Friday, July 31, 2015

The Writer's View: R.L. King

VBT_TourBanner_TheAlistairStoneChronices (1)

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $40 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 Writer's View
Hi, and thank you for inviting me to post on your blog! Interesting question! I’d like to talk about the view inside my writing space.
I live with my spouse and our small herd of cats in a four-bedroom house, so I have my own office room where I do most of my writing. Much as I love the cats, sometimes I need to get away from them so I can think! As you can see in the picture, I like to be surrounded by fun stuff—I’ve got action figures, old convention badges, stuffed toys, cups, my ever-present can of Diet Coke, story notes, and a bunch of other things that I should probably clean up (like the ancient iPod and at least one of the microphones). I tend to get a bit cluttered if I’m not careful, and every once in a while I just have to swoop through and clean up or it starts to drive me a little crazy. At least it’s not covered in drifts of cat hair!

One odd thing about me is that I can’t write well unless I’m comfortable. I’ve seen plenty of people who can write with a laptop on their lap while sitting on a couch, or twisted sideways with their monitor off to the far side of their desk: I envy that, but I can’t do it. I need a comfortable chair, a good surface, a big monitor, and full-sized keyboard. I can write on a laptop if I’m away from home and have no other alternative, but I don’t like it and I don’t feel like I do my best work there. That’s probably why I rarely get much writing done when I’m on vacation.

I have an auxiliary writing space downstairs: my Mac is in my office, and my Windows machine is on a desk downstairs in what used to be the dining area. This is where I used to do most of my work until I finally got tired of my office being an overgrown storage room and shoveled it out! I still use the PC when I want to be more social with the cats and the spouse, when I need to do formatting, and when I’m just generally not feeling like shutting myself up in a room. I transfer my work back and forth between the two via email. So far, this setup has worked out very well for me.

Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor, powerful mage, and snarky British expat now based in Palo Alto, California, does his best to keep his academic and social lives separate from his increasingly frequent brushes with various malevolent forces from the supernatural side of the street. A little horror, a little humor, but mostly straight-up urban fantasy.

Stone-and-a-Hard-Place-new-face-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalStone and a Hard Place

Dr. Alastair Stone, Occult Studies professor and powerful mage, has his hands full trying to keep the two sides of his life separate as he trains a new apprentice, deals with a malevolent entity trapped in the basement of a wealthy old woman's massive home, and battles dark mages intent on enslaving it for their own ends.

Debut novel of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.

MediaKit_BookCover_Bk2_AlastairStoneChroniclesThe Forgotten

Dr. Alastair Stone is back, this time teaming up with Jason Thayer, a young man hunting for his missing sister. Embroiled in a web of odd homeless people, a growing conspiracy, and deadly danger, they soon realize that even if they find Jason's sister, they might not be able to help her.

What do you do when you discover an extradimensional plot that threatens the safety of the entire world, but you can't tell anyone about it because literally anyone on Earth could be part of it?

Book Two of the Alastair Stone Chronicles.

Enjoy an excerpt from The Forgotten:

“I had a bad dream,” she said, head buried in Stripey’s neck. It was hard for Stone to make out what she said; he tuned out everything in the room except the little girl in front of him.

“I see…” he said softly. “I have those sometimes, too. What sort of bad dream was it?”

“I don’t know.” She sniffled. “I got up to go to the bafroom. I had to pee.” At that point, she began to shake. “Then I don’t ’member anything until…until…”

“It’s all right,” he said. “Take your time.” Her aura was a mess now, the dark spots rising up to nearly blot out the normal gold. Clearly, her thoughts were agitating her. Behind her, Barnett started to rise from his chair, but Stone waved him back down.

Madison pulled in a deep, shuddering breath and met his eyes. “I…I was standing next to Mommy’s bed. She had something in her eye. There was…blood.” Without warning, she leaped from her chair, flinging Stripey aside and launching herself into Stone’s lap. Her back shook as she dissolved into tears.

Stone, startled, for a moment did nothing. He glanced up at Barnett (help me!) and hesitantly put his arms around the little girl, feeling her wracking sobs. “Shh…” he whispered. “It’s all right…” Of course it’s not all right. You murdered your mother and you don’t even remember it. How can anything ever be all right for you again?

About the Author: R. L. King is an award-winning author and game freelancer for Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the popular roleplaying game Shadowrun. She has contributed fiction and game material to numerous sourcebooks, as well as one full-length adventure, "On the Run," included as part of the 2012 Origins-Award-winning "Runners' Toolkit."

Her first novel in the Shadowrun universe, Borrowed Time, was published in May 2015.

When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, King is a software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company. In her spare time (hah!) she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and her small herd of cats, watching way too much Doctor Who, and attending conventions when she can. She is an active member of the Horror Writers' Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.

Writer Website ~ Publisher Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page

Buy Stone and a Hard Place (book 1) and The Forgotten (Book 2) at Amazon.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Win a $25 Amazon/BN GC - DEACON by Cheryl Douglas

BBT_TourBanner_Deacon copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cheryl Douglas 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_DeaconWhen Deacon Sarkis sets his sights on the gorgeous young model gracing the pages of his glossy catalogue, he knows he has to have her. One problem. She’s not available. But that won’t stop Deacon. He’s a man used to getting what he wants and he wants Mia. Mia is stunned when she receives an email from the elusive billionaire who owns the lingerie company she models for. He tells her he’s intrigued. He’s not the only one. But she knows she’d be a fool to throw away an eight year relationship for a brief affair with the head honcho. He doesn’t do relationships and she doesn’t do casual sex. It seems they’re at an impasse. Who will come out on top in this battle of wills? The dominant one or the woman intent on teaching him the meaning of submission?

Enjoy the excerpt:

With the launch party at the forefront of my mind, I made my way downstairs to wardrobe. Half a dozen women turned, gaping at me. I rarely made personal selections for my models, but I didn’t think my presence warranted such stunned silence.

“Good afternoon, ladies,” I said, trying to hide my amusement.

“Hello, Mr. Starkis,” one of the women stammered. “How can we help you?”

“I’m here about the fashion show this weekend.”

She gestured toward several hanging racks. “Everything’s taken care of, sir. You’re welcome to have a look at the samples. They’re right over there.”

“I’d like to see what Mia Barnes will be wearing.”

Two women exchanged curious glances before one said, “Of course, Mr. Starkis. I’ll get those selections right away.”

I barely noticed the gorgeous models milling about half-naked, being fitted for the upcoming show. Many were trying to get my attention, smiling or giving me sultry looks as they met my eyes in the full-length mirror. They had been hand-selected for their talent and beauty, but none were Mia, therefore none held my attention for long.

“Here they are,” the harried, middle-aged woman with the blond bob and pixie skirt said. “I think these will look fabulous on Mia.” She laughed. “I’ve worked in this business a long time, and I can tell you it’s rare to find a model who looks amazing in everything she tries on. Most have some flaw they wish to hide, but not our Mia.”

I smiled tightly. Our Mia? Wrong. She was my Mia. “I’m sure you’re right, but that one won’t work,” I said, pointing at the lavender silk bra and matching panties on the white satin hanger. “Next.”

Looking stricken, the woman said, “But—”

“It’s lovely…?”


“It’s lovely, Barbara. Just not what I have in mind for Mia. May I see the next one?”

She held up a black lace bustier with a matching thong, looking apprehensive. She had every reason to be nervous. The only time I expected to see Mia parading around wearing that was when she was modeling it for me.

“I want her to model the bridal collection.” I knew that was sexy yet demure.

“The bridal collection?” Barbara seemed stunned by my request.

“Is there a problem?”

“Um, no, but with Eleni’s darker coloring, I thought she would be perfect for the bridal collection.”

“You thought wrong,” I said, pinning her with a stare that brooked no argument. “Switch them. Eleni can wear these.” I gestured toward the pieces Mia had been slotted to wear. “Mia will model the bridal collection.”

“Of course, Mr. Starkis. Anything you say, sir.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DeaconWhen one door closes, another one opens. I closed the door to my business for the last time in 2011, which left me with a decision. What now? Find another location and move my nutrition business, go to work for someone else, or take a chance on my dream? I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back!

I’ve always loved reading and writing, but it wasn’t until I jumped in with both feet and decided writing would be my career, instead of just a hobby, that my muse woke up from her deep slumber.

It was like someone flipped a switch inside my head and stories just came pouring out. At the end of the day, I would often look at the keyboard and wonder, ‘Who the heck wrote that? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me!’

I don’t write books. I tell stories, or rather, I allow my characters to tell their stories through me. I’m not a plotter, never have been, never will be. Why? Because I have no idea how the story will evolve and it’s not my place to manipulate it. My job is to get to know these characters, figure out what makes them tick, then follow their journey wherever it takes me.

When I’m not writing, I’m daydreaming. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband and son who know I’ll re-join the land of the living just as soon as my muse decides it’s quitting time. I don’t work for myself. I work for her. She’s the boss. And I’m okay with that.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, or iTunes.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Q&A with p.m. terrell, author of A THIN SLICE OF HEAVEN

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. p.m.terrell will be awarding a Celtic Butterfly Suncatcher similar to the one mentioned in the book, symbolizing both the never-ending cycle of life and the metamorphosis of a butterfly to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Read our review here.

Hi, p.m., we want to know you. Can you tell us something about you?

I’ve been writing since the 1970’s and I’ve been a full-time writer since 2002. I am a Scot-Irish-American and I love writing scenes set in Ireland and Northern Ireland. I first became interested in Ireland when writing Songbirds are Free, the true story of my ancestor whose family had immigrated to America in the 1700’s. I’ve now written seven books set in Ireland, and with my frequent trips there, I have enough material for many more. I have plans to travel to Scotland, where my family lived prior to moving to Ireland in the 1600’s, and I’m certain I’ll be inspired to write about that beautiful country as well.

A Thin Slice of Heaven is the name of your book. How did you come up with this name?

The name of the book came from a conversation between the main character, Charleigh, and the ghost of Sean Bracken. Puzzled as to why he continued to haunt the castle, Charleigh asks Sean if he hadn’t been attracted by a white light or encouraged to move toward heaven. He answered with a sweep of his hand toward the castle, “This is my thin slice of heaven.”

You are an author. I'm assuming that you're reading books. How much do you read in a year?

I am a very slow reader; I like to study passages and when a book evokes emotion, I like to reread those scenes so I understand how the author was able to elicit a reaction from me. I generally read only 2-3 fiction books each month in addition to the research, historical and non-fiction required for my writing. Those books that I do read tend to remain with me for a long time.

What's your expectation about your book?

Having been in this business for so many decades, my expectations are quite modest. I only hope that my writing provides enjoyment for others. I thoroughly appreciate those who contact me through my website or social media to let me know how much they enjoyed reading my books, particularly this last one—I’ve been contacted by many who have recently lost loved ones and Sean’s explanation of the afterlife provided them with a good deal of comfort.

Are you hanging out in any social media? Which ones you're using mostly?

I only have time for two so I have selected Twitter and Facebook. They have vastly different ways of reaching readers and fellow writers and I find that most people prefer one over the other. By being on both, I’m able to reach a larger audience and connect directly with those folks who read and enjoy my books.

What's your all-time Best/Worst Book you ever read?

There are so many great books that it’s difficult to select only one. I like books that have stood the test of time, particularly those that influenced social change and world direction. Charles Dickens did that with his books, in bringing to light the lives of many who are born and raised in poverty or under abusive conditions.

The worst book I ever read was one in which the main character, a person we were expected to connect with and like, brutally abused an animal. At that point, I could read no further. Whatever redeeming qualities the main character possessed were lost in an instant. I have a deep love for all animals and I just can’t stomach abuse.

I've been writing stories on my own since I was a child. Can you give advice to others like me?

Write every day and perfect your craft. Learn the publishing industry, whether you intend to be traditionally published or you publish on your own. Listen to constructive criticism; take what you can use and don’t dwell on the rest.

She had arranged to meet her husband in Northern Ireland for a second honeymoon, but when Charleigh arrives at the remote castle, she receives a message that he won’t be coming—and that he’s leaving her for another woman.

Stranded for the weekend by a snowstorm that has blocked all access to the castle, she finds herself three thousand miles from home in a country she knows nothing about.

She is soon joined by Sean Bracken, the great-grandson of Laird Bracken, the original owner of the castle, and she finds herself falling quickly and madly in love with him. There’s just one problem: he’s dead.

As the castle begins to come alive with secrets from centuries past, she finds herself trapped between parallel worlds. Caught up in a mass haunting, she can no longer recognize the line between the living and the dead. Now she’s discovering that her appearance there wasn’t by accident—and her life is about to change forever.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What’s happening?” Charleigh whispered. Her throat had grown dry and her voice was hoarse with tension. Though she attempted to keep her tone low so they would remain unobserved, it sounded loud and harsh in the strident atmosphere that seemed suddenly to have gripped the village. She felt anxiety growing deep within her and the urge to get back to the castle burgeoned with ferocity and urgency; but she realized with a sickening sensation in the pit of her soul that the growing inharmonious throngs were between them and the sanctuary of her room.

“Do not be afraid, m’ Leah,” Sean answered. He did not whisper but his voice was deep and taut. After a moment, he said, “They are reenacting an event that occurred… some time ago.”

“Oh,” she breathed. She should have felt relief but her insides continued to roil as if his explanation did not match the scene unfolding before her. Nervously, she said, “Reenactors. We have them in America.”

“You have witnessed them, then?”

“Yes. I find them very interesting…” She forced the words past her dry lips. “They reenact battles from the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, mainly.”

As the churning skies turned to the color of tar, Charleigh could discern the sources of the strange glow: they were torches held aloft by dozens of people. More were joining them, stragglers rushing from the village to catch up, while they began to spread apart in a more orderly column as they converged on the flat land they’d crossed on their way into the village. One man in the forefront stopped and began pointing and directing those that followed.

“These reenactments,” Sean continued, “were the people alive?”

About the Author:
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, a multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books in five genres: contemporary suspense, historical suspense, romance, computer how-to and non-fiction.

Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence, themes that have carried forward to her suspense.

She is also the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She is the organizer and chairperson of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the real town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime. For more information on this event and the literacy campaigns funded by it, visit

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Buy the book at Amazon (paperback), Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (print), Barnes and Noble (Nook), or Smashwords.

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