Friday, October 31, 2014

Win a $50 Amazon/BN GC - Virtual Book Tour: Shadows of Ghosts by Stefan Haucke


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Researching Tips


Not every story requires research, but every story will benefit from research. The more an author knows about he world their characters inhabit, the richer the story will be.

If your story takes place in the past, first make sure you have a firm understanding of the basic issues of that era. What were the social issues? What were the political issues? Then you must make sure you have an understanding of how people during that era lived. What were the ways people in that era earned a living? What kind of technology did they have? All of these questions can be answered by reading history books that cover the era you're researching, and or by searching the internet.

Once you have a firm understanding of the era, I strongly recommend seeking out firsthand accounts from people who lived in the era. Seek out diaries, letters, official reports of events that people witnessed. Why do I strongly recommend this? Because when you read a firsthand account you are given details about the daily life of that era that you won't find in most history books.

Finding a good firsthand account of an event takes some effort. Unfortunately, you will have to read through a bunch of poorly written firsthand accounts before you will find a good one. But it's worth it. Reading a well written firsthand account is the closest thing to stepping into a time machine and traveling back in time. When you read the event it feels as if you are there.

How do you find good firsthand accounts of historical events? The best way is to read the bibliographies in history books that cover the era you're researching. Bibliographies are wonderful resources for finding not only firsthand accounts of events, but for finding interesting books that you most likely would never otherwise come across.

Happy researching!

Shadows of Ghosts carries readers to Enara, a kingdom at war with itself, where for centuries centaurs have been treated like animals because of their horse-like lower bodies; they've been forced to work as slaves in the southern agricultural provinces, and have been bought and sold like livestock. But a strong abolitionist faction has convinced many that centaurs' human torsos, heads, and intellectual abilities make them humans, who should be liberated from slavery and granted the same rights as any other person.

After four years of being forced to live in a remote village and having to keep his real identity a secret, Cal Lanshire, days away from his thirteenth birthday, is given the best birthday present he can imagine. He is told the war is almost over and he will soon be allowed to return home.

But then an old acquaintance unexpectedly arrives with news that changes everything. Cal's father, the king, has been assassinated.

Suddenly the outcome of the war and the very fate of the kingdom depend upon Cal being able to reach the capital where he will take his father's place.

With only his crafty best friend by his side and an escaped centaur slave to guide him, can Cal make it through an enchanted, hostile wilderness, past the assassins sent to kill him, and back to the capital before it's too late?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Suddenly, Grintar shouted something, but Cal couldn’t understand the words. Grintar’s men spread out, and there was a tension that Cal could sense, like the way it felt seconds before a bolt of lightning was about to strike nearby. Grintar raised his sword over his head, held it there for several seconds, and then he swooped it down, slashing it through the air, and shouted, “Advance!”

Chaos exploded. Crossbow bolts and arrows whistled through the air, and men on both sides charged forward, yelling battle cries, and the ringing sounds of metal striking metal pierced the air as the opposing troops crashed into each other. Soon the agonized screams of the wounded and dying joined the other sounds.

The men who were guarding Cal moved him back, and they tightened their circle around him so that their shields were almost touching; Cal strained to see out through the thin slits in between the shields. All he saw was an occasional flash from the sun reflecting off metal, and at one point he saw a streak of red, which he was certain was blood pouring out of a wounded man.

It was difficult to estimate how long the battle lasted. The agonized screams and the ringing of metal striking metal seemed interminable, and it took all of Cal’s willpower not to clasp his hands over his ears, but the battle stopped so abruptly Cal had a sense that it hadn’t lasted more than three or four minutes. There came a brief span of absolute silence which, after the battle’s cacophony, seemed eerie, as if the dead had suddenly demanded the payment of silent respect.

About the Author:
Stefan Haucke, driven by the desire to learn about other cultures and the need for adventure, has traveled to over twenty nations. He rode a camel near the pyramids in Egypt, swam with sea lions in the waters of the Galapagos Islands, climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked near the Acropolis in Athens, went dog sledding in northern Michigan, and photographed polar bears in Canada.

Along his many travels, Stefan has successfully worked as a deckhand, a shepherd, a dispatcher for an emergency services unit, an electric meter reader, and an office manager. He has also found the time to study the literature and history of ancient Greece, Russia, and the United States, and loves reading folktales, fairytales, and urban legends. He also enjoys astronomy, and on clear nights can be found gazing at the stars and planets with his telescope.

Website ~ Goodreads


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indie Bound - Independent Bookstores. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Win a $25 Amazon GC -- Book Blast: Black Cats and Ballet Slippers by Iva Valentino


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Gemma Mayfield feels like middle school is a lot to bite off and chew. School, ballet classes, and planning on how to get Trevor Davis to ask her to the Halloween Dance are a tough balancing act. On top of that, Gemma is convinced that her science teacher, Ms. Pruett, is a witch.

When things start getting fishy at school, Gemma knows that Ms. Pruett is behind it all! Students are getting spells placed on them and start to go missing. Gemma and her best friend, Izzie, vow to stop Ms. Pruett from doing any more damage. Will they be able to save Middleton Middle School from witchcraft?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I am convinced that my teacher is a witch. I’m not saying that she acts witchy, like she’s mean or anything. Completely the opposite, as far as I’m concerned. Ms. Pruett is so nice that she’s TOO nice.

Ms. Pruett is the kind of teacher that masquerades as your grandma. I’m not kidding! She shuffles around the classroom with her white frizzy hair poking up all over the place out of her bun. She calls the kids “dearie,” like ALL THE TIME. She also passes out candy a lot, although I’ve never eaten any. (I’ve been too scared, but no one’s keeled over or turned into a spider yet.)

I think there’s something really creepy about her.

Like, for instance, I was sitting in Ms. Pruett’s science class today. Ms. Pruett was at the front of the room, droning on about the respiratory system of frogs. Blah, blah, blah. Every once in a while she would come down one of the rows in the classroom, gripping her frog model and pointing to some frog part. And then she’d stop, make eye contact with a kid or two, and smile this sweet, sickening smile. It was sort of mesmerizing.

I always find myself unable to stop staring at the wart on her face. Izzie says it’s a mole, not a wart. I prefer to think otherwise. Sometimes it surprises me that we’re best friends since we disagree on this very important matter.

I don’t think that Izzie in general is as convinced as I am that Ms. Pruett is a witch. What’s not to believe? Wart on nose, the fact that she must be over a hundred years old, and the spooky room that we have class in every day. Ms. Pruett calls her classroom the “Science Laboratory”. Yikes! How much more creepy can you get?

About the Author:
Iva Valentino lives in Arizona with her husband and their dog, Lupo. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education. She loves living year-round in the warm desert.

Iva spent many years as a middle school teacher, where she enjoyed doing fun science experiments with her students. She currently works as a science editor at an educational publishing company. She loves travel, yoga, and photography. There is nothing that brings her more happiness than a good dance class!

Website: www.IvaValentino.com
Blog: www.ivavalentino.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivaavalentino

Buy the book at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. (on sale for $1.35 at publisher and Amazon)

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Win a $20 Amazon GC - Book Blast: Gypsy Hunted by Andrea Drew


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Andrea will be awarding a $20 amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Reluctant psychic Gypsy Shields—she prefers the term "intuition consultant"—finds herself in trouble when, on her way home from a blind date, she interrupts a kidnapping in progress. She attempts to intervene, and her heroics are repaid with a collision between the attacker's van and a brick wall. She awakens in the hospital, paralyzed on her left side and unable to speak. This also means she's unable to share her vital information as a witness. Fortunately, she is able to use her telepathic connection with her niece to throw a line out to a police detective she knows: Connor Reardon, her blind date.

Connor will do anything to protect Gypsy, and he listens to her claims of psychic power willingly, as he's concealing certain powers of his own. Nor are they all he's concealing. Gypsy senses a part of her new ally's mind is closed to her—what she cannot know is that Connor suspects the kidnapper is someone close to him, and the kidnapping victim holds secrets that will tear through Connor's department, putting careers and lives at risk. Including Gypsy, still in hospital and vulnerable as the attacker turns his sights on her once again.

Can she use her powers to track down the perpetrator and prevent her own murder?

Enjoy an excerpt:

As Connor switched off the alarm, he knew it would be a rough one. The rumor mill was already in overdrive, and his phone had notified him with a ping.

A young woman, a police headquarters employee had gone missing last night.

The kicker was the confidential reports she’d swiped on the way out of the building. Reports about suspect bent cops, written by internal affairs and for the eyes of that department only. Seems this lady was curious and not all she appeared to be.

He’d been exhausted last night and needed a full night’s sleep. It was still dark outside as he slid out of bed and slipped on his running gear. His morning run helped him keep his thoughts straight and make a reasonable start to the day. He grabbed the bottle from the shelf beside the door, and it swung wide has he headed outside. If he didn’t run he’d go insane or at least more insane than he felt already, dealing with the unrelenting pressure of being senior detective. As he headed down the steps he heard the satisfying clunk of the door closing.

Cold air stung his skin, and his breath formed plumes of mist that streamed past his eyes. Lengthening his stride, Connor pulled the iPod from his pocket to clip it his waistband. Some cops turned to drink, some to drugs, and others went off the rails. After the failure of his marriage, he had turned to running, three miles a day.

About the Author:
Andrea Drew has been a commercial copy writer and resume writer for over a decade.

She's written for celebrity stylists, assisted business coaches and start-ups, written grants for not for profits, delivered marketing presentations to business owners, and attends Australian writing conventions.

Her self-published book "Pro Resumes Made Easy" has been downloaded over 40,000 times.

Andrea has one husband (more than enough), three kids, a pet rock (her daughters not hers), and a house in the suburbs, where she's hard at work on the second novel in the Gypsy series.

Email her at andrea@andrea-drew.com.

Gypsy Hunted her first fiction novel (her first suspense thriller set in her home town of Melbourne Australia) is available at Amazon.

Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Blog
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Writer's View: Dean C. Moore


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card and click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer’s View


I look out my window on about ten acres of forest, at the border of which are any number of bird feeders. I had a special container put in to attract the goldfinches and to detract all the less colorful brown birds who just wanted to visit blandness upon my day. The poor goldfinches, however, are made to eat their seed upside down, as apparently, they’re the only birds which can, and it’s the only way to deter the other nasty “predators.” Factor in the squirrels, the dazzling scarlet red finches, and the occasional lost bird from some tropical paradise (of all the places to get lost from!), and it all sounds rather idyllic. Until nightfall comes, and the hoot owl starts in, the crickets, the neighbor’s blood hounds (those dogs do not bark, they have a haunting, crying howl they do that sounds as if someone’s torturing them.)

Come dawn, there are the not one, not two, but three neighbor’s cocks crowing, more dogs barking (she has twelve of them) and the cats come out to menace my birds. Being quite the bird enthusiast, the neighbors and I are seldom more than seconds away from a blood feud that would give the Hatfield and McCoy clans pause. I’ve held myself in check thanks to my meditative practice, some natural tranquilizers I hear are superior to any you can buy from the pharmacist, and the image of what would happen to me if I pulled out my .22 and shot one of those cats. I have a .22; they have several shot guns, scoped rifles, camou gear, oh, and a canon. All in all, I’ve decided I love cats. And that it’s really just nature taking its course.

On the other side of that window is another world entirely which, unlike the forest, respects no natural rhythms. The cycles of night and day, the four seasons, even the endless turn of animals and insects mating and having fun, reproducing and dying, have failed to impart the least bit of order to my life. I write at all hours of the day. When I got tired being wakened by dreams and flashes of insight on how to get around sticking points in my story and then having to wait for the computer to boot up, and risk losing the text spilling out of my brain a mile a minute, I simply left the computer on.

The orderly thing to do on this side of the window would be to work on one book at a time, edit it, publish it, market it, then move on to the other. Sigh. Are there really people in the world this linear? Just like I read several books at once, I write several books at once. When they finally come to fruition it’s more like a tree bearing fruit out of season. I have to rush around and collect the harvest before it rots. Translation: I now have to figure out how to market a bunch of books that I would have been wise to start marketing one at a time, in a more linear fashion, some months or years back, and get them in front of readers before my prescient sci-fi reads more like ancient history. Alas, while I respect logic, I’m clearly not governed by it.

Are there signs about the room that point to my hopefully subclinical ADHD? Well, in one corner are the gardening books from when I was determined to be an organic gardener. I read them all like I was going for a graduate degree in the subject. And while I’m still in love with this fantasy version of myself that takes advantage of living in the country and gets up every morning and grounds himself by turning earth over in his hands, I’ve decided that it is indeed just a fantasy; I’m a child of the virtual world, and the real world, as close as it is out that window, may as well be a million miles away. The only reason the room doesn’t have more evidence of prior “episodes” is I must clear away the past mistakes to make room for the new. Like the time I was going to become a Zen master, and declare my rural property sacred ground and a church devoted to enlightenment. Some of those books are still hidden in the closet.

It’s a small room, but it still bears witness to the many “wrong” turns in life that have made my life all the sweeter as a consequence.

Fraternal twins are separated from birth, and raised to be assassins. They were never meant to meet. But even when kept apart, they’re just too powerful. Their paranormal abilities cease to be an advantage when they can no longer be controlled. So they are scheduled for cancellation.

Their paths cross before they can be taken out. It is only then that they discover the true depths of their betrayal. Not only are they stronger when they’re together, they’re half-breeds, sired by an all-powerful warlock.

The question is, are they strong enough even together to take him on now that he’s coming for them?

They have an ace up their sleeves they are not aware of. Drawn to the same kind of women, they find themselves married to a pair of sorceresses whose magical abilities are only now surfacing.

But one encounter with dear old dad is all it takes for them to realize, they’re still the underdogs.

From the back of the book:

“The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain. Think Disney's Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.” Rob May, Dragon Killer

“With incredibly detailed world building and action scenes, this story seems like it would make a phenomenal film or TV series.

Moore pulls out all the stops with dragons, telekinesis, shapeshifters and insurmountable odds in this battle of good versus evil - and a villain who just won't lay down and die.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“When you read a Dean C. Moore novel, you can expect rich, original characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot turns. Blood Brothers doesn't disappoint.” JC Gatlin, Designated Survivor

About the Author:
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.

I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.

My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work. I'm currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance. When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.



https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7951313.Dean_C_Moore http://www.amazon.com/DEAN-C.-MOORE/e/B00IBYUHXC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407520914&sr=1-2-ent


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

$100 Amazon GC and Book Blast: The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Brenda will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B-and-B she manages and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

As Eve turns thirty-five, she’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. She’s dated all the eligible men in the area. There’s no one she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. Just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

Enjoy an excerpt:

There was a naked man in her bed.

Eve Harmon’s stomach tensed, and her heart skipped a beat—but she was pretty sure she’d invited him. From the way their clothes were strewn carelessly around the room, it was obvious that, not long ago, she’d been happy to have him with her.

She nearly groaned as her eyes swept over him. What had she done? She didn’t have a boyfriend and she never slept around. She hadn’t been with anyone since Ted Dixon—an old friend who had briefly turned into more a year ago. And before him, it had been much longer. Most people, at least those younger than her parents, would consider her extended periods of celibacy rather pathetic for a woman her age. But she lived in a small town, cared about her reputation and had been holding out for the kind of love that came with a white picket fence.

She just hadn’t found the right guy, and she was beginning to think maybe she never would. The odds weren’t in her favor. Now that most of her friends were married, she didn’t get out all that often.

But she had a lot to be grateful for in spite of her dismal love life, she quickly reminded herself. Although she’d never been the type who wanted work to become her sole focus in life, she liked her job. She ran Little Mary’s, a B and B in a converted Victorian owned by her retired parents. They lived in the house a hundred yards in front of her own small bungalow—when they weren’t traveling in their RV like they were at the moment. Thanks to them, and the quaint, bucolic area where she’d been raised, her life had always been pleasant and safe—and predictable. Absolutely predictable.

Until now.

God, she hadn’t even slept with someone she knew. And since there were only about two thousand people in Whiskey Creek, it was hard to find someone she didn’t.

Shifting carefully so she wouldn’t wake the man lying next to her—she needed to regain her bearings before confronting him—she tried to get a look at his face, but a thunderous headache made it difficult to sit up. That headache also explained how she’d ended up in this predicament. Last night she’d made the mistake of going out to celebrate her thirty-fifth birthday even though her friends weren’t available until tonight, and she’d drunk too much. She’d been determined to do something wild and fun and completely out of character before reaching such a significant age, the age at which some doctors advised against getting pregnant.

Now she was paying the price for her out-of-control evening.

Had they even used birth control?

Briefly squeezing her eyes shut, she sent up a silent prayer that she’d had the presence of mind for that at least. It would be entirely too ironic for someone like her—someone so cautious—to get pregnant because of a one-night stand.

What have you done?

About the Author:
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised over $2 million. For more about Brenda, please visit www.BrendaNovak

Website: www.brendanovak.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaNovakAuthor

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

Brenda's The 12 Days of Christmas Contest is open.. and wow, take a look at the prizes!!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC -- Book Blast: Sean's Sweetheart by Allie Kincheloe


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Allie will award a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly selected winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sean has spent five years cleaning up his life. He’s shoved his past behind him and built a profitable business in the town’s most popular dance club. Falling in love with a college sophomore wasn’t in his plans. But, from the moment he rescued Talia, she brings out his every protective instinct. He tries to resist getting involved on a personal level. Talia’s persistence, however, is stronger than his will.

Despite just ending an abusive relationship, Talia finds an instant connection with a man unlike any she’s dated before. Older, tattooed, and totally inappropriate for her, Talia couldn’t keep Sean off her mind, especially once he calls her “sweetheart” in that deep drawl of his.

When Talia is in danger, they discover just how strong their relationship is. Can Sean and his sweetheart make things last when horrors from their pasts come back to haunt them and family seems determined to keep them apart?

Enjoy this excerpt:

Sean tried to call Talia for the sixth time that week.

“This is Talia, you know what to do.” But obviously she doesn’t or she’d answer her damn phone!

He hung up without leaving a message. He’d left messages earlier in the week. Sent a couple texts. No response. She was still pissed. But damn it, she’d kissed him. He just wanted to explain himself. Explain his reasons for pushing her away. But she wouldn’t answer his call. Again. Sean pulled his arm back to sling the damn phone at the wall, but he’d just have to replace it. His hand itched for a handset to slam down. Jabbing at the touchscreen would never satisfy like slamming a receiver down so hard the phone rang.

Sean tossed his phone on the table and sank down onto his couch with a sigh. One kiss and he acted like a lovesick puppy. Frustrated the hell out of him. He was a grown-ass man who should have better control over himself than that. Maybe it was a side effect of two years of self-imposed celibacy, you idiot, he chided himself. Not dating for five years while he got the club going seemed like a good plan. Until a beautiful, soft woman pressed her lips to his.

He never should have kissed her back. He should’ve shoved her away the moment she stepped between his legs. Should have, but didn’t. Oh, no, he pulled her tight to his chest and kissed her until they both gasped for air and he thought his lungs might collapse from lack of oxygen. Then he’d moved to that delectable throat, savoring the feel of her pulse beneath his lips. He’d marked her, leaving evidence of their passion on her pale skin. He’d thoroughly enjoyed her soft curves pressed against…

He had to get out of this apartment.

About the Author:
As a busy mother of five, Allie sneaks time to write between breakfast and tickles. Always a Kentucky girl at heart, she currently makes her home near Nashville.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest


Buy the book at Secret Cravings Publishing, All Romance eBooks, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: A Voice in the Dark by Isla Grey


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

Abigail Farmer knows one thing, the funeral home business...

By day, she works at her family's funeral home. By night, she lives alone on its upper floor. With her stepfather, Sam, about to retire, Abigail is convinced there is only one person who can run the business effectively, her.

However, her life at the funeral home changes when Hasten Holmes arrives.

Ready for his first day on the job Hasten is met by a reluctant Abigail who hopes Sam sends him packing after they exchange unpleasantries.

Reluctant to get too close to anyone, especially someone who's associated with Stu--Sam's lowlife friend and wannabe business partner--Abigail deliberately keeps things strictly professional between them.

Then something unexpected happens...

Abigail's plans to take charge of the family business take a drastic turn when she finds the mutilated body of one of their clients, and it becomes apparent that there's more going on in the funeral home as a sinister plot begins to reveal itself.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when she crossed the tiles of the embalming room. No strange or putrid smells greeted her, nothing was strewn across the floor.

Abigail reached for a pair of the latex gloves Marty had stored in the supply cabinet. The powder lining clung to her hands, making them sweatier than they already were. She grabbed the edge of the sheet draped over Mr. Watkins and flung it back with one tug. Abigail threw her hand over her mouth to stifle a cry of horror.

Mr. Watkins’ mouth was still frozen in mid scream, but there were now splotches of dried blood around the empty sockets that once held his death glare. Her repulsed gaze wandered to the jagged incision that ran the length of his gaping chest. She stepped closer for a better look, her knees buckling when she looked down into an empty cavity. Abigail ripped the gloves off, threw them at the waste basket in the corner, and ran for the safety of her own room. She pressed against the back of the door and locked it for good measure. She couldn’t take any chances. Something awful was happening, and there was only one person who might have a clue – Hasten Holmes.

About the Author:
Isla Grey grew up in Central Virginia. From the time she won an elementary school writing competition, she has always seemed to have a pen and paper handy and a story sprouting in her head. She likes to write a variety of stories, especially those that bring out the darker side of things.

When she's not being called Mom, Mama, Mommy (you get the picture), by her daughter who constantly keeps her on her toes, she enjoys good music, walking, reading, go-carts and is addicted to "The Walking Dead" and Panera Bread. She's also a pet human to a plethora of cats that have taken up residence at her home.

Isla also loves movies and is the Movie Mistakes Editor for Bellaonline.com, one of the top women's sites on the web. You can also visit her site, www.islagrey.com.

Buy the book at Amazon,Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon


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$10 Amazon GC Giveaway - Book Blast: Return to Emerald City by Allyson Lindt & Sofia Grey


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

Return to Emerald City

A Collection of Sci-fi Romance Novellas Inspired by The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy’s Red Shoes

There’s no place like home… Dorothy is already feeling homesick for Emerald City, and wonders if taking a job halfway around the world was a mistake. When her love life crumbles–again–will she run for home?

His Replay Girl

If he only had the nerve… Ten years ago, Quinn made the best choice of his life, and the biggest mistake. It’s true, his band, Lionheart, is one of the biggest in the world, but how much does it mean if he can’t tell the woman he loves how he feels?

His Reboot Girl

If only he had a brain… Scott woke up with his head spinning and not much else going on up there. Now he’s a suspect in a terrorist plot, and on the run. One woman insists she's the key to his past and his freedom. Too bad he doesn't remember her.

His Rewind Girl

If he only had a heart.... Cam is as much machine as man. There are days he loathes the CyGes implants that saved his life but couldn't do the same for his family. They replaced his limbs, but now he needs someone to mend his heart.

Enjoy an excerpt from Dorothy's Red Shoes:

“In a hypothetical way,” said Ben, “you mean how does a guy know when a chick likes him?”

If I blushed any more, you’d be able to fry eggs on my cheeks. I nodded.

He shrugged. “I like it when a girl talks to me. When we have things in common. If she flirts with me.”

I already talked to Matthew. We both liked going to the movies and eating dark almond chocolate. Maybe it was just my flirtation skills that needed brushing up?

Ben had gone quiet, and I snapped my attention back to him. He slipped off his specs and rubbed his eyes, all the while looking at me. “I don’t think you’re talking about me though.” His voice was strangely flat. “You mean Matthew.”

“I like him, but he doesn’t see me that way.” If I was going to humiliate myself, I might as well go the whole hog. “What do I have to do, Ben? How do I make him notice me?”

There was a long moment, during which I wished I’d kept my mouth shut, and Ben just looked at me. Then he leaned back and stretched out his legs. He looked calm and unruffled, and as if I hadn’t just spilled my guts all over the pavement.

“Well…” He paused, took a thoughtful sip of coffee, and gazed into the distance. “There is one thing you could do, but I don’t think you’d like it.”

About the Authors: Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

Allyson Lindt is a full-time geek and a fuller-time contemporary romance author. She prefers that her geeky heroes come with the alpha expansion pack and adores a heroine who can hold her own in a boardroom. She loves a sexy happily-ever-after and helping deserving cubicle dwellers find their futures together.
Find Sofia online at

Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Tumblr


Find Allyson Online at

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodread ~ Amazon Author Page


The authors blog at Gemini Girls.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Writer's View: Stacy Verdick Case


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stacy will award a $50 Barnes and Noble GC to one winner, and a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The View From My Writing Space


A friend of mine once commented that my office looked like what a writer’s office should look like. When I asked him what the meant, he answered with one word . . . “Chaotic.” He may have had a point, but I resist the generalization that all writers’ office should look that way. I just resist generalization in general.

 His vision is so narrow seeing only what’s there. He looked but he didn’t see. When I walk into my office I see without looking, and I see so much more than he did.

My well-trained writer’s eye finds comfort in seeing things that make me happy. Where they see clutter I see pieces lovingly accumulated over a lifetime. From pictures of my family, to souvenirs of my travels, to inspirational saying, my office is a visual cacophony. There is no place for your eyes to rest in my writing space, except on a neat clean page. Maybe that’s why so many writer’s rooms are cluttered. It’s a way of forcing yourself to the page.


Of course, it could be that our minds are cluttered and our offices are the one place that the chaos is allowed to spill out. I don’t think so though. I’ve attempted to sterilize my writing space and make it clutter free and sitting there at the bare desk made me twitchy. I was unable to focus. My mind wandered around and kept finding reasons to be outside of my office. Eventually all the visual noise crept back into the room and it has remained ever since.

Far from being a distraction, the things scattered about center me, and ground me to who I am or who I want to be. It’s like building a cocoon or a nest. I wall myself into a comfortable space for me.

Everyone’s writing space should be as personal to them as mine is to me. If you need sterile and quiet then that’s what you should have, but I will take loud and chaotic every day of the week.

A Catherine O'Brien Mystery.

When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn't the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I locked eyes with her and wished, not for the first time in my life, that I had telekinetic abilities. If I had, I could mentally disembowel Jane Katts. That’s probably why God never blessed me with that particular gift.

“Hello Detective.” Jane Katts’ tone was overly pleasant. She must have trumped me in some way and now she’s was just waiting for me to concede the trick.

“Close the door behind you, O’Brien.” The chief rocked back in his chair and smiled.

There was nothing in his smile except pleasantry, which made me more nervous than the one Jane Katts had given me. A broad smile was so alien on the Chief’s face that I was certain that Jane Katts had managed to pull a switcheroo and replace the chief with a pod person of her own design; one who is not hard-edged and sand-papery as I have come to expect but instead soft, with as much grit as a nail file.

“I’m afraid there’s not enough chairs so one of you will have to stand.” The smiley version of our chief of police said.

I braced my feet a shoulder width apart and crossed my arms over my chest, I preferred to stand for whatever nasty surprise Jane Katts had in store for me.

Louise sat and introduced herself to Jane. They exchanged a handshake.

“Ms. Katts is the reporter who asked for the exclusive interview.”

He glossed over the detail about her being the reporter who had engaged in a calculated smear campaign against the department.

“She would like to change the angle of her story to get more of an inside view.” The chief’s eyes cut to my face and I saw a hint of the real chief behind whatever hoodoo Jane Katts had performed on him.

About the Author:
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.

An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Win a Kindle Fire or a $50 Amazon GC in a Book Blast: Good Faith by Liz Crowe


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes will be awarded via Rafflecopter as follows:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all Liz Tri-Desitny titles
FIRST PRIZE: $50 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: full ebook set of STEWART REALTY SERIES up to Good Faith (8 books in all including the prequel House Rules)

Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and “coming of age.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

That morning his father had roused him from a sound sleep. He’d blinked, confused, by the angle of the sunlight. He rarely slept much past eight since he usually had some sort of training or the other.

“Let’s go son. Time for lunch.”

Brandis had dragged himself up, his limbs feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds each. His brain buzzed with a strange sort of energy, his typical state, and not at all welcome considering it normally didn’t hit him until later in the day. The conversation his father began as soon as they were seated at their usual diner did not help.

“So, listen, Brandis. These girls…Katie’s friends from college….”

Brandis sipped his ice water, waiting for his father to finish the thought. His heart pounded, and his face flushed hot with embarrassment.

Jack sighed, as if exasperated that Brandis didn’t pick up the thread on his own, leaving him to carry on with the awkwardness about to ensue. Then he leveled his gaze, his face open, not angry or judgmental. “I think that you may be in for some…I mean, they’re…shit.”

“If you are gonna tell me where babies come from again,” Brandis said, after deciding to ease his father’s obvious distress. He cocked an eyebrow and half a smile. Jack seemed to relax somewhat as Brandis continued. “Don’t bother. I already know.”

He flashed his brightest smile up at the middle-aged woman who stood at their table, coffee pot in hand. She blinked rapidly at him, and at that precise moment, Brandis got his first flash of…something…about his power. Up until now he’d merely been “Brandis the trouble maker, the causer of strife.” Suddenly, he felt strong, amazingly so, stronger than even the man sitting across from him, a taller, older version of himself. His body tingled all over, as he tested the smile out again on the woman, making her slop some coffee out onto the table. His father frowned, but then chuckled as the woman walked away after they gave their orders.

“Son,” he said, leaning back and cradling the coffee mug to his chest. “Your adventure has only just begun.”

“Huh?” Brandis picked up his cup but didn’t drink any. He hated coffee, but had ordered it in a burst of need to be more like Jack. As he sipped the bitter stuff, he was transported back years before when he and his dad would spend every single Saturday morning together, eating breakfast at this very diner. He had adored the man, he remembered distinctly. His chest hurt at the simplicity of their relationship then. He looked away from Jack’s deep blue, knowing gaze.

The subject changed of its own accord, and Brandis let it. Although part of him wanted to ask for advice, a much bigger part would not allow the words past his lips.

They ate, discussing the upcoming football season and Brandis’ part in it. The recruiting company Jack had contracted last year to video his every move would start up with the first game. He’d made varsity again, technically as backup quarterback to a senior boy. Brandis didn’t see this as a setback and had every intention of starting under center by the second or third game.

Finally, when they pushed their empty plates back and sat looking at each other, Brandis felt more comfortable in his father’s presence than he had been in a long time. Jack said, “I am pretty sure at least one of those girls sleeping in the basement is determined to change the status of your virginity for you probably as soon as tonight.”

Brandis choked on the last sip of lukewarm coffee. His face burned, and his body tingled again. “I’m…it’s…uh….” He clutched the napkin in his lap unable to meet his father’s eyes.

“No need to say anything. Let’s just say your mother is an astute reader of female intent. While I was busy admiring your sister’s friend’s ass, she apparently read the girl’s mind or something.” Brandis’ face flushed even hotter.

He resisted the urge to protest, to proclaim his innocence of such things. Because he wanted it back—those mornings between them, father and son, man and boy, not this awkward, man and almost-man bullshit. Because while the thought of one of his sister’s college friends popping his cherry remained a pleasant fantasy, it also made him feel older than he wanted to be right then.

“So, I bought a box of condoms this morning,” Jack went on. “Put some downstairs in the side table drawer and the rest in your room. Use them please.” He sipped the last of his coffee, looked as if he were about to get up, then leaned forward, touching Brandis’ wrist. “Have fun. Don’t be an asshole to women. Let every experience teach you…something. Because you are nothing as a man if you don’t learn from every woman you…love.” Jack looked out the window onto the nearly empty parking lot. Then he turned back, tightened his grip on his son’s arm. “God, you are so…young.” His face fell a moment, then he perked up again, his eyes twinkling. “Okay, so, your mother told me to tell you not to let them corrupt you. But all I’m gonna say is this: always wear protection, no matter what, no matter how much you don’t want to. And don’t let your mom catch you in the act. I’ll handle her otherwise.”

Then he let go, stood and smiled, draping a friendly arm around Brandis’ shoulders as they exited the restaurant.

“You really didn’t tell me you were admiring Katie’s friend’s ass, did you, Dad?”

“No, son. I most certainly did not. You obviously misheard me.” Jack winked as he stood by the passenger’s side of his classic Corvette convertible and tossed the keys to Brandis. “Remember what I told you. Don’t ride my clutch.”

About the Author:
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasssion.com
www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans
www.twitter.com/beerwencha2
www.a2beerwench.com
www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

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

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Win a $25 Gift Card: Virtual Book Tour: Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions Shea Norwood will be awarding a $25 PayPal, Amazon or BN GC via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour
A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.

HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.

Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.

Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Where’s Katie?” Kyle asked. “Tell me.”

The sparkling view into another world, his world, reminded Eric of when he used to swim underwater on his back in the public pool. At moments, the portal was still providing a clear picture. At other times, it was blurry. Was it his concentration that brought the image into focus? He took a deep breath and tried to calm his mind.

Katie was now playing with red blush and laughing about something only third grade girls would find funny. Her side of the portal looked nearly identical to the world Eric and Kyle were in. He noticed subtle differences like blue versus leafy-green towels next to the sink. But, otherwise it was the same.

Eric touched the mirror, sending a shockwave of ripples as if he’d just tossed a stone into a still lake. A tingle of electricity passed through his hand and up his arm. He pulled his finger back sharply as the tingle became more intense.

“What are you doing?” Kyle asked.

This time, Eric put his entire hand on this mirror. A much larger ripple spread, blurring the image. His hand felt like it was asleep. He closed his eyes again, trying to calm his mind. The inside of his head felt like a violent ocean near the eye of a hurricane with monster waves that surged against the shore.

Katie, Eric said in his mind, can you hear me?

In the portal, Katie picked up the eye shadow and leaned in closer to apply it. She looked like a clown with all the make-up she had already smeared across her face.

Eric focused all his mental energy: Katie!

She dropped the eye shadow and looked directly at him, but it wasn’t like before. They locked eyes for a moment, and then she screamed and ran out of the room. Amanda looked bewildered and turned to watch her leave. She looked back into the mirror. Her jaw dropped. She ran.

Eric pulled his hand from the mirror and backed away.

The circle was shrinking. The image of Porky Pig saying, ‘That’s all folks,’ at the end of a Looney Tunes’ cartoon flashed through Eric’s mind.

A few seconds later all he could see was the blue dot. When he blinked it vanished.

About the Author:
Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He's an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


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