Ties of Smoke by Claudia Herring – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Claudia will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lady Lavinia Bramley is master of a Djinni.

Lavinia runs away from her husband to make a life with the djinni Yasir, but it’s not what she thought, not pearls and flying carpets and wishes come true . . .

Her desperate efforts to find happiness with Yasir are foiled by her husband’s reappearance, murder attempts by the jealous magician who cursed Yasir to the urn, and Yasir’s desire for revenge.

Lavinia finds love, and loyalty, are as ephemeral as ties of smoke.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt:

The boy cocked his head and thumped the heel of his hand near his ear. He straightened and squinted at her, drops of water competing with the freckles sprinkled on his nose. “What’re doing throwin’ bottles in the water—then looking horrified?”

“I changed my mind.” She wrung out the front of her skirt.

“Ya couldna swim in that.” He looked contemptuously at the fabric clinging to her legs.

“I know,” Lavinia said softly. She sat beside him in the warm sun and reached for the urn.

The boy grabbed it and pulled it out of her reach. “It’s mine now.”

Her face grew hot. Curse the little urchin. He could not have her urn. She stared at the vessel. “I will have it back.”

He scooted away and held it to his side, away from her. “Wot’s tossed away’s fair game.” He grinned, smug.

Lavinia held his gaze and stood slowly, shaking out her skirts. “You wouldn’t steal from a lady.”

The boy guffawed and rose to his feet, tottering from the weight of the urn. He looked her up and down and backed away. Lavinia followed, gaining on him. He turned, feet planted in the mud to take a running start.

“Stop, you little thief.” Desperate, she leapt at him, bringing him to the soggy ground as she landed on top. For a moment, she lay stunned. What had she done? Had she hurt the child?

“Criminy! S’blood!” The boy struggled on his stomach, his leg somehow kicking her in the thigh.

“Ow!” Lavinia rolled off of him into the mud.

“Damn it to hell.” He flopped upright and grabbed for the urn, clamped his hand on the base and dragged it to him. Lavinia crawled towards the vessel as he endeavored to pick it up. She threw herself on the urn, grunting as she landed half on the boy. He wriggled, trying to break free.

She clutched the urn in both hands, rolled away and staggered upright. The boy sat up, latched onto her skirt and pulled hard, ripping the cloth. With a cry, Lavinia stepped forward to regain her balance, her foot landing hard on his shin. He jerked his leg away, causing her to stumble and she pitched backwards onto her bottom, still clutching the urn.

“Cor blimey. Have mercy.” He grabbed his leg and crawled a few feet, mud covering his trousers.

They both scrambled up, bits of dirt and grass flying, and faced each other. The lad’s hazel eyes peered from his muddy face, shining with anger and greed. “I can get a bob, least, from the tinker fer it.” He scowled.

“Ha! More like sixpence.” Lavinia swayed, breathing hard. She wiped mud out of her eye and smeared it on her skirt.

“A bob.” The lad held out his grimy hand and planted his bare feet in the mire.

“I don’t have it here.” Lavinia huffed. What a conniving little bastard—why, he had stayed around to bargain.

About the Author: Claudia Herring aspired to be a baton twirler when she was five and an archaeologist at thirteen. When she became a graphic designer and an author of fantasy, she decided she’d hit upon the perfect compromise.

Along the way she worked as a gift wrapper, a server in a Mexican restaurant at an amusement park (where she rode the Black Dragon at midnight—an actual ride, not a sexual allusion) and an illustrator in medical graphics (where they featured videos on wound healing during lunch) at the Texas Medical Center.

Her novel, His Master’s Bride, a historical fantasy with romantic elements set in Regency England, won first prize in the Houston Writer’s Guild Novel Competition. Ties of Smoke is the second in the series The Djinn Chronicles.

When she’s not delving into the world of the Djinn, Claudia is practicing yoga to go to that hushed space where she imagines and plots her next fantasy novel.

If you like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series or Carol Berg’s Soul Mirror series you’ll love His Master’s Bride and Ties of Smoke.

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What Scares Me Most As An Author by JW Troemner – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. JW Troemner will be awarding $25 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.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

When I was invited here, I was asked about what scares me most as an author. And honestly? I think one of the biggest things that’s scared me about being an author has already happened.

I’ve always dreaded having people dislike my books. After all, the act of writing is pretty personal. No matter how professional you try to be, there’s always a naïve hope that you’ll be met with nothing but rave reviews, and consequently there’s a nasty sting that comes with your first negative review. Since publishing my series, I’ve gotten a mixed bag. Some people absolutely love it, but some people completely hate it.

Part of that is just the facts of being a writer. Storytelling is fairly subjective, and the same things that draw some readers will repel others. Sometimes the criticism I get leaves me deeply confused about what the reader thinking , and sometimes it makes me sit back and go “yeah, actually, you’ve got a point. I could have done that a lot better.”

On the whole, though, it’s been really enlightening. For all its sting, receiving criticism is a really positive experience if you let it be. It leaves you open to learn and grow and find the things that work better, rather than getting comfortable where you are.

If anything, I’m grateful that I’ve got a clear list of things I can work on doing better in the future, rather than being a one-hit wonder and never being able to live up to my first work.

On that note, I look forward to seeing what the folks at Long and Short Reviews make of my stories. Enjoy!

11_30-mediakit_bookcover_urbandragonRosario Hernandez doesn’t ask for much. She’d like to sleep on a bed instead of a sidewalk, to know where her next meal is coming from, and maybe, if she’s really feeling optimistic, to get a girlfriend. More than anything, though, she wants her best friend Arkay to not murder anyone— because Arkay is a dragon, claws and all, and she has a penchant for vigilante justice. When Arkay’s latest escapade goes sour, Rosario gets stuck with a stolen van and a cooler full of human organs. Now they’re on the run, and it’s not just the cops who want answers. The owner of the cooler is still out there, and they want to replace what they’ve lost— by any means necessary.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The Cooler:
“What have ya got there?” Raimo asked when his inspection reached the back of the van.

“No clue,” I said, coming around front. “The guy we got this from said he was delivering something.”

“Like what, a case of beer?” He tipped the box back a few inches, and it made a wet gravelly sound. “It looks like a cooler.”

“Must have been some excellent beer,” I said, tapping the padlock that sealed the lid. “You don’t get ice boxes like this at Walmart.”

An excited grin crossed Raimo’s face. “Let’s find out, shall we? Give me a second.” He vanished into the garage and came out with what I could only describe as a murder weapon. “Watch your fingers, Hiccup.”

This wasn’t a friendly little set of bolt cutters. It had wicked blades nearly as long as “Isn’t that a bit excessive?” I asked.

“I know, right?” he squealed. “I just got her in. Isn’t she gorgeous? I’m going to call her Matilda.”

“Ooh, did Raimo get a new toy?” Arkay called from inside. “I wanna see!” She bounded out to join us, bits of moisture still dripping down from her damp hair.

The padlock could probably have been pulled off with a solid pull, but Raimo caught the remaining sliver of metal between Matilda’s jaws with an almost dainty twist. Another roar, and the pieces fell away.

“All right,” Arkay said, taking the lid with both hands. “Let’s see what we’ve got here.”

Matilda hit the floor with a solid thunk as Raimo stumbled back. “Jesus Christ!”

It took me a moment longer to make sense of the metallic, meaty smell and the sudden flash of red.

About the Author:11_30-mediakit_authorphoto_urbandragonJW Troemner was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where she lives with her partner in a house full of pets. Most days she can be found gazing longingly at sinkholes and abandoned buildings.

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The Bulls of War by E.M. Thomas – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. E.M. Thomas will be awarding a $25 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.

As clouds of civil war gather over a dying empire, two friends and generals find themselves on opposite sides of the factional divide. Now, they must sacrifice everything to save themselves from their realm and their realm from itself.

Read an Excerpt:

Tyghus kept low to the ground as he headed for a patch of tall grass just on the camp’s edge. He hadn’t a shred of armor on him, only his sword.

His heart quickened as the rider quickly closed, his hooded brown cloak fluttering from his speed. Tyghus was intent on baiting the approach, certain he was safely blurred amongst grassy stalks.

Ten yards. The heavy gallops were loud now. Blade in hand, he sprang to his feet –

“General, no!”

About the Author:

E.M. Thomas is the author of two novels – an epic fantasy (The Bulls of War) and a historical fiction set in Ancient Greece (Fortress of the Sun).

E.M. Thomas was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth – while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.

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Prism by Matthew Ryan – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

mediakit_bookcover_prismIn the mystical realm of the Cavern, Akarra is Shardshaper to the quartzian people who inhabit it. Fashioned from quartz and filled with enchanted light, the quartzians are a strong and hearty people. Akarra is no exception. But when destiny intervenes, she must choose between the he-quartz she loves and the life path she lives for. Which shall she choose?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Akarra knelt expectantly on the floor near the back corner of Yridia’s Cave.

“Pattern matching is most important, dear,” Yridia said.

“I know, Mistress Shardshaper,” Akarra replied, head bowed in deference. “You’ve told me so—many times—but I just don’t see the use of geometry.” She was tired; it had been a long training session and she still wasn’t through.

The small but cozy cave—one in which she had spent many long hours engaged in study—had been hollowed out in the shape of a twelve-sided figure of exquisite design—a dodecahedron, it was called. It at once conveyed a sense of space, mystery, and power. Much like the element it represented: the ether. Each of the twelve faces of the shape formed a perfect pentagon—a five sided figure of further significance and meaning. The pentagon-shaped floor, of course, was made of clouded white quartz; the ceiling, clear. The pentagons on the walls alternated between white and clear. There were no cracks or fissures or blemishes; all the angles and divisions were neat, clean, and precise, thus regulating the temperature of the room perfectly. As Akarra perused the features of the cave, she felt contentment and peace, and her antennae glowed a pale greenish yellow in response. This was like a second home for her. She was the apprentice Shardshaper. One of the most respected members of the tribe.

Akarra watched Yridia move to the center of the pentagon floor and squat down in front of her. Yridai’s yenshi robe billowed out and she produced a crystal of transparent blue quartz in the shape of a perfect tetrahedron. Her Heartshard. A piece of the Heart Crystal itself, the source of the Shardshaper’s power.

Akarra could feel the Shard’s presence.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_prismMatthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. His work has been featured on-line at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. Mr. Ryan says he receives his inspiration from his many years as an avid role-player and fantasy book reader. He has spent many long hours devising adventures and story-lines as well as gaming systems for role-playing games, playing a motley assortment of characters in RPG worlds, as well as digesting the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and others. As a result, he has great depth of experience in the fantasy genre and feels it was a natural shift for him to move into fantasy writing.

Mr. Ryan is the author of the exciting dark fantasy novel, Drasmyr, The Children of Lubrochius, and The Sceptre of Morgulan, as well as a growing number of short stories. His first novel, Drasmyr, won the book of the month award on Long and Short Reviews: Young Adult for the month of September 2012. The story features a traditional Dracula type vampire in a Middle-Earth type setting. It is a dark fantasy geared toward teens and adults that has consistently earned reviews in the four and five star range. Drasmyr serves as the prequel to his series: From the Ashes of Ruin. In addition to Drasmyr, The Children of Lubrochius, and The Sceptre of Morgulan, Mr. Ryan has published several short stories on-line, including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur”(published at the now defunct Pegasus On-line), “The River’s Eye”(published at YesteryearFiction.com) , “Escape”(published at Aphelion.com), and the three-story collection Of Dragons, Love, and Poison.. His latest work is the stand-alone novella “Prism,” a startling fantasy story of unique character. He has also spoken on the topic of “World-Building” utilizing his considerable experience as an author and game-designer. When not engrossed in his fantasy worlds, Mr. Ryan can be found volunteering at the local food shelf or playing with his cat, “Confucius,” who is as wise and wily as his name suggests.

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Top Five Books of All Time by J.A. Hayman – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.A.Hayman will be awarding a $50 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.

Top Five Books of all Time!

Here are my Top Five Books of all Time! I wanted to share with you my favorite books to give you a real sense of what inspired me to become a writer… and also so you can read some of these awesome books on my list for yourselves! They are all must reads and have impacted me as a writer (and a reader) in various ways!

5. Ancillary Justice/ Ancillary Sword/ Ancillary Mercy. (Imperial Radch trilogy)

For number five on the list I am going to kind of cheat and put a trilogy of books; Ancillary Justice/ Ancillary Sword/ Ancillary Mercy.

Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch series follows the journey of Breq: Once, she was the Justice of Toren- a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

Ann Leckie is delightful in her creation of this very believable universe, it is a series filled with political intrigue, action and suspense. It surprised me with its story and kept me guessing! Definitely worth the read.

4. The Machine by James Smythe

For number four on the list I have chosen The Machine by James Smythe, I was torn whether to include this book on the list or not… the ending of the novel left me with an unsatisfied feeling but overall I think it is a well thought out novel and has a clever use of perspective.

Beth lives alone on a desolate housing estate near the sea. She came here to rebuild her life following her husband’s return from the war. His memories haunted him but a machine promised salvation. It could record memories, preserving a life that existed before the nightmares. Now the machines are gone. The government declared them too controversial, the side-effects too harmful. But within Beth’s flat is an ever-whirring black box. She knows that memories can be put back, that she can rebuild her husband piece by piece.

This is an incredible novel by James Smythe, his narrative keeps you guessing and the revelations at the end of the novel are a big surprise you wouldn’t see coming. His vision of the future is both captivating and scary. He does a great job of capturing memories and his disturbing view of what could happen to the world gave me chills!

3. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

I couldn’t write a “best books of all time” list without Keigo Higashino on it! The Japanese Crime Author smashed it out of the park with this thrill ride of a novel.

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

I loved this novel as unlike many other crime novels, it starts from the perspective of the perpetrators of the crime… then leaves you mystified as to why the detectives cannot figure out who committed the crime. The twist at the end is a shocker, it is a very clever piece of writing which needs to be experienced.

2. Nod by Adrian Barnes

Nod definitely deserves the number two spot on my list, it is a refreshing breath of fresh air in the Science Fiction genre and I was heartbroken to find the note at the end of the novel telling you that the writer has cancer, his letter at the end of the novel is almost better than the novel itself.

Dawn breaks and no one in the world has slept the night before. Or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same mysterious dream. A handful of silent children can still sleep as well, but what they’re dreaming remains a mystery. Global panic ensues. A medical fact: after six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis sets in. After four weeks, the body dies. In the interim, a bizarre new world arises and swallows the old one whole. A world called Nod.

Nod is an eerie view of the human psyche and how something we take for granted: Sleep, is what holds us all together. It is a very interesting concept and kept me eagerly turning the pages to find out what happened next. It is a very bitter sweet novel in multiple aspects, Adrian Barnes is a literary great who will be sorely missed.

1.Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My number one pick for the “Best Book of all Time” is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Ray delivers a haunting view of the future which is chillingly close to our own future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

Fahrenheit 451 is an important book in showing the dangers of censorship and freedom of information. In his dark world the populace are ignorant and unseeing of the real issues of the world “The War” that goes on in the background and they are only concerned with their social circles and screens they stare into. Sound familiar? As we become more and more dependent on social media and our devices we are drawn closer to Ray’s haunting view of the future. Fahrenheit 451 should definitely be on your must read list. Go read it now!

mediakit_bookcover_thesirenwakesAlex Nicholls wakes in a field with no recollection of how he got there. With his identity pulled into question he is forced on the run from the corrupt government who believes he is sick. He is led on a journey to discover the truth behind his identity and the truth behind the sickness which haunts him.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Adversity makes men, prosperity makes monsters.” —Victor

Hugo

A deep crimson washed across the steel. The shattered glass glinted in the light. So much blood. I just remember the incredible amount of blood. My eyes were wide in horror, but I couldn’t drag myself away. I stood transfixed, the screech of the wheels ingrained in my mind and his bugged-out eyes as he reached for me. It wasn’t my fault; how was I to know what would happen? Anyone else could have tried to help. I thought it over again and again, but if it wasn’t my fault, why couldn’t I shake the heavy guilt weighing down my shoulders?

Five minutes earlier

The station was bustling with people. Not a surprise. I shuffled through the crowd to my platform and waited with as much patience as I could muster; I could feel my morning coffee giving a much-needed boost to my system. I knew it was a bad habit, but I didn’t want to fix it. I looked at my watch, a gift from my father. The train was never on time so I always headed out to work early. So in spite of any delays I could still arrive on time. The chatter of the station did nothing to help my dawning headache; I clutched at my head and saw a businessman looking at me without sympathy. Jerk. No one actually wanted to be here, but it wasn’t by choice, more by necessity.

About the Author: mediakit_authorphoto_thesirenwakesNative to the UK, I was born in the Garden of England in the early 90s.
I was creative from a young age, always wrapped up in my own world and fantasies. I was a big reader from a young age, reading Les Miserables and Lord of the Rings while I was still in primary school.

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel a lot in my youth, from Hong Kong to Houston I experienced the world and gained a greater perspective of the world outside my small woodland village I grew up in.

In secondary school I was told I was too cynical to be a writer and was put off writing for many years. Instead I pursued a degree in Physical Geography, gaining my Masters degree in late 2015. University gave me time to really discover myself as a person. Allowing me to pursue my passions and dreams to their fullest. I want to share my stories and ideas with the world. As a child I hungrily devoured fiction and now I will help feed the minds of others.

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Paranormal Bar & Grille Tour by Various Authors – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $50 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.

mediakit_bookcoverbanner_allbooksOctober starts out warm and sunny, but this is the month when everything changes. Mornings grow frosty, leaves change colors, and the breeze takes on a bite.

Summer dies.

It’s a time for harvest celebrations. A boy loans a girl his coat. She snuggles a little closer and takes his hand. A riot of autumn splendor accompanies the farmer’s market where they stroll.

But the vibrancy of daylight doesn’t compare to the darkness of night. Is that chill on your neck the breeze or something else?

October night

You walk a tad faster and look over your shoulder. The trees creak when the wind whips through their branches—at least, you hope that noise came from the undulating bows.

You check under the bed and inside the closet before climbing under the covers. Sleep doesn’t come easy. The old house groans its complaints, and the night magnifies every innocuous noise until terror paralyzes you—because you know nefarious things go bump in the night.

Welcome to the

Paranormal Bar & Grille Blog Tour

…where you can rub elbows with everyone from a gargoyle or vampire, to a creature from urban legend, or the ghostly realms of myth. Step up to the bar, grab a booth. You never know what’s on the menu, or if you might end up there yourself.

Sound like your kind of hangout? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re a group of five authors who love nothing more than to trigger the chill that crawls up your back, the nervous glance tossed over your shoulder. We invite you to discover outstanding books and check out our awesome tour prizes.

Just be careful of what the bartender serves you. That heady brew may not be a beer, and witches can’t be trusted to provide effective antidotes.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Will O’ the Wisp:

Headlights made their way towards us along the Bergamot Creek trail. “Damn it. I wish people would just stay away.”

Pete looked at them and said, “They’re far enough away we can still watch. Besides, they might not stay once the road ends. Maybe it’s Mrs. Matthews with another one of her boyfriends.”

“That’s gross. I don’t care to see that again.”

“Satellite,” Pete said.

It was no Comet Kahoutek, but we watched it pass overhead and waited for the next one. The car turned out to be a van full of older kids. Three guys and two girls. They built a fire and took out a styrofoam cooler. They looked like students on their way to college somewhere.

I turned my radio off and pushed my lower lip into my upper. “I suppose they’re spending the night.” The sound of their car radio reached our ears.

“So what? We might catch another satellite or a shooting star before we have to go home.”

“Meteor. They aren’t really stars. And now we have light pollution.” I looked up once more and tried to have a good time.

“Holy crap. What’s that?”

I snapped to attention and looked at Pete. He was fixated down toward the campers. A ball of green light, about the size of a softball, drifted along the stream bank. It was darker than the fireflies, more the color of moss, but it glowed in the dark. It lit up the gravel alongside the creek.

“That has to be the king of all fireflies,” Pete said.

“Maybe it’s a cluster.”

It turned and headed our way. Pete crab-crawled away from the light.

The glow got softer. It headed back toward the campfire. It was like it couldn’t make up its mind.

A blond boy with surfer good looks walked away from the fire toward the glowing sphere. He said something to his friends, but I couldn’t hear it over their radio. They all stood and looked. He spread his arms wide then waved the thing toward the campfire like he was calling his dog.

The glowing ball started flickering and moved toward him. It hit his chest and pushed him back. Then it went — it went insidehim. He arched rearward, then forward, hit the ground and convulsed.

The girls screamed and ran.

“What the hell was that?” Pete said. “Oh my God! What was it?”

About the Authors:
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Craig Boyack

Just a fiction writer, trying to reach the world.

Craig came to fiction writing later in life than most authors. He always had to write, to one degree or another as part of various jobs. Early one winter morning, he conquered the Internet and didn’t feel like shoveling the sidewalk until the
sun came up. He tried a few pages of fiction and got hooked.

Craig doesn’t like limitations and calls himself a writer of speculative fiction. It’s a broad field, but he limits himself to science fiction, paranormal, and a bit of fantasy.

He has eight published works—six novels and two collections of short stories.

Amazon Author Page | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
mediakit_authorphoto_maeclair mediakit_bookcover_athousandyesteryearsMae Clair

Mystery & Suspense…with a dash of Myth & Romance

Quirky fact I don’t want anyone to know:
(or maybe I do)….I saw a UFO when I was six. Probably why I write some of the stuff I do.
~ooOOoo~

They say everyone has a story to tell.

I wrote my first childish “masterpiece” at six and was immediately bitten by the writing bug. Since then, I’ve been composing nonstop, and have dabbled in multiple genres over the years, writing everything from fantasy, westerns, and horror to inspirational fiction, romance, and sci-fi. It took me a while to find my niche, but I’ve settled comfortably into the mystery/suspense genre (with a just a dash of romance tossed in).

Several of my earlier works have strong romantic themes, but all are infused with threads of mystery. I have a passion for folklore, myth, and urban legends and that attraction often factors into my writing. You’ll find threads of archaic tales and mysterious places woven throughout many of my novels.

I am a member of the International Thriller Writers and a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Writer’s Organization. If I’m not camped out at my keyboard or have my nose buried in a book, I’m likely looking up blurry images of cryptids on Google, sorting through vintage photographs or imagining life as a cat.

Website | Amazon Author Page | Book Bub | Goodreads | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | Kensington Books
mediakit_authorphoto_sandracox mediakit_bookcovervampire-island200x300Sandra Cox

Living life. Writing fantasy.

Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

https://sandracox.blogspot.com”>Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter
mediakit_authorphoto_harmonykent mediakit_bookcover_thegladeHarmony Kent

The author who gets write into your head.

Quirky Fact I don’t want anyone to know: Wrote the entirety of The Glade while listening to the Twilight movie soundtrack. And she’s not mentioning the glass of white (ahem) ‘grape juice’ that kept finding its way to her computer station.

Author Bio:
Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours and refuses to admit to her age.

If you catch her at work, you’ll see that she also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. Not to mention being passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

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mediakit_authorphoto_stacitroilo mediakit_bookcover_lovesetinstoneStaci Troilo

Staci Troilo. Writing Relationship Wrongs.

Quirky fact I don’t want anyone to know: The socks in my sock drawer and the books on my shelf are arranged in rainbow order.

Bio:

I’ve always loved fiction, ever since my parents read me fairy tales when I was little. Today, my interests are much more eclectic. I love getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes my reading, so goes my writing. I can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so I don’t even try. I’m proud to say I’m a multi-genre author.

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool.

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Brandon Zenner’s Writing Routine – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

One of my own writing routines

Back when I was writing my first novel, I had an experience that would go on to shape how I approach writing on a day-to-day basis. What happened was, out of the blue I got what is called an aura migraine. This condition was not unknown to me; I used to get them somewhat regularly as a child. But at the time, it had been years since one of those strange, blinding migraines struck me. The most frightening part was that there was no warning. One moment I was fine, going about my business, and then in the corner of my vision there was a spot, like I had looked quickly at a glowing light bulb and then looked away. It took mere moments for that spot to grow into a column of bright and zigzagging lights. There was no pain at that stage, but I had lost over half of my vision, and it was getting worse. A strange sense of confusion and lethargy followed, and I couldn’t do much more than stay in bed for the rest of the day.

I won’t go further into detail about the migraine itself, otherwise this post will go on and on. But what I will say is that the timing of the event was … well … perfect. My first novel relied heavily on a man who succumbed to this condition, so experiencing one myself helped me to explain the technicalities in accurate detail.

Now, the day after the migraine, my brain felt all out of sorts. There was a fear that the migraine was going to come rushing back at any moment, and my head was lost in a fog. So I decided to sit on the ground and try an old practice that I used to do regularly back in my late teens: meditate. I focused on my breathing, sitting as still as can be, for several minutes. I didn’t sit long that first day, but the next day I sat a little longer, and the day following even longer. When my head had cleared up, and sitting in front of a computer was again a possibility, I meditated first for twenty minutes; feeling my breath go in and out and letting my eyes stare unfocused on a plant across the room. After the meditation, when I was sitting at my computer, my thoughts were sharp, and I felt my writing was better than it had previously been. Not only that, but my whole life seemed to improve by spending only twenty minutes a day focusing on my breath. So, this became a part of my routine. Every day, I sat and meditated before delving into my work. I still do it to this day. Often, I don’t have a full twenty minutes, as writing with a two year old at home no longer affords me the luxury of unlimited time. But I never sit in front of my computer when working on a novel without spending at least a few minutes focusing my thoughts in meditation. I hope soon to be back at my twenty-minute minimum, as there is an old Zen proverb that I think sums up the situation perfectly, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

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Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction. Brain Rhodes and his cousin, Steven, are leaving the protection of their underground bunker for the first time, after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the earth.

On the other side of the North American continent, young Simon Kalispell is leaving the safety and seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston.

For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, where the fragmented lives of a small number of survivors will soon be decided by the choices of a corrupt few.

Simon Kalispell and Brian Rhodes are not yet aware, but the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Brian looked down the entry chute to Steven at the bottom. He knew that five minutes ago, the only thought going through Steven’s mind had been the complete and utter fear of facing whatever unknown nature of humanity might remain outside that bunker door. Now his cousin looked panicked as the filtered light reflected the sheen of sweat on his forehead, his body tensed, as if the all-encompassing blackness in that room was squeezing him toward the exit. Steven’s eyes darted over his shoulder in the direction of the one piece of equipment they had not shut down entirely—the walk-in freezer. The red, glowing light from the switch illuminated the far wall. Steven seemed frozen, transfixed.

Not the time to be thinking about what’s in there, Brian thought.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_theafterwarBrandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon’s best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was released in early 2016. THE AFTER WAR, a dystopian thriller, is available now as a pre-order, at 80% off the final sale price. You can follow the author on his Amazon page, or through his email list on his website. All email subscribers will receive his futuristic short story, HELIX ILLUMINATED, for free as a thank you. His genres of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, and science fiction.

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Black Werewolves Box Set by Gaja J. Kos – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gaja J. Kos will be awarding $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.

mediakit_bookcover_blackwerewolfboxsetEnter the world where myth becomes reality, where long forgotten gods walk the earth, and where love forms bonds that cannot be broken even in the raging winds of battle.

Box set contains: The Dark Ones, The 24hourlies, Chased (novella)

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Rose felt his muscles flex in graceful movement as he sprinted towards the courtyard that lay just beyond the alley. As soon as they left the narrowness of the walls, he leaped into the air and extended his wings, each bat taking them higher, until she could see the length of her street coming into full view below them. The simargl used the wind currents, leisurely taking her in a semi-circle around her neighborhood, before rising higher, his fur and his feathers shimmering in the unimpeded rays of sunlight.

The wind brushed against her skin as they gained speed; it would have been painful for a human, their less protected skin exposed to the elements like this, however, she welcomed the coolness it brought, knowing she still had the luxury of doing a half-shift at any time, should the strokes of fresh air become too aggressive for the tough, but nonetheless more sensitive human form.

The green landscape of Slovenia lay outstretched below them as the simargl kept a steady course, leaving the concrete circle of Ljubljana in the distance and taking them further southeast.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_blackwerewolfboxsetGaja J. Kos is the international bestselling author of the urban fantasy series BLACK WEREWOLVES and the erotic paranormal romance novellas DROWNED. She is also a bilingual poet with 12 published poetry collections.

Gaja resides in Celje, Slovenia, with her husband and two Chinese Crested dogs.

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Pale Rider: Zombies vs. Dinosaurs by James Livingood – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

mediakit_bookcover_paleriderTwo worlds collide in this action novelette. Zombies have destroyed civilization. Gasoline fuel is no longer an option, but humanity must find a way to survive. In response to trying to restore our way of life, we engineer franken-monsters. Because of their small brains and massive sizes, these beasts make quick work of farming and clearing land. These large creatures are immune to the zombie virus and perform excellently in loud conditions. They are easy to train. They behave like war horses, prone to help charge in and defend our livelihood.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Blues often hunt for weaker and sick humans. Standing your ground and appearing strong will scare off blues. In the beginning, we had become so used to being the top of the food chain, that the thought of being hunted was frightening. Most of the population ran, and that led to massive feasts. Furthermore, our distaste for mandatory physicals meant pockets of blues formed. Gun owners and others brazen enough to stand their ground often kept their ground. Yet, as humans became replaced, the blue’s tactics became more complex. Soon, only standing your ground with a gun was not enough. The practice still works in isolated regions, but the best escape from a blue is to retreat to a safe city.

New Eye City was formed for just that reason. Survivalists knew how to build flash communities, which would then focus on walls. As many of you know, gasoline fuel was no longer an option as the infrastructure collapsed around humanity. Cars, trucks, and farming equipment gathered rust from disuse. Humanity needed a new approach to surviving.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_paleriderJames was born in Montana, raised with three brothers, and provided trouble for two parents. In his 20’s he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He then moved out to Seattle after college and started a life. In 2014, he started to write full time.

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The Grotesques by Tia Reed – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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

mediakit_bookcover_thegrotesquesDiscredited journalist Ella Jerome isn’t thrilled about working at Adelaide’s fanciful tabloid The Informer. So when zoologist Adam Lowell seeks her help in finding his missing cousin, she’s cynical of his claim a monster lurks near the Church of the Resurrection. The trouble is, solving the gruesome case could be her best shot at restoring her shredded reputation.

With her old instincts resurfacing, Ella combs the Port for clues. Experience tells her the only monsters are the human variety, and the bloodied stonemason certainly raises her suspicions. But when her investigation turns up everything from petrified remains to the headless carving of a dragon, the truth threatens to steal both her sanity and the man she’s falling for.

After all, gargoyles can’t be anything other than harmless stone. Or can they?

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt:

Ella opened the door. Her overweight editor had his feet on a battered desk, a bitten doughnut in one hand and a stack of papers in the other. When he saw her, Phil immediately dropped his feet, tossed the papers onto the desk and the doughnut on top of them. “Where have you been? You’re late with your copy. When I said you could have time off, I didn’t mean you could have a goddamn honeymoon.”

“I need you to print this. Front page. Tomorrow.” Ella held out the article.

Phil waved her in and took the printout. “So your source panned out?”

Ella felt a lump form in her throat. “He’s missing.”

Phil did not miss a beat. “Crap.”

She was not sure if his concern was for Adam or his story. “I think I know where he might be. I mean, I’ve got a lead so I’m on my way out again.”

Phil finished skimming the text and blinked like he was the one suffering from hallucinations. He threw her a puzzled look and reread. “You sure you want your name to this?” he said at last.

“I need my name to that. I need it to go to print. Tomorrow.”

Now he really looked at her. “Do you believe it?”

“Would you believe me if I say it’s the truth?”

“It doesn’t matter. This isn’t going to hurt business any. An original idea like this might even drum up some new customers.”

“You’ll get more once I chase down a few leads. In the meantime, I need some background.”

“Debbie’s got that covered. And I expect the next installment tomorrow.” The lights flickered. Waterman tilted his head to the ceiling. “Goddamnit!” As if in response to his swearing, the buzzing fluorescent tubes cackled out. While the room darkened, light still poured in from the large window behind the desk. “Those vermin are costing me a damn fortune in electrical repairs,” he said, standing.

“What vermin?” The regrettable words were out before she could think.

“Bats. Apparently, there’s a whole colony in the roof.” Waterman walked into the main area, leaving Ella staring at his back. The creatures were stalking her. She shook her head, hoping that thought did not make her even more certifiable.

About the Author: Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.

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