Sonar the Surge by B. Truly – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon Gift Card, Sonar book mark, & Sonar The Surge Photo magnet to a randomly drawn winner, and $10 Amazon Gift Card, Sonar book mark, & Sonar The Surge Photo magnet to another randomly drawn winner, both via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_SonarTheSurgeEclipsed by darkness, the Romelands must face the ultimate quest. If they are forced toward the umbra peak, they will be completely obscured.

Symone struggles with her most challenging battles … the conflict within herself. Losing loved ones steals part of her soul. Despair has created a gaping hole where her heart should be. Symone doesn’t even recognize herself. She has to determine if this is the person she’s turned into, or if it is who she has always been.

Nile is an attractive aristocrat whose charm and arrogance drives Symone insane. Beyond Symone’s control, Nile is spun into her life. But she’s not sure if she can have a relationship with him or where that could lead her. Embracing love could make her whole again, but it may also destroy her. Symone must travel through the opaque light in order to find where her destiny lies.

Symone’s family, Shiray and Syira, continue to fight in the feuds of their galaxy. Together they have to find the balance between compassion and sacrifice. Kadanans are being held captive, and they hold the fate of their world in their hands. They have only begun to understand the consequences of the devastating realities of war.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, is the philosophy the Romelands now abide by. With chaos and turmoil at every corner, they may forget what is worth fighting for. The surge for power has erupted. Only the strongest race will be left standing.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

* * * Symone * * *

“Nile, please calm down.”

Nile narrowed his eyes at me. “I’m not talking to you.” He turned away. My heart stung. I didn’t want him to be angry with me. He must think I wanted to be with Cessar. I’m sure it looked that way.

“Bryan, please let me go. I’m not going to start any more trouble.”

Bryan seemed unsure, but he complied. Nile stormed out the room without giving me a backward glance.

I looked everywhere for Nile. His room, then the conference and recreation rooms. I ran into Kumar, who told me that he had seen him go down to the basement. I headed downstairs. He wasn’t in the cargo department. Maybe he was inside his ship. I placed my hand in the center of the moon triangle symbol on his ship, and beamed aboard. Nile was in the cockpit, sitting at the control panels. He appeared to be running diagnostics.

“There you are. I’ve been searching for you everywhere.”

“Really? I figured you would be with Cessar.”

I rolled my eyes. He was still pissed. He wouldn’t even look at me. “I don’t want to fight, but you’ve got the wrong idea about me and Cessar.” He remained silent. “Well, it’s obvious you’re still angry. Maybe we can try to talk about this later. I’ll leave you alone for now.”

“Wait,” he said, finally meeting my eyes. I turned around and walked over to him. “How did I get the wrong idea? You were holding hands and he was leaning into you. His thoughts were screaming that he wanted to kiss you.”

“Cessar told me he wanted us to be more than friends.”

Nile’s jaw muscles flexed. “He was about to kiss you.”

“Maybe those were his intentions. But I wouldn’t have kissed him back. I was telling him that we could only have a friendship … nothing more.”

“Oh,” Nile sighed, blowing out his breath. “Cessar wants you, though. His thoughts are loud and clear. He’ll always want more.”

“He will have no choice but to accept that we can only be friends.”

“Why? You get along better with him, anyway. You said so yourself.”

I took a deep breath to calm myself. He was going to give me a hard time about this. I swirled his chair quickly, so that he was facing me. His eyebrows rose. Then I sat on top of him, straddling him in the chair. I wrapped both of my arms around his neck. This was a very intimate position. He gasped and bit his lip. That was new. Nile never got nervous.

“Because he doesn’t make me feel the way you do.” I captured his lips. He was taken aback at first, but then he returned my kiss, deepening it. This made me giddy. I’d been scared he would reject me. His grape flavored tongue heightened my senses. My head swam in desire and my body began to burn as his grape enhancer pumped through my veins. I moaned and started to move my body against his. I could feel every inch of him, sitting on top of him this way. I could also taste my pineapple enhancer swirling with his, enticing him. Nile groaned, caressing my back while we continued to explore each other’s mouth. Suddenly he pulled back abruptly, just when things were getting electric.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t like feeling like this. I have no control over you,” he exclaimed.

“You’re not supposed to control people, Nile.”

“So, what’s next?”

“We continue to see where this leads.”

“I’d like that.”

“Me too.”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SonarTheSurgeB Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old and is grateful to have accomplished this dream. She has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She is addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of action and suspense. She writes New Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Paranormal-Romance.

In the Sonar series, B Truly said, “It was fun to explore different elements of Sci-fi romance and create various realms of powers for my characters. I want to show my readers that Sci-fi can be fun, but also traumatic. I hope you guys enjoy the Sonar Series.”

B Truly has three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Sugarland, Texas.

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Lyrical Press Contemporary Romances: Head over Heels and Breaking Hearts – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a digital copy of both books 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_HEAD OVER HEELS_Final (1)Sometimes it takes hurt to open your heart…,

At twenty-two, Thane Wells is the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball—and he owes it all to his adoptive Mama, “Queen” Elizabeth Sommerville, a wise, beautiful, entrepreneurial African-American woman who always encouraged him and his two white brothers to reach for the stars…the woman Thane still talks to daily. He never dreamed their most recent conversation would be their last. With his beloved supporter suddenly gone, Thane is grief-stricken, shaken, and vulnerable—especially to a woman like Kari Meyers.

Kari’s had her eye on Thane for a while, but strictly for business. As a junior sports agent, she’s hungry to sign him, especially when she hears his current agent will be retiring soon. When she finally locates Thane, she’s shocked to discover he’s attending his mother’s funeral—and he’s shocked to find Kari in his hotel room. Assuming she’s an escort is just the beginning of their misunderstandings. But one thing that’s clear is their mutual attraction. As a single mom with an NBA ex, Kari has a rule against dating athletes. Yet as circumstances bring the two closer together, they just might find they’re on the same team, heart and soul…

*****
MediaKit_BookCover_Breaking HeartsCan tragedies have a happy ending in Storybook Lake?

Every town has one—a mean girl, hell-bent on taking down everything in her path—and Danielle Ranier played the role to a tee. She broke up Storybook Lake’s most beloved couple and to save herself from a lifetime of lectures on morality, she hopped on the first plane out of town. Six years, one child, and a big secret later, she’s back, fleeing from her abusive husband, who isn’t quite willing to set her free. Now on trial for a murder she didn’t commit, Simon Hunter, the only man she’s ever loved is offering her a lifetime of love and security. If she could only reveal the secrets long-held inside her, a family that never was might finally come together . . .

Enjoy an excerpt from Breaking Hearts:

How it all started.

Since the moment I first noticed boys in fifth grade, Simon Hunter was the boy I saw myself growing old with. He had the best smile, the most expressive honey-colored eyes, and a way with people that made an entire town love him. Even when he didn’t know it, he was everything to me. Any minute I could sneak into his presence was a minute I savored and cherished.

When we got around to the business of being adults, our schedules seldom coordinated, but we spent most Fridays together. I’d skipped out on the last three, wanting him to see what it would be like without me. I wanted him to miss me with a desperate passion.

The missing only happened on my end, and I had the phone log to prove it. As it went to voice mail, I glared at my phone and left my tenth message…a pitiful, I-miss-you-please-call-me-and-let-me-know-you’re-okay kind of message. Since high school, he’d been my reason for waking up in the morning, the hero in the dreams I had every night, and the focus of all the moments in between. And damn it. Friday was our day.

After a quick makeup check, I left my apartment, the one we’d planned to share up until a few months ago when he started making all those trips to LA with Gatlin. I kicked the jealousy away with the toe of my shoe against a rock on the sidewalk.

For three full blocks, I took my frustration out on chunks of concrete until I strolled past the bakery. It took every ounce of my will not to press my nose against the window to see if he’d decided to loiter inside while his sister worked, or if he’d just run in to get some free pastries. His car was parked out front, so I leaned against it for a few minutes, waiting…remembering the first time he kissed me…the way his hand cupped the side of my face, the brush of his lips so softly over mine. Had we been sixteen? Seventeen? It was a lifetime ago.

About the Authors: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_Crystal B BrightCrystal Bright graduated with a B.A. from Old Dominion University with a major in Creative Writing, a minor in Communications, and an emphasis on Public Relations. She earned her M.A. from Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Chesapeake Romance Writers.

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As an author, Melissa Shirley believes in fairytales, happily ever after, and destiny. Born and raised in Illinois, and a mother of eight, she lives with her husband and three youngest children in a quiet town in the southern part of the state where she spends her time writing and watching her children grow into the people she has always dreamed.

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Five Lessons I Learned From My Villain by S.L Hannah – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. S.L. Hannah will be awarding one commenter a paperback copy of The Need (U.S./Canada only for book) and one commenter a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Lessons I Learned From My Villain

1. “What’s your gut telling you?” – Heather, Chapter 1

In life, many of us tend to overanalyze any given situation, which can often lead to indecision and stagnation. One of the themes in this book is digging deep into your primal instincts, and going with your gut.

2. “How do you think we learn about ourselves, Angie? By being comfortable and not pushing our boundaries? By always feeling safe?” – Heather, Chapter 9

Exploration can be a scary thing. It is easier to settle into the comfort of a known quantity. Once we explore, we grow, and there’s often no turning back.

3. “You think everything’s so black and white.” – Heather, Chapter 12

The Need explores many grey areas of right and wrong in various situations. It pushes the limits of our social norms and dares us to ponder outside our boundaries. That type of exploration, of acceptable versus unacceptable, makes us feel more “normal”.

4. “If everybody understood the value of being uninhibited, the world would be a lot less obscene.” – Heather, Chapter 16

Obscenity offends the prevalent morality of the time, but our morality is constantly shifting just like the second hands of a clock. “To thine own self be true” is Polonius’s last piece of advice to his son Laertes in Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, and that is another theme in The Need.

5. “Love and hate are a lot alike. It’s indifference that pulls people apart.” – Heather, Chapter 24

Strong emotions move us into action, for better or for worse. Those strong emotions keep us invested in a relationship. It is when we lose those strong emotions, when we do not feel anymore, but instead experience a void of emotion, that a relationship ends.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheNeed Stood up by her boyfriend, she goes home with a woman…

Straight-laced coed Angie has never felt daring enough to…experiment. Until tonight. The skin around Heather’s lips is soft, unlike the stubble Erik lets grow in, and the night unfolds like an erotic dream, tapping into an unexplored part of Angie’s body and mind.

But Heather’s seduction turns into a nightmare when Angie wakes up tied to the bed and is told she can’t leave. Alternately seduced and tormented by her lover-turned-captor, Angie is pulled ever deeper into a twisted world of pain-for-pleasure and multimedia exploits. As the stakes rise, both women give into a desire for connections neither has had, and Angie’s struggle to escape becomes a bigger dilemma: Would she leave if she could?

Winner of the Golden Palm Contest for New Adult Romance, this erotic thriller dares to explore the darker side of our fantasies and their sometimes unintended consequences.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Her taut frame is sandwiched between an attractive couple. They don’t look much older than me, but they look fashionable and carefree, like they belong in a place like this. She’s suggestively pushing back and forth to the DJ’s evocative beats, letting her blonde mane bathe in the crest of the girl’s neck, until the guy grabs it and pulls it back, like he doesn’t want to get left out of anything. Their hands wander freely. It’s almost as if they’re not on a dance floor, but in a bedroom. Doing it standing up. She pulls the girl in tightly. She’s commanding. How I wish I was.

I turn my gaze back to my near-empty drink and the cell phone next to it. Still no response from my boyfriend to my voicemail and several text messages and it’s almost midnight. Where is he? I swirl the ice cubes in my glass.

He knows I’m not really into nightclubs. The drinking, the posturing…it makes Erik feel like he’s part of a squad. It makes me feel like I don’t fit in. But I don’t want to disappoint him, or myself. I can’t spend all of college immersed in books. These are supposed to be the defining years of my life, brimming with experiences that you reference forever, experiences that help you figure out who you really are.

I look back up at the mirrored wall. She has this look on her face, like there’s nowhere else she’d rather be. As if time has stopped just for her, so that she can feel every tensed, slick muscle, hear every throb of desire. Will I ever feel that?

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheNeedS.L. Hannah was born in Poland, grew up in Canada, and moved to Southern California to pursue her love of single-engine airplanes. The Need is her first erotic thriller. The manuscript won the 2013 Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm Contest for New Adult Romance, and is an adaptation of a screenplay about a woman struggling to free herself from her lover’s physical and emotional binds. Buzz about the break-out novel calls it “one powerful piece of writing…creepy as hell.” S.L. Hannah lives in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not writing fiction, she continues to solve the aviation problems of the world.

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Character Creation by Kayla Krantz – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kayla Krantz will be awarding to a randomly drawn winner, via rafflecopter during the tour, one of the following: a paperback copy of Dead by Morning OR a ebook copy of Dead by Morning and a second RRPI ebook. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Character Creation

Creating the characters in Dead by Morning was a fun process from beginning to end. A handful of them, Max, Violet, and Amy, were based on real people, but Luna and Chance were created completely out of thin air. The interesting thing about my protagonist and antagonist is that they were made to be two halves of one mind.

Luna, my protagonist, loves to study and do her thing. She isn’t worried what others think of her, and she likes to follow the guides and rules set up by those around her to be a model citizen because she wants to be respected by her peers. Chance, the antagonist, is the complete opposite. He’s a rebel, destructive, and carefree. He’s manipulative, and gets what he wants only because he has nerve enough to break all the rules Luna spends her life carefully sticking to. He does what he can to not be alone, because deep down, he fears what his life will be.

While Luna is innocent, Chance is evil.

Together, Luna and Chance not only form two halves of a whole, they show the confliction of the need for good and bad that occurs inside everyone—protagonist and antagonist alike. They were created in this manner to show that not all people have black and white thinking. Good people have evil thoughts and those who are deemed evil may have good thoughts. Dead by Morning shows that who a person truly is depends solely on the voice that they choose to follow.

MediaKit_BookCover_DeadByMorningObsession is deadly. No one learns that better than Luna Ketz, a pessimistic high school senior. She wishes more than anything to graduate but things don’t always go as planned. Luna quickly finds herself trapped in a web of lies and murders, spun by the least suspected person in her hometown. It’s not long before she realizes she’s being targeted by the person she despises most in the world. When Luna figures out who is behind the killings, things make a turn for the bizarre when she is contacted by a friend she has not heard from in years. It is then Luna realizes she is very much in danger, but although she can avoid the killer in reality, she cannot avoid him in her dreams.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

There had to be something in the house that would better explain him. If there was, she would find it. She walked over to the beginning of the hall and set her hand against the wall. Once she reached the bathroom, she peeked over her shoulder to make sure Chance wasn’t paying attention. After a brief pause, she continued down the hallway.

All the doors along it were closed.

When she reached the end of the hallway, she turned to walk back toward the living room, checking the doors as she did so. They were all locked, until she pushed on one of them, and it swung open quietly on its hinges. Luna opened the door the rest of the way and stepped inside the room. Like the living room, candles lit the small space. Her eyes focused on two blood-red candles which sat in golden candle holders on the floor. At the base of the holders sat random bones which she guessed had belonged to the animals Chance had hunted.

The candles were lit—wax ran down them to drip onto the gold, looking like blood.

The two candles illuminated the wall above them, and Luna stared at it in horror; a five- pointed star had been drawn on the wall in bright red.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DeadByMorning22-year-old Kayla Krantz was raised in Michigan but moved to Texas and has experienced the best and worst of both. Since a young age she has be spinning tales. Kayla has interests in the dark and macabre. She enjoys ’80’s music and movies. When she has the chance, she loves to read books by Stephen King who inspired her to write. She was always interested in horror as they held a certain realism that fairytales lacked. While writing, she found herself drifting more toward Thriller which surprised her. Kayla describes the day she discovered that she would become a published author like so: “It’s hard to describe. I spent so many years climbing toward my goal, and when it finally happened, it was like all the burdens of stress and agony and uncertainty were just gone. I felt light, like I could run for the rest of my life off of the energy it gave me.”

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Writing Tips by Simon Cann – 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.

Writing Tips

There’s only one writing tip that matters: write a good story.

And that’s it! All an author has to do is to tell a good story.

But let’s be more practical for a moment—if you want to tell a good story where do you start? For me, the place to start is with a scene.

A scene is the basic building block for a story. Any story—a short, a novella, a novel, or a whole series—is just a collection of scenes. Of course, you need to right scenes in the right order, but writing a great scene is a start.

Writers are often told to start with short stories—I disagree. Start with a scene—done right, it’s a novel in miniature.
So what is a scene?

In short, a scene is a self-contained unit of story. It is not a unit of backstory. It is not a unit of world building. If a bunch of words do not move the story forward, then they fail as a scene.

Every scene needs several elements:

1. A beginning. The beginning of a scene is the status of the main character in the scene before anything happens. This status does not need to be spelt out—it will likely be obvious from the preceding scene(s).
2. A middle—more of this in a moment, but in essence, this is where stuff happens.
3. An end. The end is reached by default—it is the status of the scene character after the middle.

At the end of scene, a character should be in a different place from where he or she was at the beginning of the scene. But more significantly, the character should be incapable of returning to that beginning status.

The middle—the change—doesn’t need to be a big thing, but there needs to be an irrevocable change. So for instance, shooting a gun is not an irrevocable change. Shooting a person, however, is a step from which a character cannot return.

To take this point further, it’s not the action that matters, it’s the consequences. It’s not the fact that the character has pulled the trigger—it’s the fact that a bullet has hit a person that gives the act its significance.

Once the change has occurred—so in this example, once the bullet has hit the person—the scene should end. The scene doesn’t need to resolve the issue—it’s enough for us to know that a bullet was fired and it hit a person. As readers we don’t need to also know what happened to the person who was shot. The consequences of the action are for another scene.

Leaving unresolved matters (such as the consequences for the person who is shot) is generally be a good thing. These unresolved issues are what make a reader turn pages wondering what happened. However, a scene does need something to change for a character, and for that character to matter in the context of the whole story.

MediaKit_BookCopy_ClementinaLeathan Wilkey has been hired to babysit Clementina, a seventeen-year-old whose rich daddy is going through a messy divorce and is over-compensating.

Leathan soon tires of her spending habits, her selfie obsession, and her social media preoccupation as his ward drags him from shop to boutique to jeweler, approaching each with the self-possession that comes from a lifetime of getting her own way and never once having to worry about money.

But when Clementina snaps her fingers and her boyfriend doesn’t come running, something is up. He doesn’t appear because he’s been murdered.

When Leathan investigates, he finds that the boyfriend has no background and met Clementina through a connection made by daddy’s business partner.

Daddy’s business partner who has been slowly and progressively putting daddy in a vice, grabbing more of the business, and who is now menacing Clementina directly to manipulate daddy.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Clementina was clearly offended.

Offended by my apparently uncouth utterance. Offended that I was not paying due reverence. Offended that I was thinking money, when I should be appreciating the art. Offended in the way that only a seventeen-year-old can be offended.

She was able simultaneously to be both a child and a world-weary adult. Neither of whom was accepting of my situation; both of whom were deeply saddened by my obvious circumstances.

She was saddened that I could live in a world like this.

Some people are saddened about famine in Africa. Some are saddened about wars or religious fundamentalists imposing their unyielding doctrines on populations, killing and mutilating children and innocent adults. Clementina was saddened and offended—on my behalf—that the world of jewelry and the exquisite pleasure of fine gems set in delicate pieces of lovingly shaped precious metal had been withheld from me.

She knew—as only one who had been indoctrinated into the secret society knew—that if I had been exposed to the world of bijouterie, then I would appreciate the treat that was waiting for me.

What she didn’t know was that I hated being patronized by seventeen-year-olds. Even if their father was paying me. Not that her father and I had actually done anything as tedious as agreeing a fee.

Or meeting.

Or talking. Even on the phone.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ClementinaSimon Cann is the author of the Boniface, Montbretia Armstrong, and Leathan Wilkey series of books.

In addition to his fiction, Simon has written a range of music-related and business-related books, and has also worked as a ghostwriter.

Before turning full-time to writing, Simon spent nearly two decades as a management consultant, where his clients included aeronautical, pharmaceutical, defense, financial services, chemical, entertainment, and broadcasting companies.

He lives in London.

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Where Ideas Come From by Yoshiyuki Ly – 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 the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Where Ideas Come From
It’s Yoshiyuki Ly. Today I’ll share where my ideas come from. I’m one of those writers who has to either go through something or observe someone else before I write a story. Everything I write is based on a real experience—mine or someone else’s that I know. Watching them is sometimes just as painful—if not more—than going through them myself. Sometimes I’ll observe or suffer something and my ideas for a brewing story will click. I’ll get an overwhelming feeling that it’s exactly what I needed. Then I’m wide awake with ideas for days. They’re a movie playing on a loop. Every opportunity or failure I go through or witness are all stepping stones to that feeling I’ll get.

But even when that happens, I don’t always write right away. Sometimes the ideas have to simmer before I write them. Keeping story ideas separate, for me, is like putting a dam in the middle of an ocean. I say that, equating the ocean to torrents of emotions, ebbing and flowing with the cycles of the moon—or my mood. The characters on any given side are fleshed out, ready and waiting for me to summon them when the time’s right.

Divide the ocean by as many stories as I haven’t written/finished yet, and that’s how I feel all the time. I’m working on four different original novels. Once those are done, I’ll have to wait before something else inspires me. I tend to pass this time with fanfiction for practice.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheScorpionsEmpressAfter years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled Empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.

Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the Empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her Empress.

Enjoy an excerpt:

This promise of adventure—I hadn’t felt it properly in years. Women for me have come and gone, literally. The beginnings were never like this. They hadn’t looked at me with such controlled, respectful want. Like a gentleman. Like a knight—a true paladin. They hadn’t held their hand out to me, not giving a damn about everyone staring at us. They hadn’t asked me to dance as Satya sang such a haunting, romantic song about uncertain longing.

And then she spoke again: “I’m assuming another rule is that I don’t get to learn your real name.”

That was way more than anyone else had managed to do.

I leaned in to whisper in her ear, “The name’s Raj. You’re not allowed to tell no one. Promise me.”

“I won’t betray your trust. I swear that on my honor. I really like your name. It suits you, all the power you have. Tell me whenever I have permission to call you that. I’d like to earn it.”

She guided me over to the dance floor. The crowd parted to make room for us. They whispered to each other as we passed by; they saw how entranced I was, no matter how hard I fought to hide it. I watched the seriousness turn over as shadows across Videl’s beautiful face. Serious, but soft, somehow—she had a perfect balance of the two almost all the time.

About the Author: Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name is representative of her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that is reflective in her work. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, she spent her free time reading the works of Virginia Woolf, Soren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. She then spent the next years honing her craft to become a published author.

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The Empty Room by Sarah J. Clemens – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sarah J. Clemens 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheEmptyRoomThe small town of Eastbrook, Maine seemed like the close-knit community where newlyweds Dean and Elizabeth Montgomery could begin their lives together, and the 1901 Victorian seemed like the house they’d always dreamed of owning. The only condition for purchasing the property was that it was sold in “as-is” condition.

When the couple arrives in Eastbrook, they receive anything but a warm welcome from the local residents. And when they realize that as-is condition meant that the previous owner of the house had left every worldly possession behind, the dream of the small town life starts to take a mysterious turn.

Day after day, Dean and Elizabeth uncover more truths than they could have ever imagined, or ever wanted to know about the secrets that were hidden in the small town of Eastbrook. And as neighbors become growingly hostile with every encounter, this young couple searches furiously to uncover what the residents are trying to hide.

As their journey unfolds, Elizabeth goes missing and Dean must turn to the very neighbors he fears may have known what would happen to her from the moment the couple arrived for help. Because in this town, some secrets are better off hidden.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The car grumbled to a stop at the end of the gravel driveway. The three-day car trip was finally over. The gas station food and bathrooms stops were all behind them. They were home. The house might have been filled with someone else’s belongings, but they owned it now.

The house looked like a postcard from the outside. Small shrubs lined each side of the driveway as it suspiciously winded its way to the front porch. The grass was wet with dew after the recent rain.

As though looking at a piece of abstract art, Dean and Elizabeth both leaned forward in their seats toward the dash and squinted from inside the window of the car. Their eyes moved from left to right, making sure to taste every detail that first met their view.

“It’s gorgeous.” Elizabeth peered out from beneath the windshield.

With her eyes squinted and her mouth opened slightly, she studied every feature of architecture as though the house would greet her with an exam before allowing her to enter. She broke her concentration from the house and pressed her hand to the passenger side window, looking up and down to visually imprint every detail that awaited.

About the Author:Sarah J Clemens is the author of the debut novel, THE EMPTY ROOM. She began writing THE EMPTY ROOM in 2008 and formed her own publishing company in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing.

Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. In addition to writing fiction, she is a legal assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

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Passionate Pursuit by Tina Donahue – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tina will be awarding 5 of her backlist ebooks 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_PassionatePursuitAndalucía Spain, 1489: Innocent Beatriz is desperate to escape the threat of a miserable marriage to a cruel Marquis. Forced into the betrothal by her ruthless merchant papá, her only hope is to conceal her identity and become a servant in a nearby castle—a life drastically different from her comfortable upbringing.

Tomás doesn’t know what to make of his well-spoken new servant girl. Her beauty and charm captivates the military hero; her mysterious nature intrigues him. And the desire she ignites burns brighter with each glance, as does his longing to claim her for his own.

Beatriz can’t resist Tomás’ passion nor deny the heat of her own. But neither the lush countryside nor the walls of the opulent Moorish castle can entirely protect her—and if he were to discover her secret, she could be torn away from him forever. Yet how can she sustain his love if she’s living a lie?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The laughter Beatriz had shared earlier seemed a distant memory already. Doom clung to her, tightening her chest, moistening her palms. She paced like a caged animal, knowing she should leave the castle to give Tomás a chance at happiness with another woman.

Her legs went watery, not allowing her to flee. Dizzy, she leaned against the cabinet and breathed hard, trying to think of a solution.

She kept failing.

“Señorita Beatriz,” Yolanda called out.

Beatriz raised her face. “What?”

“Señora Doña Isabella has something she needs you to see.”

Hopefully not another trunk the servants had left in the hall with more gowns and other jewels. She didn’t want to try on anything else but couldn’t stomach being rude, given Isabella’s dear support. Beatriz pinched her cheeks and bit her lips to give herself color. Looking like a corpse wouldn’t solve anything.

Outside the chamber, she reminded herself to smile. What she produced felt more like a grimace.

Yolanda stood on the far side of the landing, gesturing for Beatriz to join her.

The moment she reached the landing, Yolanda motioned for Beatriz to stop, then pointed to the stairs.

She looked down.

The world faded away, tension draining from her shoulders, warmth replacing worry.

Tomás stood at the bottom of the staircase, his arm on the railing, face lifted to hers. Candlelight turned his hair to gold. Respect, friendship, love sparkled in his eyes.

She ran down the steps. Tomás took them two at a time to reach her. They met in the middle and held each other, their embrace more powerful than any spoken vow. Whatever happened in the future, he would always have her love.

Tomás kissed her neck and cheek. “No words are sufficient to describe your beauty. The heat of the sun could never be greater, not even Spain will last as long, the finest rose pales in comparison. You are a marvel.”

Beatriz laughed softly. “Then you like Isabella’s gown?”

“On you, no one else.” He pressed his mouth to her ear. “Though I do prefer you naked. Say nothing to her, of course.”

“Of course.”

They descended the stairs, arms wrapped around each other’s waists.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_PassionatePursuitTina is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary, and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers’ Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

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My Greek SEAL by Sabrina Devonshire – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sabrina Devonshire will be awarding a $20 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_MyGreekSEALAfter a sudden job lay off, Maya holes up in her apartment, drinking wine and eating ice cream until the day she’s slated to leave for Greece. Even though she’s lost enthusiasm for this Greek island swimming vacation, she’s paid for the trip so she boards the plane.

She figures her life can’t possibly get any worse. She’s unemployed and spent most of her savings hiring a lawyer to collect commissions her corrupt boss refused to pay. She stumbles down to the Lefkada Island dock the first morning jetlagged and grumpy. When she spots a Greek man with a drool-worthy body, her plan is to look casual. Instead, she trips and plunges straight into the water. It wouldn’t be so bad if she never had to see him again. But Eros, a former Hellenic Navy SEAL, is one of her swimming tour companions. He boards the boat, pokes fun at her American mannerisms and asks way too many irritating questions. And he’s so damn hot, he makes her feel confused and distracted all the time. To make matters worse, he’s assigned to be one of her swimming partners.

Maybe Maya could have ignored the simmering attraction between them if it weren’t for the earthquake, the tidal wave and being stranded alone with him on Kalamos Island.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

I snatch my backpack and glance in the bathroom mirror. Frowning, I tug down my floral print wrap to cover more of my thighs and twist my lips into a frown. My long strawberry-blonde hair is a tangled mess and dark circles rim my eyes. What was I thinking? After a ten-hour flight from the States and a five-hour bus ride across Greece, the few hours of toss and turn sleep on a rock hard mattress haven’t done a damn thing to improve my exhausted state. Or my appearance.

My weary muscles rebel against every step and even keeping my eyelids open is a struggle. What am I doing here? I’m a high maintenance woman. I don’t do sleep deprivation and Third World countries. I usually head to a beach resort in southern California, sprawl out on a lounge chair and drink Mai Tais until it’s time for my late afternoon massage.

I exit the bathroom and glance at the wrinkled sheets and the stiff pillows on the bed where I just spent a mostly sleepless night. Dropping back down into that bed of discomfort doesn’t tempt me in the least. What do they make mattresses out of in this country? I reach over to peel off the mattress cover and then decide against it. I really don’t want to see what’s hiding under that sheet. It’s probably a block of cement. I let out a long sigh.

What I really need is a spa day and twelve hours of sleep in a five star hotel. I imagine drifting off into a blissful sleep, my back pleasantly cushioned by a pillow top mattress and my body cocooned with a cushy comforter. I could be awakening refreshed now, about to sip espresso delivered to my room instead of feeling like absolute hell and about to embark on a long day of bouncing over waves on a boat. But this is Greece. The water and the islands will be beautiful.

“Shit.” I forgot the motion sickness pill. I drop my backpack, rush into the bathroom and rummage through my toiletry kit. My hand finally closes around the cylindrical container of pills. I pour two of them into my hand and down them with water before snatching up my backpack and heading toward the door.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_MyGreekSEALSabrina Devonshire, an avid swimmer most of her life, can usually be found near or immersed in a body of water. If she’s not seeking an endorphin rush in a pool, lake or ocean, she’s often encouraging people to work out or writing a romantic suspense or magazine article.

She received a John Woods Scholarship and an Arizona Commission of the Arts Professional Development Grant toward her participation in a 2007 Prague Summer Program writing workshop. She has a B.S. from Clemson University and an M.S. from the University of Arizona.

Sabrina loves traveling to off-the-beaten-path places where phones and electronic devices tend not to work well. Peru, Nicaragua and Belize are some of her favorites. Sabrina lives in southern Arizona with her husband, two children, and fluffy dog, Sugar.

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Lessons I Learned from my Heroine by Doug Howery – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Doug Howery will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon GC and an autographed copy of the book to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please note geographical restrictions apply. United States only for the physical prize. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons I learned from my heroine

Lessons I learned include:

• Patience

A writer must flesh out characters. Main characters to include the heroine or villain require that you, the creator, allow them to breathe like a fine wine. If you rush the process the grapes will wither on the vine our sour in the barrel.
Make them 3 dimensional. Give them a passion, make them want something so bad that the conflict is inherent to the premise of the storyline.

Make them talk like normal people talk. We hesitate in our daily dialogue. We say hum, um, we don’t answer directly and we trail off in our dialogue…keep it real.

• Character Development

Think about the main character or minor character’s role in advancing the plot. If, at anytime you write a scene that includes the main character along with a minor character, try & not allow the minor character to outshine the main character. The minor character should be there to advance the plot into the main character’s court. Minor characters can advance the plot in so many different directions, so be careful to keep the premise in mind.

• Believable Character

If you have done your research into the characters’ psyche, your character should be believable in any conflict, etc.

• Conflict

Did I say “Conflict?” If you don’t have conflict, you don’t have a fleshed out story, fleshed out characters, fleshed out premise or storyline. Conflict is central station; don’t let the train leave out of the station without someone being pushed off the dock onto the tracks; get my drift. Write bold. Don’t be scared at the beginning. You can tone it down later; edit later.

Conclusion:

The aforementioned lessons afforded me the opportunity to develop my heroine, Permelia Corn, alas, Smiley Hanlon into the ‘transgender’ full-rounded individual he/she became. Smiley wanted something so bad (to be a woman in 1950s Appalachia coal mining town) that he suffered physical and emotional abuse. But, he persevered and in the end became a lightning rod for social change—The historical Stonewall Gay Riots of 1969. Patience, Character Development, Believable Character, and Conflict breathed my heroine into a fully fleshed out fine wine.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheGrassSweeperGodSixteen-year-old Smiley Hanlon is a young woman tethered to a young man’s body. In the 1950’s Appalachia coal fields of Solitude, Virginia, Smiley is placed in the “Mentally Retarded Class” because he is effeminate and wears a blouse and saddle shoes to school.

Smiley is backed by his best friend, Lee Moore who protects Smiley from a father and many townspeople who hate him. Smiley has dreams of becoming an entertainer. Raised by his aunt in a juke joint, as a child Smiley sings and dances on the Formica bar top into the wee hours. Chosen as the female lead, Dorothy, in a new town production called Dorothy of Oz Coal Camp, his dream is being realized. The triumph of the play and his dream is sabotaged by his father and classmate bullies culminating in a tragic and horrific moment that changes both Smiley and Lee, forever.

Smiley and Lee flee to NYC. They learn that prejudice is prejudice whether in the coal fields of Virginia or on the streets of NYC. Smiley suffers at the hands of his real mother who is a religious zealot. She tries to change who Smiley is because he is a boil on the body of Christ. Lee suffers at the hands of psychologists who practice Aversion Therapy-electric shock treatment to cure his homosexuality.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Both Smiley and Lee become forces of change as do countless others. In 1969, Smiley Hanlon and his friend, Lee emerge as leaders of a gay revolution, the historical Stonewall Riots. The riots are vicious but the real battle will be won or lost on another continent: Solitude, Virginia.

The Grass Sweeper God is a force of nature that flows through all things…straightens out that which is bent…which is sick…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

This godforsaken place was the backwoods of Appalachia coal mining country. And being sixteen meant a cultured age of about ten or twelve, really. Especially if you were retarded and rode the short bus. This meant riding a school bus designated specifically as the retarded kids’ bus, but it also meant boarding normal kids alongside retards at each bus stop. The only real specificity: If you were trapped inside the wrong body—if you were a young man who wanted to be a young woman—you were the bull’s eye in the kids’ cross-hairs because you were the biggest, retarded mongoloid excrement of ‘em all, really. Excrement being too proper of a word: Specifically you got the ‘cultured’ and ‘godforsaken’ shit kicked outtaya every school day by retards and rednecks. Proper language left this place along with any civility once branded as a retarded freak, really. Indifference to proper language and civility ruled the day, and brutality beat the night.

About the Author: DOUG HOWERY has been writing both fiction and essays since 1990. His essays and familial stories have appeared in The Blue Ridge Lambda Press.
In many of his stories, as in “The Grass Sweeper God,” Mr. Howery’s true lode, his font of inspiration is in the passion and suffering he has experienced.
Author, Doug Howery penned the novel with insight into his own struggle for sexual identity and personal tragedy. His mother committed suicide in 1982, blaming her two sons’ sexual identity in a letter and declaring herself a martyr for intolerance and social bigotry. She referred to her own sons as “Gutter Rats that Could Rot in Hell” and represents the hate and mistrust that have plagued society.
Suspense author, Maggie Grace, with the North Carolina Writers’ Network writes about her cohort Mr. Howery: “What I like is the riskiness, the cutting edge of the narrative voice we hear. The moments when he lapses into descriptions of the moon, of the horse, etc. are true poetry that offers some relief from the coarseness of the story, and he places them well. He has an ear for the rhythm of the story, a natural sense of when to end–hangs fire with a new way of looking at someone or something, turning the entire chapter on its ear. I like the way he makes it impossible for the reader to stop reading at the end of the chapter.”
Mr. Howery lives in Virginia with his partner of 34 years where he is at work on his next novel.

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