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

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

Andrew spread his arms.

“Everything.”

“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.

Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Facebook Author Page

Ruptured by Maggie Mae Gallagher – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Mae will be awarding a $15 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.

12_4 ruptured Cover_RupturedIt has been eighty-three years since the walls between Earth and Infernus fell, and now our world stands upon the razor’s edge of extinction. Demon platoons are marching upon us. My home, one of humanity’s last bastions of existence, is under siege.

My name is Alana Devereaux. I am the resident demon detector of Cantati Forces and Platoon Commander. My job is to hunt down the vermin unleashed upon my world, and I love it. I live for the day I can kick every last demon’s ass out of this world. Except as enemy forces reign down terror upon us, the Densare Council sentences me to a fate worse than death.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Breeder.”

That word. The one thing I had attempted to escape my whole life. The dull gray walls of the Densare Council rang with impunity. I glanced around at the thirteen members, each sitting rigidly upon a stone chair that looked more like a small throne with intricately carved Celtic symbols paying tribute to a bygone era. They always reminded me of Celtic tombs.

The Densare Council ruled our world with an iron fist of justice created in the fiery destruction of the Mutari. When the Mutari hit Earth eighty-three years ago, mankind had been caught with their pants down around their knees. Drystan, Lord of Infernus, unleashed his demon armies upon the globe in a worldwide campaign to annihilate the human race. He almost succeeded.

The Densare Council, forged under an alliance of nations, sat in confident repose encased in their long white robes, their faces devoid of any remorse at my sentence. They governed and the people obeyed their orders without question.

I was never one for minding orders.

“But…my platoon. I’m the only one qualified to lead them.” Surely there were other Cantati women they could convert into Breeders. Our numbers were not that horrible. In fact, we had made a comeback from last year’s dismal head count. The human population stood at more than thirty thousand by our last estimates. My expertise was needed in the field, not the bed chamber. What was the point of making a child if you could not protect him or her? Maybe if the Densare Council left the safe confines of the Compound once in a while they would see what their rulings mitigated.

About the Author: 12_4 ruptured AuthorPic_RupturedBestselling Author Maggie Mae Gallagher doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads

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The Missing Planets by Hawk MacKinney – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

12_3 MISSING BookCover_TheMissingPlanetsPlanet Terato has become a member of the assembly of the Confederated League of Allied Star Systems. The Murian Outpost Terato once commanded by His Imperial Majesty’s Lord High Chamberlain Herklo Korvo XXXIV is now Teratoan staffed and under the command of Teratoan Eklam a’Qoc.

From the uncharted reaches between galaxies, attacks of extraordinary weaponry come against Terato and the Myr worlds of the Murians. Terminus Terato’s expanded link-portals and converter power modules are virtually useless. Power loss, defenses, communications and travel are totally disrupted. High Chamberlain Korvo’s unexpected return to Terminus on a mission for His Imperial Majesty leaves him stranded on Terato. Attacks grow more massive, more unpredictable; spread across the worlds of the League, as an isolated Terminus struggles among the shattered rubble and whispering remains of an ancient Polity of star-walkers.

Family and friends are lost, empires and civilizations in disarray, Terminus and Planet Terato almost defenseless. Desperate for answers, their worlds being overwhelmed by this remorseless aggressor, Eklam and Korvo reach across unexplored space in a despairing gamble and the last reserves of converter star-substrate, seeking one insignificant star system of gas giants and rocky inner planets for possible relics of the elusive Lantaraan Polity.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The portal hummed with a pulsating drone; grew louder. Korvo recognized the cascade effects of a portal overload. “Converter intermix-portal lock!” he yelled. Shoved Martin hard, “Get away!”

Magnetic loops of plasma streamed out; superheated beyond a Sol corona; mixed with hydrogen substrate; sucked into the white-hot rim of the portal frame. Converter commands useless. Arnov and Drov jumped away from their smoking consoles. A belch of uncontained hydrogen-plasma sublimated a cloud through the camp. Vidscreens sizzled; acrid smoke drifted up to curl toward the inanimate beast consuming the portal. Cermet footings fused; a console imploded. Arnov, tossed against one of the supports; green blood oozed along his shoulder. Drok’s head bumped against cermet supports. The pounding drone of the portal growled like a wounded Murian swamp dragon. Bundles of raw stellar core screamed through Jupiterr’s turgid atmospheres, tearing at the planet. Colossus Jupiterr magnus rolled with disruptions. Agitated plasma entangled with antimatter; churned methane storms into frenzies, giant arcs exploding through the clouds; snaked around their camp. The white-hot remains of the portal a bubbling melted puddle.

Ek shielded his eyes from the scorching brightness; helped Arnov up. Through the shredded side of the shelter, glimpsed Korvo scramble from under a scorched field stand, its collapsed bracing ripped away. Martin pushed himself up. The air inside their camp ionized; darken to oranges and yellows and purple-blue charged photon auras. Converters still pumping, sucking substrate, at the same time sagging in seared taffy-puddles, their shell alloys disassociating in sputtering kaleidoscope rainbows and blistering caustic nose-stinging swirls.

About the Author: 12_3 MISSING AuthorPhoto_HawkMacKinneyWith postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.

Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Walking the Pet is Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series. The first book in another mystery-thriller series is scheduled for release in 2015. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012. Its sequel, The Missing Planets, has just been released.

Website ~ Sage Word Publishing ~ Arche Books
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Camouflaged Encounters by David Englund – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David will be awarding a digital copy of Camouflaged Encounters to 6 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_CamouflagedEncountersForget what you think you know. How well do you really know your neighbors or fellow workers? Do you trust your boss? What about politicians? The fabric of our society is under attack. Our way of life, our livelihood, our very existence is under full assault. No one even realizes that it’s happening. Disguised as horrible natural disasters on the news, the world is caught unsuspecting as events draw us ever nearer to extinction. As “natural disasters” escalate and tensions between nations mount, one man hears a whisper. It has begun . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

Two people sat in large cushioned chairs facing each other. An attractive woman in her thirties with dark hair and a conservative dress initiated the interview.

“So doctor, you’re saying that the birth rate in this country is declining? What makes that such an alarming story? If it’s true, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Especially if the food shortages were to become a long-term problem?”

The fiftyish dark-skinned, handsome man with salt and pepper hair, looked official in his dress shirt and tie, wearing a white lab coat. “It would certainly be a good thing, especially in the long run. If it was planned.”

She looked up from her note cards. “You’re now saying . . . wait, what exactly are you saying?”

“I’m not saying that people aren’t getting pregnant. Pregnancies are actually at an all-time high. I’m saying babies are simply not being born alive. Couples are experiencing stillbirths on an unprecedented, unexplainable scale. In fact, ahem, nationwide there has not been one single birth in the last two days.”

“No!” The reporter paused. “That can’t be so.”

“I’m afraid it is. That is why I asked to come on your show.”

She put her cards down and went off-script. “I-I find that difficult to believe.”

The doctor took a confident, condescending tone. “Check out the facts for yourself. Do a little digging into the story. Ask your colleagues in the media to join you. I cannot find any records of any births anywhere in the country since the day before yesterday and there were precious few births that day. I hope you can prove me wrong. Please do. This is something I don’t want to be right about, but the facts do not lie.”

About the Author:12_1 AuthorPhoto_DavidEnglundDavid Englund is a storyteller (science fiction author) and teaches economics at North Dakota State University. His first three titles, Upsetting the Tides, UNSEASONAL WAR, and Camouflaged Encounters are available on Amazon. Camouflaged Mischief is in progress.

Website/Blog ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook

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

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

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

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

All she wanted was a rose…

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

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

I lay a rose upon my sister’s grave.

Light a candle for the beast.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Questions for Creating Great Characters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website: www.magicalunderworld.com

Twitter:

Brian: @brianfreyermuth

Juliet: @julietfrey

Facebook:

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

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

Buy Link:

Demon Dance (Sundancer, Book 1): Amazon

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

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No Light by Devi Mara – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

“Do you hear that?” Another voice whispered.

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon

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Heart of Steel by Elizabeth Einspanier – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

“How’s your arm feeling?” she asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

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

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