Descended from Dragons by Tricia Owens – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tricia Owens will be awarding a $75 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_DescendedFromDragonsBeneath the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas lies another city. A secret city in plain sight, full of warlocks and demons, shape-shifters and golems. A city that feeds off the chance magick that is generated by gamblers and which is ruled by mysterious beings called the Oddsmakers.

It is in this strange underbelly of the occult that Anne Moody runs a cursed pawn shop for the desperate, the curious, and the magickally inclined. Though the job is boring, it keeps her under the radar. None of her customers have any inkling that she is a dragon sorceress with a power that’s been feared throughout history. However dragons are no help when a stone statue ends up in her shop that is more than it appears. The statue is a gargoyle named Vale, who is shrouded in mystery and secrets. When she learns that Vale is possessed, and that the person responsible for cursing him plans to take over Las Vegas with a horde of demons from Hell, Anne realizes it is up to her to defy the Oddsmakers and save the city, and possibly the world.

Enjoy an excerpt:

After silently parting the bead curtain I paused just at the threshold, listening. The shop was spooky enough without the lights on thanks to all the strange silhouettes, but knowing that half the objects were also cursed gave me another reason to shiver as I panned my gaze over the place.

Tick tick tick

I sent Lucky toward the sound. My dragon flew a loose circle around the left side of the room. That narrowed it down a bit, not that I felt comfortable putting my back to everything that was on the other side of the room. I displayed a few katanas and items that could be used as weapons there, but thankfully none of them were cursed with movement. At least, I hoped not. I guess I’d find out for certain when a spear pierced my back.

A fluttering sound, like the flapping of thick canvas, made me instinctively drop into a crouch. Lucky reared up, ready to attack. But nothing flew overhead. Breathing shallowly, I crawled toward the counter. I’d feel safer behind it and with the wall at my back.

As I rounded the counter, I realized I knew what had had made the noise. The only new thing in my inventory was the gargoyle statue. When I raised my eyes above the countertop, the gargoyle was gone from where it had sat. The cameos were quick to offer their opinions.

“You met the love of your life today…”

“…he’ll try to kill you, Anne Moody.”

“The cursed shall pay, Anne Moody!”

Yep, the damn gargoyle statue had come to life and was flying around Moonlight. Definitely a way to make me remember you, Christian.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DescendedFromDragonsTricia Owens wants you to know that Las Vegas is actually a pretty cool place and you won’t be eaten by a troll there. Probably. A former casino games dealer and cruise ship editor, Tricia has traveled extensively, visiting over 70 countries. She writes full time in several genres including urban fantasy and romance. Her favorite setting is her home town, the city of sin.

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The Intergalactic Custody Battle by Lee J. Mavin – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lee J. Mavin will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC, 5 print copies of The Intergalactic Custody Battle (International Giveaway), and 10 print copies of The Diary of a 7th Grade Hybrid (International Giveaway) to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookBanner_TheIntergalacticCustodyBattleZiggy has been taken from away from Earth, stolen away so it seems to complete his training on another planet. Little does he know that his Alien father has grand plans for him, plans for him to take the royal throne and lead the Empire! Ziggy’s mother (a mere human) wants him back so she is going to fight for her Son’s custody, even if his father is the Emperor of an Alien race! An Alien race that has plans to expand its Intergalactic Empire. Ziggy’s best friend Hiroki, the tiny super genius, plans on finding Ziggy too, even if he does miss his year twelve math exams. The Intergalactic Custody Battle is the first of a trilogy that crosses the universe. Get ready for a wild ride across the galaxy!

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sigmund Zhao didn’t have a good memory. He was always forgetting things. He had barely scraped through Year Seven alive, trying to remember all those equations and diagrams in Science and Math. They kind of went in one ear and then out the other. It wasn’t just school either. Sigmund couldn’t remember a lot of things, like the different apartments and primary schools he had moved to all over Shanghai. He couldn’t even remember his mother’s birthday or even his own.

However he could remember one thing very well, the time his mother and father gave him the talk, the talk that no child wants to hear. It was the Divorce talk.

Sigmund remembered every word his mother had said.

‘I’m really sorry to tell you this, but your father and I are getting a divorce. Your father is going to move away for a while but this doesn’t mean he loves you any less. We are just not meant to be together.’

He remembered feeling alone and confused. He remembered crying for hours and hours. He even remembered shrinking down into the corner of the room, crawling like some sort of cockroach. Wait, that couldn’t be right. How could he have shrunk? That isn’t possible, is it?

But he did. He’d tried to hide away from it all, from the confusion and the pain. He’d felt himself shrinking smaller and smaller, then his arms had turned green and he felt things stretching out of his back. Yes, that happened but everything else was still cloudy.

Sigmund could hardly remember his father. There was just a hint of his voice echoing in the corner of his mind and a smell. He couldn’t quite remember what kind of smell, maybe a hint of pepper and something else. Something he had never smelt before. It was too weird a smell to be anything familiar. It was some sort of smell that didn’t belong in Shanghai, in fact it didn’t belong in China or the even the entire planet! It was a smell from out of this world!

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheIntergalacticCustodyBattleAfter six years in Shanghai, I am finally back in Sydney (brand new home). Here I will teach and focus on my writing! I will be starting my Phd in Arts at the University of Sydney in March 2015!

I have already polished off a children’s novel, a collection of poetry and am about to publish a series of stories titled “The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One” with ASJ Publishers. http://www.asjpublishing.com/

I’m also kept on my toes by my feisty wife and three year old daughter both of whom are Chinese. They like to let me know how bad my Chinese is on a daily basis.Oh yeah, I used to be an MC, I mean I was potentially the next Aussie Eminem,(just kidding) but there is an EP by yours trully somewhere out there in the world wide web….

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The Young Vampire’s Survival Guide by Lucy Eldritch – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_TheYoungVampiresSurvivalGuideWithin a month of being bitten, it cost the life of Robert James’ best friend. Within a year, hundreds had died. All because of him.

Until he was bitten, Robert James was a regular college student. Now he seems to be the reluctant future of vampire kind and his world has been turned upside down. Pursued by the Dawn Warriors – a group dedicated to cleansing the world of evil – Robert’s survival is at stake. Literally.

Enjoy an excerpt:

My eyes narrowed and I hissed, “How did you know about the note, Pixie?” My voice was low and menacing. I didn’t even look at her, just dug my fingers into the upholstery of the seat to keep the boiling rage inside me from spilling over.

“Galloway,” she answered. “When he…he….in that dungeon…when…” She was shaking now.

I reacted without thinking. Reaching across, I placed a hand on her arm. “It’s OK,” I said, “it’s OK. I believe you. I’m sorry.”

Pixie inhaled deeply and let out a slow, steady breath. When she spoke again, she was back in control of her emotions. I wished I could have said the same thing.

“They hadn’t felt that half-vampires were any threat until you came along. But now,” she said, “they’ve realised their mistake. I overheard Tarrie telling someone your mother should be the first to die as that would send the strongest message.”

As we pulled up opposite the house, I could see my mum talking to Mrs Harewood from next door, who was busy pruning the hedge that divided their properties. My heart leapt.

I hurled a twenty pound note at the taxi driver, half-dragged Pixie out of the car and tore across the road. My mother broke into a beaming smile when she saw me and opened her arms to greet me.

At that moment, I thought we’d made it in time. We hadn’t.

About the Author: I’m Lucy Eldritch and I write paranormal-horror-urban-fantasy-vampire fiction set mainly in Manchester (the one in the UK, not the one in New Hampshire) and London. I also love red wine, but I suspect that’s not really something I should mention. Not professional. Something like that. So, consider it un-mentioned.

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The Hardest Part of Writing by Jeremy Flagg – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Hardest Part of Writing

What’s the hardest part of writing? It’s remembering that I’m a writer and not a writing-hopeful. That might not sound like a big deal, but I work with a lot of writers either through NaNoWriMo or through various writing groups who see it as a hobby and just want to get a story out of their head. They’re semi-serious about it, and they’ll get to it when the mood strikes them.

I don’t get that luxury. Writing is partially a business and your clients are expecting things from you. I’m entering into this weird social contract with my readers and they expect that I will follow up my story and begin to take them deeper while I tie up loose threads and expand on my world. I don’t have the luxury to wait for my muse. I’m not allowed to have bad days. Regardless of my mood or my inspiration, I have to continue to push through and produce a product. It might not always be the best it can be on any given day, and I might have to edit it heavily, but I have to continue to push forward.

It’s also important to remember that to be a writer you have to write. There are so many distractions for writers these days that it can be overwhelming. Today alone I’ve had to work on a newsletter, post some social media information, write to my critique group, and prepare a blog post to go out. This isn’t to mention I still have a day job I have to attend to on most days. There is a plethora of marketing, networking, and interacting that compliments your work as an author, but ultimately, it prevents you from writing. Thankfully I’ve learned to spend my days taking care of the business end of things and I spend my evenings writing. Usually, as I’m unwinding for the night, I will crawl into bed with my laptop and listen to music while I clack away on the keyboard.

But if I had to discuss the specific thing in writing I would have to say editing would be my pitfall. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but for the life of me, I cannot remember learning grammar in all my years of school. Where do commas go exactly? Thankfully my editor for Children of Nostradamus took her time to not only edit my book but give me a whirlwind class in grammar. She would hand something back to me after only a few days and it would take me weeks to return it. This became such an educational part of the process that I’m glad there was a partnership to finish my book. Thankfully, I can already see in my writing how much I’ve grown (and by grown, I mean so many fewer things my editor can yell at me about.) The moral of the lesson is, if you can’t do it well, find somebody who can. This goes from cover to editing, to writing blurbs on the back of your book. I’m thankful somebody is making sure my commas are in the right spot!

MediaKit_BookCoverSmall_NighthawksTwenty-six-year-old painter Conthan Cowan takes art to a shocking frontier…

His debut exhibit features the transformation of his high school friend, Sarah, as she went from a shy, soft-spoken girl to a Child of Nostradamus—an individual gifted with extraordinary abilities. Living in a society where the Children of Nostradamus are captured by the government, Conthan’s exhibit draws attention from officials and protesters alike.

A government psychic may be dead, but that doesn’t stop her from manipulating the future…

The deceased White House aide is only remembered for her failed assassination attempt on the president decades before Conthan was born. Foreseeing her own death, she scribed letters to bring together specific Children of Nostradamus on a mission that will change the world.

On the night of the gallery exhibition, Conthan receives one of those letters…

ispers from the past direct him to visit Sarah, the subject of his paintings, who like many Children of Nostradamus, is being detained in a government research facility. It’s there he finds himself aligned with a rogue group of Children on a mission to prevent a dark future.

As a dark future unfolds, there’s only one hope to stop the destruction of the world…

The Children of Nostradamus.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Conthan Cowan,

As you ponder the situation laid out in front of you, it is clear that things will never be the same. Before you are many decisions, but alas, beyond this point I cannot see nor predict your future.
You are an element that seems to defy the strands of probability. I fear that before you lies a path that will test the fortitude of your soul. I wish I could give you more than a simple direction. I have done everything in my power to see you safe to this point. I wish I could tell you that somewhere on the other side of the darkness will be you, standing triumphant. However, I cannot. For that, I am sorry. What I can do is start you on your hero’s journey.

Go to Sarah.

With Regards,

Eleanor P. Valentine

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_NighthawksI’m high school graphic design and marketing teacher, at a large suburban high school in Massachusetts. Working as a high school educator and observing the outlandish world of adolescence was the inspiration for my first young adult novel, “Suburban Zombie High.”

My inspiration for writing stems from being a youth who struggled with reading in school. While I found school assigned novels incredibly difficult to digest, I devoured comics and later fantasy novels. Their influences can be seen in the tall tales I spin.

I took the long route to becoming a writer. For a brief time, I majored in Creative Writing but exchanged one passion for another as I switched to Art and Design. My passion for reading about superheroes, fantastical worlds, and panic-stricken situations would become the foundation of my writing career.

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo in 2006 and continue to write an entire novel every November. Now I am the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison to the Massachusetts Metrowest Region. I also belong the New England Horror Writer’s Association and to a weekly writing group, the Metrowest Writers.

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In Company of the Dead by Ciara Ballintyne – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ciara 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_InTheCompanyOfTheDead Ellaeva’s obligations to the death goddess leave her no time to hunt down her parents’ murderer—until both duty and revenge lead her to the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris has been exiled for striking his prince. As the castle falls under siege, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods—but the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Only a fool would split hairs with a god, least of all the goddess of death, but Ellaeva would count herself such a fool and consider it worth it—if she could get away with it.

She leaned across the knife-scarred timber of the tavern table.

“Are you sure?” she asked, her tone even and barely loud enough to be audible over the noise of the flute and the zither. Her work on behalf of the goddess Ahura, adjudicating the small war here in Dayhl, could only be abandoned in favour of a greater threat. If she was going to chase off after the man who killed her parents, she needed to be sure her arguments stacked up. The pursuit of personal justice wouldn’t be enough.

Is it justice or revenge?

No time to worry about that now. She tugged her black hood farther down over her infamous face, even though deep shadows blanketed the common room corner. She’d chosen a table far from the tallow candles mounted in their stag-horn chandeliers. There was no point taking chances; the black hair and porcelain skin of a Tembran would be remarked here among the platinum-haired Dayhlish. Besides, someone might recognise her.

“In Ahlleyn, sure as the spring comes after winter, Holiness.” The narrow-faced man across from her grinned, baring teeth more brown than yellow. The acrid smoke from the candles didn’t cover his pungent breath.

She half-stood, making an urgent, negating gesture as she glanced around, but the hubbub of chatter from the patrons and the music covered his slip. No one even glanced their way. On the far side of the room, away from the two blazing hearths, tables were pushed aside for dancing. She dropped back into her seat, her black robes fluttering around her booted feet.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_InTheCompanyOfTheDead Ciara Ballintyne grew up on a steady diet of adult epic fantasy from the age of nine, leaving her with a rather confused outlook on life – she believes the good guys should always win, but knows they often don’t. She is an oxymoron; an idealistic cynic.

She began her first attempts at the craft of writing in 1992, culminating in the publication of her debut work, Confronting the Demon, in 2013. Her first book to be published with Evolved Publishing is In the Company of the Dead.

She holds degrees in law and accounting, and is a practising financial services lawyer. In her spare time, she speculates about taking over the world – how hard can it really be? If she could be anything, she’d choose a dragon, but if she is honest she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House M.D. – both the good and the bad. She is a browncoat, a saltgunner, a Whedonite, a Sherlockian, a Ringer and a Whovian… OK, most major geek fandoms. Her alignment is chaotic good. She is an INTJ.

Ciara lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, her two daughters, and a growing menagerie of animals that unfortunately includes no dragons.

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6 Must Haves of a Fantasy by Sally Mitchell – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

6 Must haves of every fantasy story

1. A crazy world

A fantasy just wouldn’t be a fantasy without the world to set the scene. I’ve often read about authors struggling with this aspect of fantasy writing but the way I see it, if you have the imagination to create a complex fantasy novel, you have the imagination to create the world too.

I think the easiest way to do this is just let your mind run free. The fantasy genre is limitless and so applies to the world your characters live in. No matter how crazy an idea seems at any given time, just go with it, the chances are it will work.
There were moments when I was creating the world for ‘Eden’, particularly when deciding to light the sky on fire, when I thought can I really get away with that? But people liked that it was so different. I suppose by making the world outlandish, it also makes it stand out from the crowd, which, when selling books is what you want.

2. Diverse characters

The old saying ‘no two people are the same’ also applies to book characters. Nobody enjoys reading a book when each character has the same personality traits or are as boring as watching paint dry. Keep some variety. Try thinking of your nearest and dearest. What unique traits do they have? Multiply their weirdness and attach it to a character.

3. Super natural abilities

Somewhere along the way, every good fantasy needs some super powers thrown into the mix. What’s the point of creating a superb world and character set if they don’t have a stick that turns into a snake or hands that can shoot out scorpions? Every good fantasy I ever remember has some form of abilities in them, be it wizardry or flying, fantasy is the ultimate form of escape and super natural abilities enhance that.

4. An evil overlord

There has to be a strong force of evil in a fantasy novel, somebody who can create a strong emotional response within the reader. This gives them more reason to support the hero and wills them to keep on reading.

5. A turbulent romance

This is just my opinion but a ‘will they/won’t they’ romance always adds some spice to a story in any genre. Sometimes, and again only my opinion, a steady old relationship can grow monotonous after a few chapters. I love it when an author keeps you guessing as it keeps you on your toes.

6. A religious underpinning

I love things that come from a religious background. There’s something so dark and mysterious about religion, especially knowing the lengths people have gone over the centuries in the name of serving some divine entity, that it really grabs my attention and keeps me hooked.

MediaKit_BookCover_EdenWelcome to Mendacia; The city of lies. Saved from a divine apocalypse, its citizens now starve. They are trapped beneath a fire-lit sky and surrounded by a molten river, all to pay for the sins of their ancestors.

The gods cursed the original generation with eternal life so that their skin would rot and their pain would always remind them of their own horrific crimes.

These demons now serve the tyrant emperor, Malum Dolus who uses them to terrorise the citizens, all in the name of maintaining order.

One woman, Vita Dulcas has had enough of his evil ways, but what could she possibly do to help the citizens? They love Malum and hate her, suspecting her of witchcraft after her survival of deadly snake bites. All she can do is stay invisible.
That is until she finds herself backed into a corner and all she can do is fight. Suddenly, she has more power than she could have ever imagined and it becomes clear she is Mendacia’s last hope.

If only she could make the citizens see the truth.

Enjoy an excerpt:

‘But then he turned. Vita jumped with the motion, praying she didn’t look as hopeless as she felt, but as his head turned, his eyed skimmed past the lamb and landed on her own, searing into them as if nothing had ever changed. The darkness behind those beautiful eyes was a harsh reminder now though. A reminder of the awful secret they shared. She remembered looking up lovingly into those eyes – how wrong she had been. How dangerous he truly was. The ignorance of vanity, she thought.’

‘One by one, more of the citizens scaled the walls, marching a slow and silent trail through the remains of the battle, each to pay their own respects to the man who had taken on the demons and given them the hope of freedom.
With a cough, Empress Vesta began to speak from the balcony. ‘This has been a truly terrible day,’ she said. ‘One which will, I’m sure, weigh on our minds and hearts for some time to come. But, I decree that this man deserves a respectable death. Who will carry his body to the palace?’

Nico’s hand shot in the air, his other clasped on his chest. ‘I will.’

‘And me,’ said Kayin, pulling himself to his feet.

‘Me too,’ said the Survivor.

‘Yes,’ said another citizen.

‘Aye,’ said Domine Agil from behind Vesta.

She gazed down to see the sea of her citizens nodding and raising their hands, all eager to pay the man his final respects. She watched her son, the Survivor and Nico haul Theo’s body into the air. Another citizen helped to support his leg and the four of them began a slow exit from the arena, the brave sinner above their shoulders.’

‘Vita let the curtain drop behind her and walked confidently onto the balcony. She held her hands behind her back and stopped in the centre, standing silently for a moment to survey the faces below her. Some, she had seen before, others were strangers. Family men, drunkards, men of high and low standing, young boys and even arthritic old men, all here in an attempt to buy her and take her freedom.

She could feel her heart quickening and for a moment wondered what she was doing. She couldn’t see the Bilo brothers, which gave her cause for relief. A whistle echoed around the yard, followed by an eruption of laughter from the group of her potential husbands. She remained still, letting the sounds wash over her.

‘Just come to give us a taster ‘av yer love?’ She gazed down at the toothless source of torment and waited patiently for the ensuing laughter to die down.

‘Gentlemen,’ she began to speak slowly. ‘I stand before you today with faith. Faith in the goodness in each of you. I see many different faces below me. I see men I have known and respected, hardworking men, family men and loyal men. I see long standing friends of my father, people who I used to feel protected by. I see people who, like me, have suffered in this land. And I wonder if it is fear that makes such good men gather here today? You label me a witch, but you can see my flesh is just as vulnerable as yours. If I am cut I will bleed. I am not the one to fear.’

‘The sound of her mother’s dying scream echoed through Vita’s mind and everything stopped. Time seemed not to exist and with pure clarity only one thought surfaced: they must die. She barely felt the tension of the rusted chain as her wrists snapped the metal, with enough force to send her body backwards.

She watched as the pole splintered clean in two with the impact of the flail, right where her head would have been. The demon panicked and pulled the flail free, bringing it down again towards her. She couldn’t move fast enough this time and her hands came up, palms forward to protect her skull. She waited for the impact.

A few seconds passed and she heard a confused grunt. She dared to open an eye and stared, stunned. Her hands were emitting a sort of white/blue light, bright enough to light up the entire room. She gazed in wonder at the flail which had stopped mere millimetres from her palms and was floating calmly in circles. The demon pulled the weapon, but somehow his efforts were hopeless. The flail was stuck fast. She reached out with lightning reactions, grabbing it from the demon’s rotten hands and she could feel the centuries of cruelty the instrument had yielded. The light vanished, leaving only the darkness once more.’

About the Author:

I was brought up in a small country village in North Yorkshire, UK. I had always been brought up to work hard and to push myself, skills which came in useful for writing the Eighth Day. I suppose it also helped that I’ve always been a huge bookworm with a love of all things fantasy and all things romance. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favourite.

Granted those genres are miles apart but I find something incredibly romantic about escaping to a world that has been lovingly created by an author. I enjoy trying to connect with them through their imagination, wondering where they were and what they were doing when they developed such magical worlds.

Writing my own novel was the best experience I’ve ever had career wise, and it makes the struggles I have faced in my past careers all worth the while.

After losing my career as a nurse following a car accident, I began a promising psychology career, even winning an award for my undergraduate degree. However, I became a single parent three years ago and sacrificed another dream to set up a laundry and ironing business, which enabled me to be at home with my son.

Despite many commitments, a further relationship breakdown and 3 family bereavements, I was determined to develop a rewarding career and make my little man proud.

That’s when I decided to begin a writing career and I developed the Eden Saga. Such a path enabled me to stay at home and give him all the extra support he needed whilst also having something for myself.

I’m now the happiest I’ve ever been, I’m closer to my son than ever and I’ve finally released my novel as an e-book which is available on all major platforms.

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A Special Excerpt from Fibers by Jennifer-Crystal Johnson – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

***

Hi there! I’d like to begin by saying thank you very much for having me and for allowing me to post about my new sci-fi release, Fibers. This is the first book of a trilogy called the Infiltration Trilogy, a story about a mysterious illness, an alternate dimension, and the government’s covert involvement in both.

I won’t lie – I’m feeling a bit out of place on this site because the focus seems to be mostly on romance, at least that’s what the book covers dictate. Just as a full disclosure thing… my novel does have romantic elements in it, but that is not the main focus.

In light of this, I thought the best way to illustrate my novel’s style and for you and your readers to determine if you’ll even like it is by posting a short excerpt =). I invite you to shift your focus to the existential, the real possibility of other dimensions, and the power of the human spirit in the face of incredible challenges, adversity, and seemingly hopeless situations much larger than the self.

“According to superstring theory, there are at least ten dimensions in the universe (M-theory actually suggests that there are 11 dimensions to spacetime; bosonic string theories suggest 26 dimensions).”
Source:http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/12/16/heres-visual-guide-10-dimensions-reality

If you go through and read this source article and have never researched quantum theory, string theory, or other possible dimensions, be warned – your mind might be blown!

With that said, here’s a short excerpt from my novel.

She sighed as she sat down on the bed, a weird feeling of being watched washing over her. The room was dark, so she couldn’t be sure of anything. Shadows always played weird tricks on her, especially after she’d started seeing moving ones, and she’d asked herself a million times if she was perceiving them more often simply because she thought she’d seen them before. It was a vicious cycle.

Unsure of what else to do, she lay back on her bed and closed her eyes, focusing on her breathing. The feeling of being watched grew stronger as she tried to relax, and a knot began to form in her stomach. The bridge of her nose tickled the way it does when someone is really close but not quite touching it.

She opened her eyes quickly and saw a black shadowy silhouette floating just inches above her. Her eyes widened and she stayed quiet, but fear gripped her with its icy fingers and she felt paralyzed as her breathing became ragged. The shadow above her looked like a face, but not entirely human. Its eyes glowed a dim red and it was staring directly into her eyes. She couldn’t make out any distinct facial features, so she focused on her breathing… and not having a heart attack.

After what seemed like an eternity of being unable to move, Anna squeezed her eyes shut and mumbled, “You’re not real, you’re not real, you’re not real….”

She opened her eyes and there was nothing there.

If any of you are interested in receiving more excerpts directly to your email, please take a moment to sign up for my author newsletter at www.JenniferCrystalJohnson.com =). You’ll receive 12 excerpts you can either read or listen to me read to you on video.

Thank you again so much for your time! I hope you find the story intriguing and pick up a copy of the book to learn more about what Morgelloons disease is, what happens with the shadow people, and who is helping Anna through her strange and mysterious experiences.

MediaKit_BookCover_FibersAnna Reynolds is caught up in the middle of a secret interdimensional government agreement… and she doesn’t even know it.

There’s a medical anomaly loosely dubbed Morgellons disease afflicting a number of people. Symptoms include open sores that produce colorful string-like fibers, fatigue, and nightmarish visions of shadowy figures. No one knows where it came from. No one knows what causes it. There is no cure.

When Anna begins having nightmares and waking hallucinations of the shadow people, her uneasiness about her condition grows. Enlisting the help of her doctor and some friends, Anna is determined to find out what’s really going on and why Morgellons is such a mystery.

With her health declining and doubts about whom she can trust, is Anna doomed to become a slave to her condition? Or will she and her unlikely group of would-be heroes come through, saving her… and, ultimately, the world?

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FibersJennifer-Crystal Johnson is originally from Germany, but was raised an Army brat. She has published one novella under her former last name, The Outside Girl: Perception is Reality (Publish America, 2005 – out of print as of 2013), a poetry book, Napkin Poetry (Broken Publications, 2010), and a collection of poetry, art, and prose called Strangers with Familiar Faces (Broken Publications, 2011). She’s also published a collection of short creature horror stories called If You’re Human Don’t Open the Door (Broken Publications, 2012), a personal development book called The Ten Pillars of a Happy Relationship (Broken Publications, 2014), and a collection of more horror stories (no creatures this time, just people) called Our Capacity for Evil (Broken Publications, 2015). She has several poems and short stories published on Every Writer’s Resource and has recently published a science fiction novel called Fibers, the first book in the Infiltration Trilogy. Jen owns and operates Broken Publications (www.BrokenPublications.com) and publishes an annual anthology to raise awareness about domestic violence called Soul Vomit (www.SoulVomit.com). When she isn’t writing or editing, she enjoys playing games with her three kids, watching crime shows on Netflix, or reading. She lives in WA State with her three children, three cats, and a crazy puppy named Thor.

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Why Fantasy? by Karin Rita Gastreich – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Why Fantasy?

Every so often, people ask me why I write fantasy. I’m a biologist by trade, and as a reader, I’m most drawn to historical fiction and history. While I’ve read many classics in fantasy and science fiction, it’s fair to say I didn’t really know the genre I was getting into when I started The Silver Web.

While I was working on the first book, Eolyn, my answer to the question, “Why fantasy?” was fairly straightforward: I wrote a fantasy novel because I wanted to tell the story of Eolyn, a character who lives in a fantasy world.

I sensed there might be something universal in Eolyn’s struggle to define her own path in the face of oppression and persecution. I thought many people might relate to this woman’s journey, even if it were set in an imaginary, feudal realm.

The earliest scenes from Eolyn date back to my college years, when day dreams and fantasy gave me a break from the rigors of studying. I didn’t have names for the characters, or a story outline, or anything written down for that matter. But I knew Eolyn would lose her family to a violent fate, unleashed by her mother’s treason. I also knew Eolyn would be a gifted maga in a world where magic was forbidden to women, and that her nemesis – the Mage King – would, through some trick of destiny, also become her closest friend, perhaps even her lover.

Years would pass before the threads of this story coalesced into a novel, the first of three, as it would turn out. As a matter of fact, I originally wrote Eolyn as a stand-alone, with no real intention of developing sequels. How that stand-alone morphed into a trilogy is a tale for another day; but now that I have three fantasy novels under my belt, I can look back on that original question, “Why fantasy?” and offer another answer:

Fantasy is a never-ending journey that I have come to love.

There are tropes and guidelines in fantasy, but no hard-and-fast rules. Because of this, every story brings something entirely unexpected. At times, I’m carried to places I never thought my imagination could go. Those places might be scary, but mostly they’re beautiful and compelling. As an author, I love the sense of adventure, the uncharted territory of every scene. I never know what I might find around the next bend, behind that other door. Who could say no to this realm of constant discovery? I know I can’t. Not anymore. My first set of novels may be finished, but the adventure has only just begun.

MediaKit_BookCover_EolynIn a land ravaged by civil war, the Mage King Kedehen initiates a ruthless purge of the magas. Eolyn, last daughter of the magas and sole heiress to their forbidden craft, seeks refuge in the South Woods.

When she meets the mysterious Akmael, heir to the throne of this violent realm, she embarks on a path of hope, seduction, betrayal, and war. Desire draws Eolyn toward Akmael’s dark embrace, but fate binds her to Corey of East Selen, a cunning mage whose ambition challenges the limits of love and loyalty.

Can she trust either man?

Hunted in a realm of powerful wizards and brutal deceptions, Eolyn must find her own path to freedom or she will burn on the pyre.

“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes, with a romantic thread.” -Publishers Weekly

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mage Corey closed the distance between them. His magic spread in a hush through fallen leaves, surrounding Eolyn, cutting off all retreat, and daring her to defend herself with a counter spell. He stopped just in front of her, his face a breath away.

“Sometimes I like to imagine you and I live in a world where we do not feel compelled to keep secrets from each other,” he murmured.

Eolyn’s throat went dry.

“Indulge me in this fantasy and tell me: Why do you desire to go to the King’s City?”

Eolyn willed her eyes to remain steady on his. “It is a child’s wish. I had a friend growing up. I believe he lives there. I wish to find him. That is all.”

Mage Corey studied her a moment. Then he stepped away and continued his walk. The autumn earth released Eolyn’s feet. She quickened her pace to catch up with him.

“A friend,” Corey asked, his voice a mask of idle curiosity, “or a lover?”

“A friend. We were only children when we knew each other.”

“I see. I am sorry, Eolyn, but I cannot take you to the city, not because I object to you finding your friend, but because I am averse to leading fawns into nests of vipers. Still…” Corey stopped, his expression thoughtful. “I know many people in the city. If you give me the name of this friend of yours, perhaps I could…”

Eolyn’s expression put a stop to his words.

“I see I am pressing too hard. Very well, Eolyn. We have had a fair exchange: one truth for one truth.” Touching Eolyn’s chin, Corey brought her gaze back to his. “Perhaps we can continue down this path when I return.”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_EolynKarin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to The Silver Web trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

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How I Handled the Research for Musings of an Earth Angel by Suzanne Adams – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Suzanne Adams will be awarding an autographed copy of Musings of an Earth Angel (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How I handled the research of my book

Musings of an Earth Angel was inspired by my story and a lot of things that had happened to me, so the research was exciting and super interesting. I did extensive research on angels, power spots, traveling, life purpose, self love, and spiritual awakenings. All of these things are relevant and fun to me. So I thoroughly enjoyed all of the research. It was sort of like a fun obsession actually. 

I also realized that self love and life purpose are 2 of the major key components to living a life of happiness and fulfillment. I believe as a society we are moving in the right direction and today, more so then ever, people are on a mission to be happy once and for all. I believe that this story can help trigger memories deep in your soul and allow you to connect with the Samantha in a way that will help unlock what your own purpose is and what things you could do in your life to be happier.

The research for my book was also based on so much of my life experience and it was really fun for me to sort of go down memory lane as I was writing different scenes and adventures. The first question people always have for me when they find out the characters were inspired by real life people is, “Well, who is Uncle Bill?”

The short answer is Uncle Bill is based on all of the naysayers in my life, the people that told me I couldn’t and wouldn’t do certain things and then I always managed to do them. Uncle Bill represents a lot of the negativity we all have to face on a daily basis. My hope and my intention is that this story and relating to Uncle Bill will allow people to see that it doesn’t really matter what other people think, all that matters is that you come from a place of true authenticity and that you are living your life for you and seeing people with love and not fear!

MediaKit_BookCover_MusingsOfAnEarthAngel22-year-old Samantha Kingston had the perfect job, perfect boyfriend, and perfect Friday nights. When disaster strikes she loses everything and is propelled into a journey where evil and good, dark and light are battling for her destiny. Will the Demon Brigade viciously destroy her? Or will her Angel team and the Divine help her to elevate and see her real truth as an Earth Angel?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I had heard of being possessed by demons, but I never thought I would be so lucky as to get to have the experience firsthand. Once again, I could feel my body trembling and that strange bitter saliva building in my throat. I needed an exit strategy—and fast. I’d learned to expect and accept crazy episodes, but I had hoped I could at least enjoy Rose’s birthday dinner out with my friends.

Sweat trickled down my forehead, and I pushed my chair away from the dinner table and staggered to my feet. Rose grabbed me by the forearm. She and the others had already enjoyed three bottles of Prosecco; and the night was just getting started at La Lune et La Soleil, the hot new restaurant in midtown.

Rose raised her voice above the clink of glasses and hum of conversation. “Where are you going? Jacob’s just getting to the good part. You gotta listen.”

With sweat now dripping down my cheeks and the back of my neck, I sat back down as Jacob continued with his crazy story. He’d been over served at a party a few weeks ago and jumped into a parked cop car. The keys were somehow still in the ignition, and he drove through town shouting at random people through the car’s megaphone. Then he somehow managed to escape without the local cop tracing him. He’d gotten away scot-free—so far.

The waiter brought over the first course and Ken, a good friend to both Rose and me, proposed another toast. “To the beautiful birthday girl and to another great year of us all having fun together!”

I raised my glass of sparkling water—I could barely stay sane as it was these days and was terrified to think how my body would react to alcohol, at least for now anyway. Woozily, I toasted my dearest friend as best as I could. I fought to keep my eyes from rolling into the back of my head and almost dropped my glass.

“Whoa!” Ken said. “You sure that’s just sparkling water?”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_MusingsOfAnEarthAngelSuzanne Adams is an author, motivational speaker and Life Purpose consultant from Atlanta this is sharing her zest for life with audiences around the globe. She believes that having fun and following your passion are the keys to finding true happiness and she’s passionate about helping unlock what that means for you.

Suzanne’s purpose is to teach people how to live a life of fulfillment and joy. She does this through teaching you her proven 5 step process to attract happiness and freedom into your life. Her first book, Musings of an Earth Angel, was just published this fall.

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Musical Inspiration – Modern Medieval by August Li – Guest Blog

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes August Li whose newest book The Kitchen Boy was released yesterday.

Musical Inspiration—Modern Medieval

Hello, I’m August (Gus) Li, author of The Kitchen Boy from Dreamspinner Press. Thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here.

Today I’m talking about some of my musical inspiration for this and many, many of my books. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic, but I was a bit of a Goth back in the day, and by going to shows and clubs, I was introduced some pretty interesting style juxtapositions. My time working at Renaissance Faires introduced me to more music outside the mainstream. I’ve also been to a lot of pagan festivals and gatherings where I had the opportunity to enjoy music from different cultures that I would probably not have otherwise discovered: Celtic music, music from many different African cultures, indigenous music from all over the world, Middle Eastern music, Japanese…. It’s a long list. While it’s always an awesome experience to see any kind of music performed in its traditional state, I’ve also always enjoyed artists who borrow from different traditions and mix elements to create something new.

At the festivals I attended—and I’ve been attending them since I’ve been pretty young—there were always drums. People drummed all day and all night, and you could always hear the drums in the background. I got used to falling asleep hearing them, and after a longer festival, I noticed their absence when I left. It’s probably part of the reason I like music with a beat, why I gravitated more toward the industrial side of Goth music.

I’m also a fantasist—a great lover of creating fantasy and exploring the creations of others. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, I have more than a passing interest in history, and the medieval period is sort of the default (but certainly not the only) starting point for lots of fantasy worlds. I won’t get into the disparity between actual medieval life and the romanticized version many fantasy creators use; that’s a whole different post. But medieval and Renaissance music is beautiful. Gregorian chant is hauntingly beautiful, but it’s also somber—no beat.

I used to have a CD that was Gregorian chant with a sort of industrial beat to it. This was a while ago, and I don’t even remember what it was called, but it was the best thing. It’s uncanny how easily these seemingly opposite musical styles mix and how amazing a result is produced. For years now, one of my favorite genres of music has been what I call “Modern Medieval.” Here are some examples, though this is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of the best places to find artists performing in this style are Renn Faires and pagan festivals.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Qntal. Qntal is an electro-medieval band who draw most of their lyrics from historical source material, and perform in Latin, medieval Germanic, and various other languages. Gorgeous, gorgeous vocals.

Faun. Faun plays pagan folk and medieval music infused with industrial beats that sometimes veers toward metal. They also draw heavily on historical material and perform in a variety of languages. They play traditional instruments and have a large number of musicians and vocalists in the band. If you ever get the chance to see them perform live, it’s an extraordinary experience.

Mediaeval Baebes. An all-female vocal ensemble performing from medieval texts set to original scores, played on authentic medieval instruments and performed in a variety of ancient and obscure languages. It’s really like hearing angels sing.

Any other neo-medieval fans out there? This is a small genre, and I would love to see some recommendations.

Other sources for modern, medieval-inspired music are scores from games like Dragon Age and The Elder Scrolls, or soundtracks from movies. What are your favorite places to find new music? What are your go-to bands for inspiration when reading or writing?

So that’s some of the music that inspired me, and here’s more information on the book.

4_5 augusta li KitchenBoyLGKitchen servant Yoli is one of only three men who know a carefully guarded secret about High Commander Koehen, the brilliant general who united their lands against a common invader. The enemy wants that secret, and they are willing to use either kindness or cruelty to obtain it.

Yoli must decide if his loyalties lie with the commander, who has shown him more affection than anyone in Yoli’s life, or with his own best interests. High Commander Koehen’s attention is capricious at best—he summons Yoli only when it is convenient for him, and Yoli knows there’s little hope of a future together. Is a glimmer of a hope for love worth sacrificing a chance for prosperity beyond his wildest dreams?

Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.