Sleeping in the Morgue by Jennifer Tressen – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be giving away a $25 Bath and Body Works gift certificate via Rafflecopter. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Paige Thorton, a sweet overachieving high school senior only has one month to come up with ten thousand dollars to pay for college, but her family mortuary has no business. Desperate to escape her little town and go to her dream school, she decides to take matters into her own hands and drum up some clients. Soon “accidents” begin happening to local residents. However when her boyfriend, Brock Harrington, the rookie hotshot cop begins to investigate things get hairy. Will Paige be able to pull it off in time or will she be doomed to forever sleep in the morgue?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Well, I don’t know about that but I do know everyone here seems to have a little secret.”


“Like what?” Paige asked.

“Patty drowned her baby a few years back.”

“What? Why?” Paige asked, astonished.

Brock shrugged, “No one knows. One day she was pregnant and the next day a baby was found in the stream.”


“That’s not even the worst of them.”

Really? Her eyes widened at the thought. Brock didn’t even notice her shock; he stared straight ahead at the road as he continued on.

“Wait, how come she’s not in jail then?”

“Innocent until proven guilty. There wasn’t enough evidence to directly link her. So basically it just became a missing person’s case.”

“A missing unborn child?”

Brock nodded, “Mike said she claimed she gave birth while on the toilet and her fetus was dead so she just washed it down the toilet.”


“And she got off with that bs?” Paige asked, not believing her ears. “Couldn’t Mike have done some DNA testing and linked the child to Patty? I mean there had to be some way. Fingerprints, skin tests, something.”

“It’s not like CSI, sweetheart. There’s protocol and warrants and lawyers in the mix.”

Paige shook her head, “That’s just not right.”

“Trust me I know. It would be a blessing the day some bird flu epidemic or something came through here and wiped all the scum out. Sure make my job hell of a lot easier. It would be a favor. A huge favor.” He began to laugh, “Charity even.”


Did he just say that?

“Yeah, charity.”

Paige looked out the window, lost in thought. Does he know? He must. Why else would he have said that…charity. But how?

“But everyone’s got their secrets,” Brock said.

You could say that again.

Paige swallowed hard and gripped the handle on the door. Her nails etched into it.

Get it together, Paige.

“What’s yours?” she said, suddenly cool and curious.

About the Author:

Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, “You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone.””>Twitter ~ Facebook

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The Ashes that Remain by A.M. Griffin – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card and a runner up prize of a $10 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

We’re at war against the aliens that have invaded Earth, fighting the only way we can—by surviving. I have more than most people do, but although I know it’s stupid to hold on, I can’t let go of what might have been—can’t help dreaming of something more. No matter how I tell myself it would be easier to do what everyone else wants me to, there’s a part of me that can’t give in.

Making the best of the situation is one thing. Settling, even to make other people happy, is something else.

Then we hear the alien mother ships have disappeared. Of course we have to go and investigate. What we find lands us in a huge mess that we somehow have to clean up and, as our little enclave is rocked to the core with even more changes, I’m learning a hard lesson.

The more things change—for the better or the worse—there’s no fighting human nature, and building on the ashes that remain will take everything we have. And maybe more.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Ridiculous. Forget about everyone else here, okay? What about Mia and me?” I can hear the crack in my voice as it rises. “Do you think we’d be able to go along pretending life could be the same without you?” I reach out for his hands and hold them. “Every time you go up top I pray you come back safely. I’m not talking about close my eyes and say a silent prayer, I’m talking about getting on my knees, clasping my hands and praying—loudly.”

MJ chuckles low. “You sound like Shayla. She was always praying about something or another.”

I give his hands a squeeze and let them go. “That’s where I got it from. That girl knew how to pray away any kind of anxiety I was feeling.”

“A lot of good it did her in the end.”

“Hey! Don’t say that. Don’t you dare do that to her memory. She prayed because it gave her strength and peace of mind. Praying or not praying had nothing to do with the aliens killing her.”

“When the lizards were attacking you guys, Mia and I held hands and prayed for you two. We couldn’t say anything out loud, but we prayed silently. And praying didn’t work. They killed her and took you anyway.”

I can hear the pain in his voice and my chest constricts just thinking about the amount of guilt he places on himself. “MJ, please. She enjoyed praying and she encouraged everyone around her to pray. It would’ve made her happy that you and Mia were praying for her.”

“Sometimes when I think back on it, I think my prayer wasn’t good enough. Like I didn’t pray hard enough… And, because of that, it was my fault.”

I narrow my eyes on him and pull back. “I really feel like slapping some sense into you right now.”

His head shoots up. “What?”

“You heard me. First you come in here telling me I shouldn’t go because I might die and Ian shouldn’t go because Mia is pregnant. Then you say Shayla died because you didn’t pray hard enough. Do you understand how crazy you’re talking right now?”

“It’s not crazy. I’m speaking the truth.”

“I miss Shayla too. Just because I wasn’t friends with her as long as you were doesn’t mean I miss her any less. Are you forgetting that I was there when the lizards attacked? It stepped over me to get to her. Do you realize the guilt I feel every day?” I take in a breath that seems to burn my lungs. “Do you even want to know about the nightmares I still have?” I whisper.

He watches me with wide eyes and shakes his head.

“I should’ve snapped out of my paralyzing fear and crawled to my sword and stuck that thing right in its back. If I hadn’t been so scared Shayla might still be alive today. There was nothing you could’ve done to save her, but I could’ve done plenty.” By the time I finish, my voice cracks and tears burn my cheeks.
I get up and head to my locker, leaving MJ to stare after me. When I open my locker door, I do with it with such force that the door swings and clangs against the side, making the sound of metal ring out through my room.

I snatch up my clothes, not caring if they’re clean or dirty. Right now I just want to go to the showers and sit and let the cool water rain over me to help drown out my tears.

Before I can step away from my locker, MJ’s arms are around my neck. He leans down to bury his face on my shoulder. Right then, all of the anger I feel toward him dissipates. I drop my clothes, freeing my hands to hold onto his arms and rest my head on the side of his.

“Do you think we’ll ever be okay again?” I ask softly.

“I don’t know.”

Neither one of us move as he cries softly on my shoulder and I rub his arms, giving him comfort. MJ hardly ever talks about Shayla or her death but he knows that I’m always here for him. He doesn’t say anything else, he just cries softly and I let him.

I don’t know if we’ll ever recover from anything we’ve been through, but I pray that we will.

About the Author:

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.


Amazon Author Page

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Ocean of Dust by Graeme Ing – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Graeme will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

MEDIA KIT oceanofdustaudiobook_withlogoFourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.

Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.

When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.

Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook:

About the Author:MEDIA KIT GraemeIngPhotoGraeme is a writer of speculative fiction. He probably won’t fall into existing pigeonholes, but hang around and you’ll get to read tales of fantasy, science-fiction, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk and who knows what.

Born in England, Graeme now lives in San Diego, California. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, including the development of a dozen computer games for consoles, home computers and online. Graeme is also an avid armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with six crazy cats.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~ Goodreads
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What Drives Me to Write for Kids and Teenagers by Catherine DePino – guest blog and giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Catherine will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What drives me to write for kids and teenagers is the simple fact that I loved being in schools. Every school I’ve been in as a student and later as a teacher/department head taught me much about living my life and loving it. Up until 11th grade I went to Catholic school. I credit the sisters for a superior English education. However, for high school I went to an archaic all-girls school where the nuns (who spoke about us in Lithuanian to each other) made us walk along the black line of tiles in the hallways. Mother Theophila, one of the more scary nuns, gave us hellfire and brimstone sermons every day, proclaiming that we’d go straight to the devil (is there really a devil?) if we held hands or kissed a boy!

That’s why in the 11th grade I changed to public school. That opened up a whole new world to me because I joined the newspaper, drama club, and the literary magazine. After graduating from high school, due to all the inspiring English teachers I was privileged to know, I studied English and Spanish education and became a teacher. When I was teaching, I came across many exciting books for teenagers. As I read them, I began to say to myself, “I’d love to try writing a book myself.”

Because of my demanding job (teacher, then department head of English and world languages) and the fact that I had three children at home, I reluctantly put writing on the back burner. After working in the Philadelphia School System for 31 years, I retired and took another job, this time at Temple University in Philadelphia as a student teaching supervisor. That left me more time to think seriously about becoming a writer.

I started out writing newspaper articles in my local paper’s Guest Opinion column. Then I moved on to writing magazine articles for The Christian Science Monitor and The Writer, among others. What I really wanted to do all along was try writing a book, but like all new writers, I wondered how I would deal with rejection when it came—notice I didn’t say if. I took a chance and asked an educational company if they’d like to see a grammar book for teachers to use with kids. I hadn’t even written the proposal yet and was just testing the waters. The company said that although they didn’t need a grammar book at that time, they were looking for someone to write a book about the works of Cynthia Voigt, a YA author. Of course, I accepted the offer.

I enjoyed reading Voigt’s books and writing the study guide for teachers to use in their classes. It made me feel like I was still doing what I loved most, teaching, even if it was in a different form. After that, I completed a proposal (with non-fiction you don’t have to write the whole book) for Grammar Workout, a writing/grammar book for teachers to use with their classes to teach grammar in conjunction with writing. (I believe that teaching grammar in isolation is counterproductive.) I was overjoyed when the company accepted that book, and I went on to publish many more books on the topics of bullying (five as of this post) and writing. I also published two prayer books for teens. Eventually, the company gave me the e-rights back, and I put it on the Internet.

I decided to self-publish Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying because it’s controversial in nature. For one thing, it takes place in a funeral home as Elliot lives atop the family business with his dad and quirky grandmother, Nonna. There still seems to be a taboo in some circles about dealing with death, especially with kids, but I felt I had a story to tell and wanted to get it out there. The story also takes place in a high school, and I felt right at home there. I know how schools work and all the red tape involved in getting things done, like helping a bullied child, so I felt that I was writing about something I knew. I believe it’s important to give a sense of authenticity to your writing by writing about something familiar. I didn’t feel that I knew the funeral business, so I had to do some serious research about the industry and people working in it to lend credibility to my story.

I’ve written many non-fiction books (three of my bully prevention books target kids, and the other ones address teachers and parents), but I also enjoy writing fiction. I have to say that Elliot is dear to my heart because I feel that I know the characters. Mr. Boardly, Elliot’s friend and mentor at school, is based on the personality of Scotty, a custodian I worked with at Lincoln High School. He later died in a terrible accident, and everyone was heartbroken. However, I feel that my friend lives on in Elliot’s friend Mr. Boardly.

Nonna, the grandmother, is a lot like me in that she’s brash and out-spoken, sometimes even outrageous. She finds love late in life with a quirky plumber who has a goofy walrus mustache. I mainly love Elliot because I feel I knew him in a past life. Some people may consider him a little nerdy, but I think he’s a pretty cool kid. He’s doesn’t feel sorry for himself, and he’s not afraid to ask for help when he needs it. In the book I also address divorce, a topic a lot of kids have to deal with in real life. Elliot’s mother lives on the west coast (she’s into commercials), so his workaholic dad and grandmother provide most of his care except when his mom pops into town for a brief visit.

I love writing books for middle grade kids, and if this book does well, I plan to write a sequel about Elliot’s plan to stage peer group meetings for bullied kids in the funeral home where he lives. I love this guy and want him to go another round.

I’d love to hear from your readers about any questions and comments they have. Please find me on my website I’ll definitely write back.

The kids at Ralph Bunche Middle School love to pick on Elliot Kravitz-Carnucci. He struggles with his weight, looks like a geek, makes top honors, and lives above the Carnucci Home for Funerals in South Philadelphia with his distant, workaholic father and Nonna, his quirky, overbearing grandmother.

Since his parents divorced, he splits spending his time with his funeral director father and his mother Rayna, who dreams of becoming the queen of commercials on the west coast.

At the hands of his peers, Elliot experiences a series of bullying episodes that escalate from entrapment in a school supply closet to a brutal “swirly” (head dunk in the toilet) that lands him in the hospital emergency room.

Elliot has a small circle of loyal friends and a mentor named Duke, an aging school custodian, who root for him to overcome his bullying issues so that he can enjoy his life as a teenager and a budding singer/performer. Can Elliot win his fight against the nasty bullies, or is he doomed forever? Read this funny, sad, and crazy book to find out.

Enjoy an excerpt:

When Nonna, my grandma, and I got home, Dad was standing in the reposing room (that’s where they lay out the dead bodies) admiring his hair and make-up job on his latest customer.

I moved close to the casket and peered in. “Didn’t Mr. Luisi have white hair?”

Nonna frowned. “White, black–he’s dead now. He doesn’t know the difference.”

Dad looked like he was in a trance. He slid Mr. Luisi’s trifocals down low on his nose, like he wore them when he read the sports page on his front porch, and straightened his plaid bow tie.

“Looks like he’s about to pop up and dance the Tarantella like he did at his daughter’s wedding,” Dad said to himself.

Nonna poked Dad’s shoulder with her bony finger. His head spun around like Linda Blair in that movie, “The Exorcist.”

Dad looked at me all teary eyed. I didn’t know if he’d gotten emotional because of what he’d heard happened at school or if he was thrilled with the job he’d done on Mr. Luisi.

“Are you okay, Son?”

Nonna slammed her head with the palm of her hand.

“If you call being abused by a pack of punks okay, he’s fine.”

“I’ll live,” I said.

She motioned for me to follow her upstairs. Dad peeled off his rubber gloves and trudged up after us.

“Sit down,” Nonna said, offering me a plate of oatmeal raisin cookies. “Pour yourself a glass of milk. You’ll feel better.”

About the Author:

Catherine DePino has sold thirteen books for parents, teachers, and children to mainstream publishers. She self-published her fourteenth book, Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying because she wanted to give it a wider forum. Her background includes a BS in English and Spanish education, a Master’s in English education, and a doctorate in Curriculum Theory and Development and Educational Administration from Temple University. The author worked for many years as an English teacher, department head of English and world languages, disciplinarian, and curriculum writer in the Philadelphia School District. After this, she worked at Temple as an adjunct assistant professor and student teaching supervisor.

Catherine has also written articles for national magazines, including The Christian Science Monitor and The Writer.

For many years she served on the board of The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. She holds membership in the Association of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Her new self-help book, 101 Easy Ways for Women to De-Stress, Reinvent, and Fire Up Your Life in Retirement,appeared on the market in March, 2014.

Visit her website at or on Facebook.

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Mary and Madelyn: Compare and Contrast — Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of Dream Boy by Mary Crockett & Madelyn Rosenberg (US/Canada only)

Mary and Madelyn

Mary Crockett and I have been friends for a long time. Here are some things we have in common, along with some things we don’t…

Things in Common

Mary and I both played alto saxophone when we were in high school. Viva la band geek! (You can see a high school picture of me playing sax on this Dear Teen Me post).

We both grew up in southwest Virginia. I grew up in Blacksburg and Mary grew up in Salem, about 35 miles away. We didn’t meet until after high school, though I suppose there’s a pretty chance we competed against each other in marching band competitions, or that we were in opposing pep bands during football games. Because we grew up so close in proximity, we both knew a lot of the same landmarks, so when we sat down to write Dream Boy, we knew exactly where everything was.

We both love the mountains and feel kind of naked when we’re not around them.

We are both lousy housekeepers.

We both get migraines and our editing/writing would have been in huge trouble if we’d gotten them at the same time.


Mary likes the Yankees, I like the Red Sox. (I lived in Boston for a time. Not sure what Mary’s excuse is.)

Mary is tall and I am decidedly NOT, as evidenced in some of our publicity photos. We had to arrange ourselves on rocks so we were on the same plane.

Mary is blonde, I’m a brunette.

Mary is a poet, I’m a journalist.

Mary is a dreamer and an optimist. I’m a realist and more of a pessimist than I care to admit.

I am Downton Abbey. Mary is Downton Abbey + Walking Dead + Sherlock.

7_8 DREAM BOY COVER 300If dreams can come true…then so can nightmares

One night Annabelle dreams of the perfect boy: tall and handsome with impossible blue eyes. Then, just as suddenly as he appeared, he’s gone…until he walks into her science class the next day. Perfect and REAL. The boy of her dreams. And when he brushes past her, he whispers “Annabelle.” Suddenly, Annabelle’s got the perfect boyfriend and a date to homecoming. Her life is like a dream come true…until her dreams stop and the nightmares begin.

Watch the book video:

Enjoy an excerpt:

I’ve always been a dreamer. Daydreams. Night dreams. Dreams of grandeur and dreams of escape. If I were an onion and you peeled back the papery outside, you’d find layer after layer of eye- watering dreams. And in the center, where there’s that little curlicue of onion heart? There’d be a puff of smoke from the dreams that burned away.

It was all just brain waves, I thought— disconnected, like the notebook that my friend Talon keeps. She draws a line down the middle of the page; on the right she writes everything she remembers about a dream, and on the left she puts notes about the stuff that’s happening in real life, things that might trigger her subconscious. Reality on one side, dreams on the other—a clear line between the two.

But it turns out there are no clear lines, just a jumble of what is and what might be. And all of it is real.

About the Authors: 7_8 marymadelynpub1Mary Crockett likes turtles, licorice, and the Yankees. Madelyn Rosenberg likes cats, avocados, and the Red Sox. Luckily they both like the weirdness of dreams (and each other) enough to write novels together. The friendship has survived three moves, six kids and countless manuscript revisions. Madelyn lives just outside of Washington, D.C. Mary remains in the mountains near their hometowns in southwestern Virginia. You can find them on Twitter @marylovesbooks and @madrosenberg or their blogs at and

Buy the book at Indie Bound, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

The Fox’s Mask by Anna Frost – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will award a $30 gift card (Amazon OR BN OR Kobo) to one randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post. Visit other stops on the tour by clicking on the tour banner, above.

NOTE: This book is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time.


Cover_TheFoxsMaskDemon hunter Akakiba keeps many secrets from his human companion. The fact he’s a werefox isn’t the worst one.

In feudal Japan, magic is dying. As a demon hunter, Akakiba finds this problematic. The evil he’s been trained to destroy is disappearing and, along with it, the shape-shifting abilities of the clan he left behind. With his only companion, a determined young human named Yuki, Akakiba traverses the country slaying demons and performing odd jobs.

But when an army of demon-possessed humans masses to exterminate his clan, Akakiba must put aside old feuds and protect his family–-all while hiding an important secret from Yuki. Will they find a way to defeat the demon possessed before it’s too late? With magic dwindling, will it matter either way?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Akakiba found Jien and Sanae waiting outside, the latter wearing an expression too perfectly innocent to be genuine.

Jien, on the other hand, wasn’t even trying to hide his eavesdropping. “I take it you’re still not interested in marriage, Aki?”

“Don’t make me hit you.”
“I’ll try. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

Sanae giggled, and Akakiba gave her an alarmed look. When a young woman started giggling at a man’s stupid jests…

It wouldn’t be bad news for Sanae to be interested in the opposite sex since, as his dear mother said, they needed to produce all the kits they could, but Jien wasn’t a suitable candidate!

Whirling round, he kicked Jien’s legs from under him. By the time the monk hit the floor, there was a sword inches from his face.

Jien peered up at him. “Ow. What was that for?”

“If you ever touch my sister,” he warned with all the threat he could muster, “I will dismember you, piece by piece, and I will leave the remains to feed wild beasts.”

Sanae gripped his sword arm, trying to force it up. “Brother! Put that away!”

“Please, Aki,” Jien said with a snort. “I knew that without you saying it.”

“Good.” His sword slid home. What was it about Jien that rubbed him the wrong way? Everything, possibly.

Lifting himself from the floor, Jien brushed and straightened his clothes. “You make it hard to be your friend.”

“I’m not your friend.”

“You saved my life. In my opinion, that makes us friends for life.”

“If I’d known you’d be pestering me forever, I wouldn’t have bothered.”

“Hindsight is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it?”

Sanae was glaring. “Brother, that’s no way to behave with a guest! Jien is an honorable man, and I need no protection from him. I would also say you have no right to pretend to care about my virtue after abandoning me for three years! Honestly! What’s the matter with you?”

It wasn’t his habit to defend himself, but in this case, it seemed important to tell the entire truth. “Jien’s about as honorable as a snake! When we first met he told me he’d been wounded by a demon and beseeched me to carry him over the hill to a village where he might get treatment. I later learned that, in truth, he’d been caught spying on bathing girls. Their guardian had beaten him up and thrown him out of the village so he couldn’t get treatment there!”

“It was an accident,” Jien said. “I got lost, and hearing voices, tried to follow them. That’s how I plunged headfirst into the hot springs. And that old woman was as frightful as any demon I’ve ever seen!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna Frost is a Canadian girl who spends winters writing and dreaming of summer. An overdose of Japanese culture and media has led her to write fantasy inspired by Japanese mythology. In a shocking break with literary tradition, Anna does not live with cats. Instead she lives with chinchillas, which can be just as demanding and evil as cats.

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The Possession by J. D. Spikes – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding winner’s choice of two ebooks from Lachesis Publishing ( to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine.

What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen.

Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.
So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

Enjoy an excerpt:

It wasn’t the first time a good idea had come back to bite me in the ass, but I was afraid it might be the last.

The plan had seemed harmless enough. I never intended things to get so out of hand, and I certainly hadn’t expected Zach to get involved. No, wait. If I’m going to tell this tale, write it down so it’s never forgotten, I must tell the truth—the whole truth.

I should start at the beginning . . .

I had always resisted being a redhead.

“My hair is brown,” I’d declare, “with red highlights.”

When you were one of six heads that spilled out onto the sidewalk every morning though, the sun unmercifully spotlighting the fact that you varied in shades from the red section of the crayon box, you eventually had to let that notion go. When I was twelve—we were only four heads bobbing off to Catholic school at the top of the hill by then—Mom tried to soothe me by pointing out my hair was auburn.

Auburn. I’d liked the sound of that. It wasn’t red, it was auburn.

Auburn sounded regal and refined.

So did Daphne Wentworth. That’s my name, but I can tell you truthfully I’m neither regal nor refined. I favor t-shirts and jeans and my battered sneakers. I usually have a basketball in my hands. Or a softball bat. I’m tall, always have been. Do you know what it’s like to go through school like a giraffe above the crowd? Above the boys?

But I digress.

My point is, I’m not at all what you’d expect from my name. And what happened to us last summer, what waited at the lighthouse, in that small copse of trees, well . . . you’d never expect that, either.

Not in two hundred years.

Jeanine Duval Spikes is a spinner of romantic tales with a touch of the supernatural. Lifelong research and experience with the paranormal infuse her stories with ethereal spirit, while her belief that love conquers all suffuses them with heart.

She is a paranormal investigator with a small local group, aspiring to help those in need by advancing this exploratory field both spiritually and scientifically. When not writing, you can find her cooking, gardening, horseback riding, or forever getting lost in secondhand shops. The mother of two grown sons, she lives in Rhode Island, the Ocean State, with her very own hero-husband Tim, and two crazy cats. She is the proud recipient of the Jo Ann Ferguson Service Award for selfless assistance and dedication to fellow writers and the craft.



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Interview and Giveaway: Brynn Chapman

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Brynn Chapman, whose newest release Boneseeker releases today. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a digital copy of Boneseeker and a $10 Amazon gift card.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Write because you love creating stories. Love the people and places that grow from your head. Writing without rejection is like a body without limbs, its going to happen. Write because you can’t not write.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I guess I’m going with a cliché and say Jane Austen. But it’s true. I’ve read everything she’s written, her canon sits on my bedside table. I read widely in all genres and my tastes are eclectic:  I love Dan Simmons, Grace Burroughs, Mary Robinette Kowal, Diana Gabaldon, Heather Dixon, Allie Condie and so many others. I’m all over the place with my tastes.

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Hmm. I am a character driven reader and writer. For me, the experience of believing characters are real, so real, is honestly quite rare. When that happens, you have a reader for life in me.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

It normally begins with two ideas, not normally put together. From that, people, situations and emotions spring forth. I am pretty organic. A puzzler.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

It begins with plot, but it is all about the characters. If you don’t love or hate these people, what’s the point? You can feel luke-warm about your co-worker, not about the book. Otherwise, who would bother reading? These characters have to be people with whom you want to share your precious time.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

HMM. Arabella has incapacitating claustrophobia.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I read King and Koontz growing up and the classics. (yes as a nerdy teen) I also was the only female I know to have ordered STARLOG magazine lol.

Describe your writing space.

That changes according to the season. In winter, its Panera. In summer, if I can hide from my family, my deck overlooking the woods. It’s the perfect combination of beauty and eerie.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have a knack for finding the weirdest pieces of history, and layering them into the books. I love it!!

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

While writing Boneseeker, I learned loads about forensics, especially historical forensics. I always loved archaeology, so my shelves keep growing, filled with the science of talking bones, poisons, apothecary sciences.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Um….too many to count. Put it this way, I have a frequently used hashtag…#calamityJane. Things happen so often….I’m pretty sure my writerly friends secretly love it, and just wait for it.  Think Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. You know, when they dressed her up…and she wipes out?

So here’s one.

The conference room is filled with hushed author voices, lined up in a queue, ready to pitch there little hearts out.

I’m sitting in said queue, unbelievably still intact. Small talk from other writers, “Is this your first pitch?”

Turns, leaning to answer, opens mouth—warm wet deluge down the leg. Coffee. All over calf.

“Ms. Chapman, it’s your turn.”

Avoids eye contact with other writers, wiping hand on napkin whilst vaulting forward toward editor table.

That’s like, everyday.

ronnaAbout the Author: Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

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Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


tnBoneSeeker_FinalArabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900′s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.

Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.

But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?

Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.

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School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino – Spotlight and Giveaway




This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
The author will give a $20 Amazon gift card to two randomly drawn commenters. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A timid girl finds bravery as the first female Death.

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Enjoy an excerpt:

She tried to turn, but the scythe pulled her onward. She coursed through stars and space, beyond time and emotion. Lighter than a daydream, she slipped through a crevice: the gap between light and shadow. The blade twisted, finding its way.

A face appeared before her: an elderly man she didn’t recognize. Somehow, she sensed a name: Elias Stoneridge.

She landed hard, stumbling as her feet hit a tiled floor. Beads of white light trickled off the blade.

For a moment, she couldn’t tell where she was. She heard beeps and the slow intake of air.

Frank patted her on the shoulder. “You okay?” he asked.


“Remember, don’t let anyone else see us,” said Frank, looking around the hospital room.

Certified Deaths received special robes to help avoid mortal eyes. Ironically, the Deaths who’d inspired tales of the Grim Reaper throughout the ages had been students like her. Students and ones who didn’t make it back. She shuddered, remembering her skeletal appearance. It seemed long ago.

A man lay in a bed, connected to an array of tubes and machines. Suzie walked to the foot of his bed and read the name on his chart. “Elias Stoneridge.” The scythe quivered in her hand. The handle pulsed like a beating heart, or was that only her own heartbeat? No, the blade felt the soul, it was hungry.

“It’s his time,” said Frank, patting her on the shoulder. “Quickly, before someone comes.”

About the Author:

Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Mannino is currently working on a sequel to “School of Deaths” as well as an adult science fiction novel.

Find Mannino online at:







Buy the book at MuseIt Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.

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The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. Fedison – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment or ask him a question. You can click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT eye_dancers_lowres3Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He heard the others, still talking behind them. Ryan was telling another of his dumb-blonde jokes. Crickets played their fiddles from hidden places in the grass. A hoot owl called out, and another, farther away, answered. Duss, now a vague form in the dark, still stood at the fence, looking through the gap at the now dormant grill. And he knew, he was certain, that he could talk to Heather, this beautiful girl from a place so far away. She would understand the way he felt about his parents. Maybe she would understand the way he felt about a lot of things.

But it didn’t matter. Because he didn’t want to stumble over his words, his tongue like sandpaper, tripping over syllables. He didn’t need to. Just being with her was enough.

He sat there, holding her hand. He no longer felt rushed, no longer desired to leave. Joe would end up making that decision for them, anyway. For right now, he just enjoyed the sensation of her fingers laced through his, the heady fragrance of her perfume, the easy, comfortable silence that hung between them.

He looked up, at the infinite black canvas of the sky, at the stars, which shimmered like precious jewels. She had said that maybe our dreams lived up there, among those stars. All we needed to do was believe, and remember.

And reach.

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoMichael S. Fedison was born in Rochester, New York, and now lives with his wife, Sarah, and regal cat, Luke, in the green hills of central Vermont. Michael has been writing creatively for as long as he can remember, and has had short fiction published in several literary magazines, including Iconoclast and The Written Word. He works as a full-time technical writer and also is a freelance proofreader and copy editor.

Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.

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