Moon Life by Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian – Q&A and Giveaway

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Check out the TV interview Hank Fabian did recently.

Who in your past would you apologize to?

Hank and Marlene would apologize to the Benedictine nuns who were our elementary school teachers and whose spiritual development was no doubt interrupted by having to teach unruly children.

What kind of mythical/paranormal pet would you like to have?

We would both like an abysmus for a pet. What’s that, you say? It’s an enormous, serpentine marine creature with wing-like fins and a mouthful of pointy teeth. Watch for our next book, “Trouble on Moon 21.”

How do you keep your writing different from others who write in your genre?

Our writing is based as much as possible on hard science, not magic, and we strive to make the science as comprehensible as possible so the average person can understand it.

What is the best and worst advice you received as a writer?

Oscar Wilde said, “Having your dreams come true is the best thing that can happen to you and the worst thing that can happen to you.” Thinking that publishing a book as an end result is terrible advice since it is actually the beginning of another long process. But using social media for marketing has been good advice so far.

Are any events in your book based on events in your own life?

Yes, some of our protagonist Charlie’s experiences are based on real life frustrations, particularly dealing with bureaucracy and in Hank’s case, running trial and error experiments that end in futility.

It is the year 2051 and the International Space Institute has just sent two rival astrobiologists to search for extraterrestrial life on Europa, the mysterious ice moon of Jupiter. What they encounter could not only revolutionize science, it might make one of them the most famous person on Earth. Or does the Universe have other plans?

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Charlie found himself drifting on a cosmic wind toward a mound of skulls that looked curiously familiar. His pain had vanished, but he felt disoriented. The skulls appeared to be gigantic but he couldn’t be sure if they were large or if he had become exceedingly small. A swift, turbulent wind carried him into one of the skulls, through the orbit of an eye then its optic canal.

A dazzling light appeared before him, gradually fading into an aerial view of Sleeping Woman Mountain. Now he discovered he was a mere speck riding between what he perceived to be two enormous insect eyes. He immediately thought of the Ngala totem and concluded these were the eyes of a dragonfly.

Rainforest shadows parted below him to reveal the ruins of his former camp filled with soldiers lounging casually near the bloodstone, the site of Gnesh’s murder. Their arrogance fueled Charlie’s rage.

On his command, thousands of wasps flew out of the forest and descended on the soldiers.

The men screamed as the insects stung them. They swatted at the horde, firing their weapons uselessly. Desperate to escape the swarm, they dived into the river where they met a pack of hungry crocodiles. The waters ran red with blood.

Now Charlie saw Prime Minister Jahuara’s distinctive helicopter appear, hovering above the carnage. Charlie directed his dragonfly into the cockpit. The insect buzzed up to the head of the prime minister sitting at the helicopter’s controls, repeatedly biting the tyrant’s eyes with its great mandibles. Jahuara tried to swat it away but the dragonfly was too quick. He shrieked in pain as blood flowed from his sockets.

Flying blind, he lost control and the helicopter plummeted into the trees. Charlie and the dragonfly escaped the craft in time to watch it explode in a mass of flames.

Charlie found himself drifting above the forest canopy. He turned his gaze toward the black sky shimmering with starlight. One by one, stars fell from the night like droplets of a celestial mist. The Pleiades constellation was the last to fall. Merope lingered for a moment, then disappeared into the darkness. A feeling of immense tranquility settled over him as he relished the embrace of this sacred void.

The world was back in balance. He closed his eyes…and succumbed to peace.

About the Authors:The family that writes together stays together, so siblings Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian co-authored a science fiction adventure that explores Jupiter’s moon Europa as two rival astrobiologists race to be the first to find extraterrestrial life. This discovery should ensure the winner fame and fortune, but the Universe has other plans.

Hank is the guy walking around with a long lens camera and binoculars, a tourist of the world fascinated by every creature that moves and every plant that grows. He teaches biology and helped devise a college genetics program. As a scientist he likes to work with facts, so there’s a possibility that the creatures he’s created actually exist!

Marlene is the president of a nonprofit, The I Will Projects, dedicated to advancing educational venues that include a middle school aquaponics program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club which received a NASA grant. She writes in multiple genres and also has published “Elderchild,” an Alzheimer’s narrative written in the first person. She shares Hank’s love of the natural world and is dazzled by the interconnectivity of all living things.

Goodreads – Marlene Fabian Stiles |
Goodreads – Hank Fabian | Amazon Author Page

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The Best Vacation I Ever Had by Chad L.E. McGhie – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chad L.E McGhie will be awarding a $15 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.

The Best Vacation I Ever Had

As kids, my brother and I were fortunate to go on many trips, and not always with our parents. The best vacation I ever had was whenever my grandparents drove my brother and I down to Disneyland. We left from Drayton Valley, Alberta, the small town that we grew up in, and I got to sit in the front seat for most of the trip down the midwestern United States. While a lot of it was fleeting, the lights and deserts of Las Vegas remain ingrained in my mind, with the tall buildings of Salt Lake City around them. And then, the images of California are fond memories, and I realize now how blessed and lucky I was to have gotten to go. Disneyland did not disappoint: from the moment we arrived, I became lost in the lights, splendor, and delight that surrounded us at every corner. Shops full of candy and merchandise, our favorite characters greeted us, and we even got to see the parade down mainstreet. Rides and music were everywhere, seemingly arrayed in an endless tapestry of entertainment: the Disneyland Hotel was just as magical, with Goofy’s Kitchen providing laughs and joy in abundance – even if the food was not as inspiring. Splash Mountain was my favorite ride, and I had to chuckle to myself whenever Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson posted a picture of him on it recently to his Instagram. It made me recall the vacation we took again, and how long ago that magical journey was, and just what kind of energy that we were immersed in. Life is a funny ride, and it was a good reminder to make sure to set time aside to enjoy my own family more. There were many great vacations, but the trip to Disneyland was something that is rare and difficult to mimic without the proper resources. We even got to Universal Studios, which was a huge treat, despite the rain that was pounding California that day. If I could go and relive it again, I would in a heartbeat. Writing about my favorite vacation again now, even, seems like a dream, as if it were a lost memory that hardly seems real.

Not all fires are welcoming.

After decades of war, this had never been more true for the neighboring kingdoms of Tristren and Zemotze. Locked in a tense armistice, there was a promise of a treaty in the air. However, as the Blademage Volgare flees from his enemies, he can see through the wall of deception that clouds the land.

Meanwhile, in the bustling city of Brigandee, the shadow of the weapon known as the Tragik has crept in closer than comfortable. The young man named Hinro Gaskette lives a simple life, expecting little other than to be a soldier like his father before him.

Those expectations are shattered, however, when tragedy awakens a nightmarish power from within . . .

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“You humans come with all sorts of trickery. Elves are no different – I am a lover of riches, but an even larger admirer of strength. To you, it seems that the Zemotze are merely power hungry. But, their mission is to establish dominance in the world that is supposed to be in place…it seems necessary, no? The world is weak, Volgare, and the Zemotze only seek to make it stronger. The time of Tristren is over. Your armies, your monarchy…and even your weapons have fallen to them.”

Volgare tried to pull himself free, but was surprised to have a shock of lightning run through him as he did. The sting lasted for merely a second, but it was strong. He breathed slowly to relieve the pain.

A laugh came now from the cold voice. He knelt down beside Volgare, his breath becoming profound to the ear. “You tell me where the rest of your bloodline lives, and you may just be fortunate enough to leave this barn once again.”

“I am the last,” Volgare replied, voice raspy now. A foot met his stomach, and the earth met his face once again. “Deceit will only bring death – not like that is avoidable in the broad picture. Even now, my master’s army marches south through your lands. It is already over, Volgare.”

Swallowing, Volgare only breathed heavily, praying that the assassin’s words were false.

Leaning so close Volgare could smell his breath, the elf whispered. “We can end this peacefully…you could put your bloodline to a well placed, and even applauded…use.”

About the Author:Chad L.E McGhie, also known as Chad W. McGhie, is a diverse and exciting entertainer from Alberta, Canada. A father of five, author, and hip-hop musican, his life is full of adventure and excitement that he only hopes translates into his creative works. Whether you are enjoying his music, attending a performance, or now reading his novels, Chad L.E McGhie aims to please his audiences wherever they may be.

You can find Chad L.E McGhie on YouTube, streaming platforms, most social media websites, as well as his website.

Chad sincerely hopes you enjoy the journey that is Legend of the Tragik, and thanks you for coming along.

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My Ideal Writing Space by Barb Jones – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner and a signed copy of the book to another randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Please note that this book is being made into a movie. Filming begins in May 2023.

My Ideal Writing Space

I believe for an author, the ideal writing space should be a space where they can truly be free and creative. I have heard many authors say how much they need peace and quiet, while others may need a room free of distractions. As for me, I can’t write in those settings. I will write anywhere a thought comes to mind – the grocery store, the gym, at home, on a date, you name it.

But what is my ideal writing space? As I write this, I am actually chuckling about all the places where I am most comfortable writing. My ideal space is where I can blast my music loud (without scaring my cat) and with chocolate! With hard rock, I can pump out a lot of chapters in one sitting without needing a break. If I need to take a break, I simply walk over to my indoor gym and lift weights before going back to writing. Some have called me an undisciplined writer because of my ideal environment but the music and being able to lift weights in between several chapters at a time, allows my creativity to flourish.

I’ve wondered about my ideal writing space at times. By talking to friends and of course to my mom (I’m very close to her) about this, I learned that my brain just doesn’t shut off. When I heard that, I realized how true it was. My ideal space for studying for school was always where the loud noises were in the house or where I could do pushups, or anything physical. When I became a homeowner years ago, I always had to make sure I had a place for working out and letting my neighbors know that there will always be loud music because I am just that kind of writer. And it’s where my creativity soars into places imaginable and where I can create characters my readers can relate to.

Birthright. Protector. Heaven. Hell.

A lone demon hunter, his true birthright unknown, roams the streets of Los Angeles while killing demons to prevent atrocities against the world. As the son of Asmodeus, Sully is a hunter feared by both demons and angels. His world was not the same once he walked into a bar and offered to help Mick, a gothic bartender.

Mick worried about her missing friend until the day she met Sully. The minute he walked into her bar and offered his help, her world changed. Secrets of her destiny unlocked, and he was at her side everywhere she turned. Friend. Protector.

Can they live with the secrets that are revealed to them? Will they survive the chase for the truth between Heaven and Hell?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Demon hunter.”

“Prick,” was all John had to say before the demon made the first strike.

As the demon punched John in the side of his face, he shook off the initial shock. Tasting a drop of blood from the corner of his mouth, John cocked his head to the left and then to the right while flexing his neck muscles. Before the demon could land a second blow, John pulled out his blade. The blade was black, cut uniquely, and the hilt bore symbols that were not known to many outside the inner circle of Hell. As he angled the blade to hit the light a bit more, the demon’s eyes grew narrow.

John realized the demon was more afraid of the blade than him. He used that fear against the demon. He waved the blade, taunting his enemy. Tossing the blade from hand-to-hand excited John before the kill while he watched the demon’s fear grow.

“You smell of Asteroth. What does he want with me? Do you like my toy? Want to play with it, prick?”

“Too many questions, hunter. Asteroth wants your head; then again, don’t we all?” The demon snickered while shifting in his stance. “This body, do you like it, hunter? I thought it would be capable of killing you. This body is strong, hunter. Strong enough to kill you.” The demon shifted in the body he possessed and then went to move closer to John.

About the AuthorBarb Jones is an author of paranormal romance and horror for adults, including her best selling series Blood Prophecy and her newest series, Heaven and Hell. She was born and raised in Hawaii, where her love for the supernatural began. When not writing, she is not only an IT professional but a mother of two highly gifted young adults, who are her inspiration. She can be found haunting bookstores, enjoying ghost tours, traveling, chatting with her readers, and baking. You can chat with Barb on Instagram at @thebloodprophecy or check out her website at

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Character Creation by Henry Mitchell – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Character Creation

I don’t feel that I create characters. When I meet them in the process of writing a tale, they seem to have previous histories, as if they were real and fully-formed long before the author came on their scene. Writing a story around them is an excuse to get to know and appreciate them as unique, even eccentric individuals.

My novels are place-driven. I try to understand the setting of the novel early on, for the place shapes the character. If I write out of places I know, then I have an idea of what sort of characters I might expect to inhabit them. Even so, often I am surprised. Once a character gains their footing, they take off on their own agenda. The best an author can do then is to follow along, try to keep up and write it all down. It is the author’s job to write true to the characters, not to try to force them into motivations and situations contrary to their individual natures. They will tell their own story if their writer pays attention and listens to what they want readers to know. If they are free to surprise, mystify and delight the writer, they will do the same for readers.

Of course, this means that my stories seldom turn out the way I expect when I start writing them.

I wouldn’t dare try to write an outline before the story is finished. I tend to agree with Stephen King when he says that plot is the last refuge of a bad writer.

The places I write about resemble places I know. It follows then that the characters I write might resemble people I know in the outer world. If you could find your way around Saluda, North Carolina, where I live, you could navigate Drovers Gap, the town that provides the setting for my novel, Among the Fallen. They are not the same place, not at all, but there is a resonance between them. One informs the other.

The same with characters in my tales. Some of them might remind you of my neighbors and family in Saluda, but it would be a mistake to regard them as copies. They live their own lives, quite different and distinct from ours. When The Summer Boy, my first novel, came out, I gave a copy to my Aunt Mary, who was in her nineties at the time. I went to visit after she read it, and asked her how she liked it. There was a character in it named Mary, several decades younger than her.

“You didn’t tell me you were going to put me in your damned book,” she said.

“That wasn’t you, Aunt Mary, I said. “She just looked like you.”

Not everything is what it seems.

Drovers Gap, population 703, appears to the tourists passing through as one more sleepy Appalachian village, just off the interstate, on the way to someplace spectacular and important. But there are simmering tensions and unspoken malice behind the seemingly placid facades, and a spark from afar will ignite an explosive and insatiable evil that hungers to devour the town and everyone in it.

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Wendl was reading the story aloud. It was an old story. He knew it by heart. After a while, lost in the flow of his remembrance, he no longer even glanced at the ReadPad. Mid-way through the tale, he felt something wet and warm and viscous in his palm. Wendl stared down at the ReadPad. A thick red liquid oozed out of it, dripping off his fingers. He raised his hand to his face and inhaled. Wendl had been in the War, a long time ago when he was still young. There was no mistaking. He had never forgotten the smell of blood.

“Are you alright, Grampa?” said the child sitting beside him. There were two of them, a boy and a girl. The boy had spoken.

“I’m sorry, children,” Wendl smiled down at them, “I must have dozed off.”

“You were talking funny,” said the girl.

“It was the Old Tongue,” Wendl said, “as we spoke it among the Fallen.”

“But the Old Tongue is not allowed,” said the boy. His voice tremored with fright.

“We should report you, Grampa,” the girl admonished, looking suddenly very serious and grown-up.

“Are you going to report me, children?” asked Wendl, chuckling, as if they were sharing a joke.

“Oh, no, Grampa,” the boy said, shaking his head, vigorously, “They would cut out your tongue.”

“Then how would you tell us stories?” asked the girl, wild-eyed and giggling.

About the Author: Henry Mitchell reads and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

He has written five novels and two collections of short stories.

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Satan’s Glove by Cousin Vinny Agnello – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Cousin Vinny Agnello. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a signed and personalized copy of the book to a US winner.

Portrait of a Handsome brutal Teen Boy in a black Leather Jacket with Hood. Displeased fashion Child Model isolated on white background. Serious Teenager angrily Looks at Camera.

In 1991, Eddie Romano, an undersized, unconfident kid, finds an antique baseball glove while on a treasure hunt of the ruins of the old Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Instantly that glove becomes his obsession. While sleeping at night, he’s transported to a dreary, decrepit ballpark where he learns the game of baseball from Billy, a skillful young ballplayer, who seems to be under the control of a dark, sinister figure who calls himself, “The Manager.”

Miraculously, Eddie becomes a better ballplayer and is rewarded for anti-social behavior by having his skills improve. As his bad attitude causes him to lose more and more friends on his team, he starts receiving phone calls from legendary baseball players Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig who attempt to steer his behavior in the complete opposite direction.

Unbeknownst to Eddie, two factions of “angels” are waging a war for his soul. What is the price of glory? Eddie will soon find out.

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As soon as he got home from school, Eddie raced up the stairs to his bedroom and shouted down to his mother, “I need to take a nap.”

Mrs. Romano ran up the stairs after him. “Is there something wrong, Eddie?”

“No, Mom. Everything’s great. I just need to get some rest. It was a long day at school, and I’m still worn-out from that treasure hunt Dad and I went on yesterday.”

“I didn’t get a chance to tell you, but I really like your mitt. I felt like wringing your father’s neck for bringing you to such a dangerous spot, but you two certainly were rewarded. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a glove quite like that one.”

To hear his mother speaking highly of his glove brought tears of joy to his eyes. “It’s really cool. I don’t think I’ve ever liked anything quite as much. I wouldn’t sell it, no matter what. It’s so unique. I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been. I’m the luckiest kid in the whole world, Mom.”

Eddie jumped off his bed to give his mother a big hug. He dried his eyes and then added, “I’m so happy you love it too.”

“I was never lucky enough to find anything like that. I’m sure it was somebody’s pride and joy. They would probably be happy a nice boy like you found it. I know if I lost something special, I’d want the finder to truly cherish it.”

“I do, Mom. I do cherish it. Don’t tell Dad, but it makes me dream,” Eddie said, holding the glove proudly.

“Well, I don’t want to disturb your dreams, so I won’t wake you up until supper’s ready at six, okay?”

“Yeah, Mom. That would be fantastic. I’m starting to get sleepy right now. I can’t wait to dream. I can hear my pillow calling me. See you later, Mom. I love you.”

“Sweet dreams, Eddie,” Mrs. Romano whispered as she closed his bedroom door.

Eddie held his glove against his heart and quickly fell into a deep sleep. He began to dream. Numerous faces flashed through his mind until he was staring up at the most handsome one he’d ever seen. This must be a dream. Suddenly, this handsome, young man spoke to him.

“Eddie. Eddie. Wake up. You’re here!” the handsome man in an old-fashioned Chicago White Sox uniform said.

“Where?” Eddie asked, confused.

“You’re here with me at the ballpark.”

About the Author:
Wherever controversy is found it’s likely you’ll find “Cousin Vinny” in the thick of it.

On the evening of August 22, 2008, Mr. Agnello was accosted by two gunmen and shot twice in the leg in Sleepy Hollow, New York. The motive for that shooting was never determined. As of this date, no one has been arrested.

Agnello recovered from the shooting and currently resides in Monticello, Georgia. This is the final evolution of a story that he received in a dream-like state back in 1991. “Cousin Vinny” believes that his colorful past gives him greater insight into the plights of the people we meet in our daily lives. He truly hopes you enjoy this adventure.

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How I Handled Research and World-Building for Children of Alpheios by Diana Fedorak – Guest Post and Giveaway

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

How I Handled Research and World-Building for Children of Alpheios

Readers may be intrigued by the colors and images on the cover, which was designed by artist Jennifer Greeff. I took creating a new world for Children of Alpheios seriously before I started writing the story. I wanted a planet where human beings could live without spacesuits so it would be somewhat similar to Earth, but the environment needed to be harsh. Research involved reading through NASA and astronomy articles on potentially inhabitable planets.

That’s how Children of Alpheios was set up on planet Eamine in a solar system with twin stars. The binary stars are close enough to orbit around each other with planet Eamine orbiting around their center of mass, which is called a circumbinary or P-type (planet-type) orbit. Due to the closeness of the suns, their orbits are stable and take eight days to complete, which provides wide fluctuations of daily temperatures on Eamine. Because of this, Eamine has limited habitability zones for humans to comfortably live in and walk around outside.

I also sketched out the supercontinent for where my characters lived, paying close attention to the topography. I had some mapping and geodesy training while I was in the Air Force and contemplated the climate a person would experience in the story.

The city of Alpheios is located in one of the temperate sweet spots on the supercontinent, wedged in a river valley between mountain ranges. A person living in Alpheios will see the suns’ positions vary daily, and once a week, witness only one sun in the sky. Most days, they’ll experience two sunsets and two sunrises. They’ll also experience the temperature swings from freezing temperatures in the morning to hot desert-like temperatures by mid-afternoon, to rapidly cooling evenings. That’s why my heroine, Alina, wears a climate suit so she can regulate her clothing’s temperature in response to her environment.

Inhabitants must also be on guard for gamma storms. Did you know that NASA has detected thunderstorms on Earth which sometimes emit gamma rays during intense periods of lightning in the highest part of the clouds? On Eamine, if you’re caught outside during one of these gamma storms, you can suffer radiation poisoning. Because of the twin stars, air mass is quickly heated as the winds carry moisture from the ocean, and storms can occur suddenly.

Buildings are constructed of the planet’s amethyst-like rock, marbled with giltspar, a silver-colored mineral that protects life on the planet from radiation. And here’s why we have a genetically engineered society, where babies are not carried by their mothers, but gestated by the colony’s corporate founder, Genodyne. Genodyne built a reproduction vault with heavy amounts of giltspar for the safety of those babies.

The world-building took some time to develop, but I enjoyed bringing a new world to my readers. Children of Alpheios can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Apple Books.

A genetically engineered colony on a new world. A baby born different than everyone else. A mother who will do anything to save him.

On planet Eamine, twenty-one-year-old Alina must protect her baby when Mandin is born with a remarkable DNA anomaly. The colony’s central corporation wants Mandin for an experimental treatment program. Trained by the Expeditionary Academy, Alina knows how to survive Eamine’s harsh environment and flees to keep Mandin safe.

While Alina tries to uncover the truth, she finds herself relying on Kiean, a gruff pilot who protects her from threats in the midst of her new surroundings. As an upcoming rebellion brews, Alina must discover who she can trust, facing choices about family, life, and love. Despite the risk, Alina is determined to safeguard Mandin from the colony’s most powerful institutions.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Aurore handed her a tall glass. Alina drank the citrus liquid, inhaling bubbles. The crackers and fish in front of the robot beckoned. As she savored the alternating salty-sweet flavors, an audible ping lit up Aurore’s expeditionary link.

“From SG.” Aurore then read the message aloud. “AI scan correlates to a very high intelligence, but the sequence indicates a possible neurological condition. Have a pediatric neurologist look into this. Ask for Dr. Olek at Genodyne. He was one of my students at the med institute.”

Alina tried to swallow the cracker stuck in her throat. It couldn’t be. She was born of Phase One herself. Genodyne edited hereditary diseases out of
everyone’s genome as standard procedure. Sucking on the straw of her drink helped wash down the cracker.

“He said it might be a really high intelligence,” Aurore said.

“Yes, but a neurological condition? The doctor said they didn’t detect a radiation leak, but what if there was one? What if it’s neurodivergence or—”

“Mandin could be a genius for all we know,” Aurore said.

Alina took another swig of her drink. She had broken her rule of stating her fears aloud.

About the Author Diana Fedorak is a speculative fiction writer from Las Vegas, Nevada. Born in Saigon, South Vietnam, she grew up in a Pan Am Airways family who frequently traveled overseas. Her prior career was serving as an officer in the United States Air Force.

Diana’s debut sci-fi novel, Children of Alpheios, was acquired by The Wild Rose Press in 2022. Set on planet Eamine, the story is about a young mother who finds herself pitted against the colony’s corporation when she discovers they desire her baby’s DNA anomaly for their genetic engineering program.

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The Metaphysical Detective by Kirsten Weiss – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Midlife Magic and Murder… and a Dog Named Dog.

When Riga Hayworth finds her new client dead, she smells a setup of metaphysical proportions. Now, to find a killer, Riga must travel from San Francisco to the underworld of Greek mythology… and make it back alive.

Donovan, Vinnie, Pen and Brigitte – the story that started it all. The Metaphysical Detective is the prequel to the Riga Hayworth series. If you like Gen-X, no-nonsense heroines and supernatural with your mystery, you’ll love The Metaphysical Detective.

Buy this quirky paranormal women’s fiction and explore the magical world of Riga Hayworth today!

Enjoy an Excerpt

It was nearly five o’clock, still light out, and Riga figured she had time for a quick drink before dark. She grabbed her suede jacket off the office’s lopsided coat rack and ducked past her neighbor’s martial arts studio.

Thuds and masculine grunts drifted through its frosted glass door. She’d missed old Mr. Chen’s last two classes and knew he’d be coming after her soon, demanding explanations.

Riga trotted down the stairs to the ground level. The first floor had been leased to a billiard parlor – her default social life. It served beer and cheap, airline-grade wine. She’d taken to keeping her own bottles behind the bar in self-defense.

“It’s Riga HAYworth!” the owner, Takako, shouted as Riga swung through the door. Takako bustled past, flipping her glossy black hair over one shoulder and nodding toward the bar. “Good to see you, hon. Your friend’s at the bar.”

Processing that, Riga peered toward past the pool tables. Cones of light illuminated the green felt and clacking balls, but the bar, far to the back, lay in shadow. She didn’t have friends.

Realizing she was blocking the entry, she willed her legs to move. Riga sensed a pair of bikers stopping play, watching covetously as she passed. She ignored them, used to the looks. She was the ultimate cosmic joke. Riga Hayworth was a near twin to Rita, the forties screen goddess, curves and all.

She neared the bar, and the dim figures resolved into three people: a dark-haired man in an expensive business suit and bracketed by two willowy blondes in silver miniskirts. The blondes twined around him, their hands roving across his broad shoulders. An image flashed into Riga’s mind of the blondes as faceless automatons. She shuddered and carefully did not look at them.

About the Author:

Kirsten Weiss conjures up action-packed witch mysteries based on contemporary and historical magical practices. Her witchy heroines aren’t perfect (and neither are their familiars), but they’re smart, they struggle, and they succeed.

Kirsten writes in a house high on a hill in the Colorado woods and occasionally ventures out for wine and chocolate. She is best known for her Doyle Witch and Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery books. Are you ready to be enchanted? Just turn the page and… voila!

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How We Handled the Research for the Book by Lauren Sevier and A. Smith – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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How We Handled the Research for the Book

Leather & Lace is set in New Orleans, so one thing we did was travel to New Orleans on a particularly hot summer day and toured the French Quarter. The majority of this novel takes place in the quarter and in one building in particular: the Cabildo, which is a state museum of history now. After we ate po-boys and and drank a daquiri, we toured the Cabildo to get a better grasp of the building for authenticity purposes. Getting to spend a steamy day in the city was just what we needed to capture the feel of it in Leather & Lace.

We also spent a lot of time researching the United States geography. In The Fool’s Adventure series, bombs dropped all over and literally reshaped what the country looks like. Partnered with climate change and rising seas, we really needed to understand how what happened in the Culling changed the fabric of the world so we could present the information as accurately as possible while taking some artistic liberties.

For the character of Will Ellis, extensive research was done regarding mental health issues in men. Specifically regarding PTSD in veterans and first responders and correlating depressive episodes and issues regarding suicide attempts.

Finally, there was research done to make sure all injuries and medical conditions explored in the novel were medically accurate and that treatment options (that were non-fictional) were given using the equipment and knowledge they would have available. Think more ‘field medicine’ than ‘pioneer medicine’ though at times it could be either or both of them depending on resources. The research and outcomes of all the medical injuries/ailments in the novels are discussed with board certified physicians for the most accurate depictions possible.

Overall, we take a very hands-on approach to research and try to make most of the details as accurate as possible while still leaving room for creative license since this is a fictional world. We want the book to feel immersive and realistic while still engaging the readers in escapism through the fantastical elements of the story. At the end of the day, every effort we make is for our readers’ enjoyment and so far we’ve found that when you keep your readers at the forefront of your mind while developing your stories, they notice and appreciate it. We have the best readers in the world and all we want to do is make them proud. <3

Three years wandering the desert is enough to drive anyone insane, and the limits of Bonnie and Jesse’s minds and hearts will be put to the ultimate test.

A deadly showdown with a murderous outlaw ripped Bonnie away from the relative peace and ragtag family she’d built at the end of Guns & Smoke. In the thrilling next chapter in The Fool’s Adventure series, we finally get the answer to the biggest question: What happened to Bonnie?

After three years of fighting to get her back, literally, Jesse James finds her in the most unlikely of places– New Orleans high society. With the help of his rival-turned-friend Will Ellis, and a sassy staff member, Jesse’s tasked with infiltrating the house of the man he believes was responsible for killing his parents in order to get her back. Jesse’s biggest challenge yet will be learning to fight for Bonnie in a way he never expected before: by fitting in.

Mired in high society politics and scheming, Bonnie is at the epicenter of one of the most ruthless gangs in the world. Years trapped in a gilded cage of wealth and lies has irrevocably changed her from a crass outlaw into a southern debutante. Gone is the dangerous glint in her eyes, replaced with suspicion when the devilishly handsome street fighter named Montana suddenly joins her father’s staff.

Can Jesse remind Bonnie of who she really is in time to keep her from giving her heart and hand away or will he discover that the wild, beautiful outlaw he fell in love with is truly gone?

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Staring at her now, knowing that I’d desperately fallen for her all over again sent a stark jolt through me. This feeling between us wasn’t some average infatuation. Most people could live a lifetime and never experience the raging, all-consuming need to be close to another person, no matter whether you knew why.

My soul called out, and hers answered.

Everything that I’d lost three years ago was suddenly before me. In the span of a breath, I closed the distance. I clutched her hips, a smile curling over my lips at the little gasp she let out as her back met the steel door and my mouth covered hers. I reached behind her, flicking the lock. Too many times we’d been interrupted. I’d be damned if I let it happen now. Not when she loved me again.

About the Authors Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on Tiktok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

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Titanian Warrior by Victoria Saccenti – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

One woman holds the key to his destiny—and his people’s salvation. Hagen drags himself to the gates of Hell, body and soul shredded by the bloodlust that consumes all the unmated of his kind. Awaiting the painful atonement that will buy him ten more years to find his eternal mate—or face oblivion. But Hades himself kicks him out with the bloodlust still prowling, unsatisfied, in his veins.

Bargained away by her parents to Master O, a mysterious, cruel wizard, Faiza serves in his household, keeping her small magic a secret, plagued by wild, confusing visions of a strange, suffering man. Then the master brings home a wounded Titanian warrior whose touch sends ice, fire, and desire racing through her body.

When she learns Master O plans to use Hagen as a weapon to conquer all races, she devises a desperate plan to free him—a plan that opens a portal to a world she’s never known. And a destiny entwined with danger that could destroy them all.

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The towering pair of boulders stood as gatekeepers and markers of the way. A steep path snaked between them until farther down the hill, the road disappeared in thick fog. Leaning on the closest rock, Hagen steadied himself to catch his breath, then pushed on.

Bloodlust crippled his Titanian vision. Still, he stumbled, rolled, and crawled over jagged rocks and gnarled roots with single-minded determination to reach his appointed meeting place, the cavern at the base of the Shivaliks, and the sole entrance to Hades’s domain on the earthly plane. A perverse satisfaction filled him each time he scraped and sliced his exposed skin, as this was only a precursor to the punishment he deserved. If he could shred his flesh to strips in anticipation as he had done with his clothes, so much the better.

Hagen advanced through the haze, seeking the deity’s promised signal. Images of his frenzy during the last skirmish prodded him. He strained past gore-filled images, and the effort paid off. There, deep within the haze, a faint red light marked the spot. Alecto had not forgotten. A hitched breath escaped his lungs as he stood and trod on a more secure step.

As the haze dissipated, the cavern’s hungry mouth gaped before him. Healing and deliverance acquired through pain would soon be his. As he inched closer to the wavering light, he removed the last remaining strips of clothing. The offering had to be bare and unadulterated. Nothing but skin would satisfy the Fury, purify his spirit, and postpone the horror of termination for another ten years—a mere blip in the lifespan of a Titanian.

About the Author:

Award-winning, multi-genre author Victoria Saccenti writes romantic women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and paranormal romance. Not one for heart and flower stories, she explores the edgy twists and turns of human interaction, the many facets of love, and all possible happy endings. After thirty years of traveling the world, she’s settled in Central Florida. She splits her busy schedule between family and her active muse at Essence Publishing. However, if she could convince her husband to sell their home, she would pack up her computer and move to Scotland, a land she adores. On a side note, in one form or another, Scotland appears in most of her stories.

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Skull’s Vengeance by Linnea Tanner – Q&A + Giveaway

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/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

There is no one in my past whom I feel the need to apologize. However, I regret that I did not tell my daughter-in-law how much I loved her until she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Life is precious and we should often tell cherished family members and friends how much we love them.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?


How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

Every story has a unique perspectives, characters, and plot lines that make them distinct. I don’t consciously consider what makes my stories different from others. I write from the heart. Readers have described my novels as evocative with unexpected twists. A review from Reader’s Favorite describes Skull’s Vengeance as follows: The plot rockets off at a fantastic pace that amps up the tension at every turn, making for a surprisingly quick read filled with passion, bloodshed, and some very cinematic and exciting dark magic to top it all off.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The best piece of writing advice I’ve received is how to firmly place a scene in a character’s point of view instead of head-hopping from one character to another, which can confuse readers. The worst piece of advice is when someone insists that you strictly avoid adverbs, complex words and sentences, descriptions, and semicolons. As long as the prose does not distract from the story, a writer should use all tools of writing that enhance the story.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Whenever I visited London, I was intrigued with the statue of the ancient warrior queen, Boudicca, and her daughters in a horse-drawn chariot. The Roman historian Cassius Dio described her as being, “in appearance most terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh: a great mass of the tawniest hair fell to her hips; around her neck was a large golden necklace.” She symbolizes how a single woman can unite divisive factions to rise up against tyranny and seek their freedom.

Statue of Boudicca and her two daughters in a chariot

My primary character, Catrin, is inspired by the legend of Boudicca and her Celtic world, which later inspired Arthurian legend. The characterization is based on the complex archetypes of ancient Celtic goddesses whose functions embrace the entire religious spectrum from healing to warfare, from creation to destruction, and from birth. Catrin is intended to be an inspiration to modern-day women who are seeking to find their place in society.

The legacy of Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) and his tragic downfall with Cleopatra inspired the primary male character, Marcellus Antonius. Mark Antony’s son (Iullus Antonius) suffered a similar fate as his father. He fell on his sword in disgrace for his scandalous affair with Augustus Caesar’s only daughter, Julia. Little is known about Iullus’s son, Lucius, except that he was exiled to Gaul as a young man, most likely as a condition to escape his father’s fate.

Bust of Mark Antony

During the time period in my series, the Antonius family legacy was cursed by the act of damnatio memoriae (condemnation of memory) that erased public records of Mark Antony and Iullus Antonius. A burning question that I wanted to answer in Skull’s Vengeance is how the tragic family legacy would impact Lucius Antonius. How would he react if his son, Marcellus, went down the same fateful path as his forefathers?

A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.

AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent's stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin's head.

To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin's cause.

Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

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White Cliffs in Southeast Britannia,
Eve of Samhain, 31 October, 26 AD

Three human skulls hung over King Marrock’s stallion, dangling from a rope like ornaments. Feeling as invincible as a god, he rode to the precipice of the sheer cliffs and listened to the roar of the waves crashing below. Yet, the raven soaring overhead chilled him to the bone—an omen he was but mortal and could plunge to his death.

He embraced the warmth of Boudicca, his younger half sister, who sat astride his horse in front of him. A toddler full of mirth, she was a healer who could connect to the souls of the dead.

Whereas their mother accused him, also known as Blood Wolf, of being a soulless murderer.

On this eve of Samhain, Marrock knew the souls of the dead freely roamed among the living. He spotted his deadliest assassin, Gawain, searching for the wraith on the emerald hilltop. Gawain had a blue, triangular tattoo of a dagger’s blade on his forehead and deadly weapons underneath his black cloak—the royal insignia of the red dragon stitched to the front panel.

For Marrock, the Otherworldly dragon, with its leathery wings and fiery breath, symbolized perpetual power. It was said that where dragons trod, mystic energy flowed. The untamed beast guarded the portal into the Otherworld.

He yearned for the dragon’s mystic power—the power to summon forces from the earth’s molten underbelly to immolate his rivals.

Gawain pointed to a pile of rocks. “The sheepherder saw the wraith over there,” he said in his deep, gravelly voice.

Marrock handed Boudicca to him and then dismounted, pulling the rope of skulls off his horse and draping it over his shoulders. His family’s skulls served as a warning to anyone who threatened his sovereignty.

Until now, he had only been able to summon the deadly powers from the skulls of his stepmother and bastard sister; their souls were encased in the bone crowns. The soul of his father, King Amren, still eluded Marrock, even after he had sliced off his father’s head. If his father’s soul was indeed wandering the hilltop, he would imprison it in the largest empty skull he had.

Then, he would be able to unleash the collective forces from all three souls.

Glancing all around, he could not see his father’s ghostly figure in the thickening fog. Boudicca’s gleeful giggle roused his attention. He watched her waddle toward a mound of stones and place her tiny hands on the stacked rocks.

“Pa. Pa. Am,” she squealed with delight.

Marrock cast a glance at Gawain. “Did the sheepherder see the wraith disappear into those rocks?”

Gawain nodded. “Indeed, I believe so.”

Marrock transferred the roped skulls from his shoulders to the grassy ground and looked at Gawain. “Help me remove the rocks so I can see what is underneath.”

Gawain joined Marrock in the task of removing the white stones one by one. They inspected each rock for any defect before setting it aside.

Boudicca, mimicking the men, picked up flint pebbles and dropped them on the chalky ground.

After a while, they uncovered the gemstone handle of a dagger; its blade was embedded in a coil-shaped serpent stone. Marrock recognized the jewel-studded dagger as once belonging to his father. Intrigued, he gripped the handle with both hands and strained to pull it out, his muscles aching and his face dripping with sweat from the effort.

Suddenly, to his shock, the hilt turned sizzling hot. He jerked his hands away and inspected the blisters that had formed on his reddened palms. Hearing Boudicca’s gleeful babble, he looked down just as she gripped the dagger’s handle.

“Pa. Pa. Am,” she trilled.

To Marrock’s surprise, Boudicca’s hands did not burn.

A prickling sensation noosed around his neck as he recalled the original curse cast by his mother just before his father had executed her.

The gods demand that the scales be balanced for the life you take. If you deny my soul’s journey to the Otherworld by beheading me, I curse you to the same fate as mine. I prophesy your future queen will beget a daughter who will rise as a raven and join your son, Blood Wolf, and a mighty empire will overtake your kingdom and execute my curse.

King Amren had etched the words of the curse on the dagger’s blade using the Roman alphabet with the belief he could thwart the dark prophecy.

Marrock shuddered.

Does my father’s soul live in the dagger? Has he come back to exact vengeance on me?

About the Author Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include “Apollo’s Raven” (Book 1), “Dagger’s Destiny” (Book 2), “Amulet’s Rapture” (Book 3), and “Skull’s Vengeance” (Book 4). She has also released the historical fiction short story, “Two Faces of Janus.”

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.


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