Monday, December 31, 2012

The Writer's View: Joyce Proell


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joyce will be awarding a $10 Amazon or BN.com gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hello! Thanks for inviting me. I’m very happy to be here. Today’s blog topic is The Author’s View: Inside and Out. Quite literally, I’ve been asked to describe my writing space, including the view out my window. So here goes.

Most days, I can be found at my desk, in front of my computer, writing. I can scarcely think of a better place to be. As much as I love to travel, I find the voyage of my own imagination takes me to places which are endlessly fascinating and forever changing. To get someplace in my stories, I spend hours in my office, daydreaming, researching and writing. So what does this space that I inhabit seven days a week look like?

I’ve included a few pictures. As you can see, the walls are painted the warm color of a clay pot and white trim and crown moldings offer a nice contrast. I don’t have a desk. Instead, I use a long, rectangular table. I prefer simplicity and order but the oak table top is often lost to stacks of notes, folders and papers.

From my spot behind the table, I look out to the foyer and beyond that, to the yellow dining room. To my right are two windows which overlook the prairie. It snowed a few days ago and all looks brilliant. On my left hangs one of my favorite paintings of an Italian village done by the artist, Bela Petheo. Next to it is a door which leads into a bathroom—something I make great use of since I drink so much coffee and tea during the day.

At my back is a bookcase filled with books, baskets and bunnies. When my daughter was much smaller, she collected cuddly bunnies. Alas, she grew up, moved away and left them all behind. I didn’t have the heart to give them away. So by default, they are now my collection. To this day, I’m always on the lookout for a lovely porcelain bunny or some unique antique one.

Fortunate for me I don’t have eyes in the back of my head. Since my messy bookcases stand behind me, I never have to look at the confusion.

I live in rural Minnesota, on a golf course which lies next to a lake. In the summer I watch the golf carts roll by much of the day. Every year I observe, with much interest, a robin couple build a nest on my porch or in the nearby fir tree. Sadly, last year I witnessed a hawk swoop in and snatch one of the baby hatchlings. Maybe this summer, they’ll move sites. I can only hope.

But most of all, when I’m in my office, I keep my eyes on the words rolling across my computer screen, feeling blessed I have the time to write.

Thanks for letting me share my office space with you.

About the Author:
I laughed when my husband suggested I write a book. Me? What did I know about writing? Yet the notion held possibility, so I hatched a plan. A year later, I sent off my first completed manuscript and promptly received a score of polite rejections. Bruised but undaunted, I forged ahead, new plan in hand. Later, armed with the knowledge acquired from writing classes, seminars and the help of fellow writers, I finished my second story. Eliza is that story.

A little more info…

I grew up in Minnesota. In college, I studied psychology and earned a master’s degree in Social Work. After living in Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland and Reno, my husband and I make our home only miles from where I grew up.

I worked in the field of mental health as a psychiatric social worker, administrator and later settled into private practice. Retired at a reasonably young age, I write full time.

I’m an avid reader, a foodie and cook, a crossword puzzle fanatic and a daily walker.

Find the author online at

http//:www.joyceproell.com
http//:www.champagnebooks.com



A husband who wants you dead is the greatest motivation for change.

Posing as a widow, strong-willed Eliza Danton flees her marriage determined to bury the past and live a solitary life. Traveling by riverboat to the Minnesota frontier, her flight turns perilous when forces threaten to expose her deception. With problems mounting and her trust shattered, she is forced draw upon her only resource, a man whose captivating presence rocks the very foundation of her well laid plans. But love flourishes even in the toughest of times and when you least expect it.

Attorney and contented loner, Will Heaton hides his tender heart behind an elusive facade. Grief is nothing new to him having lost a wife and child. But when a pretty widow thrusts a baby into his arms, he’s hooked. When he sees Eliza harassed by the same man he believes killed his wife, Will grabs at the chance to redress past mistakes and vows to keep her safe.

SUPER BOOK BLAST: THE SILVER SPHERE by Michael Dadich


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $75 Amazon or BN.com GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tours. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father… when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy).

His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless….

Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?


About the Author:
I’ve been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.

Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.

For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at http://www.thesilversphere.org.

Friday, December 21, 2012

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: LYCAON PRESS RELEASES



Check out these new releases from Lycaon Press. Lycaon Press will be awarding a $20 Lycaon Press GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Born of magic and created as a weapon, eighteen-year-old quadruplets Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara use their elemental powers to battle evil.

The world of Rare Root is about to be forever plunged into darkness, overtaken by a shadowy force, and the last hope for peace comes in the form of eighteen-year-old quadruplets Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara. Born of magic and created as a weapon, the Sprites must use their elemental powers to hunt down and vanquish the evil. When the sisters realize their powers are not yet strong enough, they seek out allies. Aided by an Elf prince and a Fairy queen, they face perilous obstacles, traitorous enemies, and prepare for the most epic battle of their lives.

But there's no training manual for love, and when Anila starts to fall for the prince, it forces a rift between the sisters. In order to destroy the threat and restore Rare Root, the four Sprites will need to rally together as one.

Because in a world of darkness, unity is elemental.



When Shaleans fight Shaleans nothing is simple. With the help of true friends can good overcome evil?

To save Shalea, so much depends on so few people, that nothing is certain. It's not even clear just which side some of them support, and the Sept is getting weaker.

Brios and his friends must save their world, but time is running out. To make things worse, the identities of some people might just result in no resolution at all.

Can everything become clear and good triumph over evil before the next Shalean Moon, or is Shalea as they know it over?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Virtual Book Tour: Cynthia Gail


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cynthia will be awarding the following prizes to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour either one $10 Starbucks GC, one $10 Amazon GC, or one $10 Soul Mate Publishing GC. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.



Beth Sergeant and Nick Chester come from opposite ends of the social food chain. While he sees a rare beautiful woman without an agenda, she sees a wealthy playboy. Can he convince her to let go of her insecurities and take a chance on love, when challenges from his past force her to reveal her most guarded secret?

Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.

After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.

Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.

Read an excerpt:

“So, are you still free for dinner tomorrow night?” Nick asked.

“I am.” Beth could just imagine what she looked like, standing in front of the craft store with a grin that wouldn’t stop. The temperature had dropped to thirty degrees and flurries had started to fall a few minutes before they’d arrived. She loved the winter. Loved the holidays. A ripple went through her stomach at the thought of possibly sharing Christmas with Nick this year. She quickly stamped it out. She could give in and let herself be excited about the date, but thinking further ahead than tomorrow could be a very bad idea.

“We have reservations at Carlino’s for seven o’clock if that works for you.”

“Really? You’ll have to tell me your secret. I didn’t think you’d be able to pull it off.”

She heard him laugh. “I can’t tell you all my secrets. My grandfather’s cook was a big stretch.”

“I bet I can get the truth out of you by the end of dinner.” Beth couldn’t believe her own flirting, yet he played along. Something about him drew the words out of her without thinking.

“Hmm. I don’t know.” He paused. “I might be willing to trade secrets. You’ll have to go first, since I’m already one ahead.”

“What if I don’t have any?”

“Everyone has secrets.” He chuckled.

She loved the sound of his voice. And his laugh. Warmth filled her, despite the chill in the air and the snow continuing to fall.

About the Author:
Home is where you hang your hat. A native Missourian, my family relocated twice during my teenage years, taking me from a high school freshman class of over 1,200 students to living in a small town in Kentucky with a total population of less than 1,000.

Home is where your heart is. Despite the culture shock and challenges of those shy, teenage years, I met my true love in that tiny town and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to experience a community where everyone waves, calls you by name, and treats you like family.

My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and three dogs. When I’m not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Each one touches on modern day issues, fears, and challenges that women face every day. And each one illustrates that love is within reach if you let down those walls and allow your heart to open. Our lives and experiences are so much more meaningful when we have someone to share them with.

Find the author online

Amazon~Barnes & Noble~Soul Mate Publishing~Twitter

Monday, December 10, 2012

EXCERPT TOUR: GENIE GABRIEL


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Genie will be giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a $10.00 Powell's Bookstore Gift Card to one commenter at every stop. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Super-mom Tallie O'Shea took on eight adopted children and built a legacy of compassionate justice with her policeman husband. When he is gunned down, she doesn't think it's an accident. Then a former lover shows up and the lies from her past start unraveling. As dangers explode around her, can Tallie set things right before everything she loves is destroyed?

Read an exclusive excerpt:

Pierce followed Tallie and the young woman called Marly--his daughter, he realized.

She was beautiful. Just a few inches over five feet. However, Marly didn't seem small, perhaps because she so expertly loaded the small arsenal of weapons from a gun safe and handed them off to people lined up and waiting, as if they had done this many times before.

Even Ruby seemed to have grown stronger and stood in line waiting for a gun.

A glance passed between Tallie and Ruby before Tallie handed the other woman a shotgun and an extra box of ammunition.

As Ruby slid down beside one of the windows on the main floor, another woman--tiny with white curls and the same determined expression as most of the other townsfolk--approached Tallie. "I can help pass those out."

With a grim smile and a nod, Tallie handed weapons off to the little old woman to load before handing them to those waiting in line.

Mostly women and a few teenagers, Pierce noted. Where were the men? What had he stumbled into?

Get "The Bodyguard" by Genie Gabriel free on Kindle today (and every Monday through December 24th) here: http://tinyurl.com/aot3veu 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/

Friday, December 07, 2012

GUEST BLOG: MICHAEL LOYD GRAY


This Post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Writing might be the creation of dreams, I suppose. Or some form of a dream—a waking dream with structure and plot and somewhat less reliance on subconscious decisions? Though, writing does also involve some subconscious choices. And because we accept that something called a subconscious exists, and that we don’t have conscious access to it, then it’s something we may not actually understand or need to understand better than we do. Make sense? Hemingway relied on his subconscious to supply him with the next day’s writing. He likened it to an internal human spring that replenishes overnight, for example. That’s a good way to look at it. I rely on my internal spring, too.

When writing my new novel King Biscuit, for example, did I dream about it? I don’t know. I can’t recall whether I had dreams related to it. I do feel sure, as I mention above, that each day I wrote on it I was aided to some degree by my subconscious, which seems to be some level of a dream state.

About the Author:
Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned an MFA in English from Western Michigan University and has taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.

He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray’s novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was released by Three Towers Press (2012). His novel December's Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was also released in 2012 by Tempest books (an imprint of Sol Books) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another four novels entitled: Fast Eddie, Blue Sparta, The Salt Meadows and The Canary.

Whereas in his first novels Michael focuses very much on Argus and the Midwest, he ventures out into other parts of the world in his last three novels. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty Professor for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry. Michael is represented by Vilain Innovations – Literary Agency in The Netherlands

http://www.michaelloydgray.com



It’s 1966. The Beatles have taken over the airways, Star Trek is in its first season on NBC, and 389,000 American troops are stationed in Vietnam.

A war is going on Argus, Illinois as well, between sixteen-year-old Billy Ray Fleener and his father. While his father dreams of Billy Ray joining the family business, Billy Ray dreams of moving to California, becoming a surfer, and getting into Margie Heinrich’s pants—not necessarily in that order. Instead, he gets a summer laying pipe and the dubious distinction of town hero after saving Purdy Boy, the mayor’s wife’s dachshund.

When his beloved uncle and role model Mitch is killed in combat, Billy Ray feels like he must leave Argus or be stuck there forever. With little more than the clothes on his back, he hops a bus for Helena, Arkansas to visit Mitch’s grave. Along the way he meets up with a cast of characters as varied and polarized as America itself, from a marine captain home on leave to a band of hippies bound for Graceland. Each teaches him something about love, loyalty, and the true meaning of freedom, but what Billy Ray really learns is that everyone has the power to define who they are. He may have left Argus a boy, but he returns a man.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: THE HANDS OF TAROT by S.M. Blooding


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. SM will be awarding a Tarot Doll of their choice to a randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada Only) during the tour More information: http://www.smblooding.com/ht1-order-tarot-doll-autographed-book/.


She killed his father.

She imprisoned and beat him.

And now she thinks he’s her trophy.

Synn El’Asim will do almost anything to prove her wrong. But he’s only proving her right.

Queen Nix awakened his Mark of power and inducted him into the House of Wands. She knew what she was doing. The son of the two most powerful Families standing against her is the ultimate prize.

What she didn’t take into consideration was that maybe he was too strong for her. Maybe.

The Families aren’t. They’ve been weakened, and it’ll take a lot more than one young man with a powerful Mark to take on the Hands of Tarot.

SM Blooding is a new author to me, but this is definitely not the last book I'll read by her. Synn El'Asim is a powerful character--the reader sees him grow from a young man who has not yet come into his power to a strong man who is courageous enough to fight for what he believes in--his family and his people.

The world building Ms. Blooding does is nothing short of remarkable. A world composed of flying ships, ice worlds, danger, and intrigue.

I look forward to reading the next installment in the series to see how Ms. Blooding plans to get Synn out of the predicament she leaves him in. Nice cliffhanger!

About the Author:SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie,and their new addition, Mr. Bird, who’s a real bird. She likes to hike the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and is learning to play the piano and guitar. Currently, she’s trying to MURDER them both. Friends call her Frankie.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.

She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Find out more about her at:

Twitter
Facebook
Website/blog

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Writer's View: Jennifer L. Fry


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will award 2 of each 8x10 autographed print of an original illustration of one of her characters to randomly drawn commenters on the tour, and a grand prize of an 11x17 autographed set of all three main characters in the book. (US/Canada only) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I love being surrounded by the written word. That's why I have an entire room in my house dedicated to books. It seems appropriate that this room, stacked floor to ceiling with books, would also be my chosen writing space. My collection tells a story of where I've been – from the dusty, leather bound Nancy Drew mysteries from my grandmother's attic to the stacks of old magazines – and also where I am right now. I gaze affectionately at my writing books about editing, publicizing, techniques, inspiration, and the many journals I've collected over the years. Now I much prefer typing to writing on paper, so many of those journals sit with blank pages while I settle into the oversized leather chair with my laptop, enjoying the quiet clicking of my keyboard while the smell of paper and ink fill my senses.

When I pause for a moment, I look up from my screen through the window and stare at the pear tree directly outside. It's moss covered branches have been alive longer than my parents, and I love that even after a violent fall storm, when most of it's leaves have been stripped away, a few small pears still hang there, stubbornly refusing to accept that their time has come and gone. Even more amazing is the bright yellow leaves of the persimmon tree in the back corner of yard, who's colorful orange fruit seems to revel in the cold rain of the season. If I'm lucky, I might see a blur of golden fur flash by – my dogs chasing a squirrel along the back fence. I soak in the wonderful scene just outside, then pull my gaze away to bring myself back to my task; that of putting words to (digital) paper. I couldn't imagine a more perfect place to write.

About the Author:
Jennifer L. Fry is a writer, artist, and teacher in Marin County, California, where she lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable dogs, and orange tabby cat. Though she has been writing since she was young, A PART TO PLAY is her first novel.

Find the Author online:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-L-Fry/394827827250769
Twitter: https://twitter.com/frygurl
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JenniferLFry
Amazon Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/JenniferLFry
Author Website: http://www.jenniferlfry.com/home/



When fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter loses her older sister in a car accident, her mother shuts down and her father can’t hold the family together. Their only choice is to ship Lucy off to the Edmond School for Performing Arts. But boarding school is no cure for Lucy’s grief. With failing grades, wooden stage performances, and curfew violations, Lucy is threatened with expulsion. For the once talented Lucy, it feels as though she has nowhere to turn.

One night, Lucy hears mysterious music drifting through the school’s old heating system. The music leads her to a troubled but passionate songwriter whose brilliance gives her the strength to perform like never before. Yet their intense relationship puts Lucy in a precarious position: if she follows her muse, will she lose herself? And if she breaks it off, can she stand on her own again?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: IN LEAH'S WAKE by Terri Giuliano Long


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Terri will be awarding a $100 Holiday Cash Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Please click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.



A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace

At the heart of the seemingly perfect Tyler family stands sixteen-year-old Leah. Her proud parents are happily married, successful professionals. Her adoring younger sister is wise and responsible beyond her years. And Leah herself is a talented athlete with a bright collegiate future. But living out her father’s lost dreams, and living up to her sister’s worshipful expectations, is no easy task for a teenager. And when temptation enters her life in the form of drugs, desire, and a dangerously exciting boy, Leah’s world turns on a dime from idyllic to chaotic to nearly tragic.

As Leah’s conflicted emotions take their toll on those she loves—turning them against each other and pushing them to destructive extremes—In Leah’s Wake powerfully explores one of fiction’s most enduring themes: the struggle of teenagers coming of age, and coming to terms with the overwhelming feelings that rule them and the demanding world that challenges them. Terri Giuliano Long’s skillfully styled and insightfully informed debut novel captures the intensely personal tragedies, victories, and revelations each new generation faces during those tumultuous transitional years.

Recipient of multiple awards and honors, In Leah’s Wake is a compelling and satisfying reading experience with important truths to share—by a new author with the voice of a natural storyteller and an unfailingly keen understanding of the human condition…at every age.

In Leah's Wake is not an easy book to read, because it shows how quickly a family can be torn apart in the wake of one member's self-destructiveness. The family is described as being happily married, successful professionals. However, when their oldest daughter, Leah, goes off the deep end--the fissures that were present in their lives come to light. Her actions show the weakness that is inherent in the family.

I applaud the author on her debut novel and on her tackling such a difficult subject. There were times during the book when I wondered if the family could find any common ground to bring themselves back together to a place where healing could begin. Every member of the family had to face their individual demons--and try to overcome them.

The book, as I said, is not an easy book--but a book that grips you and makes you think about just how fragile a family can be--how easily a family can be shattered.

About the Author:
Terri Giuliano Long is a frequent blog guest, with appearances on hundreds of blogs. She’s written news and feature articles for numerous publications, including the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. Her debut novel, In Leah's Wake, was a Kindle bestseller for more than 6 months. For information, please visit her website: www.tglong.com

Other places to find Terri online:

Blog: http://terriglong.com/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites
Twitter: @tglong