Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lovesick Gods by Amanda Meuwissen


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amanda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The elements touch everyone on Earth—Fire, Water, even Light—but every so often someone becomes more attuned to their elemental leaning and develops true power. When an evil Elemental known as Thanatos arrived in Olympus City, it saw the rise of its first hero—Zeus. But the death toll caused by defeating Thanatos changed Zeus, who by day is young detective Danny Grant.

It’s been six months since Thanatos terrorized the city at the start of Lovesick Gods. Danny should be used to his duty behind the mask, but the recent past haunts him. His girlfriend left him, he snaps at the barest provocation, his life feels empty—he needs an outlet, any outlet to pull him out of his depression.

Enter notorious thief Malcolm Cho, the Ice Elemental Prometheus. There was a time when Danny welcomed a fight with Cho, filled with colorful banter and casual flirtations that were a relief compared to Thanatos. Even as a criminal, Cho had recognized the threat Thanatos posed and promised to help Danny stop him, but the day Danny needed Cho, he never showed. Cho was the reason so many people died that day—including Danny’s mother.

Danny decides to teach the man a lesson and fan the fire of their attraction into something more. At worst, he’ll get some no-strings-attached sex out of the deal and finally blow off steam; at best, he’ll get Cho to fall in love with him and then break his heart to spite him. Danny doesn’t expect to fall for Cho in the process, and he certainly can’t predict the much darker threat on the horizon.

Read an excerpt:

The long game, Danny thought as he accepted the hand Cho held out to help him from the sofa. Cho couldn’t have any fun with a blubbering mess, so of course he’d want to cheer Danny up. It didn’t mean anything. It just felt nice that Cho didn’t pry the way the others did. He’d never look down on Danny. He was a liar, a criminal, a scoundrel—he was the reason Danny had been forced into that position with Thanatos to begin with—but while the rest of his life felt like an open wound, somehow Cho was a balm.

Danny made a show of changing out of Cho’s clothes and into his Zeus costume right there in the living room. Leaving the sleep pants and T-shirt folded on the sofa, he started to put on his boots at the door.

“Interesting choice of work clothes.” Cho crossed his arms with an amused eyebrow raise.

“I’ll change when I get to the precinct. And next time I’ll call. Or text. Promise. Thanks for breakfast.” Danny made to walk toward Cho off the rug, then gave an abortive gesture like oops, stuck now with my boots on.

Cho rolled his eyes, but he still moved closer to accept the kiss Danny pulled him into. And let linger. And linger... Maybe a little longer than necessary.

“Have a nice day at work, dear,” Cho said, sickly sweet in his familiar drawl.

Danny found himself smiling—and meaning it.

Cho was a bad man. He was. He…he was. But he made things lighter. And easier. And even though Danny knew that soon he’d have to end this or risk getting in too deep, for now he could enjoy the lie for just a little longer.


About the Author:
Amanda Meuwissen has been writing and posting online for many years, including maintaining the website and blog for the software company Outsell. She is an avid writer and consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games, and is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their two cats.

http://www.amandameuwissen.com/
http://crimsondomingo.tumblr.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6831429.Amanda_Meuwissen
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaMeuwissen
https://twitter.com/MissSuperCube

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Menage in Paradise by Anya Summers


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Ian has wanted Olivia from the moment they first met. They shared a torrid one-night-stand in Scotland a year prior and never spoke of it again. Now they are business partners, and Ian has plans to woo Olivia back into his bed permanently.

Eric Thomas is a drummer from the superstar rock band, The Harbingers. When he meets Olivia, he knows there’s something different about her. He wants her – and not just for the night.

But when the two Doms cause a stir with their antics on Pleasure Island as they each attempt to win Olivia, they will be forced to contemplate another means of attaining their prize. Can they convince Olivia to experience the fantasy of a ménage with them? And will what happens on Pleasure Island stay that way?

Publisher’s Note: While this steamy ménage is part of the bestselling Pleasure Island series, it can be read and enjoyed on its own.

Read an excerpt:

One mistake. One teensy error in judgement had changed everything.

The deed that she was trying fervently to forget never should have happened in the first place. But it had. Choices had consequences, even drunken choices. And since Olivia didn’t own a time machine, nothing could change that fact. Once they’d tangled in the sheets together, their friendship evolved—and not for the better.

It didn’t matter that it had been without a doubt the hottest night of her life, or that she’d not known how hot his fires burned. Their lovemaking had scorched the very fabric of her soul. Ian was normally so staid and stoic, which made the night all the more memorable and the walls erected between them since all the more daunting.

The man infuriated her. He’d hurt her—or her heart, anyway. That had been the most unexpected thing, considering Olivia didn’t do feelings and tended to skedaddle once emotions came into play. In her life, love had been used as a weapon. The scars she bore on her soul attested to how insidious the barbs and arrows of emotions could be.

So Ian didn’t want her help. Big surprise there. The difficult man snarled at her for even offering him aid.

Silly. Stupid even of her to try and offer assistance after the past year. Their relationship could be defined as stilted, forced, and foreign, even. Like they were two strangers attempting to divine the other’s moods. Wary beasts wondering when the next loaded barb would pierce their heart.

Regret weighed her down as she ascended the stairs—holding on to the rail as the vessel dipped and swayed—into the blinding sunlight. Slipping her sunglasses into place, shielding her gaze, needing to hide the ache in her chest, she ignored the rest of the passengers as she traipsed across the boat deck. Olivia wasn’t in the mood to be social. There would be enough of that forced on her over the next two weeks, where every moment she would have to pretend she wasn’t hemorrhaging internally from wounds no one saw.

The next two weeks would make or break them.


About the Author: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website here:

http://www.anyasummers.com

Visit her on social media here:

http://www.facebook.com/AnyaSummersAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AnyaBSummers
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15183606.Anya_Summers
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anya-summers

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

Dungeon Fantasy Club Series
Her Highland Master, Book 1
To Master and Defend, Book 2
Two Doms for Kara, Book 3
His Driven Domme, Book 4
Her Country Master, Book 5
Love Me, Master Me, Book 6
Submit To Me, Book 7
Her Wired Dom, Book 8

Pleasure Island Series

Her Master & Commander, Book 1
Her Music Masters, Book 2
Their Shy Submissive, Book 3
Her Undercover Doms, Book 4
Her Lawful Master, Book 5
Her Rockstar Dom, Book 6
Duets & Dominance, Book 7
Ménage In Paradise, Book 8
Her Rodeo Masters, Book 9

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Birthday Presents by Dianne Hartsock


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dianne Hartsock will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I stumbled on my first m/m erotic romance about six years ago, and I have to say, I was instantly hooked! I’ve read plenty of romances, but there was something about the intimacy and passion and strength of their love in a world that doesn’t always except them as a couple, that really got to me. I wanted to write something this touching and intensely personal, really climb into their skin and see what makes them tick. I can’t seem to find this level of intimacy in any other genre.

What research/world-builing is required?

Everything! Birthday Presents is a contemporary story, so I didn’t have to world build for this one. But it’s about a serial killer and his victims and the police/detectives that are tracking him down. I needed to research modern serial killers. What survivors have to say about their horrifying experience. Their family’s ordeal. PTSD. Police procedure. Some of this I already knew from other crime stories I’ve written, but with new characters come more things to research. If I don’t get it right, the story loses credibility, which loses the reader’s interest.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

How to be brave. My goodness, the terrible things that were done, the fear and pain and terror they went through. How they didn’t simply fall apart and give in to despair, I’ll never know. But they kept hold of hope, and though they have a long recovery ahead of them, they’re going to make it. They have good friends who will make sure they do.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I think if I didn’t have to work and could stay home and write full time, we’d have the cleanest house in the world! When I get into a writing a difficult scene, I get restless and nervous and pace the floor, scrub the counter, straighten a bookshelf, anything while I work out the sequence of events in my head. Sitting still while I untwist a plot point is not an option.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Panster? I say that hesitantly because I usually am plotting out a storyline for a new book while still working on another one. I usually know the main characters, the beginning, where I’d like the story to go, and the ending. Of course, once I start writing, my characters take over and then it’s like herding cats to get them to go where I want them to. It’s always an adventure and I don’t always end up where I thought we’d be, but it’s also the only way I can write. If it’s too structured, I lose out on the fun and the surprises my characters have in store for me.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My notebook for Birthday Presents! I wanted to make sure I got all the names right and didn’t leave anything important out of this interview. I did have a cup of coffee there about ten minutes ago, but finished it (my third cup) and didn’t think I should have any more. Being a jittery author is not always a good combination. Who knows what my characters would do then!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Most everything I’ve written up to date has been published. (Lucky me!) At the moment I’m finishing up a psychological thriller and will send that to my publisher at the end of the year to see what they think. After that I’ll start a romantic suspense story based on a winter legend. I won’t tell you which one! I want it to be a surprise.

Do you have a question for our readers?

With so many terrific stories out there, I have a hard time picking which one to buy next. Do you have a favorite author, and if so, which book of theirs would you recommend I read first?

For Tracey, life has become a nightmare. Kidnapped from a nightclub in Boulder, Colorado, brutalized and raped by the killer known as Crimson, he's held captive alongside Kyle, a young man Crimson keeps chained to his bed and is slowly torturing to death. Though Tracey manages to escape with Kyle's help, he is forced to leave Kyle behind.

Gene has never stopped looking for his brother Kyle, abducted from a nightclub seven months previously. The case breaks open when Tracey comes forward, claiming to have knowledge of the whereabouts of Crimson's hideout.

A manhunt begins, but Crimson's birthday has come and gone, and he will kill again.

Read an excerpt:

"I know." Paige gave him an intense look. "I will find them, Gene."

Gene sighed, scrubbing at his face with his hands. "How many men do we have out here?" he asked, staring into the darkness below them.

"There's a team two ridges over, working their way toward us, and another sweeping from the west. We have Crimson boxed in, as long as no one gets careless. Another reason I wanted to stop. Can't risk him doubling back and getting behind us."

Gene nodded, though his skin crawled with nerves. He let out a long breath and shifted, stretching out on the hard ground.

Paige leaned back on his elbows, his gaze on the dark trees in front of them. He flicked Gene a glance. "You should get some sleep."

"Fuck that." Gene saw him flinch. "Can you find Crimson in this?"

"Yes. He's very good, though. The signs I've been finding have been left by Tracey. A footprint here, bent twigs, a button. "

Gene pictured Tracey as he'd last seen him: beautiful, strong, despite the shadows lurking darkly in his eyes.

"Okay," Genes said, nerves on edge. "We've had Crimson cornered several times and he's managed to get away every time. And now he has Tracey again." He rubbed his aching forehead. "How did that happen, exactly? How'd Crimson find us?"

"I have no idea. You, Craig, Klinton, and me were the only ones who knew the location. My money's on Craig."


About the Author:
Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

Blog: http://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/diannehartsock
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/diannehartsock
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4707011-dianne-hartsock
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dianne-Hartsock/e/B005106SYQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1361897239&sr=8-1
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Dianne-Hartsock-Author-107985445959828/

Buy the book at Amazon, Less Than Three Press, or Kobo.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

The White Lady by Beth Trissel


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth Trissel will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard, Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It's just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.

Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap.

Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.

Read an excerpt:

What had Mrs. Burke said about the smell of black magic? An acrid scent clung to the portrait. Avery could practically taste the bitterness on her tongue, and she’d scarfed the last dollop of Guy’s chocolate mousse. The chocolaty sweetness should linger, not this fetid whiff from the fumes of Mordor.

A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but the disagreeable odor went beyond the mustiness associated with the age of some things, mostly old books. And this was no antiquated leather-bound volume. Paintings didn’t generally reek. Had she grown more sensitive to the smell, or was the proximity of the portrait the reason she was affected? Or something far more ominous…

When/if they returned from this journey, she planned to toss her Highness into the fire, unless Mrs. Burke still objected to destroying the painting. Ignus was too entranced for a reasonable discussion. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers with him. Not entirely. He wasn’t deranged, but not himself.

Maybe if she hadn’t known him before his bewitchment, she wouldn’t be as aware of the alteration in his personality. He used to be a lot more fun.

She sought Stan’s reassuring presence. His hair might change color, and he didn’t need the glasses he wore to enhance his geekiness, but he remained steady.

“Here goes nothing, or freakin’ everything,” she said.

He eyed her from beneath his brown bowler. “Something, for sure. Whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t blink.”

Her jaw dropped. “Not the Weeping Angels again? Are you thinking what I am?”

A smile twitched at his lips. “Great minds.”

“Don’t go there. Nothing could be worse than them.”

All humor faded from his face. “Never say never.”


About the Author:
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my people and furbabies. An avid gardener, I grow herbs and heirloom flowers and use them in my stories. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the Scots-Irish are at the heart of my inspiration. My English/Scots-Irish ancestors were among the earliest settlers in America. I write historical romance set in the colonial frontier (The Native American Warrior Series), and the American Revolution (The Traitor's Legacy Series), colonial American Christmas romance (A Warrior for Christmas) Georgian England romance (Into the Lion's Heart, the time and place of Poldark). Some of my historicals have ghosts and paranormal in them. I also write Young Adult shapeshifter, fantasy romance (The Secret Warrior Series), and New Adult paranormal time travel, time slip romance to the Scottish Highlands, the American Revolution, the Civil War, WW1.. (My Somewhere in Time and Ladies in Time Series.)

Blog--One Writer’s Way: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bctrissel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethTrissel
Amazon Author Page where all my books reside: https://twitter.com/BethTrissel

The White Lady is available in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/White-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B075XBTY1J and in eBook from all major online booksellers.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

One Hundred Promises of Love by Aidee Ladnier


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Aidee Ladnier will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

For Ethan and Nico, a broken millefiori ornament is more than a few shards of glass−it’s a chance at finding love at Christmas.

Ethan Carson wants to treat his mother to the perfect Christmas while she’s visiting over the holidays. He’s spent all his savings on presents and bought an enormous tree that takes up half his living room. But when he starts to trim the tree with the family heirloom decorations, he finds her favorite ornament, the one his late father bought on their honeymoon, is broken.

Glassblower Nico Kazan doesn’t celebrate Christmas—unless you count trying to sell the art glass in his gallery to holiday shoppers. When Ethan, the object of his secret crush, asks him to recreate a broken Murano ball, he knows it will take more than his skill and time. Can he risk his heart to give Ethan back a symbol of love and family for Christmas?


Read an excerpt:

On the Christmas card, two fluffy Persian cats sporting felt antlers stared at Ethan in disgust. Behind them a miniature sleigh sat empty. A thought balloon rose above one cat with the words, “Pull your own sleigh, fat man.” Ha. Ethan tried to smother the chuckle, but it escaped.

“Are you laughing at your Cousin Emmylou’s lumbago?” His mom’s disapproving question snapped Ethan back to the conversation on his phone. He shoved the card back in the rack and lined them up from where the last customer picked through them.

“What? No. What is lumbago, anyway?” His Cousin Emmylou always had some ailment discussed ad nauseam by the family. A pang of regret thrummed in his chest as Ethan realized he wouldn’t see Cousin Emmylou or any of the extended family this Christmas.

At least his mom would be here to celebrate.

“It’s a three-dollar word for back pain.” Ethan’s mom sighed. “Last month it was impetigo. I swear that woman is a walking health hazard.”

“Well, you’ll get a week off from Cousin Emmylou. I’m looking forward to your visit, Mom.” And he was. His mom traveled little, and he wanted to pamper her this Christmas. He’d spent his cash, extra savings, and maxed out his puny credit card to buy spa day gift certificates, theatre tickets, and a special weekend stay at the Opryland hotel. He’d even sprung for passes to see his mom’s favorite performer in concert. He’d need to watch his budget through January to make sure he didn’t overdraw his checking account, but she deserved it. Christmas was always hard, now that Dad had passed. And with her move out of the family home this year... He wanted her new memories to be just as special.

“I can’t wait to spend quality time with my baby boy again.”

“Well, it will be a whole new experience to see Nashville at Christmas. Don’t forget to bring a warm coat.”

His mom’s laughter sparkled through the phone’s speaker. “No shorts for Christmas?”

“I’m hoping for snow.” Ethan chuckled at his mom’s exaggerated “brrr” noise in response.

“There’s something else I—” She began but movement beyond the coffee shop’s plate glass window caught his eye.

Ethan recognized the tall, delicious figure in purple lens sunglasses striding toward him. He interrupted her mid-sentence. “Oops. Gotta go, Mom. Love you.”

“Love you too, baby boy.”

Ethan rammed the phone back in his pocket and ducked behind the counter a minute before the bell over the door jingled.


About the Author:
Award-winning author Aidee Ladnier began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, and send ping pong balls into space. Don’t tell anyone, but she secretly likes to watch Hallmark Christmas movies because she’s convinced that the holidays are the most romantic time of year.

You can find her on her blog at http://www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites:

Tumblr: http://aideemoi.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aideelad
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AideeLadnier
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6570769.Aidee_Ladnier
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aideelad

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The One Apart by Justine Avery



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Justine Avery will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What inspired you to write this story?

For The One Apart, I woke up one morning with just one interesting sentence in mind as an idea for a brand-new story: “he remembered everything.” It felt really impactful, like the fact that this person remembered “everything” was a big deal, that it wasn’t supposed to happen, something went wrong, or maybe, someone would be really upset to discover this person did remember everything. That was it. And that’s my favorite part of writing. I love having no idea what the story is and just writing to uncover it. I wrote two scenes from that idea and set it aside because I was hoping to write a short story and I knew this idea was “a long one.” And two years later, when I sat down to start writing my first novel, I picked up this story idea again. I knew this one was the idea to run with.

What was your favorite part to write?

I loved writing The Big Reveal—once I knew it was part of the story—when the story kind of explodes and suddenly expands around you as you’re reading it, and you realize there’s much more to the story, to this character’s life, to the whole universe around us, than you first imagine.

What was the hardest part to write?

*MINI SPOILER ALERT!* The most difficult bit to write was when Tres, the main character, suddenly disappeared on me as I was writing the moment he was in. He had to go away, his life was too difficult and confusing for him, and I felt very sad for him and his family left behind who had no answers for what they were about to realize about him. It was hard to write their lives without him, especially as they needed him the most.

How did you come up with your characters?

It all began with the main character, Tres, who appeared right in the first few sentences and had a huge predicament: he was about to be born, with the memories of every life formerly lived. Then, he had to be born to someone. So, Sancha, his teenage mother, and Maria, his soon-to-be grandmother, came to be. As the story continues, Tres is born, grows through childhood, and crosses paths with many other characters who all play an important role and help him to realize who he is and his purpose in this life. For me, the characters come to be as I write the story, as if they were “there,” waiting for me to discover them, all along.

Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?

I have a few short stories that belong in a collection full of tales of those moments in life when everything changes, when a new path is chosen, when we’re jerked right out of our old ways—all with twists and surprises, of course!

Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he's lived before.

Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.

He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he's too afraid to ask: why am I?

In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.

Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.


Read an excerpt:

A casual knock pre-empted the arrival of an attending nurse. Sancha heard the sounds of a metal cart rolled in, its wheels locked in place at her bedside. She took a quick puff of air and released it as the knuckles of her fists began to turn white.

She heard a rustling of linens, then Maria leaning toward her from her chair on the opposite side of the bed.

Something heavy and warm was laid against Sancha’s arm.

“Sancha...” Maria pleaded this time. “Please.”

Sancha squirmed against the uncomfortable pressure on her arm.

“I can’t let you live the rest of your life,” Maria whispered, “knowing you never even saw him.”

Sancha swallowed. Her breathing quickened. She rolled her lips between her teeth. And she opened her eyes—as slowly as humanly possible.

The brightest pair of crystalline blue eyes stared back at her.

They blinked tenderly, giving away how new to blinking they actually were. Their steady gaze pierced straight through to something rooted within Sancha.

The eyes blinked again, temporarily cutting off the intense connection before opening again to resume it. Sancha rested on her bed in silence, mesmerized by the novice rhythm of blinking resembling Morse code.

Every muscle in her body relaxed. Her mouth began to form an unthinkable smile. She couldn’t help herself.

The baby—her baby—beamed at her with his big, round eyes and flooded her with the total contentment and perfect peace that wafts only from brand-new life.


Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.

www.JustineAvery.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Justine_Avery
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JustineAvery
Book buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B7RDWY

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Monday, December 4, 2017

The Prophet and the Witch by James W. George


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. James W. George will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Go to http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/11/vbt-prophet-and-witch-by-james-w-george.html to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Things You Might Not Know About James W. George


1. I strongly suspect my teenage son is secretly letting me win at NFL Madden on the Play Station.

I think he knows how grumpy and cranky I get when I’m losing, and I think he knows it’s just not worth the aggravation. My suspicions are always raised when I get out to a nice ten or twenty- point-lead, but then, in the fourth quarter, he starts doing all these crazy no-huddle offenses and starts moving the ball downfield like he’s Tom Brady.

One of the most fascinating things about parenthood is watching your kids eclipse you at things. When they’re in elementary school, it almost seems inconceivable that one day, they will run faster than you, they will be smarter than you, they will play musical instruments better than you, and they will almost always defeat you at games of skill or strategy. But that’s the nature of humanity. It’s just always surprising how quickly it comes.

Fortunately, I gave him a Thanksgiving beatdown on the chess board, which I’m almost certain was legit. Almost.

2.I am obsessed with conquering the world.

On the topic of video games, by far my favorites are those variations of “Risk” or “Axis and Allies,” where you have a map and you watch your armies fan out over the globe. When I was a kid, if I wanted to play “Risk,” I’d have to find three of four friends, it would take seven hours, and there would be two or three gruesome, childish tantrums (usually my own). Now the whole thing takes fifteen minutes on my Kindle. And, if I inadvertently let loose with a fiendish, Doctor-Evil-esque laugh, there’s no one around to notice.

3.I’m worried I’m going to have to pay a cover charge and a two-drink minimum to sit in my living room.

On the subject of kids eclipsing their parents, I am stunned how good my sixteen-year-old son has become on guitar. There’s all kinds of backing tracks you can download from the internet now, and when I walk into my house in the evening, it’s like I’m in a Chicago blues club. I keep looking around for a waitress to bring me a beer.

My son is considering becoming a music major, but he is approaching it with eyes wide open. He even told me this joke: What’s the difference between a guitarist and a sturdy couch? The couch can support a family of four.

4. I have never been defeated in a 5K race by any women over the age of 65.

I’ve never been much of an athlete, but while living in Charleston, S.C. in the 1990s, it was pretty hard to resist the holiday 5K races they offered. They were on Thanksgiving, and there was another one right around Christmas. They went right through the heart of the beautiful downtown, and they were a lot of fun.

I remember during one of them, I was huffing and puffing while approaching the home stretch. Off in the distance, at least fifty yards ahead, I spied a woman who seemed to be at least seventy years old! She was beating me! I was in my mid-twenties! Absolutely horrified, I kicked it into high gear. With my vision blurring and my heart bursting, I crossed the finish line at least ten yards ahead of her. YES! IN YOUR FACE, GRANDMA!

The next day, they posted the winning times in the local newspaper. I was proud to see the winning time for the category of women over the age of 65 was five seconds behind my own. YES! I defeated every woman over the age of 65! VICTORY!

Now, before you beat me down with shrieks of ageism and sexism, let’s stipulate that it should be pretty reasonable that a twenty-something, healthy young man should be able to eclipse a sixty-five-year-old woman in a road race. Let’s also stipulate to the fact that I haven’t run a 5K in decades, and I have no doubt if I tried it today, there would be a veritable army of youthful, physically fit ladies of a certain age tearing past me like I was wearing molasses sneakers. Finally, let’s stipulate to the fact that my mother-in-law is well into her seventies and biking 10+ miles every day, and I’m scared to go out and ride with her. So, bottom line, my triumphant victory was pretty fleeting.

5. I love Scrooge McDuck.

My office is filled with Scrooge McDuck collectibles. Just because. Enough said.

Puritans. Quakers. Pirates. Mohawks. Witches. And a brutal war…

If you thought New England was dull in the 1670s, get ready for a history lesson.

In the critically acclaimed “My Father’s Kingdom,” debut author James W. George transported his readers to 1671 New England, and the world of Reverend Israel Brewster. It was a world of faith, virtue, and love, but it was also a world of treachery, hatred, and murder.

Four years later, Brewster is a disgraced outcast, residing in Providence and working as a humble cooper. Despite his best efforts, war could not be averted, and now, “King Philip’s War” has begun.

The rebellion is led by Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English colonists. He is the tormented son of the great Massasoit, and leader of the Wampanoag nation. Once the most reliable of Plymouth Colony’s allies, they are now the bitterest of enemies. Meanwhile, Metacomet’s mysterious counselor, Linto, despises this war and will do anything to end the bloodshed.

Meticulously researched, “The Prophet and the Witch” is a tale of hope and brotherhood in the face of evil and violence. It features the remarkable cast of fictional and historical characters from book one, including Josiah Winslow, Linto, Increase Mather, Constance Wilder, and Jeremiah Barron. Additionally, new characters such as America’s first ranger, Captain Benjamin Church, bring this chapter of history to life like never before.

Read an excerpt:

“Vous êtes malheureux?”

Linto morosely drew another card, and ignored Captain Alain Fontaine.

“Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas?”

Linto should have been using the opportunity, as Captain Fontaine expected, to study the language of their new allies. As the captain repeatedly conveyed, within a few years New England would merely be an extension of New France, and a working knowledge of French would be vital.

“Are you unhappy, Linto?”

The shift back to English stirred Linto from his dull torpor. He briefly made eye contact, played his card, and sighed. They were playing “one and thirty,” and this would certainly be the fourth consecutive hand Linto would lose. His three cards currently added up to a paltry seventeen points, and he knew Fontaine would capitalize on his discard.

“I will take your three, and…voila. I have thirty-one. Or better yet, I have trente et un.” Linto stared vacantly into space.

“Linto, speak to me. You miss your family, no? I miss my family as well. My daughter is named Madeline. She is with her grandmother in Lyons. Tell me, what are the names of your children?”

Linto blinked and stared at the table. “Will Father Jacques ever come back, Cahp-ee-tehn Alain?”

Fontaine remained cordial. “I do not believe so. I have told you before. He will spend the spring to the west of here, on the shores of the ocean lake. It is very far, but he will save many souls. But I can answer all of your questions. You wish to know more about the English heresies? How they revile the Holy Father?”

Linto reached absent-mindedly for the cards, and lethargically shuffled them, much to Fontaine’s surprise. “A fifth hand, Linto? Surely, your luck must be ready to change?”

Linto briefly ruminated on the concept of luck. “Cahp-ee-tehn Alain, do you confess your sins?”

“Excusez-moi?”

“Father Jacques told me true Christians will tell a holy man all the things they have done wrong, and they will ask to be forgiven. Do you think people are punished if they don’t tell a holy man all the things they have done wrong?”

“You think of such serious matters all the time, Linto. The sky is clear, the English are on the run all over the land, and we are roasting ducks today. There will be a big lacrosse game to watch in the afternoon. I think we will also see at least thirty more warriors arrive this week, and they will bring muskets.”

Linto continued his ineffective shuffling. “How often do you tell the holy man your sins? What if you do bad things every day?”

Fontaine reached for the cards and took them. “Linto, you have been moping like a sad Puritan ever since you went to see the Nipmuc. Weren’t they overjoyed at the news? Aren’t they making preparations for two hundred new warriors?”

The reminder of deception and falsehood triggered an even deeper gloom in Linto. He sat silently, and was relieved when one of Cahp-ee-tehn Alain’s attendants came in with cheese and brandy. Linto hoped the subject would now quickly change.


About the Author:
James W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction. He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran. He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.

He published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom in January 2017. The novel described the prelude to King Philip’s War in New England in the 1670s. The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”

My Father’s Kingdom is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch, was published in September 2017. This is an epic novel that spans the entire conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary Rowlandson. The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for October 2017.

The author is looking forward to book three of the trilogy, and he can be found on Goodreads.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16292087.James_W_George
https://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Witch-Puritan-England-Fathers-ebook/dp/B0755QL6CR

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Creating Places: The Art of World Building by Randy Ellefson


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Randy Ellefson will be awarding an ultimate world builder's package to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Creating a unique, immersive setting one place at a time.

CREATING PLACES (THE ART OF WORLD BUILDING, #2) is a detailed how-to guide on inventing the heart of every imaginary world - places. It includes chapters on inventing planets, moons, continents, mountains, forests, deserts, bodies of water, sovereign powers, settlements, and interesting locales. Extensive, culled research on each is provided to inform your world building decisions and understand the impact on craft, story, and audience. You’ll also learn how and when to create history and maps. Experts and beginners alike will benefit from the free templates that make building worlds easier, quicker, and more fun.

Learn the difference between types of monarchies, democracies, dictatorships and more for realistic variety and believable conflict. Understand how latitude, prevailing winds, and mountains affect climate, rainfall, and what types of forests and deserts will exist in each location. Consistently calculate how long it takes to travel by horse, wagon, sailing vessels, or even dragon over different terrain types and conditions.

CREATING PLACES is the second volume in THE ART OF WORLD BUILDING, the only multi-volume series of its kind. Three times the length, depth, and breadth of other guides, the series can help fantasy and science fiction creators determine how much to build and why, how to use world building in your work, and whether the effort to create places will reap rewards for you and your audience.


Read an excerpt:

All flying animals that are depicted as being ridable are imaginary. The likelihood is that none of them would get off the ground with a rider, but there’s no fun in that. We must take being realistic with a bigger grain of salt than normal. This can suggest doing whatever we want, and we certainly can, but there are often useful details and considerations that arise from trying to being realistic anyway. And these serve to make our work more believable.

While flying can generally be assumed to be done in a straight line, factors change this. Mountains can be tall enough that they must be circumnavigated. Real birds struggle to get over the Himalayas, for example, because the air is thinner. Larger creatures like a dragon would suffer even more from this. Dragons are often depicted as all powerful, but this is one way to make them less formidable and realistic at once. The difficulty of climbing over tall mountains is one reason, along with rain shadows, for characterizing any land features we’ve created; in this case, we’ll decide which mountains ranges are this tall (hint from chapter 4: the tallest peaks are in the interior of a continent, not on its coast).

Hostile territories can also change flight patterns, whether that hostility is other animals or sentient beings like humans. Even dragons are preyed upon by other dragons. A lone dragon might fear to fly through an area full of other dragons, especially if the latter are territorial or of another kind hostile to its own kind. If the dragon is unafraid, his rider might be more cautious.


About the Author:
Randy Ellefson has written fantasy fiction since his teens and is an avid world builder, having spent three decades creating Llurien, which has its own website. He has a Bachelor’s of Music in classical guitar but has always been more of a rocker, having released several albums and earned endorsements from music companies. He’s a professional software developer and runs a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. suburbs. He loves spending time with his son and daughter when not writing, making music, or playing golf.

Creating Places universal buy link: http://www.books2read.com/creatingplaces
The Art of World Building Podcast http://www.artofworldbuilding.com/podcast
The Art of World Building Website: http://www.ArtofWorldBuilding.com
Author Website: http://www.RandyEllefson.com
FREE eBook: http://fiction.randyellefson.com/freebook
Twitter: http://twitter.com/randyellefson
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyEllefsonAuthor
Google+: https://www.google.com/+RandyEllefson
NOTE: The book series has a new podcast where even more details are discussed. This podcast is free to listen! Follow along here: http://www.artofworldbuilding.com/podcast



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