Five Lessons I Learned from a Galactic Bartender by M. Pax – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $40 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.

Five Lessons I Learned from a Galactic Bartender

An average dude in the galaxy, Craze dreams of owning a successful bar and becoming a business tycoon. The galaxy can’t grant him a single wealthy customer let alone his loftier goals. He lives on an arid moon full of dust, yet he has a few things going for him: living hair so he’s always perfectly groomed, irresistibly soft skin, good looks, a good size, and he brews a fantastic ale, malt, and mead.

What I learned from him:

  1. The next person through the door will most likely be unhinged. Nothing sane travels the starway connecting the solar systems of the Backworlds. Keep a stunner handy.
  1. Practice a good growl and sneer. Appearing intimidating is a handy tactic, and it’s OK if the loons believe you’re loonier. It’ll keep them far away, which is the best place for the loons to be.
  1. Chocolate is better than gold. It’s the most valued commodity in the Backworlds. Yeah, it’s great stuff. Always keep a stash.
  1. Good business will multiply chips. Bad business will drain accounts. Location and connections will get you far. However, nasty past affairs can bring down the best-crafted plans. Don’t leave baggage hanging around.
  1. It’s OK to have a big gooey center that oozes for a good sob story. Living on the edge of the Backworlds is harsh. Everyone needs a break and most need a second chance.

I also learned survival can be bigger than myself and to pour my heart into what I make.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This is the sixth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.

The Backworlds hang by a Quantum string, a thread about to snap. Annihilation is coming if Craze can’t stop it.

The genocidal alien he had trapped breaks free, destroying a ship belonging to the Backworlds’ oldest enemy, the Fo’wo’s. The murderous alien wants to overtake the galaxy. The Fo’wo’s want another war.

The Backworlds’ best chance to survive is to overcome a century of hate and forge an alliance with the Fo’wo’s. Because of his history with the alien, Craze is recruited to represent his people. Now he’s the most hated man in the galaxy.

The looming war will be a holocaust unless he can stop it, knowing salvation comes at a price.

Boing Boing gives The Backworlds 5 stars! “This is a fun, fast paced novel that reminded me a bit of early Heinlein”.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Engaging the thrusters on the jetpack strapped to her back, Rainly steered herself through space. Its vastness terrified her. Her skin prickled. The man in the white robe jabbering in her head overwhelmed her, blocking out all until she found herself back on the Sequi opening the box she had retrieved. She had hoped answering the man’s summons would end her blackouts.

“I don’t want to know what I did,” she whispered, her teeth chattering and limbs quaking. She couldn’t take much more of this.

The size and dimensions of a coffin, the box was also a ship. One more sophisticated than the Sequi. Using a control paddle, Rainly maneuvered a dolly under the box, then she wheeled it into the living quarters. Her sister had moved the couches, creating ample space.

Her hands clapping, her sister beamed. “Let’s meet our master.”

Together they pried open the chamber per instructions pulsing in Rainly’s head. The flood of data had to be making a clamor in her sister’s mind too, because she moved in the same ways.

Inside the box lay a brain in a sac of goo. Nothing like Rainly expected. “Is it a Fo’wo?” she asked her sister.

“Not yet. We have to reboot him first.”

Rainly had to wonder whether she and her sister had gone insane.

M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds and the contemporary science fiction series The Rifters, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Learn more at:

mpaxauthor.com

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Stardust Dreams by S.B. Redstone – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Abstract Image Of A Planet With Water. Find New Sources And TechLance Forrester is a dreamer. After a celebrated career as an astronaut and engineer, he and a friend build a secret spacecraft to seek their destinies in the stars. But his friend dies and Lance is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Desperate not to succumb to his fate, he convinces an acquaintance, ailing actress Sage Saint Claire, whom he hasn’t seen since high school, to join him on his quest to reach an advanced alien civilization which can heal them both. Unfortunately, true life is not a Hollywood movie, as much as Sage might want it to be, and problems abound. Mistakes in the past have turned Sage into a bitter old woman, and she turns out to be a less-than-perfect traveling companion which no amount of optimism, youth, or good health can cure. Can these two intrepid octogenarians-turned-immortals overcome the emotional scars of their pasts and achieve true happiness, or are they doomed to suffer for their mistakes, no matter how far from Earth they go?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I knew that the truth in my heart reflected in my old, weary eyes. “Yes, I do. Look, I’m no slick-talking salesman, as you can see. I’m just a scientist and engineer, but I truly believe there is a statistical probability of success. But even if I’m wrong, and our voyage ends up to be pointless, so what? Think of the fun you’ll have. Imagine the excitement and wonders of space travel that come before our long sleep.” I paused to dramatize my resolve and let a burst of quixotic energy erupt from me. “Cherish the adventure!”

It wasn’t her fears that I was battling against, but a lifetime of distrust. My confidence in a successful mission collapsed. “Of course, you have no reason to believe a word of what I’ve told you. You don’t really know me, except through my noted accomplishments. But I can’t disappoint you because I’m only offering friendship and hope.” I pushed my point harder. “Sure, we can die here on Earth. We can die in space. Or we can awaken on a remote and caring world that saves us! We are the captains of our fate, not the Grim Reaper—yet!”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_StardustDreamsSteven Rosenstein, penname S. B. Redstone, had a career as a school psychologist and private practice Licensed Clinical Social Worker on Long Island. Always seeking the truths of human nature, he wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, published by New Horizon Press Books. He has written articles on human nature and relationships, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows. Always having a vivid imagination, he first became a successful writer of short stories. His mystery thriller, A Sinister Obsession, was published by Black Opal Books. As an expert in the field of human psychology, he has an exceptional ability to develop realistic and exciting characters in his novels. Many of my characters have been taken from his clinical experiences. Stardust Dreams is his first romance novel, although romantic relationships stand out in his other works. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Org and Romance Writers of America. He resides with his wife in New York and Florida.

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Gate by Sam Rook – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sam will be awarding $10 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.

Kathryn returns to Av’lor after seven months on the Daemon home world, only to discover the Daemons have invaded Earth. With Av’lor on the brink of an uprising and an unknown enemy upon its doorstep, the knights divide their forces to safeguard both worlds.

Sir Lanclor, torn between his duty to Av’lor and his dedication to Kathryn, finds himself fighting a losing battle on Earth. He realizes the fate of both worlds rests in the unlikely alliance of technology and magic.

Overwhelmed by a new threat far beyond that of the Daemons, both Av’lor and Earth must face a devastating reality.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

“Just Daemons, or Zahkrinon as well?”

“A mixture of armored Daemons and Zahkrinon.” Hal knelt beside Lanclor and lowered his voice. “The Earth defenses won’t do shit against either one of those kinds. We can barely defeat armored Daemons and the Zahkrinon not at all…except for stumpy here.” He gestured to the severed head.

Lanclor glanced around the group of knights surrounding them. “Nikton, Thalcalor…did Lady Kathryn teach you how to Imbue your swords?”

Thalcalor knelt beside him, nodding. “She taught us, but I do better with lightning than her fire. Nikton’s focus is ice, but I don’t think the two of us could take down all of the Zahkrinon on our own.”

“No, I don’t either.” Sir Lanclor stood and the others followed suit. “They may not know we’re here since the first group circled and left. Let’s create some Shields to lock in our scent and sound. Use Conceal spells on all groups and maintain your position unless directly attacked.”

The knights went to work and their crowded encampment turned into a quiet part of the forest. Lanclor watched through the small openings in the trees’ canopy. The Daemons and Zahkrinon circled overhead, with him getting an occasional glimpse of red armor and the black claws of the Daemons. An ear-piercing roar sounded from the south, and the Daemon group departed, leaving silence in their wake. A low moan drew his attention to Kathryn, and he felt the heat fade from his sword.

About the Author: Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

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Time Traveling Hookers by S.E. Burr – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_TimeTravelingHookers Three modern day roommates and recent college grads take a time machine back to the Wild West. The time machine breaks, stranding them in the past where they are forced to join a brothel to survive.

With the help of future technology, they’re able to trick their customers into thinking they’re getting what they pay for, without actually having to do the deed.

But the scam involves getting much more up close and personal with smelly, 19th century hicks than germaphobe and prude, Anastasia, is comfortable with.

One customer seems sweeter, more attractive, and better groomed than the rest. Could she actually fall for a cowboy from the dirty, disgusting past?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I’m not going to have sex with him,” said Anastasia.

“With who?” said Beth.

“With him,” Anastasia repeated.

“Who him?” asked Mare.

“Him, John,” Anastasia said.

“John?” Mare bit her lip, confused.

Beth sighed. “Who’s John, Anastasia?”

“John is what the men who have sex with prostitutes are called.”

“What? All of them?” Mare asked.

Anastasia nodded.

“No,” Beth said. “They are not all named John. Not only men named John have sex with whores.”

“Language!” said Anastasia.

Beth groaned. “That’s quite enough, Anastasia. If we’re going to do this you’ll have to get far less prudish about many things. Language is the least of them.”

“I’m not going to do this,” Anastasia said. “I already told you. I’m not going to have sex with him.”

“Who?” Mare asked again.

“Anyone!” Anastasia said.

“You’re not going to have sex with anyone?” asked Beth. Her voice sounded mocking. “Ever?”

“Maybe,” said Anastasia, “Maybe not, but I’m certainly not going to have sex with anyone in this century. Do you have any idea how filthy they are?”

Beth laughed. “No filthier than you are,” she said.

Mare grimaced. “She has a point, Anastasia.”

“I know,” said Anastasia, looking down at herself. She had a strong desire to pinch her nose. She was dirty, absolutely covered in dust. To see it, to feel it on her skin, made her cringe. She hated, HATED, being dirty, but here she was dressed in a ridiculous gold-rush era dress that somehow collected every speck of soil, decay, and body odor around and on her.

About the Author: S.E. Burr wrote Time Traveling Hookers over the course of a weekend at a Tom Bird writing retreat in Santa Fe, NM. It is based on a dream she had a few weeks prior to the retreat, but she did no advanced planning of the plot. She was very surprised to discover that the story was a romance, as she did not often read romances, let alone write them. She quite enjoyed the experience and intends to write more romances in the future, but cautions that what she intends to write and what she actually writes can be two very different things. She is the author of the young adult novel, Goblin Fruit, inspired by the poem “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti. The sequel, Goblin Girl, is coming soon. It was inspired by her desire to find out more of the story. A nearly lifelong resident of rural New Mexico, S.E. Burr loves the desert, her family, and her cat.

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Interview and Giveaway: A.J. Locke

Long and Short Reviews welcomes A.J. Locke, whose second book in her Reanimation Files, Requiem for the Living, was recently released. She’s currently working on the third book in the series. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win digital copies of both books in the series.

She was born in Trinidad and loved living on an island where winter did not exist.

“I hate the cold weather and I miss year round warmth,” she explained. “Plus the beach was always close by. I also love my country’s culture, music, and of course, food!”

A.J. has been writing since she was a child–writing stories for one of her school classes before the age of ten, followed by writing poetry. She wrote her first book when she was fourteen and hasn’t stopped yet.

It’s sometimes hard for her to find time to write, because she has a one year old. She does most of writing at night. She’s always liked writing at that time the best, but admitted to me that, with the baby, sleep is so precious.

“But if I didn’t sacrifice some sleep I’d have no time to write at all so it’s worth it,” she admitted.

I asked her how she developed her plot and characters.

“It may sound strange, but my characters develop themselves,” she told me. “Sometimes I have in mind what I want a character to be like but when I start writing, a completely different voice comes through and I just have to go with it because that’s who the character for that particular story needs to be. I can just feel when I have the character’s voice right. With the plots, sometimes it takes a lot of outlining and planning, and sometimes it just flows and I don’t even need to make a lot of notes. It just comes together as I write.”

She’s written seventeen books, though not all are published. I asked her if she had a favorite.

“I don’t know if I could choose a favorite! I will say that my first few have a special place in my heart because it’s where my journey with being an author began. I even hand wrote them in notebooks. I like to go back to my old manuscripts and re-read the things I penned when I was in my teen years. I still love those stories and I love seeing where my early creativity took me.”

6_3 aj lockeSelene is slowly dying…too bad that’s the least of her problems.

You could say that Selene Vanream has a lot of problems. First there’s the Rot that’s slowly killing her, despite everything Ilyse and Micah are doing to find a way to save her.

Then there’s Andrew, the ghost of her boss who is anchored to the living world. Selene would like to ignore him, but anchored ghosts with unsettled business turn into anchored beasties, so she can’t write him off. The government has sent a team to post up at Affairs of the Dead and keep an eye on her, which includes making sure she plays up to Andrew to keep him from turning.

On top of that, someone is using Selene’s new power to create anchored ghosts for their loved ones to keep around. Not good since the culprit doesn’t have a clue about that whole anchored beastie angle. Now Selene has a criminal to catch while trying to stay out of the hands of government goons who have stripping her reanimation power on their agenda.

When Micah and Ilyse finally find a way to save her, Selene thinks she can cross one bad thing off her list–until she learns the terrible price that must be paid to keep her alive. Full plate doesn’t cover it. Overflowing plate doesn’t cover it. Selene’s plate has damn near exploded.

About the Author: 6_3 aj locke author photoA.J. Locke is originally from Trinidad and Tobago but has resided in New York City for over ten years. She knew early on that she wanted to be a writer, penned her first novel at fourteen, and hasn’t stopped since. Creating is her passion, and other than writing she enjoys drawing, painting, graphic design, and any other creative whim that may take her.

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Where Do Ideas Come From? by Auden Johnson – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Auden Johnson will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Where do ideas come from?

There’s a world on top of ours that we can’t see. Every day, people from different lands weave together story ideas as though they’re nurturing children. Every day, these people release those ideas into our world so they can find their soul partner. That’s the first thing that came to mind when trying to figure out where ideas come from. They just find us. Now, let’s get practical.

We get ideas from everywhere. Things we like from books, movies, people, events…life are stored somewhere inside us. Most of the time, they just sit there. Other times, these pieces come together to form a sort of Franken-story. I know I said I would be practical. What’s the fun in that?

This Franken-story is a brat. It wants attention. It will bug the author until we give it what it wants- to be raised into a fully fleshed out story.

Sometimes, these pieces need some help getting put together. A couple of years ago, I was working a temp job as an Administrative Assistant. Communing to work on the Washington, DC Metro required I take two trains. Since I like walking, I decided that instead of transferring to the second train, I’d walk. Just for fun, I decided to create a story out of the things I saw on my walk to work. I didn’t know what story I would create. I wanted a fun way to pass the time.

I saw a mannequin in the window and pictured it coming to life and attacking that person as he walked by the store. Cars passed me. I imagined monsters swimming under the street, eating anything on the road. Where would I go for safety? A manhole. Would the sewers be safe? How about that building there? This exercise turned into a novel where one day, monsters opened the street and started eating people.

So why monsters? Why this post-apocalyptic event? Authors spit out what we take it. Not exactly an attractive way of putting it. I read and watch a lot of horror. I mean a lot. Of course, horror would find a way into my stories. I enjoy a good apocalyptic story/movie. My stories tend to have some end of the world element to them. I love anime. It’s natural that my characters would look like something out of an anime with their blue hair and green eyes. Their weapons can sometimes take the form of people or animals. I never plan any of this. It just comes to me.
Where do ideas come from? Everywhere. We write what we like reading.

MediaKit_BookCover_ChainsOfTheSciellOver, fifty years have passed. A mysterious Plague swept through Middle Jael. Walls of Darkness now surround cities around the world. Supplies are low. Prices are high. Still, humans survive. For Sciell and Miners, Lifeblood beings, the new Darkness won’t let them touch their power source without punishment.

How can they draw the power they need to survive? Their Lifeblood evolves. These beings can now see auras. Connections only existed between two beings. Now, these family bonds form between most Sciell. They can feel the other’s need no matter the distance. If one is enraged, the other becomes infected with that same anger. They always have someone else in their heads. They share power.

Divine Mathews, Josephine Royal, Blea and Aliceanna Carlton’s connections told them they weren’t alone. The connections felt like home. These four know they’re different. They can do things…see things. They don’t know why. They become trapped inside MidnightPrysn- a twisted mansion created to keep them weak. Divine, Royal, Blae and Aliceanna finally meet those they’re connected to. Only, they feel like they’ve met before.

As Midnight Prysn’s new residents regain their memories, they realize these connections aren’t just a source of comfort. They can be chains.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Royal was stranded on the Cross-Territory-Roadway, in the dark. Her MP was useless. Who could she call? Wasn’t this the reason people started carrying the mobile commutation devices? No Authority would leave their homes to rescue some nobody female, even during the day. Shouldering her bag, she climbed out of the pile of spare parts.

Lahjyion’s scent was in the wind. It was weak. She had a lot of walking to do. Perfect. Mom and Dad had demanded she come out this week. She listened to them. This nonsense happened and they weren’t even home. They were at some relaxing mountain retreat. This was stupid.

At this rate, she wouldn’t get home until daylight.

Royal walked on. She came upon a dead convy. She stabbed her fist into the trunk until a hole formed. She dug her hand in the hole and pulled. The trunk opened. That didn’t release her from the burning in her chest.

An emergency kit sat inside. She could kiss this convy. Inside was an E. torch large enough to split the Darkness in half. This would keep those monsters back. She pushed the switch. Nothing happened. She opened the slot at the back. Of course, no energy cells. Royal always carried spares. She dug into her bag, uprooting energy cells large enough to fit in the slots at the back of the torch. She tried the switch again. The light illuminated the entire convy. Finally, something went right.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ChainsOfTheSciellAuden is a dark fantasy writer. As a kid, she created her own books by folding several construction papers in half and stapling them down the middle, adding her own illustrations. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get away from writing. She holds a B.A. in English, a M.S. in Library and Information Science and she studied Creative Writing in England. She is a Research Assistant for Aubey LLC and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY- working towards her Masters in Publishing at NYU. Her short stories, No Vacancy, Clipped Wings and Welcome to My World and her novellas Visible Through Darkness and Shadows under the Light are now available through Amazon. The Sciell is her first novel. Chains of the Sciell released June 2.

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The Argent Star by Emerson Fray – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

>

What happens when your decisions affect an entire universe?

Ren Argent wanted to be an archeologist and spend her life exploring the lost cities of Earth. But when a new planet is discovered and her father is appointed King, she has to leave behind everything she knows to rule over a place she’s only heard of in legends.

Not long after her arrival she discovers there are insurgents hiding in the darkened forests and the planet is on the brink of civil war. It won’t be long until the Monarchy steps in to “neutralize” the threat.

Will she be able to stop the hostile takeover? Or will her actions ignite a rebellion across the universe?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“He wants you to marry soon, but I think he’ll be happier if you’re dead.”

Ren knew Garret was trying to get her to marry someone on Novae but she hadn’t thought he’d be happier if she was dead. She didn’t think her death would benefit him in any way, actually. Or anyone, for that matter.

“Garret might be a snake, but he would be happier if I just married someone,” Ren argued.

“He’d be happier if Elian was on the throne.”

That caught Ren by surprise. “What do you mean?”

“Maks cannot be controlled,” Sheridan cut in, her voice low. “He does what he believes is right and best for the people, not the Monarchy. Elian is not as strong as Maks; he’d fold under their pressure.”

“Elian is plenty strong,” Ren said. “And if he were the King then he would be great. He would–”

“Be easily controlled,” Abetha interrupted, “at least Garret thinks so.”

Ren bit down on her bottom lip. “No he wouldn’t.” It was true though, and Elian had plenty of weaknesses they could exploit. All they had to do was threaten to take away his machines and he would crumble. But Ren wanted to think her brother had more integrity than that and shook her head.

“He would compared to Maks,” Abetha said carefully. “The Monarchy is having trouble keeping Maks under their thumb. He isn’t doing what they want here.”

“And what is it they want?” Ren whispered. It was what she’d been trying to figure out ever since she’d left Earth.

In the darkness, Sheridan answered, “Control.”

About the Author: Emerson Fray currently resides in Hamilton, Ontario. While most of her stories happen on other planets, she remains on Earth 24/7 hunting down hawks and bugs to photograph, as well as chasing her mother’s dog to reclaim stolen shoes. A self taught Pokemon trainer and coffee lover, she spends most of her valuable time pinning recipes she will never make on boards she will forget about.

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Hope by Sam Rook – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sam Rook will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av’lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.

Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av’lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.

Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.

With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Just leave it alone, Lord Alextor.” Lanclor didn’t glance away from the window.

“Don’t you ‘Lord Alextor’ me, Lan.” Alextor grabbed his shoulder and swung him around. “Tell me what’s going on.” Alextor looked him in the eye, unwavering.

Lanclor glared at him, but knew Alextor was too stubborn to let it rest. He looked down at Alextor’s hand upon his shoulder. His friend quickly removed it. Lanclor walked over to his desk and sat down, placing his elbows upon the desk and clenching his hands together. “Yes, I had some luck.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“Do you know who she was?” Alextor gave him an irritated look.

“Yeah. Someone I should never have gotten involved with.”

“She was that bad, huh? You’ll regroup next time, find someone better.”

Lanclor looked away, clenching his jaw. “Yeah.” He felt Alextor’s stare boring into the side of his head.

“By the Goddess.”

“What?” Lanclor looked up with an innocent expression that didn’t quite meet his eyes.

“You pursued someone you cared for.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Lanclor rose from his chair. “I have reports to do. We’ll have to talk later.”

“Bullshit. You write those reports for me, so if I don’t care about them right now, you shouldn’t either. Who was it, Lan?” Alextor leaned with both hands upon Lanclor’s desk, glaring at him.

Lanclor gave the window a momentary glance, then returned Alextor’s glare. “It’s not any of your business.” He cursed the despair in his voice.

About the Author: Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

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Unleash the Undead by Samie Sands – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Samie Sands will be awarding a paperback copy of Unleash the Undead (international giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

BookCover_UnleashTheUndeadDelve into the horrifying world of the zombie apocalypse, as bought to you by the following authors and artists: J.L.Drake, Marina Hume, Matías Andrés Bravo Jara, Ana Prundaru, J.H., Dale Herring, Jonny Graham, Klarissa Del Rossario, Saadia Ammad, Akash Sagar, Rob Shepherd, Rhys Curtis-Thompson, Kayleigh Edwards, Diego Tonini, Lachelle Redd, Victoria Pagac, Noel Osualdini, Glen Holman, Mathias Jansson, Kyle Flack, Ceri Matthias, Gia Berryman, Max Ferreira, Diana Alexandru, Kevin S. Hall, Art Pic, Zoja Vladisavljevic, B.S. Purwanda and Samie Sands.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I took a deep breath and advanced, using the pack as a shield. The first zombie came at me fast but careless, and bounced harmlessly into the chasm. I took a second to smile before the next one attacked. He broke free of the melee and headed straight for me, moving in a wild spasm.

I braced myself as his rotten body fell against the pack, pushing me back slightly. His eyes were level with mine, blank and expressionless, yet cold and hate filled. Immediately he bit into the fabric, forcing his head forward. I twisted my arm hard and ripped the teeth from his mouth causing him to release a horrible gurgling shriek, before I planted my foot into his knee and sent him tumbling into the darkness.

We were close to Black now, a few feet away, I could see him snarling and biting, huge gashes in his body and flaps of skin hanging loose from his bones. Suddenly the pack pulled to the right, and I lost balance. I felt Kaatje grab my shoulders as I looked down. The toothless corpse was hanging from the stone trying to pull itself to safety, one arm grasping the free strap. I stepped back, dragging him up. I pulled out my blade with my free hand.

Something crashed into me hard and I fell backwards into the abyss. I expected to fall forever as I felt gravity’s pull, but came instead to a sudden painful stop, dangling in space, one arm still looped through the pack.

About the Compiler: Samie’s debut novel, Lockdown has been published by Triplicity Publishing, and she is currently working on the sequel. She has a degree in Media and loves to gain inspiration for her writing from travelling. Check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy the book at Lulu, Smashwords, Amazon, or Amazon UK.

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Finding Time to Write by Amy Boyles – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Finding Time to Write
So how does an aspiring writer find time to write? This question must be as age old as the meaning of life. Or, at least as old as the Industrial Revolution. Or, maybe as old as the computer age. Heck, I don’t know. It’s a question that gets asked a lot. I’ve been asked it and I know plenty of successful New York Times bestsellers have been asked this as well.

Here’s my two cents on the subject. It boils down to one thing and one thing only: passion. First and foremost, you’ve gotta want it. You’ve got to want to make writing a career so badly you dream about it every night. Or, at the very least, you daydream about it.

Once you’ve got the passion, you will find the time. Heck, you will make time. You will carve out five minutes before dinner to write a paragraph, you will take your computer into the bathroom with you (if that’s the only place your toddler can’t follow you), and you will take it doctor’s appointments because you know you’re going to be sitting there anyway.

Basically, you need to make time to write. Stephen King says devote four hours a day to either writing or writing and reading. Liliana Hart has no qualms about chastising wannabe writers who complain they don’t have the time. If you’re an early bird and you’re already get up at 5 am, push that clock back to 4 am and crank out five hundred words. Everyday. In six months you’ll have written a book.

Or, if you’re a night owl, stay up an hour or two after everyone has gone to bed and write. Do you see what I’m saying—make the time and stop making excuses.

Currently, I have a sixteen-month-old and am two weeks away from giving birth to our second child. In order to write the Dark Revolution series (that RENDERED is a part of), I got up almost every morning at 4 am and wrote until 5:30, at which time I had to get ready to start my day. Did I want to get up every morning? Heck no. I wanted to stay in my warm, cozy bed. But I knew if I wanted to get a few books written, I needed to get my rear end out from under the covers, make some coffee and get those words on the page. Were the words always great? Of course not. But they needed to be expelled. That way, I felt like I was moving toward my goal of having three books completed before the baby was born.

So do I subscribe to the “no excuses” category of this conversation? Absolutely. If you want it, you’ve gotta find the time. No matter what. It will pay off. I promise.

5_4 BookCover_RenderedTen years ago, Drian Becker underwent the Rendering, a humiliating body exam imposed upon the masses by her father, a commander in the Patriot Army. Being a high ranking official’s daughter, Drian thought she was safe from the practice—not so. Her father’s betrayal left her emotionally scarred and dishonored.

It’s now 2098. Drian hasn’t thought about the Rendering since she became leader of a rebel faction—mostly because she’s an expert at hiding her feelings behind a thick outer wall of badass attitude.

All that changes when Colvin Hinton walks into her camp. With his easy swagger and even easier demeanor, Colvin makes being a rebel look good enough to taste. But when Drian finds herself tangled in his charms she lets down her guard, giving an old enemy the chance to take her out once and for all.

If loving a man is this dangerous, would Drian have been better off remaining in the clutches of her father and living with the scars of being RENDERED?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Do the rest of you want what Liam says? Do you want to raid the arsenal at Brenton? Because I promise you, it won’t be as easy as he makes it out to be, not by a long shot. Not without more bodies and better knowledge. Do we know when the guards change shifts? Do we know all their positions? We need someone on the inside, someone who can provide us with intimate details of the daily runnings of things. Right now we’re going in blind. Are half of you prepared to die? Because that’s what’ll happen if we do this haphazard. But if all of you want to go in, we can do it. I’ll agree to send half of you to your deaths, but you must give me time to increase our forces so that when I’ve lost most of you, we can still rebuild this camp and keep surviving.”

Liam snorted. “Always simply surviving. I want more than just survival, Drian. And I’m not the only one. You’ve had plenty of time to come up with a plan to make our lives better. How much more time do you need?” He turned toward the gathered crowd. “How long will we listen to excuses?”

The fire caught on a new log and intensified. Drian felt the heat wash over her, flushing her face and body with its energy. She let it fuel her words. “Then let’s do it. Let’s form a plan, go in and attack the fort. We have, what, fifty people? Not including the children, of course. Let’s send them all in, and when Becker’s men capture us—because he will; there’s a few hundred guarding the place—who will rescue us? The children we’ve left behind?”

About the Author:5_4 rendered AuthorPhoto_RenderedAfter living in Chicago, Louisville and New York, Amy finally settled in North Alabama with her husband. Along with writing, she has a passion for cooking ridiculously fattening food and complaining about weight gain. She loves to connect with readers.

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Email: amyboylesauthor@gmail.com

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