Tuesday, July 31, 2012

REVIEW: SHADES OF THE FUTURE by Suzanne Lilly


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Suzanne will be giving one randomly chosen commenter a shade of designer sunglasses. Click the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.


What would you do if you could see your future? Would you accept it or would you change it?

Mariah Davis loves animals, running, and her hunk of a boyfriend, Kevin Creamer. Everything looks bright for her until the day she finds a pair of sunglasses that allow her to see the future.

When she glimpses a disaster looming, she tries to avoid it but fails. She has a car accident that lands her in a wheelchair, smashing her hopes for a running scholarship to the veterinary program at Ohio State University. She pushes Kevin away, thinking he’ll want to end their relationship now that she can’t walk.

Will she ever learn to trust and love again? She could search for an answer in the sunglasses. But she’s afraid what they reveal might destroy her.

This is a charming YA book! The character of Mariah is someone you would love to hang out with--and the town of Honey Creek---let's just say I would love to have grown up there!

Ms. Lilly has done a wonderful job capturing the essence of small town life and the people who live there. There are some wonderful secondary characters that I hope I will have a chance to meet again in future books in this series.

I'm always having kids come up and ask for YA books that aren't as dark as some we have. My only regret is that this book is not available in print for them to check out.

About the Author:Suzanne Lilly is a writer at night and a teacher by day, which is why she’s known online as the TeacherWriter. Her articles and stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print. She writes light romance, young adult, and middle grade novels. When not busy with words, she enjoys swimming, hiking, reading, fine arts, and cooking. She lives in California with her family and furry friends and has yet to feel an earthquake.

You can follow her on Twitter as @suzannelilly, visit her blog at http://www.teacherwriter.net, or her author website at http://www.suzannelilly.com.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Writer's View: Karen Pokras Toz


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Karen will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops in the tour.


Hello and thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today to talk about the view inside my writing space. In my house, I have two very different and distinct writing spaces.

The first is my office. Several months ago, my husband and I decided to renovate a spare room in the back of our house that had turned into the junk room when we weren’t really paying attention. Well after about five years of accumulating junk, we decided to clear it out and make it a useful space. It was initially slated to be my husband’s “man cave,” but as you can see, I kind of took it over (sorry honey.) Don’t worry; he has his own desk as well for all of his “man stuff.”

I love having my own little corner that is all mine. As you can see, I had my book covers made into posters and there is plenty of room on the walls for future covers. In fact, the cover for my newest book, Millicent Marie is Not My Name, due out this fall, is framed and ready to take a spot on the wall. Generally, I do all of my administrative tasks in the office – editing, bookkeeping, answering emails, and anything else related to writing.

When it comes to my actual writing however, my favorite place to go with my laptop is my living room sofa. It is one of the only rooms in the house that is children and toy free. I find the space very relaxing. It is filled with antiques, an old sofa that has stuffing coming out, and my grandfather’s paintings. I love sitting with a hot cup of coffee, feet up, with my laptop balancing on my legs. I usually start out by just staring out the gorgeous picture window. Eventually, the writing takes over. Of course, sometimes my two little assistants distract me from work, but for the most part, I find the view inside and outside my space to be inspirational.

About the Author:
Karen Pokras Toz is a writer, wife, and mom. Karen grew up in Orange, Connecticut and currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three children. In June 2011, Karen published her first middle grade children’s novel for 7-12 year olds called Nate Rocks the World, followed in 2012 by the second book in the Nate Rocks series, Nate Rocks the Boat. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Find Karen online at:

Website: www.KarenToz.com
Blog: http://kptoz.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenptoz
Twitter: www.twitter.com/karentoz



With fourth grade finally winding down, 10-year-old Nathan Rockledge is looking forward to a fun and relaxing summer at home with his friends. That is, until his mom decides he has to go to overnight camp with his annoying older sister. When his best friend Tommy decides to tag along, Nathan thinks maybe his summer won’t actually be so bad. After all, he does get to be away from his mom's awful cooking for an entire six weeks.

Amongst Color War competitions, a flaky counselor, and a bully named "No-Neck,” Nathan turns to his trusty sketchpad, transforming himself into Nate Rocks: 10-year-old extraordinaire. His speedboat ready for action, Nate saves the day time and again from the perils of floods, snakes, ghosts, and even the most wanted criminals.

Join Nathan, Tommy, Abby, and a whole new cast of characters as Nate Rocks once again proves nothing can hold him back in this second book of the Nate Rocks series.

Watch the book video:


~~~~~REVIEW~~~~~


As a children's librarian, I'm always looking for books that boys will enjoy reading--the Nate Rocks series fits the bill. Full of adventure (even if most of it is in his rich fantasy life), Nate Rocks the Boat takes us to summer camp with Nate where he encounters bullies, ghosts, and runaway vans. This book is easy to read and sure to be a hit with the boys and girls in my library. The book is intended for ages 8-12, but their parents will enjoy it as well. I'm looking forward to the next episode in the Nate Rocks series.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

THE WRITER'S VIEW: CHRIS REYNOLDS


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chris will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


My desk is a special desk because, like my chair, it is height adjustable. I’m only short and I get horrible back pain if I sit at a normal sized desk. This is because the desks you see in offices these days are the standard height for writing with a quill and parchment, so the writer doesn’t have to hunch too far over the desk. The best position for typing, however, is to sit up straight with your feet on the floor and your elbows supported and level with the keyboard. Despite lots of research to back this up, furniture makers still churn out standard height desks (720mm / 27 inches) by the truckload. Apparently, desks of the correct height for the computer-user look ugly and squat when put in office spaces and, therefore, don’t sell. At least, that’s what I heard. Either that or all office managers get a commission from their local chiropractor.

I decided to save my back and splash out on something suitable for a five-foot-tall person. The chair is also a top ergonomic model which goes low enough for my feet to touch the floor and has arm rests which turn inwards so I can rest my arms on them (for some mad reason, normal arm rests are at such an angle that you can’t rest your arms on them and type at the same time - perhaps chair manufacturers are in league with osteopaths). The type of chair I have is about £700 new, so I bought mine second hand on eBay - from a nice man in Milton Keynes.

There’s a lot of junk on my desk. The sellotape, parcel table and cut up bits of paper are from where I’ve been doing a bit of ebaying of my own (people snapped up my second hand nail varnish, but weren’t interested in my Doctor Who CDs - the world is weird!). Underneath the roll of sellotape at the nearest corner is my glasses case. Yes, I’ve succumbed to the need to use reading glasses, which is making me feel old. My eyesight is generally pretty good, but when I get tired, focussing on stuff gets difficult. The optician thinks I need the glasses, although that could just be a ploy to get me to pay him lots more money.

Behind the glasses case is my running hat. I am one of those chubby red-faced blobs you see out on the pavements, jogging away in a desperate attempt to keep fit. I started running seriously in October and it’s been a boost to my wellbeing. It’s taken a while, but now I feel refreshed when I come back from a run and I think it helps me concentrate on my writing too. I’ve been more productive since I got into running and I would really recommend it for anyone who has an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. All I need to do now is resist all those cakes and things and I’ll be a bit less blobby.

You may notice I have a little friend sitting on top of my computer monitor. This is Shammy - for reasons which will become obvious - and was a Christmas present from my parents. Her under belly is made of chamois leather and she is designed to wipe the screen clear of dust. I decided she should live on top of the monitor so she is handy for when the screen needs a wipe. Every now and again she falls down the back, but I always stick her back up there. You may notice, she is not the only cuddly elephant who lives in that corner of the room.

Despite the untidiness of my desk, I see that all my pens and scissors and things are actually where they’re supposed to be; sitting inside the desk-tidy. I think that’s pretty impressive. There have been many times when I’ve bought myself a desk-tidy with the intension of, well, keeping my desk tidy - only for it to sit empty while the pens, pencils and highlighters go walkabout all over the room and, eventually get lost. I’m not sure why the red plastic one does the job, but I’m glad it does. If only it could keep everything else tidy on my desk …

Finally, in the far corner behind the table lamp, is a pile of books. The top two are copies of Mind Secrets by Chris Reynolds. Have you read that one yet? I’m told it’s very good!

About the Author:Chris Reynolds is a lover of adventure stories. Chris spent her time growing up avidly reading them, watching them on TV and writing them in her school exercise books. She was often frustrated that stories written by other people didn’t go the way she wanted them to, so she decided to write her own. In the interim, she has worked for the BBC and independent radio as a journalist, written for magazines and some published non-fiction books. Now her stories are available for all to read, following the release of her acclaimed debut novel Mind Secrets.

Chris lives among the Chiltern Hills, north of London.

Find Chris online at:

http://www.chrisreynolds-writer.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/ChrisReynolds01
Twitter: ChrisReynolds_1



On the run and without his memories, Michael escapes from a man called Carter onto the unfamiliar streets of London. There, he meets a gang of teenagers with the power to sense the thoughts and feelings of others. They live in fear of ‘the cure’, a mysterious process which takes away their power and, some believe, destroys their personality. Suspecting the cure caused his memory loss, Michael goes undercover to investigate the truth behind the doctors of the cure clinic. What he discovers leads him to a conspiracy that runs to the heart of government and reveals the shocking reality of his own past.

Mind Secrets is a compelling thriller set in a contemporary world and will appeal to anyone who's ever wondered what it's like to have mind powers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Breathless Press Presents



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Breathless Press will be awarding a $20 Breathless Press GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.



Can the doctor, who made a life out of helping animals, heal a human?

One by one, household dogs disappear only to come back after senseless abuse. Veterinarian Jordan Powell will stop at nothing to ensure her patients' safety. Even if that means seeking help from ex-boyfriend, police officer Nate Thrillson, the man whose heart she once broke.

The last thing Nate wants is a relationship. He has an inoperable cancerous tumor in his brain and his days are numbered. Yet, he couldn’t resist Jordan.

It’s a race against time to save the dogs and the man who captured her heart. Can the doctor, who made a life out of helping animals, heal a human?


Meet Harriet Ruby, a well-balanced MIT graduate with a degree in languages, whose life has been good but ordinary and predictable. Wanting new experiences before she settles down to a career and family, she accepts a position as a tour director in Europe.

Meet Will Talbot, a handsome Europol spy and covert operative for the US government with a dark troubled past, major trust issues, and dissociative amnesia. Driven by guilt over something he believes he did, he has a penchant for rescuing innocent victims caught up in dangerous circumstances.

Harriet’s first solo stint as a tour director in Spain and Morocco is going well until they get lost in the medina in Tangier. There, one of her tourists becomes ill. Harriet needs to find a doctor, can’t speak Arabic, and doesn’t know how to get out of the walled city. A handsome and mysterious stranger, Will Talbot, examines the tourist, pronounces him dead, and offers to help her smuggle the body out of Morocco. At this moment, Harriet’s once-predictable life turns upside down. Little does she know that getting out of Morocco is only the beginning of an incredible adventure in pursuit of murders, smugglers, terrorists, and a meaningful relationship.

A stalker who wants revenge…a past flame rekindled…Jemma Leigh's summer just got interesting.

***


Jemma Leigh Harding has drawn the attention of an unknown stalker and returns to her hometown of Somerville, a safe haven—or so she thinks—on the east coast of Canada.

Theodore Garrity is the last person she expects to see, considering how easily he walked away from her after graduation to join the army.

Their past history involves secrets Jemma Leigh is hesitant to share. When it becomes clear the stalker has followed her home, Teddy becomes her unlikely bodyguard. Will the terror and past hurts separate them forever? Or will love blaze a fresh path for their future?


Shaped by regrets. Bound by duty. Driven by secrets.

Rowan's future is jeopardized by the regrets she harbors and the deadly secrets she unearths.

***


Obligated to give up the man she loves, Rowan O'Reilly takes over Buccaneer Bed & Breakfast. Though her heart is in shambles, she is drawn to Avery Stone, a mysterious guest who reminds her of Bjorn…and everything she lost.

Haunted by a fatal decision, Avery escapes his past in Buccaneer's attic, but he can't ignore the previous owner's peculiar death, the strange bones exhumed by the spirited Rowan…or the annoying doctor vying for her attention.

As visitors wreak havoc on Buccaneer, Rowan stumbles onto deadly family secrets and unknowingly unearths a murderer. Yet nothing, not even the threat of her predecessor's fate, can stop her from digging for the truth.


The hometown girl and the handyman both carry emotional baggage. Are they destined to remain friends, or is there room in their hearts for more?

***


Wendy Danforth is preparing to be a single mom with her ex-husband in jail for spousal abuse. She returns to her hometown to renew her faith and heal. Caught off guard by the handyman in residence, attraction hits, swift and piercing, but she quells her unruly emotions. She's in no hurry to get involved in another relationship. Besides, at almost nine months pregnant, she's not exactly looking her best.

Jake Roberts, hired to renovate the Danforths' house, takes one look at his employer's daughter and wants to run far and fast. He hasn't possessed an ounce of faith or been around a pregnant woman in three long years, not since his wife and unborn son died in an auto accident.

They become friends, and when her ex-husband escapes custody, Jake steps up to protect Wendy and her unborn child. Will the danger and close proximity test their friendship? Or will it lead to more? Can Jake regain his lost faith, or will it elude him forever?


About Breathless Press:

Breathless Press is an e-book publisher specializing in Romance and Erotic(a) stories.

Our mission statement is simple: To provide the opportunity for readers to connect with romance authors through the purchasing of quality e-books at a low price.

Starting in the summer of 2009, Breathless Press came into existence. Since then, we have been producing top end romance and erotic stories for valued readers to enjoy.

Our Goal?

Breathless Press is an electronic publisher of paranormal, erotic, and mainstream romance, releasing one to three e-books a week in a variety of downloadable formats. It is Breathless Press' mission to provide readers with quality romance books in electronic formats and to raise the standard in e-publishing.

www.BreathlessPress.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Writer's View: Michael A. Rothman


This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to see the rest of his stops. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances.


Really? You truly want to know about my writing space? Okay, you asked for it.

Since I seem to find time to write, take notes, or do this type of activity almost anywhere I am sedentary for more than a couple minutes, there are lots of possible locations where this can happen.

That being said, I have captured a couple of the more “productive” locations I have spent time at for your amusement.

In the front yard, where my wife’s rosebushes are. And no, the young lady who is reading HEIRS OF PROPHECY is not my wife, nor do I have a daughter. :-)



This is a picture of my spot on the bed. Admittedly it seems to be occupied at the moment, but trust me – lots of my writing has happened from that nightstand with my laptop.



The cat is sitting on the table in my kitchen, and yes – he is the model for the cat “Silver” that is pictured on the back cover of HEIRS OF PROPHECY. I have spent an inordinate amount of time writing on the kitchen table.



The chair on the left is often occupied by my derriere during the summer and I bring the laptop out there and write quite a bit. Admittedly, the picture I am showing you was soon after an ice storm, but just picture lots more green and lots more sun.



And last but not least – most authors probably won’t admit it, but with the availability of smartphones with the ability to hack in notes to self or laptops, many have likely sat here and typed up good portions of their novels. (I will note that the cat is usually not in the location grabbing a drink though.)



Suffice it to say that I think most authors find opportunities to write almost anywhere they are. The inspirations are really sporadic at times.

I can tell you that I’ve included entire new chapters or threads in a story while inspired by the most non-obvious activities imaginable such as watching a movie, eating dinner, or waking up in a feverish moment during the middle of the night. Although I admit that most of my “inspired” moments from having just woken up are usually thrown away the next day when I stare at them with my critical brain fully functional.

For aspiring authors, I find that most people probably have a good story or two in them – but 99% of them never finish what they start. The trick is consistency. You need not invest hours every day to write a novel, but you must invest a little time frequently or you will never get anywhere with your writing.

I hope you enjoyed the quick tour through a variety of my writing locations and remember – keep writing (and reading for that matter).

About the Author: I am an Army brat and the first person in my family to be born in the United States. This heavily influenced my youth by instilling a love of reading and a burning curiosity about the world and all of the things within it. As an adult, my love of travel allowed me to explore many unimaginable locations. I participated in many adventures and documented them in what will be a series of books, the first of which you have just read.

Some might put these books in the Fantasy genre, and I never had issues with this label. After all, the adventures were, without any doubt in my mind, fantastic. I simply quibble with the label of “Fiction” that some might put on these tales. These tales should be viewed as historical records, more along the lines of a documentary.

I’ve learned one thing over the years. Magic is real. Keep exploring, and you too will find your magic.

Michael’s Website: http://michaelarothman.com/
Michael on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5778499.Michael_A_Rothman
Follow Michael on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichaelARothman
Michael on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelARothman



The TOOLS OF PROPHECY is the second volume in an epic saga which describes a prophecy that has placed the Riverton brothers in the lead roles of a struggle to save their world from being overrun by unspeakable horrors. This destiny requires that they face off with the demons that nearly destroyed their world over five centuries ago.

In the first book, the population of wizards had been practically eradicated by the former tyrant. The Rivertons are now charged with creating an Academy of Magic, recruiting qualified students, and furthering their own training with secrets that have long been held by the reclusive elves.

Despite their youth, a mysterious spirit has engaged them in an epic struggle to gain mastery of their new-found skills, help raise and train two armies, and stay alive long enough for their final showdown with destiny.

The only things that stand in their way are the assassins hired to destroy them and the Demon Lord’s minion who holds a personal grudge and intends to witness the young boys’ deaths.

Friday, July 20, 2012

INTERVIEW: CHARLOTTE STOUT


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky commenter will win a $75 Amazon GC. Click on the banner to see other stops on her tour.


Before I get to your questions, I would like to thank you for agreeing to host this stop on the tour. I appreciate your time and courtesy.


Why did you choose Seattle Delight as a title?

When I finished the book, I felt Charly (her character) was a delight to be around; the setting, Seattle, was delightful; and the storyline charming. Thus, the title Seattle Delight.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Seattle Delight is a fun, endearing love story between a quirky Seattleite, Charly, and a transplanted wealthy Frenchman, Julien. It's fun to watch as Julien introduces Charly to a world of luxury and her libido, which has been dormant for oh so many years; while Charly helps Julien appreciate the deep bond and love found only with family.

Which character in the book is most like you?

I have been told by close friends that Charly reminds them of me. I don’t see it but there may be some truth there. I am a bit quirky in the way I do things, the way I think and my sense of humor.

I actually like Charly very much. I take it as a compliment that my friends see any part of Charly in me. I would love to be Charly. Her innocence, naïveté, sense of wonder at new experiences and strong sense of family are endearing qualities.

What is your favorite color personally? My favorite color to wear is black. Wearing it makes me feel sophisticated and confident. If you saw my wardrobe you would wonder how I ever put together an outfit with any color. Color is definitely in limited supply in my closet. When you think of Seattle Delight what color comes to your mind?

When thinking about Seattle Delight I think of bright colors, emerald greens, blues, reds, oranges, etc. Those colors call to me because I think the book is alive and vibrant like these colors.

Share any funny or dramatic event from your life.

In high school one of my friends asked if I would do her a favor and go out on a blind date with a friend of her boyfriends. Her parents wouldn’t let her go on a car date unless it was a double date. Silly naïve me said, “sure.” Oh my gosh! I learned quite a lesson that night.

At the time, I was a junior in high school with limited dating experience. He had roaming hands, a smart mouth and he was incredibly rude. The date was to be an early movie with a swing by the drive-inn scheduled for later. Well, I never made it to the burger joint.

I pulled my girlfriend into the ladies’ room at the theatre and told her I was leaving. When I told her my “date” would not stop touching me and breathing in my ear she didn’t really blame me. She went back to tell her boyfriend and they all wished me a nice bus ride home.

That was my first and will be my only blind date during this life time. It was miserable. Upon arriving home I told my mother what happened. She wanted to march down to the theatre and give those boys a talking to. I can laugh about it now but I was pretty steamed riding the bus home from the theatre.

What is a mistake you've made you would not want anyone else to repeat.

This might sound egotistical, but I can’t think about a mistake I wouldn’t want anyone to make. I believe everything I have done in my life, mistakes and all have made me who I am today. So, I’m not sure there were any mistakes, just choices that lead me to where I am today.

However, on a less serious note, I have a tendency to purchase items of clothing on impulse that should never ever make it to my closet and certainly should never be worn by me. I think an alien takes over when I go shopping and I see myself in these adorable clothes that are so wrong for me.

I have given away so many clothes because of purchasing mistakes. Some items were quite expensive and still had the price tags on them. I encourage everyone to learn their body type and purchase accordingly. When you accomplish that, would you please share your secret with me? I still have not learned my lesson.

What book would you recommend for everyone?

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. This is an irresistibly moving story. Enzo, a dog with the wisdom of an old soul, narrates a captivating tale of his life with a middle-class family; life with all its hilarity, devastation, challenges, fear, death and hope. This book will have you laughing, sobbing and cheering but leave you believing in hope, redemption and the power of love.

Who is your favorite author?

It is hard to pin down a favorite author. I believe there are so many wonderful published authors; I am hard-pressed to select one. I will share a few of my current favorites.

I’m a romance gal who loves really hot guys and strong women in a story. I don’t have an absolute favorite author. It depends on what my mood is as to what I am reading at the moment. I read so much that my favorite authors change from year to year. Here is a list of some of my favorites, not in any particular order.

I love J R Ward and the BDB. The men are hot, hot, hot and the women are not marshmallows. The storylines draw you in and you want to stay for a long time. I have found myself spending hours sitting outside reading and getting lost in the world of hunky vampires and the latest challenges awaiting them.

Lynn Viehl is another author who is fabulously talented in her character development, storyline development and creating hot and delicious men who are attracted to strong women. I keep track of when her next book is due for release and I always pre-order it.

Laurann Dohner and her New Species series intrigue me. I find the concept believable and horrifying at the same time. She creates this fabulous “New Species” that we can’t help be attracted to. The New Species men and women are created and held captive in a medical facility until they are released by a special unit of our government.

Having been a human resources executive for twenty-five years, I abhor discrimination and promote diversity and acceptance of everyone’s differences at all levels. Laurann’s New Species books had me so angry at how these people, who were so different from “normal” people, were abused and harassed. I enjoy how the New Species triumph in every circumstance. But getting to the triumph is a wild, hot and sensual ride.

Tess Gerritsen who writes the Rizzoli and Isles series is another author whose work I enjoy. Her characters are strong, sharp, and her who-dun-it storylines are intriguing.

In closing I want to thank you again for taking time to interview me and sponsor me on your blog. Your interest and willingness to do this are very much appreciated.

Bonne Journée
Charlotte

About the Author:
Charlotte lives in Arizona with her hunky husband Warren, and her spoiled Silky Terrier, Tess. Her life has been filled with serious endeavors, including earning a Master's degree, owning her own business, consulting and working in the corporate world as a human resources executive. Before penning her first novel, Charlotte had written several practical guides for business applications, not exactly steamy stuff. Luckily, she never lost sight of her dream to write a novel that would encompass her passion for gorgeous men, adventure and a love of life. Enjoy.

Find Charlotte online at:

Web site: www.CharlotteStout.com
Blog: www.ChalotteStout.com/blog


Charly’s life was simple and uncomplicated, just like she wanted it. Or so she thought! One chance encounter with a devilishly handsome stranger in her local coffee shop would turn her world, and her heart, upside down. She would be thrown into a realm of privilege and romance, and more than just a little danger.

How will she handle the dark gorgeous man who has inserted himself into her domain? When danger threatens those she loves, will she have the strength of heart and spirit to do whatever it takes to save them? Share Charly’s adventures as she navigates through the quickly changing landscape that has become her life.

Monday, July 16, 2012

GUEST BLOG: LEIA SHAW


This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a backlist eBook, and $25 Amazon or BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on her tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Challenges in writing paranormal romance
by
Leia Shaw, author of Destiny Bewitched


I love my genre. You know why? Cause I’m lazy. And writing fantasy is good for lazy people. I’m no historian. And I don’t like doing research. I’d much rather let my inner-muse free to run around the room with her fairy wings on and sing songs about never growing up. Doesn’t that sound like more fun?

The biggest challenge when making up your own world that includes supernatural species and multiple dimensions is staying consistent. If, in book one, I say vampires can’t go out in the sun, then that sure as hell can’t change in book four. This has given me trouble a couple times when I wished I had allowed for more freedom for the species. But it just means I have to get more creative with how I move the plot.

Another challenge is being original. So much has been done before, especially when it comes to vampires and werewolves. So I’ve included other beings like fae, dragons, skinwalkers, witches, sorcerers, and more. Here’s a little snippet from Destiny Bewitched that illustrates the use of mythological creatures in the Underworld – where the book mainly takes place.

One of the skinwalkers gave a little smirk. Then they exploded. No long, painful transformation where they’d be left vulnerable. One moment they were men, the next they were…

Her jaw dropped. They sure as hell weren’t coyotes.

“Son of a –”

“Sorcerer’s whore,” Geo finished in a whisper.

Worgs. Large enough to ride on and covered in gray fur, thicker on the top like a mane. Four eyes, two on each side of their heads narrowed in her direction. Their teeth were at least three inches long. Claws that rivaled a werewolves’ dug into the dirt. Erebus had nothing on these guys.

“Geo?” She kept her gaze on the beasts. “These are not coyotes.”

He unsheathed his sword and widened his stance. Eyes focused on the worgs, he said, “Your five-year plan, Samantha, do we die today?”

“No.”

“Good girl. Stay focused.”

Right. Focused.
Since some of my material is dark and gruesome, it can be a challenge to add humor. I love making people laugh. It’s like a life mission for me. So it’s important for my books to be funny as well. There are a couple different types of humor I use in my books. Sarcasm is a favorite. I’m silly and witty, but what fits best in books like mine is dark humor. Here’s a little sample for you.

She stuffed the Grimoire back into her bag. “I also have a potion that can make them fall in love.”

Geo sighed. “Make them fall in love? How in Zeus’ name could that help us?”

“Easy. I’ll make them fall in love with the pointy end of our swords.”
Those are the challenges I’ve encountered so far in writing paranormal romance. I hope you’ll give my new book, Destiny Bewitched, a try. And if you have a little dark, twisted but creative muse inside you, maybe you should give writing paranormal a try too!

About the Author:
I began my writing journey while I was stranded at the airport waiting for my delayed flight. I browsed the Border’s kiosk and grew frustrated that I couldn’t find the “it factor” — the perfect combination of alpha male-ness, ass-kickery, strong females, magic, and sex.

So I spent the next four hours on an airplane writing my first book on scraps of paper and an airsick bag (which thankfully I didn't need to use).

Now I spend too much time in my head, plotting evil villains and the hot men (and women) who ruthlessly kill them. I think far too much about fae politics, dragon power games, and how fast werewolves can change forms. But writing my paranormal romance series has given me a productive place to express those dark places in my mind.

I live in New England with my husband and two kids. Though I will go to my grave denying it, my husband insists I would be thrilled if he suddenly sprouted fangs.

Find Leia online at:

Website: www.LeiaShaw.com
Blog: www.leiashaw.blogspot.com
Twitter: @LeiaShaw
Facebook: www.facebook.com/leiashaw
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/leiashaw



Deemed “trailer trash” by humans and the daughter of the most disgraceful family of witches and warlocks since the Puritan age, Samantha is used to fighting her own battles. When her younger sister is taken to the Underworld, Sam doesn't hesitate to rescue her. To survive the harsh land, she makes a deal with a demon — the most dangerous of creatures in the realm. Even with those lustrous horns, Geo is as hot as the hell she's stuck in. Fighting nasty beasts in a supernatural version of the gladiator games is easy compared to falling in love with a man who has no future to offer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

VBRT: Tangled Ties to a Manatee by Kalen Cap


This stop is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kalen will award a $25 Green Gift Card from http://green.icardgiftcard.com/ -- redeemable for GCs from hundreds of your favorite merchants to one randomly drawn commenter. Click on the banner to see the other stops on his tour; remember, the more you comment the better your chances of winning.
A pregnant manatee is rare at any zoo, and a first for the Grove City Zoo in Ohio. Ankh is a delight to zoo patrons, a concern to its staff, and the unintentional victim of two con men. She has no idea how many human relationships, problems, and dreams tangle around her.

Jerry is a young developmentally disabled man who happily follows Ankh's pregnancy on the zoo's webcam. He has a shy crush on Janelle, a pretty college student who volunteers for his group home’s outings to the zoo.

Jerry's Aunt Vera also loves nature and runs an environmental retreat center. But all is not well, with Vera or the center. The center needs money and is under investigation as a cult.

Amid their college studies, Janelle and her friend Cecily try to help. Instead, Janelle re-awakens an old obsession in Vera when an innocent tarot reading hints at how the center might be saved.

Two bumbling con men are attempting to sabotage the region’s electrical grid as part of a lucrative scheme. But Jerry accidentally gets in their way and becomes their captive.

When the con men surprisingly succeed in bringing the grid down, it spells danger for Ankh, her unborn pup, and the many people tied to them both. With investigations of their own, Cecily and Janelle try to untangle it all to find Jerry, save a manatee’s life, and rescue Vera from herself.

Tangled Ties to a Manatee is a humorous crime thriller with environmental themes that is revealed through multiple points of view. The novel emphasizes college-aged characters, though not all, such as the developmentally disabled ones, are in college.


Tangled Ties to a Manatee definitely lives up to its title. There are numerous characters, as promised in the blurb, and I almost needed a scorecard to keep everyone straight--especially at the beginning. By the end of the book, however, each character's voice came through clearly and it was easier to remember all the relationships between the characters.

My favorite character is Jerry--Mr. Cap captured him perfectly--with my second favorite POV character being Ankh. Yes, the manatee herself is a POV character--and Mr. Cap handled it well.

The book is well-written except for some very minor copy-editing issues (as an example, using click instead of clique). Things like that took me out of the story briefly, but the storyline itself was intriguing. Once I got used to the way the story was written and started putting the pieces "together", I really enjoyed it.

Even though the book is not written specifically for the YA audience (the characters are older that YA), the book still has a YA feel to it, and I believe would be a book many young adults/older teens would enjoy. About the Author:
Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in a variety of causes, particularly with regard to the environment, he often brings such concerns into his fiction writing.

Tangled Ties to a Manatee is his debut novel.

He has had poetry published and several plays, both one act and full-length, produced locally. Two short stories have been published as well. "Feral" is a short story published in Off the Rocks, v. 14, ed Allison Fradkin, NewTown Writers Chicago, 2010, pp. 119-126. "Transforming Oracle" is a self-published short story available at Smashwords.

Kalen’s website is www.KalenCap.com.

He can be readily connected with through the following social media profiles –

Twitter: @kalencap
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KalenCap
Google+ : http://gplus.to/Kalencap

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: HEIRS OF PROPHECY by Michael A. Rothman

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on his tour.
The Riverton family had been enjoying a simple summer vacation when, through a fluke of nature, they found themselves in a strange new land.

The Riverton brothers quickly realize that in this world, they have gained unusual powers. Powers that their parents fear will attract the attention of Azazel himself – the merciless wizard who brutally controls this world.

The two brothers soon learn that an ancient prophecy has finally been initiated by their arrival in Trimoria. As the heirs of this prophecy, they are destined to lead the armies of men, dwarves, elves, and even a misfit ogre against the prophesied demon horde.

Only one thing stands in their way.

The evil wizard who has learned of their presence, and has sent assassins to wipe them from existence.
I'm always looking for new books as part of my job as manager of children's services at our local library (MoCS=children's librarian without a library degree). So, when I had the chance to review this book--I jumped at it.

It had everything kids today are looking for--fantasy, adventure, with just the tiniest smidgin of a thought of romance.

Adults reading this book may hear echoes of an old Saturday morning TV show--Land of the Lost-- only there are no dinosaurs in this tale. There are, however, evil wizards, elves, ogres--keep your eye out on one particularly interesting ogre.

I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series to find out what happens next with this intriguing family who have all been changed in more than one way.

About the Author: I am an Army brat and the first person in my family to be born in the United States. This heavily influenced my youth by instilling a love of reading and a burning curiosity about the world and all of the things within it. As an adult, my love of travel allowed me to explore many unimaginable locations. I participated in many adventures and documented them in what will be a series of books, the first of which you have just read.

Some might put these books in the Fantasy genre, and I never had issues with this label. After all, the adventures were, without any doubt in my mind, fantastic. I simply quibble with the label of “Fiction” that some might put on these tales. These tales should be viewed as historical records, more along the lines of a documentary.

I’ve learned one thing over the years. Magic is real. Keep exploring, and you too will find your magic.

Michael’s Website: http://michaelarothman.com/
Michael on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5778499.Michael_A_Rothman
Follow Michael on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichaelARothman
Michael on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelARothman

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Writer's View: Ruthanne Reid





This blog is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ruthanne will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to one random commenter at every stop and a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour.


Thanks so much for having me here!

Well, my workspace is a little unconventional. It's constantly evolving, mostly around the kitty who pops in to inform me of things in a regular basis (such as, "there is no gooshy food," and "why is there no gooshy food?" Also, he says, "there is another cat outside, and possibly a bird.").

He's a permanent fixture wherever I work, unless I've gone to Starbucks. They don't like cats there.

Kitty Reid shares my warm blanket, and my lap, sometimes forcing me to leans sideways while I type around him. He blocks my view by filling my windows. He also blocks the windows on my computer. Happily, he never blocks my words, although he sometimes types (not Pulitzer prize material, but he does lack thumbs). Once, he even destroyed (read: enhanced) my laptop last year by rubbing his face on it so enthusiastically he knocked it onto the floor.

But don't think of him as evil. Really, he just wants to help.

The thing about Kitty is he makes my workspace WORK because he lends to the atmosphere. For me, a writing space isn't about the furniture, the desk (or lack of, as is my current condition), the music, or the knickknacks. It's all about atmosphere. Is there peace around me? What about a sense of purpose, of focus, of drive? Am I free to work, or plagued by guilt/people staring over my shoulder/weirdos? Places like libraries, coffee houses near college campuses, and cafes are great for concentration because there's something about the presence of other creatives that makes my brain turn neon-yellow with new ideas.

The best part? I get to enjoy this in my own home. My husband and I share our house with a full-time artist, a fantasy-romance genius named Celine Chapus. She works upstairs, and I work down, while my husband works from his home office in-between. The vibes of our little artist's commune set the whole home on fire. It's quiet, but not oppressive – video games, music, and laughter pierce it and keep it from getting too serious.

So does my cat. He's not declawed, you know.




My writing space is beautiful inside and out, and not just for photographs. My writing space is HOME.

About the Author: Ruthanne Reid was raised in the woods, but fortunately, her isolation was offset by regular visits to New York City. She pursued music for years before realizing she wanted to tell stories rather than sing them.

Ruthanne writes in and around Seattle, owns dust-covered degrees in music and religion, and is generally considered dangerous around household electronics. Her favorite authors tend to be dramatic (J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss), but she doesn’t see this as a bad thing. She belongs to a husband, a housemate, and a cat, respectively.

The Sundered is her first novel.

Find Ruthanne online at:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RuthanneReid
Facebook: http://facebook.com/ThisReidWrites
Site/Blog: http://ruthannereid.com



Harry Iskinder knows the rules.

Don’t touch the water, or it will pull you under. Conserve food, because there’s no arable land. Use Sundered slaves gently, or they die too quickly to be worthwhile.

With extinction on the horizon and a world lost to deadly flood, Harry searches for a cure: the Hope of Humanity, the mysterious artifact that gave humans control over the Sundered centuries ago. According to legend, the Hope can fix the planet.

But the Hope holds more secrets than Harry knows. Powerful Sundered Ones willingly bow to him just to get near it. Ambitious enemies pursue him, sure that the Hope is a weapon. Friends turn their backs, afraid Harry will choose wrong.

And Harry has a choice to make. The time for sharing the Earth is done. Either the Sundered survive and humanity ends, or humanity lives for a while, but the Sundered are wiped out.

He never wanted this choice. He still has to make it. In his broken, flooded world, Hope comes with a price.

Monday, July 09, 2012

THE WRITER'S VIEW: GENIE GABRIEL


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Genie will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a $10 Powell's Bookstore GC to one commenter at every stop. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on Genie's tour.


THE AUTHOR'S VIEW
by
Genie Gabriel


This is embarrassing. I love my office. However, it is, in a word: messy. I fear a photo in its current state could do irreparable damage to the eyesight of readers. However, I do have a photo of the storyboards for my Legacy Series that cover one wall you can safely see. This was taken at a time when my office was in pretty good shape. :)

It will also give you glimpse at one of the ways I immerse myself in the world of my books. I'm also a graphic designer and love the visual representations of the characters in my Legacy Series and what's important to them.

For instance, the heroine in LIVING THE LEGACY is the owner of a small cafe with the ambience of an Old West mining town. So one of the pictures on her storyboard is a beautiful old wood cookstove of black cast iron with decorative silver doors and moldings. (I found places online that sell replicas of these stoves and have added this to my "someday" wish list.)

My computer faces the storyboards on my wall so I can see the world of my Legacy Series at a glance. Not so cool are the stacks of paper behind and to the side of me--probably several trees worth. In addition to copies of graphic projects I have done and info related to the business side of writing, I have a lot of information for my books. Notes from when I was starting the Legacy Series. Research info. Scene outline forms. Printed drafts--as well as e-mails about promotion and blog tours and other information that I gotta remember. However messy my office may seem, I do have a general idea of what is in each stack. :)

However, under my desk is pretty clear to allow one of the best things in my office: at least one doggie curled up at my feet. Pets also make their way into most of my stories, though I did try to restrain this tendency in my Legacy Series because there are so many human characters to keep track of.

Outside my office is rain, rain and more rain! I've lived in Oregon all my life and even I have noticed it's been a wet couple of years here in Oregon. The upside to this is I don't have to water my yard and flowers much. Mother Nature has been taking care of that chore.

I love the view from my corner office. Out the window, a wide gravel path curves along the side of my house under a star magnolia tree. Tucked under the tree is a bench flanked by broad-leaved hostas.

In the back, a door opens onto a covered deck that overlooks my backyard. Earlier this year, I had iris blooming. Now, there are masses of daylilies.
On perfect days--not too hot and when the rain isn't too cold--the back door is open so my doggies can cruise in and out when they want to, and I can enjoy the weather and still get my writing done.

You may also notice most of my books include a house with beautiful flowers, another one of my passions that seeps into my stories.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my world. In sharing my view with you, I've been reminded how very fortunate I am to be surrounded by things I love.

Many thanks to Judy at My World of Dreams for hosting me and giving me the chance to do something else I enjoy: give out goodies to readers! Each week in July, one commenter drawn at random will receive a $10 gift certificate to Powell's Books (online or brick-and-mortar store). In addition, everyone who comments will have their name tossed in the cyber-hat for a drawing at the end of July for a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Thank you all!

About the Author:
For years I've been fascinated by the puzzle of why some people collapse under life's traumas and others emerge triumphantly stronger. These triumphs of the human spirit over the ugliest of adversities became the basis for my stories. Yet my dramatic stories have always contained touches of humor, and sometimes I have great fun writing romantic comedy novellas. However, in all my stories, my passion for writing romance is an outlet for the powerful messages that people can overcome great difficulties, and true love can turn life’s heartaches into happily ever after.

My Web site: www.GenieGabriel.com
My LEGACY blog: http://oshealegacyseries.blogspot.com/

A reluctant sniper cherishes the innocence of a small-town woman, but their love may destroy them both.