You Might Be a #Regency Redneck If… (Christmas Edition) A Guest Post by @LouisaCornell #books


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You Might Be a Regency Redneck If…

Christmas Edition

A Guest Post by Louisa Cornell 

 

I write Regency historical romance because I fell in love with the era at the age of nine, and my love has only grown stronger since. I love the manners, the rules of proper conduct, the elegant clothes (especially men in breeches and boots,) travel in carriages and on horseback, the stately homes, and every aspect of life in this unique period.

 

Be that as it may, I have come to realize there are some aspects of Regency life, even in the most elite portions of society, that would not be amiss in the red plastic cup, mud-bogging, tobacco spitting locale in which I live today. Directions to my house do include the words “Turn off the paved road.”

 

Lest you think I use the term “redneck” as a pejorative, I spent a large portion of my childhood living in mobile homes in the South. My mother’s family were Native American sharecroppers. My father’s family were Pennsylvania coal miners. I know who and what I am. Jeff Foxworthy, the leading expert on the redneck lifestyle, defines it as “a glorious lack of sophistication.” For the purposes of this essay, and in my semi-expert opinion, that is the definition we will use.

 

There are examples of redneck behavior to be found in every race, religion, socio-economic group, and country in the world. I now realize the same is true of every historical era. Rednecks have been with us forever. Even during that most gracious and elegant of times—The Regency.

 

Prove it, you say? I give you a series of Regency Christmas traditions any self-respecting redneck would be happy to call his or her own.

 

Snapdragon

 

Under the heading of a Regency version of “Hey y’all, watch this!” comes the Christmas game of Snapdragon. Raisins and nuts were soaked in brandy in a large shallow bowl. The lights were put out, and the brandy lit. People had to try and grasp a raisin or nut and eat it without burning themselves. The winner was the person who managed to capture and eat the most. I think you’d have to soak me in brandy to get me to try it!

 

Bullet Pudding

 

Another Regency era Christmas game with a redneck flair is bullet pudding. One must have a large pewter dish piled high with flour pushed to a peak at the top. A single bullet is placed at the crest of the “pudding.” Players take turns cutting a slice of the “pudding” with a knife. The person who is slicing the “pudding” when the bullet falls must then put their hands behind their back and poke about in the pile of flour with their nose and chin to find the bullet. Once they find it, they must retrieve it with their mouth. All the while trying desperately not to join their companions in laughter as this will result in flour being inhaled into the mouth and nose. Regardless, the bullet retriever ends up with flour all over his face. Any game played with live ammunition and the promise of someone ending up covered in a mess would be as welcome at a Redneck Christmas as it was at Regency Christmases.

 

There were no Christmas carolers in Regency England. However, wassail groups would go from house to house singing begging songs in the hope of receiving food, drink, and money. Wassail was a mixture of beer, wine, and brandy and was usually served to the singers at each house. Every house. A great many houses before the night was done. I think I’ve seen groups like this around my neighborhood at Christmas-time.

 

Very few houses had our idea of Christmas trees during the Regency. Such decorated Christmas trees were made popular in England by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the middle of the 19th century. However, trees were not left out of the Regency holidays. On Epiphany Eve, men would gather round a fruit tree, usually in an orchard, with cider and guns. In an ancient ceremony, they would drink to the tree and fire the guns to drive away evil spirits and promote the vigor of the trees. Horn-blowing was an alternative to firing guns. (Sounds like a Regency tail-gating party to me!)

 

Speaking of trees, what could be more fun than a large group of men sent out into the woods to find the largest log possible to burn in the Christmas fireplace? The yule log had to be large enough to burn through the entire twelve days of Christmas. In fact, it had to be large enough to burn through to Twelfth Night and leave enough to be used to light next year’s log. Between the mine is bigger than yours aspects of the hunt for the yule log and the opportunity to show off one’s strength in helping to drag the log home, this Regency Christmas tradition is rife with redneck possibilities.

 

Round out your Regency Christmas outdoor adventures with shooting mistletoe out of the trees (a method used by many Regency bucks) and hanging it about the house in every doorway and dark corner, a Regency version of spin-the-bottle if ever I’ve heard one.

 

Oh, and don’t forget a Christmas dessert for which many families put the ingredients on layaway. K-Mart did not invent the concept. The original Christmas clubs were for families who could not afford to pay for the ingredients for their Christmas pudding all at once. Wives in less affluent households deposited their pennies with their local shopkeepers in order to have the money to purchase those luxury food items necessary for a proper Christmas pudding. And after all of that, said dessert was brought to the table amidst great pomp and ceremony and… set on fire. Anyone who doesn’t believe your average redneck would shout “Hell, yeah!” at the idea of a flaming Christmas dessert has never been to a Christmas barbecue in the South.

 

At the end of Christmas Day, men and women of every age, no matter how strict the rules of society, tend to celebrate this joyous holiday with a bit more exuberance than decorum prescribes. Even Regency ladies and gentlemen, at least during Christmastide, might show “a glorious lack of sophistication.” So should we all!

 

Title: Christmas Revels II: Four Regency Novellas

 

Author: Louisa Cornell

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Publisher: Singing Spring Press

 

 

Book Blurb:

 

Let the Revels begin-again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices:

The Vicar’s Christmas – Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes… until adversity brings out unexpected talents.

A Christmas Equation – A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past-a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone… but he’s making calculations of his own.

Crimson Snow – A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger-the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride… if he can survive a murderous Christmas.

A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

$5 Amazon gift card and a 1940’s style hair wrap

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Buy Links:

Amazon – http://a.co/4ogrKbC

 

Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency/id1047951334?mt=11

 

Barns and Nobles – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-revels-ii-hannah-meredith/1122771468?ean=9781942470007

 

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency-novellas

 

Print – https://www.createspace.com/5739761

 

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Author Biography:

 

Louisa Cornell read her first historical romance novel, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, at the age of nine. This inspired her to spend the next three years of her young life writing the most horrible historical romance novel ever written. Fortunately, it has yet to see the light of day. As Louisa spent those three years living in a little English village in Suffolk (Thanks to her father’s Air Force career.) it is no surprise she developed a lifelong love of all things British, especially British history and Regency-set romance novels. (And Earl Grey tea!)

During those same three years, Louisa’s vocal talent was discovered. Her study of music began at the London College of Music and continued once she returned to the States. After four music degrees and a year of study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, Louisa was fortunate enough to embark on a singing career in opera houses in Germany, Austria, and most of Eastern Europe.

Now retired from an active career in opera, Louisa has returned to her first love – writing Regency-set historical romance. Two of her novellas have appeared in CHRISTMAS REVELS anthologies, A PERFECTLY DREADFUL CHRISTMAS and A PERFECTLY UNREGIMENTED CHRISTMAS .  A PERFECTLY DREADFUL CHRISTMAS was the 2015 Winner of the Holt Medallion Award for outstanding literary fiction in a romance novella. Her first full-length novel, LOST IN LOVE, has recently been published and is available widely.

Two-time Golden Heart finalist, three time Daphne du Maurier winner, and three time Royal Ascot winner, Louisa is a member of RWA, SMRWA and the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA. She lives in LA (Lower Alabama) with a Chihuahua so grouchy he has been banned from six veterinary clinics, several perfectly amiable small dogs, and a cat who terminates vermin with extreme prejudice.

 

Social Media Links:

http://onelondonone.blogspot.com/ http://www.louisacornell.com/
https://twitter.com/LouisaCornell
https://www.facebook.com/RegencyWriterLouisaCornell
https://www.facebook.com/louisa.cornell
https://www.pinterest.com/louisacornell/

           

 

 

 

Writing Medical Mysteries: The Rules by @LinWilder #amwriting #writing #WriterWednesday


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Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

 

 

When we start writing fiction, whether writing medical mysteries, romance, erotica or any of the rapidly increasing list of fictional genres, we expect a set of rules. After all, we’ve been taught to follow the rules ever since we were preschoolers.  That’s a good thing. Because all writers need to adhere to the basics of grammar, coherence, clarity. And for writers of medical mysteries, intrigue, surprise and suspense are paramount.

 

But in the now ten years that I have been writing fiction, the way I conceive of rules has changed. I think there are a set of rules which work for beginning novelists. But not too long afterward those rules must be unlearned. And last, there is a regimen, a critical routine which must be followed, even for the very experienced. Hence, we can approach the of writing medical mysteries in three phases.

 

Rules for the Novice Writer

 

By far, the primary maxim for someone who has decided she wants to write a medical mystery is to be clear about why. “I’ve always been told I write well.” Or, “Writing a novel is on my bucket list.” Or, “I think I’d like to be a writer,” won’t cut it.

 

  • Consider what your real goal is. Money? Fame? Recognition? Become another Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, the book and the movie, Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train, the book and movie) or Andy Weir (self-published author of The Martian, the book and the movie?) Be brutally honest here. And if these are the reasons, think again about why you want to engage in what one publisher has called The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing.

 

  • Lest you think that the former is meant to deter you from your dream, quite the contrary. My reasons for suggesting that you journey deep inside before you begin are from personal experience and are said to mitigate disappointment once you are finished. When the book is done and the awards do or do not trickle in, our feelings are generally a mixture of relief, pride in the accomplishment mixed with a bit of sorrow: “What do I do now?” “What’s the next act?” Simply said, the best part of any huge undertaking is the journey: the process, the challenge, learning, the highs and yes, the lows. It’s never the kudos, awards or the recognition, no matter how trivial or huge.

 

  • Make sure you like your story and your characters. You’ll be living with them in your head and on your computer for a long time. Although it is possible to get a book written and published in thirty days or less, I would not recommend following the directions of someone who promises this. The chaos in the formerly bounded book publishing business has attracted all kinds of people, some of whom you would not want to have dinner -or even a drink with. If the claim sounds impossible, it most likely is.

 

  • Write about what you know. I spent more than the first half of my life in academic medicine. I grew up with interns, residents, and all the associated paraphernalia of the teaching hospital. For me, then, writing a medical mystery was a natural. Although expertise in your chosen subject matter is not essential- it is fiction, after all, our readers can tell when we write from our own experience. It makes itself evident and therefore far more believable.

 

  • This is your story. Although your editor may be excellent in the technique of writing, you are the artist. You see the characters, hear their voices and know them…they become part of you. Of course, you would not consider publishing your book without hiring an editor, the boundaries between him and you must be distinct. If not, you risk losing essential components of your story.

 

There are far more tips than there is room here so if you will forgive the self-promotion, here are five more tips that may be useful to those of you considering writing your first novel.

 

Now That You Have Learned Them, Dump All the Rules

 

“John, I know you were a Marine, therefore you love rules. The rule you need to remember here is that there are no rules.”

My husband is a psychologist and told me about this simple piece of advice from the head nurse of an inpatient psychiatric unit where he was working as an intern. That nurse’s statement informed the more than twenty-five years that John worked as a psychologist with combat veterans. With many of his clients, particularly the suicidal ones, breaking the established rules was axiomatic in helping these men get their lives back.

Writing is exactly like that. The most important rule for a writer is to know-and believe- that there are no rules. One of my favorite quotes on this subject is attributed to Somerset Maugham. “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

 

However, there are a few myths or rules about writing which live on despite their falsity. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Excellent novelists are miserable, unhappy neurotics, on a good day.  One of the numerous reasons that I stuck with writing non-fiction for so much of my life is that I bought into this myth completely. The writers I loved as a young English major were either alcoholics, suicidal or psychotic. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. The cost of writing my novel would be too great. And then the dream slid to the back burner as the responsibilities of life accelerated.

 

My first book was arduous. Mainly because I believed that it would only be good if writing it was, an endurance test. Therefore, I made it so. Like any work worth doing, writing a first novel is worth doing poorly. My first novel was replete with problems which were corrected in the second edition.

 

But the subsequent four books have been a totally different experience. Certainly, hard work but not arduous. At times, fun. True because of the joy of getting—really describing a new character is such a high. Like an extremely challenging character so because he is totally out of your frame of reference. Like an assassin who became my favorite character in my third and fourth books.

 

  • To complete a book, you must schedule times and a place for writing it. And consistently adhere to that schedule. I don’t have a writing schedule. Nor do I have a specific place to write. Certainly, when I am approaching a deadline, like now, my writing schedule might be most of my waking hours or as much of them as I can devote to it. But other things interrupt-husbands, kids, holidays, life. As they should.

 

Perhaps because I’ve worked for myself for over fifteen years, the challenge of working from home is a norm for me. And grabbing a few hours here and there to write doesn’t drive me crazy. Anymore.

 

  • Beware of writer’s block. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Rather I think it’s fear. The assassin I mentioned earlier is a great example. Because I found this brand-new character intimidating, I was afraid of him. And knew I needed to take time, a lot more time than I normally do. And wrote him differently. I kept going back to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs sometimes taking days or a couple of weeks off before returning. Until finally, he had flesh and muscle. I could see him, even understand, how he got there: A killer for hire.

                   

                       Essential Regimen for All Writers, Novice or Experienced

 

  • When Not Writing, Read. Assuming we want each book to be better than the last, then we must read other writers interpretation of characters and story lines. Read better writers than you are. Why? Because that is how we learn- it is how they learned.

 

  • When not writing your novel, write anyway. I do a weekly blog and have for years because I enjoy writing non-fiction. If you don’t want the tedium of writing a blog, then use a journal or diary. Writing is no different from any other discipline. The more we do it, the better we get.

 

  • Exercise. There is no better antidote to a character who has you in a corner than going for a run. Or to the gym. Or a hike in the mountains. We writers are a sedentary lot, the body part we work the hardest is our brain. Once the sweat begins to pour down your face, it is remarkable how easily we can solve a plot problem or dismiss a poor review. Or decide to walk away for a day or a week.

 

  • Eat Reasonably Healthy Meals. Although junk food is tempting and yes, okay at times, if all we are feeding those remarkably efficient brain cells are carbs and sugar, our stories will suffer. None of us can create excellence without respecting and caring for our bodies.

 

  • Get 8 hours Sleep at Minimum. Insomnia is one of the most common health problems in the US. Costing billions annually in illness, accidents and accidents, good writers cannot afford to be sleep deprived.

 

 

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Title: A Price for Genius

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

Dr. Lindsey McCall’s worst fears are realized. Not only have both drugs been stolen but two women have been kidnapped- one maybe dead. Lindsey had known Liisa Reardon’s new drug was alchemy, only this time, the end product actually more precious than gold.

 

The desperate call from Hank Reardon in Switzerland came late at night causing too many questions. And no answers. Could Lindsey and Rich Jansen uncover who was behind the crimes? It was an inside job-could they figure out who had sold out the Reardons? All in time to save Reardon’s daughter and her chief tech Ariana? Were they risking their lives as well?

 

The evil words smolder in her mind, the contents of the letter delivered to Hank Reardon

 

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.
  • We’ll know if you or the FBI. We’ll and we’ll kill her instantly.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

 

Lin Wilder

 

Author Biography:

Lin Weeks Wilder has published dozens of articles, wrote a textbook, and has written four self-help books. Lin has written three medical thrillers situated in Houston, Texas where Lin worked for over 23 years.

 

The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, the sequel Do You Solemnly Swear? and the third in her series, A Price for Genius. The story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road was an unplanned surprise. In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. Lin is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lincwilder?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/LinWilder

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/linwilder

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linwilder

About Me https://about.me/lin.wilder

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Lin-Wilder/e/B007L380OM

 

There’s Magic in a Kiss: Guest Post by USA Today Bestseller @RuthACasie #kiss #romance #MFRWAuthor


kiss 1

 

Close your eyes and imagine the perfect kiss. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Got the picture set in your mind? Good.

 

Believe it or not a kiss requires 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. The facial muscles are a given but postural? I’m serious. 112 muscles that relate to your posture are also involved. Of all these 11 muscles the most important is the orbicularis oris muscle, which is used to pucker your very sensitive lips. It’s your kissing muscle. We’re not talking about French kissing where your tongue, also a muscle, is the primary player. I’ll save that for another guest post.

 

kiss 2

 

Kissing has many health benefits. Affection in general has stress-reducing effects. Kissing in particular reduces stress which increases relationship satisfaction and lowers cholesterol. And it doesn’t stop there. Kissing can also encourage the release epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline and noradrenaline) into the blood which will cause an adrenaline rush and increased cardiovascular activity. That’s why when you kiss that certain someone your heart races off. See, it’s magic.

 

There are also a lot of different types of kisses:

  • Romantic Kisses are an important expression of love and erotic emotions. This kiss is not only about lips touching lips. This kiss requires some intimacy.
  • Affectionate Kisses express feelings closeness without the erotic element and symbolize loyalty, gratitude, compassion, sympathy, intense joy, and profound sorrow.
  • Ritual Kisses are formal, symbolic or indicate devotion, and respect. We see this type of kiss in the wedding ceremony when the bride and groom kiss. We also see this type of kiss when national leaders meet.
  • Kiss of Peace demonstrates deep spiritual devotion. It was used in the early Catholic Church and also in secular festivities. In the Middle Ages the kiss of peace sealed the agreement with enemies. Even knights kissed each other before they went into combat-a way of forgiving each other all their wrongs.
  • Kiss of Respect was reverent and has an ancient origin. This kiss represents a mark of fealty, humility and reverence. The kiss on the forehead considered a ‘kiss of homage’ showed utmost respect.
  • Kiss of Friendship is used in America and Europe as a greeting between friends. Once only between women, today it is not uncommon to see a man kiss in greeting.

 

 

Ancient cultures threw kisses to the sun and to the moon, as well as to the images of the gods. Persians were the first to kiss the hand. Here are some different kinds of kisses from various cultures:

 

  • In Ancient Rome and some modern Pagan beliefs, worshipers, when passing the statue or image of a god or goddess, will kiss their hand and wave it towards the deity.
  • The holy kiss or kiss of peace is a traditional part of most Christian liturgies, though often replaced with an embrace or handshake today in Western cultures.
  • In the gospels of Matthew and Mark, not Luke or John, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. This is the basis of the term “the kiss of Judas”.
  • Catholics will kiss rosary beads as a part of prayer, or kiss their hand after making the sign of the cross. It is also common to kiss the wounds on a crucifix, or any other image of Christ’s Passion.
  • Pope John Paul II would kiss the ground on arrival in a new country.
  • Visitors to the Pope traditionally kiss his foot.
  • Catholics traditionally kiss the ring of a cardinal or bishop.
  • Catholics traditionally kiss the hand of a priest.
  • Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians often kiss the icons around the church on entering; they will also kiss the cross and/or the priest’s hand in certain other customs in the Church, such as confession or receiving a blessing.
  • Hindus sometimes kiss the floor of a temple.
  • Local lore in Ireland suggests that kissing the Blarney Stone will bring the gift of the gab.
  • Jews will kiss the Western wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and other religious articles during prayer such as the Torah, usually by touching their hand, prayer shawl, or prayer book to the Torah and then kissing it. Jewish law prohibits kissing members of the opposite sex, except for spouses and certain close relatives.
  • Muslims may kiss the Black Stone during Hajj-their pilgrimage to Mecca.

 

 

This is all very nice but dare you tell me what type of kiss you really like best?

 

 Escapes

 

Title Second Chance by the Sea (Timeless Escapes Box Set)

Author Ruth A. Casie

Genre Contemporary Romance

Publisher Timeless Scribes Publishing

 

Book Blurb

Married for ten years, a couple at odds find their marriage was never registered. Will an impending disaster be the final straw that breaks them up or will it rekindle their love and send them back to the altar for a second chance?

 

Teaser  

 

Escapes meme

 

Buy Links

Buy e-Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Buy Print: Amazon

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Sign up for Ruth’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau7Qv

 

Follow Ruth A. Casie on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ruth-A.-Casie/e/B005V0YEVU

 

Follow Ruth A. Casie on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ruth-a-casie

 

Shattering Truths by @KyrianLyndon Blog Tour: #GuestPost + #Giveaway! #books




 

Shattering Truths
Kyrian Lyndon
(Deadly Veils, #1)
Publication date: January 30th 2017
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult

 

She was left fighting her demons alone . . .

 

For sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso, the old house in Glastonbury was an eerie place to grow up. Coping with mental health challenges exacerbated by a traumatic family dynamic, Danielle watches from the window for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls. The two predators drugged her and her cousin, Angie, and then lured them from Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to a secluded cottage on Long Beach West. She remembers feeling dizzy, the room spinning. She recalls screaming, crying, fighting, and then slipping in and out of consciousness. Angie, however, has no recollection of the incident.

 

When Danielle attempts to jog Angie’s memory and convince their best friend, Farran, that the two strangers had victimized them, no one seems to believe her. Alone in her pain, Danielle remains guarded, obsessed, and withdrawn. Soon she is sinking deeper into a tumultuous world of adolescent isolation and change. Grief, guilt, and anger send her spiraling into an even darker place.

 

Tormented by terrifying nightmares, she fears she will lose her sanity, or possibly her soul. Is she having post-traumatic stress hallucinations, as one of her friends suggest, or are her recurring nightmares as real as they seem? Trapped in an unyielding emotional bondage, Danielle continues the fight to reclaim her power. Startling revelations awaken her newfound spirit, inspiring a once naïve girl to grow into a woman of defiance and courage.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Smashwords

IN THE DIMMEST LIGHT: A Guest Post

I wake up at four a.m. every day, including weekends and holidays, and write for hours. It starts with nothing more than a 40-watt amber-shade lamp lit in the darkest hours, where I can see the moon outside my window. The focus is intense. It is light before long.

 

Creating characters and the worlds they live in began as a childhood obsession. I wrote down names then added descriptions, developing their stories by continuing to add details. I had no idea why I did this at the time. My parents worried for a while. They relaxed a bit as I went on to write fairy tales and poems. When I wrote my first novel at 16, I used parts of those descriptions.

 

I held many jobs since then – secretary, assistant book manufacturing representative, assistant to the casting director, computer system administrator, and paralegal/legal assistant. One summer, I was shooting photos for a model’s portfolio. Another day I’d be chatting with musicians about putting a band together. My ego was insatiable, so I was all over the place, wanting to do everything. I told myself, all I want to do is write while being sidetracked at every turn.

 

Life went on, rife with challenges, full of adventures. I roamed the darkest corners to learn about the world and myself. Setbacks knocked me down. I would get up eventually and find my way again.

 

More and more so, I began telling my story in the novels I wrote. I became so immersed in the reality of it, I would not steer off its course long enough to let my imagination truly come alive. I started over several times until I realized I didn’t sign on for this to tell my story. A storyteller can tell any story she wants, and so I was back on track.

 

To be fair, I learned about the book publishing process working in publishing. I chased down literary agents, got a press kit, and formed a writer’s club. I continued to educate myself about writing. I subscribed to the relevant publications. I contributed to an anthology, had letters published. There were assignments and proposals I turned down wanting to be true to myself and the integrity of my work. I was devoted to mastering my craft.

 

I realize, too, I’d been busy healing. It was necessary for me to find the courage to free myself of belief systems that kept me in bondage. Until we fully heal, we remain in bondage to something or another and prone to all kinds of obsession. Disentangling from all that is a painful process and a lot of work but well worth it. Past turmoil is the baggage we can carry forever or make lighter and less cumbersome by checking it.

 

Perhaps it’s different for everyone, but the process is the same. It is discovering what you do not want nor want to be; who or what impedes you; who and what strengthens you. Learning to trust your instincts is essential. If I couldn’t do that as a human being, I surely could not do it as a writer.

 

In the healing process, I got a much-needed downsizing of ego. I went from “needing” attention to shying away from it with a reluctance to put myself out there. I am a firm believer that when it comes to extremes, neither extreme is right. It had to be somewhere in the middle. It’s been all about balance for me.

 

Becoming a parent along the way helped. It is a rare and unconditional love, and love of that magnitude motivates you to be the best person you can ever hope to be. It lifts you out of victimhood and allows you to live as the empowered hero in your own heart and to set the example.

 

Today I feel the greatest gift I have to give anyone is a true and genuine heart. That means questioning my intentions and, if necessary, correcting my steps.

 

Now, with a clear view of the story I want to tell, I’ve been busy incorporating my past novels into a series that could be six to eight books and possibly more. I have outlined and drafted the series and am in the process of finalizing.

 

I’m grateful to have a passion, something I love to do, and get to spend time doing every day – a joy that saves me, always.

 

© Copyright July 14, 2014 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without permission.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

 

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants —her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies. She resides on Long Island in New York.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr / Google+

 

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What’s Love Got to Do With It? @LiviaQuinn Says Everything! #romance #FridayReads #books


biotm-lq-gp

 

Oh oh oh, what’s love got to do with it, got to do with it? In the case of romance, everything!

 

 

One of the reasons romance is the most popular genre in the world is the emotional connection we feel with the hero and heroine as they overcome obstacles to be together. And there’s something for everyone – small town, sweet, contemporary, historical, suspense, thriller, military, erotic, steampunk, paranormal…the list goes on.

 

 

When I read men’s or women’s fiction, while I enjoy the story, I’m not nearly as invested unless there’s a building relationship between the hero and his significant other. With romance, I can enjoy the ride knowing there will be a happily-ever-after, or, in these days of series, at least a happy for now. One of my favorites is a Sandra Brown romance thriller. While I’m not likely to encounter a sexy undercover FBI agent on my doorstep, imagining a happy-ever-after that comes out of the blue is thrilling and makes for a great escape.

 

 

In my book Blame it On the Moon, Sheriff Jack Lang is preparing to fight the supernatural bad guys he hadn’t even known existed a couple weeks before, while his girlfriend, Tempest Pomeroy and others lie fading from the effects of the Para-moon. Everything – their lives, their relationship and the safety of the world beyond Destiny is in the balance. He can’t lose this fight.

 

 

What is your favorite genre of romance and why?

 

 

BlameIOTM web copy

 

Blame it on the Moon Blurb:

It’s the height of the Para-moon and Sheriff Jack Lang is up to his ‘6’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what drove him to become a Navy pilot. Who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! But supernatural bad guys…

 

Ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he has to go to war with the group that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.

 

With Tempe and the other Paramortals ill or incapacitated and the sudden appearance of beings he’s never heard of, will Jack be able to keep Destiny out of the hands of their enemies for the rest of the power down and—very important—keep the humans in the dark?

 

It’s only twenty-four hours. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve. “Yippe, ki, yi…” But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours and things don’t always go as planned.

 

 

Excerpt:

(Conor and Montana visit the Faerie King)

 

“Oomph!” I sprang to my feet, ready to fight if it was a trick and to give Conor a talking-to but the three were already nearing the porch, leaving me to bring up the rear.

 

I heard the chorus of excited fairies before I made it to the front door.

 

“It’s a dwagon. A weel dwagon,” two seemingly young voices screamed.

 

“He’s beautiful.” That was a low pitched sultry sounding faerie that sent my hackles up.

 

“Mr. Dwagon, can I touch your scales…”

 

“Can you bwiev fire?” Finally, a male voice.

 

The excitement went on until finally, stranded outside the monstrous entrance until I could get someone’s attention I yelled, “Can I get a word in with Petre and Arabella please? We’re on time clock here.”

 

Every face in the Inn— all shapes, sizes, and colors of fairie turned to me and I realized I’d underestimated the race, understanding now, too late, the size of a fairy was of no consequence. Having a twenty-foot tall king was like a colossal diversion. It gave one a feeling of superiority as if there were only two fae who could be a threat when in actuality it was a house full of deadly assassins, who could kill a hundred different ways—each.

 

Even the tiniest pixie seated on Petre’s long narrow leg could probably kill me. This was an entirely magical world and I was out of my depth. The minuscule little fairy on Petre’s knee shivered with the desire to take me on. It was written all over his face from his angry glowing eyes to his posture which was leaning forward from his desire to attack, only Petre’s thumb on his backside keeping him from leaping the distance to my throat.

 

I cleared my throat and tried to scrape up a modicum of humility. I knew what the word meant but like my thoughts earlier on arrogance, I hadn’t had much call for this trait either, and quite frankly hadn’t ever seen a use for it.

 

Conor waited for me to dig myself out of the hole I’d dug. His brow lifted, waiting. Petre looked like he wanted to let the little fairie have his way. Only Arabella looked as if she understood my outburst. She was Tempe’s friend so she knew me by extension of that friendship.

 

I kept my eyes on Bella’s. Was she trying to send me a message? Try a little humble pie.

 

“I… apologize, King, to you and all of your…er…subjects…er, family. I am a warrior and…” The truth will do. I heard the voice in my head and looked back at Arabella who smiled. The truth, right. I started over. “I do apologize. My urgency and warrior nature leaves me little regard for diplomacy. That is something I must learn obviously. May I enter and speak with you about our current crisis? Time really is of the essence.”

 

Conor’s shoulders relaxed and I felt a squeeze of my heart when I saw his swords, which had been lifted a half a foot out of the sheath behind his shoulders, settle back into place at the ready should we need to fight our way out. He smiled at me. It made me feel all gooey inside. Sheesh, these emotions were new, totally new, like never in four hundred years new.

 

Petre’s friendly facade went dark, his face and the musculature in his body changed, the bones nearly protruding through the skin, giving him the appearance of a deadly predator with a long menacing mouthful of razor like teeth. A glance at the other formally cheerful fae revealed similar changes. And the glowing green eyes and household now all looked at me like I was the next course.

 

For the first time in my life I felt a strong compunction to run, not out of fear— Okay, I could admit to a bit of healthy fear—just this once I would have run, though I doubted it would have done any good without my Dinnshencha power. The vamp gave me speed and strength but I was badly outnumbered by a species that were actually superior to vamps in many ways. Good thing I had Conor. I noticed even Petre cut his eyes toward Conor. The desire to eat me must be pretty strong. Better deliver the message before they lost control.

 

“Um, I know you’d prefer to eat me more than listen to me, or divide me up with the clan…”

 

Petre growled, “I don’t share…”

 

I heard Conor swords slip out of their sheaths. Petre’s posture relaxed slightly. “I was asked to inform you of the Chaos and beg your assistance.” Petre’s eyes flared and the view of his teeth became more prominent as he gave what I assumed – that comment seemed to give him particular pleasure.

 

And if birds could be said to roll their eyes, I would swear that’s what Petre’s Queen had aimed in his direction. Then Petre said, “Kneel, vampire.”

 

 

Buy Links:

 Click here books2read Available at all retailers.

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

About the Author:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives by the bayou in Louisiana. She believes in the power of love. To see excerpts from all her books visit https://liviaquinn.com

 

Connect with Livia here:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.com/livias-ramblings

Her new Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

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If I Were… Beautiful by @DevonHartford Blog Tour + Guest Post #NA #Romance #FridayReads


If I Were Beautiful
Devon Hartford
(If I Were…, #1)
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Is life better when you’re beautiful?

 

Jane Johnson has tried every beauty tip and trick known to woman, but none of them have ever made men notice her.

 

Until now.

 

Finally, something is working. She barely recognizes herself in the mirror. Is it her new haircut? Two years of yoga class? Her new eyebrow tweeze? Or is it all that nasty wheat grass juice her sister insisted she drink finally working some kind of magic? Whatever it is, something is transforming Jane from plain to downright beautiful.

 

For the first time in her life, men are noticing her.

 

Constantly.

 

Jane is getting so much attention from men she doesn’t know what to do with it.

 

Before her inexplicable transformation, she couldn’t get a date to save her life. Now she has a date every night of the week. Gorgeous eligible men are throwing themselves at her. They’re even fighting over her. Actual fist fights to win her affection.

 

It all seems too good to be true.

 

The only question on Jane’s mind is whether or not her newfound beauty is going to last or if it’s some cruel trick of fate that will fade away as quickly as it appeared.

 

Because everybody knows, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

***If I Were Beautiful is a saucy romance with a mystical twist that will leave you breathless to find out what happens next. This is book one of a three book series. Book two will release April 2017, Book three, July 2017 (or sooner).

 

 

Mrs. N Asks Devon: Talk about the struggles of writing in a female-dominant industry as a man. (and/or) How do you get into the head of your female main character so well? I’m fascinated by men writing female characters.

 

When I started writing women’s romance eleven books ago, I figured it would be no different from any other kind of fiction writing. It didn’t help that my first series, The Story of Samantha Smith, was set in college, and was as much of a “first year in college” story as it was a romance novel. Obviously, going to college for the first time is something men and women both can relate to for similar reasons. You’re generally on your own for the first time, you’re struggling with balancing your school/work life with having fun (emphasis on the fun part), and most of your peers are single and looking for love (or a hookup). Also, the series heroine Samantha Smith is only 19, and like many people her age, she’s very insecure. Everyone can relate to being insecure at one time or another.

 

It wasn’t until I started writing books set outside of a college environment that I discovered I didn’t know shizz about being a woman.

 

Whoa! Shocker!

 

Sure, men and women both face similar issues like finding love, finding a job, worrying about money, worrying about our loved ones, etc. But we all know men and women also face uniquely different issues. I had no problem writing convincingly about men’s issues. I’ve faced them my entire life. My buddies have faced them too. We talk about them, bitch and moan about them, compare notes, offer suggestions, make observations, and make jokes from an inside perspective.

 

But when it comes to women’s issues, I am absolutely an outsider looking in. I can’t draw from personal experience. I can only draw from other people’s personal experiences. I guess you could say I’ve learned to be like a journalist of sorts. I have to observe women. I have to ask women questions. Lots of questions. Yeah, I’m a good listener. I have to be. I’ll never ever know what it’s like to be a woman in the 21st century unless I pay attention.

 

But that’s just the research part.

 

The hard part is the writing part.

 

You could also compare what I do to being an anthropologist studying and living with another culture, one that is wildly different from your own. At first, the actions, behaviors, mannerisms, all seem completely foreign. Heck, even the language is different. At first, you have no idea what anyone is saying. Eventually, you learn the language, learn the social customs. If you spend enough time living inside a foreign culture, you can probably do a passing good job of behaving like one of them.

 

But they all know, “You’re not from around here.”

 

Sadly, no matter how much studying and observing I do, I’ll always be an outsider when it comes to the ways of women.

 

As for the books, when I’m writing a male character, it’s easy. I can come up with male dialogue and male behavior all day long. I know when it rings true and when it doesn’t. I’ve lived it. I know.

 

But when I’m writing female characters? Forget it. It’s not based on intuition. It’s not based on experience. It’s purely an intellectual exercise. And that’s why I’m constantly second guessing myself.

 

Would a woman do this?

 

Would a woman say that?

 

Would a woman FEEL this or that?

 

I can only guess.

 

I haven’t lived it first hand. I don’t have that internal measuring stick, that automatic sense of what works and what doesn’t. You know that feeling you get when you’re taking a math test and you’re not really sure if you got the answer right? You did all the work, and at the bottom of the page you wrote down an answer. But you don’t know if it’s right or wrong. You have to wait until the teacher grades your paper for you.

 

Thankfully, my beta readers (who are all women) grade my books before I publish them. They’ll point out things that don’t ring true. After eleven books, I tend to get it right most of the time. I’ve done my research and my homework.

 

But the fact remains, what I’ve learned about women through outside observation in my lifetime is a tiny fraction of what every woman learns from living her life day after day after day. Whenever I pick up a romance from a skilled female romance author, especially good romantic comedies written by women, I inevitably read lines that make me laugh out loud, and I end up shaking my head and thinking “That is comedy genius, and I would NEVER have thought of that line. Respect.”

 

I know I’ll always be a student of women.

 

I’ll always be learning.

 

And my readers will always be grading.

 

I’m okay with that.

 

As long as I don’t get a report card, what do I care?

 

Oh wait.

 

I forgot about those pesky book reviews…

 

Too bad they don’t grade on a curve.

 

LOL.

Buy it today:

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Author Bio:

Devon Hartford is a dude who writes romantic comedies because he likes to laugh as much as he likes to love.

 

Join Devon’s newsletter and you’ll receive teasers of his upcoming books before anyone else, exclusive freebie short stories and novellas, and no spam. Copy and paste this link into your web browser to sign up: http://www.devonhartford.com/newsletter/

 

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Author @denaehaggerty Takes on the Difficult Subject of Sexual Assault in Her New Release #books


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Why in the world would I take on the difficult subject of sexual assault?

 

My book plots are often the result of a great (I hope!) opening idea, which my muse forces into my consciousness – usually at 4 a.m. She’s a kickass muse, but she can also be a bit bitchy. For example, with Life Discarded I had a very vague idea of a book about a woman who threw her life away. And then I had a vision of a woman walking away from an explosion erupting behind her (because cool heroes never look back at explosions). I worked the entire book out from that premise. Why an explosion? What could be so terrible that someone would not only walk away from her life but literally burn all her bridges in the process?

 

Self-Serve Murder started the same way. My muse sent me a vision – no doubt at 3 a.m. – of a woman waking up naked with a dead man in her bed having absolutely no clue how she got there and who in the world the man was. But where to go from there?

 

Due to a bizarre set of circumstances, I found myself wandering around the US for a few weeks in June 2016. I was supposed to be living in Istanbul with my husband at the time. Instead I was a vagabond being bombarded with news stories concerning the sentencing for a brutal rape case (People v. Turner). A man was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault but received a mere six-month jail sentence. He only served three months. Even now, several months after the case first hit the news, I can barely read the news accounts without going into a fit of rage.

 

I don’t even remember making the conscious decision that the murder in Self-Serve Murder would somehow be related to rapes on college campuses. Between the opening scene implanted in my head and the continuous news coverage of the Turner case, ideas just poured out of me. But now I had a big – no, huge – problem. How do I balance the sensitivity involved with sexual assault while maintaining the light humor of my Death by Cupcake series?

 

Self-Serve Murder remains, despite the background theme of college rapes, a murder mystery and I’ve never had a problem with humor and death before. In fact, I was shocked when I was asked how I could combine humor with murder after writing my first murder mystery, Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem. I’m a big believer that jokes and smiles can be seamlessly combined with death. Death is, after all, just a part of life. This is perhaps the result of my (dare I say weird?) family who finds it normal to drink unseemly amounts of beer after a funeral and sometimes during the visitation itself while telling inappropriate jokes about the deceased until late in the night (or the hotel tells us to shut it down, whichever occurs first).

 

So, yeah, I think murder can be funny. Just ask anyone who is addicted to BBC crime series that are filled with dry humor and situations so bizarre you’ll start to wonder about those English people. But rape? There’s absolutely, positively nothing funny about this crime of extreme violence. How in the world do I handle this sensitive topic without demeaning the victims of this crime? Maybe I shouldn’t write this novel after all, I thought. I had always planned to make the Death by Cupcake series three books with the final book centered around the bakery worker, Kristie. She doesn’t need to wake up naked with a blank in her memory. I can think of something else.

 

Except I refused. That’s right. I refused. Between living in a country where women are considered second class citizens (trust me, when men universally refuse to shake your hand or even touch you, you feel like there is something wrong with you for having a uterus), watching news reports of the Turner case, and the extremely volatile US presidential election in which sexism became a central theme, I was convinced that rape – now more than ever – is a topic of extreme importance. It needs to be discussed – no matter how uncomfortable that is.

 

And so I trudged on. I researched rape on colleges and the use of the date rape drug. I tried to intersperse facts and figures throughout the novel. Luckily, Callie, one of my heroines and owner of Callie’s Cakes, is a complete nerd who likes to drop trivia whenever she’s nervous or stressed. Therefore, I was able to ‘educate’ my readers without boring them to tears. At least, I hope that’s what happened. Because knowledge is power and, although Self-Serve Murder is a fictional story, the ability to provide even a few readers with important information regarding sexual assault is all I can hope for. And that’s why I decided that I could take on the difficult subject of rape.

 

 self-serve-murder_cover

 

Book title: Self-Serve Murder

Book Series: Death by Cupcake, Book 3 – can standalone

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor

Published: December, 2016

 

Synopsis:

Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.

 

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Kristie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.

 

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.

 

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

 

Excerpt:

I’m wiping down the counters when I get ambushed by Callie and Anna. Callie grabs my arm and together with Anna she pushes me into the corner furthest from the students. “What in the world of coffee beans are you guys up to now?” I cross my arms over my chest to make it perfectly clear that I’m not okay with whatever cockamamie scheme they’ve cooked up now.

 

Anna looks at me and smiles in an obvious but unsuccessful attempt to look innocent. “It’s just that we think it’s time we see the Youth Center where you spend all your time.”

 

Yeah, right. I roll my eyes at her. “You don’t really expect me to believe that you want to see the Youth Center to check out my life’s work.”

 

Callie bobs her head. “We’ve been meaning to go down there for ages.”

 

“Yeah,” Anna jumps in. “Logan always makes it sound like the first circle of hell.”

 

I raise an eyebrow at the troublemaking pixie. Of course, she would want to jump into the first circle of hell. “Most people try to avoid Dante’s Inferno.” I don’t know why I bother trying to dissuade her. She obviously has no fear of things ‘normal’ people avoid like gangs and violence and such. She even admits to starting to fall for Logan before she realized he was an undercover cop.

 

“We just need to make sure we can eliminate anyone from the Youth Center as possible suspects. You know – up close and personally – then we need to find this rapist before he strikes again. The dead guy in your bed was some kind of warning. It’s time to get to the bottom of this.” Callie makes an impassioned speech. I look down but, to my surprise, no soap box has magically appeared under her feet.

 

Unfortunately, Callie is right – as usual. The rapist needs to be found. And this whole thing just got personal. I might have backed off before Friday night since I wasn’t making any progress anyway and my whole knowledge of the rapes was based on rumors. But now that I’ve been roofied and found out about the ten other girls who weren’t as lucky as me? No way I’m bowing out of this investigation now.

 

“I thought you guys promised not to go to the Youth Center.” I make one last ditch effort to keep Callie and Anna safely away from this investigation.

 

“I promised to not go running around. I will definitely not be doing any running.” Anna shakes her head and points at her feet. As if those high-heeled boots would ever stop her from running head-on into turmoil.

 

Callie shrugs. “I never actually said the words ‘I promise’. There’s definitely some kind of loophole there.”

 

“Fine!” I throw my hands in the air in defeat. “We’ll head over in my car after the bakery closes this afternoon.”

 

The dynamic duo immediately jumps up and down before rushing back into the kitchen giggling. And I’m the young one?

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Self-Serve-Murder-Death-Cupcake-Book-ebook/dp/B01M8K0RYR/

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/673189

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/self-serve-murder-de-haggerty/1124934721?ean=2940153788715

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/self-serve-murder

 

 

Author Biography:

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

 

 

Author links:

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

 

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

 

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1438239628&sr=8-5

 

Email: dena@dehaggerty.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rewriting #CivilWar History to Fit Ideology? Not on @CurtLock’s Watch! #books #FridayReads


asunder-guest-post-graphic

 

The Russians invented the light bulb? Really? They also invented the airplane. OF COURSE, THAT’S NOT TRUE, but Americans laughed during the 1960’s at the preposterous Soviets who were re-writing history to fit their ideology.

 

The Soviets re-named St. Petersburg to Leningrad, and Tsaritsyn became Stalingrad, honoring their dictator. The Soviets tore down religious statues, turned churches into warehouses. They wanted only their distorted history, their ideology. A history of lies.

 

What about enlightened America? Are groups removing statues and renaming buildings to match their ideology? There are.

 

The groups removing Confederate statues want everyone to believe that all Southerners hated African-Americans.

 

Not true. In the South, a few elite plantation owners enslaved Negroes.

 

The key words – “elite few.” The vast majority of Southerners had no slaves. However, many Northerners grew rich from slavery.

 

Northern “slaves” were the impoverished, white-skinned Irish.

 

The Irish received a pitiful wage. But nothing else. The slaves in the South had their own houses, often shabby ones, but a house with a garden and chickens. Some earned pay.

 

The Irish lived in slums. Often, several families lived in a three-room flat or in shanties.

 

Several Southern laws, enacted by the elite, forbade teaching Negroes to read. In the North, no law was needed. The smallest children worked in sweat shops.

 

In the South, the plantation owner sent for a doctor for a sick slave. No such luxury for the Irish.

 

Now, for the incredibly well-documented reasons for men fighting in the almost entirely volunteer armies, north and south.  Primarily two reasons.

 

First, in that era, a man could never be considered a “coward” by not enlisting. If a man’s neighbors were signing up, he must also. It was a major societal expectation. Just because we don’t have that societal pressure in America today doesn’t mean it was not prevalent then.

 

Second, everyone thought the war would be over in three months. Most men wanted to get into a “scrap,” a sort of fisticuffs with a neighbor. Society romanticized war in the “Romantic Era.”

 

Today, we have a new version of the “Elite” who believe they have the right to belittle and destroy people’s pride in their state, remove statues, refuse to sell certain flags, even destroy tombstones of an honored ancestor.

 

General Johnston, for whom several schools are named, has been dishonored by an “elite few” in changing a school named in honor of the general. Johnston fought honorably for the US in the Mexican War. He died in battle because he had sent his doctors to save Yankee wounded.

 

Here are some facts. Long before the war, Lee released his slaves. Grant didn’t release his until he was forced to after the war.

 

Just so you know, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes. I honor him and so many more African-Americans. God did not make us to divide ourselves, but to love everyone. Nor should we allow a few elite to re-write our shared history to fit their ideology.

 

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Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

Thrust into the middle of Civil War battle, with both Union and Rebel protagonists and antagonists, Asunder, the first in the Trilogy, is a story of love and loss and of families torn apart.

 

Thoroughly researched, the novel presents numerous complex, memorable characters struggling against incredible odds in an epic spanning from Texas to New York.

 

he story begins in frigid February, long after the battle. Cyntha Favor, an abolitionist and ardent believer in Spiritualism, searches the battlefield in hopes of finding her husband’s grave. Having received erroneous reports of his death, she hopes to free his tormented soul. During the Civil War, it is estimated that at least one-fifth of the population wholeheartedly believed in Spiritualism. Mary Lincoln held séances in the White House with President Lincoln in attendance. Sara Reeder, initially naïve and an ardent supporter of the Southern cause, is thrust into the battle maelstrom. An excellent horse-woman, she rides to warn the army of a surprise attack, but is too late. With battle all around, she aids wounded Union soldiers, and her zeal for the war changes forever.

 

In early 1861, both armies wore an assortment of uniforms. The Union had not adopted the standard blue uniform. Cyntha’s husband, a Union soldier, Iowa Grays volunteer, Joseph Favor, is found unconscious by Sara. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, he awakens with no memory, unable to recall even the battle. The Reeders perceive him, since he is dressed in gray, to be a Confederate. Dred Workman, a conniving Iowan comrade and deserter to the Rebels, falsely identifies Joseph as a Cavalryman in the Third Texas.

 

The Reeder home is turned into a hospital. Soon, they are left to care for numerous wounded with no help from the army. Lucas blames Lincoln for the war. Based on an actual event, he holds a grudge against the president for something that happened before the war when Lincoln was a lawyer. Lucas and his slave have become friends, no longer slave and master. Sara and Joseph are romantically drawn to each other, but Joseph is haunted by fleeting images of his past. Joseph is called to join the cavalry. Will this parting keep them from being together? Joined by her freeman employee and confidant, Josiah Reynolds, Cyntha’s headstrong manner lands her in confinement by the Union army. She meets a dubious Spiritualist who convinces her that Joseph’s soul is indeed tormented.

 

Learning her brother is accused of robbery, and aided by a quirky Rebel supporter, Constance Carver, she plans escape. Her brother has problems of his own when the steamboat he is a passenger on sinks in a storm. The survivors are attacked by River Pirates. With Missouri marauder gangs closing in on the Reeder farm, the Spiritualist Fox sisters holding séances, and devastating battles, Asunder drives towards a devastating climax.

 

 

Excerpt:

“Am I going to die?” he said. He seemed less anxious and more curious.

Sara dried her hands on her skirt. I really do not know what to say, she thought. She had seen death before when a cow or calf had died. She had helped with the slaughtering of pigs, goats and chickens. She had attended funerals of friends and of her brothers when she was young and seen the bodies lying in coffins, but she had not seen this. She felt she could only dissuade him from the truth. She stroked his brow, “Of course not.  You’re just a little hurt. You’ll get better.”

“How come I can’t feel my legs?” he said. “I think I’m pretty hurt.”

Sara sat back in a kneeling position and saw the blood spilling from the soldier’s back and spreading, turning the grass russet. The blood had spread to stain her skirt as well. She struggled to hide her horror. Without thinking, and more to just be doing something, she set about rubbing his legs very hard.

“I’m kind of cold, miss,” he whispered, “Is there a blanket?”

Sara bit her lip to hold back her tears. To her, he had a face similar to her oldest brother.

Then his pupils fixed.

She stopped rubbing his legs and set her hands in her lap. Her mind refused to believe the young man had died. Time froze for her. Once again, she felt the pinch of nausea, but it was mixed with a deep sadness. Trying not to look at the startled expression on the lifeless face, she lightly shut his eyes.

With a deep breath, Sara rose and walked to the next wounded soldier lying on his back. She tore cloth from her skirt hem and bound his bloody shoulder. Three Rebel soldiers bent over the remaining wounded, staunching one soldier’s bleeding foot and binding the head-wound of another. The sergeant and a private gathered the remaining weapons from the dead and wounded soldiers and stacked them against a sweet gum tree.

In their little shaded forest hospital ward, the battle seemed far away. The deep forest muffled the sounds of battle which, once more, momentarily drifted away to almost nothing.

A slight-built Confederate said, “I wonder if we won this battle, or if the Yanks did.”

No one answered him. The battle no longer mattered, only caring for the wounded.

Sara continued to give directions, though she did not need to, for the soldiers bound the wounds with torn shirts taken from the dead and offered liquor from an earthenware jug that a Confederate had carried with him all through the battle. They labored in general silence. The slight-built one said to her, “I was wondering. Are you the general’s daughter?”

“No,” Sara, taken aback, laughed nervously. “I’m just here to help you to fight these Yanks and make them go home.”

A private, dressed in a smart gray uniform with his jacket open at the top, revealing a shirt with dainty flowered stripes, approached Sara and offered a weak smile. “Miss, would it be okay if you take a look at me, too.” He unbuttoned his jacket, revealing a red blossoming stain, then he slumped down.

Sara rushed to him, caught his arm and slowed his fall. This soldier, with long, tangled, blond locks spilling over his eyes, looked familiar, and a thought leapt to her mind that perhaps he was the one who had sung to her. She held her hand behind his head and helped him lie on the ground. “Give me some help here. One of ours is hurt badly.”

Sara brushed the hair from over his eyes and beheld a face she was sure was indeed too familiar.  Her mind raced, and her heart felt like it would burst from her chest. Breathing came hard for her, but she forced herself to ask the young, fair-skinned man lying cradled in her arms, “Did you two days ago sing a song for me in camp?”

The soldier looked puzzled, then stared off in the distance as if gathering a memory. He coughed a rattling cough. Looking back at her, he whispered, “I do like to sing.” Then he said something else, too soft for Sara to hear. His breathing became labored.

She bent closer to his lips, tears pooling in her eyes. “Please, say that again. I couldn’t understand you.” She looked into his eyes that seemed to hold no fear, but a sort of quiet resignation.  His clean-shaven face was pale though his cheeks were sunburnt, his thin lips chapped.

In a whisper she could barely hear, he breathed out, “Yes, I sang to you, and you gave me a tin of milk.” He smiled, the lids of his eyes fluttering to closed. “It was good milk. Reminded me of home.”

The other Confederates gathered around Sara and their fallen comrade. The sergeant unbuttoned the boy’s jacket and revealed the shirt, coated in blood. A jagged wound oozed dark maroon. The sergeant looked up at Sara. His eyes said it all. The young soldier, just like the Yankee cavalryman, had no hope.

Sara’s eyes flooded with tears, and she began shaking uncontrollably and wailing. “No!” she screamed between heaving gasps. “This is not what war is supposed to be!”

The old, gray sergeant gently took her arms and lifted her to her feet. She stumbled away with him supporting her. She sobbed and had trouble catching her breath and collapsed to the ground.

Somewhere in the caverns of her ears she heard one of the Confederates say, “Sergeant, he’s passed on.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

 

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

Stage Left by @AliParkerAuthor + Why She Loves Being Indie! #romance #giveaway


Stage Left
Ali Parker
(Bright Lights Billionaire #1)
Publication date: March 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

From Best Selling Author, Ali Parker comes a new Billionaire Series filled with sexiness, humor and intense attraction…

 

Ethan Lewis has been in the bright lights for as long as he can remember. He’s just turned the cusp of celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday, and yet he feels more like eighty. Living the life of a celebrity isn’t all it is chalked up to be, and dealing with the unruly number of women who are more interested in his billions than who he is as a person is getting old. He has resigned himself to giving up on love and focusing on the only thing that truly gives back – his career.

 

Riley Phillips has always dreamed of being on a big stage with the warmth of the spotlight baring down on her, but she just couldn’t seem to catch the right agent’s attention. After giving a quick commencement speech as Valedictorian of her graduating class at Billmore High, she’s offered something she can’t refuse… The chance to work in Hollywood. It’s not all it’s chalked up to be, but she works hard and finally gets her big break four years down the line. There is a new movie that her agent wants her to audition for, and her co-star? The dreamy Ethan Lewis.

 

She scores the part, but soon regrets it due to his callous, overbearing persona. He’s nothing like the public touts, and she for one isn’t impressed.

 

Funny enough, he is – immensely.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / GooglePlay

Grab yours today for FREE!

Ali Parker talks about being an indie author and loving it!

I think from a young age I’ve always been independent, always looking for a way to forge a new path and climb a steep hill and do it mainly on my own. I think like most Indies, I started by trying the traditional route and after loads of rejection, it was just easier to forget it. A few friends of mine are making it big in the indie world and have reluctantly pulled me into it as well. I will tell you that it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

I’m not a superstar, but a story teller – which is all I ever wanted to be. I set my schedule, write what I want, love on you guys by giving away whatever the hell I want to and life FEELS right/good.

Let me tell you why else I love being Indie.

  1. No one will ever love my book as much as me. It’s my creation and having the freedom to choose what it looks like and where the plot goes is all mine to decide. I don’t have someone standing over my shoulder making it “better” by their definition of “better.”

  2. I can spend as little or as much time, energy and money as I want. Obviously the more I put into it, the more I’m going to get out of it, but that’s with anything in life. The cool part is that if I’m a good editor or if I can design my own cover, then those are costs to be saved and skills to be used.

  3. I belong. In a world of independent authors I find myself fitting in just perfectly. We all work hard and dream big and the encouragement is beyond belief. I don’t have to write a certain genre or stick to a certain structure in the plot. I simply write, promote and support and honestly feel great about myself at the end of the day.

Being an Indie author, to me, doesn’t really have anything to do with being Independent though. It’s a statement that says I’m capable of making every step along this book writing/producing platform to take a dream from start to finish. The truth of what Indie authors are doing is showing the world that there still exists hope. Hope to dream big and work hard to make that dream a reality.

That’s why I love being Indie!

 

Author Bio:

Ali Parker is a full-time contemporary romance writer who left a life in Corporate America to try out living a dream. She loves coffee, watching a great movie and hanging out with her hubs. By hanging out, she means making out. Hanging out is for those little creepy elves at Christmas. No tight green stockings for her.

 

Thanks for picking up a book!!

 

Ali also writes Sci-Fi Romance under Liza Probz – http://amzn.to/1KvnczE, and Western Romance under Jessica Mills – http://amzn.to/1P37NDz

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Street Team / Twitter / Google+ / Instagram / Pinterest / Newsletter

 

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He’s a What?! Writing Your Characters Into a Corner by @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #guestpost #IARTG


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But I thought the problem was… 

I listened to an author speak a couple years ago at a workshop. She said, “Write yourself into a corner.” My first thought was, “I couldn’t do that. What if I couldn’t get my characters out of the hole I’d put them in.” Recently I realized that I’ve been doing just that unconsciously, or my characters have, for several books now. For a writer, it’s a very scary place to be but if I want my readers to be surprised I must be surprised as well.

In Eve of Chaos I brought the heroine and several characters to the brink of death, not knowing what was going to happen. Blame it on the Moon was the most terrified I’ve been since I’ve been writing. And yet, I’ve had readers tell me it was their favorite book.

When Destiny was overrun by creatures leaving our hero, a mere-mortal, to fight them, save the town and the woman he loves I had no friggin’ idea how a human was supposed to win over enemy zombies, flying heads, and other variants much less how to save the lives of my main characters who were suffering from the effects of the Para-moon. I usually let the characters lead me to solutions but at the end of Blame it on the Moon, Jack was blindsided with a change that no one saw coming—except me. Unfortunately, even that didn’t go as planned.

As book 5, Take These Broken Wings began I thought I knew what Jack’s problem was. But as the story progressed Jack was no closer to a solution until we got to the climax and suddenly events unfolded. I remember emailing my writer friends wide-eyed with wonder, “You’ll never guess what happened to Jack!” In Jack’s words, “To say I was surprised about the latest revelations would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.”

 

The Destiny series could be likened to a Paranormal soap opera, similar to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series or the world of Darynda Jones. Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc—their coming of age—is finally complete with book 5 but their story and Destiny’s continues. So here I am again after the events that happened at the end of Take These Broken Wings, thinking, “Zeus’ Rechargeable Bolts! now what?” A mysterious stranger has shown up in Destiny and his presence is certain to bring turmoil. Life is much more interesting when you don’t know what’s coming down the pike don’t you think? Its always nerve-wracking not knowing where my characters will lead me but I’m confident we’ll work through the challenges. What a ride!

 

Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

Title: Take These Broken Wings (Destiny Paramortals #5)

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Mayberry, or should I say Middle Earth?

 

I’m Jack Lang, the Sheriff of Destiny, Louisiana. After my sexy redheaded mail lady zapped me, this seemingly normal small town turned into a never-ending stream of supernaturals – fae, dragons, vampires, djinn—not to mention some plain ol’ kooks. Ironically, I was all set to accept the dark side when I discovered the secret in my own DNA and, well, to say I was in shock would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.

 

There’s one thing that can get me back on the job – a murder investigation. But I’ll also have to deal with supernatural hitmen, dragon hunters and being in the doghouse with my girlfriend. If I don’t get a handle on “My new life” before long, I’m going to lose the respect of the Paramortals, not to mention the woman I love.  Maybe I should just holler uncle now. Things can always get worse.

 

After all, this is Destiny, and ludicrous is its middle name.

 

Book 5 is the completion of Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc, an epiphany of sorts, but the story continues. If you enjoy the Paranormal Urban Fantasy Cozy worlds of Kristen Painter, Darynda Jones or Molly Harper, try the Destiny Paramortals series.

 

 

Excerpt:

Tempe’s father, Dutch finds his son, River, in the supernatural watering hole…

 

Dutch

My eyes narrowed and I rose at the mention of my ancient family name.

 

River’s eyes flared red, a warning, and he grated, “Who are you?”

 

The being in front of him was taller and wider than River, closer to my size and was covered in a flimsy grey cloak that swirled in a non-existent breeze. Ah, a weather fae, I determined at once. A hooked beak poked out from under the gray cowl and talons where the fingers should have been held the hood in place. The pungent foul odor identified it as a harpy, a vengeful lot that often traveled in groups though no one stood with this one.

 

The hole in the center of his “face” sounded like a washing machine as it pushed air in and out. At his hip a blue sword stuck out from under the layers. Not good. Weapons were supposed to be surrendered at the door except under certain extenuating circumstances. I stayed where I was, for the moment.

 

Thick cottony lips opened, the words came through its hole of a mouth, like it had been dredged up from the depths of the Isle. “I am Lord of the Wind. I’m here to reclaim my power from your family.”

 

Well, that’s a new twist. Millenia ago, harpies had been stripped of their power over hurricanes and strong storms, but it had nothing to do with my family, I thought as he drew the sword from the sheath with a clang and pointed it at one of the entrances. A stout gust entered the room. He’d used the sword to command his magic, like a wand.

 

River stood with one arm on the counter, not even jostled by the stiff wind, though others were struggling to stand. I stepped toward River. The creature’s head turned in my direction and a voice like a grating debris-filled torrent rasped, “You need your daddyyy to fight your battlllesss?” Tables rolled to the floor around us, and I sensed the harpy was frustrated that he’d been unable to budge us. River was steady as a granite mountain and… he was growing.

 

River crossed his arms over his chest and said, “Listen, Lord Blowhard. Not only don’t I need my father, but it’ll take a more than one of your impotent wind farts to take down a member of our family. My sister could take you in her sleep.”

 

The being bristled and the wind increased at River’s words. I stepped forward, addressing him. “Who told you we have your power?”

 

The harpy’s sparring partner approached and whispered into his ear, sending a glance toward the corner where another hooded figure sat at a table against the wall. His boss? Or just an interested party trying to prevent the fae from experiencing the fate of Morpheus?

 

The wind picked up under the blowhard’s gray rags and his mouth closed in a disgruntled line, but he lowered his sword and backed away, not releasing my gaze until he reached the table. Then pointing the sword one last time at River, he said, “We will finisshhh this later at a time of myyy choosssing.”

 

With a scraping of chairs, the so called Lord and his sparring partner cautiously backed out of the Moat, trying to save face, though Gods truth, it made them look like cowards.

 

River’s reaction was even worse. “What’s wrong with now?” he roared. Yes, he was itching for a fight, his voice shaking with rage, the first emotion I’d heard from him in weeks. Any other time I might think that was good but though he appeared to be in control, I felt the building energy he held under tight rein. What would it take for him to snap? I put my hand on his arm to bring him back to himself. He shrugged it off and stomped back to the bar.

 

My spine tingled a warning and I scanned the room to see where the threat was coming from. There in the corner, lounging against the wall near the fighters’ table was a black hooded figure. I felt his gaze though the shadow from his cowl disguised his features. His black-gloved hand moved across his chest and I caught the glimmer of something between the folds.

 

His mouth turned up in an evil grin and he drew the material closed but not before I got a brief look at the necklace hanging against his chest with a dragon’s eye in the center. I steeled myself not to react as he rose and sauntered out.

 

What was a dragon hunter doing in the Moat of Morpheus.

 

Buy Here:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com//dp/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon UK  https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/uk/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon CA https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/ca/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takethesebrokenwings-2140770-140.html

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/take-these-broken-wings-2

Itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/take-these-broken-wings/id1118777289?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940153209159

Page Foundry  http://www.inktera.com/store/title/d4e2e093-1630-4de2-a54c-62861bf58f41

Scribd  http://www.scribd.com/book/313905436

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Love happens…when you least expect it. So does the weather. So magic in one form or another, and storms, are at the heart of most Livia Quinn books. A DC native who lives on the bayou in Louisiana, Livia has stored up a wealth of quirky stories from her jobs as a mail lady, sales person, plant manager and small business owner that she’s anxious to share with her readers. Visit her soon on her new website https://www.liviaquinn.com

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.blogspot.com

Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Livia’s Author Central page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LiviaQuinn

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Author Central http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KPDXXE2

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

Shazam! Magick is in the Air and @RuthACasie Offers Guidance #magic #POTLReads #Halloween


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Shazam!

Spells and spellcasting. The very first spell I clearly remember is salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Put them together and what do you get? Cinderella! A magic coach, horses, a footman, glass slippers and a beautiful ball gown and let’s not forget the handsome prince.

What makes the fairy-godmother’s words a spell? A spell is much like a prayer said with a great deal of intent, focus, and will that gives words (or nonsense ones) new meanings. Deborah Blake, an authority on Wiccans, explains that taking a shower can be a magical event. Your intent or goal is to wash away the stress of the day. You focus on the water pouring down on you and visualize your stress being washed away. Your will is to apply energy to the task. Along with the words she uses to increase the impact of the magick “Water, water, wash away all the stress of the day,” your shower becomes magickal.

So, is Cinderella’s fairy-godmother invoking magick? Her fairy-godmother cast her spell speaking an incantation to create a specific outcome. She clearly imagined what she wanted. She intended the magic coach, horse, etc. to all appear. She was keening focused on the results. And through sheer will she used all the energy at her disposal to make it happen.

magic

 

What is a spell? Spells are written or spoken words together with set actions sometimes using objects, all with the intent to bring about specific results. The words are the important thing. The actions and objects are used to help the spellcaster concentrate and amplify their request. They use what they feel works well for them candles, herbs, oils, gems and other things. Color, phases of the moon and the day of the week may also play an important part of the spell.

Are there any rules for using magick? Deborah Blake, in her book, The Goddess is in the Details by Llewellyn Publications, July 2009, lays out the seven beliefs at the heart of being a witch.

 

  1. Harm none. The Wiccan Rede says, “An it harm none, do as ye will.” While this sounds simple, whatever you do make certain you harm no one. That includes yourself and anyone else. She pointed out quite clearly that downstream affects are really unknown. This rule is a guideline and a reminder that the intent should always be to do good.
  2. Do not interfere with free will. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and should not interfere with the actions of others. Not every witch (other regular person for that matter) seems to believe in this.
  3. What you put out (into the universe) is what you get back. The Law of Return. I believe very strongly in this rule and I’m not a witch. I call it paying it forward. I truly believe that if you give of yourself will come back to you threefold.
  4. As above, so below: Words have power. Witches believe that words have power. It is the reason why spells are said out loud—to announce your intention to the universe. They also believe symbols can be used to heighten the effects of words and can stand for objects or ideas. Sometimes they use candles, stones, water, wine, or anything that will help connect them to the object or idea. As above, so below means they not only have the power to effect change through symbolism and their connection with the universe, but they must also be careful with their words and thoughts. Ms. Blake gave a great example. If words have power, and you get back what you put out, think what would happen when you say, “I hate you.”
  5. Magick is real and witches can use it to bring about positive change. With combination of their belief that they can bring about positive change and the power of words and symbols, they use intent and focus to alter their world.
  6. We are part of nature. All Pagans have one thing in common—they respect nature and believe they are a part of it, not above it. While traditional religions view humans as superior, Pagans see themselves as guardians. Witches worship the mother earth, the nature goddess. They follow the cycle of the seasons and strive to connect to nature and stay close to their primordial gods.
  7. The divine is in everything, including us. Pagans believe in the old gods and goddesses and that there is an element of the divine in everything. This is at the heart of what it means to be a witch. This connection to the universe and to the divine gives witches both power and responsibility. It connects them to every other living being.

 

So, let me leave you with this. Find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. Light a white candle, take a sip of red wine, hold the book you’re reading, and say:

 

The winds are still,

as the words unfold.

Strong is the will,

as the story is told.

Peace fills the room,

and carries you away.

Imagination in bloom,

the rest of the day.

 

Now sit back, open your book and enjoy the adventure. Happy Reading!

 

Ruth A Casie close

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today best-selling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

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THE TWO SINBADS: A Guest Post by Clive Johnson @AuthorClive #books #POTLReads #amreading


THE TWO SINBADS: A Guest Post by Clive Johnson

Clive Johnson, author of the newly-published ‘Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights’, reflects on the common nature of Sinbad the Sailor and his patient companion, Sinbad the Porter.

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The adventures of Sinbad the Sailor occupy most of the column inches in the seven tales that feature him in the canon of the Arabian Nights. His voyages, discoveries in strange lands, and many near-death experiences are described in wonderful detail, enchanting anyone who hears them. In many ways, these tales embody much of what is enthralling in The Nights – they are filled with color, intrigue, magic, and surprise, to mention just a few of their many virtues.

However, there’s another Sinbad who features in each of these tales – Sinbad the Porter. This poor street-dweller doesn’t have a shekel to his name–at least before he meets Sinbad the Sailor he doesn’t–and spends much of his time bewailing the injustice of his lot. How can it be, he ponders, that some people such as the sailor can have so much, while so many lack even a daily meal or clothes to protect their bodies?

This is a question that we may well ask today, but that’s a topic for another time. What interests me is how the two Sinbads interact. Their first encounter is cordial, but the porter wonders what the motive of the sailor is. The poor man is invited each night to join the sailor in his house, to enjoy a lavish meal, and be entertained with another of the great adventurer’s stories. He even is offered a monetary gift each time the meal ends, leaving him in no doubt that his host is genuine in his wish to show hospitality.

As the seven tales unfold, it becomes clear that the sailor uses his storytelling as a way of expunging his guilt for some of the bad things he has done during his voyages (like killing). With the ever-more fantastical adventures that he describes testing credulity, we might begin to wonder whether he doesn’t occasionally embellish what really happened. He seems desperate to impress, and possibly lost in something of a fantasy himself.

The porter, meanwhile, becomes more comfortable in himself, increasingly feeling satisfied when he leaves the sailor’s house each evening. The two begin to act out a dance, indulging each other’s company, and possibly even becoming slightly dependent on each other. One projects aspects of himself onto the other; even if they don’t see it, there’s a person they recognize in the character of the other.

Some commentators on The Nights suggest that the two Sinbads are really meant to represent one person. Both may have faults, seen in their shadow selves. It’s by coming together and seeing how they can complement and teach other that both men are able to move on from their current states of mind.

We all have shadow selves, the part of us that is unseen and gets projected onto others. Often it’s those closest to us who are best able to reflect back something of this hidden character. That’s one reason why we are attracted to some people – they are perfect partners for helping us grow. I think that there’s something of the porter and the sailor in all us.

 

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Title: ARABIAN NIGHTS & ARABIAN NIGHTS. TRADITIONAL TALES FROM A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, CONTEMPORARY TALES FOR ADULTS

Author: CLIVE JOHNSON

Genre: FICTION / SHORT STORIES (CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY)

Publisher: LABYRINTHE PRESS

 

Audible version available soon.

 

Book Blurb:

Magic carpets and flying horses, caverns glittering with gold, unexpected plotlines following the fortunes of heroes and villains–who cannot fail to be enchanted by the magic and wonder of the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights?

This most celebrated collections of tales feature shape-shifting and miraculous transportation across continents, powerful jinn who rise like smoke from simple vessels, dreams that delve into the secrets of the subconscious, and gigantic, man-carrying birds.

The backdrop for the tales moves from barren deserts to spectacular cities, from the edge of the world to the inner sanctuaries of mighty rulers. Kings and paupers, benevolent sages and devious magicians, worthy princesses and unscrupulous harlots–all play their part in teaching important truths and providing lively entertainment.

This innovative book offers retellings of a selection of tales that have captured the imaginations of countless people over many centuries. Accompanying each is a short story set in a contemporary context, which reframes the messages and teachings of the original, specifically written for an adult audience.

Here are stories of betrayal and murder, exploitation and sibling rivalry, soul-searching and discovery. The modern parallel tales swap the busy alleyways of old Baghdad for the horror of Saddam’s prisons, move from following caravans sweeping across the Sahara to modern day pilgrims trekking along the Caminos of northern Spain, and lift Aladdin out of his cave to unwittingly face Triad gangsters and antiques smugglers.

Wayward Baptist ministers, adulterous accountants, and eco-warrior backpackers follow in the footsteps of the no-less colourful characters than those that feature in the original tales.

Each pair of stories is accompanied by a commentary on how they might be interpreted. The result is a gripping collection of tales that may continue to bring the mystery and magic of the Nights to life, as well as provoking fresh thought and feeling for adult readers. Prepare to be surprised, uplifted and–in the spirit of the original Arabian Nights Entertainments–enthralled.

 

Excerpt:

A journalist had picked up on the news of Todd’s arrest, and by some means had been able to identify him as a Baptist pastor. Soon, the news of my husband’s escapade with the prostitute had made not only the front page of the Louisville Courier-Journal, but had carried across the state to Lexington too. I dreaded to think what the decent people of our church would say when they saw the photograph of their pastor being paraded in front of a police identification plate.

 

When we returned to Lexington, most people seemed to want to avoid mentioning the topic. It was obvious to me that they had been deeply unsettled by Todd’s indiscretion, but to our faces at least, they promised their love, assuring us that ours is a God of love, able to forgive every sinner–even a wayward minister.

 

Todd was not afraid to show his contrition before his flock. Were Oscars awarded for emotional outpouring by those in church ministry, Todd would surely be nominated for an award. Whether or not his tears were genuine I do not know, but he certainly gave a powerful example of how to show repentance when he took his place on the dais.

 

“O my Father, how I have failed you! How I have let these, my beloved brothers and sisters, down! Forgive me, for I am the worse among sinners!”

 

His cries and wailing knew no limit. Kneeling before the congregation, Todd accepted the prayers and blessings of the people. Two of the deacons laid hands on him, commanding the demons that were in him to depart.

 

Perhaps this display was good for our community. Other men in the congregation came forward to confess their infidelity, and to receive the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus and those of us who serve Him. In fact, I don’t think that our church had for a long time felt so overcome by the love and warmth of The Holy Spirit.

 

The experience had certainly been a shock for Todd. He knew that his position as a pastor would be under threat were he to backslide again. More than anything, I think that he was genuinely aware that he’d been unfaithful to his Lord.

 

He had been unfaithful to me too, and privately I went through a period of hurt and suffering. But the fast pace of events, and Todd’s apparent regret for his actions, kept me focused on supporting my husband.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com: http://goo.gl/ks4rLB

Amazon.co.uk: http://goo.gl/24yhro

Amazon.ca: http://goo.gl/Y2FWlh

Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/mIP8kB

 

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Author Biography:

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights is Clive Johnson’s seventh book, and the second in the series that takes old and often familiar tales and retells them alongside modern-day versions. Taking this approach, Clive says that he aims to recapture some of the magic and important messages that can be found in traditional fairytales, stories from mythology, etc, while inspiring fresh wonder among adult readers.

His earlier books were aimed at business readers, and he’s also edited an anthology of interfaith wisdom. Recently, Clive has also started narrating and producing audible audiobooks for other authors, which is an activity that he says he particularly enjoys.

Clive spends most of his time in the UK, where he was born, although he has no fixed home. This allows him to follow his heart from place to place, often house and pet sitting for friends and others who are taking a break away. He also often takes in or hosts retreats and workshops on various themes. Many house sits introduce him to some wonderful furry friends, and provide the perfect opportunity for settling into some serious writing!

Having an autistic condition and with a strong interest in mysticism, Clive likes to approach his work with a keen curiosity. He says that he enjoys researching and imagining a story almost as much as he does writing it.

Clive is an avid reader, and an ordained interfaith minister.

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads: http://goo.gl/VLfGVL

Clive’s Author Facebook page: http://goo.gl/hVrz3e

Clive’s blog (‘The autistic mystic’): http://goo.gl/ZcBNnD

Clive’s Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/AuthorClive

 

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Hold Onto Your Dream: Advice from Author @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #giveaway #BatonRouge


Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

My little seasonal restaurant kept me hopping this year. I wouldn’t complain except it left me so little time and energy to work on my new book, Take These Broken Wings. But with summer winding down, I finally made it out to the Quinn den to work on Wings.

 

Getting things back in order, I noticed my calendar was stuck on July. For a reason…

 

Original dream

 

“HOLD ON to your original dream!”

The two key parts of this quote were why I stood transfixed in front of that calendar for several long seconds. First, holding on to the dream takes perseverance and dedication, as you learn the skills needed. And second, it’s easy to forget as we confront the challenges on the journey how passionate we were about making that goal a reality. It’s good to remind ourselves of that desire.

 

In June 2005 I was laid off. It was a real bummer especially since I’d just bought a new car but I decided to take the summer to try to get my head straight and wind down from six years of working eighty-hour weeks. I sat by the bayou handwriting stories that had been in my head for years. What an escape…

 

Then came Katrina. I left Louisiana to work in D.C. and Atlanta (more eighty-hour weeks) so I could pay the bills and six months later I was back home writing. The first time I decided to enter a contest was 2007 and I got 2nd place for Only the Heart Remembers in romantic suspense. I read later on the agent/judge’s website, “Send me your manuscript, but please no ‘amnesia in the storm’ stories”. Good thing I didn’t read that before I entered the contest. J Fear can be a huge de-motivator. It can annihilate your dreams.

 

From that contest, I received an “I almost bought this but it’s not quite right for us” letter from Harlequin and was asked to send two versions of it to another editor at a conference. After being pulled in so many different directions I began to doubt myself, put the manuscript aside and moved on. But after publishing my Destiny Paramortals and Storm Lake East series, I decided to take a chance, revisit this book, retitle it and bring it to my readers.

 

Storm Warning is the fulfillment of that the original dream, published ten years after it was written. There’s so much of me in it, my fascination with storms, the premonitions (Brenna’s “curse”), the community of characters I’ve loved for so long. My hero and his lady have a magical connection but I don’t want to give it away so I’ll just say, there are plenty of surprises.

 

In chronological order, Storm Warning is third in the Storm Lake East Series, after Her First Knight, and before Merry Christmas, Baby where you meet characters from all three books and upcoming characters from my next book, coming this winter. I sure hope you love the characters in Storm Warning as much as I do.

 

For this week only, Storm Warning is $1.99 to celebrate its ten-year anniversary.

 

Want a chance to win the full ebook set of Storm Lake East books in epub or mobi? Simply retweet this link to your followers and come back here to post your tweet in the comment box. (Books will be delivered via email.)

 

Did you have an original dream? Have you given up on it or are you still pursuing it? Why not clip this little calendar pic to your computer or frig to remind you to never give up?

SW ad button

 

Blurb:

You’ve killed him, Bad Brenna taunted. Brenna looked down the steps at the man lying motionless in the tropical downpour. I told you that silly phobia would get you in trouble if you didn’t get a grip.

 

Brenna knew she was right, knew it was exactly why Bad Brenna existed, to help her cope with the trauma that had turned her into a scared rabbit whenever lightning was in the forecast. But her anxiety over the approaching storm had been magnified by yet another premonition. Typically, it meant someone was about to die. Had she been the means, this time, of fulfilling her own prophecy? As usual, there were no clear answers. She needed to start trusting her sixth sense if she was ever going to get rid of Bad Brenna.

 

But for now, she had an unconscious burglar on her hands…

 

 

Excerpt:

“Who are you?” he demanded, looked down at her with suspicious eyes.

Her eyes widened with consternation. “Oh, my God. You have amnesia. You don’t know who you are.”

“No, damn it. I know exactly who I am.” His words were slurred. “What I don’t know is who you are and why my head feels like it’s about to implode.”

He swayed, staggered backward. It didn’t take precognitive abilities to see it coming. She grabbed for him, wedging herself behind him to prevent yet another concussion. Now, hadn’t she known what would happen next?

Suddenly, he was toppling backward, but at the last minute he flipped her over to take the brunt of the contact with the hard floor himself. She felt the air leave him followed by a startled oomph as she landed on top of him—hard.

Brenna blew the hair out of her eyes. “Well. I guess chivalry isn’t dead. I’ll bet that hurt.” She rubbed her knee as he threw an arm over his face and groaned. She was going to succeed in killing him if she didn’t get him into the bedroom.

He swore again, lavishly, and this time her grandfather who’d spent thirty years in the Navy saluted from his grave. For a couple long seconds, he floundered like a beached octopus legs kicking and arms moving until he finally righted himself. Brenna knelt next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.

He flinched. “Leave me alone. Are you trying to kill me?” His left hand cradled his temple.

“I’ll have you know I was trying to break your fall. You were going down like a Redwood in the Sequoia National Forest.”

He shook his head, “Silly woman, if I’d landed on you, you’d have been hurt.”

Another sharp crack of thunder made Brenna flinch. When the light flickered on those amber eyes amidst a mask of blood and bruises, she shivered. Bad Brenna was thinking, He’d make a nice Christmas present. Her eyes traveled down the contours of his body. Rational, sane, levelheaded Brenna knew this might turn into her worst nightmare.

How could she even think of sex at a time like this? Her house was a wreck. The power was out. Handsome stranger or naked burglar or hunky naked burglar—however she chose to think of him, the bottom line was she didn’t know who he was or how she was going to get him on his feet.

It couldn’t get any worse.

“Shit. My head hurts, and I have to piss,” he said.

She rolled her eyes. What a gentleman.

He put his hands on the floor, gathering the strength to rise. He swayed like a rickety saw horse on all fours, his bicep muscles quivering, face turning a sickly green as his features contorted.

“Oh, no.” She recognized that look.

“No, no, wait.” She darted for the trashcan.

Too late. He threw up, and her freshly waxed hardwood floor was covered with a stinking, steaming, slippery pile of vomit.

Ick.”

She glimpsed of his eyes rolling up, and just as she got a hand on one a powerful forearm, he passed out. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to keep his shoulder from grazing the oozing pile of muck when he landed.

A loud boom shook the cabin.

Brenna looked up at the ceiling. “Oh, quit, will you?”

 

Click the retailer for link to Storm Warning:

Ibooks

Amazon

Kobo

Nook

ARe 

Paperback

Goodreads

Inkterra

Page Foundry

 

 

Note: Book 5 in the Destiny Paramortals, Take These Broken Wings is available for preorder now on all retailers for October 2nd release.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter www.twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/liviaquinn

 

Sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

 

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/1TfBMe9

All book links http://liviaquinn.com/books.html

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives and writes on the Louisiana bayou. She’s stored up plenty of quirky tales from her jobs as mail lady, plant manager, entertainer and business owner to share with her readers. Visit Storm Lake, where anything can happen!

 

She’s including some links you can go to if you’d like to help South Louisiana residents who were hit hard in the recent 500-year flood. 80,000 families were affected!

 

Volunteer Louisiana (state website)

Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

United Way — Baton Rouge

Salvation Army — Baton Rouge

Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Council of Baton Rouge

Capital Area Animal Welfare Society

Louisiana Association of Educators (Flood Relief Fund)

 

Think You Know Alaska? Author @maaarmstrang Reveals 10 Interesting Facts #books #scifi


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Top 10 Things People Don’t Know about Alaska:

  • They are two kinds of people in Alaska, RATs, or rational thinking straights, and GETs, the genuinely, truly strange. It’s not as easy to tell the difference as you think.
  • Alaska is really one big institution — not a prison, and more like a university — that draws people who are the toxic scum of normalcy, a great clot of pressure that has been allowed to escape.
  • If you want to be anonymous in Alaska, drive a Subaru.
  • Everything weird and unusual and strange that happens in Alaska has a rational, logical explanation. And an irrational one.
  • As Ellis Paul said, “Sometimes you gotta go to the end of the earth just to turn yourself around.” Alaska is the end of the earth — or, at least, one end of the earth, like Key West — and there are a lot of cul de sacs.
  • If you see windows covered in aluminum foil in Alaska, that’s not some tinfoil hat trick to keep out mind altering radio waves. It’s because in the summer it stays light for a long time and that’s how some people keep their bedrooms dark.
  • A third of the population of Alaska has been here less than five years.
  • Alaska is really, really big. If you laid a map to scale of Alaska over the Lower 48 states, Alaska would span a distance from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Francisco, Calif. The distance in air miles from Juneau to Barrow is the same as from Orlando to New York City, or 1,100 miles. The area of Alaska is about the same as the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida and West to Tennessee.
  • Another quote, from a bumper sticker by Ginger VanWagoner: “We’re here because we’re not all there.”
  • In Alaska, if you’ve bathed in the past week and wear a clean pair of jeans, you’re considered to be dressed up.

 

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Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

The guys in the black jumpsuits wanted to give me a ride.

I was walking along the side of the road six miles out of Beaver Creek, real peaceful like, digging the wildflowers and the beer cans and the little shreds of filter fabric sticking out of the edges, when I turned at the sound of a car coming from down the road. Not even thinking, I stuck my thumb out, but before I had a chance to pull it back in, the white Jeep Cherokee stopped. At first I thought they were camo dudes, like the ones who patrol around Area 51 at Groom Lake. Man, I hate those rent-a-grunts, but I guess they made it personal after that little incident when I blew their cover and listed their names and home addresses on the Web. ’Nother story.

I didn’t even have to look at their plates — Alaska blue ’n’ gold NRG lettered plates, and in Alaska they only go up to the J’s — to know who they were: AOGs, Agents of the Grays , Alien Occupation Government. They looked like batfags, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms goons, right down to the thin   Kevlar vests. Two of ’em, though, in the slick black jumpsuits.

“Need a ride, son?” asked the guy in the passenger’s side as he rolled down the window. Tinted windows, thick windows: armored, I knew.

“Just hiking, sir,” I said. Old habit from when I was in Delta Force. Any guy calls you “son,” you call them “sir.” I’d of saluted, but when Delta kicked me upstairs on special assignment as a deep cover agent in the Foreign Service, I swore off saluting. With my dreadlocks tucked up into my baseball cap, and the hair buzzed on the side of my head, that guy might of thought I was military with a high and tight, in civvies.

“We can give you a ride up to the border, son,” the guy went on.

“Only a couple of miles. I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

Then they got out. Right then I knew they were Grays because they had the mirrored sunglasses and the jerky legs. The Grays on bottom duty get face surgery so they look normal — real noses, mouths, and ears — but the big triangular eyes are hard to fake. Takes a lot of bone surgery, so most of them just wear big sunglasses. And the Grays have long torsos but stumpy legs, kind of like that Frog painter Hangin’ Too Loose Lowtrec, so to look human, they walk on these like stilts. Our high gravity really messes them up, though, so they never get good at it. You learn these things when you become an enemy of the bigheads like me.

The driver was a wymmin, I mean, I knew the type, feminazis: big broad shoulders and almost no boobs, and fat hips. She had short hair just over her ear flaps and long bangs. Female Grays don’t like to alter their ear flaps. They’re really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that’s how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

So the wymmin Gray got out, same klutzy walk, and they both gimped over to me, looking real tall, but I knew I could kick their legs out from under them. ’Course, iffen I did that, they’d blast me to cinders, but it’s nice to know I had the option to damage them before I died. They leaned up against that white Jeep Cherokee with the funny windows, hooking their thumbs in their belts. Those Grays watch too many of our Western movies, if you ask me. Someone ought to tell them, or at least turn ‘em on to some Mel Gibson thrillers so they can learn a new attitude . . .

“You’re kind of out here in the middle of nowhere,” the wymmin says. She had one of those squeaky high voices their females have. It always flips me out. You see a big momma like that, and then she has this high voice.

“Yes ma’am,” I said. “I’m used to walking.”

“So we’ll give you a ride to the border,” she said. “Across the border, make it easy on you. Into Tok. You must be going that way.”

“Might take a right at Tositna and go up to Chicken,” I said. “Do some gold mining.”

“Yeah.” The guy scratched his balls, in that sympathetic gesture guys make to each other, sort of like saying, Balls, what a pain, huh? Only I knew he was re-adjusting the servos on his stilts.

“So you sure you don’t want a lift?” The wymmin Gray glared at me through her glasses. I knew she was scanning me. Hell, I knew they had me pegged already. They’d put a chip in my butt after my first abduction near Cedar Key (see Chapter 16), so they could track me like that, you bet.

“Don’t wanna trouble you,” I said.

“No trouble,” the guy said.

“Still . . . “ I stared off into the distance, thinking of Hannah. I figured if they were scanning me, they’d pick up the increase in blood pressure and the little woody I was working up. “I’m sort of hoping for a ride with this babe I met in Beaver Creek.” I grinned, and the guy Gray grinned back, showing me his stumpy little tongue.

“Gotcha,” he said, winking and making a little gun with his fingers and shooting it at me. Really. They ought to watch some old Bond movies if they wanted some better clichés.

“Dude,” I said.

The wymmin nodded and the guy nodded and they got back in the white Cherokee and drove over the hill and probably to one of their shuttle crafts. A few minutes later, the Coasties who had given me a ride 500 miles down the road picked me up again.

When the Coasties dropped me off just before the border, I saw the black helicopters.

Welcome to Alaska, I thought. Now go home.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Best-Selling Author @WestonAndrew Reveals His Top 10 Memories #scifi #PerseidPress


Hi, my name is Andrew Weston. I’m an author living in a cupboard under the stairs…? Sorry, the darn medication must be off again.  Truthfully? I like to spend my time fishing for dreams among the stars. I haven’t caught anything yet, so perhaps it’s time to change my bait?

Anyhow, as some of my readers will be aware, before turning my hand to writing, I experienced life’s rich tapestry as a specialist in the military, and later, as a police officer in a number of varied roles. Looking back over the years, I thought it might be fun to reveal my “Top Ten Memories” (Or, at least, those recollections I’m willing to share – hee hee).
They’re not necessarily in order, as I tried to group them together into little themes, but such experiences made me the person I am now, and in a strange way, have influenced my writing. See what you think…

 

  1. The birth of my first child: (Or indeed, all of my children, come to that). A tremendous experience that no father should miss…especially when you’re allowed to assist. A privilege I enjoyed for each of my little gems.
  2. Delivering a child: And it wasn’t one of my own! I’d only been in the police for several years and after serving in a city environment, moved to a rural station covering hundreds of square miles of forest. That’s when I came across a young couple who had broken down while driving to hospital for their first baby. Back seat of a car – no problem! (To be honest, mother did all the work – father did most of the sweating and pacing up and down, and I merely pretended it was just another day at work). And do you know what; they didn’t name the baby after me?
    (Just as well, it was a teeny-tiny girl). All together now, aaaaaah!
  3. Getting arrested: Seriously. As I progressed through my career, I worked undercover on a number of occasions. During a sting where I’d been placed among a gang of druggie thieves, a number of officers from out of area were brought in to assist in rounding up the dregs of society. They took one look at me and decided I was one of the most unsavory individuals they’d ever seen, and I was the first one they jumped on. Those fur-lined cuffs really pinched. Ah – happy times.
  4. Throwing myself out of a perfectly good airplane: Not too much to say here as so many other guys in the military have done a similar thing. But the sense of freedom you get on the hill…ah, there’s nothing like it.
  5. Getting shot: Staying on a military theme. Top tip: not recommended. And while I appreciate the fact you have to expect it when you join the military – and especially in the kind of role in which I served – it’s a bit of a bummer when it actually happens to you for the first time. (A true “protruding bottom lip moment” if ever there was one).
  6. Discovering I am immune/resistant to the euphoria opiates are supposed to instill: What can I say? I’m one of those quirks of nature. Following a serious injury – mentioned above – and later episodes in my life, I have been hospitalized on a number of occasions. Try what they might…morphine, codeine, tramadol, fentanyl, doctors could find a lot to help. I didn’t get high; it barely reduced the pain; and really, all I took away from the experience was constipation, itchy rashes and bathmat tongue. (No wonder I ended up working undercover on certain departments, eh?)
  7. My mom, the drug cultivator: See how this continues a pharmaceutical theme? While I was serving in the police, I’d pop home to Birmingham, in the UK, to see how my parents were from time to time. On one occasion, my wife and I arrived late on a Friday evening, and after a meal, went to bed.
    So you better understand the setting, you should know my mom owned an antique restoration business and used to live above the premises itself. While this meant she had no front garden – as that was given over to customer parking – she had a rear courtyard, in which she used to grow plants and cuttings she’d collect while out on countryside walks.
    So, there I am, Saturday morning, bright and early. I take a cup of tea out into the rear courtyard, sit down, and as I’m raising the cup to my lips, come face to face with one of the healthiest cannabis plants I’ve ever seen.
    What the flip-flop?
    Managing to swallow a mouthful of tea without choking, I put my mug on the floor, lean forward and actually pinch myself. It can’t be? Yes it is. NO! It can’t be?
    I examine it for the umpteenth time, and eventually accept the inevitable truth.
    ..you little par-tay minx!
    So, then I’m thinking…how they hell do I slip this into the conversation naturally?
    Anyway, about half an hour later, mom gets up; makes her own tea; dawdles out into the yard, whereupon I join her on the bench and compliment her on her green fingers and say how nice the makeshift garden is looking. I point at one or two shrubs and bushes, and ask her a little bit about them, and gradually work my way toward exhibit ‘A’.
    “So, when did you get that particular plant over there?”

“Oh that?” she says, “I was out walking Ben – the dog – up Haldon Woods. He ran off into the undergrowth, and when I went to find him, I spotted a whole load of them in a glade. I liked the shape of the leaves so took a cutting to bring home.”

“You liked the look of the leaves, eh?” I say, wondering where this will go.

“Yes,” mom replies, “I was hoping they’d have flowered by now so I could see what color the petals are.”

I start laughing. She asks me what’s so funny, so I explain, “Well, you’re gonna be out of luck. By now, the leaves would normally be drying and ready for rolling.”

“Eh?” And I’m glad to see she appears genuinely puzzled.
“Mom…how can I put this? People don’t normally grow these for their pretty flowers. They’re more interested in smoking the leaves?”

“Eh?” she mumbles again.

“That’s a cannabis bush.”

“A what?”

“Cannabis. Weed. Ganja. An honest-to-God, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred pounds and go directly to jail, cannabis bush.”

“Don’t be so ****ing stupid,” she spluttered, “It can’t be drugs. They were growing wild in the middle of the forest.”

(I know…sigh)

“In a glade, off the beaten track, right?”

“Yes,” she replies indignantly, “so there’s nothing suspicious about them.”

….How I wish you could have listened in on the conversation….
Long story short? I quickly put her right about the tricks of the trade many drug dealers employ to grow their wares, and ensured the drugs were properly disposed of. (And no sitting round in circles and inhaling deeply was involved)

  1. Climbing my first mountain: See? I’m still talking about getting high…the connections abound in this top ten 🙂

monte-rosa-02
1983 – Monta Rosa, Switzerland

A truly exhilarating experience and something that gave me the climbing bug.

  1. Getting naked when I shouldn’t: Intrigued? Well, I had to attend hospital for a follow-up surgery for one of my injuries – this one, to my left shoulder.
    Those of you who have also been in a similar position know the score. You go into a little waiting cubicle. You’re told to take off your clothes, place them in a locker, and put on the items laid out for you on a chair. (In this case, hospital slippers and robe) Somewhat Spartan, but what can I say. The NHS is struggling.
    When the operating team was ready, a nurse came to get me, and escorted me through to the preparation room.
    I walk in there – everyone’s busy preparing for the op – and as they go about their business, one of the surgical staff says, over their shoulder, “Just take off you robe and wait over there.”

I thought…hello? But then I reasoned, well, they obviously know what they’re doing, and they’ve seen it all before.
So I took off my robe and stood there like a peacock, proud and defiant…until one of the nurses turns round, spots I’m naked, and let’s out a yelp of surprise… “Oh my God, where’s your gown?” (You know – the paper-thin tie-up pinafores that shows your butt to the world)

Bemused, I replied, “What gown?”

“The gown in the changing cubicle.”
“There wasn’t any gown in the changing cubicle,” I tried to explain, by now, strategically gesticulating so as to hide my morning glory, “I was told to take off my clothes and put on the stuff placed out on the chair.” Pointing desperately, I made sure to emphasize, “That’s the slippers on my feet and that robe draped over the counter…” Then I added the punchline…”I thought it a bit strange you’d want me to be naked for a shoulder operation?” Ta-dah!

We laughed.
They got me a gown.
We laughed again.
Then they put me out, and I’m sure, talked about it and laughed even more while I was unconscious. Sigh – good times.

  1. Getting set up on a blind date: Some of you might know the score. Friends phone you up out of the blue and invite you out. You turn up. Several other couples are also “mysteriously” in attendance, along with a cunningly arrange single lady whose been fooled by the lies they’ve told about you. Ha!
    Well, I’m actually very glad that happened, as that’s how I met my wife.

And here we are on our wedding day…

DSCF0681
See, all you romantics out there…Blind dates can work 😉

 

(Apologies for the state of the photo – but it’s reproduced from an actual picture)

 

So, there you go. A Top Ten that’s a little bit different. But, when you think about it, it’s still “author related” as it’s often said – Write What You Know.
Having experienced quite a few things most people never get to see and do – and having had a great deal of fun along the way – I can dip into those various episodes and “relive them” through the pages of my work. When you’re able to add those little details of what a certain episode feels like, sounds like, tastes like, the transformation it creates to your interpretation of the fictional environment adds that depth of perspective that plucks your scene from the page and places it where it belongs: alive and kicking, within the imagination of your reader.

 

IXExordiumLARGE

 

Perhaps you’ve spotted that as you read The IX Series or Heroes in Hell? I do hope so, as it makes the effort I put into my work all the more worthwhile.

 

Anyway, that’s it for now. Next time? My top ten tips regarding personal grooming and the washing of shaved heads. See you then.

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

Rising Tides by @katyhaye Blog Tour + #EntertoWin a Cool Prize Pack #YA @YABoundToursPR


Rising Tides tour banner

 

Rising Tides

by Katy Haye

Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic

Release Date: June 20th 2016

 

Rising Tides Cover LARGE EBOOK

 

Summary from Goodreads:

 

The truth won’t stay submerged forever.

City is the last civilised place left on a drowned Earth, a floating town built from metal and plastic from the Time Before. It’s the only home doctor’s daughter Libby Marchmont has ever known or wanted – until her father helps the wrong patient and she’s forced to flee.

Cosimo came to City for one reason. Then he should have vanished back to his people on the Wastes. But what about his promise to Libby’s father?

Stranded in the middle of the sea, can the two enemies learn to trust each other? And can they survive long enough to uncover the truth: City isn’t the safe haven Libby always believed it to be …

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Rising Tides Building the Wastes rubbish

 

Let’s Eat a 100-year-old Parsnip: Inspiration for the World of Rising Tides

 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2004/dec/02/1

 

The original idea for Rising Tides was triggered a piece about Scott’s Hut in the Antarctic, which has been left for a century as he and his fellow explorers last used it. The link above tells you about Alan Gibbs who visited the hut and spotted a dried parsnip which had fallen out of a rusted tin, reconstituted itself in a puddle of chilly water and transpired to be perfectly edible – nearly 100 years after it had first been grown. There was another piece (I’ve lost the reference, unfortunately) about another explorer who brought back a tin of rhubarb left in Scott’s Hut and baked a perfectly edible pie from it.

 

The idea that food grown and prepared now could still be edible a century or more into the future set my imaginative cogs whirring – how would humans manage after a total collapse of the eco-system when this food was the only thing left: how might they agree to share (or not?).

 

I freely admit I’ve taken liberties – a large part of the durability of these foods must be due to the sub-zero temperatures they were also kept in. In the flooded world of City, however, nautilus men need to dive in order to salvage these tinned foods, which frigid water would make difficult to impossible. So I’ve used artistic licence to allow the tinned food to remain in tact, whether or not that would actually be the scientific case. Some foods would undoubtedly last better than others (acidic food such as tomatoes probably wouldn’t be a good choice after 100 years since they’d have reacted with the metal tins), so I have allowed that to be reflected in the choices my characters make – when they have a choice of what to eat.

 

 

Here’s a scene from the book where Cosimo dives in order to find food for himself and Libby:

 

The lurch of the boat was my only warning before Cosimo clambered back on board. There was a clatter as he tipped his finds onto the deck. Half a dozen tins covered in grey slime. “Breakfast, your Highness.” My hunger vanished. He leaned back over the side of the boat, washing the tins in the sea.

 

*

 

My stomach rumbled and I ventured to the cabin to see what delicacies he’d found.

 

Cosimo had chosen sweetcorn. The other open tins held pineapple, mashed peas and minced meat. I wished, as I did most times I set to cook a meal, that it was possible to know what was within the tins before we opened them. I guessed the Old Ones hadn’t imagined their labels might need to be waterproof.

 

The pineapple would taste of nothing more than the tin it had been encased in, so I took the minced meat from the ledge inside the cabin, found a fork and returned to the deck. I sat at the back of the boat, close enough to him to watch what he did with the boat’s controls without being so close he might get presumptuous ideas.

 

 

 

You can get a copy of Rising Tides in paperback or for your Kindle (to buy, or with Kindle Unlimited) using this link: http://authl.it/B01FHXD8HG?d

 

About the Author

Katy Haye spends most of her time in imaginary worlds – her own or someone else’s. She has a fearsome green tea habit, a partiality for dark chocolate brazils and a fascination with the science of storytelling.

 

 

Author Links:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

 

Giveaway image

 

GIVEAWAY:

Win a book-lover’s survival kit.

Your survival kit is as follows:
1. An Amazon voucher for £10/$15US/$20CAN, AUS, NZ. Load up your Kindle with books to read, while shops remain.
2. A solar charger so when the national grid fails you can still read your books.
3. A mirror. When you are stranded in the open sea you can signal for help by reflecting the sun’s light. Alternatively, if you have no wish to be rescued because you still have reading to do, flip the mirror over to depict the slogan, “Go away I’m reading.”
4. Ribbon bookmark. If all your books have been washed away by the rising seas, this can be rolled up and packed into the neck of a cut-open bottle and will double-up as a water filter. Note: this will not desalinate salt water, sorry.
5. A bag to put the last of your belongings into. DO NOT LEAVE THIS BEHIND.

Check out the ways to win with Rafflecopter.

 

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Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the History of The Du Lac Chronicles by @maryanneyarde #history #Arthurian #books


 

Britain is a place of myths and legends. There are many stories of men and women who were exceptionally heroic. But none has captured the imagination quite like Arthur Pendragon.

 

I was blessed to grow up near Glastonbury ~ or if you prefer, The Ancient Isle of Avalon. I knew the story of Arthur from an early age, and I have been enchanted ever since.

 

However, I always felt slightly deflated by the ending of Arthur’s story. There is a terrible battle at Camlann where Arthur is mortally wounded. He is whisked away to Avalon, and that is the last that we hear of him. Likewise, his knights, if they have not already died, give up the sword enter the church and/or become hermits. I love the stories of Arthur and his knights, but I’m sorry, the ending sucks! Why would the Knights become hermits?

 

This motivated me to write The Du Lac Chronicles. I was determined to carry on the story and write about what happens next.

 

I wanted to keep the story as historically accurate as I could, but at the same time, I didn’t want to take away the legend that we love. So I studied the work of Monmouth and Malory as well as all those brilliant French poets. I wanted to know the legend inside out, and then I would bring the history of the period into the tale.

 

You cannot ignore the Saxons when you look at this era. This is their time. I needed to know about them to make this book authentic in the telling. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles was a good starting point. I spent hours cross-referencing this book with other sources and trying to figure out what was real and what was fictitious.

 

I became fascinated with Cerdic of Wessex, the first Saxon King of Britain, and I was staggered by how much he achieved. He came over and conquered the south of Britain and by AD 519 he declared himself King. He was the perfect antagonist for my knights. I had to include him in the story.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles is also set in Brittany and in fact, The Du Lac Devil, which is book 2 of the Chronicles (and will be out later on this year), is set primarily in Brittany. I needed to get a handle on Dark Age Brittany as well as Dark Age Britain. I have to admit there was a moment where I wavered. I started to think that maybe I could work around Brittany and not include it in the story. I was reading the most fantastic myths about Brittany, but not so many facts. However, in the legend, Lancelot comes from Brittany. So it made sense for his sons to come from there as well.  I waded through the myths as best as I could, and I came across a fascinating king called Budic and as I read about him, I realised he was exactly what I had been looking for. Budic is often associated with the legendary King Ban of Benwick. I wanted Budic and his castle in my story. So he is!

 

I also discovered that the trade links that the Romans had initiated, for the most part, remained in place. Brittany continued to have strong ties to Britain. The Breton language has striking similarities to the Celtic and Gaelic language of the mainland. One can assume that not only did the British trade with Brittany, but they also moved there and in some instances took control of parts of the country. Cornouaille, which was the kingdom that Budic ruled, seemed to have had direct trade links with Cornwall, maybe he had family there as well?

 

I talk a great deal about Cornwall – or Cerniw as it was known then – in The Du Lac Chronicles. Cornwall has a long association with Arthurian Legend and with the apparent links to Brittany I felt it needed to be included, which is why Budic’s brother Alden, ruled this beautiful kingdom.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, and I wanted to create a story where the knights did not end up in monasteries and then disappeared into the shadows of history. I wanted to write about what happened after Arthur died. In particular, I wanted to write about the changing ‘Saxon’ world that these knights now found themselves in.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles follows – through the eyes of Lancelot du Lac’s sons – Cerdic of Wessex’s campaign to become High King. The world the du Lac’s had known was to be changed forever by this one man’s determination to enslave the kingdoms under the Saxon yolk. In my story, these men, these knights, do not die easily, and they certainly do not become hermits!

 

The Du Lac Chronicles 10 Feb 2016 KINDLE

 

Title: The Du Lac Chronicles

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Young Adult Medieval Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.”

So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.

Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.

Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.

 

Excerpt:

It was a poor meal, Alden thought as he broke off the meat and handed some to Annis. They would need something more filling than a small bird if they were to survive. He wondered if they dared try and find a village to stock up on supplies, not that they had any coins to buy anything with. It was a bad idea, really, for nobody liked beggars, and they would probably be hounded out of the village by pitchforks. Still, he had to think of something. He frowned as he chewed. Kent was an option. It was close and he was on good terms with the king. They would be safe in Kent and it wasn’t that far away. Yes, Kent. He had wanted to reach Cerniw, but Kent was a better option, especially if Cerdic’s men were raping the place, as Bors had suggested.

 

“We are heading for Kent,” Alden announced, his mind made up. It was a logical plan.

 

Annis lowered the meat she was about to put in her mouth and looked at him.

 

Alden popped some more meat into his mouth and chewed slowly.

 

“Kent?” Annis asked. To her, Kent was as far away as the moon. She had never stepped foot out of the lands that surrounded her father’s castle.

 

“I need to know what is going on. King Oeric has always been an ally and he has a good fleet of boats.”

 

“But you could be caught. My father will have placed men at the border. Surely he will guess you will head that way,” Annis argued.

 

“I was caught last time because I surrendered. I can promise you, I will not be caught again. And as for your father, he knows as well as I that there are several places I could go. I do not doubt that Kent has crossed his mind. But this time, I am looking for him, so the way I see it, I have the advantage.” He frowned. “Eat,” he ordered, popping some more of the meat into his mouth. “I will not have it said that I starved you.”

 

She brought the meat halfway to her mouth again and stopped. “How long will it take to get to Kent?”

 

“A day, maybe less, depending on the weather.”

 

“And if the weather isn’t kind?”

 

Alden laughed. “Forever the pessimist,” he mocked gently. “If the weather isn’t kind then I am guessing it will take longer.”

 

Annis blushed. “I know that,” she mumbled. “I’m sorry for being…” Her words faded into nothing as she sat and stared at the flames.

 

“For being what?” Alden queried.

 

“Oh nothing, forget I said anything. It was a stupid question and…”

 

“And?” he encouraged, noting her change of tone and the way she would not look at him.

 

“And I know I am not very good company and I slow you down, and if it wasn’t for me you would probably be in Kent by now.” He tried to interrupt, but she would not let him for she had too much to say. “I cannot cook to save my life. I have no idea how to look after myself. If anything happened to you, I would die within days. My father is a monster. My body feels like it has been trampled on by a herd of raging horses. I am dirty. I smell. And I hate my knees,” she huffed.

 

“Your knees?” Alden asked, bemused, for he had not expected such a torrent of words from her and being a mere man, he did not really understand her point.

 

“Never mind my knees. You are right. I am a pessimist. I learned very early on not to look forward to things, because then, I would not be disappointed if they did not happen. And I have had a great many disappointments. I hate my hair. I hate curls. I hate the fact that I am a Saxon. Sometimes I hate myself. And now I am rambling, and no doubt making a fool of myself. I am completely useless, am I not?”

 

“You lost me with the knee thing. Can you repeat the rest again?”

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking–so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

 

Social Media Links:

author@maryanneyarde.com

 

https://www.maryanneyarde.com/

 

Twitter @maryanneyarde

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Blogspot http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Amazon Author’s page http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Writing for Shared Universes: Guest Post by @WestonAndrew #amwriting #books #SFF


hellboundLARGE

 

As some of my readers will be aware, as well as being the creator of the IX Series (The IXExordium of TearsPrelude to Sorrow – TBR) I also devised the rather dark and devilishly intense character of Daemon Grim.

 

Now, this guy is none other than the Grim Reaper himself, Satan’s chief bounty hunter and go-to guy in times of trouble, and you get to read about his trials and tribulations in the #1 international bestseller, Hell Bound, and the sequel due toward the end of this year through Perseid Press, Hell Hounds.

 

The thing is, there’s more to the Reaper than first meets the eye, as his exploits form part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe.

HIH

 

Don’t know what Heroes in Hell is all about?
Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989. The series was resurrected in 2011 by Janet Morris with the thirteenth book and eighth anthology in the series, Lawyers in Hell, followed by four more anthologies and two novels between 2012 and 2015.
Of note is the fact the stories from the series include one Hugo Award winner and two Nebula nominees.

 

The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, a devilishly wicked arena where anything and everything can go wrong in the relentless pursuit of their various ends.

 

Here’s the list of recent releases since 2011:

Lawyers in Hell
Rogues in Hell
Bridge over Hell
Dreamers in Hell
Poets in Hell
Doctors in Hell
Hell Bound

 

So, why would I want to contribute to a shared universe? The answer is simple– For the challenge.

 

Think about it. With the IX Series, I can basically do whatever I want. I can have as many protagonists and antagonists as I see fit. Run them through hoops. Put them here, there, everywhere and make them fit just about any situation I care to conjure up. On the other hand, when it comes to writing for Heroes in Hell, I can’t do that.

 

A shared universe is governed by its own fundamental forces. It has its own rules, as to where and when its sets. Principles govern it subjects regarding their interaction with each other and the realms they live in. Simply put, there are limitations on what you can and cannot do, especially if your story includes characters ‘owned’ by another contributor.

 

Daemon Grim, for example, is leader of the Hell Hounds, (a select cadre of damned hunters) and the Inquisitors (Satan’s special interrogators). Because these individuals are of ‘my’ devising, I have a pretty long leash on what I am allowed to do with them – as long as I stay within the guidelines governing the Rules of Hell.

 

However, Grim and his cabal regularly interact with other notables, such as the Undertaker, the Kigali, and the Sibitti. These particular creatures ‘belong’ to other authors so I have to follow an adopted procedure.

 

First, I need permission to use them in my own stories. Second, I have to agree not to involve them in anything that can change their nature or cause permanent repercussions. And finally, I have to ensure they ‘stay in character’ when they interrelate with others.

 

For example, in Hell Hounds, there’s a scene where Grim faces off against the Sibitti. As personified weapons of the plague god Erra, the Sibitti have a distinct way of fighting. So I need to ensure I stay true to their modus operandi.

 

Do you see the challenge in this? I can’t simply think up a fight scene – my specialty – and go with my natural flow. I have to adopt the specific current those characters I’m borrowing adopt when in battle, and ensure I reflect that appropriately.

 

This is particularly apparent in the yearly themed compilations Heroes in Hell is famous for. Look at the list of recent releases from 2011, and you’ll see topics as diverse as lawyers and dreamers to poets and rogues. Grim, for example, was introduced in the 2015 Doctors in Hell anthology. The next selected theme – due for release in Fall 2016, is Pirates in Hell, a calling completely at odds to that of a doctor, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Do you see the variety this affords?

 

But you might think…hang on, doesn’t that make the larger books you write a little disjointed? Well, it could, if I didn’t keep a careful balance. Let me explain:

 

When Janet invited me to write for Heroes in Hell, we came up with the idea of leapfrogging the novels with the anthologies to keep things tight and integrate Grim more fully into the universe. So, Hell Bound follows on immediately after the action in Doctors. The forthcoming Pirates short story – Pieces of Hate – carries on Grim’s adventures three months after the events in Hell Bound. In turn, Pirates will lead into Hell Hounds, and so on and so forth. Do you see the forethought and planning this involves?
You might wonder, why on earth do I put myself through it?

 

That’s easy. I want to improve.

 

As writers, we owe it to ourselves and our readers to become the best we can be. Now, I’m a disciplined and focused person. I work hard to develop and nurture my own distinct “voice” which I hope is apparent in my work. The trouble is, when we rely solely on our own preferences, we can sometimes limit the extent to which we can mature.

 

I like contributing to the shared universe because the various themes touch on topics I wouldn’t normally consider. Doing so accelerates my learning curve and broadens my skills and experience. In the end, it’s you – the reader – that benefits.

 

Intrigued?

 

Well, if you want to find out more about the diversity of writing for a shared universe, check out some of the latest releases in Heroes in Hell. Some great writers contribute to every edition, and their various styles ensure there’s always something in the anthologies for everyone.

 

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Perseid Press: http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

Guest Post: @LiviaQuinn’s Hero Surprised Her! #amwriting #giveaway #IARTG


One of the things that has surprised me most as my writing has progressed is the way my characters’ stories are revealed. I remember when I was writing Hard Days Knight during #NanoWriMo several years ago. All I had was a vague idea and a brief synopsis of what I knew about the story. As I started writing, the characters revealed details of their lives to other characters – before they even told me!  When Luc described his family life to Del, I was so shocked I found it hard to write the rest of the day until I considered his explanation.

 

Where did this come from? I asked myself. Well, when I started the Storm Lake East: Larue series (formerly called the Under-Cover Knights because all the heroes both male and female are either current or former military or law-enforcement) I researched for hours about everything from military issues like PTSD, MSA, problems with the VA, family life, deployment, uniforms and more. I created a timeline to determine how the current era military campaigns would impact my characters. Then, as I started writing, events and backgrounds just fell into place.

 

I’d already introduced Ridge in Hard Days Knight as the owner of the Knights studios where these former military guys worked as cover models. All I’d revealed in HDK was that Buffy, a former famous runway model, had met the CEO at an unlikely event while looking for cover models for her new venture. Now, in Her First Knight, it was time to flesh out Ridge’s story.

 

The more I read about recent military deployments and saw the high rates of PTSD, brain trauma due to IEDs, the loss of limb by so many, and the suicides, the more I found myself caring about these issues, and Ridge’s background was born.

 

I think a big part of the gap in appreciating the depth of the problems veterans face on a daily basis is that many of us who haven’t served can’t relate to those who have. It reminds me a Native American quote,

 

“Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.”

 

At first, like many in the public, I wondered if these issues had been exaggerated but what I found appalled me, and as a result, the characters in my story. Perhaps some think it’s preachy but it’s just the facts. Our veterans have had an uphill battle making their needs known and having them met. There’s an apathy that’s perhaps a result of hearing so much filter through the media to our ears without those issues ever being addressed by the agencies that should be taking care of them. As I talked to actual vets in my community I found that, in fact, the problem was much bigger. The rate of suicide- 1 out of 22 vets per day – is thought to be low because of the inability to get statistics in some states and because many “reported accidents” are believed to be suicides. So when I found pockets of organizations that successfully addressed the needs of vets, it was often privately funded or voluntary organizations who cared and who came from the military community themselves, therefore understanding the depth of the need.

You can see where Ridge’s idea of a private consortium to take over veterans’ care from the government came from. Unfortunately, Ridge was so fervent in his dedication that he ignored his own personal happiness. Fortunately for him, Buffy is a brilliant woman who wasn’t about to let his obsessive tendencies get in the way of his happiness.

 

I hope you enjoy this couple’s love story and find in Her First Knight a new appreciation for our veterans and their loyalty to this country.

 

Note: there was one other happy coincidence in the plotting of these books – attending a romance conference strip bingo event in Las Vegas. What fun!

 

 

** To one commenter, I’ll send a paperback of Her First Knight.  But the perfect way to catch up on the Larue series is to pick up the new Storm Lake Larue Box Set available at all retailers for #kobo #kindle #Ibooks and #nook and more. **

 

Her First Knight web NEW final 03302016 copy 

Blurb:

He’s the one, and everyone knows it but him.

Buffy Calloway is looking for the face of her new cover model agency. The man she chooses will be crucial to its success. When she spots the sexy cover model on the strip bingo stage she knows he’s the one, and not just for her business.

 

Ridge got on stage through a huge error in judgment and if he manages to get out of this predicament with his reputation in tact —and his clothes—he won’t wind up in the limelight again risking everything that’s crucial to so many.

 

Buffy wonders – who is she to argue with Ridge’s noble cause — but she doesn’t see why his goals and hers should be mutually exclusive. Could this be the first time a Calloway is wrong?

 

 

Excerpt:

The morning after…

 

“He’s like some kind of stripper Robin Hood,” Diane said.

 

“Did you see the paper this morning?” Sally asked Buffy in a low voice. Diane and her friends had the Washington Post laid out in front of them. Had she really thought she’d escape by leaving her room?

 

“About what?” Buffy asked pretending ignorance. She wanted to close her eyes and wish it all away.

 

Cathy said, “The guy that impersonated Tucker? Seems he’s a rich muckity muck who’s been testifying in front of Congress. The media has made him out to be some kind of sex pervert.”

 

“Ridge?” Buffy’s heart sank. “That’s terrible.”

 

“Yeah, and the evil congresswoman who’s been giving him the third degree for the last two days said she knew there was something suspicious about him. I quote: ‘No one is as selfless as he pretends to be.’ She’s calling for an investigation.” Diane continued, “It says here he got a doctorate in Mechanical Bionics from MIT when he was seventeen! The guy’s a friggin’ Einstein. You just don’t think of geniuses looking like that.”

 

Sonya said, “More like da Vinci. What else?”

 

“He was recruited into the Army Rangers and ended up doing classified research and ‘on-site quality control’,” Diane read.

 

“In his work, that probably means on the battlefield,” Sally said.

 

“There’s another picture of him accepting an award from the President for his work with veterans.” Sonya looked at Buffy. “What was he was doing on that stage? It’s obvious he wasn’t a cover model.”

 

Sally said, “It might be obvious now, but he was my favorite of the cover models. I was shocked when the real Tucker showed up and we found out this guy wasn’t even in the industry. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to have him on one of my Seal Team Extraction covers. He seems like such a nice man, too. Did you know he gave me a donation for my Wounded Warrior fund?” Sally’s readers had raised thousands for the WWP.

 

“Maybe it was a publicity stunt that had to do with this hearing, the bill he’s trying to get support for,” Claranne Braxton suggested, her eyes brightening as if she was on to something.

 

“Wait a minute,” Sally said, suddenly alert. “What bill is that?”

 

Sonya leaned over Diane’s shoulder, “Looks like it’s a bill for some kind of cooperative, MiliCare H.R. 6159?”

 

Sally slapped her forehead with her palm. “Are you kidding me? That’s him?” She grabbed her purse. “I don’t know why I didn’t put it together. He’s R. Romano of… here it is.” She slapped the article on the table. Claranne read it aloud.

 

 

With the passage of H.R. 6159, the new consortium group will ease some of the financial stress on the VA’s already imploding budgetary problems and provide medical care to veterans. Ridge Romano, the architect of the proposal said, “Government funds have been slashed repeatedly and our servicemen and women should not have to fight for their rightful treatment when they are fighting for their health and their very lives.”

 

 

Romano quoted President Lincoln: “The mission for government is ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.’ I ask you, can these values be accomplished by our current government system which is stretched beyond its founders’ imaginings? The government is over burdened, and our veterans are paying the price but private companies and professionals in every field are ready and willing to fill the gap. This bill will be a step toward better lives for our vets.

 

They deserve it. We owe it to them. Don’t let them down.”

 

“Wow,” Sonja said. “I can’t believe he was the man on that stage.”

 

But the article only affirmed Buffy’s feelings. She’d known, even that first night, that Ridge Romano was a man in a million. And, he was the one for her.

 

 

Her First Knight Buy Links:

Amazon  http://amzn.to/1q3eD7w

 

All Romance http://bit.ly/22VRJxu

 

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/22VRJxu

 

Itunes http://apple.co/21PwrDJ

 

Kobo http://bit.ly/1U46pX9

 

Look for the Storm Lake Box set Larue available now. http://bit.ly/1IZJ9r6

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

Author Biography:

Livia Quinn is a D.C. native living in Louisiana. She began pursuing her dream of publication after a layoff and a little known event called Katrina in 2005. With several interruptions in her career, all involving weather, it’s only natural that storms would be at the center of many of her stories. She is a business owner and professional singer, salesperson, plant manager, computer trainer, and mail lady. She has written eight books based in the communities surrounding Storm Lake— an infamous, though fictional lake in Southern Louisiana. She has never met a Tempestaerie or a sexy Aussie gem hunter, but she recently met some hunky cover models in the name of ‘research’ so see…Anything Can Happen!

 

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter www.twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Website www.liviaquinn.com

Sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/1TfBMe9

All book links http://liviaquinn.com/books.html

 

 

Time-Travelling Author @WestonAndrew Divulges His Top 10 Films #Books


My name is Andrew P. Weston. I’m a time-travelling author from the future, hiding a dark and mysterious past, who currently finds himself kicking his heels in the present with nothing to do except study the cultural impact films have had on the many generations I’ve enjoyed visiting. Flitting back and forth through the spacetime continuum has its perks. Only last week, (thirty years from now), I was able to feast on such treats as: Star Wars XXIV – A Continuing Menace; The Fast and the Furiously Repetitive 19; and Die – Hard to Kill This Franchise Off.

 

Here are my top ten picks of worthy, thought provoking films from your era:

 

  1. Wuthering Heights – the original. Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. A timeless epic, capturing the mood of bitter angst, class division, inequality and all-consuming love.
  2. The King and I: Debora Kerr & Yul Brynner. You cannot beat the pomp and ceremony of the original. Fantastic setting. Brilliant cast. Awesome entertainment. “Shall we dance…?”
    Interesting Fact: Yul Brynner is one of only a handful of people ever to have won an Academy and Tony Award for the same role.
  3. The Forbidden Planet: Leslie Nielsen and Walter Pidgeon. Now this was decades ahead of its time. The forerunner for so many science fiction wannabes that never achieved the same standard.
  4.  The Ten Commandments: Charlton Heston. An absolute epic, and out of this world for special effects in its day. Far superior to later attempts to cover the same material…(And another film Yul Brynner popped up in? The sly old fox).
  5. Saving Private Ryan: Tom Hanks and a vast cast. Gritty, realistic. As an ex serviceman who has seen combat, it truly moved me, as I felt it accurately portrayed how cruel war can be, and how true heroes are forged. They’re just ordinary boys – and nowadays girls – from next door who answer the call, face their fears, and accomplish something extraordinary. Sadly, not all of them make it home. Never forget…we owe our freedom and liberty to their sacrifices.
  6. Way Out West: Laurel & Hardy. Good old-fashioned nostalgic fun. I love the tickling scene, and you can see Rosina Lawrence trying not to laugh and grinning from ear to ear when they recorded it. (I wonder how many takes that took.) And an excellent reminder that a truly entertaining film doesn’t need all the fancy gimmicks they have nowadays. Speaking of which…
  7. The Matrix: Keanu Reeves and many others. Outstanding.
    Interesting fact: You do know it explains the truth about reality, don’t you? We all have that feeling that something’s not quite…?
  8.  Bladerunner: Harrison Ford , Rutger Hauer and others. “I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe…” (But I don’t want to talk about what I did last weekend). The hidden subtext and moral dilemma this excellent noir sci-fi classic portrayed will – I’m sure – survive the test of time. A truly poignant film.
  9.  Grease: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Don’t cringe…I know you can sing all the words to every song…exactly like I can J (Tell me more…?)
  10.  The Devil Wears Prada: Meryl Streep. Anne Hathaway. Emily Blunt. What can I say? I have an eye for things that will never go out of fashion. (Sniff, sniff… “Has one of today’s readers been eating an onion bagel?”

 

IXExordium-Large

 

Title: Exordium of Tears

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: The Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

Fight or die.

 

That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.

 

But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.

 

The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.

 

Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.

 

Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.

 

Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.

 

A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.

 

It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.

 

Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…

 

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

Excerpt:

The cavern’s vaulted interior resonated with silence. More than a hundred yards wide, it was a natural feature etched from living rock by the slow and patient attrition of running water over thousands of years. As time passed the wellsprings ran dry, and the chamber gradually drained. Once barren, the cavity lay undiscovered for millennia until explorers from a faraway world happened upon it during their initial surveys prior to colonization.

Recognizing its value, those adventurers adapted the character of the gallery to suit their own purposes, transposing its simple grandeur into a wonderland of startling complexity and delight.

Yet even this transformation had been a long, long time ago, and for many years now the facility remained abandoned.

Although subdued, illumination was still afforded by a swarm of ethereal holographic constructs. Of unknown purpose, these nevertheless had been rigged to serve the mechanism dominating the cavern’s center.

Here, a circular dais more than twenty yards across rose from the floor. Above it, a pair of gleaming U-shaped collars hung suspended in midair. Each measured over fifty feet in length and were positioned so that their open arms bowed toward each other. Within the expanse of their embrace, a tear challenged the authority of spacetime itself. Appearing like a DNA helix, it slowly revolved around its own axis, warping reality to its will. A gentle breeze flowed toward the rent from each of the cavern’s exits, betraying the presence of a subtle vacuum.

Blip — blip — blip!

Harsh in the silence, a warning tone blurted from one of the control stations closest to the feature. Two adjacent projectors flickered to life. As their emitters focused on a condensed shimmering fog of ionized gas, a series of complex equations appeared. The beams intensified, and a stream of translucent symbols scrolled down the misty page.

“Anomaly detected,” a voice announced. “Please stand by . . .”

Background generators kicked in. A steady whine signaled the buildup of impressive potential.

“Target recognized and locked. Quantum tunnel initialized. Temporal sheath established. Safety overrides engaged . . .”

An oscillating tone added deeper counterpoints to the coalescing energies. Underlying vibrations increased dramatically. Static sparks jumped out to scratch at the invisible plane lurking between the brackets. Lightning flashed, once, twice, then the void yawned wide and a tornado of warped sensibilities bloomed forth in a churning bore that somehow encompassed both pelagic and volcanic attributes.

“Gateway activated. Spectral sensors primed. Data retrieval will commence in three, two, one . . . Downloading.”

A surrounding halo of ancillary equipment lent its weight to the process, and by its light hitherto unnoticed features of the chamber stood revealed.

Unlike the rest of the control center, a large area along the western periphery was free of equipment. Desks, cabinets, and scanners occupying that zone had been smashed to pieces and thrown to one side to make room for the assortment of power cables trailing along the floor and into a wide pool of gelatinous goo.

The air above the mucus shivered gently, as if wallowing in the heat of a welcome zephyr. No sooner had the wormhole stabilized than the undulating curtain flared into a confusing amalgam of Orphic contradiction. Strontium-red passion vied against a well of midnight gloom. Magnesium-silver flares rushed to counter all-consuming darkness. And finally, neon-blue tendrils of scorching hot plasma contended the threat of everlasting obscurity. Such was the frenzy of the outburst that the atmosphere itself bristled, and nearby metallic objects clanged together as they became magnetized.

Hidden at the very edge of the visible spectrum, a nest of nightmare apparitions languished in hibernation. The commotion had disturbed their repose and triggered an instinctive reaction. Roused to the verge of consciousness, their glittering fangs snapped imaginary necks. Steaming talons twitched toward phantom aggressors. Huge great jaws opened, and piercing howls joined together in a cacophony of spine-tingling complaint. Several pairs of eyes fluttered open and in that instant, an overwhelming sense of barely suppressed rage and rabid hunger flooded the cavern with the promise of certain death.

“Cycle completed,” the same automated voice intoned.

The combined resonance of multiple stations shutting down droned through the gallery.

“Geodesic anchors retracted. Astrophasic tracking nodes disengaged. Gravity locks releasing in three, two, one . . . Mark.”

The humming swarm abruptly cut off.

“Returning to passive-scan mode. Info-packet prepared. End run . . . Execute.”

The hovering screens went blank, and the control room was thrown into darkness once more.

Deprived of the source of their agitation, the beasts’ emotions cooled, and they were soon lulled back toward slumber. The energized cloud hovering above the ectoplasm continued to ripple awhile longer, but it too eventually subsided into inactivity.

All was as it had been before, except that now, a brooding, heightened state of watchfulness pervaded the ether.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Exordium-Tears-IX-Andrew-Weston/dp/0996428992

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exordium-Tears-IX-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01AAFEU6O

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exordium-of-tears-andrew-p-weston/1123449634?ean=9780996428996

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

 

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

 

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: The Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

I’ve Been Runed: A Guest Post by Best-Selling Author @RuthACasie #Runes #Romance #MFRWAuthor


Rune Picture 1

 

I’ve Been Runed! A Guest Post by Ruth A. Casie

The first writing systems used by the Germanic people were runic alphabets. Like Egyptian hieroglyphics, runes were more letters each was an ideographic or pictographic symbol. To the Ancients, they were associated with the principles of power and write a rune was to invoke the force for which it stood.  The word rune means ‘letter,’ ‘secret’ or ‘mystery.’ Its original meaning may have been ‘hushed message.’

Runes, tied to the principles of power, had magical significance and were used to create spells and foretell the future.

In folklore, the runes were given to mankind by the Odin, the Norse God of mythology. He died and passed on to the afterlife where he gained wisdom and passed his new wisdom to his people in the form of Runes.

Runes date back to the first century  c.e. until well into the Middle Ages. The Roman alphabet became the preferred script in most of Europe.

 

Runes picture 2

 

We’ve learned that the runic alphabet is out outgrowth of two distinct sources—one magical and the other literate. Many Bronze Age rock carvings, primarily in Sweden, have pre-runic symbols.  Some of these symbols are alphabetic letters, while others represent ideas and concepts, sigils. These concepts were incorporated into the names of runes (sun, horse, etc.) and, unfortunately the meaning of these sigils and their purpose are lost to us. They were, however, believed to have been used for divination or lot casting. It’s believed that sigils contributed to the magical aspects of the later runic alphabets.

The name “futhark”, like the word “alphabet”, is derived from the first few letters in the runic sequence. The futhark originally consisted of 24 letters, beginning with F and ending with O, and was used by the northern Germanic tribes of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Northern Germany.  This is knows as the Elder, or Germanic Futhark forms of the runic alphabet.

Runes were used well into the 17th Century and were known by the common people who used them for simple runic spells. They also consulted them (like Tarot cards). Runes and the magical arts were banned in 1639 as part of the Church’s efforts to “drive the devil out of with Europe”.  The rune masters were either executed or went underground, and the knowledge of the runes appears to have died with them.  Some had the knowledge passed on in secret, but it is almost impossible to separate ancient traditions from more modern esoteric philosophies in such cases.

In my novel, Knight of Rapture, magical runes play a large part in the story. Rebeka must decode the runes and the ancient prophecy it hides to save all she loves.

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.

Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka and hope she regains her memory. He can’t save them both.

Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Knight of Rapture is part of the Druid Knight Series and is available at Amazon, B&N, KOBO and iBooks. For more information please visit my website at http://www.RuthACasie.com

How Author @LiviaQuinn Met Her Hero from Undone #romance #guestpost #IARTG


How I Met My Hero, Cass, from Undone…

He appeared out of the blue as I drove down the winding two lane boarded by two hundred-year-old Live Oaks. The abandoned white concrete building sat directly ahead of me. As I approached and turned my blinker on, he became oh, so clear. Cass McKay. An Aussie hunk, his straw hat tipped over his forehead, but not so much that I couldn’t see the brilliant blue flame of his eyes. Arms crossed over his chest, the evening sun skimmed the golden fur of his arms, and his legs below his khakis. He leaned against the wall, waiting, waiting… for me? No, because he wasn’t at the old country store in front of me. In my mind, he was resting on the wall of his beloved’s New Orleans design and antiquities store.

 

He probably thought he was pulling off the casual bit, but I knew better. I knew his heart. It had been a year since he’d lost Elektra and the set of his jaw told me he was determined to win her back. If the loss of her valuable gem had been the reason for their broken engagement, then he had the perfect bait. The Blood Opal was once more within his reach. All he needed was someone to nudge her back into his arms. Me.

 

I’d been running the mail all morning listening to Jesse Cook’s Breathing Below Surface and Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make you Love me if You Don’t and suddenly, there he was. In a little over two weeks their story was complete. Cass will forever be one of my favorite heroes. Who doesn’t love seeing a strong, handsome, independent alpha male brought to his knees by one special woman?

 

Cass may have looked all cocky and alpha propped against Elektra’s shop, but he was risking everything. Before meeting Elektra his plan had been to stay out of the “grasping clutches” of any woman, no matter how beautiful, how accommodating or how intriguing they might be. Elektra was beautiful, and intriguing didn’t even begin to describe her appeal – the word challenge did. Cass had always been up for a good challenge. After all, once the challenge was completed, the race won, the appeal was over, right? Wrong. This was the woman he’d risk his life for, no regrets. He’s 200% in for her love, because without her, he’s Undone.

 

Undone

 

Title: Undone

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Book Blurb:

One year ago, Antiquities dealer Elektra Charpentier lost the rarest opal she’d ever almost owned, and the only man she’d ever loved. Now he’s back.

 

 

Aussie gem hunter Cass McKay spent the last year searching for Elektra’s Blood Opal and a way back into her life and her heart. Now he has it. And he doesn’t intend to lose her again, because without her, he’s — U n d o n e.

 

Excerpt:

Brazil…

One a.m. found the bar deserted as Cass threw back a shot of Cachaca, the strong native rum, and quickly poured another. They were as prepared as they could be with eight college-age men, two older men, a part time cop, three women, Monty and him.

His emotions were running the gamut from anticipation to worry, hope to despair. In the days since he’d returned and the opal was within reach, Elektra had become companionable, even flirtatious, but he realized now her heart was only engaged during their lovemaking. She seemed determined to keep him at a distance.

He downed the rum but as Elektra approached he set the shot glass down gently, deliberately on the table.

She was dressed in a flowered calf length skirt and a gypsy peasant blouse she must have borrowed from Elena. Pretty, so pretty. He was torn. When he’d returned originally, he’d been sure that all he’d have to do was get the opal, and she’d be so grateful she’d throw herself into his arms. But gratitude was underrated, and she was already in his arms, using him for great sex while she awaited delivery of the opal. Cass couldn’t settle for gratitude.

“Hoist with my own petard,” he thought. An ache settled in his chest as he admitted the truth, finally. He kept waiting for her to take what he offered, to meet him halfway, commit to a relationship. But it was no use— all she wanted was the opal.

He picked up the bottle.

“Pour me one will you?” Elektra said as she sat in the chair next to him and extended her glass.

Pouring them both one, he waited while she tossed the strong liquor back, squeezed her eyes closed for a second and extended her glass. “More.” His eyebrows inched up. She appeared to be on a mission and needed a couple stiff ones to accomplish it.

“Better go easy, if you want to tag along tomorrow.” He squinted at her, wondering what she was up to.

“I can handle it if you can,” she said, the plump swells of her breasts delineated by the gathered bodice. Sex, that’s all she wanted. His anger flared and he snapped. He’d teach her a lesson, show her he wasn’t her plaything.

He grabbed her wrist and yanked her after him. “Hey.” She half-heartedly resisted as he strode down the hallway. “I had something I wanted to talk to you about.”

Yanking the door open to their room, he threw her on the bed. “Don’t play games with me, I’m not in the mood.”

“I can see that, so why bring me here? You were on your way to a good drunk.”

“And what are you afraid of—that I’ll be too hung over to get your damned opal? That’s all you care about anyway. You’re driving me stark ravin’ bonkers.”

“Well, you’re the one who insisted on finding the frickin’ thing again, so why don’t you just forget it? Who’s pushing you? Let Vargas keep it.” Her voice hitched.

Right, Cass thought. She didn’t want him to do that. What was this, reverse psychology? He growled, capturing her wrists in one hand. His mouth came down in a hard possessive kiss.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon 

ARe

Nook

CreateSpace 

Goodreads

iBooks

Inkterra

Kobo 

Page Foundry

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Author Biography:

I’m Livia Quinn, a DC native and transplant to Louisiana where the people and environment inspired my Storm Lake series. On Storm Lake West you’ll find the Destiny Paramortals, a cozy paranormal series with a cast of quirky characters. And on the East end, contemporary military romance and romantic suspense – ex-military guys and sexy cover models who are committed to their community.

 

Sign up for my newsletter to be included in giveaways new release alerts at http://liviaquinn.com or click here.

 

Social Media:

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Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

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Worldbuilding – Keeping Things Real (Guest Post) by @WestonAndrew #writingtips #amwriting #SFF


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Worldbuilding – Keeping Things Real: A Guest Post by International Best-Selling Author Andrew Weston

One of my “pet things” when it comes to writing, is what many people now refer to as, worldbuilding, the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set your adventure. What’s a shame is the fact that sometimes, authors don’t put enough effort into creating a setting for their stories, something that contain sufficient coherent qualities such as history, geography, ecology and suchlike. Yet, this is a key task, especially for novelists like me who concentrate on science fiction and fantasy.

 

So, how do I do it?

 

I usually begin from the top down. What does that mean? It means I devise a general overview of the world in which I’m going to set my creation and then I start working inwards. Here’s a broad example:

 
I begin by considering…where is the world situated? Who are its inhabitants and what is their history? What level of technology do they possess? What geographical features does their planet have how does this affect things like climate and skin tone?

 
Once I’ve determined those facets, I start to increase smaller details. Personally, I sketch out several maps or ship schematics, and refine them as I go along. It gives me a sense of time and scale, especially if different groups of protagonists and antagonists clash. I also find this method allows me to build well-integrated societies, which in turn, reflects a superior level of quality and realism within the story itself.

 

 

I also like to approach my creation from the perspective of a game. Why? Well, since the world I create will provide the foundation for everything that takes place in it – (my concept – the characters – all the various threads and plots I want to weave together) – I want to make sure it’s as sound as possible, and affords the reader the possibility of enchantment as they try to recreate my vision in their own minds. Yes, I want them to lose themselves in my imaginary world, I want them to connect and bring it to life.

 
To do this, I even go so far as to construct actual languages, flora and fauna, behavioral and migratory patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drown the reader in detail, but I have it ready – at my beck and call, so to speak – so I can add the little touches here and there that makes the narrative sparkle.

 

 

I like to think of my stories as rough diamonds. To begin with, I’ve got an absolute gem of an idea. But it’s rough and lackluster. I need to examine it closely and buff it up with worldbuilding. Decide what to cut and where to spend time grinding and polishing. As it gets into the final stages, I make sure each facet gleams and that there’s a depth and perspective you won’t see until you’ve viewed all the angles.

 

 

One of the main ingredients in my imaginary worlds is the “keep it real” ethic. I’m fortunate to be a Master of Astronomy. So, when I devise my fictional worlds, I base futuristic technology on the very latest theoretical science. Think about what’s been in the news over the past year or so: teleportation was the stuff of pure science fiction not so long ago, but now, scientists can transport quantum packets of information through the ether with remarkable clarity and accuracy; we can levitate objects; have artificial air scrubbers that make the foulest environment breathable; there are engines under development that researchers are sure will punch us to Mars in a matter of weeks, not months.

 
All these things help me stretch the imagination that little bit further, so my readers can seriously consider…“Yes, the citizens of Arden – thousands of years in advance of our own – use everyday constructs that we are only just delving into. I can believe that.” Once you establish the connection, you’ve got your readers hooked…

 
You see? Keeping things real helps reel them in.

 

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Title: Exordium of Tears

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Fight or die.

 

That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.

 

But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.

 

The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.

 

Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.

 

Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.

 

Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.

 

A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.

 

It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.

 

Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…

 

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

Excerpt:

The cavern’s vaulted interior resonated with silence. More than a hundred yards wide, it was a natural feature etched from living rock by the slow and patient attrition of running water over thousands of years. As time passed the wellsprings ran dry, and the chamber gradually drained. Once barren, the cavity lay undiscovered for millennia until explorers from a faraway world happened upon it during their initial surveys prior to colonization.

Recognizing its value, those adventurers adapted the character of the gallery to suit their own purposes, transposing its simple grandeur into a wonderland of startling complexity and delight.

Yet even this transformation had been a long, long time ago, and for many years now the facility remained abandoned.

Although subdued, illumination was still afforded by a swarm of ethereal holographic constructs. Of unknown purpose, these nevertheless had been rigged to serve the mechanism dominating the cavern’s center.

Here, a circular dais more than twenty yards across rose from the floor. Above it, a pair of gleaming U-shaped collars hung suspended in midair. Each measured over fifty feet in length and were positioned so that their open arms bowed toward each other. Within the expanse of their embrace, a tear challenged the authority of spacetime itself. Appearing like a DNA helix, it slowly revolved around its own axis, warping reality to its will. A gentle breeze flowed toward the rent from each of the cavern’s exits, betraying the presence of a subtle vacuum.

Blip — blip — blip!

Harsh in the silence, a warning tone blurted from one of the control stations closest to the feature. Two adjacent projectors flickered to life. As their emitters focused on a condensed shimmering fog of ionized gas, a series of complex equations appeared. The beams intensified, and a stream of translucent symbols scrolled down the misty page.

“Anomaly detected,” a voice announced. “Please stand by . . .”

Background generators kicked in. A steady whine signaled the buildup of impressive potential.

“Target recognized and locked. Quantum tunnel initialized. Temporal sheath established. Safety overrides engaged . . .”

An oscillating tone added deeper counterpoints to the coalescing energies. Underlying vibrations increased dramatically. Static sparks jumped out to scratch at the invisible plane lurking between the brackets. Lightning flashed, once, twice, then the void yawned wide and a tornado of warped sensibilities bloomed forth in a churning bore that somehow encompassed both pelagic and volcanic attributes.

“Gateway activated. Spectral sensors primed. Data retrieval will commence in three, two, one . . . Downloading.”

A surrounding halo of ancillary equipment lent its weight to the process, and by its light hitherto unnoticed features of the chamber stood revealed.

Unlike the rest of the control center, a large area along the western periphery was free of equipment. Desks, cabinets, and scanners occupying that zone had been smashed to pieces and thrown to one side to make room for the assortment of power cables trailing along the floor and into a wide pool of gelatinous goo.

The air above the mucus shivered gently, as if wallowing in the heat of a welcome zephyr. No sooner had the wormhole stabilized than the undulating curtain flared into a confusing amalgam of Orphic contradiction. Strontium-red passion vied against a well of midnight gloom. Magnesium-silver flares rushed to counter all-consuming darkness. And finally, neon-blue tendrils of scorching hot plasma contended the threat of everlasting obscurity. Such was the frenzy of the outburst that the atmosphere itself bristled, and nearby metallic objects clanged together as they became magnetized.

Hidden at the very edge of the visible spectrum, a nest of nightmare apparitions languished in hibernation. The commotion had disturbed their repose and triggered an instinctive reaction. Roused to the verge of consciousness, their glittering fangs snapped imaginary necks. Steaming talons twitched toward phantom aggressors. Huge great jaws opened, and piercing howls joined together in a cacophony of spine-tingling complaint. Several pairs of eyes fluttered open and in that instant, an overwhelming sense of barely suppressed rage and rabid hunger flooded the cavern with the promise of certain death.

“Cycle completed,” the same automated voice intoned.

The combined resonance of multiple stations shutting down droned through the gallery.

“Geodesic anchors retracted. Astrophasic tracking nodes disengaged. Gravity locks releasing in three, two, one . . . Mark.”

The humming swarm abruptly cut off.

“Returning to passive-scan mode. Info-packet prepared. End run . . . Execute.”

The hovering screens went blank, and the control room was thrown into darkness once more.

Deprived of the source of their agitation, the beasts’ emotions cooled, and they were soon lulled back toward slumber. The energized cloud hovering above the ectoplasm continued to ripple awhile longer, but it too eventually subsided into inactivity.

All was as it had been before, except that now, a brooding, heightened state of watchfulness pervaded the ether.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Exordium-Tears-IX-Andrew-Weston/dp/0996428992

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exordium-Tears-IX-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01AAFEU6O

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exordium-of-tears-andrew-p-weston/1123449634?ean=9780996428996

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

 

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

 

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

 

Want to be on the Cover of a Romance Novel? Enter to Win Today! @shailstock #MFRWAuthor #Contest


How many romance novels have you read? For me, it’s been thousands. Before I began writing, I was a 20-book a month reader. Now, I spend time writing, reading and promoting my romance novels.  I’ve written over thirty-five novels and novellas and have a wealth of ideas for books still to write.

There are several questions always asked of writers. One of the most common has to do with the cover of the book. Who’s the model? Did you (me, the author) choose the model? And the one question I love; Did you pose for the cover? (Answer: no.)

However, this last question sparked an interest for me and I came up with a promotional idea that would make that dream a reality for one lucky winner.

At this moment, I’m promoting a contest that will garner the winner a place on the cover of one of my romance novels. They’ll also get an expense paid trip, a make-up session, photo shoot, and more. The contest runs from now through April 30, 2016.

Have you ever wondered about the models on the cover of romance novels?  Are they professionals or regular people?  You could be one.  I’m running a contest to choose a person to appear on the cover of one of my novels.  You can find all the details at http://www.yourfaceonaromancenovel.com?link_list=2079324 where you can read the official rules and find the entry form.

If you want to be on the cover, know someone who does, have a daughter, son, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, son, or other friend or relative interested in the contest, keep reading…

Before you go to the link, here are some of the perks.  The contest is open to anyone (male/female) 18 years or older, regarding of size, age, color or ethnicity, from the forty-eight contiguous states of the United States of America.  We’ll fly you to the Princeton, NJ area.

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Add ground transportation to get you around the cities, towns, and municipalities of our state. Then we’ll install you in a beautiful hotel.

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Where you’ll relax and eat at the best restaurants.  (There may be a couple of surprises related to the meals, but I can’t say what they are now.)

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At this point, the real fun begins.  First the makeover.  A professional makeup artist will apply your makeup to perfection.

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Next is the photo shoot.  (smile.)  We’ve hired a professional photographer to spend time taking your picture from every angle.  He/She will get the best shot(s).

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And a little while later, you’ll find yourself on the cover of a romance novel. Tentatively, the romance is titled Having the Genius’s Baby.  (Of course, that is subject to change.)  Give it a try. There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

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Go to the website http://www.yourfaceonaromancenovel.com and sign up.  Be sure to read the official rules.

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Title: Having the Genius’s Baby

 

Author: Shirley Hailstock

 

Genre: Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Dr. Elizabeth Stone’s biological clock is ticking and she wants to have a baby.  Not just any baby, a genius child.  The product of genius parents herself, her child will mark a third generation.  After researching genius men, she approaches Hunter Thorpe with an indecent proposal.  They should have a child together.  She knows he’s not interested in children, so afterward he’s out of the picture and the child is totally hers.  She has a contract ready for him to sign forfeiting any parental rights.

 

As drunken college sophomores, Hunter made a pack with four of his buddies that they would all be married or have been married by the end of their ten-year reunion.  If not, they’d have to donate half of their current net worth to the other three.  As the hero had a serious girlfriend at the time, and he was drunk, the agreement meant nothing to him.  Now as he appropriates the end of his 31st year and the reunion is looming, he gets a letter reminding him of the stakes.  With a net worth in the billions, Hunter needs a wife to keep his empire and to complete a very lucrative deal.

Will her plan work?  Will his?  Or will Hunter and Elizabeth discover there a relationship is more than the sum of its parts?

 

Excerpt:

Elizabeth Stone’s heart hammered as if she’d run a marathon.  Perched on the edge of the chair, she closed her eyes and exhaled a long breath.  With her hand on her chest, she tried to quiet the insistent pounding.  She wanted to run, escape into the anonymity of the hall and down the elevator to the freedom of the crowded New York street.  Instead she sat in the reception area outside Hunter Thorpe’s office.  She’d already spoken to his secretary and been announced.

Thorpe knew she was here.

The point of no return was behind her.  It had happened the moment she dropped the letter in the post box a full week ago.

She had to go through with it now.  She crossed her legs but one foot began to bounce, so she planted them flat on the sage colored carpet.  Elizabeth hadn’t been this nervous since she stood before the thesis committee defending her doctoral dissertation.

Sitting still and waiting was not her forte.  Elizabeth was more comfortable in her lab, working out biochemical combinations, than waiting to talk to a man she had never met, yet with whom she would become intimately connected.  Her fingers drummed on the chair arm.  Maybe she should have asked for this interview at another place.  Her first consideration was to see Hunter Thorpe at his home, but the place was a fortress.  Then she figured his home would give him too much of a social advantage.  Restaurants or bars were too noisy and she was apt to be overheard.  What she wanted to discuss with him required privacy.  Mentally shaking herself, Elizabeth gathered her courage.  After all, she had a business deal to present.  It should be conducted in a business office.

With confidence.

And courage.

She silently scolded herself for lacking both areas.

Standing up she walked to the huge set of windows overlooking the city.  Thorpe’s office was on the fortieth floor.  It was the top one and forty stories was short by New York skyscraper standards, but he owned the entire structure.  Rent alone would put him in the billion dollar club.

Elizabeth squeezed and released her hands.  What was taking so long, she wondered?  She had a mind to leave.  She could go to the desk and tell the secretary she remembered another appointment and that she’d reschedule.  Or she could offer no explanation – cancel and leave with an attitude of annoyance for being kept waiting.  She checked her watch.  It was only three minutes past their appointed time.  Changing her mind, she decided she couldn’t retreat after coming this far, after going through all the planning and research and decision making.

Hunter Thorpe was the one.

Returning to her seat, Elizabeth focused on the man.  A month ago she’d sat on the floor of her living room, looking at photos.  She hadn’t wanted to be influenced by physical appearance, so all her prior evaluations had been clinical, done without visuals.  Priorities and eliminations made on scientific details.  Finally she’d come to the point where she needed to see the candidates.  Thorpe’s was the fourth 8 x 10 glossy she’d laid out on the white rug in front of her.  She looked at the face of the man staring up from the photo.  “Oooo,” she breathed, her reaction coming of its own accord.  He had good bone structure, a strong chin, a direct stare.  But more than that, he was delicious.  His eyes bore into hers.  What was his name?

Turning to the notes on the back, she read – Hunter Thorpe.  “Wow, even his name is sexy, strong sounding.  And look at those shoulders,” she said aloud wiggling her own shoulders and thinking of being enclosed in his arms.  Just what she needed.

In the photo, he wore a business suit, dark gray with pin striping.  It had to be made for him.  No one could get those exact body specifications off the rack.  And the  specifics were all in the right places.  Gorgeous and highly intelligent, she thought reading his I.Q. of 170.  Other than the building, he owned his own business, a global energy company whose technics and products were becoming the market leader.  Elizabeth put him in the review pile, and after several days of prioritization, the list was sorted and Hunter Thorpe remained at the head of the class.

Elizabeth glanced at the door to his office.  It was intricately carved, made of polished wood and contained a gold plate with only name on it.  No title.  No word “private” printed in bold and italics under his name.  Only the block letters announcing to the world that this was his private sanctuary.  Of course, everyone knew who he was.  A title would be superfluous.  And apparently he was confident enough not to need one.

She wondered if his personality would live up to the reports she’d read on him.  Written reports couldn’t take the place of actual physical observation, but it appeared that Thorpe was a man who knew his mind and often got what he wanted.  He was a leader and a genius.  According to her requirements, he had everything she was looking for.  All she needed to do was convince him to fall in line with her plan.

And that was about to happen.

 

Buy Links: Not available at this time

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Author Biography:

Shirley Hailstock began her writing life as a lover of reading.  She likes nothing better than to get lost in a book, explore new worlds and visit places she never expected to see.  As an author, she can not only visit those places, but she can be the heroine of her own stories.  A past president of Romance Writers of America, Shirley’s has authored 35 books and won many awards and accolades for her work.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ShirleyHailstockFan/

Twitter – @shailstock

Tumblr – https://www.tumblr.com/blog/shailstock

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/shailstock/

Wattpad – https://www.wattpad.com/user/shailstock

 

*** All images in this post were given to the blog/website owner by Shirley Hailstock and this blog/website is not responsible for copyright(s), if applicable. ***

The Morphology of Storm Lake: A Guest Post by @LiviaQuinn #books #IARTG #MFRWAuthor


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What goes into creating an author’s world? In the case of Storm Lake, it’s personal…

When I was two, my parents took me to a 4th of July fireworks celebration in DC where I grew up. We left early. My father thought that was where my fear of storms began.

Fast forward to my first month in the South, when Mississippi suffered a record breaking tornado outbreak. Tornados were “walking the interstate” about a half mile from my apartment. I looked out my window in the dark, listening to the wind, asking myself, “Is that a train?” and wondering what kind of train noise I was supposed to recognize, the whistle or the clackety-clack of the wheels on the rails. It was horrifying.

Forward again to a town on the Mississippi River when I was performing in a bar on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the river, next to a wall of floor to ceiling windows as low gray clouds skidded past. In the middle of a Bonnie Raitt song with six couples hanging on every note and lyric, lightning struck a transformer across the river and light exploded through the room like a nuclear blast. The next thing I knew I was crawling across the carpet in my slinky black dress, my guitar was on the floor, my belt in a customer’s lap and the bartender was telling someone downstairs that the singer was having a nervous breakdown.

After a layoff in 2005, I decided to start writing my stories down. Each was set in a small town near a large lake in the South, possibly South Carolina. Then, Katrina hit here followed by Rita, and the following year when I was delivering the mail as a rural carrier, Gustav. That’s when my Rural Carrier Mystery/ Romance became a story about a storm witch/mail carrier who controls the weather, and Storm Lake was born. It’s rather cathartic for me to have a character who can control that which I fear, severe weather, and especially lightning 😉

Whether it’s Contemporary Romance on the east end or Cozy Paranormal on the west… dive in to Storm Lake… you won’t want to leave.

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On the west side of Storm Lake in the middle of a super pulse of leylines lies Destiny, home to the Destiny Paramortals, a group of tempestaeries, fae, djnn, and others who are bound by an ancient pact to protect weaker species – like humans.  Unknown to the other communities outside of Destiny is the role the Paramortals have in keeping them safe.

 

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Storm Crazy (book one) is on sale for $.99

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Here’s a small spotlight on Cry Me A River (book two)

 

Blurb:

 

As the Paramoon approaches, time is running out for River, and the attraction that was growing between me and Sheriff Jack Lang derailed after he got his first glimpse of my Paramortal “talents” – a few measly bolts of lightning aimed at his—in his general direction. In the course of the investigation we’ve gone from attraction to suspicion, support to friendship, romance to oh-my-god-get-away-from-me revulsion. Jack says he wants to know “everything”. After we answer all his questions, he’ll either join us or grab his daughter and take the first jet out of Middle Earth.

 

He might help me save my brother and discover the whereabouts of my parents, but he probably won’t still want to take me to the Mardi Gras ball, once he knows “everything”. There’s a lot of “everything”.

 

 

Excerpt:

 

I asked Montana if she’d seen Aurora.

“She’s over there. Sitting next to Jane.”

Across the room, dressed in the gaudiest multicolored outfit I’d ever seen, was Jane. It was styled strictly to grab attention.

“That getup came straight out of the circus.”

Aurora sat at the other end, plain midnight cloth stretched over the table.  She was dressed in her usual understated elegance. For the ball it was a shimmering pearlescent shift, two matching crystals dangling from her ears to touch her shoulder blades, her long black and silver hair loose and flowing, and only the amulet as decoration. The contrast between the two “fortune tellers” couldn’t have been more stark.

Aurora sent me a smile, the corner of her mouth turned up as if to say, I can’t believe I’m doing this. We knew that if not for a great cause, one near and dear to Montana’s heart, she wouldn’t have been caught dead this close to Jane Fortune. To her left in front of a backdrop of glittering stars, crescent moons and happy suns was Jane, two hundred and thirty pounds squished into a five-foot frame.

Jane’s dark hair was covered in a purple velvet and gold paisley turban with a green stone pasted in the center of her forehead. She’d used eyeliner from her bottom lids nearly to her eyebrows making her eyes appear to be empty black holes. Her caftan was cheap purple taffeta and Jane had pulled the crisscrossed ties until the fleshy mounds of her chest threatened to tear the fabric. She had honed her craft, and was armed with all of her standard psychic paraphernalia on hand—oversized tarot cards, a tray of candles, a green “gazing ball” identical to one I’d seen in the garden section at Walmart.

Her throat, ears and fingers were adorned with so much jewelry it was a wonder she could sit upright. Besides her name, two other obvious “tells” spoke of her charlatan status, the most visible, the line of mismatched fan bulbs encircling the poster of sun, moon and stars on the panel behind her. Most telling, the tiny red flame flickering from within the gazing ball, in the silhouette of a Christmas candle, complete with an electric cord that ran from the ball to the wall.

Yeah. Very mystical.

I looked down at the nameplate in front of Jane. “Look.” I pointed to the table label. Montana snickered.

Jane’s hand-printed card read: Have your Fortune told by a real Psycho.

 

 

Buy Links: Available at all book retailers

 

Get buy links here http://liviaquinn.com/books.html

 

Or Amazon

 

Merry Christmas, Baby https://amazon.com/dp/B01922WCB6

Storm Warning http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016TQFRJW

Storm Crazy      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L02VHE0

Cry Me a River http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O2I8X8M

Eve of Chaos    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q39GBS2

Blame it on the Moon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012X9HWJC

Author Central http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KPDXXE2

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Hi, I’m Livia Quinn. With a life long fascination (read that:phobia) of storms, and living in Louisiana where severe weather is a part of life, it was only natural that it would play a big part in my world. The farther east you go the more weather you see and the less paranormal the stories are. But that doesn’t mean there’s no magic. What would life be like without a little magic?

 

Visit the world of Storm Lake on my website and view a glossary of terms, character list, map and a tourism brochure. But please note: Storm Lake exists only in my fertile mind.

 

 

Social Media Links:

 

Sign up for my newsletter at http://liviaquinn.com  to be included in prizes and news. View the Storm Lake pages for a map of Storm Lake as well as character lists and glossaries.

 

Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

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Twitter     @LiviaQuinn

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Independent Author Network http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/livia-quinn.html