Thursday, June 26, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Circle of Dishonor by Carla Swafford

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carla will award one copy of CIRCLE OF DISHONOR at every stop to a randomly drawn commenter, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Please click the banner to see the other stops on this tour.

John “Ice” Takahashi’s final job for The Circle has an unexpected hitch in it; he’s fallen for an innocent civilian and his enemies know it. With his mission in a shambles, he’ll do anything to protect her, including kill. So how can a man without honor prove he’s worthy of her love?

Lena Matthews feels like she’s playing with fire by dating the mysterious Master J. He’s exotic, dangerous, and exactly what she needs in her boring life. With the bad guys bearing down on them, she discovers a whole new world of sensuality that binds her heart to his forever.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

As the hostess led them to their seats, a nice looking man stood a few tables over and waved at John. “Takahashi, come and sit with us.”

John lightly touched her arm. “Lena, I’m sorry, but they’re old friends, and I must accept their invitation.” He placed an arm around her waist.

“I understand. It’ll be nice to meet friends of yours.”

He grunted as if in approval and squeezed her to his side.

She’d meant it. Though she looked forward to talking with John one on one, friends were more apt to repeat stories that would show her layers of the man. Considering how quiet John had proven to be at this point, she hadn’t counted on learning much about him tonight.

The striking auburn-haired woman sitting next to the handsome man frowned at John as if she couldn’t place him and then switched her attention to Lena. The coldness in the woman’s green eyes caused Lena to hesitate and only John’s assuring touch helped her move forward.

“Lena, let me introduce you to Collin and his wife, Olivia. They run a local adoption agency. This is my special friend, Lena.” John held out the chair for her next to the window, across from Olivia, and then he sat next to her across from Collin.

“Ice!” The woman blurted out and then turned to her husband, hitting his shoulder. “His hair isn’t neon blue or long. I didn’t recognize him.”

“It has been a while,” John said without looking at Lena. “I prefer John.”

Ice? She could see someone calling him that. His calm manner probably came across to most as a cold disposition, but she saw the warmth underneath his self-control.

Carla Swafford is a lithe twenty-nine year old with long auburn hair and sparkling dark eyes who loves dancing with her gypsy friends. Geez! Can you tell I love writing fiction? Now for the real stuff: I'm married to my high school sweetheart and live in Alabama. I swear my stories are more exciting.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Days by Matthew D. Ryan

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Matthew will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. For a limited time, Children of Lubrochius is available for half off through Smashwords. Readers may click here: and then use coupon code: LX23U to receive 50% off. Coupon expires June 28, 2014.

What are my days like?

My day begins like most people’s: I wake up. I have a quick breakfast, usually just a couple pieces of fruit—something that will give me energy without a lot of calories (I am trying to lose some weight, you know). Then I brush my teeth and do the usual routine. Then my day branches from that of the average person’s.

What I do next, depends on the day of the week.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I start my writing. From about 9 a.m. to 12 noon I can be found in front of my computer, tapping away conjuring up demons, dragons, and undead with every motion of my flickering fingers. My main focus is fantasy. I’m in the midst of my first series: From the Ashes of Ruin of which The Children of Lubrochius is Book I (There is also a prequel entitled Drasmyr). Right now I’m about two thirds of the way through the first draft of Book II: The Sceptre of Morgulan. Once I’m done that, I intend to take a brief break from the series and write a couple short stories. Then, while I’m editing Sceptre, I’ll move on to book III (I foresee four books plus the prequel in this series).

Anyway, from noon to 1 p.m. I’m having lunch with my father at a cozy small town diner called It’s All Good. Then, I spend the next few hours running errands, doing housework, and doing yard work. Around 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. I start dinner and watch a little TV (Neil Cavuto and The Five on Fox). Then, I spend a few hours editing. I’ve found that editing is really the most time-consuming part of writing. I print out the chapter or chapters I am working on and get out one of my several red pens. I read through the chapter and mark my additions, subtractions, and other modifications as I go. I do that a couple times, then enter the changes in my computer and print it out again. Being something of a perfectionist, I start the editing process all over again. After editing I go back to the TV (usually just The O’Reilly Factor) for an hour or so; then I spend another hour reading.

Finally, I go to bed listening to a podcast of Mark Levin.

Tuesdays and Fridays, my day is a little different. I wake up a little earlier because I volunteer at our local hospital from about 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. When I get home at 11 a.m. I’m usually doing random stuff for the next hour or so. Then, I have lunch with my father, and sometimes with my sister. I come home and do much the same stuff as I do on other days, except instead of editing, I work on marketing. I’m kind of a fish out of water as far as marketing is concerned; it’s definitely outside my skill set; but I am learning, if slowly. From there, my day resembles the others well enough.

Saturday is my day off, and I do random stuff all day.

Sunday ... well, I recently decided to devote that whole day to religious reading and writing. I begin with breakfast with my dad, then I relax for an hour or so, listening to Glenn Beck or some other conservative commentator. I’ll read religious material, including the Bible, for a couple hours. As of yet, I haven’t managed to make it through an entire day devoted strictly to religion. I usually dip back into fantasy. To that end, I work on my website on Sundays and also write up blog posts for the week.

Throughout all this, I am struggling with the occasional bout of depression. When it hits me, it usually takes me out for at least a couple days. On those days I do pretty much nothing constructive but stare at the walls. The good thing is that those days always pass and I recover and get back into it.

Anyway, I hope that gives you a good idea of what my days are like.

The vampire, Lucian val Drasmyr, has been defeated, but not destroyed: Now he serves another evil: Korina Bolaris, a young and gifted sorceress bent on subverting the power structure of Drisdak. Only Coragan of Esperia can hope to stop them. But is even he prepared to face the dark cult who claims her as their own: the Children of Lubrochius?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Across from Ambrisia, Coragan placed his hands on the table and got right down to business. “Your note said someone’s life is in danger?” he asked.

“Possibly,” Regecon answered, leaning back in his chair. “We have another missing person issue. At this point, we don’t know if she is alive or dead or what.”

“Who is it?” Coragan asked.

“My student, Marissa,” Ambrisia interjected. “She disappeared a little over three weeks ago.”

Coragan lifted both eyebrows. “Three weeks?”

“The vampire …” Galladrin offered.

“She disappeared during the day,” Ambrisia said. “Our best diviners are working on the problem—”

“Your diviners are always working on the problem,” Coragan said. “Why is it that your magic never seems to solve the missing person issues. All it does is create questions, and I’m the one who has to sort out the knots.”

“In this case, the vampire, although most probably not the cause of the disappearance is definitely a culprit in a number of complications,” Ambrisia explained. “As you know, a vampire generates an aura of black time that interferes with divination. This aura surrounds the vampire as it moves and disrupts attempts to access the temporal continuum in which it operates creating pockets of inaccessible time as far as divination is concerned. The stronger the vampire, the stronger the aura. Lucian spent nearly a week besieging our guild house. And, as we feared, there is a great deal of temporal distortion caused by his aura.”

“So, once again your magic is rendered useless and you must fall back on more mundane methods. Namely, me,” Coragan said.

About the Author:
Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. Mr. Ryan has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He is the operator of the website which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons” - a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. Mr. Ryan says he receives his inspiration from his many years as an avid role-player and fantasy book reader. He has spent many long hours devising adventures and story-lines for games, so it was a natural shift moving into fantasy writing.

Mr. Ryan is the author of the exciting dark fantasy novel, Drasmyr, its sequel, The Children of Lubrochius, and a growing number of short stories. His first novel, Drasmyr, has consistently earned reviews in the four and five star range and serves as the prequel to his upcoming series: From the Ashes of Ruin. In addition to Drasmyr and The Children of Lubrochius, Mr. Ryan has published several short stories on-line, including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”

Website ~ Smashwords ~ Facebook ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads

Buy the book at Smashwords. The prequel, Drasmyr, is currently available free as an ebook at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Writer's View: Michele Zurlo

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michele will be awarding a choice of signed paperback copy of Wanting Wilder, Mina’s Heart, Kiss Me Goodnight, or Kiss Me By Moonlight, and a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (US ONLY) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View

The view outside my window

Though I have an office, I write in several locations. My house backs onto a lovely private pond. We use it for kayaking, swimming, wading, paddleboating, fishing—whatever strikes our fancy. We have a beach where we can lounge around, build beautiful sandcastles, or roast marshmallows over a roaring fire. If we want to enjoy motor sports or lake living, lake access through the association beach is a few houses down. But we almost never go. We like the quiet privacy of a pond that gives us pretty much everything a lake can. In the winter, the pond freezes, and the neighbors clear an ice rink for skating and hockey playing.

The back of my house is almost all glass. I have four sliding doorwalls and a huge bank of windows that treat us to this wonderful view year round. We have two levels of patio near the house, and the yard slopes down to the waterfront. Our frontage is quite long, as you can see from the south view and beach view pictures. The pond association maintains four swim platforms for us all to use.

I haven’t set any of my novels here or in a like setting. It seems too peaceful for all the drama and heartache I like to cause. When I’m knee-deep in some kind of plot dilemma, my kids will call to me, saying, “Mommy, you’ve worked hard enough today. Come outside and play with us.” And I do. Other times, when they are too busy with their lives to remember me, I stare at the view when I need a quiet moment, inspiration, or just to watch the beauty of nature. This is the view outside my window.

Hey there. It’s Lacey again. Falling in love and landing Dylan hasn’t been the panacea I thought it would be. For starters, he moved into my apartment without asking, and he continues to have no respect for my need to have things in sets of six. Pile that on top of my emotional upheaval after losing my stepfather, and you have a recipe for disaster no amount of German chocolate cake can cure.

Yes, Lacey Hallem’s life remains fraught with challenge, but you know she’s a fighter. Forming a talent management agency with her best friends has been the best career move she’s ever made—even if it’s the only thing currently working according to plan. Lacey’s OCD is getting the better of her, and this time her hands aren’t the only casualty. When her lies ruin her relationships with both Kiss Me Goodnight and Dylan, she’s forced to confront her demons in ways she’s never had to before. As she once again faces her past, can she learn once and for all to let love and friendship through the barriers she’s built?

Both harrowing and hilarious, this conclusion to the tale of Lacey and Dylan will leave you laughing, crying, and fanning yourself—sometimes all at once. Michele Zurlo triumphs again in this moving story about life’s quirks and what we all have to do to get by.

About the Author:
I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve. I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at or @MZurloAuthor.
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Friday, June 20, 2014

How I Overcame Writer's Block by Jonathan Weeks

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leave a comment to win a $10 Amazon gift card and click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How I Overcame Writer’s Block

I wish I had an ocean vista to share but, as you can clearly see, my writing environment is far less exotic. I live in a modest house on a quiet little street in Northern New York. We’re just minutes from the Canadian border. There are few outside distractions when I write so I have nothing external to blame my literary failures on. The creative process has not always been particularly easy for me.

Many moons ago, I was a prolific writer. During my elementary school years, I used to churn out crudely drawn comic books by the bushel (derivative superhero stuff mostly). I peddled my work to classmates at a highly reasonable price of five cents per copy and invested most of my profits in baseball cards. When the market for hackneyed comics dried up, I branched off into short stories, poetry and essays. Though I wouldn’t make another dime off of my writing until I reached my mid-forties, I was happy just being creative—for awhile anyway.

After graduating from college, I took a stab at the “great American novel.” That’s when I experienced the ultimate writer’s nightmare. Though my head was full of epic ideas, my keyboard couldn’t translate them. Each session was worse than the last. At first, I couldn’t produce a single coherent paragraph. And then, as self-doubt began to creep in, I couldn’t string more than ten words together in any agreeable order. My quest to become a published novelist was over.

Or was it?

There are dozens of viable methods used to cure writer’s block: meditation, reading, watching movies, talking to your characters (etc.). None of them worked for me. I found other creative outlets while I was waiting for the darkness to lift. I composed dozens of songs on my guitar. I formed an acting troupe with a few friends and helped produce several episodes of a sketch comedy show called Mind Warp, which aired on public access television in Schenectady, New York. Eventually, I tried my hand at screenwriting.

I have heard it said that a screenplay is not a piece of art, it’s an explanation of a piece of art. I find that statement to be somewhat accurate. I was pleased to discover that movie scripts are actually easier to write than novels in some respects. In a screenplay, all the elements of a story are in place without the descriptive passages. For years, that’s what had been flustering me—those descriptive passages!

My jaunt into screenwriting did not immediately lead to a novel. That came later with a little elbow grease. In the meantime, I began writing non-fiction books on my favorite topic—baseball history. In 2012, I was published for the first time. Long before then, I had developed a pretty good working knowledge of the game and had been toying with the idea of writing a baseball novel. When I got around to it, I discovered that the dreaded block was still in place so I wrote it as a screenplay instead.

In script form, The Bridgeport Hammer was a bare bones story that desperately needed to be fleshed out. For months, I stared blankly at my work, pondering how I would make the conversion. I decided to construct it as a memoir. Preparing myself for the worst, I struggled to compose a few introductory paragraphs. And then, something miraculous happened. As I began to identify with the narrator, the story took on a life of its own. The words came pouring out of me as if they had been there all along. After years of failure and frustration, I had finally completed my first novel!

From my perspective, The Bridgeport Hammer is more than just a novel. It is one writer’s triumph over the forces of literary evil. If I can get a few readers to share the joy, then my victory will be complete. You can visit my author pages at Amazon or Goodreads. I also have my own blog with weekly postings. You can find it at:

Happy Reading!

“The beauty of baseball is that you never know. The game you’re watching may have somebody turning an unassisted triple play, a pitcher flirting with his second consecutive no-hitter, three guys on third base—you just never know. In Mudville Madness, Jonathan Weeks takes us on a whirlwind journey from the nineteenth century through the 2013 season—through the wild, weird, wonderful world of baseball. Fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride!” (Jan Finkel, SABR Biography Project)

About the Author:
Weeks spent thirty-eight years in the Capital District region of New York State. He obtained a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, New York, and has continued to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures ever since. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he has authored two non-fiction books on the topic of baseball: Cellar Dwellers and Gallery of Rogues. His first novel, The Bridgeport Hammer, (a baseball story set during the WWII era) is being released in the summer of 2014. He writes about the game because he lacked the skills to play it professionally. He still can’t hit a curveball or lay off the high heat.

Check out his “Cellar Dwellers” blog at:

Book Blast: The Fox's Mask by Anna Frost

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will award a $30 gift card (Amazon OR B&N OR Kobo) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. NOTE: This book is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time!!

Demon hunter Akakiba keeps many secrets from his human companion. The fact he's a werefox isn't the worst one.

In feudal Japan, magic is dying. As a demon hunter, Akakiba finds this problematic. The evil he's been trained to destroy is disappearing and, along with it, the shape-shifting abilities of the clan he left behind. With his only companion, a determined young human named Yuki, Akakiba traverses the country slaying demons and performing odd jobs.

But when an army of demon-possessed humans masses to exterminate his clan, Akakiba must put aside old feuds and protect his family–-all while hiding an important secret from Yuki. Will they find a way to defeat the demon possessed before it's too late? With magic dwindling, will it matter either way?
Enjoy an excerpt:

Rumor said that shinobi carried out their work in the dead of night, wearing black to disappear in the shadows, entering castles unseen and committing murder unheard.

Rumor, Sanae found out, was wrong.

When she noticed the intruder, it was merely late evening and the colors of sunset hadn’t yet drained from the sky. A gentle wind was tugging strands of hair out of the red ribbon at the nape of her neck, and the air was thick with the scent of spring and renewed life. It was a sudden noise, a thud that did not belong, that first alerted her.

She knelt outside the clan head’s suite on the porch that opened on the gardens. She wasn’t wearing practical clothing like a real guard, but rather a bright-blue furisode with ample sleeves and a beautiful flower pattern. She wore no sword, but a knife was camouflaged in the colorful sash about her waist. Her function was to raise the alarm in case of danger. Fighting was for the adults, those who had undergone the coming-of-age ceremony and thus earned the right to bear a sword. She would soon be one of them, but not yet.

Sanae watched from the corner of her eyes as the intruder became visible among the flowering plum trees. The sound that had alerted her must have been his landing after he’d jumped the wall, an impressive feat indeed. Twice as impressive considering this wall was the second of the clan house, created specifically to protect the clan head and his entourage. The first wall was taller and better guarded. How had this intruder gained access?

Attacks on the Fox clan were so rare that it was considered an honor to witness one. For one to happen while she was standing guard for the first time was amazing luck, and her excitement was far stronger than her fear.

The intruder was dressed in a plain manner that would not attract attention in the clan house, but he could not disguise that which betrayed him: his human aura. The only humans who lived in the clan house were women who did not bear swords. None but a shinobi, an assassin, would be so bold as to try this.

Under normal circumstances, Sanae’s duty would have been to raise the alarm and watch as the intruder fled, discovered too soon to act. But there was no need to let the shinobi know he had been discovered; there was a fox in the garden.

Sanae stared at the fox until she had its attention, then deliberately flicked her gaze toward the intruder. The fox slunk away to enter through a door out of the shinobi’s sight. She forced herself to remain calm, to pretend she hadn’t noticed a thing. After all, she was but a young girl watching the flowers in bloom.

Her heartbeat quickened as the intruder approached, discreetly sizing her up. Would he attack, or would he seek another entrance to the rooms she guarded? There was no doubt he was after the clan head: assassins always were.

About the Author: Anna Frost is a Canadian girl who spends winters writing and dreaming of summer. An overdose of Japanese culture and media has led her to write fantasy inspired by Japanese mythology. In a shocking break with literary tradition, Anna does not live with cats. Instead she lives with chinchillas, which can be just as demanding and evil as cats.

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

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Super Book Blast: Evidence of Trust by Stacey Joy Netzel

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stacey will be awarding a $20 gift card (winners choice) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at the end of this post. Please click the banner to see the other stops on this tour.

Sparks fly when a headstrong wrangler and an alpha park ranger are thrown together while he searches for evidence to stop the poacher killing animals in RMNP. When the monster turns his sights on Brittany, Joel discovers he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her—even give his own life.

Trust makes all the difference when love and danger collide.

Book 1 of the exciting Colorado Trust Series

Enjoy an excerpt:

He radioed into headquarters to report his location for the night as he swung into the saddle.

One of the rangers who’d been assisting with his investigation answered the call.

“Find anything interesting up there?” Randy Gifford asked.

“Just a camper in a restricted area.”

“You think it could be the guy you’re looking for?”

“It’s a woman. Camping where she shouldn’t be. I’m going to make sure she leaves in the morning, then return to my original route.”

“You may want to reconsider. That storm front I mentioned earlier is moving a lot faster than expected. It’s over the Never Summer Mountain Range and will reach your area tonight. Temperature’s dropping, too, so be prepared.”

Joel surveyed the heavy, gray clouds he’d noticed earlier. “What are they forecasting?”

“If it keeps moving, a couple inches. If it stalls, up to a foot.”

He muttered a curse. That would be a problem. “If that happens, we could be up here for a few days, so yeah, scrap the original route. The closest trailhead is Longs Peak, can you get someone to drop off my truck and trailer over there in the morning?”

“Will do.”

Five minutes later, he rode back into Brittany Lucas’s camp as she threw a couple pieces of wood on the campfire that’d been nothing but banked coals when he left. She brushed off her hands before bracing them on her hips.

“Now what?”

He dismounted to unpack his gear. “I’ll be camping here with you tonight.”

“Ranger Morgan, let me assure you, I have every intention of leaving in the morning.”

“And until then, I’ll make sure you stay safe.”

“I don’t need you to babysit me,” she insisted, irritation flooding her voice as she sat by the fire.

Ignoring the fact she’d heard him earlier, he met her stare over the top of Nobel’s saddle. “You got a gun?”

Her gaze faltered. “No.”

“Well, the poacher does, so I’m staying.” That shut her up, until he tossed his sleeping bag inside her tent.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Stacey Joy Netzel is an avid reader and loves all movies with a happily ever after. She lives in Wisconsin with her family, a couple horses and some barn cats. In her limited free time she enjoys gardening, canning, and visiting her parents in Northeastern Wisconsin (Up North), at the family cabin on the lake.


Website and Blog:




Trust makes all the difference when love and danger collide.

Evidence of Trust, Book 1 - Special Sale price $0.99 (regular $3.99)

Trust by Design, Book 2

Trust in the Lawe, Book 3

Shattered Trust, Book 4

Dare to Trust, Book 5










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Friday, June 13, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will give a $20 Amazon gift card to two randomly drawn commenters. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A timid girl finds bravery as the first female Death.

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Enjoy an excerpt:

She tried to turn, but the scythe pulled her onward. She coursed through stars and space, beyond time and emotion. Lighter than a daydream, she slipped through a crevice: the gap between light and shadow. The blade twisted, finding its way.

A face appeared before her: an elderly man she didn’t recognize. Somehow, she sensed a name: Elias Stoneridge.

She landed hard, stumbling as her feet hit a tiled floor. Beads of white light trickled off the blade.

For a moment, she couldn’t tell where she was. She heard beeps and the slow intake of air.

Frank patted her on the shoulder. “You okay?” he asked.


“Remember, don’t let anyone else see us,” said Frank, looking around the hospital room.

Certified Deaths received special robes to help avoid mortal eyes. Ironically, the Deaths who’d inspired tales of the Grim Reaper throughout the ages had been students like her. Students and ones who didn’t make it back. She shuddered, remembering her skeletal appearance. It seemed long ago.

A man lay in a bed, connected to an array of tubes and machines. Suzie walked to the foot of his bed and read the name on his chart. “Elias Stoneridge.” The scythe quivered in her hand. The handle pulsed like a beating heart, or was that only her own heartbeat? No, the blade felt the soul, it was hungry.

“It’s his time,” said Frank, patting her on the shoulder. “Quickly, before someone comes.”

About the Author:
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Mannino is currently working on a sequel to “School of Deaths” as well as an adult science fiction novel.

Find Mannino online at:


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Super Book Blast: Calculated by Renee Novelle

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

An investigative journalist gets an unlikely tip from a mysterious informant. Dismissing it as impossible, she disregards the information and drops the story. Until the informant turns up dead, as predicted.

Plunged into the murky waters of a seedy underground prostitution ring, this psychological thriller provides twist upon dark twist in a story that would ultimately pin the church and several government officials in the largest murder cover-up the city has ever witnessed.

But is it true, or has the journalist merely been used as a pawn in a greater scheme? And how many people is she willing to sacrifice trying to figure it out?

Enjoy an excerpt:

When she arrived at the little facility her building provided, a quick look around confirmed she was the only one there. Just as she’d hoped, and exactly how she liked it to be. Smiling in satisfaction, she flipped on the television that was perched on the wall, and turned up the music on her iPod as loud as she could handle it. The multiple distractions would help her get through the extra mile she was planning to conquer. With chilled water bottle in place, she cranked up the treadmill to a nice brisk pace.

As her breathing picked up speed and her muscles began to warm, Ana’s eye caught a red flash along the bottom of the screen. Breaking News filled the bar, and the too-chipper-for-their-own-good reporters were suddenly getting serious. Since the volume was still muted, Ana couldn’t understand exactly what was going on, only that they were showing the wide stretch of river that ran along the outskirts of the city. She wiped the first beads of sweat from her brow, and used the remote to turn the volume of the television higher while simultaneously adjusting her music.

As the reporters spoke, home-video footage of something floating in the water rolled before her eyes. The camera zoomed in, the frame ever so shaky, and it became clearly apparent that the “something” was a person - face down with long brown hair spread out like a Catholic halo. It appeared another victim had been pulled out of the water; the count was quickly tallying up. A young woman this time, and possibly one who had gone missing the night before.

Ana’s pulse skipped a few beats as they replayed the video over and over. There was something familiar about the long, lean body. Slowing the treadmill to a stop, she ripped the ear buds from her head to give the segment her entire attention. appears at first glance that the victim suffered from a deep cut to the throat, and received multiple stab wounds to the chest...

The beads of accumulated sweat turned cold on Ana’s brow. She immediately reached for her phone and dialed Kylie’s number.

“What the hell, Ana?” Came her friend’s groggy voice.

“Turn your TV on. Channel four. Hurry.” Ana said, eyes transfixed to the screen in front of her. “Recognize that face?”

...It’s thought the victim may be one of the young girls recently reported missing. The screen flashed candids of three possible women. All brunettes. All tall and thin. All roughly the same age. Among them was a photo of Mara, just as Ana had expected there would be.

But the body was too bloated and disfigured to be absolutely certain, and an autopsy would be needed.

... The body will be taken in for processing where officials hope to shed more light on the case in the near future. In the mean time, they’re cautioning residents to avoid....

“Did you see that?” Ana’s voice escaped in more of a demand than a question. “Please tell me I’m seeing things.”

“Oh my god...” Kylie whispered into the receiver, confirming the dread that was building in Ana’s stomach. “Do you really think it’s her?”

“I know for a fact it is.” Ana declared, the pull in her gut getting stronger by the minute. “The autopsy will confirm it.”

“So, what does this mean exactly now?”

“That maybe I should have been listening a little closer when I was talking to Mara.” She said with regret as she swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “And maybe I should have asked more questions. There’s a story here, I’m sure of it now.”

“What are you going to do?” Kylie’s voice was decidedly more alert now.

Ana shook her head. “I have no idea.”

Though if she were to be truthful with herself in that moment, she’d already made up her mind. Ana flipped off the television, and left the little gym to get started.

About the Author:
Formerly a freelance journalist, Novelle has found placement of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her writing to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She has launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.

In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.

Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.

You can find out more about her books and connect with her here:


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

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: A Lady Never Lies by Stephanie Burkhart

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Jocelyn Dunkirk is not your typical Victorian lady. She dresses in leather, wears goggles and is not afraid to get a little grease under her fingernails. Gentlemen avoid her like a dirty rivet.

Richard Windsor, the Prince of Wales, travels through time to claim Jocelyn's heart, but if it isn't one challenge, it's another. He determines to be a constant, steady presence in her life, hoping to prove he'd make a worthy husband.

Jocelyn's facing a bucket full of problems. The Prime Minister wants her to assist in ending a coal strike before it cripples the nation while her father attempts to recover from a serious injury. Will Jocelyn's dedication to her country and family ruin the one chance she has at love?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jocelyn froze, stunned to find herself face-to-face with Richard. She'd hoped he'd come back for her, but not like this. She brushed aside her sudden surge of happiness as she glanced at her father. He struggled to maintain his composure.

"We need to leave," the doctor said.

"Lord Ridgecroft, come." Sir John nudged Jocelyn's father and they began walking toward the exit.

Richard rushed to her side, placing a hand on her elbow. His expression filled with longing -- and concern. "Jocelyn--"

She raised a hand. "I can't--"

"What happened?" Richard's voice shook.

Keira leaned forward. "The ring you left behind exploded."

A deep, pained look crossed his face.

Jocelyn turned away. She had to keep her focus on her father when she could be assured of her father's well being, then she'd deal with Richard's reappearance. They entered a hall that the servants used and headed toward the exit.

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.









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Friday, June 06, 2014

The Writer's Space: Becky Wicks

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Becky will be awarding an eCopy of Before He Was Famous to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an eCopy of Before He Was Famous, as well as a print copy of Latinalicious, Becky's last travel memoir (HarperCollins) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (International winner) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Author's View: Inside/Outside
The view inside your writing space

Thanks for having me on the blog! So, the view inside my writing space is quite literally a chaotic whirl of words and colors and emotions and generally a frazzled mess over all the things I have to do before I can sit down actually write! That’s my brain. But my physical space is usually somewhere quite calming and zen. I find I can’t even work to music sometimes – I am way too easily distracted! You know when you hear a song and then write the lyrics instead of what you’re supposed to be writing? Yup, that’s me. A nice bench in a garden is my favorite, but if I’m inside I prefer a big wooden table with a bench so I can surround myself with coffee mugs and scraps of paper and incense sticks and the occasional dog or cat snaking round my ankles.

The view outside your window

I’m currently sitting on that garden bench I just mentioned, at my friend’s villa in Ubud, Bali. I can see frangipanis bending over the turquoise swimming pool, pink and orange flowers and lots of green palm trees. It’s pretty blimmin gorgeous! I usually live in London, which I love, but I come to Bali to write in peace. I kind of made this place my second home when I was writing my second travel memoir for HarperCollins – Balilicious. The local people are so warm and welcoming and there are plenty of chances to stay fit and healthy as well as to write in beautiful places. I always feel ten times calmer when I’m here!

Before He Was Famous is the story of two childhood friends struggling with their relationship in the public eye. Social media isn’t always friendly when you’re famous… and some secrets won’t always be left in the shadows.

Here’s an excerpt from Noah Lockton’s point of view. It’s one of my favorite scenes in the book – when he realizes what his friend really means to him, and just how crazy his world has become.

The wind picks up and clutches at her dress. I reach out instinctively to her face, run a thumb along her cheek, swiping at raindrops. 'You're drunk,' I whisper, but even as she frowns and rolls her eyes at me I have to smile because I see her; the kid who held my hand when my dog died, who gave names to the snails in her yard, who made me jump about her bedroom carpet like it was an ocean full of islands.

I see the seventeen-year-old who clung to me when her dad died. The secrets we left in the branches; the way our desperate lips searched frantically for some modicum of sense as we let our minds go out the window and screwed with more passion, more heart than I've ever experienced with anyone else in my life; even if she was drunk, even if we were grieving. It doesn't change what it meant to me.

She's amazing. I love her. Why the hell did I let her go back to Cooper? Why the hell did I not just tell her sooner? Would it even have made a difference?

She's tugging on my arm and I realize I haven't spoken yet. 'Chloe...' I start. But the flash strikes us like lightning. I'd know it anywhere and it has nothing to do with the weather.

'Paparazzi,' we say in sync, and I grab her hand, pull her with me as we both break into a run.

About the Author:
Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author going indie! Itchy feet has led her to live and work all over the world since leaving England at age 21, including NYC, Sydney, Bali, South America and Dubai. Right now she’s scribbling the second book in the HotFlush series in Bali while slurping numerous coconuts and trying not to spill them on her keyboard.

~ Facebook ~ @bex_wicks ~ ~ Goodreads ~ Google+
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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. Fedison

BBT The Eye-Dancers Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment or ask him a question. You can click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT eye_dancers_lowres3Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He heard the others, still talking behind them. Ryan was telling another of his dumb-blonde jokes. Crickets played their fiddles from hidden places in the grass. A hoot owl called out, and another, farther away, answered. Duss, now a vague form in the dark, still stood at the fence, looking through the gap at the now dormant grill. And he knew, he was certain, that he could talk to Heather, this beautiful girl from a place so far away. She would understand the way he felt about his parents. Maybe she would understand the way he felt about a lot of things.

But it didn’t matter. Because he didn’t want to stumble over his words, his tongue like sandpaper, tripping over syllables. He didn’t need to. Just being with her was enough. He sat there, holding her hand. He no longer felt rushed, no longer desired to leave. Joe would end up making that decision for them, anyway. For right now, he just enjoyed the sensation of her fingers laced through his, the heady fragrance of her perfume, the easy, comfortable silence that hung between them.

He looked up, at the infinite black canvas of the sky, at the stars, which shimmered like precious jewels. She had said that maybe our dreams lived up there, among those stars. All we needed to do was believe, and remember.

And reach.

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoMichael S. Fedison was born in Rochester, New York, and now lives with his wife, Sarah, and regal cat, Luke, in the green hills of central Vermont. Michael has been writing creatively for as long as he can remember, and has had short fiction published in several literary magazines, including Iconoclast and The Written Word. He works as a full-time technical writer and also is a freelance proofreader and copy editor.

Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.

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

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Blurb Blitz Tour: Love, God and Tattoos by Aleshia Robinson

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Aleshia will be awarding a print copy of the Love, God & Tattoos Bundle (US and Canada only) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other places you can enter!

Love, God & Tattoos is a series of young adult novels written by American author Aleshia Robinson. The story chronicles the spiritual journey of 21 year old Alcatraz, a troubled tattoo artist, and her struggle to have a positive relationship with God and herself.


Fifteen year old Alcatraz is being chased. Born and raised in a loving family, she suddenly finds herself fending for her life on the streets of Los Angeles. Consumed with anger, hurt and confusion, Alcatraz turns to the spiritual realm to find life’s answers. While experimenting with pagan spells, Buddhist chants, and yoga sutras, she continually encounters a spirit who claims He is God. The Truth she learns from this spiritual quest introduces her to the unexpected world of divine healing, acceptance and unconditional love.


After two years of spiritual searching, Alcatraz has finally decided who the One true God is for her life. But trouble soon follows. Being rejected by her new found religious organization because of her appearance and discharged from the tattoo shop for her beliefs, Alcatraz is forced to enter the Hollywood adult entertainment life with her best friend Kuriko. The nightmares she experiences living on the dubious streets of Los Angeles causes her to struggle to keep her faith.


Alcatraz has desperately wanted to learn more about the mysterious past of her street-smart Japanese best friend, Kuriko. Now her wish has come true, but not in the way she expected. Kuriko handed Alcatraz a black bamboo box before the tragic accident. Inside, Alcatraz finds the diary of a nineteen-year-old girl's struggle with sex trafficking, powerful men, abuse, betrayal, and surprisingly, a burning desire to know God. After two years of living with the secretive, over- protective high-dollar prostitute, Alcatraz learns the dark truth of Kuriko's inhumane journey. Now she wishes the past could have been buried with her best friend.


Unfulfillment, boredom and anxiety overcame me every time I wasn’t tattooing someone. While I was in creative mode I was fine but as soon as I stopped it was like life wasn’t worth living anymore. My mood could change instantly. I masked my pain very well with alcohol. If it wasn’t pomegranate margaritas from The Geisha Room then I drank hard liquor at the Roxy or wherever we were that night. On the outside girls envied me for my mad abilities, but on the inside I cried myself to sleep at night like a little, insecure baby. No matter how hard I tried to party and tattoo my way out of my problems, I couldn’t let go of the pain of my parent’s death, my rape and being plucked from Valeo Academy into this Hollywood life on my own. All of those seeds were ever present in the soil of my heart waiting to be tended to. I didn’’t know how to process the pain except to pretend like it wasn’t there. Alcohol allowed me to flee from my problems gracefully and to fit in with people who made me feel loved, accepted and worthwhile.

Aleshia Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois and enjoys writing edgy inspirational fiction, traveling, decoupaging, empowering women in the sex trade and providing clean water for mankind.

TWITTER: @lovegodtattoos
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Super Book Blast: Uncharted Storms by Jackie Anton

This stop is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jackie will be awarding a paperback edition of “Wind River Refuge” penned as J.M. Anton (US only) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. If the winner is international, the author will send a digital copy of Fateful Waters. Click the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Weather is our constant companion, and when it behaves like a benevolent parent we pay little attention to it. Angry or out of control it becomes terrifying and can change the landscape as well as lives. So I asked my characters to take a ride on the wild side of weather. “Uncharted Storms” takes readers on a journey from a gentle summer rain to raging storms in the cosmos.

What if you were caught up in Uncharted Storms?

What if? Erica’s world didn’t come to an end in 2012 while she was in middle school? She manages to make it through college before an apocalyptic event changes her life forever. The science fiction story Terra Beyond 2012 shares Erica’s voyage.

What if? You and your best friend were traveling down the highway on the way home from an extended trip when you are caught in a blinding thunderstorm, and then are hit by lightning? To make matters worse you are injured, and wake in a strange world. Find out what happens to Chris in the tale Riding Lightning.

What if? You were on your way to meet a friend for dinner and caught in a flash flood? That is exactly what happens to Alexandra in the story Flashflood Texas Style.

What if? A boy you haven’t seen in two decades winds up sitting on your front porch? Find out what Casey comes up with on A Rainy Night.

What if? You were caught out in a winter storm on icy, drifted, walks and streets when a skidding car comes directly at you? Find out what happened to eighteen-year-old Annie when she is hit from behind in the short story A Tumble in the Snow.

About the Author:
Jackie Anton is the mother of two grown children, and grandmother of two. She and her husband, of forty-three years, continue to ride daily. They live on a mini-farm in rural Ohio, and share their little slice of horse heaven with two Quarter Horses, a Haflinger, a rescued dog, and a calico barn cat.

Jackie is an accomplished equestrian, with a life time of experience: as trainer, exhibitor, 4-H and youth club coach, as well as a horse show judge; the author brings many years of experience working with horses and young riders to her award winning Backyard Horse Tales Series.

Uncharted Storms: Short stories are aimed at the Young Adult and older reader. Look for more short tales in the future.

Backyard Horse Tales: Sox 2nd Edition Brings to light the mutual love between a handicapped colt and a lonely child with a learning disability. Find out how this pair team up to triumph over life’s roadblocks, and why their story won the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award of Excellence for Family Friendly Media. (Reading level age 8 thru Adult)

BYHT 2 “Frosty and the Nightstalker” was one of four finalists in the E-Book Fiction category for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, then the paperback went on to earn the Mom’s Choice Award for Juvenile Historical Fiction.

Jackie is hard at work on BYHT 3 Don’t Call Me Love. You can catch a peek at her beautiful cover on the Backyard Horse Tales Face Book Fan Page: :
Author Website:
FB Adult Novel Fan Page: page:
Online Autographed Book Covers:
Blog: Writing for readers in a .com world

Buy Uncharted Storms: Short Stories of Hearts at Risk at Smashwords, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Autographed Paperback Copies are available at Jackie’s Author’s Den. U.S. Readers click on the cover of your choice and follow the Signed Book link to order.

J. M. Anton (adult novels) can be purchased at Amazon.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Writer's View: Shawna C. Jones

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shawna will be awarding the winner's choice of

1) a $50.00 Amazon Gift certificate.
2) a half hour psychic reading of your choice of readers. (up to $60.00)
3) a $50.00 Starbucks gift card.

to a randomly drawn commenter. The Rafflecopter form is at the end of the post and you can click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View

Thank you for allowing me to post on your blog today.

I would like to tell you about the outside of my writing space.

As you can see from the photos, I have a lovely view of the Willamette River in Portland Oregon. There is usually a lot of boat activity on this particular river: Dragon boats, barges, kayaks, cruise boats, and others. I never know what I’ll see next. Plus the marina is close by as well. And across the river is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry with a submarine docked as an exhibit.

The trails along the river are fantastic for jogging, walking, biking, and skate boarding, or roller blading. It is easy enough to cross the river by one of the many bridges and then continue on the other side.

Along part of the trail, there are many restaurants, cafes, and a spa and salon. Most of the restaurants have outdoor seating during the warm season. There is one restaurant that claims to be Portland’s only floating restaurant and I can see it clearly from my window. Near that restaurant, a small park with reflecting pools, benches, and trees, makes a nice resting stop to people watch or enjoy the boats passing by.

From a bedroom window, we can see the aerial tram that takes visitors, employees, tourists, etc. to the top of the hill. There are several hospitals situated there, so the hill is nicknamed, “Pill Hill”.

Public transportation via the streetcar is only a couple of blocks away. And light rail is about a 10 minute walk away. No need for a car to get around this beautiful city of roses. But it is nice to have one for those longer trips to the ocean or mountains.

Portland’s motto is: “Keep Portland Weird”. I think I’m finally home. Feel free to comment on the photos or ask any questions. Thank you for reading.

Shawna grew up with a secret that she couldn't share with anyone. She thought of it as her "inner demon" and it shaped her life. When she became an adult, it sent her on a quest to try to find her Real Home. In Paris, she fell in love with a fellow traveler who changed her life, for better or worse. Their relationship was full of discovery and of lessons learned.

How could she come to terms with her "inner demon"? Can we change our fate or karma? Does love really conquer all?

This book is based on a true story of an independent woman's search for her true self and the meaning of life, and how she found answers in unexpected places.

About the Author: Author bio: Shawna C. Jones lives in the US, when she's not traveling the world. She lives with her husband, and "inner demon" quite peacefully now. She is continuing her mission of helping others, and encouraging young people to travel and follow their dreams.

Facebook ~ Website

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