EMP by Wilson Harp – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wilson Harp will award a randomly drawn winner a $25 Amazon/BN GC via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In a flash of searing light, the world changed. A massive solar flare has crippled the modern world and brought chaos and destruction. David Hartsman is stuck in the remote farm town of his youth on what was expected to be a short visit to check on his ailing parents. While his wife and his daughter are hundreds of miles away at home in Chicago, David must face the dangers associated with his own survival and the pressures of not being with his family. In a worldwide catastrophe, every struggle is personal.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The days had turned warmer and the rains had come to a stop. The fields were planted with the food that would allow us to survive, and everyone anxiously awaited the first harvest of lettuce and beans. Anything other than radish and turnip soup seasoned with a little green onion and boiled squirrel.

I walked past one of the fields and waved at the boys. Two of them carried rifles and several others had sharp spades. Those with the rifles were scanning the edges of the field making sure no rabbits came in to eat the precious crops. Those with spades walked along each row, making sure no moles or other burrowing varmint was making itself at home.

The boys waved back and went back to their vigilant sentry work.

I shook my head as I thought about what Lexi would say if she had seen this. She was afraid of guns. She never grew up around them and did not like them. I didn’t care one way or another. To me, they were just another tool. One I grew up with, but found no particular joy in using. It was like a hammer. Lexi was afraid of them and didn’t want one in the house, so I acquiesced to her demand.

But now they were needful things. The right tool for the right job. At night, the dogs were set free in the field and the snares were set along the edges. But in the daytime, a stray rabbit taken with a .22 meant not only saving our crops, but more meat in our stew.

About the Author:

Wilson Harp is a writer based out of the American Midwest. As a military brat, he traveled and met people from many cultures and backgrounds. Exposure to so many different views has led him to an appreciation of an eclectic collection of music, film and literature.

His sense of wonder at stories and folklore started young and continues to this day, often affecting the themes and ideas in his writing. In his works you will find the old fashioned ideas of virtue and honor as the lifeline that pulls many of his characters through the situations they often find themselves.

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One of My Writing Quirks by Alexander Hernandez – Guest Post and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alexander Fernandez will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

One of My Writing Quirks
Greetings, I truly appreciate the time you took to host me on your site. Today I’d love to talk about a funny, or maybe strange, habit I have when writing. Some people might find this quirk a little weird or perhaps even useful if they give it a try.

In order for me to really get into a scene, I actually have to be there. What I mean is that I don’t just sit in the chair and imagine the setting and characters while staring at the computer screen. I get up, walk around, visualize, and even gesture.

My imagination is extremely vivid, so visualizing a scene comes easy for me. The room I work in turns into a forest, a dirt street in a village, a cave, etc. I’ll walk around a bit and imagine details of the forest or village, everything from dew on leaves to a splintered wood barrel against a dry goods shop.

Once the scene is set, I insert the characters and will gesture and position myself to what action is required. If there is a fight, then I will motion a certain way to mimic weapon-wielding or spell casting. If the scene is just a conversation, are the characters leaning against a wall, holding something, sitting, or perhaps looking into the sky? I will do those things to capture details and incorporate that into my writing.

Some of this may sound silly, but you’d be amazed at how these actions really translate into your writing and boost passion for what you want a reader to experience. Since you are literally absorbed in the scene, describing things and characters becomes so much easier and realistic. It may also help a writer to get to know their characters more. You start to visualize the characters’ individual quirks. Arms crossing, feet tapping, nail chewing, hair twirling…all of these details will emerge and give your creations more life.

Getting out of the chair is also refreshing if you’ve been sitting or a long time or are stuck with a certain paragraph. You get a good jolt for your writing when you get up and pretend you are the character kneeling, eating, or shoving his/her way through a crowd.

Give these things a try. You might find the tactic useful, or maybe embarrassing if someone walks in on you while you’re waving your arms around!

The holy artifact bonded around Marisylia Malludar’s neck gives her incredible physical and magical powers—at a price. The bloody piece of vein is consuming Marisylia’s body inch by inch, her skeletal hands and feet only the beginning of a slow death. A cruel sorceress and her assassins are on the hunt for Marisylia to steal the artifact. Religious fanatics, volatile and unstable in their blind faith, also seek her to exploit the vein’s most dangerous purpose—liberating the erratic Creator of the World, Lysielle, from her 1,000 year incarceration.

With the vein the key to Lysielle’s freedom, Marisylia must use her abilities to survive long enough to find Lysielle first. Then her most grim challenge awaits—deciding if the Creator has truly repented for attempting to destroy all life. To achieve global peace, Marisylia must discover faith in the unpredictable Lysielle or rely on her own instincts to set the world’s fate.

Enjoy an excerpt:

In a secret chamber deep in the bowels of her fortress, Synicia paced the length of the stone room, the vein dangling in her fingers. For the past hour she had been trying to think of a new experiment to obtain its power. Floating overhead, a conjured sphere of light painted her moving shadow on the cracked, dusty wall. Her high-heels clicked on the flat rock tile, the long dress rustled with every pass around the area.

Holding the vein aloft and using various incantations had produced nothing. She then tried to pierce it to release some of the blood for a potion, but that method only resulted in broken knives. Trying to tear the vein with magic proved futile as well. The shard of earth had ripped the thing from Anessil’s body, but the weapon turned to dust the instant Synicia removed the vein from its tip.

What could she try next? She had to have this power. Fantasies of increasing her status and conquering more lands swam in her head. Synicia had no idea who Anessil was, nor did she care; she only desired the woman’s level of skill and strength. But the stupid vein taunted her. It laughed at her misfortune. It teased of unimaginable might she would never have.

Synicia cried out in rage and threw the vein against the wall. It hit with the sound of a wet plop and lay on the floor. Throwing herself on the ground, she scooped up the vein and shoved it into her mouth. Fighting off nausea and dry heaves, she swallowed the thing and sat still, waiting for something miraculous to occur.

About the Author:

Alexander Fernandez was born in Santa Monica, CA and grew up in Rancho Cucamonga. Currently serving over 20 years in the United States Air Force, he lives with his wife Helem in Rocklin, CA.

Alex has been writing fantasy stories since early childhood for both school and for pleasure. He hopes to make a lasting emotional impact in his readers. He thrives in the exhilaration of creating memorable characters and adventures that become a part of the reader’s life.

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Interview and Giveaway: J.D. Brown

A special welcome to J.D. Brown who is visiting with us today as part of her virtual book tour celebrating the release of Dark Becoming, the latest book in her Ema Marx. For more prizes and ways to win, join the DARK BECOMING RELEASE PARTY on Facebook! On her virtual book tour, one lucky winner will receive a free thumb drive with over 100 free ebooks from over 100 different author downloaded inside. Enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the post.

The books in the Ema Marx series are Athena’s Oracle (the prequel to the series), Dark Heirloom, Dark Liaison, and Dark Becoming. I asked her which was her favorite.

“That’s a tough choice. Probably, as of right now, Athena’s Oracle, just because it’s different from the rest of the series. Don’t get me wrong, though. I love Ema and the gang!”

The author read a lot growing up–everything from Homer’s Odyssey to the back of the shampoo bottle in the shower. She didn’t get the courage to try to write fiction until a few years after she graduated from college.

“There was a story I wanted to read; what the heck happened to all these heroines in paranormal books after they got bitten and married the vampire? But no one had written that story yet, so I took the challenge upon myself and created Ema Marx, the heroine of my entirely paranormal no-humans-allowed series,” she said with a wink.”

She feels that the fantasy genre is at an all-time high right now, thanks to Hollywood, and she doesn’t think that it will slow down any time soon.

“Whether we’re talking about High Fantasy like Game of Thrones, Historical Fantasy like Outlander, or Contemporary Paranormal Fantasy like Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries – people love magic, epic quests, and larger than life characters, especially during an economic low,” she said. “Fantasy provides everyone with a temporary safe escape from the stress and droll of real life. It has since the dawn of time. Different sub-genres will rise and fall, but Fantasy will always remain a fixed part of human culture.”

She did a lot of research for the Ema Marx series, starting out with the cast of characters and their back stories. Once she had the characters’ personalities and history worked out, she was able to build the world around them by placing the setting in cities that made sense with their history.

“In my mind, my vampires live on modern-day Earth, but they are thousands of years old. I had to dig deep into our real-life history, their fictional history, and connect the dots so that both sides of the coin fit together,” she explained. “Where my vampires live, how their territories are drawn, areas they avoid, etc. Sure, my vampires avoid tropical beaches and sunshine, but I wanted it to be more than that. When you’re working with ancient characters, you have to think in terms of wars fought, alliances drawn, nations defeated… and see how all of it might have shaped where they are now, in the present. I keep a binder with detailed notes that is equal parts fact and fiction, because the best fiction is rooted in fact.”

I asked her to describe her writing space.

“Right now it’s cramped. I had a nice home office, but some relatives came to stay for the holidays, so we moved my desk and computer into the bedroom and turned my office into a guest room. Afterword, I was too lazy to switch everything back again, so here I sit, in my bedroom,” she said with a laugh.

“What is the hardest part about writing for you?” I wondered.

“I bet most writers don’t say this, but I feel like being honest today; it’s all the decision making. Everyone dreams of being their own boss, but the downside is not having anyone to lean on for those difficult career decisions that could make or break you. Sure, I have a wonderful support group that I talk to daily about the harder parts of the publishing biz, but in the end, I’m the one who has to make the final choice. It can be very stressful.”

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

“Just get it done. New writers (myself included, once upon a time) tend to think that the first draft should be perfect. They waste months, even years, constantly going back to correct old chapters instead pressing forth and finishing the manuscript. Trust me, that is a recipe for disaster. Professional authors write on average ten or more drafts before selecting the best version to send to their editor. And they write those ten drafts in six months or less, because they have deadlines to keep. You can always edit a finished draft. You can’t edit a partial. And on that note – don’t ask for feedback for a partial draft either. Unless you enjoy having your ego stomped on.”

About the Author: 3_4 Author picJ.D. Brown knows that vampires exist because she’s dating one and no, he doesn’t sparkle. Unfortunately, he’s not immortal either (or maybe her standards are too low). A magnet for subcultures and weirdness, J.D. was that socially awkward girl with more fictional friends than real ones. As a child battling a hearing loss and Muckle-Wells Syndrome, J.D. found comfort in books where strong women always saved the day and got the guy. An obsession with Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer led J.D. to believe that her mutated chromosome made her something more, not something less. Thus her stubborn flare to persevere was born. A lover of fine cuisine, coffee, and shoes, J.D. never understood why shoe stores don’t serve Starbucks and soufflé. She resides in Wisconsin were she writes urban fantasy—aka vampires for adults—and has political debates with her dogs. She loves to hear from fans and is active on Facebook.

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3_4 Dark Becoming 333x500Ema Marx is in a race against time. Or rather, a race against Apollyon. A powerful weapon—the legendary philosopher’s stone—could tip the scale in favor of whoever gets their fangs on it first. For Ema, obtaining the stone is an uphill battle through love, alliance, heartbreak, and loyalty. Winning should mean the beginning of beautiful things, but the closer Ema gets to her destiny, the more uncertain her future becomes. Could it be this war was never meant for her? And why the heck doesn’t morning sickness adhere to rules of its own name? Dark Becoming is the third book the award-winning Ema Marx Series by J.D. Brown

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Character Interview with Keshlik from STORM BRIDE by JS Bangs

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter to win your choice of a RAP swag item or a $5 Amazon gift card.

3_4 js bangs Storm-Bride-800 Cover reveal and Promotional
When Saotse rode across the treacherous ocean on an orca at the bidding of Oarsa, Power of the Sea, the blind maiden believed she had been chosen for a great destiny. But she hasn’t heard Oarsa’s voice in decades. Aged now, she has found her place among a peaceful, long-lived people, though her adoptive sister, Uya, still blossoms with youth. Then, pregnant Uya is kidnapped, and the rest of her family is slaughtered when an army of mounted warriors strikes the defenseless capital, leaving Saotse grief stricken and alone.

After Saotse finds refuge with strangers in a distant village, a new Power makes contact. Saotse embraces the opportunity to bury her bloodthirsty enemies in vengeance, but wielding the Power’s bitter magic could cost her everything she is.

As war escalates and allies flock to her side, Saotse believes she finally understands Oarsa’s purpose for her. But the Powers may have set events in motion that even they cannot control, and the fates of gods and men alike hang in the balance.

Reporter: Hello, I’m reporting for Prasa Evening News, here talking with Keshlik, war leader of the Yakhat. Please don’t kill me.

Keshlik: Oh, I never kill reporters. Some of my best friends are journalists.

Reporter: That’s reassuring. So, Keshlik, will you introduce yourself to our readers?

Keshlik: Hello, everyone! I’m Keshlik son of Keishul, leader of the war bands of the Yakhat, and I’m really excited to be here today. This is going to be a big year for me and the Yakhat warriors, and I think that things are looking up for us.

Reporter: As I understand, you’ve had a tough winter but have big plans for this spring.

Keshlik: Oh, yeah, BIG plans. Lots of pillaging—but I’m getting ahead of myself. This winter was a little difficult for us here in the Yakhat tribes: we have to slaughter all of the people living in the mountain passes in order to have room for our herds, and we weren’t sure where we were going when the snows melted. Most of the people living on the east side of the mountains were prepared to fight us off, and weren’t happy to have us as neighbors—

Reporter: Is that a problem you face a lot?

Keshlik: Call it an occupational hazard of the nomad warrior lifestyle. It was gonna be tough for us to go back east, but the west side of the mountains was virgin territory for us, so we’re moving that way. It’s a special opportunity for us.

Reporter: Do you have specific plans now that you’re coming down the west slope of the mountains?

Keshlik: In the short term we’re going to do the usual, plundering the small villages and farms that we find, and trying to get a feel for the geography. Supposedly there’s a big city further on south. It’s been a while since we’ve done urban warfare, and I think our younger warriors will find it a nice change of pace.

Reporter: I’m from Prasa, you know.

Keshlik: Is it nice there? I hear you have good beaches.

Reporter: If I tell you, will you refrain from plundering us?

Keshlik: Probably not. I guess I’ll have to find out about your beaches when I get there.

Reporter: Right… maybe I should take this information back to Prasa.

Keshlik: Don’t make me take back what I said about not killing reporters.

Reporter: So, enough about Keshlik the warlord. What can you tell us about Keshlik the man?

Keshlik: . Well, I got married a few years ago, which was a big change for me. My wife, Tuulo, is just fantastic. I don’t know what I would do without her. And I’m happy to announce that she’s pregnant.

Reporter: Congratulations! When is the baby due?

Keshlik: In about three months. Ironically, the baby will be born right in the middle of fighting season. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take some time off for the birth.

Reporter: Has the new baby been a big change for you?

Keshlik: There’s all the taboos for pregnant women, the isolation, the sacred salt, the blessed circles of the goddess Khou, etc. And our midwife is a terrible ball-breaker. But Tuulo has done pretty good so far. As for me… becoming a father has changed my perspectives a little bit.

Reporter: How so?

Keshlik: A lifetime of slaughter and pillaging is nice and all, but eventually a man does want to settle down. I’ve been thinking about retiring after this next campaign, maybe spending some more time with my wife and kids. My brother should be ready to lead the Yakhat soon…

Reporter: Are you worried about what this means for the future of your people?

Keshlik: My brother is a little green, but hopefully that won’t be a problem. And as for me, with a baby and a retirement on the way, what could possibly go wrong? Wrong for me, I mean. Obviously things will go wrong for our enemies.

Indeed, what could possibly go wrong? In “Storm Bride”, two womens’ lives are changed by Keshlik’s invasion, and all three of their fates become entangled in strange and dangerous ways.

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Summer of Haight ’67 by Diane Sager – Guest post and giveaway

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

A bit about me
Firstly I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and letting me ramble on about my passion.

I am Diane Sager, although I also use the nom de plume of D.S. Sager when I write under my horror/zombie/vampire genre. For all but my toddler years, I have lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area. I reside with Russ my husband, three dogs, two cats and a parrot – not necessarily in that order!. I have an insane knowledge of all things macabre. Serial killers, witchcraft, world religions, zombies, vampires and the occult. I also read Tarot cards! But amidst all this horror we like to have fun, drink beer and watch our TV shows. Right now it’s all about The Walking Dead and Shameless but we have many others. We both have Harley Davidson motor cycles so we are waiting for the weather to warm up a bit……

Up until about five years ago, I was a high school special education teacher. I loved my job and some of my students are still in touch to this day, many years after they graduated. I think I helped to shape their lives and I know they helped to shape mine. I consider some of them part of my family and if any of them are reading this – you know who I mean.

Here’s something a bit strange for your readers. I have worn a POW bracelet since the beginning of the Iraq war and I vowed to keep it on until all our troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan. It bears the name William H Searfus who was tragically killed in Vietnam in 1967 and on MY birth date, November 25th.

All my published books have a character in them named Searfus as a tribute to this man and all the other brave souls who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. This gentleman has son living in Southern California named Stanley Searfus. I hope to make contact with him some day and pay my respects. I have tried.

A bit about my book
Summer of Haight ’67 took me 15 months to complete, and research was a way of life during that time. It’s the most intense and yet the most rewarding research I have ever done. I think of it as one huge history lesson. Thank the Gods for Google and YouTube!

It’s a BIG book – consider it two books in one. There’s no way I could break up sure an epic year in history. It’s a supernatural time-travel book of sorts which involves a 66 year old KATHERINE RHODES getting into a tragic accident that hurls her back in time to 1967. She wakes up back in her 20 year old hippie body in the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. As many of you know, 1967 in the Haight/Ashbury became known around the world as “The Summer of Love” She gets to re-live this era of hippies, free love, drugs, music, politics and protests, with a wealth of knowledge and the opportunity to right some wrongs.

It’s all fiction but I wanted the setting to be 100% authentic. I immersed myself in the 60’s hippie culture and spent hours and hours on research. The book is factually correct. I listened to music from the late 60’s constantly, particularly the psychedelic era. Russ even bought me a record player (remember those?) I got my old LP’s out and bought even more from eBay…….. Grateful Dead, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix, The Charlatans, Country Joe & the Fish, to name but a few. There are Hells Angels, Black Panthers, political unrest and the horrific war in Vietnam. I researched constantly during the 15 months it took me to complete it. I wore hippie clothes and I even found myself saying 60’s words. I stopped at the drug scene though. It’s just not my bag baby!

I also have some first-hand experience to back up my research. As a very small child my parents drove me through the Haight district to look at the “freaks” as my Dad called them. I saw them dance around adorned with flowers and beads, obviously high as a kite but I didn’t know that at the time!

Janis Joplin is in my book a lot and I watched as much video footage of her and her band as I could find. There is some awesome footage on YouTube of her singing at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. My husband and I even visited the fairgrounds in Monterey to get the feel of the place. I read every book I could find on Janis and even Peter Coyote’s “Sleeping Where I Fall” based on the same time period. Peter helped found “The Diggers” who fed the homeless hordes of hippie drop-outs in San Francisco in 1967.

I’m also lucky enough to still live less than an hour away from San Francisco, so my husband and I would go there and see where Janis Joplin or Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead lived. We drank in the Dogpatch saloon near the Hells Angels HQ. On another occasion my daughter and I rode the bus from the top of Haight Street to the Hells Angels house, all in the cause of authenticity. KATIE and her friends FROG and MOONBEAM travel this route in my book to attend a Hells Angels party.

I wanted to take my readers back nearly 50 years and be sure it was authentic, especially those that are too young to have been there. Even the weather is accurate in the book – I checked.

There’s a saying, “if you can remember the 60’s you weren’t really there” I think it was quoted by Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. I take my readers back to the real deal so they WILL remember it.

Soooooooooo, it was fun to research, fun to write and I will be honored if you read it. Peace !!!!

KATHERINE RHODES has a tragic accident which sends her back in time. She wakes up as the 20 year old hippie she was back in 1967 in the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. This was the period known globally as the “Summer of Love”. It’s all here, Hippies, Hells Angels, Black Panthers and the abhorrent war in Vietnam. “KATIE gets the chance to re-live this era with her friends FROG and MOONBEAM. This time she knows what to expect and tries to change things……….. Can she?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Feeling dizzy, she shut her eyes and rubbed her temples for several minutes, running through the accident in her mind. She remembered going down the embankment and hitting the tree. She knew she had been in an ambulance and she remembered a slew of doctors surrounding her. Yet here she was sitting on a couch…somewhere familiar, a place she knew but couldn’t recall.

A brown chenille bedspread covered the couch. There was a basic wooden coffee table, several antique lamps, one in the corner and another on an old table by a beveled window. The hardwood floor of the room was covered by an imitation Persian carpet.

The walls and even the ceilings were filled with posters; old bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Yardbirds, and even the Monkees. Some were drug related, promoting marijuana, mushrooms and LSD. Others were political, protesting the Vietnam War, even including a caricature of Lyndon B. Johnson dressed as John Wayne.

On the ceiling directly above her was a poster of Clint Eastwood draped in a poncho, cigar resting on his lip. A pose from For a Few Dollars More. She knew the film well. Beside it were several blacklight posters, psychedelic peace symbols, a hookah smoking caterpillar, and an assortment of twirling colorful designs.

The television, an old tube model from yesteryear, was in a wooden cabinet covered by stickers: STP; two local radio stations, KLIV and KFRC; Champion spark plugs; bare feet and peace symbols of various colors. Beside that was a flower painted guitar case that leaned against the wall. Everything in the room was familiar. She knew this house. She had been here many, many times, so why couldn’t she remember whose house she was in?

About the Author:

Author Diane Sager was raised and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her awesome husband Russ, three dogs, two cats and an African grey parrot named Storm. She holds a fascination for all things macabre and has developed a deep knowledge of serial killers, vampires, zombies, the Tarot, world religions, witchcraft, horror and the occult.

However, her latest indie release, SUMMER OF HAIGHT ‘67 is none of the above albeit a little supernatural……..This story is nestled between her zombie series “EVIL VEIN” published by Permuted Press and penned under her “apocalyptic” name of D.S.Sager.

A former high school teacher of emotionally disturbed and high-risk youth, Diane is now dedicated to full time writing.

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Steady Burn by Nichelle Rae – Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nichelle will be awarding $30 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.

Steady Burn is the 3rd book in the epic white warrior series.

Hathum has left Azrel for dead. Seemingly a long way from recovery after his attack, Azrel suddenly gets a vision of Yarin, the true leader of the Gleo’gwyns. He is being held prisoner in a decrepit dungeon and being mercilessly tortured by a Shadow solider.

Azrel realizes in that fearful instant that the world would share Yarin’s fate if Hathum and the Shadow Gods defeat her.

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt:

I stayed in that garden for hours. It had to have been nearly dawn by the time I realized my lonely brooding was giving me no relief or comfort. With effort I got to my feet and headed back toward the throne room of Faythjen. It was completely empty and dark, save for the silvery moonlight pouring in through the windows.

My footsteps, soft as they were, echoed loudly throughout the room. I flinched with each step, as they intensified the feeling of my smallness right now. The sound seemed to reverberate back to me and sit heavily around my neck and shoulders, weighing me down. I felt heavy. I paused in the middle of the throne room and analyzed just how small I actually was compared to the circumstances I had to face.

But then I found myself looking around the throne room as if it were fully crowded with the faces of people in the world. They were almost like ghosts floating around the room, and I was turning fully around watching all of them. I thought about them all and realized they were depending on me to save them from the brutal slavery of the Shadow Gods, and they weren’t even aware of their peril, or of my existence.

I took a breath and, for the first time, didn’t shrink back from the monumental situation I faced. As I watched their faces, I let the weight settle around my shoulders and sit there, but I kept my back straight. I would hold this weight. Why? Because no one else could. Because I was the only one strong enough to hold it. I had to be. I would be. I’d spent the last ten years fighting this burden and trying to shake it off because the weight felt too heavy. The weight was heavy, but no one else in the world could carry it.

I found myself taking solace and comfort in the fact that my father had faced more impossible circumstances then I ever had. Shadow had already won the day when my father came onto the scene. At least I had the chance to fight it off. My father had to dig the world out of the mire of the Shadow Gods rule, whereas I could stop them from even ruling again.

I would stop them.

About the Author:

Nichelle Rae, fantasy’s newest author, was born and raised in Massachusetts. Her love for writing began when she was 14 years old and she wrote short stories about meeting her favorite music group. She received so much praise and complements on her writing ability that it quickly became a passion of hers. Throughout the years she has gotten much praise from peers, professors, and professional author’s she’s had a chance to work with about her writing and ability to put emotions into text.

The White Warrior Series is her debut fantasy series she’s publishing as an independent author which will consist of seven books total. Nichelle already has begun three more fantasy series that she hopes to publish in the future after The White Warrior Series.

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Sudetenland by George T. Chronis – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Sudetenland© is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938′s Munich Conference. The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. With three million ethnic Germans in Bohemia at stake, Adolph Hitler’s unshakeable will demands that the Sudetenland be ripped from Czechoslovakia and joined with Germany. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within the major capitals of Europe as the continent hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“The Germans are very keen to have news of the conference broadcast live across the world. They are very confident of the outcome. Godesberg is a great victory for them,” Shirer felt a tad uncomfortable at helping them promote their success.

“Yeah, that’s what I have been reading in the local rags,” Endicott found the towing of the government’s pitch lines to be remarkably uniform.

“Don’t be too hard on us, my friend,” an overly cheery German broke into the conversation to sit down at the table without waiting for an invitation. “Godesberg is one of those rare occasions where everything we print is actually true.”

Shirer laughed and slapped the tabletop. “Eavesdropping again, Manfred?”

“Of course! And so do you. I am just better at snooping than you are,” the German boasted, although he ranked Shirer’s attention to detail as amazingly high.

“Charles,” Shirer turned to Endicott. “Meet Herr Culemann, one of Germany’s leading editors.”

“Pleased to meet you. Charles Endicott, Hearst International News Service,” Endicott reached over the table to offer his hand.

“I just read your story. Great work there: Kidnapped By the Sudeten Freikorps. I am glad you survived unscathed. Many of their number are severely undisciplined,” Culemann was sincerely pleased no harm had come to the American.

“Thanks on both counts. Sometimes I get lucky,” Endicott hoped the roll lasted for a while longer. “Say, you look like a man in the know. When does Herr Hitler arrive?”

“Oh, the chancellor is already in Godesberg… upstairs as we speak,” Culemann informed them.

“Now you’re talking,” Endicott perked up. “When do you think we will get a chance to see him?”

“Any time really. One never knows. He could stroll through the lobby in five minutes on the way to his river yacht. The vessel is tied up at the water’s edge,” Culemann located the vessel through the window and showed them.

“Somehow I expected something more formal,” Endicott sounded let down.

“Do not despair, the Teppichfresser will not disappoint,” Culemann lowered his voice as he teased the Americans.

“The what?” Endicott did not understand the term.

“Carpet eater?” Shirer’s translation did little to ease his own confusion.

“You two have obviously not been paying attention to the discussion at the next table,” Culemann nodded in the direction of two party hacks nearby.

“I imagine not,” Shirer had been ignoring their boorish neighbors on purpose.

“Perhaps you have heard… the chancellor often has strong reactions to bad news,” Culemann continued in a whisper. “Chamberlain promised him that he could deliver the Sudetenland on a platter and all of the news from Prague says Beneš is obstinately refusing to go along. Those two over there were just mentioning how this continued stubbornness by the Czech president has brought on one of Hitler’s rages causing the leader of the great German Empire to fling himself on the floor where he chews on the edge of the carpet.”

“You have to be kidding,” Endicott found such a tale difficult to believe.

“Trust me, on such matters, I never kid,” Culemann wagged his forefinger at the Americans.

About the Author:

After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland© is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.

Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.

Sudetenland Website | Tumblr | Author Website

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Plight and Terror of Claire Sanchez from THE UNHOLY by Paul DeBlassie III – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Plight and Terror of Claire Sanchez from THE UNHOLY

I want to shed a little more light on the plight and terror of Claire Sanchez, curandera, medicine woman, protagonist in The Unholy. As a young child, she witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in the nighttime forest of Aztlan at the hands of a black-robed man. Hiding behind the tress, Claire, a five-year-old girl, was powerless to help. This nightmare haunted her waking life and dreams for twenty-five years. Day and night, she feared fulfilling her destiny as a medicine woman. Her mother died because of who she was. Terrible fright dominated her life. The black-robed man could find her and do what he had done to her mother. Death lurked around every corner of Aztlan. Religion, she came to discover, cloaked many a sordid deed and foul personage. There was no way she could continue to run. What she most feared came her way, discovered her whereabouts, what her life was about and was to become, and who she loved. The time came for her to decide. Decisions of life-long consequence are painful, agonizing.

Nevertheless, she, I feel, did not regret the decision she made. She had to face the ghost of her past or forever be haunted by nightmares of what might come and what she could have done differently. She was not one to be indecisive.

It was all a matter of timing. Yes, it was violent. Yes, the world of the supernatural and natural collided and forever changed the lives of so many people; but, she would not have it any other way. She needed to be true to her life, destiny, to herself as a woman who could run no longer. She could no longer cling to old ways and crippling terrors that needed to be confronted. She did what she had to do and for that she was satisfied and complete. To all who read, she would send courage as you confront the dark side of religion and a woman’s quest to discover self, destiny, and whether, because of the scarring of her past, she could ever love again.

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.

Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.

Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.

All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.

Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.

The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.

The crows waited, watched, then flew away.

About the Author:

Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-DeBlassie-III/e/B00E5TBJXY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Website: http://www.pauldeblassieiii.com/
Blog: http://pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com/

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What is the Hardest Part about Writing? by Sean DeLauder – Guest Blog and Giveaway

12_18 VBT The Least Envied Tour Banner

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

What is the Hardest Part about Writing?

The hardest part about writing? Finding time to do it. No contest.

Ideas are never an issue. They come readily, rapidly. The problem is, I am limited by my mortality from exploring them all. So I have to be selective. That’s a minor aspect of the limitations of time. The biggest obstacle time creates is the lack of availability.

However, if you love writing, as with anything you love, you will make time for it. Anyone afflicted with a compulsion, be it pyromania, kleptomania, or writeaholism will, for good or ill, find a way to do it. Fortunately, the urge to write is a psychological disorder that is magnitudes lower in destructive capacity than most.

We all divide our time into segments, big chunks called days, in which we have a series of events we repeat every day. For me, the largest tend to be Work and Family. These are two categories to which I contribute gladly. It’s not difficult to make time for family and a job. There’s time for each. In fact, just enough time for each, just as the globe is separated into north and south hemispheres, coming into contact, prevented from overlapping, but encompassing the entirety of the Earth between the two of them. Adding a career as a writer is like trying to include a third hemisphere on a planet that is already completely occupied. It’s going to prove challenging and, invariably, take away from one or the other. Unless you’re able to sacrifice something else.

The most obvious way to make this time would be to add hours to the day. A 30-hour day would allow me, and probably anyone, to accomplish everything they’d like to in a single rotation of the planet. This would undoubtedly have corollary benefits, such as the obliteration of daylight savings time, which does little more than sabotage the function of my biological clock. Unfortunately, I lack the engineering prowess to successfully adjust the rotation of the Earth to make this happen. So time for writing has to come from the same 24 hours everyone else has.

I can’t miss time at work and I won’t miss time with my family, so the only time I have to sacrifice is sleep. I’ve done that. And it works. For a while. Then the lack of sleep begins to manifest in subtle ways, usually in my inability to remain awake in the middle of the day, while driving or having conversations. Surprisingly, this gets noticed quickly. When I become incapable of performing normal tasks, such as going to get the mail, without needing to take a 2-hour nap, I know that my writing schedule is not effective and an alternative is necessary.

The other option, also explored, is to write during the opportunities afforded in breaks during the day. Scribbling on napkins, on receipts, on my hand, on whatever happens to be available when I have a chance or an idea strikes me. This approach is not the best way to write a book any more than believing you can get all the sleep you need by resting during eyeblinks through the course of the day (you just can’t seem to get enough and deep REM sleep never has a chance to take hold).

So what options remain? Alienate your family? Quit your job? Descend into psychosis? Or, perhaps, stop writing.

Heavens no.

If you’re a true addict the way I am, you need to have a means to let the words out or they’ll come out anyway in a melodramatic, life-ending volcano through the top of your skull, leaving the coroner to clean up the mess (and collect your scattered ideas). You’re going to suffer either way. Why not make it worthwhile?

When you finish your book or chapter or sentence in a way that satisfies you, your sense of gratification and vindication will overpower your need to sleep or work or use the restroom. You’ll have the momentary strength to continue writing a bit longer, like the strength of the Grinch having found the true meaning of Christmas.

Besides, what writer wants sleep when they could be writing?

12_18 Cover_The Least EnviedCast back in time to a perilous wasteland, Andrew is tasked with recording the fate of an individual history has chosen to ignore. Threatened by knee-high creatures called Wogs, an enigmatic beast known as the Forest Monster, and the man orchestrating the slow annihilation of the world, Andrew discovers all hope for salvation and survival rests with a boy without a history.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“That statue,” said Andrew. He gave the stonework a quick look, then looked back to Hobert. “It’s a hero?”

Maybe the statue represented a hero who came before this era of desperation and despair.

Hobert cast a somber gaze into the street and nodded.

“A hero. Yes,” he answered. “He’s very tall.”

Andrew found himself suddenly interested. This was the story he wanted to write. A story about a hero, the obstacles he faced on his path to heroism, his guides, his arch enemy, the ultimate goal of being a hero, and, of course, whether the story continued or had an end.

“What made him a hero?”

Hobert shrugged, removed the pipe, and gestured toward the statue with the stem before poking it back into the corner of his mouth.

“He’s very tall,” he repeated.

Andrew paused, waiting for Hobert to continue, but that was all.

“Tall… and what else?”

Hobert’s smile faded and he faced Andrew, somewhat irritated. Two gray trails of pipe smoke jetted from his nostrils.

“What else what?”

“Beside being tall,” Andrew clarified. “To be a hero.”

Hobert fixed Andrew with a hard, querulous stare, then shook his head as though the question didn’t make sense.

“Being tall is being a hero,” he answered.

Andrew grimaced.


“What what?” Hobert replied. “What don’t you understand?”

Andrew spread his arms.


“Oh,” the fellow replied. He leaned back in his chair and pulled his hat down over his eyes. “Then you’re hopeless.”

About the Author: 12_18 AuthorPic_The Least EnviedThis author has held several positions in recent years, including Content Writer, Grant Writer, Obituary Clerk, and Staff Writer, and is under the false impression that these experiences have added to his character since they have not contributed much to his finances. He was awarded a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism and a BA in Technical Communication by Bowling Green State University because they are giving and eager to make friends. He has a few scattered publications with The Circle magazine, Wild Violet, Toasted Cheese, and Lovable Losers Literary Revue, and resides in the drab, northeastern region of Ohio because it makes everything else seem fascinating, exotic, and beautiful.

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Wicked Intentions by JoAnne Myers – Interview and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes JoAnne Myers, who is giving away the winner’s choice of one of the following paperback books:
Murder Most Foul, Wicked Intentions, Twisted Love, The Crime of the Century, Flagitious, Loves, Myths, and Monsters, or Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between.

JoAnne has always had an artistic flare, even as child. Writing and painting comes easily to her. She’s currently in the process of turning her detective/mystery story, Murder Most Foul, into a screenplay. She first thought of herself as an author when this book was published by Melange Books. She currently has seven books published by three publishing houses.

“Which is your favorite?” I wondered.

“My true crime The Crime of the Century because this 1982 heinous double homicide happened in my hometown of Logan, Ohio, population at the time of the crime was 5,300. The current population: 7,400. Down here we have the famous Hocking Hills and Old Man’s Cave, a group of natural caves and rock formations, and a big tourist attraction.”

When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting on canvas, promoting her book, spending time with her relatives and her dog Jasmine, watching television, or doing volunteer work in her community. She also belongs to several organizations.

I wondered how she did her research for her books.

“If the book is a true crime I search court documents, newspaper clippings, police and witness statements,” she told me. “If it is a fictional book, I scour the Internet for location information, clothing from that time period, any medications or poisons mentioned in the book, and popular names for my characters.”

I asked her, “How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in your genre?”

“I research time periods, including what weapons were used, what foods were grown, clothing worn, language spoke. For my fantasy book, Loves, Myths, and Monsters, my monsters, even if they are the same species, such as werewolves, each have their own special gift, such as turning into a wolf, running at warp speed, or able to walk on ceilings. With werewolves and vampires, the sky is the limit with what physical abilities they might have. If I wrote a vampire book, not all the vampires would be able to turn into a bat and fly away. Some might just turn into mist to avoid capture, or transform into another being or creature.”

The hardest part of writing for JoAnne is knowing when to end the book. It is easy for her to find adventures for her characters and to keep the book going, but she admitted, “Everything must have an ending.”

She likes writing fantasy because with fantasy, everything is possible.

“A fantasy story is like the universe, the possibilities are endless,” she explained.

“We often talk about SFF – Science Fiction/Fantasy,” I said. “What do you see as the differences and similarities between the two?”

“I look at Science Fiction as being about aliens, spaceships, the universe. Fantasy to me is about monsters, talking animals and plants, or rocks. Bringing life into an inanimate object. The similarities would be that both SF and fantasy are two genres that supply endless possibilities to discover. Like the universe.”

wicked intentions new version7 bone chilling tales filled with danger, suspense, intrigue, and romance

Blood Ties
Audra Roper has disturbing visions about her twin sister’s disappearance, suspecting her brother-in-law Doug of Lisa’s death.
Police officer Tyler Pettit tries to help, but when the law fails, Audra assumes Lisa’s identity, plays amateur detective and discovers a bloody scene. All isn’t what it seems as her life becomes a roller coaster of danger, heartbreak and intrigue.

Dark Visions
When Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday, she believes her “dark visions” can solve the twenty-year disappearance of her father.

The Apartment
When young newlyweds Bill and Gayle move into their new apartment, their lives are plagued with sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and lives.

The Legend of Lake Manor
For psychic Cassandra Lopez, coming to haunted Lake Manor was like a mission. The Manor and its employees needed her help in ridding the home of specters, most trying to kill and one willing to stay for love’s sake.

Summer Wind
When twenty-nine year-old Ginger Duncan discovers the old mansion Summer Wind, she is mysteriously drawn to it. Immediately the hauntings have a negative and profound effect on the family.

The Haunting of Barb Marie
Even as a child, Barb Marie saw dead people which terrified her parents. With no one to talk to about her gift/curse, Barb keeps the secret to herself. This takes an unhealthy toll on her childhood and two marriages. Who are these people that haunt her home now?

The Truth Behind the Lies-Laying the Norfolk Ghost to Rest
Solving the brutal murder of American born Ruthie Geil becomes a gauntlet of attacks and more murders for Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian. Between the victim’s family, ex-lovers and ghostly occurrences on Norfolk Island, the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

About the Author:12_9 joanne myers my photo apr 2011JoAnne lives in Ohio, and works at a local nursing home. The author of 7 books, JoAnne also canvas paints. JoAnne enjoys time with relatives, her dog Jasmine, and volunteers her time within the community. JoAnne believes in family values and following your dreams. Her original canvas paintings, can be found at: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com.

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