An Interview and Giveaway with Petie McCarty

A special welcome to Petie McCarty who is joining us today. Petie will be awarding a Kindle Copy of Angel to the Rescue to a randomly drawn commenter.

Petie has written eight complete novels, two additional romances are over half-finished — one a Highland romance and the other a regency time travel. Four are published with Desert Breeze and one more scheduled for an April release.

“The first two books I wrote are tucked away in a drawer — and on a computer thumb drive — where they won’t see the light of day without a major re-write,” she told me.

Petie is currently on deadline for her third Mystery Angel Romance scheduled for release in April 2015. Each love story has an angel hidden in the plot, and the angel’s identity is not revealed until the finale unless the reader figures it out first. I asked her to tell us a little about it.

“In this as yet untitled MAR, a Black Ops Navy SEAL suspects his partner of sending stolen classified information to his sister in the states for safekeeping right before the partner was murdered by Syrian terrorists. The SEAL must get to the sister before the terrorists do. I’m leaning toward The SEAL’s Angel for a title, but if anyone has any great suggestions, send me an email at petiemccarty@aol.com. I’d love to hear them.”

When Petie first started writing, she thought her stories needed a “shtick” — a gimmick to make them unique and stand out. She’d always loved the television series, Touched by an Angel, and thought it would be fun to hide the angel’s identity in the story. Thus, the Mystery Angel Romances were born.

“I’m writing my third MAR at present, and the reader comments I’ve received regarding my previously released MARs — No Going Back and Angel to the Rescue — indicate I’ve done well fooling my readers with the hidden angel,” she said. “That adds even more fun to the writing. I get to leave red herrings throughout the plot to divert the reader from the identity of the real angel in the story.”\

With her first two published novels, Everglades and Catch of the Day Petie went for a unique venue. She spent two years of her career conducting aquatic plant surveys in lakes, rivers, and wetland marshes all over Florida aboard every type of floatable craft and usually aboard airboats.

“Everything that happens to Kayli Heddon on the airboat safari in my novel, Everglades, happened to me at some time in my career: the midge storm, swimming with a gator, the leeches, the heart-stopping airboat maneuvers. Everything, that is, except getting stranded overnight with a sexy airboat guide,” she said.

However, her experiences did lead to the scariest moment of her life.

“Back when I surveyed lakes for the state, our department held an annual training course for the regional biologists at a lake in north Florida. We spent the week on airboats being tested on plant ID and mapping techniques. We had no TV or entertainment at the church camp where our training session was held, so one evening, two biologists and yours truly decided to go for an airboat ride after dark. I wasn’t afraid to go since I hadn’t seen a gator on the lake all week. Well, the buggers had evidently been hiding.

“The airboat we chose was a small one, a one-seater for the driver; two of us stood next to the driver’s seat and held on. I had to aim the single lantern-type flashlight we brought to use as a headlight as we drove out across the lake, which left the area around us darker than the inside of a cow. And full of dozens upon dozens of shiny red eyes. Devil eyes.

“We stopped about half-way across the lake, having decided our excursion might not have been the brightest of ideas. The gleaming red eyes were everywhere. That was when the other biologist standing next to the driver’s seat said, “Why are my feet getting wet?” The boat was taking on water in the pitch-black dark, and the dozens of red eyes were closing in.

“Holy Cow! That was the scariest moment of my life.”

Her favorite character is Skye Landers, the hero in Everglades.

“He agrees to take the airboat safari into the famed River of Grass as a favor to his cousin Jimmy who got called out of town and couldn’t take the gig. Skye grew up with Jimmy in the Everglades, so he knows what he’s doing, but the heroine thinks she’s in charge of the expedition, and that’s when the sensual sparks start to fly. Alpha male and spunky female — what a match!

“Running through Florida waterways by airboat has to be one of the most exciting and dangerous modes of transportation ever created. I mean, there you have a sixty-inch propeller going around three feet behind your head and only a chain link fence in place to protect you if the propeller ever broke free. Perfect place for a take-charge alpha hero.

“When I did my years of aquatic survey work, I never once got to have a hunky airboat driver, so in Everglades, I created my own. And I did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself. I hope you check him out and fall in love with him — just like I did,” she said with a grin.

While her experiences on that job helped her in writing, she didn’t consider that the weirdest thing she had done in the name of research. That came about when she was writing Angel to the Rescue. She realized she need to know what type of gun her police negotiator would carry as his standard police-issue sidearm. After doing a little research, she found that varies from state to state as well as between large cities and small towns.

“So, I stopped a deputy in Chili’s at lunch one day — stuck my arm out in the aisle to stop him, actually — and asked what the standard-issue sidearm was for our Sheriff’s department. That got me the Sheriff’s version of a ‘stink-eye’ once-over until I explained that I wrote novels and was asking the question for research. Of course, I got a different look altogether when I said, ‘Whip yours out and let me have a look.’ Poor choice of words, no doubt.”

Petie told me she never realized just how important titles were to a book until she read a RWA article about it.

“I was surprised to learn editors have made offers for books in the past just because they fell in love with the title. Not often, but it’s happened. Titles should separate themselves from the rest of the pack. The words should snatch the imagination and push the reader to immediately open the front cover and see what’s inside,” she told me. “An editor quoted in the article said she’d like to have a dollar for every submittal she’d received with the title, Second Chance. I was horrified! My WIP at that moment in time was titled — Yikes! — Second Chance. Thank goodness, my publisher allowed me to change the title of my WIP to No Going Back as soon as I finished reading the article.”

“What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?” I asked.

“I write a large portion of each rough draft in shorthand — yes, the ancient Gregg shorthand — and I can type as fast from reading shorthand as from reading typed print. The shorthand is built on phonetics and has its own shortcuts and abbreviations to speed writing along. My mother forced me to take typing and shorthand in high school. Though at the time, I hated the classes, I haven’t stopped thanking her since. I use the shorthand every day and for just about everything, even grocery shopping lists.”

Because of this, she can write just about anywhere and never goes anywhere without her steno pad. She’s written in the doctor’s office, shopping mall bench, restaurant, ferry, airplane.

“When I get far enough ahead — or if I reach a scene that requires extra conniving to get my characters up to scratch — then I type scenes for a day or two,” she explained. “Every writer has their own process. This peculiar one works for me.”

“What is your strangest habit?” I wondered.

“Oh, how embarrassing! Well, here goes… I smell books. There — I admitted it. I love the smell of books, especially paperbacks, and yes, I stick my nose right in the crease to take a big whiff. I forget sometimes, when I’m reading in a public venue like an airport or a doctor’s office, and I have to catch myself before I bury my nose in the pages and people think I’m a whack job. The fetish may be genetic. My sister caught my nephew sniffing his books. When she called to tell me, I couldn’t stop laughing, so I had to confess.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“My best advice is to fight the overwhelming urge to submit your first novel to a publisher as soon as you finish editing the story. Every novel needs at least two complex edits, preferably four or five, and all edits require a minimum of a week or more in between to percolate. You’d be surprised how much your critique will change if you walk away from your story for a short period of time. Believe it or not, every published author could go through each of their published novels and find editing they would like to do. You’d also be surprised how much rejection you can ward off by waiting until the manuscript is the best it can be.

“Lastly, develop a thick skin before you make your first submittal, and never take rejection or bad reviews personally. Even NY Times bestselling authors get less than stellar reviews from time to time. Remember… you can please some of your readers all of the time, and all of your readers some of the time, but you’ll never please all of your readers all of the time.”

11_18 AngelToTheRescueCoverArt72dpiChild psychologist Rachel Kelly isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client — a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel’s Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.

Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make — stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.

Unless Rachel’s little angel-spying client is telling the truth…

About the Author: 11_18 Petie Bio picPetie spent a large part of her career working as a biologist at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job in order to write her stories full-time.

Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Visit Petie’s web site online at http://www.petiemccarty.com, her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/petie.mccarty, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Heart of Steel by Elizabeth Einspanier – Spotlight and Giveaway


Welcome to the cover reveal of HEART OF STEEL by Elizabeth Einspanier, a Science Fiction Romance available February 17, 2015. Elizabeth is giving away a $20 gift certificate to Steampunk Emporium. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When reclusive cyborg Alistair Mechanus meets his captive, ER doctor Julia Parker, it is love at first sight–for him. While he eagerly drops his plans for World Conquest to woo her, ten years of solitude have left his social skills badly rusted. When his misguided act of kindness spirals out of control, however, Julia is forced to trust the mad genius with her life, and she discovers the vulnerable side under his armored plating. She has the skills he needs to unlock his forgotten past, but learning who he used to be may come at the cost of his remaining sanity.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I need you to keep talking,” he said quietly, and was surprised by the tremor he heard in his own voice. He cleared his throat. “I’m not used to being alone in my own head. It’s…” he shook his head. “It’s too quiet, without Arthur.”

She touched his shoulder, just below the ragged fabric where his sleeve had once been. Her fingers were warm and soothing against his bare skin.

“How’s your arm feeling?” she asked.

“I don’t expect it will fall off,” he said. “It still hurts, but I can manage.”

She was quiet for another interval, though two or three times he heard her inhale as if to speak.

“I… look,” she said, sounding uncertain. “You’ve… done a lot for me. You saved my life… you led me to safety… you even put your life on the line for me—and this is just today. I don’t… I don’t think I really thanked you for all that. I was hung up on the parts you didn’t do, or did wrong, and that isn’t right.”

“You tended to my injuries,” he pointed out. “Was that not gratitude?”

“That was me being a doctor,” she said. “That’s different.”

He wasn’t sure where she was going with this, and had no idea how to request that she get to the point already without sounding peevish. That absolutely wouldn’t do.

However, the silence between them stretched, a yawning void that he could not bear to leave empty. He turned his head to look at her again, and that was when she kissed him on the mouth.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Einspanier is the self-published author of the Weird Western novella Sheep’s Clothing and the upcoming sci-fi romance novel Heart of Steel. Her short stories have been published in Down in the Dirt and Dark Fire Fiction. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and an associate member of the Horror Writers of America. She lives in St. Louis, but frequently spends extended periods in worlds of her own creation.

Website: http://elizabetheinspanier.com
Blog: http://calliopeskiss.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeekGirlWriter
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ElizabethEinspanier/
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/elizabetheinspanier

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Lessons I Learned from my Hero and Heroine by Dean C. Moore

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dean will be awarding a $20 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.

Lessons I learned from my hero and heroine

I’ve read Love on the Run many times, as you might imagine, and I’m still learning things from Zinio and Delaney. I think that’s because when we write it’s from an altered state of consciousness, one in which we’re much smarter and wiser, and more in touch with our higher self, that higher power that guides our hands. Scientists would offer an explanation that is just as valid; they’d say the brain is “entrained.” Meaning that our right and left hemispheres are in sync, and our superconscious, conscious, and unconscious minds come into alignment. That’s a whole lot of mind power to throw at a task, and much more than we usually leverage. This is why when you want to change the world, you don’t posit a rational argument, your write fiction. As authors we’re all spell casters by nature because we know it is only through the altered state of consciousness of both writing and reading the book that we have this power to transform the world. So when I’ve been out of the state too long, I re-enter it, either by writing a new book, editing an existing one, or revisiting old friends, as with Zinio and Delaney.

There’s a reason we keep going back to our favorite books, we absorb what we can on the first pass, we employ those new behaviors in our lives, and when we wall short of the mark, we go back in for another tune up. From Zinio and Delaney, more specifically, some of the things I picked up on this pass include the fact that sometimes people can be perfect for one another and not realize it. They can be overly attuned to what sets them apart. In Zinio’s case, he’s pragmatic, down to earth, sees just the problem in front of him and despises people who come at the world with rose tinted glasses. Delaney, a romantic at heart, is also a bleeding heart for every social cause you could imagine. On her viewfinder of late are the plights of the elderly and of those suffering with terminal illnesses. The two drive each other positively batty with what separates them, bridging the divide often with scathing humor.

But there is so much that make these two characters peas in a pod. They’re both amazingly quick witted and dazzling under pressure, such as the pressure of robbing banks, casinos… And they have a talent for raising life to the level of art, and to do the seemingly impossible job of walking on water time and again. Do they have lessons to learn themselves, you bet, but you’re secretly hoping the whole time it will not change the fundamental nature of who they are, which is just too precious.

If Zinio plots twenty moves ahead, Delaney is sheer improvisational genius. If he consults his mind in all matters, she consults her heart. There’s something about living inside their heads that allows me to come at the world from both perspectives better. Their entire relationship seems to be predicated on the enhanced integration of heart and mind that they both need. I suppose you could read some Buddhist scrolls on the matter and meditate on the issue, but there’s something about living through their trials and tribulations to find wholeness in themselves and in their relationship that does the trick for me. And it’s just way more fun. Besides more people are looking to be entertained than enlightened. The trick is to offer the former while doing the latter.

Husband and wife thieves are on a mission. Just not the same one. He’s out to pay for her cancer therapy–at any costs. She’s out to humanize him, and make him less of a self-absorbed jerk.

The fast-talking, fast-acting, adrenaline seeking duo pick up a few on-again off-again sidekicks along their way, despite staunch protests from Zinio. But with all they’re up against–not the least of which being one smart, hound-dog of a lady detective–the question is: Can love conquer all?

“The story is smart and funny.” R. D. Hale, Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan

“For the booklover that doesn’t like having his or her time wasted.” Jack Heath, Remote Control

“This would make a brilliant movie or TV series.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“Reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair, down to the whip-cracking humor, the snazzy plot turns, and the character dynamics between the leads and the hotshot female detective on their tales.” Rhys Jones, The Whispering Void

“Only if you want an action packed read with fully developed and interesting characters.” Victor Longshanks, One Big Problem

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.


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Balancing Life and Writing by EJ Hanagan – Guest Blog and Giveaway

11_17 VBT_SavingJason_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. EJ will be awarding a $50 Starbucks GC to a randomly selected winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops.

Balancing Life and Writing

When I decided to leave my day job and focus solely on writing, I envisioned a world with endless amounts of time where I could just sit in front of my laptop and dream up characters and plot. I fantasized about getting comfy with a cup of coffee and creating, as the hours would pass by in a cozy cafe.

One thing that non-writers may not know though, is that with writing comes research. And depending on your story, that could mean lots and lots of research. It could mean traveling countless miles to interview someone for a topic, or it could mean that you spend hours on Pinterest searching for the perfect 60s wedding dress for the main character in your next scene. So, with that said, writing is just never simply “writing” alone and the hours of pounding the keys that I dreamed of, turned out to be a bit different. I squeeze in writing and marketing time while my one year old daughter naps and often times I’m cut off mid-sentence when I hear a sweet little squawk erupt from her room down the hall. Also, while my dogs tend to spend most of their time sleeping, it’s not rare for me to be interrupted by a barking fit every now and then. It’s usually a squirrel trying to break into our backyard or something harmless like that, but it usually gets me out of my chair to assess the situation, thus taking away from more of those endless writing hours that I dreamed about.

Another balance issue is the whole reading thing. Every writer knows that in order to get better, we need to READ. It’s basically like creeping on other author’s to enhance our own work. So, since most of my time at home is spent writing, marketing, mommying and taming my wild dogs, I use my gym time to read. Thanks to my handy little kindle, I can climb the Stairmaster or run on the treadmill while I study the work of my fellow authors. Music can be blaring in the background and weight lifters all around me may be grunting, but I love to read so much that I manage to block it all out and escape into a story while I sweat.

Like all jobs and hobbies, if you love it enough, you manage to squeeze it all in. I’d rather congest my life with a million little things that I love and be fluttering around searching for more time, than do one thing that I only semi-like all day long. Maybe that is why my days go by so fast.

11_17 Cover_Saving JasonJason Barnes is a free spirit. Underneath that fun-loving surface lurks a severe case of PTSD, his personal souvenir from the war on terror. After his young marriage breaks up, he bounces from girlfriend to girlfriend, never allowing himself to get too close, all while maintaining a friendship with his ex-wife, Samantha Colton.

Everything changes when he meets Abby Jacobsen, a smart and sassy artist – but with love comes jealousy, and Abby doesn’t stand for Jason’s cozy friendship with Samantha. Two hours after a heated argument causes Jason to storm out of their apartment, Abby receives a phone call from the intensive care unit of a New Hampshire hospital. The hospital walls close in on Abby and Samantha as they are forced to make tough decisions while trying hard not to kill each other. The two form a rare bond when Emma Jane, Jason’s mom, arrives on the scene. Three weeks after Jason’s accident, Abby is left alone and hovering over a handful of positive pregnancy tests. During her pregnancy, Abby works with Samantha to dig up clues of Jason’s past. As the truth is discovered, their worlds are irreversibly changed.

An emotionally-moving look at PTSD and the intersection of three lives, Saving Jason is a riveting glimpse into unexpected friendships and the ripples we leave without our knowledge.

This book is currently only available through Amazon.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jason pinned his body as tightly as he could against the rigid edge of the climbing rock at Heartbreak Park. Fingers clenching the pointed edge, he raised his right leg, feeling for a protrusion to rest his foot. He looked down at the ground twenty­five feet below, where the mix of leaves coated in a fiery red and orange served as a bed for his rock climbing gear. It was the first time he’d attempted a free climb without the safety of a harness attaching him to the side of the boulder. A rush of fear passed through him when he took his next step. Putting all of his body weight into that step, he was no longer supported by the ledge; instead he was falling to the ground, face scraping against the serrated boulders along the way. Time stood still for the thirty seconds that his body descended to the ground. Silence softened his busy mind and the world was calm until he landed in a pile of leaves on top of his gear. The last thing he saw was a set of piercing silvery blue eyes flashing across his vision like lightning in the midst of a storm.

About the Author: EJ Hanagan is a fitness fanatic, obsessive reader and animal lover. She currently lives in a sleepy little beach town just outside of Boston with her husband, their new daughter, and the family’s two giant Newfoundland dogs. After spending four years in the Air Force, she put her fire for fitness to good use and worked as a personal trainer while attending college. EJ credits the amazing, brave people she met in the military for giving her the passion and focus to raise awareness for veterans with PTSD. Her hope is to bring the invisible scars of war to the surface through her writing and community involvement.

You can learn more about EJ, her books, and her charity work at her website or connect with her online at Twitter and Facebook.

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Character Creation by Robert B. Warren – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One commenter will win a $50 Amazon GC plus print or digital copy of book 1 or book 2 in the series. 15 other winners will receive an ebook of either book 1 or book 2 (winner’s choice). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Character Creation

When writing Murder on Olympus, I had a clear idea of what I wanted the main protagonist to be. I felt that a world ruled by the gods would have more impact if viewed through the eyes of a regular Joe. Plato is the type of guy you’d see at your local sports bar, grocery store, gas station, etc. He’s your neighbor, your drinking buddy, your confidant, the guy who can always bring levity to a serious situation. He’s a nice guy…most of the time.

Plato’s job as a private investigator often forces him to shed this friendly persona and become whatever the situation demands him to be. This is when his skills as an ex-secret agent come into play–the escapist fantasy portion of his character. Even so, there are still lines he refuses to cross. I think that’s one of the most important aspects of a main protagonist. Morality is what separates a hero from a villain—unless your protagonist happens to be a villain, that is. Plato’s sense of right and wrong is reflected in his unwillingness to take a life unless he absolutely has to, as well as his tendency to end physical confrontations as quickly as possible, while keeping damage to his opponent at a minimum. In a way, restraint is his superpower.

Now we come to Plato’s personal life. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted him to have a slew of flaws and unresolved issues, to lend another layer of realism to the character. His divorce is the most prominent. It has an effect on everything he does, from his drinking to the amount of time he spends in his own head. Even his wisecracks are a means of coping with the idea of the person he loved being with someone else—they also help him deal with all the strange and terrifying sights he comes across while on assignments. But I didn’t want his frustrations to be so overwhelming that he buckled under them, or lashed out at others. That doesn’t, in my opinion, make for a compelling character, one that you can root for. As an author, I root for Plato because he’s my creation. As a reader, I root for him because he’s the common man dealing with life as it comes. I think we can all relate to that on some level.

MEDIA KIT Olympus ConfidentialWhen a band of super-powered humans stirs up trouble in New Olympia, Zeus knows just who to call.

Wisecracking private investigator Plato Jones is used to cleaning up the gods’ messes. But this might be his most dangerous case yet, placing him deep behind enemy lines, in Tartarus Maximum Security Penitentiary. After infiltrating the enemy’s organization, Plato inches closer to the truth. But he learns a hard lesson along the way: to defeat a villain, he might have to become one himself.

Olympus Confidential skillfully weaves humor and Greek mythology into this fast-paced fantasy. Whether new or returning to the Plato Jones series, fans of thrillers, contemporary fantasy, and Greek mythology will have a tough time putting this one down.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Have you heard about the recent bank heist?” Hermes asked.

I had. According to reports, four robbers, all resembling humans, used godlike abilities to murder two security guards, injure a dozen police officers, and cause extensive property damage. Three of them had been captured but no longer displayed superhuman powers. The fourth escaped by flying away, taking the entire haul with him—over a million stolen credits.

“Yeah,” I said.

“Then you know how important it is for us to handle this before it becomes a bigger issue,” Hermes said.

“What’s the matter? You and Daddy Dearest afraid of being overthrown by a few puny humans?”

Anger flashed in Hermes’s eyes. I was still too hung over to care.

“Excuse me?” he said.

“You heard me. Humans have been pushed around by the Gods from the very beginning. And it’s not just us; it’s other races too. Minotaurs, satyrs, giants, anything that walks, crawls, swims, or takes a dump. We’ve all had enough of your crap.”

Hermes grinned unexpectedly. “That’s borderline heresy, Mr. Jones. But considering what you’ve been through, I’ll give you a pass, this time.”

About the Author:MEDIA KIT robertbwarrenA fan of thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction, Robert B. Warren has been writing stories ever since he could hold a pencil. In 2009, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and creative writing from the University of Alabama. He currently lives in the south.

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Advice for Lovers by Leigh Greenwood – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter to win a copy of To Love and to Cherish.

 

ADVICE FOR WRITERS

Some people think coming up with the idea for the story is the hard part of writing a book, and that after that everything else is easy. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The ideas are the easy part. Every writer has hundreds of them spinning around in his head at any given moment. Most of them can’t be turned into a book or are not suitable for the writer’s genre.

Once you have an idea, you need to decide if it interests you enough to hold your attention for the next six months to a year. If you’re bored with your own story, chances are you’ll bore the reader, too. Next you have to work with it to see if it can support a story of 100,000 words. If not, can you include subplots and secondary characters which are essential to the plot, not just fillers? Some writers outline in detail, others just start writing, but regardless of your writing style, you have to come up with a story that will sustain a reader’s interest for 100,000 words.

Now comes the hard part. You have to sit your butt in a chair, start typing, and make characters come to life who are so real and so engaging that your reader won’t want to put the book down to go to sleep. Some of your planning will help, and other parts will have to be discarded. Some plot points won’t have the importance you expected, unexpected events will take on greater importance, and your characters won’t do what you want them to do. If you’ve created characters so real they seem to have a life of their own, you have to go with them. That means being flexible and working through tangles you didn’t expect.

You finally get to the end of the book and breath a sigh of relief, but you’re only half done. Now you have to do the first revisions. Some scenes didn’t work as well as you thought, some characters are flat and need to be written out, some elements of the plot need a lot of tweaking to work like you hoped. Okay, you’ve finally gotten that done and it time to go back and check the details. Times, dates, historical evidence, clothes, houses, even the types of guns being used.

Finally you send it off to your editor and cross your fingers. Hopefully, she likes. If not, you may have to rewrite entire scenes, chapters, or even large sections of the book. You may have to alter your plot, change motivations, even reshape your main characters. Once that is done, you have to face the copy editor. This is usually easy, but once in a while it can be a headache.

This is really only a short version of what it takes to write a book, but hopefully it will give you a greater appreciation of the months of work necessary to provide you with those hours of pleasure.

 

11_14 leigh greenwoodTorn Between a Desire to be Free…

When Laurie Spencer said “I do”, she never realized she’d be trading one pair of shackles for another—until her husband’s unexpected death leaves her with an opportunity to escape her controlling family for good. Determined to be independent, Laurie approaches sexy rancher Jared Smith with an offer she hopes he can’t refuse…

And a Longing to be His…

Jared’s determined to make it in Texas, but with the local banker turned against him, it looks like his dream may be slipping through his fingers. When unconsciously sensual Laurie offers a partnership, his luck may be changing…but when she throws herself in as part of the deal, Jared’s not sure he’ll be able to respect the terms of their agreement and keep his eyes—and his hands—to himself.

There’s something about Laurie that awakens every protective instinct Jared has…and when all hell breaks loose, there’s nothing and no one who’ll be able to keep this cowboy from her side.

 

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit him at www.leigh-greenwood.com.

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1suOlUq

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Character Creation by John Wendell Adams – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Character creation

Writing non-fiction has a number of challenges, you have to make sure your information sources are accurate, if you make stuff up, you won’t be credible, often the material could become boring, suffering from too many fact, figures, and data points, the characters already exist so you can only use your imagination so much.

When writing fiction you get the opportunity to “make stuff up”. I like the fact that my imagination can run wild. I have the freedom to allow the plot, the dialog, and the characters to run off in the direction they desire. My job is to try and “hold the reins”.

Character creation is a fun part for me. Once I decide on the main protagonist and antagonist, I start to think about all of the others that will lift up or tear down the story line as the plot evolves. I strive to make the characters believable. I ask myself, “Why will anyone like or hate them”? “What will they be remembered for?” “How will they advance the plot?” “Why should I care about them?” In addition, I work to make sure they aren’t one-dimensional characters. Here are a few additional questions I ask, “Ok, why are they in the book?” “What about them will make the story more interesting?” “If they are introduced, will they have an important impact on the plot? “Will they be memorable?” If I don’t feel strongly about their contribution, then I likely won’t use them.

One last thing is dialog. This was a difficult thing for me. I couldn’t determine how to control the character. I wasn’t sure how to give them the proper voice and still create tension and advance the plot. Someone gave me some great advice, “If you let them, the characters will take the dialog where it needs to go.” My takeaway was to give each character a voice and then let them express what they believe needs to be said. It seems a bit surreal, and I guess it is. But once I allowed this to take place, character dialog and development became easier. Character development is still a work-in-process but I’m getting better at it. Keep Writing!!!

MEDIA KIT Book CoverBetrayal. It’s an ugly word, and virtually everyone has experienced it in one form or another. The question is, what do you do about it? Seek revenge? Recover and go on? Or allow rage and despair to destroy everything you’ve ever worked for?

In his riveting debut novel, author and longtime businessman John Wendell Adams details the story of a man caught in an ugly web. Jack Alexander has landed a great job as a divisional director of sales in a Chicago-based IT company. Hired to turn around a regional disaster, he is rewarded with additional responsibilities. The problem: his vitriolic new boss, a co-worker’s unwanted advances, and their secret conspiracy.

Fired from his job, forced to confront both his present and his past, Jack goes through an emotional tailspin before he is able to reconcile what has happened to him. Eventually, he’s hired as a vice president with a much larger firm. When his new company decides to acquire his old one, Jack comes face to face with the two people responsible for his earlier demise. Meanwhile, he uncovers some illegal activities that could put the acquisition at risk.

Is this the time for revenge, to right the wrongs that have been done to him? What should he do? Is it possible to act effectively and also with integrity when confronted with those who compromised his marriage, his career, and his sense of self-worth?

Adams comments, “I have worked in the corporate world all my adult life and have witnessed or personally experienced the highlights and moral failings that come with it. To put it simply, if you’ve ever experienced betrayal in the workplace, in love, or in a family, this book is for you.”

“Betrayal is simply a stunning, must-read work that will transform hearts that are open to receive the life lesson within its pages.” ~ Reader Review

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jack couldn’t wait until church was over on Sunday. It was a train and a bus ride for Jack and his sisters. His mother was comfortable with letting the four of them go alone since his oldest sister was very responsible. They talked as they went but Jack was consumed with his thoughts about spending the day with his dad. Janice, his big sister told them,

“Mama said that we have to stay together. So hold hands and make sure we don’t get separated.” As they walked the two blocks from the bus to the address Jack’s dad gave them, he almost couldn’t contain himself.

“Are we almost there?” He asked his sister.

“We’ll be there in a few minutes. Just stay together,” she reminded them.

When they got to the address his father gave them it turned out to be a parking lot. Janice looked at the addresses on both sides of the parking lot to determine if maybe he’d written down the wrong number. They then walked to a corner store; found a pay phone, and Janice called the phone number they had. She tried it three times. Each time the recording was the same…

“I’m sorry, the number you’ve dialed has been disconnected. Please check the number and try your call again.” She then called their mother, explained the situation, and asked her what to do. Their mother’s answer was clear,

“Just get back on the bus and the train and come home.”

When Janice told her siblings that they were going back home Jack started talking and crying at the same time.

“Wait, why are we leaving? We haven’t seen Daddy yet. Maybe he’s out looking for us. If we leave, he won’t find us. We can’t leave.” But Janice was direct.

“Mama said we need to go back home. So, let’s get going.” Jack couldn’t stop crying. He couldn’t believe that he wouldn’t see his dad. It was as if all hope was gone. Jack was sad all the way back home. He never saw his dad again until he was grown, married, and had two children.

It was clear that Jack’s dad didn’t really care about his son or helping Jack through life. Jack developed a hard inner shell, trusting no one, not wanting to be hurt like that ever again. And while he didn’t trust Art completely, he did appreciate Art’s care and concern for him from a business perspective.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author PhotoJohn Wendell Adams has more than twenty-five years of experience in management, marketing, and sales. With degrees in business and management development, Mr. Adams has led highly effective sales teams, managed an executive briefing center for senior leaders, and won numerous awards as a leader and individual contributor. His senior leadership positions and assignments stretch across domestic and international markets and include Aragon Consulting Group and IBM. These experiences served as a catalyst for Betrayal, his newly published work of fiction. The author of A Man’s Story, a collection of motivational short stories for men, John has conducted seminars and speaking engagements around the country and is involved in various charitable organizations. He and his wife Grace have five children and currently live in Skokie, Illinois.

www.JohnWendellAdams.com ~ Twitter

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Ash’s Fire by Callie Gold – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner will receive a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card at the conclusion of the tour. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. And, in addition, Ash’s Fire is on sale during the duration of the tour for only $0.99! Click on the banner below to buy the book now, and click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

 

 

Smart and successful Attorney Jordan Cohen didn’t expect Sam, her husband and best friend, to invoke their old pact for non-exclusivity. But after twenty-some years together, he did.

A chance meeting with Ari Ash, the tall-dark-and-yummy internationally renowned concert pianist, sends Jordan into his arms. Ari’s mysterious ways and magical lovemaking pull the conflicted Jordan into a whirlwind affair.

When Ari is implicated in an execution-style murder, she wants to believe Ari is innocent, but one troubling fact after another keeps popping up. Jordan turns to the only man she can trust with her lover’s life – her brilliant criminal defense attorney husband.

Is Ari a killer?

When Ari is charged, Jordan fears the worst: a life sentence for her lover, exposure of her affair and the ruin of her law firm and irreparable damage to her husband’s reputation. But she can’t let go of Ari’s love…

With the trial just days ahead, Jordan races to save her lover, her husband and herself.

Desire, suspicion, love and loyalty all clash in the fast-paced Mediterranean city of Tel-Aviv.

 

TEASER ASHS-FIRE-flat-ad-3

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What I should have told you earlier,” Sam looked at her intently, “was that I need to explore some stuff on my own, and that I’m interested in going out with one of the exercise instructors from the health club. I’m not asking you for permission. I’m just letting you know because I don’t want to sneak around, behind your back. But I do need to do this, to see what it feels like.” All these incomprehensible words he blurted out in one breath, and then he took a sip from his glass and closed his mouth. Done.

Jordan stared, trying to make sense.

“You want to fuck your gym coach?” she finally asked.

“Don’t be crude,” said Sam the Fastidious.

“From the health club I signed you up for? So you won’t lose what’s left of your muscle tone?”

“Jordan, stop it.”

“Answer my question,” she snapped.

“I want to have sex with another woman, yes,” Sam sighed.

Jordan saw the hunger in him.

“Spare me your clean-speak,” she said. She stared some more, her hurt rising like vapor from a radioactive swamp. “Why? What’s wrong with the sex we have?”

“Nothing,” Sam said, a little too quickly. “I just can’t live with the idea that you will be the last woman I ever sleep with. And the opportunity presented itself.”

“Opportunity presented itself?” Jordan said, anger solidifying into sharp crystals in her chest.

“Jordan, please. We’ve talked about this many times before. You were okay with it. It was your idea, actually, if memory serves.”

“Theoretical idea,” Jordan said. She knew he was right, but still.

“I don’t want to lie to you,” Sam said. “That’s just something we don’t do. And yes, I want to try something different, I need some variety. We have great sex together, but—”

“But what?” Jordan snapped at her husband of twenty-five years.

“But it’s the same. Has been for years. And I met this woman and she courted me and she’s attractive and we talked, and she invited me and I want to go.”

“So you said yes,” Jordan said, waiting to wake up wrapped in Sam’s arms.

Sam rolled the lazy liquid in his glass. Then he gulped what was left of it, put it on the coffee table. “I love you,” he said.

“Don’t,” she said, and curled tighter into her blanket.

“And I want to know you’re okay with this.”

“You want me to sanction it.”

“Yes,” Sam said gently.

“You petted me like a dog,” Jordan said, her eyes threatening to leak again.

“I didn’t mean it that way, I’m sorry,” Sam looked at her, shaken. “That’s what you felt?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m really sorry, Jordan,” Sam said. “I should have just told you.”

“In our bed? Really?” Jordan asked sharply.

“I can’t win.”

About the Author:

Callie Gold is an Israeli married to an American. She admits that marrying her husband was the smartest decision she has ever made in her entire life. Together they have raised three beautiful children.

Callie is a lawyer, and a Jew, and what’s worse – an Israeli. That means that she’s an in-your-face kinda gal. There is no Hebrew word for ‘subtle’. Callie’s husband says that she has too many opinions, and he’s right. But she’s also open and friendly and very curious, and is known to start intimate conversations with the Falafel guy.

Since she stopped litigating, Callie’s husband says she’s become a much nicer person (Callie’s husband is almost always right, which makes living with him really good and seriously annoying, all at the same time).

When she’s not writing, Callie does divorce mediation and marriage counseling, which, she believes will save her a good seat in that place up there. She also cooks and bakes and you will always find home-baked bread in her freezer, next to the chocolate gelato that her husband makes.

Callie writes because writing creates another life for her, a life in which she can do whatever she wants. In order to write she has become a time thief.

Above all, Callie is a lover of people and she can never get enough of human interaction. So feel free to start up a conversation with her!

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Callie-Gold/e/B00O2X5LLE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1412210048&sr=8-5

Website: http://www.calliegold.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8591375.Callie_Gold

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Calliegold.Israel

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Nowhere to Run by Jeanne Bannon – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jeanne will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

11_14 nowhere to run Cover_NowhereToRunWhat’s a girl to do when she falls in love with the man whose mission it is to bring her down?

With the murder of her only sister, Sara, just a few months past, Lily Valier—a woman of beauty and substance—tops the sheriff’s list of suspects in small town Maine, and for a very good reason. Dear old Dad had willed his fortune to Sara and only Sara, leaving Lily to fend for herself. However, with no murder weapon or witnesses, the evidence against Lily is only circumstantial.

Enter P.I. Aiden O’Rourke, black-haired and blue-eyed, charged with gaining Lily’s trust and learning her secrets, all to finally get the goods on her. Things move fast and feelings run deep, yet when Lily discovers the truth about Aiden, everything begins to come apart.

Aiden’s torn. Despite his feelings for her, Lily is the most logical suspect, with a great big fat motive. Except something’s not quite right. Aiden trusts his instincts and they’re screaming at him to have a look at a former suspect with far more to hide than first appeared. With little left to lose, Lily decides to stand her ground, and staying put has its consequences when the murder weapon finally turns up—and it’s Lily’s gun.

What happens to love, when trust is betrayed?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The ghosts of those we love never leave us. They live on in our hearts but break them too, Lily thought as she flipped the sign on the door of the Higgstown Diner from “Open” to “Closed.” Then she sank wearily onto a stool at the counter, finally at the end of the workday. Now she could let loose the heaviness weighing her down. Hot tears stung her eyes and she let them. It was OK. There was no one around to witness her breakdown. She rested her head in her hands and heaved with sobs.

“Sara, please talk to me. Give me a sign you’re still around,” Lily said to the air. “I miss you so much.” More tears washed down her cheeks. It had been three months since her sister’s death, and there was still no escaping Sara’s ghost. Even the chipped Arborite counter where she now sat, with the wonky red upholstered stool that swiveled just a little too much to the right, brought back memories. Lily could see her older sister as plainly as if she were standing in front of her now, black hair piled high in a bun and that blue eye shadow she was so fond of. Lily smiled through her tears.

Sara had been a whiz at the grill, whipping up orders faster than Lily ever could. God, how long had the diner been a part of their lives? More than twenty-five years, she guessed. They were just kids when their mother, Nancy, bought the place—Lily, seven, and Sara, twelve.

A creak came from the back of the diner. Lily lifted her head to listen. Another small groan of the floorboards. Could Sara be giving her a sign?

“Sara?” Lily slid off the stool.

A tall, dark figure loomed in the doorway.

Lily froze, her heart near exploding. “What do you want?” she choked out in a thin voice.

He stepped nearer. “Open the register.” His voice was a deep whisper.

A balaclava hid his face; the seams of a dark gray coat strained over a thickly muscled physique. He aimed the gun in his right hand at her chest.

Her feet seemed rooted to the floor.

“I said, open the register.”

The man moved close enough for Lily to catch his scent—a mix of sweat and cheap aftershave. He shoved her forward, snapping her from her stupor, and followed as she made her way behind the counter to the cash register.

A glowing red light caught her attention. She hadn’t turned off the coffee maker! In one quick movement, Lily grabbed the pot’s plastic handle and launched the scorching brew at the woolen knit of the intruder’s balaclava. The gun landed with a thud between his booted feet as he clawed at the steaming mask plastered to his face.

Now was her chance. Lily shouldered past him to the front door. Her fingers, thick and clumsy with panic, fumbled as she tried in vain to turn the two deadbolt locks. She ordered herself to calm down. Take a breath. C’mon, you can do this, she told herself, but her heart jackhammered in her chest, and her ears pulsed with the rush of blood behind them.

Suddenly, a face appeared on the other side of the glass front door of the diner, sending Lily backward, nearly tripping over her own feet.

The stranger on the other side of the door took her in. A look of confusion flickered across his face. Then, as if coming back to himself, he yelled, “Hurry. Unlock the door!” The cold night air whipped his dark hair wildly around his face. His pale blue eyes locked on hers.

Panic had hijacked her brain. She didn’t know what to do. He could be an accomplice.

About the Author: 11_14 nowhere to run authorpicJeanne Bannon has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. She currently works as a freelance editor and writer and is represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

Jeanne’s debut novel, Invisible, is a young adult paranormal romance, published by Solstice Publishing and has recently been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

On October 3rd, 2014, Nowhere to Run, Jeanne’s latest novel, is set to be released by Etopia Press. Nowhere to Run tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, Jeanne is finishing up work on her third novel, Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller.

When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys spending time with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a cuddly and affectionate Boston Terrier named Lila and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.

Buy Nowhere to Run at Amazon.

Twitter: JeanneBannon”>@JeanneBannon
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/Jeanne.Bannon.author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4556168.Jeanne_Bannon
www.jeannebannon.com

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Destiny Finds Her by Miranda Lynn – Spotlight and Giveaway

11_14 destiny MBB_DestinyFindsHer_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00062]Jami Morgan travels through time to fulfill a destiny set in motion hundreds of years in the past. Devlin O’Rourke’s life is turned upside down from the moment he sets eyes on Jami. Will Jami be able to accept her heritage, melt Devlin’s heart, and harness her powers in time?

Destiny sends Jami spiraling through time to find the love of a Highland warrior, and the magical secret inside her own heart.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I took a seat on the stones and pulled my knees up to my chest, resting my chin and just taking it all in. Moss crept up the stones on the bank, giving way to a lush carpet of grass and wildflowers. Again, I smelled heather, but couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. Heather couldn’t survive in this climate, even next to this little brook. It must be the combination of all the wildflowers’ scents mixed together.

My eyelids became heavy. This seemed odd as I’d rested well last night and hadn’t been up that long. I sat there, feeling a bit hazy and sleepy, and noticed a small creature venturing up, maybe to drink from the brook? It wasn’t a squirrel. The tail wasn’t long enough. Maybe a chipmunk, though the markings on the fur weren’t right. This wasn’t anything I’d seen before.

I watched it, trying to decide what animal family it could be from, when it looked up at me. It stared right into my eyes. I gawked, my eyes widening when I realized this little creature’s eyes weren’t the little black dots I would expect, but a misty gray seeming to swirl as if a fog was contained within them. This little creature winked, and then scampered away.

I shook my head. My imagination was running away with itself again. I attempted to move, but my body had other plans. Instead of finding myself standing, I’d actually lain down. My eyes got heavier the longer I rested. A small nap can’t hurt. I had no pressing work, and the call to Todd could wait. I closed my eyes and let the sun warm my face as I drifted off to sleep.

“Jami,” a voice whispered

Startled, I sat up and shaded my eyes.

“Jami, dear.”

I scanned the trees, trying to locate the owner of the voice.

“Down here, dearie.”

Peeking down, I found that the little creature who had scampered away, was in fact at my feet, gazing at me. I drew my feet up quickly.

“I’m dreaming.” I scanned the area again. “Who’s there? This isn’t funny.”

“Yes, dear, ye are dreaming and please quit thinking of me as a creature. I have a name, and it’s Roma.”

I stared at this little creature with its round black eyes and fluffy, multi-hued brown fur. I rubbed my eyes. Sure enough, she was still there. “But, how?”

“It’s a dream, dearie. Anything can happen in dreams”

“Who or what are you?”

“As I said, my name is Roma, and all ye need to know is I am here to help you. To give ye a bit of advice”

“What kind of advice?” Heck if this was a dream, I may as well play along. It could make for a great story if I remembered it when I woke up.

“Keep an open mind and an open heart. Yer fate is going to show itself to ye soon.” Roma skittered away into the trees.

About the Author:11_14 destiny AuthorPic_Destiny Finds HerMother to two boys, 3 four legged babies, and wife to a loving husband who doesn’t mind the extra voices in her head. Miranda grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois, but calls Portland, TN home now. She is an avid reader, coffee addict, and loves her day job working at the local public library. Though her true passion is in creating her own worlds, characters, and stories for her readers.

Website: http://www.mirandalynn.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MirandaLynn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaLynnBks
Email: mirandalynnbooks@gmail.com
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MirandaLynnAuthor/posts

Buy the book at Amazon.

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