wish that I could tell you
I wish that I could tell you
All the things that you do

Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl again
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl again
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl

Lay back in my own dream
Playback on a big screen
You and me together
Why give up a love found
Wish that I could write down
What you mean to me

I wish that I could tell you
I wish that I could tell you
I wish that I could tell you
All the things that you do

Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl again
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl again
Come back 'cause I'm gonna be a lonely girl

Was it so wrong
No you said you loved me
Could it be so easy
Just to walk away

Monday, December 6, 2010

Song #3 The Sapphire Talisman

Between the spaces where we long to be
Beyond together and alone
And at the edge where you fade into me
We find a shelter we call home
Escape the shadows that were holding me
Slip these chains of flesh and bones
And in the seconds where we know we’re free
This is the place where we call home
When there’s no where left to run
Run with me
Let the moment be a sanctuary
When its all that you’ve become
Set it free
Let this moment be a sanctuary

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Song #2 for The Sapphire Talisman

Here's another song for the playlist:

Armin Van Buuren vs. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Not Giving Up on Love Lyrics
I know your feeling restless
Like life’s not on your side
It’s weighing heavy on your mind
But when we stand united
Our hearts they beat in time
And I know we’ll make it all alright
Let’s bring it back to you and me
There’s no one else around
Now don’t get lost in gravity
‘Cause I want you to hold me now
Nothing else matters
It’s just the two of us
And if it all falls down
Nothing else matters
I know we’re strong enough
I’m not giving up
I’m not giving up on us
I said I’m not giving up
I’m not giving up on love
We’re of the same existence
No lock without a key
We can’t deny it’s meant to be
Cause I feel it inside
Taking over tonight
I’ll be there when the storm is breaking
In this moment I’m yours
You can always be sure
That together we’re gonna make it
So baby won’t you hold me now
Nothing else matters
It’s just the two of us
And if it all falls down
Nothing else matters
I know we’re strong enough
I’m not giving up
I’m not giving up on us
I said I’m not giving up
I’m not giving up on love

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Theme song for Sapphire Talisman

As we wait for the big day, I thought I'd share a song that embodies the feeling in the next book. And the imagery in this video is amazing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Books to gift for Christmas (13 actually)

I've been asked to participate in a Christmas Countdown blogging event with Amaterasu Reads and Fragments of Life. It's wonderful they are promoting such great books and authors for others to explore. They are also reminding readers that books make excellent gifts too. I couldn't agree more.

Here's the schedule:

December 13 – Kick-off Giveaway of The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith + Review

December 14 – Interview with Adele Griffin + Giveaway
December 15 – Interview with Christy Raedeke + Giveaway
December 16 – Interview with Holly Cupala + Giveaway
December 17 – Interview with Amy Holder + Giveaway
December 18 – Interview with Inara Scott + Giveaway
December 19Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver Review (Prize Pack Giveaway)
December 20 – Interview with Kimberly Derting + Review of The Body Finder (Prize Pack Giveaway)
December 21Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers Review (Prize Pack Giveaway)
December 22Interview with Brenda Pandos + The Sapphire Talisman Review
December 23 – Interview with Julie Chibbaro + Review of Deadly (Prize Pack Giveaway)
December 24 – Review of Misguided Angel (Prize Pack Giveaway - Revelations)
December 25 – Prize Pack Giveaway
I'll remind you when the time comes.

Hugs, Brenda

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday - Talisman Series

It's Cyber Monday... do you have that special gift for the Twilight and Vampire Diary lovers in your life? The Talisman Series gift set is a perfect gift!
Books come gift wrapped from you and signed with special note from the author (me) with bookmarks.

Purchase The Sapphire Talisman in time for Christmas!


Want a talisman to go with it? Order here

Merry Christmas!
Hugs, Brenda

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving at Julia's house

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. My birthday, the 25th, landed on the same day, so I enjoyed pumpkin pie and birthday cake. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons, and I have tons to be thankful for! Let me know what you're thankful for in my comments ;)

Here's a snippet scene of Thanksgiving at the Parker's that was posted during the blogtour I thought you'd enjoy.

“I’m stuffed,” I said as I patted my tummy. “I don’t know how it’s possible, but this Thanksgiving dinner was better than last year, Auntie Jo. Thanks.”

Dad, Luke and Uncle John followed in a chorus of praise to the cook.

“Oh, it was nothing.” A blush crossed Jo’s glowing cheeks. “And I’m the one who looks like she ate the whole turkey.” She chuckled.

Uncle John reached over and rubbed Jo’s pregnant belly. “Oh, the Buda-belly.” He purred. “Not much longer, Mommy”. They exchanged a tender moment, and then Jo removed his hand and stood, taking her plate to the kitchen.

I caught Luke’s horrified expression and rolled my eyes. The corner of his lip crinkled up. This wasn’t the first time Uncle John got inappropriately mushy over Jo’s burgeoning stomach.

“Josie, don’t you dare. You’ve done enough today.” Dad cast his glance in our direction. “Luke, Julia, you need to clean up the dishes.” He took his plate to the kitchen then ushered Jo into the living room. “After you, Sis.”

Moments later, I heard the TV come to life.

“Yes, Sweet-pea. You go rest your little tootsies. The kids and I will clean up.” John said behind Dad, exuding jealousy. I guess he wanted to follow them and watch the game instead.

The cutesiness did me in, though, seeming to be in overdrive since Jo’s pregnancy. I bit my lip to stop from smirking when Luke reflected the same annoyance. We exchanged glances and stood up at the same time.

“You get the table?” Luke asked under his breath.

I nodded and scurried to start scraping the excess food onto one plate and stacking the others. We’d cleaned up together so many times, we had the process down to a science. The faster we worked, the quicker we could get to watching football and do pass interference on Uncle John, the King of awkward questions.

“So, Luke. How’s school?” John asked while fastening a “kiss the cook” apron on over his own pudgy stomach. He obviously had packed on a few sympathy pounds on Jo’s behalf over the past few months.

“Great.” Luke shouldered around John and looked in the cupboard. “What should I put these left-over potatoes in?”

“Just put them in a Ziplock,” Jo said from the living room. “I don’t have much room in the fridge.”

“Good idea, Dear.” John said, planting himself against the counter as Luke tried to work around him. “Taking any interesting classes?”

“Yah…. Dude, where are the Ziplock bags?”

“Oh.” John fumbled around, opening drawer after drawer unable to locate the bags like he’d never set foot in the kitchen before.

“In the left-hand drawer next to the silverware, Hun.” Jo said.

“Ah. Found them. Thanks, Beautiful.”

I was in Pergatory.

Jedi mind trick. Jedi mind trick. I’m not here. Don’t talk to me.

I kept to myself in the dining room, working as quickly as I could while Luke averted John’s questions one after another until his curiosity landed on me.

“So, Julia…”

Ahhh… Run Forest, run!

I muscled past John with a heaping stack of plates but he followed, empty handed.

“What’s new in the boy department?”

Who says “boy department”?

“Nothing. Why?”

“Everything can go in the dishwasher, but the plates need to be hand washed,” Jo called over our conversation. “Please.”

“Got it,” Luke called back. The sink was already filled with soapy water and I set the plates directly inside.

Luke washed. I dried and put away like we were being timed.

“Oh, I just wondered,” John continued, this time actually pulling apart the turkey and storing the meat in bags. “I would think they’d be lined out the door. Do you flirt enough? Give them hints you like them?”

My cheeks burned and I wanted to sink into the tiled floor.

“I’m doing fine in the boy department, John. Seriously. How’s work?”

And as if I’d just turned on a toy train, John unloaded on us from his frustration with his micromanaging boss to his insubordinate workers.

And like two whirlwinds, Luke and I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen in a snap, “aha-ing” and “oh-wowing” at the appropriate times.

Within minutes we were finished, all accept the turkey pan John labored over, stripping every last scrap of meat off the carcass.

We stood nearby and waited for him to finish so we could wash the pan.

“Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got it,” John lied. He obviously wanted us to insist we wash the pan for him. Luckily, I knew not to fall for it—emotion reading bonus.

“Cool,” I said and tossed my wet rag in the drainer. Luke followed suit and we abandoned poor Uncle John in the kitchen, alone with only his naked turkey to consol him.

Only a few more days until The Sapphire Talisman is released!
I hope you'll join the twitter party!

Hugs, Brenda

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week at a glance

Lots happening on the Sapphire Talisman tour. If you've been following, here last weeks posts:

Monday, November 8: Natalie at Mindful Musings
(Author Interview)
Tuesday, November 9: Jessica at A Fanatic's Book Blog (Review)
Wednesday, November 10: Emily at Red House Books (Guest Post: Movies & Books)
Thursday, November 11: Kelsey at The Book Scout (Review)
Friday, November 12: Jen at Extreme Reader Book Reviews (Character Interview: Nicholas)

And for book birthday, you can enter here to win a copy:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Sapphire Talisman (Talisman, #2) by Brenda Pandos

The Sapphire Talisman

by Brenda Pandos

Giveaway ends December 15, 2010.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Author Bloghop

Meet an author, sponsored by Lisa Sanchez. Authors! Have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Make sure you join in the hop. This is a great way to network your blog and let readers know who you are!

I'm Brenda Pandos, author of The Emerald Talisman and the soon to release (12/15) The Sapphire Talisman. EEk! So exciting! Leave a comment and introduce yourself!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reviews are in

After a nail-biting wait, reviews are coming in! There will be a total of 15 this month to tempt your reading taste buds before the big release day!

Check out each day of the tour for interesting posts, giveaways, reviews and contests!

Okay, with out further ado.... here's review #1 from Katie's book blog:

The first thing I liked about The Sapphire Talisman was the fact that Nicholas finally revealed some of his secrets and so did Julia.  Finally things were out in the open between those two.  I felt like they could finally grow because they knew everything about each other.  Then things took a turn for the worse.  Obviously I'm not going to tell you what happened but I will say that their relationship went through the worst situation it possibly could.  I was shocked at everything that happened in The Sapphire Talisman and the wait for the next book is going to be even worse.

The action in The Sapphire Talisman took off from the very first page and didn't slow down at all.  By the time I got to the end of the book I was biting my fingernails and hoping for the best but knowing it was going to be bad.  I was just really glad that there was some closure between this book and the next.  The wait will still be bad but at least I know some of what is going to happen.

Overall, The Sappire Talisman is an amazing book and the best possible sequel to The Emerald Talisman that I could have imagined.  The Talisman series is one of the most unique vampire stories that I have read and Brenda Pandos is an amazing author.  I know that I will love whatever she does next.

And review #2 from Eleni at LaFemme Readers.

The Sapphire Talisman was an enticing and compelling follow up to The Emerald Talisman. Brenda's flow of writing has developed since the first book. Her artistic potential and storytelling skills succeeded in formulating a wondrous continuation. The unexpected plot twists and defined characters helped me once again get lost in Brenda's creativity. This time around, Nicholas and Julia switched roles. Instead of Nicholas protecting her, Julia turned into a feisty and courageous young lady. In the hands of Alora, a malevolent vampire, Nicholas succumbed to his half vampire darkness, leaving Julia to fend for herself. However, before evil fell upon him, Nicholas had a heart fluttering likability that I felt lacked in the past. The relationship between the two blossomed into a sweet and tight bond. I must say though, I was amused by his change and actually preferred the evil version better.

Then again, I am biased since one of my favorite characters abruptly came back. Due to spoilers, I won't mention his name. The only thing I will share is that this certain individual tickled me with butterflies. His cocoon of love for Julia made me swoon like a little school girl. He had the perfect balance that all vampires should embody, and did I mention I am in love with him? Moving on, throughout the fight for Nicholas's freedom, Julia's ability to sense emotions and auras came in handy. I was glad to see that she no longer acted naive and actually functioned without being around him. All in all, the sequel surpassed my expectations and left me longing for the next installment. I am eager to know what lies in store for Julia and Nicholas. Will their relationship sustain the damaging cracks or will she maybe move on to someone else? Hm, we shall see, hopefully Brenda releases it soon! I also wanted to share with you the back cover which I think is breathtaking -- definitely captured Alora's attitude to a T!

I'm so excited and thrilled. Thanks Katie and Eleni for a heartfelt and honest review!

Hugs, Brenda

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1 Blog Tour

Day 1 starts with an interview with Julia at
Book Crazy with Jenn.

Check it out!

Enter to win The Sapphire Talisman each Friday on the month long tour! Check back to find out where and how!

Hugs, Brenda

Friday, October 29, 2010

Deleted Scene

Knight Angels: Book of Revenge (Book Two)A very good friend and author of the Knight Angels Series, Abra Ebner, has recently released her sequel, Book of Revenge. Her blog tour promoting the release is wrapping up just as mine is beginning.

For fun, I was asked to guest blog and include a deleted scene from The Sapphire Talisman that was a direct reference to Knight Angels, Book of Love (book #1). Julia and Samantha (my characters) go to the movies and see Knight Angels and had comments afterward.

But don't let me spoil it for you. Go to A Good Addiction and read for yourself!

Also, sign up for a chance to win Abra's amazing book.

Be looking for links to the book tour starting NOVEMBER 1st to kick off The Sapphire Talisman!

Hugs, Brenda

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scary Story

For the Haunted Halloween event with Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic, I was asked to guest blog a scary story. So this is what I picked. Enjoy!
My Scary Story 
by Brenda Pandos

My overactive imagination creates interesting drama in my life, especially when I sleep. For instance, I still can’t swim alone, even in a pool, thanks to Jaws. And, for a long time, I couldn’t go potty without looking down into the bowl to check for critters. So, I avoid horror and scary things at all costs. But my imagination is very helpful with my creative writing, so I can’t go wrong there.

I’ve always been an active dreamer, talking nightly in my sleep. Many times, it’s just an endless puzzle I’m trying to solve, salt and peppered with visions of the daily events that makes so much sense when I’m half awake, but slips away once I become lucid.

So, when my husband and I were first married, I seemed to be more active than usual. I’d freak him out, frequently talking and/or getting out of bed, scared or worried about something or another. He’d just consol me (probably to get me to be quiet) and I’d go back to sleep. But one night, I woke up and saw what I thought to be an alien, flutter from the curtains, fly under our sheets and possess the love of my life before my eyes. At my gasp he tried to consol me, reaching out, but I screamed bloody murder and fought his arms in absolute panic, afraid the creature inside was coming to get me next. Once my mind became clearer and dear hubby was able to grab me and talk me down from my hysteria, I burst into tears, thankful he was still himself and not some horrible creature I’d dreamt him to be.

I’m happy to say, after nine years of marriage, he sleeps through most of my night activities except when I see spiders.

Enter to win a copy of The Emerald Talisman HERE