Thursday, March 28, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Destiny’s Shadow by Ann Gimpel


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this promotion. I have the author of Destiny's Shadow and Out of the Shadows, Ann Gimpel, sharing her life as a writer. Welcome!

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The Writing Life

Isn't anything like I thought it would be. I suppose I had this romanticized picture in my mind of curling up in front of my computer and turning out, well, stuff. That part has come true. I do write stories--and novels/novellas, too. I truly love that part. There's nothing better than being lost in the creative process where characters are alive in my head and the other world--the real one--fades into insignificance.

There are all those other parts, though. The ones I really didn't know much about beforehand. I've taught myself to be a better self-editor. I've gotten better at researching markets for my stories. Not much point in sending a sci fi short to a market that publishes predominantly horror. Also not much point sending high fantasy to a market that wants an urban slant. I’ve developed more understanding of the romance formula where the romance is the story.

The short story markets are interesting. In many ways it's like trying to hit a moving target with no feedback. If you send them something that looks a lot like what they publish, they often figure there's too much sameness in their stories. "Yes, we want sword and sorcery, but we've had too many stories with ______________ (fill in the blank). We want something else now. Surprise us." Sometimes I'm amazed I've had as many shorts published as I have.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing paranormal romance novellas. Some are shorter, closer to twenty thousand words with other ranging from thirty to as much as fifty. A bit long in the tooth for a novella, but my publisher is happy with them. There’s something compelling about strong, alpha males and competent women who find one another and ride off into the sunset smiling.

Whether I'm writing, editing or researching markets, I'm pretty happy all in all. The part of things I am far less fond of is marketing. For one thing I don't understand it very well. That's not surprising since practically anything I pick up to read to educate myself says something contradictory. Some books say to develop a social media presence. Others say it doesn't matter. That dichotomy is true for any marketing strategy including advertising. So, I do FB, Goodreads, and Twitter. I keep up my website and my blog. I try to remember Google+ when I post things.

From what I've seen, it seems to me that the publishing industry is like any other. It's not what you know, or even how well you write. It's who you know. If you know the right people, doors open. From that perspective, the best strategy is to keep on writing and develop a body of work.

My other epiphany about marketing is this: Every job I’ve ever had has had at least one aspect I didn’t care much for. That aspect was always critical to success. In psychology, it was keeping decent medical records. In mountain climbing, it was packing food. Too much and people complained their packs were too heavy. Too little and people bitched because they were hungry. See where I’m going with this?

I’ll admit to my love/hate relationship with marketing, but it is improving as I do more of it. How about you? What things are critical to success in your business? How do you cope with things that make you feel crazy? Really, I’d like to know.

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About the Author
Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers her solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

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Destiny's Shadow Available Now!

A ranger for the U.S. Park Service, strong, competent Moira Shaughnessy is in serious trouble. Fleeing from her cheating husband, a Native American shaman, she stumbles into the arms of a man she never thought she’d see again. He hurt her once by choosing his druid heritage over her. Can she take a chance on him now?

Pursuing very different motives, both men follow her deep into the backcountry. Moira is caught in the crossfire between Celtic magic and Native American shamanism. A freak blizzard compounds her problems, taxing her survival skills to the max. Against the specter of almost-certain death, the sweetest, purest love she’s ever known rises to the fore, engulfing her in unbelievable passion.

Out of the Shadows Now Available!

Relegated to a shadowy existence of half-truths, Gwendolyn lives in fear her wolf side will be discovered. She leaves the Old Country with Hunters nipping at her heels, but things in the Americas aren’t any better. Eighteenth-century society is just not kindly disposed to either shifters or witches.

Mikhail, the love of her life—except the relationship always felt pretty one-sided—has been missing for a hundred years. When he shows up after escaping imprisonment from an Abbey in Austria, Gwendolyn is ecstatic to see him. But she’s afraid nothing’s really changed. Victimized by superstition and running for her life, she’s sure she’ll never be able to emerge from the shadows.


REVIEW: Destiny’s Shadow by Ann Gimpel

Recap:

Moira is a park ranger and she throws herself into work to escape her cheating shaman husband, but inadvertently runs into an old flame. She and Tim split under less than stellar circumstances and running into him again has old feelings stirring again. During a horrific winter storm, they’ll rediscover their love, and find they’ll need Tim’s druid heritage if they want to survive both the storm and her husband’s vengeance.

Title:  Destiny's Shadow
Series:  N/A
Book #: N/A
Author:  Ann Gimpel
Approximate Book Length:  75 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

This was kind of a neat read. The druidic magic vs shaman magic was a little vague, but still pretty cool. The suspense created by Moira’s predicament was great, and her husband is the kind of villain you have no problem hating.

I did have some mixed feelings though. Moira seemed a little shallow, having left Tim in the first place simply because he wouldn’t sleep with her. I get that they’ve both grown over the ten years apart, but I still just wasn’t fond of Moira much because she really seemed to have given up on Tim, who seemed like a great guy, simply because she wanted to get laid. That being said, I did appreciate the ending and the bond that Tim and Moira established.

In Conclusion:

If you’re looking for a quick read with magic and suspense, check out Destiny’s Shadow.

Rating:



Links:



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Witch Hunter by Nicole R. Taylor


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I'm promoting The Witch Hunter today while the author, Nicole R Taylor shares her advice to writers. Welcome!

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Advice for Beginning Writers

A blog topic that comes up a lot is advice for beginning writers. What advice could I give someone who wants to write a novel? Or just start writing short stories or even in a journal…

I would tell you to just write. Because that's all it is. Of course there's grammar, plot, characterization and a few other things. You can't even begin to think about those until you've written something down. Just start writing and see what comes out. Practice. Read. Write and live life. Stories come from observations, people you meet, things you see. Don't just sit back and observe, participate. Then write it all down.

Journal, scribble, make a mark.

I've been writing ever since I can remember. I'd read all the books I'd get my hands on. I'd beg my Mum and Dad to take me to the library. I fell in love with stories and wanted to write my own. So I did. I just wrote. Looking back now, I can't say much for my sentence structure, but that's all part of the learning process. First drafts almost always suck. Most of the writing process actually happens after it's all down on paper. Set your work aside. Go back to it a while later (I'm talking a week or two or maybe a few days) then read it through. Re-write. Think about why your characters do things. Think about your plot. If someone you didn't know was reading it, would they understand?

Another question that gets asked is: What if it's not good enough?

I've written five novels. One is about to be published and another is soon following. Those lonely three might not ever see the light of day. And to tell you the truth, every time I start something new, it scares the hell out of me.

What if it's no good? What if no one ever reads it? If someone tells you they're not in the least scared about this thing that they wrote, I wouldn't believe them.

Truth: Not everyone is gong to like what you've written, but others will. You can't please everyone who reads your work.

Look at Twilight. How many people LOVE that book? How many people DISLIKE that book? A lot on both sides and at the end of the day it was a huge success.

I think the quote below sums it up:
"I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances..." - John Steinbeck

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About the Author
Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser.

She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first.

The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is currently available in e-edition and print.

Learn more about her writing at: www.nicolertaylorwrites.com

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The Witch Hunter

I was born into the world covered in blood, and that's exactly the way I left it.

Ever since, I have been damned to walk the boundary between life and death alone. Unwillingly turned and left to my nightmare, I have seen men commit countless horrors and committed many of my own.

My origins shall remain unknown, my true self hidden. I have been called by many names, but in this life I am known as the Witch Hunter. I have been asleep these past 150 years, until I was awoken by a haunting call.

Zachary Degaud was twenty three when he died. The problem was, he didn't stay that way.

Present day, he's just another vampire with another unremarkable story. That is, until he manages to provoke a two thousand year old witch named Katrin, who wants to make him pay in the most horrible way imagined.

Along with his brother Sam, newly made vampire Liz and their only witch ally, Gabby, his only chance for survival is to summon the ancient and unpredictable vampire known as the Witch Hunter.

Zac is just looking for a way out of his psychopathic witch problems, but instead will find himself falling head first into a blood feud that has stretched thousands of years.

Aya has been asleep for the past 150 years, until she was awoken by a haunting call. The witch she has been hunting for thousands of years, Katrin, has resurfaced and marked a young, annoyingly arrogant vampire by the name of Zachary Degaud. Unless she does something, he will die a slow and painful death. He has given her an opportunity to end the witch, but does she want to help him or leave him to his fate?

Zac will get under her skin like no one else has and she just might find herself making the ultimate sacrifice before he is gone forever.

They will both have to choose sides and look deep within themselves before the end. But, what Zac learns about himself, will surprise him most of all.


***Up for grabs on this tour are ten e-copies of The Witch Hunter. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Redemption by Erica Hayes


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I have Erica Hayes, author of Redemption, here today. Welcome!

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Greetings, and thanks to Buffy for hosting me today! I'm Erica Hayes, and I'm a paranormal romance author. Or maybe an urban fantasy romance author. What's in a genre, anyway? It's all in the same section of the bookstore, right?

But there's nothing more disappointing and annoying as a reader than when a book turns out to be different to what you were led to expect. Even if the book is great, it can really taint my enjoyment. I've had many a quiet rant on the subject. That cover model looks nothing like the heroine! I say, or That back cover copy is nothing to do with the story!

Some authors strike it lucky. I really like the covers of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. Mercy looks just as I imagine her, and the details are evocative of her world. I also love Larissa Ione's US covers for her Lords of Deliverance series. Dark, sexy, violent and wild. Perfect!

So, in the interests of reader sanity (and public safety!) I wish to make the following announcement: here is my new book, Redemption – and what you see is pretty much what you get.

Hot dude on the cover equals romance. Slightly crazy-looking hot dude equals… well, yeah. That's what it equals! Flaming sword and feathers and stuff equals paranormal. City lights in the background equals urban with lashings of dark.

And the back cover copy pretty much nails it: chaste, tormented fallen angel warrior meets sultry vampire assassin. They meet. They kiss. They try to kill each other. Hot lovin' and apocalyptic action happens.

But the world of the Seven Signs series is bigger than just Japheth and Rose. You'll meet other angels – Japheth's conniving archangel, Michael, for one, and a few of his fallen buddies. There are cool female angel warriors, too! You'll also meet the chilly Demon King, Azaroth, and a crafty pain demon called Zuul, who thrives on tormenting angels. If you're familiar with my Shadowfae books, you'll know I am putty – putty, I say! – in the paws of a sexy, scheming secondary character. Especially a villain!

So yeah. Redemption is a dark paranormal urban fantasy romance apocalypse. With demons. Just so you know.

So tell me: what are some recent books/series that you think have perfect covers? And which ones do you think missed the mark?

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About the Author
Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.

She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she's terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.

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Redemption

Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.

As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.

Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.

When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell.


***Up for grabs on this tour is a Kindle Fire (or equivalent Amazon GC). Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Friday, March 22, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Paramount by Nadia Scrieva


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I'm promoting Paramount today by Nadia Scrieva. Happy reading!

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A goddess hell-bent on revenge...

Pax Burnson is the descendant of devas. She has vowed to live her life without practicing her powers, but recent events have overturned her entire existence. Thorn Kalgren has been the love of her life since she was fourteen -- he helped her to heal after the loss of her parents. As a close family friend, he is one of a select few who understand and share her unique heritage. His recent betrayal has released a violence within her that she cannot restrain.

While her first instinct is to escape and forget, her aimless road trip is interrupted by a childhood friend in need. An idea strikes Pax as she sees her own pain reflected in Thorn's sister, Amara Kalgren. She is suddenly filled with a new, all-consuming purpose: vengeance. She believes there is nothing else left.

Using ancient magick and enlisting Amara's help, Pax orchestrates a complex, drawn-out plan to deceive and emotionally destroy her former lover. The friendship and loyalty between the two girls becomes fortified and unshakable as they venture down a dark and twisted path together, encountering formidable roadblocks and demons.

It soon becomes clear to Pax that everything she has been led to believe about her powers and her past was shaped by blatant lies. When she discovers that Thorn's infidelity is closely linked with her mother's death, she is forced to make a life-altering decision...


Buy at Amazon          Buy at Barnes & Noble


~EXCERPT~

“Mara! Where are you? Is everything okay? Amara!”

Pax felt sick. It had taken ten hours, but she had driven directly to Amara’s waterfront home, stopping only once for gas. Seeing her friend’s Jaguar in the driveway, she had let herself in. Now, as she moved from room to room on the hunt for the blonde woman, she was growing alarmed. She considered calling, but it was faster just to lift the palm of her hand.

“Pilot me to thine light,” Pax chanted softly. The incantation was not necessary, but it helped her to focus. Soon enough, she found herself being subliminally led to her friend’s bedroom. Amara was still nowhere to be seen, so she continued to follow the guiding energy to the ensuite bathroom.

Upon touching the doorknob, Pax recoiled as the strong scent of her uncle overwhelmed her senses before the door was even fully open. Terror flooded her breast as she imagined Asher’s corpse sprawled out on the floor. Her gloved hand flew to cover her mouth before she had even seen a body. A déjà vu swept over her as she recalled finding her dead mother when she was just a teenager. The scent was familiar—it was not only Asher, but his blood.

Pax felt her heart skip a beat as it ached with love for her uncle. She expected to see him lying there dead, but she still moved into the room with determination. Asher was nowhere to be seen, but a small blonde woman was huddled in a corner of the shower stall. Amara was completely naked. Pax swallowed back her fear before she took in the surroundings. Amara’s fashionable clothes were strewn all over the floor, and there was dark blood which had dried as it had been dripping down the glass doors of the shower stall.

“Amara, are you hurt?” Pax immediately moved to comfort her friend, crawling into the shower stall and crouching beside her. Pax spotted Amara’s cell phone sitting in a pool of water nearby. It was amazing that the thing hadn’t short-circuited, but then again, it was Kalgren technology.

“Mara?” Pax asked in a soft voice, reaching out to brush her friend’s hair off her face. She was surprised to find that Amara’s hair was perfectly dry. Her skin was perfectly dry. There was hardly any water in the shower stall, except for a few small pools gathered at the bottom. It must have been hours since the shower was used.

“How long have you been like this? Amara! Talk to me!” said Pax firmly. Hearing no response she desperately sent her message directly into her friend’s mind. Has something happened to Ash? Please, please, Mara. Please tell me that my uncle is fine. I hardly have any family left. Is he…

Amara snapped out of her little daze and looked up at her friend. “Ash?” she asked dumbly. “He’s fine.”

“Thank Sakra,” Pax said, referring to the god of gods. She allowed herself to fall from her raised position on her ankles to a seated position on her bottom, ignoring the pools of water beneath her. She released a gush of air. “Is this your blood?”

The blonde woman stared forward for a moment silently.

Pax began to frown as her worry began to be replaced with anger. “Did Ash hurt you? Because if he…”

“No,” Amara responded softly. “When he touches me, he is always gentle. So tender. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Pax rolled her eyes at this description. Were they talking about the same man? Her annoyingly powerful uncle who had wrestled her toys away with his mind before she could even walk? “Maybe he wouldn’t,” Pax agreed, “but he certainly could. Did he?”

“No.”

“Sure. He didn’t hurt you. That’s why you’ve been sitting naked in the corner of a blood-soaked shower stall for god-knows how many hours!”

Amara looked at her friend for the first time. “Oh, Paxie. Where’s all your beautiful hair?”

Pax was already reaching up to search for it before she remembered. She scowled. “Don’t call me that, Amara. We’re not five anymore. And don’t change the subject. What the hell happened?”

Amara’s eyes lowered again. “I did something bad.”

Glancing up at the bloody shower walls in confusion, Pax frowned. “What did you do?” She knew that Amara was not strong enough to harm her uncle, physically or psychically. She reached out to grasp the girl’s shoulder and give it a firm shake. “Mara. Hey, hey! What did you do?”

“I don’t know. He left me.”

“He what?” Pax repeated in shock. Asher and Amara were the most solid couple she knew. Every birthday and holiday, she and Thornton would always… she could not finish the thought. Her anger at her own lover was beginning to seep into thoughts of her uncle by extension.

Amara turned to Pax with wounded innocence in her clear blue eyes. “He said he just wanted to… have me one last time. Then he walked away.”

Pax felt comprehension dawn on her as she took in the state of the bathroom. “So… he fucked you and then he left you?”

The blonde woman was as still as death. “Do I deserve this? I don’t understand.”

Rage flushed Pax’s body with warmth as the anger blossomed inside her again. She clenched her fists. Even after all this, Amara refused to say a negative thing about Asher. She refused to condemn him for hurting her, and she chose to believe that it was somehow her fault. While Pax loved her uncle to pieces, she could not make sense of his actions. Asher often followed the wrong company (Thornton) and this has often influenced him negatively and gotten him into all kinds of trouble.

“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Pax reassured her friend. She reached out to rub her gloved hand over Amara’s naked back. “I’ll stay with you, okay? We’ll get through this together.”

Amara felt the familiar waves of heat radiating from Pax’s hand and lifting her hair. She felt a small smile touch her lips. She hadn’t realized that she had been so cold. The warmth of the dark haired woman’s angry energy surrounded Amara's skin like a comforting blanket. As her lips curled they cracked, revealing how dry they had become from the salty tears that had been running over them for so many hours.

“Thank you, Pax,” said Amara softly.

“What for?” she asked.

“For being here. I needed you.”

Pax felt guilt wash over her when she remembered that she had been ignoring Amara's phone calls. It’s partly my fault she’s like this. If I had been a better friend… Gah! I should have flown here instead of driving when my teleportation didn’t work. As she stared at the small blonde woman who was deathly pale, Pax began to form a vow in her mind. Uncle or not, she would not allow Asher to hurt her friend like this and get away scot-free. She would find a way to make sure that he was the one sitting on the floor and broken. She did not realize that she was fusing her own pain with Amara’s and transferring it to a different man. Asher will regret the day he did this to her. She’s the last person who deserved this. Amara is so sweet and loving—not bitter and vengeful like me. She was always so true and devoted. I’ll make Asher pay. I’ll hurt him so deeply, and so terribly that it will ruin his already ruined life. Damn you, Thorn! I mean Ash...

Pax saw a single tear run down Amara’s face and it snapped her out of her guilt and anger. She put her arms around the blonde woman and held her close, ignoring that she was naked. Amara leaned against Pax’s shoulder and let the tears fall freely.

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About the Author
Nadia Scrieva lives in Toronto, Canada with no husband, no kids, and no pets. She does own a very attractive houseplant which she occasionally remembers to water between her all-consuming writing marathons.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Telepathic Clans Saga by BR Kingsolver


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I have BR Kingsolver here with a character interview of Rebecca from The Telepathic Clans Saga. Welcome, and happy reading!

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Rebecca Healy is with us today.

Buffy: What is the name of the book where we'll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?

Rebecca: (Smiling, with a flip of her hair) I’m in all of BR Kingsolver’s books, The Succubus Gift, Succubus Unleashed, and Succubus Rising. I’m very popular. I’m the sidekick to Brenna O’Donnell, the richest, most beautiful telepath/succubus in the world. I’m her bodyguard and best friend.

The Succubus Gift is about a young woman’s (Brenna) coming of age and discovering her telepathic powers. She’s looking for love but also trying to deal with people who want to kill her. Succubus Unleashed is a continuation of the story. As Brenna becomes comfortable with being a succubus and integrates into the Clan, her adventures and loves make up the story. In the third book, Succubus Rising, she fully embraces being a succubus and moves to Washington to play with the politicians. Things take a turn, however, when the O’Donnell Clan is asked to support a South American Clan against our main enemy Clans in Europe. The result is a war among telepaths.

There’s a silver lining, though. I meet a really dreamy South American general.

Buffy: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Rebecca: Well, as I said, I’m Brenna’s bodyguard, friend and confidant. I’m 24 in the first book, turn 25 in the second, and 26 in the third. I’m a powerful telepath in my own right, with 15 telepathic Gifts. I’m tall and slender with brown hair and amber eyes. I have a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in library science. I’m also trained as a Protector. That’s the O’Donnell Clan’s military/security force. I’m the one who keeps Brenna’s head on straight and keeps her from getting too full of herself. She has a tendency to pay too much attention to people who tell her she’s wonderful.

Buffy: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won't tell.

Rebecca: You’re trying to get me in trouble, aren’t you? Let me just say that BR has an incredibly detailed imagination. A little dull in real life, though. Not the sort of person to be the life of the party. But if I ever retire and open a bookstore, that’s who I’d want for a business partner.

Buffy: How do you feel about the story you're in?

Rebecca: I think it’s a pretty good story. It’s not a standard run-of-the-mill paranormal fantasy. It has a lot of unique ideas and BR lets the characters develop. I think the series originally was meant to be rather light-hearted, but it’s taken on a darker side. I think it has most of what you’d want in a story – humor, romance, danger, and the good guys win. It’s not Anna Karenina, but it’s better than being in something where all the women are doormats.

Buffy: Do you like being a character in the book?

Rebecca: After being imprisoned in BR’s mind for months, it’s great to get out and meet the world. (Smiles) I do get to do a lot of exciting things, and I get to have a lot of sex, which is kind of nice. I wish people would stop trying to kill me and Brenna, though. What happened to romances where the heroine’s greatest fear was having a hair out of place?

Buffy: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.

Rebecca: As I said earlier, I’m going to be in a number of books. I’ve always hoped to find someone to love me. Other than Brenna, I mean. I love her to death, but I don’t really swing that way. Tall, dark and handsome in my bed every night would be nice. It’s a bit difficult when every man in the world is looking at your best friend, but maybe I can pick one of her rejects.

One of these days, I’d like to be the star in a book. Isn’t that every character’s dream? Right now, BR seems fixated on succubi, and I’m not a succubus. But if I keep getting mentioned in reviews, maybe I’ll get a shot.

Buffy: What do you know about your author's plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?

Rebecca: I have a much larger role in the third book in the Telepathic Clans Saga, and a minor role in a paranormal mystery/thriller yet to be named. BR says the 4th book about Brenna will come out in 2013, but I haven’t seen the outline for that one. I assume it will tie up all the loose ends from the first three books, and since it’s about Brenna, I’ll be there. We can’t let the girl out by herself. Who knows what she’d do?

Buffy: Let's say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?

Rebecca: Wow, that’s a hard one. I’m not the busty Hollywood type with perfect hair. It would have to be someone athletic. Someone like Jennifer Garner, but she’s way too old, now. There’s a young British actress who’s done mostly stage work named Annie Hemingway. She’s not very well known, but I saw her in a play in New York and she was wonderful.

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About the Author
I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school and I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff in Canada.

I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I’m currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.

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The Succubus Gift - Book 1

The history of the Clans, called the Sidhe by the Irish, stretches back to antiquity. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. In over 2,500 years, She has never bestowed more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

Brenna Morgan was orphaned at eight when her parents were killed in a plane crash. Through one foster home after another, she carried the ornate, carved wooden box her mother had left with her, keeping it always a secret. Then one night she stumbles over a man who claims her as family.

Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.

That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed -- with a willing young man of course.

Succubus Unleashed - Book 2

It's not easy being a succubus.

After a crash course in learning about her genetic heritage, Brenna O'Donnell has discovered what it really means to be a succubus and has learned to embrace her strange Gift. Her major concern is whether Collin will accept her for what she is. As she adjusts to telepathic society, others in the Clan have plans that will strip the last of her freedom. Rival Clans still hunt succubi, and discovering their dark motives is paramount.

The social season is also around the corner, including events that Brenna never imagined in her wildest dreams. The succubi, representatives of the Goddess on earth, are at the center of an ancient worship. And if a girl is going to be the center of attention, then obviously she needs a new dress.

Succubus Rising - Book 3

The Goddess has plans for Brenna and Rebecca, and the Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.

Rebecca Healy is a true wilder, growing up with no contact or knowledge of other telepaths. Discovered by a Clan member on the streets of San Francisco, she felt like she’d hit the jackpot. Finally, she knew what she was, or at least she thought she did.

When Brenna O’Donnell, long-lost heir of the O’Donnell Clan, and the strongest telepath in history, is returned to her family, she and Rebecca form a tight bond. Brenna has it all, looks, money, power, and men falling all over her.

Rebecca isn’t jealous, but it would be nice to find someone who would really love her and stick around in the morning. She’s intrigued by a handsome South American general, but of course, he has his sights set on Brenna. Carlos de Vargas wants more than love. His Clan has its back to the wall, and they hope for an alliance with O’Donnell. An alliance that would lead to war.

The story began in The Succubus Gift and continued in Succubus Unleashed. In Succubus Rising, questions are answered and new mysteries are revealed.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy


Thanks to Book Trailer Showcase for hosting this blog tour. I'm interviewing Lynn Hardy, author of Prophecy of the Flame today. Welcome!

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Have you always wanted to be an author?
Actually, I wanted to be a journalist. My college instructor told me that I couldn’t catch my typos so no editor would ever hire me. (This was before WORD) He told me to change my major.

I dropped out of college, giving up my dreams to become a housewife.

What inspired the idea for the Prophecy of the Flame series?
My husband and I were going through marriage counseling. The shrink asked me to write from my earliest memories with as much detail as I could manage. I handed her ten pages, single-spaced, typed, twice a week. A few months later she said, “I have to tell you: I’ve asked my patients to write for me for the last 20 years, but this is the first time I want to sit down on the couch with a cup of tea and see what happens next in a clients life.”

Soon after that I had this amazing set of dreams. With those words ringing in my ears, I started a file on my computer called, Second Job, and began to write.

Do you have plans on how many books there will be?
Originally it was a 5 book series. However, I’ve now added two companion novels to the series.

From the summary alone, it looks like a well rounded plot involving fantasy, war, and possibly love. Did you struggle to find a balance between all the elements in the story?
Unfortunately, it’s not too well rounded. I’ve been told that the war part is kind of weak. The book is really a comedy romance with a fantasy setting. Like Twilight wasn’t a vampire series, just a romance in a vampire setting.

So if you are looking for Lord of the Rings, this book might not be a good fit. Prophecy of the Flame is a bit lighter, more fun…

Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I kill one and break the other…. can I say neither?

Not kidding. I even killed one of those hearty ivy plants.

I collect soup tureens. For Christmas I got this really cool one that looks like a turkey. Before we even finished unwrapping the presents by Rotti broke it! Thank God for superglue – it may not hold soup ever again, but at least it looks good.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Writing is an art. Not everyone will get your vision. But if 75% do, you are as good as any bestselling author!

That being said, listen to your reviews. If 5 people all say the same thing, you may need to hone your craft a bit.

When you're not writing, what do you like to read? What are some of your favorites?
Melanie Rawn’s first series was called The Dragon Prince. This fantasy series has quite a bit of steam and the end of each book had me crying so hard that I couldn’t read through the tears!

L.E. Modesitt Jr. is another favorite. Even as a starving college student I would buy the next book in his Recluse series as soon as it came out. Terry Brooks is in that same category!

Completely unrelated to reading or writing, what’s your favorite activity or way to relax?
Being on horseback, riding through the mountains brings a peace to my soul. I am also an avid Science Fiction and Fantasy movie geek. If you want to keep updated on what new stuff is coming out, friend me at facebook. I do events each time an interesting series or movie is debuting.

- I was tired of not getting to see the sequel because of lack of fan support. So join me so that your favorite show isn’t canceled! https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnHardy

Name 5 facts about yourself that we may not already know.
1. I am an identical twin.
2. Black pepper make my stomach sick.
3. I, like Reba, can hold my pee for most of the day, especially when I’m camping!
4. I’ve always wanted to tour Europe and Asia.
5. Green is my favorite color, though I used to hate it!

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About the Author
Led by a series of dreams and encouraged by friends, Lynn Hardy began the journey to become an author. She stored her work in a computer file labeled “second job.” Writing began as a passion she could not contain and has become much more than she ever expected.

In the Fall of 2010, Prophecy of the Flame – Book One, reached #1 on Amazon kindle, shortly after Book Two in the series released. In the spring of 2011, Lynn released the Full Cast unabridged audio book of Book One. Now both fans and newcomers can hear the book come to life as every character jumps of the page with their own unique voice.

The road has been longer and more complicated than she would have ever guessed –not always smooth, but filled with wonderful surprises. Like most stories, Lynn is sure that her journey has only just begun.

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Prophecy of the Flame Book 1

Five strangers are yanked from this world and thrust into a land of sorcery as they are granted the looks and abilities of the people they were playing. The Crusaders of the Light struggle to form a cohesive band as they blend twentieth century technology with the supernatural powers of this new world, fighting to liberate the kingdom of Cuthburan from the evil horde threatening humanity.

Battle is also waged within Reba, an ordinary housewife who has become the most powerful mage on the planet. She struggles to remain true to her wedding vows as she is drawn against her will to the arms of Prince Alexandros.


Monday, March 18, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Frost by Taryn Kincaid


Thanks to FMB Promotions for hosting this blog tour. I'm promoting Frost by Taryn Kincaid. Happy reading!

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Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing hot sex. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist who created the works.

Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art—until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point. He needs sex. Now.

When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine’s 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle?


Buy at Amazon          Buy at Barnes & Noble


~EXCERPT~

Dagney followed her sister’s glance, and her heart flipped like a gymnast unable to nail a vault. Darkness swathed the gallery with the exception of the lights above or below each of the paintings. The large man emerging from the shadows held her rapt. Waves of pure, unadulterated lust smacked her with such force she didn’t even see Lily and Campbell leave. The blast of raw desire crumpled her to the floor. Her gaze remained riveted on the tall hunk of ferocious male stalking toward her, radiating undiluted carnality. He set something carefully on the floor and grasped her by the elbows, his touch surprisingly gentle when he lifted her to her feet.

“I’m Maxwell Raines.”

Yeah. No kidding. Who else could a guy so hot, so studly, possibly be?

She told herself not to swoon. Ordered herself not to swoon. But, Goddess, that rumbling voice. More potent than a train barreling over the tracks. And he smelled so good. Sinfully masculine. A bit of musk, a bite of pine, an essence of dark, smoky nights. Sexy scents. Reminiscent of tangled satin sheets that had been given a good work-out.

Her legs turned to rubber, and she doubted they’d support her on their own. She’d be mortified if he’d have to scrape her puddled body up again. But he hadn’t yet relaxed his grip. Could she bullshit her way through the meeting without collapsing? “You’re late,” she said.

“I’m never late.”

“Well, the party’s over, Mr. Raines.” She waved a hand around the empty room.

“Depends on your perspective.”

“You’re big on perspective, are you?”

“I’m a painter.” A brief shrug accompanied his blunt words. “Obvious connection.”

“Right. But as you can see, everyone’s left.”

“You haven’t.” He gazed down at her, a black brow flaring. “And you’re what I’m here for.”

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About the Author
Taryn Kincaid lives in scenic Serendipity-By-the-Sea. (Go ahead. Try to find it on a map. If you do, Taryn will send you a smooch. Also a Nutter Butter.) She is an Olympic caliber athlete in egg rolling contests and spends a great deal of her time petitioning the U.S.O.C. to introduce fantail shrimp competition. When she's not bungee jumping off the Palisades or parasailing up and down the Hudson River, she devotes her time to caring for her aging pet walrus, arranging her voodoo doll-pin collection and practicing rhythmic chants. At this moment, she is busy picking up loose wholewheat spaghetti sticks that spilled out of the cupboard and onto her kitchen floor. Wait. Is that something…sparkly?

Find the author:
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***Up for grabs on this tour are some book SWAG, chocolates, and an ebook from Taryn Kincaid's backlist (not including Frost). Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big Cocks and Shamrocks Giveaway Hop!


Big thanks to Close Encounters with the Night Kind and Read Between the Lines for hosting this giveaway hop! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Now I would really like to offer up St. Patty's Day themed books, but I honestly haven't read many. So I'll just offer up any book of the winner's choice from my 3 Star and 4 Star reviews. If none of those interest you, I'll offer up a $5 Amazon Giftcard.

Just enter the Rafflecopter below and you're golden! Open to US/INT since it's digital copies up for grabs.
a Rafflecopter giveaway There's also a Grand Prize up for grabs on this hop. The Basket Full of Naughty contains the following in a Cabal of Hotness Tote:

Tickler/Flogger (one on each end)
Penis-shaped sour candies
Flask that reads "girls with class don't need a glass"
G-spot vibe
Oral sex "essentials" kit
Glow in the dark erotic dice

Also included is a $30 gift card and a Cabal of Hotness t-shirt.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to keep hopping!


Friday, March 15, 2013

BOOK PROMO: After the Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue


Thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours for hosting this promo blitz. I'm sharing an excerpt from The Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue. Happy reading!

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The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.

When people started getting sick, “they” thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family…they’re all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them—with the rest of the world—but I didn’t. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I’d ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O’Connor, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.

The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We’ve all had to start over. I’ve been stripped of my home, my dreams…all that is me. I’m someone else now — broken and changed. Other survivors’ memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won’t let them consume me. I can’t. My name is Zoe Cartwright, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.

We’ve been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing—we’ll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we’re strong…we’re survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.


Buy at Amazon          Buy at Barnes & Noble


~EXCERPT~

Looking around apprehensively, I made my way toward the convenience store in hopes of finding a bathroom. The vacant world around me was eerily silent. All I could hear was the creaking of a giant wooden billboard being assaulted by the wind.

How long has it been since anyone was here? Through the dark windows I saw a bathroom sign that looked promising, but I couldn’t bring myself to enter. I wonder if it’s safe…

As I stood outside of the store, I noticed a newspaper box still filled with papers. I leaned closer. The headline read, BILLIONS DEAD, and the paper was dated December 9, right before everything had started to shut down. I inserted a quarter and snatched out a paper. Scanning its contents, my mouth grew dry and my body stiffened.

…the H1N1/12 pandemic…

…looting and riotous outbreaks everywhere…

…end of civilization as we know it…

…survivors losing their minds…

…governments can’t control…

…the Apocalypse…

The newspaper slipped from between my fingers. Frozen in place, I was suffocated by the reality of our situation.

This isn’t going away.

The world ended.

Thinking of the strange feelings I’d been experiencing, I once again questioned my own sanity. My thoughts were too loud to silence. My heart thudded, and I couldn’t swallow the lump in my throat. Looking out into the abandoned world around me, I realized how alone we really were.

I bent down to reclaim the paper and turned on my heels to head back toward the truck, completely awestruck as the words I’d read replayed in my mind. Each was a reminder that the only world I’d ever known had ended.

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About the Authors
Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats.

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.

Find them here.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Chronicles of Kerrigan by WJ May


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I'm promoting The Chronicles of Kerrigan today while the author, WJ May talks about watching the waves at Myrtle Beach. Welcome!

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Watching the Waves

It’s March Break in Canada (well, in Ontario) and our family heading down to Myrtle Beach for the kids spring break. It’s awesome, in so many weird and memorable ways.

As a kid my folks took us here for years during every spring break. Other families from the area I grew up in came also. The first year we came, my folks didn’t have a ton of money. I was a kid so I never knew but it’s neat to look back at it now. My dad’s passed away and I would give anything to go back to the first trip.

It’s about a fifteen hour drive so we stopped half-way and stayed with six of us in a motel that probably had seen more murders than Agatha Christie. We didn’t know (though my sixteen year old brother probably did :-) He was pretty ticked. My other brother bought a ghetto blaster (totally cool back then) and on the drive down we listened to two eight-track tapes (kudos to anyone who remembers those) – the tracks were Johnny Cash and Nanna Mescury. I still listen to Johnny Cash and it brings me back to that trip whenever I hear the Ring of Fire.

We spent the week in Myrtle Beach at a hotel called the Fredericton. It was a couple of blocks away from the beach, not right on the shore. To me, it was a gold mine.

It was fun and now, years later I am here with my kids sharing my stories as a kid about what Opa took us to, how Uncle Randy and Uncle Ray walked the beach with a large stereo slung up on the shoulder, how we tried to suntan between palm trees and mini putted at the same place we are putting now, how Oma paid for our trip with a box a tea figurines (she sold them at antique shops along the way). Great memories.

Except now we are at a hotel right on the beach, no gun shot holes in the walls, and a TV in every room with a washer and dryer :-) We are making our own great memories and laughing along the way.

Oh, and my brothers still come to Myrtle Beach with their kids as well.

Regarding watching those waves; my plan was to get some editing and writing done. It seems when I’m behind the computer I keep getting distracted. Today there were dolphins splashing among the waves. So cool. So I had to try and get photos of them. Then there were these two cool dudes painted in a tuxedo and one as Spiderman. Too wild.

Need I say more?

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About the Author
Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario - St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.

The youngest of six -- four older brothers, and a sister -- taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.

At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump. She continued to compete, breaking Canada's JR High Jump record (1.92m - 6' 3 1/2" for those metric-ly challenged). She attented University of Toronto, and Kansas State University - winning CIAU's and becoming All-American 6x - NCAA Indoors Runner Up + more.

But you're not interested in her athletic career - unless of course you're curious to know she stands 1.70m (5'7") and has jumped 20cm over her head on more than one occassion. She's represented Canada at the World Championships, World Jrs., won Francophone Games, and loved every minute of every competition. From the grueling workouts, the crazy weights she lifted on her back, the days she thought her lungs were going to spit out of her mouth for lack of oxygen, the travelling around the world and the opportunity to read - her favourite past time.

Wanita and her husband now run an online business, dealing in antiques and collectables - particularly jewelry and porcelain.

After her father passed away in 2009, from a six-year battle with cancer (which she still believes he won the fight against), she began to write again. A passion she'd loved for years, but realized life was too short to keep putting it off.

She is currently represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Wanita is a writer of Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction and where ever else her little muses take her.

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Rae of Hope The Chronicles of Kerrigan - Book 1

How hard do you have to shake the family tree to find the truth about the past?

Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan never really knew her family's history. Her mother and father died when she was young and it is only when she accepts a scholarship to the prestigious Guilder Boarding School in England that a mysterious family secret is revealed.

Will the sins of the father be the sins of the daughter?

As Rae struggles with new friends, a new school and a star-struck forbidden love, she must also face the ultimate challenge: receive a tattoo on her sixteenth birthday with specific powers that may bind her to an unspeakable darkness. It's up to Rae to undo the dark evil in her family's past and have a ray of hope for her future.

Dark Nebula The Chronicles of Kerrigan - Book 2

Nothing is as it seems anymore.

Leery from the horrifying incident at the end of her first year at Guilder Boarding School, Rae Kerrigan is determined to learn more about her new tattoo. Her expectations are high, an easy senior year and a happy reunion with Devon, the boy she’s not supposed to date. All hopes of happiness turn into shattered dreams the moment she steps back on campus.

Lies and secrets are everywhere, and a betrayal cuts Rae deeply. Among her conflicts and enemies, it appears as if her father is reaching out from beyond the grave to ruin her life. With no one to trust, Rae doesn’t know where or who to turn to for help.

Has her destiny been written? Or will she become the one thing she hates the most—her father’s prodigy.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Odin Blood Series by Ronnell D Porter


Thanks to Juniper Grove Book Solutions for hosting this blog tour. I'm promoting The Odin Blood Series today while the author, Ronnell D Porter talks about his cast for Dagger Heart. Welcome!

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Your book has just been contracted (hypothetically) to become a movie. Who would be your first choice to play the lead role(s)?

If I had to pull a cast for Dagger Heart out of my pocket, it would be:

Erica: Scout Taylor-Compton (who was fantastic as Lita Ford in The Runaways) or Kat Dennings.

Paul: Dane DeHaan, Ezra Miller, or Grey Damon.

Finn: Thomas Dekker or Douglas Booth.

Krieger: Dean Geyer or Michael Graziadei.

King Úlfur: Anthony Hopkins or Ian McShane - it is a fantasy cast, after all... ;)

Mother Selma: Tilda Swinton, though a huge part of me (mainly the Twin Peaks fan) would love to see Mädchen Amick or Sheryl Lee return to the big screen...

Folkvar: I'd like Thore Schölermann, but he's still quite young (28) and looks it. But by the time the Odin Blood series was ever contracted to be made a film, he could probably look the part lol. But if I had to choose someone now, I would pick Ray Stevenson. He carries that wise old gruff warrior persona very well. Another pick would be Mads Mikkelsen.

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About the Author
Ronnell D. Porter was raised in Ogden, Utah, and now resides in Denver, Colorado. During his free time he plays the violin, dabbles in graphic design, and, of course, thoroughly enjoys writing stories. He believes that a novel written simply to entertain does its readers a disservice; instead, a book's narrative should always change the way we perceive the world around us, and grant us a little more wisdom than we had when starting the story.

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Dagger Heart Available Now!

Norway, 704 A.D.

The valiant King Ulfur defeated the evil that swept the seaside village of Nornör into despair; Morgan, the demon witch, has been dead for nearly twenty years. The truce between King Úlfur and the Queen of the Fae has remained intact since the day that Morgan’s dark curses vanished. It seemed that peace had finally come to the wounded souls of the village.

But this peace is shaken when three curses that Morgan promised with her dying breath are placed upon the Norwegian village: who among them has cast the spell?

Seventeen-year-old Erica finds herself trapped in the middle of a witch’s deadly revenge scheme with no way out but to fight for survival. On top of trying to end the curses devouring her village like a savage beast she finds herself at the center of attention when it comes to Viking King Úlfur’s three sons: Kriger, Paul, and Finn.

Three of them will fight alongside her.
Two of them want to marry her.
One of them could be the son of King Úlfur… and Morgan.

Ebon Heart Now Available!

Sequel to 'Dagger Heart'.

"You know not of King Bersek, Lord of Berserkers... The Berserkers are men of darkness; heartless and unyielding. They know no fear, they know no pain – and the sound of them ripping and slashing and tearing people apart by their limbs: chaos incarnate."

One year after triumphing over the events surrounding the cursed Blackthorn Dagger, Queen 'Dagger Heart' Erica receives an ominous warning from a group of survivors that arrives in her village of Nornör: an army like no other, steeped in dark necromancy, heads for her Norwegian shores. With the winter solstice quickly approaching and no sign of the black wolf that used to roam the woods of her lands, she races against time to uncover the mystery of The Necromancer, as well as the absence of her dear friend and love, Finn.


***Up for grabs on this tour are a Kindle Touch, pre-loaded with 5 books by Ronnell D. Porter, and ten ecopies of Ebon Heart Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***


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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Shadow of Black Wings by James Calbraith


Thanks to FMB Promotions for hosting this blog tour. I have James Calbraith, author of The Shadow of Black Wings, here to talking about women of Japanese history. Welcome!

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GREAT WOMEN OF JAPANESE HISTORY

I strive to have strong female characters always present in my books, so I found it very inspiring to discover that, for a society so stereotypically patriarchal, Japan has had its share of great and famous women, almost from the beginnings of its known history.

AMATERASU

The legendary history of Japan begins with a woman: the goddess of the Sun. The chief of the second generation of Japan’s Gods (born from Izanagi the Creator’s tear), Amaterasu is the most important of Japanese Gods, her Sun mirror worshipped in the famous shrine of Ise. But her main claim to fame lies in being the legendary progenitor of Japan’s Imperial Dynasty, through her grandson Ninigi and his great-grandson, Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. According to official mythology, even the current Emperor is still descended from the same line.

HIMIKO

The first known person in Japan’s confirmed history is also a woman; Himiko, a priestess-queen of the ancient land of Yamatai. Living in the 2nd century CE, she is known from Chinese records of the time as a wise ruler, chosen by her people to replace male rulers who plunged the country into decades of war. Her reign was peaceful; she remained unmarried, surrounded by thousands of female attendants, and when she died, she was mourned by all her subjects.

MURASAKI SHIKIBU

Lady Murasaki lived in the 10th century CE, as the lady-in-waiting at the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Raised in an erudite household, she taught herself to read and write in classic Chinese (women at the time could not get official education). She soon began to write, first a diary, and then the work for which she will remain forever famous: the Tale of Genji. Called variously the first novel, the first modern novel, and certainly the first Japanese novel, the Tale of Genji is an all-time classic, possibly the greatest masterpiece of Japanese literature.

TOMOE GOZEN

There were a few famous female warriors in Japan’s history, but Tomoe Gozen is the most famous, archetypal one. The wife of a great warlord, Minamoto no Yoshinaka, she was his first captain, leading his armies into battles and performing great deeds of valour. Strikingly beautiful, good with bow, spear and sword, Tomoe Gozen is known to have slain at least two skilled samurai in battle. She survived her husband after the failed campaign, and grew to old age as a Buddhist nun.

TAIRA NO TOKUKO

Of all the unfortunate characters of the Tale of Heike – a 12th century saga of two warring clans, Taira and Minamoto, vying for control over the Empire – Taira no Tokuko was perhaps the most tragic one. Adopted daughter of one Emperor, wife of another, and mother of the third one, throughout her life Tokuko experienced greatest splendour and greatest tragedy in equal measure, as she had to witness her imperial mother and son drown in the sea during the battle of Dan-no-Ura, which marked the end of this particular strain of the imperial dynasty. Forced to live as the last survivor of her family, the once most powerful woman in Japan died alone in a hermit’s hut. In literature, Tokuko had become a symbol of impermanence of things.

OEYO

Lady Oeyo first became famous because of whom she was related to; niece to Oda Nobunaga and adoptive daughter of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, two of the most powerful men of 16th century Japan, her life was destined to be extraordinary from the start. Always in the centre of historical events, she was ten years old when her uncle was assasinated, and twenty five when her father died as the first man to unify all of Japan in over a hundred years. Oeyo then married Hidetada, son of the first Tokugawa shogun, and gave birth to Iemitsu, the third shogun.

Oeyo’s influence was perhaps most important in this last aspect. We will never know how much exactly her strict upgringing and memories of the terrible Civil War, which she must have imparted on her son, have impacted Iemitsu’s rule. But it was the third shogun, not his most famous grandfather, who introduced the policies synonymous with the shogunate: sankin kotai system, by which all aristocrat families were kept hostage in the capital, and the sakoku edict, which closed Japan off the rest of the world for two centuries – and Oeyo’s shadow hangs heavy over these decisions.

GRACIA HOSOKAWA

Lady Tama Hosokawa, daughter of Nobunaga’s assassin Mitsuhide, got the name of Gracia after a secret baptism when she was under house arrest in Osaka after her father’s death. A devout catholic, Gracia remained loyal to her faith even after the anti-christian edicts of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. She became embroiled in high politics after Toyotomi’s death. In the political vacuum, two great warlords, Tokugawa and Ishida, fought for control of Japan; Ishida’s seat of was in Osaka, and he planned to take the aristocrats living there as hostages, including lady Hosokawa, who’s husband was loyal to Tokugawa.

Despite believing that suicide is a sin, Gracia accepted her familial duty and ordered to have herself and the household killed and destroyed so that it wouldn’t fall into Ishida’s hands. Ultimately, Ishida had to abandon his plans and lost the war. This act ensured Gracia’s name was immortalized in songs and theatre, and although never officially canonized, lady Hosokawa is Japan’s foremost catholic saint in the minds of many.

NAKANO TAKEKO & YAMAMOTO YAEKO

The final stage of the 1868 Boshin War, which marked the fall of shogunate and birth of modern Japan, was fought in the north of Honshu, in the Aizu province. Fighting fiercely for survival against the onslaught of the entire new model Imperial Army, the shogunate loyalists in Aizu accepted many female warriors into their ranks. This „Woman Army” was led by Nakano Takeko, martial arts instructor and a champion of the naginata halberd. Takeko died in the final Battle of Aizu, leading a charge. Dying from a bullet wound, she had asked her sister to cut her head off and bury it in the family temple, so that it wouldn’t fall into the hands of the enemy.

Another famous member of the Aizu Woman Army was Yamamoto Yaeko. A gunnery specialist and instructor, Yaeko survived the war and became a nurse in Japan’s many wars of the early 20th century. She also became a master of the Urasenke tea ceremony.

KUSUMOTO INE

A symbol, and result, of the union of East and West, Kusumoto Ine was a Dejima Daughter: daughter of a Dutch trader from Dejima outpost, and a Japanese woman from Nagasaki. But her father was not an ordinary trader: he was Philipp Franz Von Siebold, a physician and botanist of world renown, and a founder of the school of Western medicine in Nagasaki.

Ine remained in touch with her father after his exile for spying, and taught herself medicine. Welcomed into the, then, all-male world of scholars and physicians,by 1859 she became the first female doctor in Japan’s history, and established her own gynaecology clinic.

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About the Author
James Calbraith is a 34 year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London.

Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007, found a decent IT job and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, ""The Shadow of Black Wings"", has reached ABNA semi-finals. It was published in July 2012 and hit the Historical Fantasy and Alternate History bestseller lists on Amazon US & UK.

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Shadow of Black Wings

It is the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria. In the powerful empire of Dracaland, Bran, a young dragon rider, joins his father on a military expedition to the mysterious lands of the Orient. In the reclusive Yamato, Sato, a tomboy samurai girl, strives to prove her right to inherit her father's school of western magic. Nagomi, a timid shrine apprentice, is haunted by the visions of dark future she must keep secret even from her best friend.

They don't know it yet, but their paths will cross... And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again.

Welcome to The Shadow of Black Wings, a steam-powered romp across the land of dragons, wizards and samurai. It's big, it's fast, it's been compared to Tolkien in terms of world-building, it has strong female characters and lots of carefully researched detail. You will meet the Royal Marines sailing mighty ironclads and Chinese walking machines; mysterious warlords and crazy inventors; you will discover dark prophecies, family secrets and blood-thirsty demons. And all that in just the first volume!


***Up for grabs on this tour are two print copies of Shadow of Black Wings, and eight e-copies. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Monday, March 11, 2013

BOOK PROMO: Cheers by Vallory Vance


Thanks to FMB Promotions for hosting this blurb blitz. Here's a spotlight on Vallory Vance's Cheers. Happy reading!

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As a successful Sales and Catering Manager for the posh Hayden Court Hotel located in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, Darcey St. Claire is absolutely thrilled to be working on New Year’s Eve. The commission and bonus, she’ll receive from the two day Guidry Construction event will not only fund her spring trip to New York City, but buy a cute pair of shoes for the plane ride!

Her enthusiasm quickly turns to barely disguised irritation when Vincent Guidry arrives hours early for his scheduled check-in demanding access to his suite. After he slashes the budget for the event, not even the crystal blue eyes of the former quarterback can quell the anger surging in her chest. That is until he walks into the Chat Noir where she is trying to regroup after her irksome day.

In the private enclave known as the Cristal Room, Vincent willingly lights up Darcey’s New Year’s Eve and just may have lost his heart in the process.

A sexy, short story introducing the characters of the upcoming Rose Gold Collection.


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About the Author
Vallory Vance is a color inside the lines, Human Resources professional living in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex by day. After her family consisting of a husband of almost twenty years, three kids and two dogs have filled her evenings with laughter, she sits down to her laptop to write tales of the first moments of falling in love when nothing else seems to matter.

As a fortieth birthday present to herself, she decided to share her stories of romances that range from sweet to spicy with use of an occasional prop.

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***Up for grabs on this tour are a $15 Amazon GC, a $10 Amazon GC, and a $5 Amazon GC, plus each comes with an ecopy of the book. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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