The Truth Inside by Trish Edmisten – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Trish Edmisten will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

For as long as he can remember, Nate’s dreamed of being an MMA fighter. Nothing is going to stand in his way and no one is going to distract him. Everything is going according to plan when Natalie comes along. Even though he wasn’t looking for love, Nate can’t help falling fast and hard. Smart, sweet and supportive, she seems too good to be true, but it’s actually the other way around. Nate isn’t good enough for her, and he’s keeping a secret that will change everything between them. One day, she’ll see the truth inside of him. Until then, Nate’s determined to keep Natalie in his life for as long as he can.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Scooting forward until their knees touched, Natalie reached up and framed his face with her hands. “It doesn’t change anything between us, Nate.”

“It changes everything.”

“The only thing that changes is now I know. That’s it, nothing else.”

“It really doesn’t matter to you?”

Nate still looked doubtful, but she wasn’t surprised. Having spent his whole life being confused by and ridiculed for what he was, she knew better than to expect it to be easy to convince him it wasn’t a deal breaker.

“It matters, but it doesn’t change the way I feel about you.”

A hint of wonder sparked in his eyes. “How is that possible?”

“Would it matter to you if I’d been born male?”

“No, but that’s different.”

“It’s really not. I fell in love with who you are, not what you are. You may have been born a female, but you’re not. You never have been.”

“I still have ”

Natalie pressed a finger to his lips, cutting off his words. “What’s between your legs doesn’t make a difference to me. It isn’t what I fell in love with.”

Tears glistened in his eyes as he took a shaky breath. “You say that now, but you haven’t seen what’s under my clothes.”

“I don’t have to see what’s under your clothes to decide how I feel about you. The only parts of your body I care about are the parts that make you who you are,” Natalie said softly. “Your heart and your mind are what matters.”

About the Author: Trish Edmisten is the author of several novels, including Extraordinary Will, a Reader Views Literary Award Winner. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Journal, Creative With Words and A Long Story Short. Besides being an author, she holds a degree in criminology. Trish lives in Fresno, California with her husband and their teenage daughter.

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The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Three randomly drawn readers will receive a digital copy of the book. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes this riveting novel of the everyday people who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.

“What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here.”

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

About the Author:

Born and raised in East Tennessee, Janet Beard moved to New York to study screenwriting at NYU and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Her first novel, Beneath the Pines, was published in 2008. Janet has lived and worked in Australia, England, Boston, and currently, Columbus, Ohio, where she is teaching writing, raising a daughter, and working on a new novel.

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Last Resort by Amber Malloy


Last Resort by Amber Malloy
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (173 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

African American socialite and bestselling crime writer Cayden Young returns to her high school stomping grounds to solve a cold case. Unfortunately, her hot business partner is in her way. In love since high school, they couldn’t work out their rich-girl, poor-boy differences. While she attempts to put the past to rest, she ends up unearthing a more than a decade-old secret that could get her killed.

Former Marine Levi Scott is ready to take over his family’s resort fulltime. The only problem is he needs to buy out his partner, who he happens to be in love with. Always on unsure footing with the wealthy beauty, he is determined to get her out of his life for once and all, and decides the best way to do so is offering to help her solve a thirteen-year-old cold case. Soon, they figure out the murderer may still reside in their posh resort town … and Cayden could be next on their list.

Intriguing mystery, amazing chemistry and awesome characters make this story a pleasure to read.

I like Cayden. Yes, she’s a rich girl, but she’s not snobby or annoying about it. She’s a strong, confident woman, and I liked her take charge attitude throughout the story. Levi was interesting, too. Yes, this is the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks and the rich girl, but despite the old trope, the author makes it interesting. They have some awesome scenes together and I love their snappy dialogue. They’re both well rounded and real. And, boy oh boy, do they have sparks! Hot, hot, hot! Be prepared for some smoking hot fun between the sheets in this one! I really liked them together, so while there’s plenty of sex, it’s meaningful and helps to advance their relationship and not just there for titillation.

The mystery is well written, too, and kept me guessing. I do have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the time jumps in here and honestly, they are the only reason this didn’t get a 5 star rating. They would jerk me out of where I was in the story and each time, it took me awhile to get back into it.

No complaints about the author’s overall skill. This is a good book and I can easily recommend it, especially to fans of the genre.

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The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave by Deborah Wilde – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deborah is giving away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What doesn’t kill you…

seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions than answers.

And someone doesn’t appreciate them getting close to the truth.

Go figure.

On top of that, a demon known only as Candyman has unleashed a drug that’s harming users in extremely disturbing ways.

After a friend of Nava’s is hurt, she vows to take this demon down. But will life as she knows it survive this mission, or will this be the one time she should have looked before she leapt?

Happily-ever-after: barring death, she’s got a real shot at it.

 

Read an Excerpt:

Rohan parked, cut the engine, and turned to me, his eyes hot. “Know what else I don’t like?”

I licked my lips, remembered that wasn’t an answer and shook my head.

“Making me sit through dinner, watching you in that dress. Cruel.”

“You’ve been copping feels all the way home.

“It’s not enough.”

I snickered, but when he slammed his precious car’s door in his haste to get me inside, I may have set a new record for speed-walking in heels.

We barely made it into his bedroom before, mouth on mine, he pressed me back against the wall. His teeth dragged over my lower lip before his tongue slipped inside. He trailed his magic finger blades over my shoulder and bare back, just enough to leave faint marks that I’d shiver staring at in the bathroom mirror later.

Sliding my hand under his shirt, I skimmed my fingers along the ridges of his sculpted abs. He retracted his blades and I broke the kiss to draw his fingers into my mouth, my tongue swirling around each one in turn. Pinching his nipples with my other hand, I rubbed my bare thigh up his leg. His sigh rumbled over me.

A furious ache built to a throbbing pulse inside me.

Rohan sucked on my neck and I tilted my head to give him better access to the sensitive skin. He caressed my cheek with the back of his hand, pinning me with this filthy eye-fuck that made my stomach flutter. “Wrap your legs around me.”

About the Author:

A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. This award-winning author is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. “It takes a bad girl to fight evil. Go Wilde.”

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NOTE: This title is discounted for up to 60% until midnight February 26 and the entire series is on sale until then as well.

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Moonlight City Drive by Brian Paone – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

11:18 p.m. Subject is checking into the Desert Palms Motel, accompanied by an unknown female.

Snapshot in the parking lot. Man and woman embrace. Betrayal, I see it every day, like my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me. Another case, another bottle of booze, life is no longer a mystery to me …

… Because I’m the private eye, hot on your trail; the top gun for hire. You’ll find me lurking in the shadows, always searching for a clue. I’m the bulletproof detective. I got my eye on you …

What’s a little sin under the covers, what’s a little blood between lovers? What’s a little death to be discovered, cold stiff body under the covers?

I’m digging you a desert grave, underneath the burning sun. You won’t be found by anyone. Vultures circle in the sky, and you, my dear, are the reason why.

… I was always easily influenced.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Smith twisted the key as hard as he could and heard a popping noise as the locking mechanism finally gave way. He pushed open his office door and entered the dark room. He tossed his keys onto his desk; they slid a short distance before a stack of time-faded papers and case-file folders abruptly stopped them.

Flicking the light switch, the room illuminated with an anemic-brown glow from the single dusty bulb. He took a step toward the coffee percolator on the windowsill, and his toe caught the corner of a tied-up pile of newspapers dating back at least ten years.

Smith exhaled loudly with a frustrated grunt and kneeled beside the newspaper bundle; the air escaping from his lungs carried the stench of day-old consumed alcohol, topped off with more last night that led to closing time this morning. He really hadn’t slept. He napped for a couple hours, then came here. He removed the Swiss Army knife from his pants and cut the twine, freeing the newspapers, watching as they avalanched to the floor.

He used his palm to shuffle and smear the newspapers around his office floor. His gaze quickly scanned his name plastered on all the headlines, praising the ex-deputy-now-turned-private-eye for all the scum he had gotten off the street, as well as locating abducted kids, reuniting long-lost biological parents of orphans, and exposing spouses who may have forgotten their vows. Smith had seen more than he cared to remember while he had been a sheriff’s deputy and could now safely check the box marked Seen It All since becoming a private eye.

About the Author:Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. Brian has, thus far, published four novels: a memoir about being friends with a drug-addicted rock star, Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts; a macabre cerebral-horror novel, Welcome to Parkview; a time-travel romance novel, Yours Truly, 2095, (which was nominated for a Hugo Award, though it did not make the finalists); and a supernatural, crime-noir detective novel, Moonlight City Drive. Along with his four novels, Brian has published three short stories: “Outside of Heaven,” which is featured in the anthology, A Matter of Words; “The Whaler’s Dues,” which is featured in the anthology, A Journey of Words; and “Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys),” which is featured in the anthology, A Haunting of Words. Brian is also a vocalist and has released seven albums with his four bands: Yellow #1, Drop Kick Jesus, The Grave Machine, and Transpose. He is married to a US Naval Officer, and they have four children. Brian is also a police officer and has been working in law enforcement since 2002. He is a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, a New England Patriots fanatic, and his favorite color is burnt orange. For more information on all his books and music, visit his website.

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Why I Write by Dale E. Lehman – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dale E. Lehman will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why I Write

I’m probably an odd sort of writer. In school, my strengths ran to math and science more than language arts. My wife refers to me as a “numbers person” and to herself as a “words person.” (Together we make one well-rounded human being!) I like to read, but I don’t read terribly fast and haven’t read as widely as most writers. Writing well enough that people will consent to read my work has been a long, hard struggle, and although I’ve come a long way, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning. So why do I bother?

Because I love to tell stories. I’ve been writing stories since I was very young and writing in earnest since junior high school. I suspect a genetic component to this. My father wrote fiction and essays and poetry throughout his life, although I only found out a few years before he died of pancreatic cancer. One of my great uncles wrote a story about my great-great-great-grandfather’s epic migration from south central Ohio to western Ohio in the early 1800’s. (Okay, it doesn’t sound like much, but back then western Ohio was sparsely settled by European interlopers and still home to some of the indigenous peoples of the region.) My father had the manuscript retyped for distribution to family members and added an introduction in which he said, “The Lehmans have always been storytellers.” I don’t doubt it!

Indeed, although I usually think of storytelling in terms of writing, when I changed jobs a few years ago, a colleague I was leaving behind told me, “I’m going to miss your stories.” She wasn’t talking about my writing, but rather about the stories I told in the course of conversation. With some frequency, a discussion will remind me of some incident from my life or a tale I’ve heard from someone else, and I’ll relate it. It wouldn’t surprise me if a substantial percentage of my contributions to conversation are of this kind.

Writers write for all manner of reasons. The eighteenth century English writer Samuel Johnson famously said, “Nobody but a fool ever wrote for anything but money.” Most of us wouldn’t mind making money from writing, but few make very much and most—sorry, sir—write for reasons other than money without being fools. Some write to express their thoughts and beliefs. Some write in the hope of winning converts to a cause. Some write with stars or, yes, dollar signs in their eyes. But me?
I just enjoy telling you stories, and I very much hope that you’ll enjoy the stories I tell. I may be more numbers person than words person, and I may have to struggle more than some other writers to find the right word or phrase or image. But most days I can tell a darn good story.

Won’t you pull up a seat and listen?

The forecast: Record cold. The crimes: Colder still.

A saintly young veterinary technician disappears on Christmas Eve, leaving behind only a broken window and smears of blood on his clinic’s back steps. Two years later, his disappearance remains a mystery. A home in an exclusive area burns to the ground, mirroring fires ignited the previous year by an arsonist who now sits in prison. Is the new fire a copycat, or has the wrong man been convicted? A criminal with a long list of enemies is shot dead, and not even his friends are sorry. While temperatures plummet, cold cases collide with new crimes, and somewhere a killer with blood as icy as the waters of the Chesapeake Bay watches and waits.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Hannah took two pairs of latex gloves from her pocket and handed one pair to Harold. They pulled them on, careful not to rip them, then Harold eased up the short flight of wooden steps leading to the door, his footfalls quieter than a rabbit’s. He gently rotated the knob. Of course it was locked, but it never hurt to check. No sense smashing things if the owner had invited them in. Leaning to the left, he felt around the nearest window, examined it in detail, and gingerly tried to push up the lower sash. Again, no luck. Again, none expected.

Hannah tiptoed up the steps while he worked and stood close behind him. “Hammer,” she whispered, pulling the tool from her coat pocket and handing it to him like a nurse handing a scalpel to a surgeon.

He took the hammer and with a swift stroke smashed the pane, then cleaned the jagged shards from the sash with the head. Falling splinters chattered as they struck the floor inside. Once satisfied the opening was clean, he helped Hannah through the window. She moved so quietly she might have vanished, but in his mind Harold could see her go to the door, disarm the alarm with the code they had been given, and unlock the deadbolt. The door whispered open.

He slipped inside and eased the door shut, then took her face in his hands and kissed her on the forehead. She beamed, a dog basking in her master’s approval.

The very next instant, the job went horribly wrong.

About the Author: Dale E. Lehman is a veteran software developer, amateur astronomer, and bonsai artist in training. He is the author of the Howard County Mysteries series (The Fibonacci Murders, True Death, and Ice on the Bay ). His writing has also appeared in Sky & Telescope and a couple of software development journals. With his wife Kathleen he owns and operates One Voice Press and Serpent Cliff. They have five children, five grandchildren, and two feisty cats.

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Saturday Seven: Covers I love!

I’m a cover whore. It’s true. I’ve actually bought books JUST for the cover, regardless of the blurb, and have (conversely) not bought books even when the sound interesting because I couldn’t stand the look of the cover. I know that’s not entirely fair, but … it’s who I am.  I saw all these covers on our site somewhere, and I’ve never read the books. But I would absolutely pick the book up off the shelf to read the back, and would quite likely buy it for the cover alone. It’s true.

I love everything about this. The colors, the lightning and the blasé way this demon hunter is sucking on a lollipop. It tells me so much about the story, I can’t WAIT to read the actual book!

I actually really like all the covers in this series. The blue color scheme and the ethereal quality just attract me so much. I’d absolutely pick this one up.

You know what I really like about this? All the characters have their clothes on. It’s a small thing, but I swear I’m SO tired of what my teenaged daughter calls “naked man chest” covers. Even better? That look in the hero’s eyes, that little smile on his lips … yeah, I’m half in love with him already.

I’m honestly not entirely certain what attracted me to this book. The colors aren’t ones I normally like, but they work here. It’s a quiet, mysterious cover and it makes me want to know what the book is about.

It’s that misty blue again … apparently I have a type. I do think the woman on the front is a bit generic, but the the “feel” of the cover makes me want to give it a try.

Can I just say that Young Adult covers are KILLING IT lately? I could spend all day in the YA aisle at Barnes and Noble just admiring the art. I really, REALLY love the fantasy covers they’ve been coming out with lately, and this is one series that epitomizes everything I love in a fantasy cover look.

This one? I’m intrigued by what should be a torn picture of the same girl actually being two different ones. It’s really piqued my interest and I would absolutely pick this one up.

What about you? Cover whore or don’t care? What are some covers you love?

Don’t Let Him Go by Kay Harris – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary–basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.

Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.

Sparks fly from the moment they meet. Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.

 

Enjoy an Excerpt

I folded my arms across my chest and glared at Jack as he moseyed into the room. “You ambushed me.”

Jack came to a stop a few feet away and nodded. “I did.”

“That’s it?” I spread my arms out and leaned forward. My voice rose despite my effort to control it. “That’s all you have to say?”

“What do you want me to say? You’re smart. You can see what I did back there. I used you for my own gain.”

“You’re a prick!”

“I’m not surprised you feel that way. But I am sorry you had to get caught in the crossfire.” He moved to the couch and took a seat in the middle of it, purposefully giving me the high ground.

He slung his arms over the back of the couch casually, making him look like an arrogant ass. And that is exactly what I thought of him at that moment. So I called him on his supposed apology. “Are you?”

“Yes, I am. But you’re not innocent, Candie. You put yourself in this position by going to work for Morrison.”

“It’s Candace!” I shouted, on the edge of insanity.

He didn’t respond. He just looked at me with that infuriatingly handsome face and waited, an amused grin dancing on his face.

About the Author:

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun!

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

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Top Ten Favorite Books by BA Tortuga – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes BA Tortuga to celebrate tomorrow’s release of Road Trip, Vol. 2.

*****

Hey y’all, it’s BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of the characters that are cracked.

*grins*

So, I’m here talking about my top ten books of all time.

Before I start, let me remind you that I’m old. My favorites might surprise you a wee bit.

My top ten, in no particular order:

The Last Herald Mage series by Mercedes Lackey – I read the first book in this series when my child was a baby and fell madly in love with the universe, with Vanyel, with the fact that this was a fantasy Western. 😉

The Women’s Room by Marilyn French – Talk about defining my feminist agenda early, right? I stole this book from my mother and devoured it. All the intertwined stories, all the fury, all the politics. *sparkles*

The Dark Half by Dean Koontz – Voodoo, police procedural, demons in the school lockers: What’s not to love?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – This has been my favorite book since I was tiny. Jo remains my hero.

Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul – I named my kid after the vengeful blind ghost in this one. Enough said.

Beloved by Toni Morrison – I came to Toni Morrison in college and was utterly blown away. I live to read her books. From the very first line of this book, I was hooked.

The Collected Works of TS Eliot – I was a poet long before I was a novelist. (Poetry and a dollar won’t get you a coffee at the diner.) TS Eliot soothes my soul.

The Stand by Stephen King – I maintain that this is still the best book Mr. King ever wrote. I have read everything he’s ever written and I’m a bit of an uberfan. There is something about Randall Flagg and Stu and Fran and Mother Abigail and… OMG. Read the long version.

The Shining by Stephen King – I have read this one over and over and my opinions on the characters have changed in so many ways as I’ve aged, as I’ve gone through the different stages of my life. The last time I read it, I had just escaped an abusive marriage and I was so angry, so hurt. Grins. I’ll have to read it again, now that I’m married to my soulmate.

IT by Stephen King – This is my all-time favorite. Full stop. No, I haven’t seen the movie. No, I don’t think I will. This is a perfect telling of a certain set of times and I don’t need it updated. I just need the Losers Club to defeat Pennywise over and over and I need the good guys to win a little of their own back.

Much love, y’all.

BA

The course of love is a rough ride, but for ecoterrorist MJ, ridge runner Sonny, physicist Paddy, psychic Neil, genetically enhanced English professor Duncan, and the assassin known as Cowboy, the road to romance is a heart-stopping trip—one full of kidnappings, explosions, secret programs, and supersoldiers. They’re an awful ragged bunch to be considered heroes.

Under Pressure

Sonny and MJ’s retirement may be in jeopardy, but at least they’re together on a new boat—with no annoying hostages. Then Cowboy, MJ’s old friend, gets in touch, bringing with him a host of complications, including Professor Duncan, who has ties to the Program. A call for help from Paddy sets them all on a collision course with a deadly specter from the past. As MJ makes his plans, Sonny is shaken by the possibility of losing everything.

Walking on the Sun

Sonny is determined to raise hell to hunt for MJ—problem is, will MJ know anyone, or himself, once they catch up to him? Neil and Paddy are healing but reluctantly join the effort, as Cowboy and Duncan help Sonny prepare for a showdown. Sonny might be ragged, but he’s MJ’s hero, and he is not about to give up on the most important thing in his life, even if it kills him. Will everyone survive the last epic battle, or will they go out in a blaze of glory?

About the Author:Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Website

First Edition of Under Pressure published by Torquere Press Publishers, March 2009.
First Edition of Walking on the Sun published by Torquere Press Publishers, September 2010.

Available Feb 16 by Dreamspinner Press.

If I’d Never Heard of Me, Would I Read my Book? by Erin A. Jensen


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If I’d Never Heard of Me, Would I Read my Book?

If I’d never heard of me, would I read my book? The question brings to mind Toni Morrison’s quote, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” In my humble opinion, any book an author writes should fit that quote. I wrote the series I longed to read. When I started writing Dream Waters (Book One in The Dream Waters Series), I’d just finished a fantastic series. Funny thing is, I can’t remember what series it was. I like to say that my brain is so full of my own characters, back stories and plot lines that I sometimes forget other facts—like real people’s names, pin numbers and passwords. If you ask me, it’s a fair trade off. Besides, the series I’d just finished at the time isn’t the point. I love getting hooked on a series because you get to revisit the characters you’ve fallen in love with and find out what happens to them next. It’s almost like going to visit old friends. When I finish a series filled with characters I’ve come to love, it’s always a little bittersweet. All the questions that drew me back, book after book, have been answered. And usually a series I felt invested in leaves me feeling something—whether it’s a satisfying sense of closure because of a happily-ever-after or heartbreak because of a poignant conclusion that included the death of a beloved character. The series of books that stick with me and leave me feeling some sort of sappy emotion are the ones I find hard to walk away from.

I started Dream Waters because I was feeling the loss of dear book friends whose stories had come to an end. The characters in my book were the new friends I created to fill that void. My story still holds my interest and fills my waking thoughts as I write this, midway through writing the fourth book in my series. My hope is that my readers will feel the same way.

Above all else, I think the most important quality of a book or series in any genre is an original concept or an original twist on an old idea. Stories that make me feel as though I’ve read them ten times already tend to make me lose interest. I want the books I read to feel like nothing I’ve ever read in the past. The stories that grip me the most are unique. I’ve never come across another storyline quite like mine, and many of my readers have made comments about the originality of my concept—a parallel world where every individual leads an alternate life each night while their body slumbers.

Contemporary fantasy has always been my favorite genre. I love to immerse myself in a world full of magic, paranormal happenings and fantastical creatures that secretly exist in our world. I, and many of the women I know, read middle grade and YA fantasy because there are so many wonderful books in that category. My goal was to create a book with all the wonder and excitement of Fablehaven or Harry Potter, but intended for grownups because that was what I wanted to read.

The first book in my series is almost entirely set within the walls of a psychiatric facility. Aside from the monsters and dragons that exist in the Dream World, the story explores the complexities of adult relationships, deals with some very real mental issues and poses serious questions—questions like, “What makes a life worth living?” As my main character, Charlie, ventures deeper into the Dream World throughout the series, other characters are dealing with relationship issues in the waking world while battling demonic foes in the Dream World. The books continually toe the line between fantasy and reality as the characters interact in both worlds. The series is the story I was longing to read, and I’ve loved every minute of writing it. Now, I invite my readers to lose themselves in my Dream World with the hope that they’ll fall in love with my characters and enjoy the journey as much as I have.

All his life, Charlie Oliver has watched the people around him morph into creatures that no one else sees. Unlike the rest of the world, Charlie remembers the Waters that transport him to the Dream World each night. And he sees glimpses of people’s Dream forms in the waking world. Condemned to spend his waking hours in a psychiatric facility because of his Dream Sight, Charlie doesn’t expect anything to change. But everything starts changing the day Emma Talbot walks through the door in the middle of a group therapy session.

Haunted by memories of the events that led to her admission, Emma plans to end her life the first chance she gets. But something about Charlie stops her. From the moment they shake hands, his friendship feels safe and familiar. As Emma begins to let down her guard, Charlie catches a glimpse of the fiery-eyed dragon that lurks behind her Dream form. Each night, as Emma dreams of the man who’s been banned from visiting, Charlie searches the Dream World for the monster that shadows her. But when Emma’s suppressed memories begin to surface, Charlie finds more monsters than he bargained for.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Dream Waters

“Where were you afraid I’d land when I fell in and why did you say finding the dragon wouldn’t be easy?”

She started drawing waves in the sand with her finger and I got the distinct impression she was doing it to avoid looking at me. “Honestly Charlie, I wasn’t sure where you’d land. It’s unpredictable when you don’t jump on purpose. You could end up anywhere the people you’ve met have been. You’re a mental patient. Can you imagine the sections of Dream some patients might inhabit?” Her finger stopped drawing mid-wave. “Trust me boy. There are Dark places in the Dream World, places you should never go. Venture too far into them and you risk losing a part of yourself to the Darkness.”

I was really getting tired of the cryptic shit. “Great. Thanks for the vague ominous warning. I was afraid you might give me an actual answer for a second there.”

“I’ve already said too much.” Even at a whisper there was a waver to her voice. “Just thank me for keeping you safe and jump back into the Water.”

“I don’t know which world I find you more annoying in.” It wasn’t the nicest thing to say to the one person who understood me but I said it out of frustration and maybe a little out of fear.

Nellie was about to snarl something back, but the leaves of some bushes just off the beach started rustling and I hopped to my feet to get a better look. “Something’s over there.”

Nellie stood up with a weary sigh and as she turned toward the bushes I saw the scars. Large deep identical scars marring the flesh on both of her shoulder blades.

I took a step closer to her. “What happened to your back?”

She turned and gave me a hard shove toward the Water’s edge. “It’s time for you to go now Charlie.” It caught me by surprise and knocked me off balance, back into the surf and the icy Water pulled me back in.”

About the Author: Erin Jensen is a part-time pharmacist and a fulltime creator of imaginary worlds. She lives in upstate NY with her incredibly supportive husband, two sons (who are both taller than her) and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard. In the early days of her writing career, Erin vowed to get a dragon tattoo—once her books received a milestone number of reviews—but she won’t disclose that number any longer, for fear of actually reaching her goal and having to go through with it.

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Buy Dream Waters, Book One of The Dream Waters Series for only $0.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook, or Kobo.

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