Hair Power by Piers Anthony – Spotlight

NEW RELEASE from Piers Anthony
Dreaming Big Publications brings you a new fantasy/sci-fi story from nationally bestselling author of the Xanth series, Piers Anthony. With about 175 books in print, Piers Anthony continues to bring fans stories with magic, a little naughtiness, and full of the humor they have come to expect.

7_22 piers anthony book coverTerminal cancer patient, Quiti, walks into an abandoned building planning on taking her life.

Instead, she encounters a telepathic ball of hair that insists it is an alien seeking to facilitate diplomatic communication on Earth.

Quiti assumes it is all a hallucination conjured up by her brain tumor.

Because of this assumption, when she saves the alien’s life and it insists on doing Quiti a favor in return, she only asks for her hair back. She soon discovers, however, that the creature’s gift extends much further than her new locks that can change color with a thought. As her powers grow and her deadly illness goes into remission, Quiti quickly realizes that there are those that would want to use her for her abilities and is forced to leave behind everything that she knew.

Will this blessing curse her to a life on the run, or does the mysterious hairball have more in store for her?

About the Author: 7_22 piers anthonyPiers Anthony, critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestselling Xanth series, brings together humor and adventure in this original story of loyalty, friendship, extraordinary powers, and hair.

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Sword of Shadows by Karin Rita Gastreich – Spotlight 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_SwordOfShadowsSisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a millennial tradition once forbidden to women. When war strikes, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.

Determined to defend her people, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.

Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.

“War propels the story forward, and the characters are at their best when circumstances are at their worst.” -Publishers Weekly

This is the second book in THE SILVER WEB trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone novel, or as the sequel to the first book, EOLYN.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

A hush of wings on the windowsill interrupted Eolyn’s thoughts. She looked up to see a Great River Owl, its proud silhouette outlined by moonlight.

Eolyn rose to her feet in surprise, keenly aware of its penetrating gaze, though she could not see its round eyes in the dark. A breeze ruffled its feathers. Its aura was impossibly familiar: intense shades of gold, burgundy, and forest green, shot through with streaks of deepest indigo.

She held her breath and let it go in a whisper. “Akmael?”

More than a question, it was a hope, a fear, an invocation.

A shimmer passed through the owl, followed by a flash of white light. Suddenly Akmael was with her, the heat of his hand upon her throat, the strength of his fingers intertwining in her hair, the demand of his lips upon hers, warm and full of passion. The magic of the South Woods blew through the window in a humid gust, swirling about them, begging Eolyn to remember who she was and what she once meant to him.

Akmael kissed Eolyn until she had no more breath to give. Then he paused and held her close, their foreheads touching as her fingers traced the familiar prominence of his cheekbone, the line of his jaw, the curve of his full lips.

All she could hear was his desire, carried on the rhythm of his heart. She dared not speak, for if she did, she might stumble upon words of caution or prudence or common sense, and none of that had any place here. Not when he was so near, nearer than he had been in such a painfully long time, closer than he might ever be again.

This is a gift from the Gods, Akmael had once said. To deny it would be an insult to them.

“Eolyn, I—”

She hushed him with a kiss.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SwordOfShadowsKarin 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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Research for the Hathor Legacy Series by Deborah A. Bailey – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deborah A. Bailey will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Research for the Hathor Legacy Series

When I wrote the first book in the series, Hathor Legacy: Outcast, I started out with one idea. What would happen if a disease could change someone’s DNA and cause them to have heightened senses beyond our “standard” five senses? Since I was writing science fiction, and not fantasy, I needed to create a plausible explanation for it. So, I decided to put the setting on the planet, Hathor in the 23rd century. Shortly after settlers from Earth arrived on the planet, they contracted a disease caused by the terraforming. This disease led to their descendants developing psychic abilities.

I researched things like telepathy and telekinesis to get a feel for what could be possible, then I expanded on it for the story. The thing is, who knows what future research will determine about psychic powers? They might turn out to be less paranormal and more reality-based as researchers learn more about the brain.

When it came to picking planets for my story, it was actually quite easy! There’s a lot of research about “goldilocks” planets that have been discovered beyond our solar system. These planets are Earth-like and might be able to sustain human life. Or, they could be terraformed to prepare them for human inhabitants. The NASA website has a lot of good information, and links to other sites.

As far as technology, it’s constantly changing and advancing. My first book didn’t include replicators (which I remember from Star Trek) but in that case science fiction has already become science fact with 3D printers. I also found a prototype of an aircar with retractable wings that can also be used as a regular car on the highway.

For the most part, I used the internet for my research. So, if I had a question, I simply typed it into Google! It’s easier than ever for an author to create a science fictional story world with all the research at our fingertips. The toughest part is keeping up with all the advances. As I continue to add books to the series, it will be interesting to see how many of the things I’ve added actually come to pass in the present.

MediaKit_BookCover_HathorLegacyRevelationsHathor Legacy: Revelations – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu groups are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“I just got word from security.” The words tumbled out so quickly that Azure had to stop to take a breath. “It’s Mikal. He’s escaped the penal colony on a ship. Novacorp security lost track of it. They don’t know where he is right now.”

“He what?” It took her a moment to get her thoughts in order to reply. “But how could he? They did the Burn Order. It was supposed to destroy his mental functions, right?”

“Not all, obviously. The injection was only meant to destroy his PSI abilities. But he was still able to break out of the colony, steal a ship and get past all the security checks.”

How had Mikal been able to escape a penal colony? He was supposedly neutralized by the chemical injection he was given after he’d been taken off Hathor. How had he even had the awareness to escape? Yet again, they’d underestimated him.

“He might have had help from someone at the colony,” Nadira suggested. “Otherwise, how could he escape? Isn’t it maximum security?”

“My child, I have no idea. We’re still waiting for an update from the colony,” Azure replied, “But we must be on our guard. I’ll stay in Nova City until we receive word of his capture.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HathorLegacyRevelationsDeborah A Bailey’s Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her books include the Hathor Legacy science fiction romance series and the Family Pride shapeshifter paranormal romance series.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. In her “other” life, she’s a freelance technical writer and author of non-fiction books and articles for various online publications. http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com

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Where Do Ideas Come From? by Sharolyn G. Brown -Gift Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sharolyn G. Brown 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.

Where do ideas come from?

Where do ideas come from? In trying to formulate an answer to this question, I had a hard time. Not because coming up with ideas to write about is hard for me. On the contrary, it’s quite easy. But answering the question of where my ideas come from is like trying to answer the questions “how do you breath?” or “how do you blink?”

I’m not a scientist. So my answer to those question would be something along the lines of “Well I just suck air in through either my nose or my mouth and blow it out.” Or “I just briefly close my eyes for a micro second and then open them.” And when it comes to ideas, it happens just as automatically for me. But, that’s not the answer anyone reading this is looking for. So I thought about it some more. And I realized that, when coming up with story ideas, what my brain does automatically is it looks at an everyday situation and asks the question, “what if…?”

For me, the “what if” is colored by my genres of choice, science fiction or fantasy. But once I have that “what if” scenario in mind, I then need to see the character or characters dealing with this scenario to make the idea one I keep. For example, the ideas for my novel, The Heaviness of Knowing, came from a conversation I had with a friend. During it, I was discussing a particularly odd dream that I’d had the night before. She responded by saying it was amazing that I could recall my dream in such detail because she never dreamed.

Now, I don’t think she never dreams. It’s more likely that she just doesn’t remember them. But regardless, her comment started me to thinking. Why would one person be able to have total recall of his or her dreams and another person not? As I thought about what this situation could be used for I was suddenly struck with the idea: Maybe there are entities that could use our dreams to their advantage.

Then, I saw Lauren and Roxal. Lauren was the unsuspecting Earth woman who Roxal, the alien, was controlling through Lauren’s dreams. Further, Roxal was being controlled by false gods on her planet. And…. The story just continued from there until eventually, I was able to write it down in what is now The Heaviness of Knowing.

So, for me, ideas come from a combination of a science fiction or fantasy centered “what if” scenario, and the character or characters affected by this scenario. And once I have the character or characters in mind, it’s simply my job to get their stories into a novel.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheHeavinessOfKnowingRoxal has spent her life using her Dream Traveler ability in service to Trebor’s gods, The Keepers. Even after she learns they aren’t all powerful like she was taught, she dutifully continues to manipulate an Earth woman named Lauren to do their bidding. Roxal’s content pretending to be a loyal follower, until her mate’s activities with a rebel faction put both of their lives in jeopardy.

Meanwhile on Earth, Lauren is struggling to find balance at work and at home. To make matters worse, she develops an acute case of insomnia which disrupts her life. While trying to cure her condition, Lauren discovers that not only do aliens exist, but that she’s been in contact with one for most of her life. And that’s just for starters.

Now Lauren’s world is turned upside down. And Roxal has to figure out if she can harness the survival instincts which before told her to hide and use it to now fight for her survival.

Enjoy an Excerpt: In the dark, with their sleeping unit’s covering pulled up to their necks, Roxal placed her hands against Edo’s naked stomach and used them to communicate.

What has happened? Roxal asked in the hand signal language Edo had taught her. Why are the Reps looking for traitors now?

I am not sure, exactly. I thought it too dangerous to meet with my Resistor contacts after the assembly. But… he paused during his response.

But what? she prodded.

Roxal, you have always asked that I not give you details because you did not want to get involved. The questions you are asking will get you involved.

This time Roxal paused before answering Edo because he was right. Even after her moment of defiance and after learning their gods were fake, and that her mission with Lauren was a lie, and that she was actually a slave, Roxal had asked him to not give her any details on the activities of the Resistors. She had thought that by not knowing any of the details about the Resistors, she could keep herself safe by denying membership. However, today had shown her otherwise. The sight of the Helper pleading for her life while declaring her innocence had shown Roxal that there was no such thing as being safe.

She finally admitted to herself, that as a slave to The Keepers and the Reps, her life was forfeit from the moment she was created. Appeasing her gods and the Reps could keep her alive. But if they ever decided that she should die, she now knew there was nothing she could say or do to stop it.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheHeavinessOfKnowingSharolyn G. Brown is a lifelong science fiction and fantasy fan who decided the best way to deal with all of the characters in her head was to give them stories and put them in a book. She lives with her husband in Houston, Texas where she divides her time between working, writing, and spending time with him.

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Suck It Up, Buttercup – We All Need Critique by Erika Gardner – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.Erika Gardner will be awarding off Amazon her book to five-six winners, one per day of the blog tour, to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Suck it Up, Buttercup- We All Need Critique

Let’s face it. Most people don’t really want constructive criticism. Oh, they say that they do, but that’s akin to the lady raving about how fabulous those bricks she calls bran muffins are. You know you’ll be reaching for one of the yummy chocolate chip ones as soon as she leaves.

In general people crave affirmation. They long for someone to say, “This is a fabulous bit of writing! Don’t change anything!” I mean maybe you as a critique partner can add a couple of commas, point out a run-on sentence, but that’s about it.

That may be what people want, but it’s not what they need. It’s really not what their manuscripts need. Those fledgling stories need to be examined by fresh eyes, eyes who aren’t in love with the newborn prose on the page. In other words, not their creator. Your works in progress must be their very best to survive in an increasingly competitive industry. In the writing process your precious story may have to be gutted and then put back together again. Repeatedly.

The gutting part sucks.

Believe me, I’ve been there. Heck, you’ve probably never met a bigger cry baby. Well, except perhaps some of the other gals in my critique group. I am very fortunate in that I am part of a tight knit and high-functioning group. Three are published, two more work locally as reporters, one even teaches writing at the local junior college. We meet weekly, whether we have submissions to discuss (aka eviscerate) or not. In the beginning the road ran bumpy (understatement). Again, critique is hard. No one wants to hear that their protagonist is unlikeable or that their plot premise is contrived. That witty bit of dialog? Does nothing to advance the plot. It’s cute- now, cut it. Oh, and your big “twist” … snooze. Water works city.

At first I couldn’t help being resistant to some of the group’s suggestions. I’m the author, after all. I don’t have to take their feedback to heart. That all changed a few years back. I was running through like the fifth draft of the book being featured here today, The Dragon in The Garden. It was a good story, fun characters, had all the glimmers one hopes, but something didn’t quite jell. Like a car engine running a tad rough. One of my partners, Jen, stepped up and undertook figuring out where the malfunction might be. She spent a lot of time on it and, frankly, marked the crap out of my baby.

It hurt. As she ran through the list of “tweaks” I needed to make my heels dug in and stubborn took over. Jen glanced at me and said, “You know I’ve spent a lot of time I don’t have on this. I have my own work that needs attention.” I remember straightening, blinking back tears, and, finally, listening. You see, if someone is willing to put the work into your piece then they believe in you. They care enough to make the manuscript better. Believe me, they have other things to do. Don’t shut down. Shut up and take it all in.

The secret lies in remembering that critique is not tearing you down. It’s bringing the standard of your work up. This industry demands a thick skin. If you can’t handle hearing a different opinion on your work then maybe you aren’t ready for what the industry agents, editors, reviewers, readers will throw at you.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Period. Mic drop.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheDragonInTheGardenThere is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.

It’s time to find out why she has this power.

Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

I’ll never, for all my days, be able to explain the dread radiating from its presence. The sensation came from the thing’s eyes. They burned with an electric red, yet, this flame burned in a cold fire, devoid of any warmth or compassion. Though it wore a humanoid form, nothing remotely human emanated from it.

I drew in breath to scream for Daisy, Turel, anyone. More than anything I wanted to call for help, to be as loud as possible. Instead, I whimpered. No other sound came. The thing turned its withered head to the man in the chair. “Abraxas, it speaks. Never do they talk.”

“That’s because they usually don’t wake up and even if they did, they couldn’t see you,” explained the man named Abraxas. “This one is special.”

“Yes,” it rasped. “I see it is. I like it, so delicious, my ducky.” The thing’s voice rasped as thin and emaciated as its form. The death rattle sound of those words conjured nightmares from the dark corners of my mind, places where nameless terrors lurked, and my fears scurried like beetles under a rock. The faint smell of death and decay clung to the air around us.

“What are you?” I managed to whisper. My voice sounded faint, a breath, nothing more.
The thing floating over me cackled, an insane, evil sound. “Now it speaks to me. I love its fear. See it? So pretty, wants to run and hide, but can barely move.” It drifted an inch or two closer to me and I cringed, but couldn’t look away; its hellish eyes consumed me. “Soon it will never move again. Never, ever move, little pig.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheDraonInTheGardenErika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.

On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & “Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course, writing. Erika’s music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, “is subject to change without notice”.

Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World), you can find her online at her website.

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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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