For the Love of Writing by Kim Loraine – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kim Loraine will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
For the Love of Writing
“How do you find time to write books?” This is a question I am asked ALL the time. I usually shrug it off with a simple smile and say, “I just do it when I can.” In truth, I fight for every moment, every word, even when they aren’t my best. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of subpar dialog or cliché filled paragraphs, and other times, it’s exactly what the story needs.

I’ve got three kids; the youngest is barely two weeks old. As she’s napping and I’m yawning my way through a second cup of coffee after last night’s marathon feeding/crying/changing session, I’m finding time to write this post. I never think of writing as a chore. It’s my ME time. I’ve never come up for air after writing feeling worse than I did before I started. That being said, balancing my home life and my writing life is not without its challenges. Yes, there are dishes in my sink, clean laundry decorating my couch, and fingerprints on my mirrors. But I also have released two full-length novels and a novella in the last twelve months. I just approved the cover art for my third novel which is set for release in May.

The question isn’t how I find time, because I simply can’t go without writing. My characters start yelling to have their stories told. I get grumpy, antsy even. For the last few months of my pregnancy I wasn’t able to sit at my computer for longer than ten minutes without getting distracted, not to mention uncomfortable. I wrote so little it is shameful. But, I was always thinking about my characters. I came up with dialog, played scenes out in my head, thought of what they might be doing at that particular moment. Even when I wasn’t putting my fingers to the keyboard, I was writing.

I’m fortunate to have a great support system. My husband makes me leave the house on weekends so I can go write. Honestly, I think he’s holding out hope that I’ll write a massive bestseller so he can retire early. So, even with the dishes, dust, fingerprints, and endless piles of laundry, even when my mom-guilt rears its ugly head, I write. I write because my eight-year-old likes to write his own books right next to me. I write because of the pride I hear in my kids’ voices when they talk about how I am an author. I write because I love it.

MediaKit_BookCover_RenovationValerie Peters is done with bad boys and ready to start living for herself. She’s determined to settle for nothing less than a romantic, sweeps-you-off-your-feet, nice-guy. So when a sexy firefighter with the hottest reputation in town saves her from near-drowning, there’s no doubt he’s everything she shouldn’t want.

Donovan’s looks and image have kept his nights entertaining and his ring finger empty. One-night stands serve as a short-term distraction to the flashbacks of his past he increasingly struggles to ignore. But a chance encounter with his best friend’s sister makes him realize that one night is no longer enough.

Together they discover that bad can actually be the best and forever is worth everything.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Donovan Miller braced his arms on the side of the pool as he pushed himself out of the water. His limbs trembled slightly from exertion. He reached for his towel and caught sight of the swimmer a few lanes away. She was tiny. Her body moved smoothly through the water, mesmerizing him as she rotated back and forth. He could tell she was an experienced swimmer by the consistency in her strokes. As he toweled off, he admired the curves of her body. Alarm bells rang in his head when he realized she was rapidly approaching the wall and showed no sign of slowing.

“Hey! Hey! Watch out!” he shouted as he ran toward her lane, hoping desperately to intercept her.

With a dim thud, her head hit the side of the pool. He watched as her eyes rolled back and she sank under the water.

“Shit! Shit!”

Jumping into the swimmer’s lane, he pulled her to the surface, attempting to immobilize her neck as much as possible. He assessed her pulse and checked to make sure her airway wasn’t compromised.

“Call an ambulance,” he barked at the dumbstruck lifeguards headed in their direction.

She floated in his arms, eyes closed, bleeding. He took a moment to feel thankful he’d seen the effects of blood mixed with water before. Even a small amount of blood can look like a murder scene when water is added. He held her while they waited for the ambulance. He stroked her hair and checked her pulse again, disconcerted by the feeling of her soft skin under his fingers. Her eyes fluttered open, affording him a concerned glance before she winced in pain.

“What happened?” Her voice was thin and raspy.

“Shh, don’t try to move, sweetheart. You slammed into that wall pretty hard.”

“I . . . mmm . . . lost my count.”

“It’s gonna be okay.”

She frowned, eyebrows pulling together. “Can I get up now?”

“There’s an ambulance on the way. They’ll be here in a minute. We need to wait to move you. I want to get you on a spine board and in a neck brace.” He smiled and locked eyes with her. “What’s your name, sweetheart?”

“Valerie. Valerie Peters.” Her face pulled into an adorable frown again. “Don’t call me sweetheart. I don’t even know you.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_RenovationKim Loraine is the author of the “Golden Beach” series, including “Restoration” (2015) and “Renovation” (2015). She started writing at a young age, scribbling down song lyrics, short stories, and poems she was too afraid to share with anyone. Busy working as a music teacher in her Pacific Northwest hometown, it wasn’t until her family of four picked up everything and moved to beautiful Japan that she decided to finally take the plunge and send her characters out into the world.

The central theme in Kim’s books is self-discovery, whether that is found through taking risks, breaking down walls, or admitting mistakes. Kim likes to write characters that seem like someone you actually know, who find that life is a journey not without its challenges.

When not writing Kim spends her time with her husband, chasing around their crazy kids, exploring Japan, and binge-watching Doctor Who on Netflix.

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On the Ironies of the Universe by Johnny Newport – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Johnny Newport will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

On the Ironies of the Universe
What is the most amazing thing to me about our material universe is not that only a relative handful of people can make heads or tails from the hodgepodge of astrophysical knowledge we’ve managed to cobble together, but that nobody in existence—right now in this moment, in this space and time—understands it fully.

At the risk of digressing into a blog of cosmos mania (the gravitational waves news of a month ago has really thrown me for a loop and I’ve yet to fully recover), allow me to jump straight to the point:

My book, In Defense of the Moth or A Meaningless Dance in Blinding Heat and Light is (or was, I should say) for me a treatise on the nobility and honor of being an alcoholic, a drug addict, or someone otherwise afflicted with acute insanity. It was written by me as a grand justification to a code of ethics and behavior and is a Platonic (from the school of Plato, I should make clear) apology, or apologia, for my own particular flavor of hedonism (though I left the allegory vague for each individual to make their sense of their own flaws).

The great irony in all of this is not that though this book was written in the throes of my insanity and darkness, if not a critical darling, is being at least acknowledged for strong writing harkening the insanity of others predisposed with afflictions (e.g. Kafka, Camus, Hunter S. Thompson, DeLillo), for I think that is probably more luck than irony, but, that this book got its legs and publication post rehab and therapy, at fourteen (14) months sober.

True, even in sobriety, I must admit I posit a serious and sound philosophy worthy of consideration and discussion. But does that mean I advocate for a man to die in his cups? Good Question; I’ll let you decide.

What does that mean for the book and for me, its author, and its purpose? Good Question; I’ll let you decide.

Is my book, then, dangerous and something which vulnerable man should avoid? Good Question; I’ll let you decide.

Does the Universe, the indomitable and unrelenting power all around us, allow us from time to time some really humbling ironies? Hell yea!

The Moon…

It is said the moon’s spell can move us and nobody understands her pull like Johnny Gomez.

Johnny, a devil-may-care and fatalistic salesman, remains tethered to his privileged life by a love for his children, his career and the moon—and not necessarily in that order. In fact, it’s Johnny’s lifelong passion for the moon, through both obsessive, independent study and a communal involvement in an astronomy society, that serves as the only outward distraction as a life of standard struggles waxes into a burgeoning crisis.

Until one night Johnny finds that the moon—his preferred method of self-medication– no longer exists…but for him only and not anyone else.

Or so it seems, leaving Johnny’s continued marriage with reality to hinge on his rediscovery of the moon!

If you like allegories and/or philosophical apologies for acute insanity, grab “In Defense of the Moth or A Meaningless Dance in the Blinding Heat and Light” and join the eclipse.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I walked past a block of shuttered buildings. Most I noticed had been shuttered for a long time, but the last office was a more recent failure. It was a beauty salon last I remembered. I reached the street corner where the tall street lamp was planted in the sidewalk and I gazed upward. A flutter of moths danced to the low hum of energy the light created. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t for long as they would be dead soon, but at least without the light of the moon they had the luck of having a substitute for their meaning, even if artificial, through man’s production.

They owe us one, I thought.”

About the Author:

Johnny Newport (The Moth) is carrying the consciousness of the oft-failed man native to 2016. Strictly from a visual standpoint he looks like he may be kept in a nice package, but this is not so. Johnny Newport has two feet on the warpath and probably smells like last night’s street tacos.

Johnny knows that his devil-may-care attitude is unfair—to himself and to others—but this is precisely the origin for the voice of an unbridled generation of privilege; the 21st-century-livers that intimately know they have squandered (squandered what? How can we say definitively and with any assurance despite knowing that a squandering has, indeed, befallen?), and will continue to do so, happily.

Otherwise about me, I studied at the University of Texas at Austin, have spent the last two years in The Writer’s Path program at SMU (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and have applied to a handful of low-res MFA programs for fall of ’16.

Short story publications in 2015 were:

* Mr. Franklin’s Heartbreaking Sympathy (The Speculative Book, anthology)
* La Tortuga, (Limestone, University of Kentucky MFA journal)
* He, Who Controls the Spices (Euphemism, Illinois State University graduate journal)
* I Blame Lolita (Moth magazine, Ireland’s premiere literary review)
* Letter to the Jew’s Mom (The Vehicle, Eastern Illinois University online journal)

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The Trouble with Seduction by Victoria Hanlen – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheTroubleWithSeductionRebellious, Scandalous and Irredeemable

Sarah, Lady Strathford is ready for a little harmless frivolity with a man of her own age and her own appetites…surely that’s not too much to ask! After the death of her beloved husband years before Sarah is ready for an adventure… Enter the dashing, roguish – and baffling – Mr Cornelius Ravenhill.

Ravenhill, however, is not the gentleman he seems, and soon Sarah finds herself battling against the corrupt and harsh world around her as it threatens to destroy all she holds dear. The question is, will her seduction at the hands of Mr Ravenhill prove to be her saviour or her downfall?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“This excerpt is from an unedited ARC and there may be small changes in the final book.”

“I have a favor to ask, Amelia.” Sarah rolled her cigar between her fingers. “It has come to my attention that perhaps someone connected to Edward’s accident was at your party a few weeks ago. Would it be possible for you to make a list of all present? And could you please include the servants and anyone else who might have arrived late, guest or not.”

“Oh, my, Sarah! Whom do you suspect?”

“I’m not sure. It’s for an acquaintance who thought they briefly saw someone there.”

Amelia’s face lit up. “This is all so mysterious. Who is this acquaintance?”

Sarah bit her lower lip and tasted rich Cuban tobacco. Yesterday’s image of Mr. Ravenhill in his revealing work smock appeared in her mind. She probably should have nothing more to do with him. Handsome males had always brought trouble. The very first boy she’d admired had teased her into breaking her leg. Its weakness would probably forever plague her.

She shouldn’t reveal he was the one who wanted the list, but she hated lying, and especially to her friends. “This acquaintance believes they have found a connection between the fire that killed Edward and the men who attacked…him.”

“It’s Mr. Ravenhill!” Amelia clapped excitedly.

Calista’s dimple twitched, and she shoved her cigar into her mouth.

Sarah wanted to make herself very small and slink away. This was exactly what she’d been afraid of, and these were her friends. She and Ravenhill were such a chestnut – a wealthy widow befriending a handsome rake, the younger son of a peer. “You purposely misunderstand the situation. There is nothing between us and that is the way it will stay.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheTroubleWithSeductionAward winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is stories with happily ever afters. Her first book, The Trouble With Misbehaving, was published in February 2016. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.

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Useful Tips on Formatting eBooks by Liz Gavin – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Useful tips on Formatting eBooks
By Liz Gavin

First of all, I’d like to thank the awesome team at Goddess Fish Promotions for putting together this blog tour. YOU ROCK!!
Second of all – and equally important – thanks to the host for having me and Luck of the Irish on your blog today. You’re much appreciated.

Now let’s move on to the actual post. LOL

FORMATTING EBOOKS

So you spend countless hours researching for your book. After all, it doesn’t matter if you write fiction or non-fiction – you research information before putting pen to paper. Or cursor to screen, nowadays. You pour your heart and soul into the story. You upload it to the online stores and cross your fingers. Readers like it and post positive reviews. One day, somebody points out the story is great but they were giving your ebook three starts because there are too many blank spaces. The next reviewer states he wasn’t going to mention the formatting issues but since another customer did, he agrees on that. You start getting one-star reviews based solely on the formatting issues. Before you know it, the online store freezes sales of your book and sends you a friendly email asking you to fix said issues before they put your book back on sale at their store. *PANIC*.

Do you think I exaggerate? I can’t say how frequently such cases happen but I know at least one did. Not to me though. A dear friend and fellow author went through this ordeal over Christmas and New Year. He ended up missing on a good period of sales for his brilliant, non-fiction book because the major online store froze the book’s sales until he fixed the formatting issues. Namely – a few words that got jammed together and extra spaces between some paragraphs. Bottom line is we never know when a small issue will amount to a huge one. Besides, I believe delivering the best quality product possible is the least a supplier can do. In the business of publishing indie books, writers are the suppliers. We must do our best to offer our readers a good-looking, easy-to-navigate eBook for their enjoyment.

So the key question is – is formatting eBooks a difficult task? Well… yes and no.

It took me a while to figure out how to do it. I wasted a lot of time downloading apps, reading instructions, and proceeding to create eBooks that looked awful. You see, I would set up the fonts, margins, and headings on the Word® documents as I pleased before uploading them. I didn’t know I needed to set the files in a specific way before writing. Almost by accident I stumbled on a comprehensive guide on formatting ebooks called ‘Building Your Book for Kindle’. I downloaded it free of charge at the ‘Help’ section on my KDP Account Dashboard. It is a step-by-step text with screenshots to guide you through the whole process – from setting up your .doc file to uploading it to the automated converter on Amazon KDP. Once I created a compatible file, I used it as template for the following ones.

Although most of my titles are published exclusively on Amazon, I have a handful of books published elsewhere. Smashwords also offer good guides to formatting and publishing with them. If you want to sell your books on Barnes & Noble and Apple, I recommend Draft2Digital. They offer excellent service for free plus attractive royalty payment plans.

Hope I’ve helped you guys!! Thanks for stopping by today! Enjoy the tour and remember to check out the other blog stops for more chances at winning the giveaway!!

MediaKit_BookCover_LuckOfTheIrishKeira Ashe’s parents are great but her mother has overprotected her for years. Now, this twenty-two-year-old Bostonian has graduated from college and can go on a trip she has been planning for years. She fears her shyness may get in the way of her enjoying what could be a life-altering adventure. However, Keira feels her luck is about to change when she meets gorgeous bartender Declan Slane.

Declan Slane is twenty-six and works at a hotel bar in Dublin. He hasn’t been very lucky in his love life so far. Also, he has got a troubled past he has chosen not to revisit in order to keep his sanity. Because he isn’t looking for a girlfriend, Declan isn’t very pleased to meet a certain breathtaking American who walks into his bar one afternoon.

Get a taste of adventure and heartache as Keira spreads her wings and matures while she gets to know her great-grandparents’ home country – Ireland. Hold your breath when she faces tough decisions and dangers. Root for Keira while she weighs up the consequences of making love for the first time. Bite your nails when she comes across unforeseen threats.

Liz Gavin’s second full-length novel is hard to put down just as it is hard to pinpoint its genre. She has woven an intricate web around her characters that will leave readers breathless. In the sizzling concoction, this talented new author poured heart-warming romance, heart-stopping suspense, and a dash of heart-searching paranormal. Take your pick. Regardless of the literary genre you might favor, Liz Gavin’s writing will take you to a whole different side of it.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

He was responsible for her withdrawal, which made him feel like an asshole. He shouldn’t have gone bi-polar on her. He should have managed his emotions better. It wasn’t her fault he’d had a shitty love life. And it was not her fault if he couldn’t keep his damn lustful body in check.

Those thoughts didn’t help Declan, but caused new graphic scenes to invade his mind. For a while, he let himself indulge in them. If Keira were to stay, he would find a way to know her better.

I’d love to spend hours getting to know her—every little inch of her.

He closed his eyes imagining her perfect body under his—felt her silken skin under his fingertips. He wanted to kiss her until they were both breathless, discover her secret spots: what made her tick, moan, and shout his name.

“Declan!” her clear voice yanked him from the daydream. He looked at Keira, still in a daze, and she smiled. “The check please.”

He was mortified at the bulge in his pants, which prevented him from going to the table without making a bigger fool of himself than he had already made. So he pretended to study some papers instead.

“What’s your room number? I’ll add the check to your room bill.”

“Don’t I have to sign it?”

“Not necessary,” he lied, I’ll have to sign it myself because there’s no way in hell I can stand up right now, you little bewitching thing.

About the Author:MedaiKit_AuthorPhoto_LuckOfTheIrishWhen Liz Gavin was in Second Grade – just a couple of years ago, really – her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.
Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.

Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.

As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.

Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

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

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She opened her eyes and there was nothing there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Karin will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why Fantasy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can she trust either man?

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

Eolyn’s throat went dry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eolyn’s expression put a stop to his words.

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

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

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Wherever You Go, Were You are by Randa Flannery – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Randa will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_WhereverYouGoWereYouAreThe PI business has really gone to the dogs. Literally.

Werewolf Lucy Lyle has just caught a ruff new case: sniff out the stalker preying on a couple of male strippers. Should be easy enough, except it seems that the only scent Lucy’s wolf is interested in is that of the scrumptious new client. Human client. Too bad they’ve sworn off humans for good. But like a dog with a bone, the harried PI is determined to solve the case, facing down the dangers of strip club locker rooms, waxing strips, law professors, smart mouthed police officers, and, worst of all, true love.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He’s a stripper. His mouth could be carrying a sexually transmitted disease.”

The women giggled and guffawed.

“That couldn’t be it,” Jazz persisted. “You’re a dog. You probably lick your own butt after a good run through the woods.”

She had a point. Sort of. I mean, I don’t really lick myself…my wolf, however…. Well, I try not to think about it.

“Aren’t dog’s mouths cleaner than a human’s?” Andi asked with her typical naivety. It’s one of her charms.

“That’s a myth,” Amelia informed us all.

“And also, I’m not a dog,” I added, in case anybody cared.

“Whatever,” Lillian retorted with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Get back to the point. What’s wrong with Mr. Yummy over there?”

I gave a shrug. “Nothing’s really wrong with him.”

“You got that right,” Andi agreed, her eyes straying Yummy’s way again.

“But he’s too…”

Her eyes jerked back to me expectantly. The whole party watched me, waiting with baited breath. Well…with bad breath, honestly.

“Human,” I finished. “He’s just too human.”

Lucy’s Life Rule #1: Never get involved with a human. It was also Rule #2, 5, 8, and 20.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WhereverYouGoWereYouAreRanda Flannery has an a degree in English and writes a variety of romantic fiction, including suspense, comedy, and urban fantasy. Randa is a member of the Romance Writers of America and lives as an expat with her husband and children in FuYang, China.

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

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

How I handled the research of my book

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Tremayne Family Romances by Anna J. Stewart – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_AskingForTroubleMorgan Tremayne has a heart of gold, but to keep her children’s charity afloat she’s had to resort to some less than legal means: donations from a notorious cat burglar who targets the wealthy. It’s only a matter of time before Morgan’s criminal connection blows up in her face–especially since her undeniable attraction to the man heading the investigation keeps putting her in tricky situations.

Former police detective-turned-investigator for the D.A. Gage Juliano has two goals: salvaging his career and nabbing Lantano Valley’s present-day Robin Hood. But when he meets a beautiful, curvaceous woman who’s more interested in helping others than amassing a fortune like the rest of the town’s residents, Gage finds his desires pulled in an unexpected direction…

MediaKit_BookCover_HereComesTroubleFormer beauty queen Sheila Tremayne looks dainty, but she’s tougher than she seems. The hard-as-nails business woman is determined to bring down corruption among Lantano Valley’s rich and powerful. Her latest scheme to get technology tycoon Chadwick Oliver is going perfectly until a distraction arrives in the form of Malcolm–the man who broke her heart and who happens to be Chadwick’s son…

Malcolm spent five long years away after his father publicly blamed him for some shady business dealings. Now he’s back to exact some revenge. Reconnecting with Sheila was never part of the plan, but the second he sees her, there’s no way he can resist…

Sheila and Malcolm quickly fall into the sizzling passion between them, but Malcolm has no intention of staying once he’s finished with his father–even if leaving Sheila again might be more than he can bear.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheTroubleWithNathanNathan Tremayne shares a dangerous secret with his father, Jackson, and sister Sheila. Together they are Nemesis, the infamous cat burglar who targets the wealthy. But when Jackson is framed for stealing the priceless Crown of Serpia, the whole family is at risk.

Nathan isn’t about to let his father go down for a crime he didn’t commit, but finding the real culprit won’t be easy with Laurel Scott, the nosy, pushy, drop-dead gorgeous insurance investigator following his every move.

But Laurel has secrets of her own. Posing as an insurance investigator was part of her own plan for the Tremaynes. As their attraction heats up, and the truth comes out, will this pair of thieves steal each other’s hearts?

 

 

Enjoy an excerpt from ASKING FOR TROUBLE

Evening gowns and battle armor weren’t sold in the same department, but as far as Morgan was concerned, they provided the same protection.

The confidence that descended the second she’d draped the formfitting, strapless peacock blue fabric over her ample figure could only be described as exhilarating. This time last year, she might have resented her mother’s extravagant purchase. Morgan could have paid three months’ worth of electricity bills with what the gown had cost.

A shadow cut across the late spring sun and she jumped, pulling her feet in as the shadow transformed into a man who leaned down and scooped up her shoe.

Her lungs emptied as if her dress had transformed into an overeager python. The way this man wore a tux made George Clooney look like a grunge rocker. Oh, and that hair. Jet black strands so dark it seemed almost blue. Morgan swallowed as summer sky blue eyes pinned her in place. Her sandal sparkled in his grasp as if each stone had been imbued with the sunset-emblazoned sea.

Hot embarrassment flooded her cheeks as she tried to reclaim her confidence along with her shoes. Morgan slid her foot into what she considered modern-day torture devices. How did her sister walk in these things every day? Morgan placed her hand in his outstretched one, allowed him to pull her from the car. “Thank you, Mr. . . . ?” She arched a brow in invitation for an introduction, glancing down to straighten the cameo pendant her mother had given her for Christmas over a decade ago.

“Juliano. But please, it’s Gage. Morgan, isn’t it? You’ve recently taken over as CEO of the Tremayne Foundation.”

Morgan forced a smile. “Yes.” The job was both a badge of honor and a source of grief. She shouldn’t have inherited the position for years, and wouldn’t have except for the accident that took her mother’s life. Which made potential failure all the more petrifying.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_AskingForTrouble
USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart can’t remember a time she didn’t have a book in her hands or a story in her head. A geek at heart, Anna writes romances featuring strong, independent heroines for Berkley (The Tremayne Family Romances), Harlequin Heartwarming (The Butterfly Harbor series) and will soon add romantic suspense to her booklist with the BONDED trilogy from Harlequin Romantic Suspense. RT Book reviews says Anna’s romances are “refreshingly unique, quietly humorous, and profoundly moving” and NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak says “The talented Anna J Stewart delivers every time!” Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious SUPERNATURAL, STAR TREK, and SHERLOCK addiction and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it’s Snickers who tolerates her).

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Special Giveaway from the Author:

MediaKit_CookbookCoverForExtraGiveawayTHE LANTANO VALLEY FAMILY COOKBOOK features more than 50 family favorite recipes contributed by The Butterfly Babes, Anna’s dedicated street team. This cookbook has a little something for everyone, from simple, quick meals to family pot luck winners, warm, comfy dinners, to lots of sweet treats.

Inspired by The Tremayne Family romances (ASKING FOR TROUBLE, HERE COMES TROUBLE, and THE TROUBLE WITH NATHAN) as well as the Lantano Valley sweet novella series, this special offering will only be available to those who purchase THE TROUBLE WITH NATHAN before April 30th. This cookbook will not be available for purchase.

To claim your copy, simply email proof of purchase (a copy of your e-receipt is perfect) for THE TROUBLE WITH NATHAN to Anna at authorajstewart@gmail.com and she’ll email you the file (PDF, compatible with all e-readers) within 48 hours. It’s as easy as that!

Buy ASKING FOR TROUBLE at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, or Kobo.

Buy HERE COMES TROUBLE at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iTunes.

Buy THE TROUBLE WITH NATHAN at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iTunes.

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Her Safe Harbor by Holly Bush – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Holly Bush will be awarding a $25 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_HerSafeHarbor1893 . . . Jennifer Crawford, the peacekeeper in a well-to-do Boston family rife with anger, deceit, and even treachery, was born to solve mathematical mysteries at a time when women are only beginning to venture from home and into the world of commerce and politics. Beautiful and shy, she struggles to find the courage to face a scheming mother and guide a father denying their familial dysfunction, hesitant to traverse the volatile economics banks are facing at the turn of the twentieth century. But danger threatens when she discovers the crimes of an abusive man determined to make Jennifer his own.

Zebidiah Moran, chief of staff for a new senator in Washington, is determined to uncover the lovely Jennifer’s secrets and guard her from danger. But will his sacrifices be enough to keep her safe?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The carriage rolled to a stop at a discreet side door on the massive stone building that was the Crawford Bank, and her father stepped out. “Take Miss Crawford to the lobby.”

Jennifer pulled her gloves tight as they rounded the corner and then accepted the doorman’s help down the two carriage steps. She drew herself up as she’d seen Jolene and her mother do on so many occasions, straightening her back, and slowly turning her head from side to side. Gentlemen stopped on either side of the dark carpet that went the entire way to the bank’s marble foundation.

The doorman nodded and opened the door for her to enter. “Good morning, Miss Crawford.”

Snow had begun to swirl around her, sprinkling white on her dark blue walking coat and velvet hat, the pheasant feather dipping with each step. The men who had stopped to let her pass were tipping their hats or removing them.

“Good morning, McAtee! It is a lovely morning, even with this wretched snow.”

“Let me hold my umbrella over you so you don’t get wet,” a young man shouted, and received laughter in reply from the men around him.

“Thank you, but I’m almost inside,” she said, and tossed her dark blond curls over her shoulder as she smiled brightly at the man holding his umbrella out to her like an offering.

Jennifer entered the bank with a nod to the doorman.

“She smiled at you, boyo,” another man said to the man holding the umbrella. “Lucky dog, you.”

“She did,” he replied, still staring at the now closed bank door. “She did.”

“I time my mornings to be just here when she arrives,” the man said. “’Twas a dreadful stretch when she was away. I thought I’d right died when she come back.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HerSafeHarborHolly Bush writes historical romance set in the U.S.in the late 1800’s, in Victorian England, and recently released her first Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com and on Twitter @hollybushbooks and on Facebook at Holly Bush.

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