Light a Candle for the Beast by Echo Shea – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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Congratulations to Echo Shea on the release of Light a Candle for the Beast. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. One randomly drawn winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card and ecopy of Light a Candle for the Beast. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

11_27 echo LightaCandle_CoverIf you’ve ever been caught in a riptide, pulled down into the water, then you know me. Or, more accurately, what I’m like when I’m angry.

Delia was beautiful, smart, and kind. He wasn’t. He said he loved her, but he didn’t know what love was. He was manipulative and cruel — more than a thief. A beast.

All she wanted was a rose…

These are the words on my sister’s grave. Her sadness, her obsession, forever a reminder I didn’t–couldn’t save her.

I’m not vindictive or cruel. I’m simply as the river–my memory is winding and my reach is long. I watched him steal her beauty, her essence. Watched him become a beast. He thought he’d get away with it, thought he’d go free.

I lay a rose upon my sister’s grave.

Light a candle for the beast.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Silence casts a pall over the graveyard in the late twilight of evening as I glance down at the graves of row upon row of my ancestors. I’ve only known a few of them, my mother, father, and both of my sisters.

Errol, the crow that follows me day and night, and holds me to the land, preens its feathers as it sits atop my sister’s headstone.

“Delia Belle Adjour 1654-1734 All she wanted was a rose.”

I stare at it for a moment before laying the cut long-stem rose on her grave. I’ve thought so many times, I should use white roses for purity, for the childlike state she lived in during the time she was on this earth, but I can’t do it. Red is vibrant, dark, and passionate.

“I’ve always liked red,” she says from where she stands behind me.

At any other time, I might’ve jumped and screamed, clutched at her, begging her not to go again. But, not this time. I know she’s nothing more than the ghost of herself when she was at her best, before the incident that left her scarred and broken.

About the Author:Echo Shea is an Urban Fantasy writer. Known for fast-paced and sometimes chilling prose, she hunkers down at her desk with characters that not only enchant, but excite her. There’s something so freeing about writing beyond what seems possible.

Who says there’s not something more hiding in these Maryland woods?

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Facebook Author Page ~ Pinterest ~ Smashwords Author Page ~ Goodreads Author Page
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Roane Publishing
Amazon
Amazon (UK)

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10 Questions for Creating Great Characters by Brian and Juliet Freyermuth – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

10 Questions for Creating Great Characters

Your reader should have a new friend or enemy by the time they finish reading your story. Whether we’re writing a novel or short story, we want our readers to team up with our main character and plot the destruction of anyone who hurts them. Here are questions we ask ourselves as we create a new character.

1. What is their role in the story?
It doesn’t matter if they are the main character, the villain or the guy who gets the coffee, all your characters need to have a role in your story. The guy who gets coffee might wind up being a spy for the villain, have more of a role in the next book or simply make your characters stronger. Felix was a very minor vampire character in Demon Dance, the first book of the Sundancer series. He gave Nick a bag of blood and let Nick see a body in the morgue. In Mind of the Beast though, Nick needs to find out who killed Felix’s friend. Not only do we get to see more of Felix’s motivations, but we get to know his history and what makes him tick.

2. What are their strengths?
Everyone, even the coffee guy, should have strengths. It might not show up in the book, but it’ll help you when you write your character. You should know as much about your character’s strengths as possible. Thelma is a former police officer. She knows how to use a gun really well and has an eye for detail that made her a good detective. This knowledge helped us when we wrote Mind of the Beast. It made her a stronger character and she was able to help Nick when they went to the murder victim’s house to look for clues.

3. What are their weaknesses?
Characters need to have emotional, physical and ethical weaknesses. Otherwise your characters will be as interesting as a piece of white toast, unbuttered. Character weaknesses will help you define the parameters of your story. In Nick’s case, he has super speed, strength, heals quickly and heightened senses, but he gets a really awful fever. He needs to eat red meat to even move after the adrenaline wears off.

4. Where do they come from?
Are they aliens from outer space or from Iowa? If it’s a real place, make sure to do enough research to fully define your character. Sure Iowa has corn, but what type of festivals do they have? What are their landmarks? Have any celebrities or notable figures lived there? How would a local describe it?

5. What do they look like?
Taking in all of what you’ve learned so far, close your eyes and picture them. If you’re having trouble picturing them, ask yourself who would play the role if it was made into a movie. Then take that actor and change their face slightly, their hair, etc, until you have a clear picture of them. You could even combine two actors. What would a cross between Patrick Stewart and Harrison Ford look like?

6. What type of entertainment to they like? (Books, T.V., movies, Roleplaying, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, torturing, juggling, jazz hands, etc.)
Your evil character could like reading classics after a long day of torturing people in his dungeon. In Mind of the Beast, Felix is a vampire who likes to have his blood laced with drugs. He was a flower child living on a commune when he was turned and held on to that part of himself. He also likes to play role-playing games. In our world, vampires need a connection with humanity to keep their humanity. Playing these games is what keeps him sane.

7. What is that one thing they can’t say no to?
We all have that exception to the rule. In Nick’s case, he wants to be isolated and write his novels but can’t say no to a friend who needs his help. Thelma is disciplined but will do something rash to protect children or someone she cares about.

8. What is their purpose, what drives them to do what they do?
Let’s look at the coffee guy again. Why does he get coffee? Thelma is a barista who owns her own coffee shop and likes the pace of it. This is so far from being a police officer that she isn’t haunted by her past mistakes.

9. What are their biggest accomplishments and/or defeats?
Accomplishments and defeats can be the driving factor behind a character’s actions. Fay, a Norse Goddess turned librarian can’t help but be very cryptic when she is helping. This goes back to her days of being a goddess of foreknowledge and wisdom.

10. What is their name?
After you answer all these questions, this is when I recommend naming or renaming your character. Would Ingrid be a better name than Luna in Harry Potter? What about Margaret or Jacqueline? Once you know your character it’s much easier to name them.
We hope this gives you an easier time creating one of the best parts of planning a story. One word of caution: Once you create these characters, you might have to redo your story if they don’t want to do what you want them to do. If that happens, listen to them. It can cause an awful case of writer’s block if you don’t. But, if you listen to them, not only will you have more fun writing your story, but it will be better too.

MEDIA KIT MindofthebeastFinalWhen a vampire asks Nick St. James to investigate his friend’s murder, the answer should have been easy, right? NO. Okay, not so easy. How do you say no to a friend like Felix?

Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along.

Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.

If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’

Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?

Enjoy an excerpt:

She shot him again, but he continued toward her. Two bloodstains formed on his ratty shirt. He swung at her, but she quickly shifted to the left.

It was my turn. I punched him from the side and sent him flying into the desk across the room. Sounds of the monitor shattering and wood splintering filled the air as I rushed toward him.

Another sound of gunfire rang out but didn’t stop him from getting to his feet. He barreled toward me like a freight train. The gunshots slowed him considerably, but it didn’t stop him. Pain radiated through my chest as his fist made contact, sending me into the wall between the two rooms. A crack traveled up the wall to the ceiling, and plaster rained down around us.

More shots sounded as I got back to my feet. Two more holes opened in the man’s shirt. He was almost to Thelma when I grabbed him from behind. I used all my enhanced strength to lift him and toss him toward the kitchen. His body flew through the open door, smashing the wood of the frame in the process.

On the counter was the third gnome, his hands covering his speak-no-evil lips. I grabbed it and swung for the man’s head. It contacted with a sick thunk, and blood splashed across the gnome’s face. The bastard wouldn’t go down! I snarled and swung again, but this time he grabbed my wrist in midair and twisted it before tossing me to the ground.

About the Authors: MEDIA KIT Author Pict ColorAfter 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.

Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.

Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.

When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like Persons of Interest and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.

Website: www.magicalunderworld.com

Twitter:

Brian: @brianfreyermuth

Juliet: @julietfrey

Facebook:

Brian: https://www.facebook.com/bfreyermuthofficial

Juliet: https://www.facebook.com/authorjulietfreyermuth

Buy Link:

Demon Dance (Sundancer, Book 1): Amazon

Mind of the Beast (Sundancer, Book 2): Amazon

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No Light by Devi Mara – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a book blast organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will be awarded a $20 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Dems have been held captive since before the world was made. They are the darkness only spoken of in whispers. As much as they are hated and feared, those who guard them are even more so. The pariahs of society, they live apart from the rest of the world in a settlement called Ameritat. That is where The Dems Trilogy begins. An unlikely and dangerous love between a human guard and the most feared of all the Dems. It will be the beginning or the ending of everything.

Sarah Mackenzie was never meant to be a guard, never meant to descend into the bowels of the earth, but The Corridor is where she is sent. With little information and even less training, she is thrust into her position as a Dem handler. She walks a thin line between life and death, as she tries to uphold her family honor and unlock the mystery of the Dem’s captivity. The pursuit of truth will drag her deep into a world of corruption, hatred, and greed and she will have to decide where her loyalties lie. With the humans who have mistreated her or the Dem who could destroy them all.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The staircase twisted down into what felt like the very bowels of the Earth. Wrought iron and spindly, it creaked with each movement. Every irregular step nearly pulsed with hesitation. Some held back by fear, others pressing forward toward something new and terrifying. The bodies swayed in and out of the sparse light, like spirits jumping at the stone walls.

Her gaze dropped momentarily, away from her thoughts, to look toward their destination. The diamond weave of the steps allowed a caged view of what lie beneath. Sarah’s hand gripped the railing tightly, jerking her eyes to the back in front of her. Not allowing them to stray to the lonely darkness beneath her feet.

The steady creak and pound of the footsteps seemed to go on forever, as the class followed the trainer. After ten minutes, the hollow sound of the stairwell seemed to swell in volume. Shuffling coats, heavy breathing, and something else. Sarah tipped her head, peering over the railing into the darkness. There was a wailing just under the creaking of the iron and the thuds of the heavy work boots.

“What is that?” she heard one of her classmates whisper.

She narrowed her eyes at the blackness beneath her feet. So far down, the cold of the stone stairwell made her hands nearly freeze to the railing. She did not dare let go.

“Do you hear that?” Another voice whispered.

The noise increased in volume. It sounded like glass ground between two stones. It set her teeth on edge. It was only the settling of the stairs. Nothing to be afraid of, but that did not stop her hand from shaking in her pocket. She stared at the back in front of her, stepping down over and over.

About the Author:

Writer of cross genre romance, Devi Mara, grew up in rural Missouri. An avid reader and writer, she found inspiration in the people and places around her. The result, a fluid concept of the romance subgenres.

Her debut novel, No Light, was released in January of 2014 and is the first book in the Dems Trilogy. It was followed by her first stand-alone novel, Kingdom Come, in May. The second novel of the Dems Trilogy, Darkness Blooming, was released in August of 2014.

Devi is a lover of coffee and chocolate and partakes in both daily. She lives in Missouri with her family. Including two dogs too human for their own good.

She loves hearing from readers and encourages them to message her on Facebook or contact her on Twitter. She is always open to questions and comments.

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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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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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.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

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Computer Love Inc II: Gestation by Kurt and Jessica Hansen – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After the sudden deaths of two previous Computer Love Inc. CEOs, Marius takes control of the company. Embracing the talents of his godson, John, and his best friend, Zak, he hires the boys to oversee the Companion Services Division. Marius refines his breakthrough technology, the Brain Machine Download, and as a result, creates his double, M2, as the prototype. Together, they ignite the future of Computer Love Inc. by acquiring an elite team of scientists to expand the company’s technological boundaries. Meanwhile, Marius struggles with the government’s demands for a clandestine initiative – the Secret Service Companion. Between the looming government presence and the overwhelming force behind his new team of inventors, can Marius survive the outcome of his own creations?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The room remained silent. Ten pairs of eyes were fixed on Marius, not even a single person consumed with a hangnail or discreetly checking messages on his or her unit.

“So then – and please forgive me when I say this, because often it seems that social delicacies elude me; I’m sure you all possess unique and likeable personalities, but really – it’s your brains that we’re after here.”

Again Marius paused. By now, some gazes had shifted: faces looked amongst one another, gauging reactions – animals measuring a threat by observing the rest of the pack.

“Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Can I pick your brain’? Essentially, that’s what I’d like to do here. I need your brilliance, and I implore you to consider this proposal. I would like to perform a Brain Machine Download on each of you in order to capture your intelligence. Is everyone familiar with what the theory of the BMD is, or what it entails?”

If they were not familiar, no one spoke up or raised a hand. Again, the looks flashed around the room – there were a few who wanted to know more, but, seeing that no one else had first spoken up, they remained quiet. Marius had seen it. Even in the wisest, cowardice lives…

About the Author:

Kurt and Jessica Hansen reside in northern New Jersey . Kurt has worked in the aerospace electronics industry for over three decades and enjoys the outdoors, writing, and composing music. Kurt is easily recognized with a guitar in his lap, a pencil in his mouth, and a piece of paper in front of him.

Jessica graduated from Montclair State University, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in English. Her favorite pastimes include reading, running and spending time with her family. She can usually be found with a book in one hand and a hazelnut coffee in the other.

The Computer Love Inc. series is a collaborative effort between father and daughter.

Kurt and Jessica Hansen Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kurt-Hansen/e/B00E9ZHCGM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Website: http://computerloveinc.com/Home.html

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ComputerLoveInc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Computer-Love-Inc/396920320362031

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Character Interview with Emily Haven by Josh de Lioncourt – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Josh 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.

Character Interview with Emily Haven
She glides almost effortlessly toward the dasher boards. The arena is totally silent, save for the scrape of her skates on the ice. That sound reverberates hollowly from the rafters far above, the baleful hiss of a snake.

It isn’t real, of course. She knows that now—she knows it—but it is so hard to remember that when these visions seem to capture every nuance of the world around her. She can hear her heart thudding in her ears; she can feel the cool air that swirls around her as she picks up speed.

And then, she sees him.

He stands on the other side of the glass, every inch the consummate nerd. He’s wearing a t-shirt with the emblem of some superhero Emily doesn’t recognize on it. His jeans are faded and just a little too big for him, and, dear God, is that black electricians tape that is holding his glasses together?
It is; of course it is. She remembers him. He’s the boy who always covered the games for the school paper.

“Emily,” he says perfunctorily, and he smacks his gum between his teeth. “I’ve got some questions for you.”

She stops skating, staring at him through the glass. She wished she could remember his name. She feels a little angry with herself that she cannot. He’d always been sort of an outsider at Lindsey High, the way she was now.

“Are you here for the paper?”

“No,” he says, a small, tight smile curving his lips but not touching his eyes at all. “I’m here for LongAndShortReviews.com. And, as I said, I have some questions for you.”

“What do you want to know?” she asks, a prickle of unease threading its way through her.

He pulls out a pen from somewhere and holds it expectantly over his notepad. He clears his throat, glancing down at the blank page before him, then back up at Emily. There are fingerprints on his glasses, very visible beneath the harsh lights of the arena.

“What’s it like,” he asks slowly, “discovering that there’s a whole other world out there in the universe? I mean, it wasn’t something you were expecting, was it?”

Emily laughs. This is so surreal. The visions have never steered her wrong, though, and so she decides to go with it, come what may.

“No,” she says. “I wasn’t expecting to find another world. I was just trying to—”

But she breaks off, unable to give voice to the events of that terrible night. She doesn’t want to think about that; the pain is still too fresh.

“Would you come back? Surely you don’t want to spend the rest of your life running around some alien world with people and customs you don’t understand. Surely you have friends to come back to here.”

“I don’t know,” she says, though she’s not entirely sure which part of that question she is answering. She thinks of Celine; she sees Michael’s face and hears Corbbmacc’s voice. These are her friends now, and the world in which she finds herself feels more real than the one she’s left behind.

“Your team needs you, you know? Lindsey High hasn’t won a game since you disappeared. Why are you doing this?” His voice is rising, becoming belligerent, and his words tear at her heart, reawakening all the guilt and uncertainty she thought she’d already overcome—already left behind, back in that other life.

She turns from him and begins to skate away.

“You can’t run from this, Emily!”

But she can, and she does. She keeps skating, her feet moving faster on the ice.

She thinks on all that has happened to her since that last terrible night in Minneapolis. For the first time, she is beginning to believe that her life could be more than simply hiding from the demons that torment her. She has friends with whom she shares a bond that runs deeper than the one she’d had with Casey or her teammates. More, she has a purpose—a goal—that is more than simply surviving another day.
Abruptly, she executes a neat spin on her skates and stares back at the boy. He’s still standing there beside the glass, his pen and notepad in hand, and a look of disbelief written across his splotchy face.

“You want something to write about?” she asks, and when he doesn’t respond, she goes on. “Tell your readers I say thank you. Thanks for all the times they stood and cheered me on when I scored a goal for them. They were the best part of my life. But that’s all over now, and its time for me to walk another path.”

She nods to the boy, turns, and skates back into the cloudy, white mists.

11_11 MEDIA KIT Haven LostLegends never die; they just go into hiding …

Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven, heroine of the girls’ hockey team at Lindsey High, has spent her young life keeping two secrets: her rapidly deteriorating home life and the seemingly supernatural power that makes her a star on the ice. When she begins seeing visions of a lost and ragged boy reflected in mirrors and shop windows, a series of events unfolds that tears her from twenty-first century Minneapolis and leaves her stranded in another world with horrors to rival those she has left behind. Lost amidst creatures of fantasy and legend, she is forced to confront the demons of both her past and future to unravel the riddle of the mysterious boy and embark upon a journey to uncover long forgotten histories and the dark, cloaked figure in the shadows behind them all. Caught between opposing forces of a war she does not understand, Emily must find new strength within herself and, above all, the will to remember her friends.

Enjoy an excerpt:

She led the way down the passage, holding her candle high to cast its light as far around her as possible. After a few feet, a reflection caught her eye, and she turned to hold the candle up to the wall on her right.

It was covered with an enormous, intricate mural that seemed to stretch far beyond her small circle of light. Before her, depicted in life-size, was the image of a man with a dark beard, clad in heavy and ornamental plate armor. The forest—or was it a jungle?—looked as though it had come to life round him. Thick green vines bound his hands and feet. The tall stems of white roses had grown up around him, wrapping their thorny stems about his torso and squeezing until a jagged crack ran in a diagonal across his breastplate. In the background, the trees seemed to be leaning over him, wrapping their sturdy branches around his throat. He was clearly trying to scream, and the abject terror captured in his eyes sent a chill up the back of Emily’s neck. Suddenly, the mermaid sculpture didn’t seem so bad.

“Jaisus!” Celine cried again, stepping up beside Emily and staring at the painting, before words failed her.

“What is that on his chest?” Emily asked, reaching out and running a finger down the crack in the man’s armor. It ran through an image of something crimson emblazoned on his breastplate, but it was impossible to tell what it was. Some sort of insignia, perhaps?

“Looks like an animal or somethin’,” Celine offered, frowning at it. “God, this place is creepy!” She turned away with a shudder.

About the Author: 11_11 MEDIA KIT Josh de LioncourtJosh de Lioncourt was born and raised in California and enjoys writing projects in a wide variety of fields, including fiction, music, software, blogging, and tech articles. He has written on Apple accessibility for Macworld and Maccessibility, hosts or participates regularly on several podcasts, and writes and records music with Molly, his other half. Josh enjoys the works of Stephen King, the music of George Michael, Masters of the Universe, and Los Angeles Kings hockey. He currently lives in Pennsylvania.

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Dragon’s Brood Cycle
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Max Blizzard and the Gem of Camelot by Patrick Hatt – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patrick will be awarding a $25 Amazon.com gift card or $25 Paypal cash, winner’s choice to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

11_3 blizzard Cover_Max_BlizzardMax Blizzard was like any other drone living in Earth’s realm until the arrival of his eighth birthday. On that day his imagination awoke and Max started thinking for himself. He was an outcast the moment he let people know about his imagination. That moment also unknowingly set forth a chain of events years in the making. By having imagination, Max had given Sir Dreadvent exactly what he wanted, a way into Camelot’s realm.

Now Max and his friends, Trudesile and Lester, must complete the quest that Max’s father, Merlin, set out for him years ago. They must find the Gem of Camelot to defend the realm from Sir Dreadvent’s and his sevesties. Their perilous journey will take them from the shores of Merlinia and the ship of Davy Jones to the fields of Avalon, in the hope that they can save Camelot, save Earth and save all the lost realms that have been consumed by Sir Dreadvent and his sevesties on their quest to remake the universe.

A tale about where your imagination can lead if you choose to follow it, with creatures large and small joining Max Blizzard on his journey. King Arthur, Oberon, Hercules, Apollo and other heroes of imagination believed to be myth will become truth as Max and his friends face the trials ahead. Let your imagination lead the way to Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“The name is Davy Jones and I’ve been the keeper of Merlinia and the entrance to Davy Jones’s Locker for many years at Merlin’s request.” Davy Jones bowed, hoping he would get some recognition from his name.

“Davy Jones? Wasn’t he a pirate who stole everything he could get his hands on? At least that is what the stories tell,” Bandaid questioned, looking to Arthur for verification.

“I see my name precedes me.”

“Lempilightess! Pemestra! Take him!” King Arthur ordered, having heard the stories of Davy Jones and not trusting him whatsoever.

Lempilightess and Pemestra readied their Camelot Candles as Dregg stood between them and Davy Jones.

“Dregg not let you take little blob man.” Dregg clenched his huge fist and readied for a fight.

“Now now. There is no need for a fight. What is it with everyone not wanting to trust me? First those three kids and now you. All I did was what Merlin told me to do.”

“Wait! Kids? You’ve seen Max, Trudesile and Lester?” Bandaid waved for Lempilightess and Pemestra to halt their attack.

“Yeah, I’ve seen the supposed high and mighty trio. I wasn’t sure they were any better than the heroes I locked up. But when they stopped Titania, I became a believer.”

“So the dearies are okay?”

“I let them in Davy Jones’s Locker, so they could…” Davy Jones took a few steps closer to Bandaid and King Arthur and lowered his voice to a whisper, “Go after the Gem of Camelot.”

About the Author: 11_3 blizzard AuthorPicPatrick Hatt can be found in the East Coast of Canada. He hates writing these things but doesn’t mind talking in the third person. He dabbles in a little of this and a little of that, not afraid to attempt something new.

He is owned by two cats, one of whom has his own blog, It’s Rhyme Time. Yeah a rhyming cat, who knew? He would be considered a both person when it comes to cats and dogs.

He is also quite the movie and TV buff. As you can probably tell does not take himself seriously and has more stuff in his head than is needed. Thus the novels as just one more form of release. Thanks for the visit and enjoy!

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How to Handle Negative Reviews by Graeme Ing – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Graeme 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.

How to handle negative reviews
A guest post by Graeme Ing

As a writer, we pour our hearts and souls into our books. We spend months or even years in front of the keyboard, staring into space, struggling to get a few hundred words written each day. We procrastinate, and have ongoing doubts about our ability to write or tell an interesting story. Then, at the revision stage we agonize over every scene, every page and sentence to make it just so. Writing a book is a huge achievement.

Finally our child is ready for the world. We publish it and refresh our browsers endlessly, counting every review. The first reviews are kind, typically from friends and families but then we get our first 1-star review, perhaps another – a scathing damnation of our priceless work of art. What now? What do we do?

Take your fingers away from that mouse! Breathe. Calm yourself. Take a walk, or a drink, or meditate, anything, but don’t you dare respond to that review. I know you want to reply to it, argue your case, point out how the reviewer misunderstood. No. To quote the movie Frozen: Let It Go.

There is nothing you can comment to the reviewer that won’t come across as defensive, neurotic, sour grapes, self-serving or all of the above. You might feel better, but other readers will think your response petty. You may also trigger “The Streisand Effect” and actually draw more attention to a bad review that readers might otherwise have ignored.

Here’s the truth of it. Not everyone will like your book. Even bestsellers have 1-star reviews. Go and look at a Stephen King title or any famous author. It’s ok, really. Do you enjoy every book you read? If you see a book that has predominantly 5 and 4-star reviews, do those few 1 and 2 star reviews put you off? Probably not. They may even make the book appear more legitimate. Give your readers the intelligence to judge for themselves whether those bad reviews have merit or not. The ones that are particularly scathing or that attack the author directly are usually ignored anyway.

What you might want to do is read the bad review objectively. Perhaps they made some valid comments. Perhaps you did overuse the curse words. Maybe your ending could be misunderstood. Maybe your heroine did come out more whiney than you intended. Take what constructive feedback you can from the bad review and use it as a learning experience. If you can’t read it without getting angry or upset, then make it a habit never to read bad reviews. Many authors don’t.

Analyze your book cover and blurb. Some bad reviews are the response of incorrect expectations – the reader was simply expecting something else. Does your cover clearly indicate genre? Make sure your blurb isn’t misleading or promises something you didn’t deliver on.

As an example, one reviewer of my debut YA book Ocean of Dust lamented that she wanted more romance. I hadn’t billed it as a romance at all, but I’m sure she was used to modern YA stories being about teenagers in love. See how her expectations were not met? That’s ok. It’s her opinion, and a valid one. I don’t have control over her preferences. I like to think of that review as useful actually: Many readers will ignore her review because they don’t care about the romance,or it might deter similar-minded folks from reading my book. That’s a good thing. Why is deterring readers a good thing? Well first off, I want my readers to enjoy my books, not be disappointed, and secondly it might prevent further bad reviews.

At the end of the day, we all enjoy the freedom to express our views. Some people are more constructive with criticism than others, but don’t ever, ever, ever let a bad review control your mood or derail your writing dreams. Reviews are just opinions. Shake off the bad ones, concentrate on the good ones and keep writing the best, most polished books that you can. Happy writing!

MEDIA KIT Necromancer Book CoverA primeval fiend is loose in the ancient metropolis of Malkandrah, intent on burning it to a wasteland. The city’s leaders stand idly by and the sorcerers that once protected the people are long gone.

Maldren, a young necromancer, is the only person brave enough to stand against the creature. Instead of help from the Masters of his Guild, he is given a new apprentice. Why now, and why a girl? As they unravel the clues to defeating the fiend, they discover a secret society holding the future of the city in its grip. After betrayals and attempts on his life, Maldren has reason to suspect everyone he thought a friend, even the girl.

His last hope lies in an alliance with a depraved and murderous ghost, but how can he trust it? Its sinister past is intertwined in the lives of everyone he holds dear.

Can only evil defeat evil?

Enjoy an excerpt:

She glanced at me then the ground below, but only clung tighter. A man appeared at the window, his teeth bared. Four scratches on his cheek oozed red. White drool speckled his trimmed beard. He clawed at her. She scrunched her eyes shut and wailed.

With a crack, the casement tore free, and she plummeted into my arms. We tumbled to the ground and the smoke surrounded us like a pack of wild animals.

I rolled to my feet, helped her up, and dragged her down the street, holding my breath as long as I could. She coughed and choked, resisting my pull. Murder flared in her eyes. I slapped her.

“Trust me. Hold your breath and stay with me.” I yanked her forward.

I shouldn’t have spoken. Smoke surged down my throat and I gagged.

Rage ignited inside me. I wanted to tear out her rabid eyes. My arm squeezed hers until she cried out, and I knew that I could break it with a twist, could snap her entire frail body. My gaze fixed on her pale, sweat-soaked throat. It invited me to choke the life from her, watch her struggle and finally go limp. My pulse quickened. Anger flooded my veins. Then my hands were around her throat, squeezing, crushing. She coughed and drooled thick, white saliva. Her blue eyes locked with mine but she put up no resistance. A smile twitched on her lips as my thumbs dug deeper. Ah, the sweet moment of superiority. How would it feel to kill? Delicious. It washed the tight pain from my head.

Something flickered deep within me. This was wrong.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT GraemeIngPhotoGraeme Ing engineers original fantasy worlds, both YA and adult, but hang around, and you’ll likely read tales of romance, sci-fi, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk or any blend of the above.

Born in England in 1965, Graeme moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and lives there still. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, mostly in the computer games industry. He is also an armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with more cats than he can count.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

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Project Firebird by Nick Green – Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nick 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.

Don’t ask Leo Lloyd-Jones. Ask him how to steal a car, or why he got excluded from every school in Salford, but don’t come to him for help. This whole thing must be a daft mistake – and if anyone finds out, he’s done for.

Earth is on a deadly collision course that nothing can prevent. The only real hope is Project Firebird, deep inside a blast-proof bunker that shelters the brightest and bravest young people. Leo has got mixed up with the likes of Rhys Carnarvon, the celebrated teenage polar explorer, and other child prodigies chosen to keep the flame of civilisation.

Among them is the streetwise Paige Harris, a girl Leo likes a lot (but not in that way). Paige is desperate to rescue her little sister from London before the catastrophe strikes. But no-one is crazy enough to try that. Almost no-one.

Enjoy an excerpt:

‘Some of the brightest young people on the planet. Yet not one of you can make a cup of tea.’

Paige twitched into life.

‘That ain’t true! We’re not all useless around the house. I’ll do it.’

‘Thank you,’ said David. ‘One cup of tea, please. But you must make it all by yourself. No-one can help.’

Paige rolled her eyes – as if! David called after her.

‘I do mean no-one, Paige. No-one at all. Anywhere or anywhen.’

She turned. ‘You what?’

‘Tea,’ said David. ‘Let’s go. First you’ll need water. Clean water. I don’t want to get diarrhoea. So find some. Remember, no help. Not from water companies, or plumbers, or bottle manufacturers. Just you. There’s a lake a few miles away, but streams might be safer. Either way, you’d better start walking now. Maybe take some food along.’

A few uneasy sniggers trailed off. Paige stopped halfway to the door, her face daring David to make fun of her. He continued, counting on his fingers.

‘Something to carry the water in, you’ll need that. A sturdy vessel to boil it in. Pottery is good. Hunt for some clay while you’re out. Enough for a water pot, a teapot and a cup. Plus fuel of course. Wood for the fire. A bow-and-drill, or some other way of lighting it –’

‘This ain’t fair!’ Paige exploded. David held up a hand. Now his smile was kind.

‘It’s all right, Paige. You can sit down. Sorry to put you on the spot.’

About the Author: Nick Green lives in the UK. He is the author of seven fiction books to date, including the middle-grade CAT KIN trilogy published by Strident. His other books include THE STORM BOTTLE, a fantasy adventure about the dolphins of Bermuda, and most recently the FIREBIRD trilogy, a YA science fiction epic.

www.nickgreenbooks.com

https://www.goodreads.com/nickgreen_catkin

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