Ten Fun Facts about Rose Shababy – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Ten Fun Facts about Rose Shababy

1) Shababy is Lebanese, although the family name was changed up a bit when my ancestors came through Ellis Island. Originally, they didn’t have surnames in Lebanon. Their names went something like, Joe the son of the butcher of the town of Sidon. Somewhere, there is or was a town in Lebanon that sounded something like “Shababy” 100+ years ago, hence the name.

2) I’m a fantastic cook. I worked in the gourmet food industry for years. I’ve been accused of being a foodie, a food snob, a picky eater, you name it. That said, I can enjoy McDonald’s French fries as much as any dish.

3) I’m pretty OCD, although not the kind that has to wash their hands fifty times a day. Which isn’t to say I don’t have quirky habits. For instance, I put silverware in the dishwasher one piece at a time, per slot, to ensure they’re distributed as evenly as possible. For cleaning purposes. And I don’t put spoons together if I can possibly help it. They nestle and don’t get as clean.

It’s such an ingrained habit that my kids used to clump all the silverware together just so they could watch me pull it all out and redo it. And they’d laugh and snicker the whole time. The brats.

4) I love playing games. Cards, board games, you name it. Especially Scrabble, so when Words With Friends came around, it was an instant hit with me.

5) I HATE my smartphone. If I could get rid of it and go back to a landline, I would, but alas … social media marketing prevents me!

6) I love Star Trek. This isn’t news, but as far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a nobler figure in all of television than Captain Jean Luc Picard. I even have a little action figure of him that sits up on a shelf and watches me while I work. Instead of stick figures in the back window of my car I have Star Trek characters. My husband is a Gorn and I am an Orion.

7) I can’t whistle.

8) One of the characters of my debut novel, The Blue Effect, is named Kasimir, which was almost the name of my 20 year old son, Quinton. According to the baby name book I was reading at the time it meant “great ruler,” although if you google it now, it appears to mean “great destroyer.” My mother convinced me it was too unusual and he would be teased with a name like Kasimir Shababy. As a side note, the first time I told him of his almost name, he exclaimed that it was “way cooler than Quinton,” and still to this day expresses disappointment that I changed my mind.

9) I have two guilty pleasure TV shows that I will share with you in the hopes that no one will ever mention it to me: The Vampire Diaries (I blame my best friend for starting me on this habit … her and Ian Somerhalder for being so sexy) and Girl Meets World (I loved Boy Meet World back in the 90’s and couldn’t help myself when the spin-off began. It is literally the only Disney channel TV show I’ve ever watched).

10) In secret, away from the general public, I swear like a sailor. Like, all the damn time. I’ve read that swearing a lot shows a lack of creativity but I call BS on that and use Blue Brennan, the main character of The Blue Effect, as an example to prove otherwise. She has mighty cursing skills and finds often hilariously creative ways to swear.

Blue Brennan is jaded and bitter despite her pinup girl looks and quick wit. Night after night, she scours the Seattle club scene looking for someone or something to fill the emptiness inside.

When she meets the mysterious Kasey, her world stops… literally. He claims she has the ability to control time and stuns her even further when he reveals his own gifts.

Blue is inexplicably drawn to Kasey and reluctantly enters his world filled with a new breed of humanity. They’re misfits like her, blessed or cursed with powerful abilities, struggling to hide their differences from the rest of society.

Then the group discovers a nameless, faceless sociopath with nightmarish powers; and he’s coming for Blue. She’s left reeling when they discover her gifts are the key to defeating his terrible evil and saving them all.

Now she must race against the clock to harness her own powers and save her new friends. Can she be more than a renegade? Can she be a hero too?

Enjoy an excerpt:

He held out his free hand and I reached for it without thinking. Taking the hand of this stranger seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

Our fingers touched and my skin came alive. I felt a surge of electricity as some sort of energy shot from his hand into mine, running through my whole body and back to his like an endless circuit. I couldn’t stifle the gasp that broke through my lips. I stared at him, my vision narrowing until his face and eyes and smile were the only things I could see.

The energy between us exploded outward like a wave into the crowd, through the people and everything around me stopped. The music ended like a switch had been flipped, the people froze mid-step and even the air around me seemed to stop moving.

About the Author:

Rose Shababy and her family reside in eastern Washington State. Rose grew up in the Northwest but swears she’s going to move to warmer climates someday. She’s claimed this for over 20 years, however, and has yet to move more than 75 miles away from her mother.

Rose has a deep love of all things Star Trek and yearns to travel the heavens, as well as an intense desire to be bitten by a radioactive spider. Unfortunately she sucks at science and math so she hasn’t been able bring her dreams to life, instead living vicariously through books, comics, television and film. She hopes to someday make a million dollars so she can afford to buy her way to the international space station, but she’d settle for being able to fly around the world and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Rose also loves to cook and worked for years in a gourmet Italian grocery and deli where she learned to hone her skills. She prepares culinary masterpieces for her family, but fervently wishes the dishes would wash themselves. Especially now that her dishwashers/children are nearly grown and only one still lives at home.

Rose likes to use her free time wisely. For instance, she likes to daydream, will often read for hours until she falls asleep on the couch with an electric blanket and a warm tabby cat curled up on her hip, as well as spending cozy weekend days watching Syfy movies like Sharknado and Mega Piranha with her husband.

If Rose were a cartoon animal, she’d prefer to be a wise old owl or a sleek and sexy jaguar, but in reality she’d probably be a myopic mole with coke-bottle glasses.

Facebook ~ Website ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Amazon.

On September 8, attend her Release Party on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LASR Anniversary: Keith Wayne McCoy – Guest Blog and Giveaway

anniversary regular banner copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – one free Kindle copy or PDF of the book to those readers who show a propensity for mainstream/light science fiction-fantasy literature through comments to this post.

Summer brings the sentimental memory of reading under a tree or at the foot of a bed before an open window to mind. It seems in early childhood that despite the preponderance of teaming with neighborhood friends for a lively game of tag, swimming, or firefly-chasing, there was always the compulsion to find that quiet place with a cherished book in hand. In very early childhood, I remember “The Ghost in the Swing” which transported me to the adventures of a 4th grade girl, my age, who went to her mother’s ancestral home for summer vacation and encountered the apparition of her aunt who died in the house at her age. Far from terror, it was a tale of a mischievious ghost caught forever a child. I firmly believe that book with its supernatural element leaned me toward the fantastical in my own writings. I passed the tattered book on to my younger sister and she read it more times than I and, in fact, still has it!

In a later summers, I begged to stay up to watch the film “Burnt Offerings” with Bette Davis and Karen Black. The house used, Dunsmuir House and Gardens, and the musical score by Robert Cobert entranced me. Based on a decidedly adult book by author Robert Marasco, I assured the librarian that my parents would approve. Indeed, it became a bastion of summer memories as I sat on the porch swing with it, firmly fascinated, and scolded friends and my sister for urging me to play. I admit that much of the adult dialogue was beyond me but the sinister house and the ambiance of mystery and obsession remains locked deep inside me. I could absolutely see, feel, and smell those corridors and the lush lawns which slowly came to life as the family succumbed to its will of rejuvenation.

In high school in the 80s, “The Shining” had already been published for well over a decade and even made into the infamous film with Jack Nicholson. I was a teenager so the dialogue was not beyond me but even though the story thrilled me, it was not as exciting and memory-inducing as my earlier forays into the supernatural, perhaps because the sense of trespassing into the world of the supernatural seemed manipulative by the author. (No offense, Mr. King!) “The Ghost in the Swing” and “Burnt Offerings” will always be the quintessential books of summer for me. So when I wrote my own supernatural-themed novel, “The Travelers”, it took place in the summer. A dark, gloomy setting seems a necessary atmosphere for most ghostly tales but for me, the bright, fresh, seemingly “normal” setting of summer sunshine can be a catalyst for a superior foray into the supernatural.

keith Travelers-EBOOK (2)“The most intense journeys are never geographical.”

In 1947, the luxury liner QUEEN MARY transmits a message which is intercepted by an extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his British war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children. The Bennetts left Southampton with only each other but arrive in New York as a family. In the present day, Guy Turner, a black, melancholy film maker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California.

Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing. Guy is thrust into an unwanted and unexpected voyage of self as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time. “”The Travelers”” is a journey to the limits of despair, grief, anxiety, and joy that are common to every human experience of suffering and growth.

About the Author: Keith Wayne McCoy majored in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Indiana. “The Travelers” was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. In addition to writing, Mr. McCoy is a world-class collector of furniture and memorabilia from the 1930s luxury liner QUEEN MARY. He lives in southern Illinois.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

LASR Anniversary: K.M. Tolan – Guest Blog and Giveaway

anniversary regular banner copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – Free e-book copy of “Tracks” from K M Tolan.

Baby It’s Cold Inside

Welcome to the fine state of Texas where we’re looking at cracked earth and bone-dry creek beds. Another blazing summer, and a real challenge for poor authors such as Yours Truly. Yes, my air conditioner is struggling to keep up, but what I’m hearing in my head right now is crunching sounds from stepping through crusted snow drifts.

I’m not really in Austin, you see. I’m west of Calgary in the dead of winter, and it’s a train wreck. Literally. I’ve got a sparse flurry of bitterly cold flakes sweeping across tumbled freight cars. There’s steel rails skewed along a hill like frosted pretzels. Sure, such icy mayhem is all in my imagination, but getting this scene nailed down isn’t getting any easier. My ice cream sandwich just melted.

I’m busy writing my next fantasy novel “Storm Child”, a sequel to “Tracks” where rail barons take on a whole new meaning. No, things aren’t going great with the Canadian National (that’s the folks owning the afore-mentioned train) and I can’t say I’m having a rosy time in this heat, either. Writing is as much about environment as it is characters, and right now we’ve a tad bit of, uh, “contrast” between what I have to portray and what’s beating down on my head.

Look, I’ve heard all about suffering for my art, but honestly this isn’t about some masochistic need to mentally stick my head in the snow in the middle of summer. Bad enough that I have to head out for another ice cream. It’s about cause and effect. I’ve a character who needs to head to cooler climes ‘cause of her hot head. Slick rails on a treacherous hill and nature takes its course. A north-bound freight reaches the end of the line way earlier than planned. Again, cause and effect. The things fantasies are made out of – down to earth stuff like this summer heat and my need to ignore it.

So, gentle readers, when you sit back and enjoy those stories about sandy beaches and warm ocean breezes, raise one to the author. He or she was probably freezing their butts off when they wrote that.

Kerry (aka K M Tolan)

tracks (2)Vincent’s sister is swept away by a steam locomotive riding rails that vanish along with her. Ten years later he rediscovers those tracks, and heads down them to bring her back.

About the Author: K M Tolan is a SFF author with Champagne Books. He has published six novels, two of which were finalists in the Epic E-book awards. His other works include the Dancer series, Waiting Weapon, and recently Tracks. www.kmtolan.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LASR Anniversary: Carmen Fox – Guest Blog and Giveaway

anniversary regular banner copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – $20/£15 Amazon giftcard

The other day, a friend asked me why Urban Fantasies or Paranormal Romances are never set on the beach. Sure, vampires wouldn’t last long under the beating sun on Balboa Pier, but the paranormal isn’t all about fangs.

Favored locations for the para-, preter- and ubernatural seem to be nightclubs, as in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, or the dark streets of Seattle, as in Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series or, indeed, my own book.

Others have been drawn to sunnier climes. Joss Whedon set his hit show Buffy The Vampire Slayer in a small Californian town called Sunnydale, and the Buffy spinoff Angel was filmed in Los Angeles, although for obvious reasons, the tall broody one spent pretty little time on the beach.

In fact, California is a popular locale for Urban Fantasy. My own sequel will largely take place in—drum roll, please—Pasadena. Yes, this time round, my characters will get a tan. But (and you knew there would be a but, didn’t you?) despite the high SPF factors and fashionable straw hats, much of the action will play out at night.

Why? Although my series does not feature bloodsuckers, half of my cast relies on the darkness to access their powers. After all, night time is when bad things happen. Spooky things. Every sound takes on a new meaning. Every shadow makes your heart go cold. As much as I enjoyed the city-feel of Seattle, I also love the dichotomy of The Golden State. The white sandy beaches under a cloudless sky, and the black nights where evil lurks behind every palm tree.

carmen summerblog (2)So why not take it further? Pick ever more cheerful and sunnier places? Why not set an entire fantasy book in Disneyland or Tijuana? Or spark a romance on Spring Break? Those sexy, smoldering heroes would look pretty good catching some early waves or boogying around the pool in their bathing suits.

Orange County or Boston – no matter where you are, the streets are always dark at night, and anywhere would be perfect for unleashing the contents of Pandora’s box.

But my friend’s question got the cogs spinning. Is there a way to make the plain-as-day stuff scary, and the darkness a place where our hero could find respite? Perhaps if there were beings that traveled the sun’s rays to spy on us or influence us or even possess us? Beings that relied on a high UV factor to function, but who fell asleep at night, giving heroes time to plot? That would be pretty scary.

This reminded me of a half-written book that lies abandoned in my drawer. In it, our heroine is a young vampire. The first vampire to be turned in a hundred years (or so they think), she’s still immune to sunlight. But her bloodlust rages and makes her too dangerous to let roam. After all, vampires have lived in happy coexistence with humans for centuries. Every day she is trained in restraint and the old vamp ways. Very Buddhist. Until one day, a hoard of young vampires that thrive in daylight upsets the balance. They consider themselves the superior race, and their violence and killing sprees bring back old fears among the humans. Our heroine must venture outside her comfort zone to take on the evil fang brigade, finding only short moments of peace at night. Who created the daylight vampires? And will she be tempted by their abandon and by her own cravings for fresh blood?

The reason I didn’t finish was, although it was a neat idea, I wasn’t sure this upside-down of our expectations warranted a book. Besides, I have so many plot ideas, I can’t possibly bring them all to life, and my current series of books keep me plenty busy. Yet a couple of years down the line, who knows? Should the project ever come to fruition, remember: you read about it here first.

Why not leave a comment? At the end of the Anniversary Week, I’ll pick a winner out of a hat, who will receive a $20/£15 Amazon giftcard. Woot!

carmen DACCover (2)“Don’t go out at night.” The words ring in Lea’s ears, but she’s not buying the crazy-ass story from the woman in the come-whip-me leather outfit. Lea’s told she’s from another realm, has magic powers, and Shades are out to kill her. Shades? Shades are window covers, not assassins. She just wants an exciting job and a boyfriend. She’s made zero steps toward the job, but at least one toward the boyfriend—Kieran, a hottie she met over the weekend. It isn’t until Lea’s attacked by a bunch of helmet heads that she finds all is not right in Seattle… because in the midst of the fight she discovers her little legs can actually kick butt. But her new-found confidence crumbles when betrayals smash through her life like a wrecking ball. If she wants to see her parents again – or get another date – she’ll first have to save the world.

About the Author:Carmen lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. By day she translates technical texts, by night she sleeps. It’s her mission to squeeze as much geek in-between as she can. Besides a more than casual interest in physics, she plays and invents tabletop games, reads across genres, and maintains a blog that’s become a bit of an obsession. Divide and Conquer is her first book.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LASR Anniversary: Elizabeth Fountain – Guest Blog and Giveaway

anniversary regular banner copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – A notebook with the cover of “You, Jane” on the front and the tag line: Write Your Own Happy Ending: a place to record all the thoughts and impressions of a slower, different summer. US addresses only.

I still expect summer to be different. Slower, somehow; fewer demands. More spontaneity. A break from the busy routine.

It’s been over three decades since the turn of the calendar to late June through early September meant ‘summer off’ from school, but that rhythm lives on. Truth is, when I was a kid, ‘summer off’ held a certain level of dread for me. The hot summers in my smallish town held few options for a girl like me who wasn’t athletic, adventurous, or popular. I remember many summer days spent indoors, sipping cold Cragmont grapefruit soda, reading a favorite book: Horse stories like My Friend Flicka, Misty of Chincoteague, and the Black Stallion; mysteries starring Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys; the occasional Judy Blume tale snuck home from the library.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStill, though I looked forward to the cooler days of fall and the chance to return to the routines of school, those years engrained in me the expectation that summer should be different. Nowadays, a break from the busy-ness of everyday happens so rarely, in any season, it becomes a thing of wonder. Longer, warmer days call out for a change, but seem to fill with more and more tasks so quickly. Making an adult living doesn’t offer us the ‘summer off.’

Maybe all that industry is good, but I think the kid in us, the one who expects life to slow down, has some wisdom to impart. Maybe we need to remind ourselves to grab a cold drink, find a shady spot, and open a favorite book.

And let summer be different.

elizabeth fountainyou-jane_300dpi (2)Jane Margaret Blake’s problem isn’t her drinking. Sure, she’s missing work, and forgetting she’s already fed her cat, who’s getting a little fat. But Jane’s real problem is the reason she drinks: she writes stories that come true and wreak havoc in her life. In her “fables” animals, people, angels, and the Universe itself conspire to destroy Jane’s last chance to be with her old love, or, just maybe, to bring her into the arms of a new love. Years ago, a fable pushed Jane’s best friend Charlie into marrying another woman. Now another fable shoves Charlie’s little boy in front of an angry dog  - or worse, a wicked spirit bent on getting Jane and Charlie to face the truths they’ve spent a lifetime avoiding. As her drinking and writing spiral out of control, Jane must finally discover how to write her own happy ending.

About the Author: Elizabeth Fountain left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels.  She started writing in grade school; fortunately, most of her tortured high school poetry and song lyrics are lost to posterity. Her first book, “An Alien’s Guide to World Domination,” is a tale of people, aliens, and dogs who face the impossible, and do it anyway.  Her second novel “You, Jane” was published by Champagne Book Group in June, 2014. She takes breaks from writing to teach university courses, spend time with family and friends, and take long walks while leaning into the diabolical Kittitas Valley wind. Liz strives to live according to a line from British singer-songwriter Chris Rea: “Every day, good luck comes in the strangest of ways.”

Website and Blog ~ Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LASR Anniversary: V.A. Hezaran – Guest Blog and Giveaway

anniversary regular banner copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – a digital copy of THE PREDICATES OF FATE

The Predicates of Fate: Robots and Time Travel Make for a Quick Summer Read

Ah, summer. The time when you just want to grab a fun book for a quick beach read. There’s nothing like sitting outdoors with a cool drink and a great story. The main character in my book, “The Predicates of Fate”, starts off just like that (except a crossword puzzle is his diversion of choice) when he’s suddenly confronted by some nasty aliens and a rift in time.

One of the joys of the written word is its ability to take you away to wonderful new worlds where imagination is limitless. My debut novel fits that mold: it has time travel, space ships, robot uprisings, distant worlds, martial arts and swordplay. And jokes. Don’t forget the jokes.

I wrote this book to be something that would have entertained me; it’s the kind of science fiction book I would have loved…had I not written it myself. Among the points going for it:

  • Not very long
  • Not very expensive (i.e., it’s cheap!)
  • Fast-paced with lots of action
  • Contains some big sci-fi ideas

As a life-long sci-fi fan, I wrote the book both as an entry into the genre I love but also as somewhat of a parody, purposefully using many of the tropes commonly seen in speculative fiction, but not in a mean way. I poke fun lovingly.

So if you find yourself at the beach this summer with a hole in your reading schedule, give “The Predicates of Fate” a shot. Just like our main character, you’ll be thrust into a future robot war. Figuratively, of course. I hope.

“The Predicates of Fate” is sure to thrill and amuse fans of adventure sci-fi comedy like Red Dwarf, Futurama and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Get it today from:

VA Hezaran book coverA journey through space and time forces a gang of outcasts to stop an evil robot plan to annihilate all sentient life in the galaxy. Along the way, they inadvertently stumble upon the secret nature of time and destiny…or do they?

About the Author:VA HezaranV.A. Hezaran lives outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with his wife and dog, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from McGill University. In his 33 years on this planet, he has absorbed an inordinate amount of sci fi, both good and bad, and decided to give it a shot himself.

When not reading, or watching TV or movies ranging in quality from the truly excellent to the highly dubious, he enjoys exploring science fiction and fantasy worlds of his own devising, of which there are many more to come.

Publisher ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to Uncial Press!

anniversary regular banner copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Uncial Press offers a variety of fiction genres, including Regency, historical and contemporary romance, mysteries, thrillers, and unusual fantasy, both romantic and epic. Occasionally we add a poetry collection or an interesting (and usually humorous) nonfiction work. We’ve been around since 2006 and plan on offering extraordinary ebooks far into the future. Find us at www.uncialpress.com, or look for our titles at most ebooksellers.


Now enjoy a taste of their summer themed story, Summer Heat.

SummerHeatElectra Hamilton is expecting to welcome a lover. What she gets is his annoying, nerdy brother. The man has always made her uncomfortable, always disapproved of her and, frankly, drives her stark-staring crazy. Yet all her friends seem to think he is perfect husband material.

Drew Bolinger knows that courting the woman he has secretly loved for years will be his toughest challenge yet. She thinks he’s an interfering know-it-all. She also happens to be his brother’s best friend. But when the sleepy town of Little Creek becomes a hotbed of intrigue and murder, Drew not only has to fight hard to keep a skeptical Electra safe, but convince her, at the same time, that he is her true hero.

Buy Summer Heat from Uncial Press.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Science Fiction and Fantasy—What is the Appeal? By Ron Hartman

VBT Prophecy Revealed Tour Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ron will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Science Fiction and Fantasy—What is the Appeal?
By Ron Hartman
I love fantasy. I like a good science fiction story too, but to me there is nothing quite like a well-written fantasy novel. To me the appeal for both sci-fi and fantasy should be obvious: it’s that ANYHTING can happen! You could see starships, sorcerers, aliens, vampires, wormholes, black holes, teleportation, or dragons. With fantasy and sci-fi, there are no holds barred. They offer the promise of something amazing happening.

Yes, some people look down their noses at these two genres. They say sci-fi and fantasy aren’t mature, that they’re the bottom rung of literature. I disagree. I think these genres are the epitome of literature. They look at man, not how he is, but how he should be. They look beyond the petty differences we obsess about today and show us vastly more interesting…well, petty differences we could one day strive for!

But seriously, when fantasy and science fiction are presented at their best, they don’t focus on the differences of mankind, they focus on the similarities that bind us all together. They open our eyes to new possibilities and motivate us to strive for a greater version of ourselves. You know it’s out there somewhere, waiting beyond the stars or in a monster’s lair.

One galaxy is not enough to contain all of humanity. Hell, one continuum is barely enough! Sci-fi and fantasy give us the promise. There will be hardship. There will be pain, and sometimes there’ll be humor, but through it all we will persevere. We will rise above a current world where humanity is bogged down by racial and religious intolerance. We will unite for the greater good.

In a word, fantasy and science fiction offer the purest form of escapism. In this strange world we inhabit, most of us are looking for a couple hours of release. We want to lose ourselves in something amazing, where our hopes and dreams can flourish. Just look at the success of superhero movies these days. Did anyone go watch Guardians of the Galaxy? Did you go because you wanted to hear how Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation of slaves, or did you go to escape for a couple hours?

Sure, you could escape into a good western, or a steamy romance novel. Will there be something amazing there? With sci-fi and fantasy you can get the same story, but there will be something along the way that will open your mind. It will expose you to new ideas, concepts, and people you’d never expected. And if you’re lucky, if you strap into the starship and ride all the way in hyper-drive, you just might learn something about yourself. You just might find that better version of you just waiting beyond the rainbow.

As I said, my favorite is fantasy. So come, escape with me. I’ll weave you a tale about sacrifice and destiny. I’ll tell you about magic, and dragons, foretold saviors, and vampires. It’ll be a fantastic voyage, and I promise you, something amazing will happen on the way.

Daniel Marten crossed the Burning Sea and convinced himself that he is the Prophesied One. But what does that mean? In this second installment of the Prophecy Chronicles trilogy, Daniel forges new alliances in his bid to save Naphthali from the Emperor. He meets the Tene’breon, a magical race that has evolved to use the Weave as effortlessly as he breathes air. The leaders of this race recognize him for what he is…but they also see something more.

Naphthali has been dramatically altered by the rule of a new governor, a man whose power is tied to Daniel in a horrifying way. How far will Daniel go to save Naphthali? And what is the secret that binds his destiny with his new allies? Only time will tell in The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Revealed.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Rage started to build inside Daniel. He closed his right hand into a tight fist and felt a dull ache that quickly gave way to burning pain. Of course that was alright too, because that was as it should be. He looked back to his desk and there, on the now cluttered surface was—Ah! His solace. The ones he turned to at his darkest moments. Ashley and the kids beamed at him from photos.

He turned to the thing doing a poor job of mimicking one of his closest friends. Her eyes flashed orange and she gave off a series of clicks as realization struck. She may be orchestrating this, but it’s my mind, and I can control what happens. He looked at the pictures of his beloved family and considered his office, his refuge. She’d perverted it, desecrated it. Rage continued to build, and Daniel knew soon he would be powerless to stop it. Let it. He didn’t want to stop. Still looking at the photos, he started to speak, his voice shaking with fury. “These are my family, my friends. I give them my time, and my care.” He turned to not-Meg. “You are not one of them, and you will have no more.” The last came out in a roar as he closed the distance between himself and his tormentor.

He opened his right fist and clamped it around not-Meg’s throat, slamming her to the wall. The burning grew to encase his entire arm when he tightened his grip, but he refused to let go. He pulled his face to within inches of hers, and glared with suddenly steely eyes. “Who are you?” he growled.

About the Author: Author Bio: Ron Hartman has had a life-long passion for the written word and is an avid reader. The Prophecy Chronicles are his first written works. The first in the series, Prophecy Foretold, was released in October of 2012. Prophecy Revealed is the second in the trilogy. Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.

Website link: www.prophecychronicles.com

Purchase link at Rogue Phoenix Press

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Up the Tower by J.P. Lantern – Spotlight and Giveaway

Congratulations to J.P. Lantern as he celebrates the release of Up the Tower with this Book Blast scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. One reader will win a $25 Amazon gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn’t be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go…UP THE TOWER.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Hey, Smellson!”

Samson ignored the jeer, focusing carefully on opening the box. He was twelve years old and he did not want to screw this up; being twelve was important, and people took the things you did seriously so long as you did them well.

“Smellson, hey!” The Crowboy banged his crowbar on the dusty ruins of the factory line where they had set up the six crates from their haul that morning. “Don’t blow us up, okay? I don’t want to die with your stench clogging me up, yeah?”

Again, Samson ignored the other boy, trying to concentrate as he eased his longtool through the gap in the crate before him. He very well could blow himself up; he could blow them all up. Inside the GuaranTech crate he tinkered with was a copbot.

Copbots blew up all the time. If their main processors or power source were damaged, they blew up. If they were being captured, they blew up. If they ran out of ammo and couldn’t refill within about ten minutes, they blew up. When they blew up, they incinerated everything in about a hundred foot radius. The warehouse was not big enough for the Crowboys to keep their distance and still work in the role of protection as they had been hired. So they were in the blast zone as well as Samson.

The copbots, deactivated, were precious and valuable. Strangely, they were valuable precisely because they were so hard to deactivate. A copbot was made almost entirely out of self-healing nanotech, and with enough time, it could repair from almost any wound to its metal shell. So, to keep this sort of power out of the hands of the gangster conglomerate that ran Junktown, the Five Faces, and any other sort of competitor, the copbots had a very liberal self-destruct mechanism.

About the Author:

J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed “rugged,” though he would also be fine with “roughhewn” because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.

Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171112.J_P_Lantern

Blog/website: http://jplantern.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JpLanternBooks

twitter: @jplantern

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Naming the Gods of Garran by Meredith Skye – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I love to name my characters, and can spend hours selecting each name.

In my novel, The Gods of Garran, I have several different cultures with characters that I’ve had to name. The Chanden, which is an advanced race that takes over the planet of Garran, are more like our Western culture, so I tried to pick names that sound more normal to us: Ruben Drake, Captain Fauke, and Chief Nyan—but I wanted the main characters names to be even more unusual: Koethe and Asta.

CHANDEN NAMES: (the aliens)
Captain Fauke
Ruben Drake
Chief Nyan
Maive Bashan
For the native Garran names, I wanted them to sound more unusual, more exotic. I keep lists of interesting names that I’ve collected and sometimes I draw from those lists. Often, I’ll take a more common name and change it a bit, or chose a less common spelling of it. Like the Garran name of Channik, the eldest son of the chieftain, may have come from the name Channing.

Then there are the gods and goddesses of Garran: seven Borrai who commanded the powers of the earth and spoke for it. These I wanted to be even more exotic and I made up an alphabet of runes to go with it. Four of the gods/goddesses ruled an element and a direction.

Akkanus god of earth; west
Innurlan goddess of the wind; north
Traelak god of the sea; east
Gythane god of fire; south
To end this article, I’ll list some of the great naming websites that I’ve found.
THINK BABY NAMES: This website has lists of top 100 girl and boy names by various countries and also by year and by decade, so I can get an idea for a name that might fit a character I have that is a certain age. Also, it just gives me a lot of lists to collect names from. One feature I really like is that it shows me not only the meaning of the name but all the different versions of this name. This way I can find a less common version of the name to use and still have it sound like a normal name, like Rian instead of Ryan. I can also see stats on how common any name is.

20,000 NAMES: A great resource for common foreign names and their meanings. I use this especially for Irish, German, Welsh, and Norse names, though there are many other countries I could use. It also lists them separately for girls and boys. This is a great source for fantasy type names. Plus I like picking names that have some kind of meaning.

RANDOM-GENERATOR: I think this is typically a dungeon master, game creation site. But there are some good name generators. A lot of Anglo-Saxon, American Indian, Aztec, Cornish, Irish, Norse, Pirate, Scottish, and even Wookie names! Also, there are dragon, fantasy and orc names.

Random Dwarven Insult Generator: Don’t leave the site until you’ve checked out some random Dwarvish insults!
Ye slothful milk-drinking stench kow!
Ye witless milk-drinking pestle!
Ye incompetent rust-minded pebble!
Ye dainty nib-chewing pixie!
Ye dangling toll-snatching natterling!

RINKWORKS NAMEGEN: This is a fantasy name generator. There are some really strange names here, and it’s very random, but it’s a place to get some ideas.

Once the Borrai, the Gods of Garran, walked among the people, taming the wind and the fiery mountains. Then invaders came from the sky and killed the gods–destroying all who opposed them. A hundred years have passed since the Invaders came from the sky–an advanced alien race known as the Chanden. Now, having suffered many grievances at the hand of the aliens, the tribesmen rise up to find the god-stones and revive the ancient powers of the Borrai–and reclaim their world.

When the Chanden learn of this, they send a spy to infiltrate the Garrans–a young woman named Asta, who has her own reasons for hating the Garrans. She begins to realize that they are dealing with a real power and not a superstition when they get close to finding the god-stones. Can the Chanden be in the wrong?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Asta stood there on the edge of the cliff.

The sea churned below the stormy sky. Asta could feel its anger and understood it. She felt the strength of spirit of the sea, and it spoke to her in words she couldn’t make out. Images came to her mind: fire, brimstone, craggy rocks, a tall mountain.

Beneath the water lay an ancient city. Whisperings.

If she could get closer ….

* ^ *

Something jolted her out of the dream. Asta struggled awake to find herself laying on the hard rock. Moorhen lay on top of her. She cried out and tried to get up but the native Garran held her down, restraining her wrists.
“Moorhen!” she shrieked, struggling against his hold.

She’d kill him! If only she could reach her knife. Again she tried to break his grip, but he held her fast. What was he thinking!

“Get off!” she yelled. At this, he released her and got up, freeing her.

Quickly she sat up, embarrassed at this impropriety. Then as her senses returned, she realized she really was on the cliff near the pylon. All the others stood around her.

“You should not have done that!” said the old woman, Sindke, angry.

“She would have thrown herself off the cliff!” argued Moorhen. Asta struggled to her feet, still trying to grasp the situation.

“I think not,” said Sindke. “Now the dream is broken.”

Asta stared around at them. She had done it again–the sleepwalking and they had let her. Had followed her. “What–?” she asked.

They had walked all night to the sea, following her.

About the Author:

Meredith Skye began writing fiction in elementary school and always wanted to be a novelist. She was fascinated by tales of the fantastic and bizarre.

She loves to travel. She has a fascination with the Middle Ages and loves swords, medieval costumes, castles and ancient lifestyles. She enjoys Celtic art and music.

She’s a vivid dreamer and many of her dreams come back to life in her novels.

Meredith Skye has a B.A. from the University of Utah in Film Studies.

Buy The Gods of Garran at Amazon.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway