Ten Things You Don’t Know About Writers by Amy Impellizzeri – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amy Impellizzeri will be awarding a signed copy of the book (US Only) and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

10 Things You Don’t Know About Writers

1) They read reviews.
Even if they say they don’t. They do.

2) They LOVE to read. The best writers read a lot. All genres. Every genre. In fact, they have to actually – and reluctantly! – take a hiatus from reading when they are in the throes of a writing project.

3) They need thesauruses.
In an early version of Lemongrass Hope, my editor found 147 instances of people
“whispering.” PLEASE NO MORE WHISPERING she wrote in exasperation. I’ve heard
similar stories from writers whose characters can’t stop sighing, glancing, gasping, and more!

4) They would still write whether or not anyone actually reads their work.
(But they like it better when you do!)

5) They don’t do it for the money.
Very few authors get crazy rich writing books. (This does not apply to E. L. James or J. K. Rowling.)

6) They do often work in their pajamas.
Or in my case, in my never-actually-been-to yoga pants.

7) They have day jobs.
Emerging and new authors often have to supplement income with freelance writing, copy-editing, or day jobs that have nothing to do with writing at all. The day I stepped down from my VP position at the start-up company I loved, to write full-time, was bittersweet, but also a HUGE gratitude moment for me.

8) They eavesdrop.
Fiction writers – especially when in the middle of a work-in-progress – are almost always living with characters in their head. When they overhear some funny or juicy piece of conversation in the coffee shop, you can be sure I (ahem, they!) are jotting down notes to incorporate into their work at some point.

9) They change (and sometimes forget!) character names.
In Lemongrass Hope, Celeste had about three different names in the initial manuscript before I settled on Celeste. I was constantly “finding and replacing.”

I’ve heard many stories of writers forgetting the names of the characters and switching them inadvertently halfway through the initial manuscript before the editors get hold of it.

10) They grow sour cherries, pears, and grapes on the side.
(Ok, that one might just be me.)

Layout 1 (Page 1)Set in the past, and present, LEMONGRASS HOPE is a captivating and unpredictable love story, with a dose of magical realism and time travel. LEMONGRASS HOPE weaves together ordinary lives and events to tell an extraordinary tale of connection, loss, renewal, and of course, hope. As Kate Sutton’s decade-long marriage to Rob erodes and unravels, Kate fears that the secrets she guards from the world, including Rob’s emergency room proposal, and a whirlwind love affair from her past, have always doomed her fate. When Kate unwittingly receives a glimpse at what her life could have been had she made different choices all those years ago, it is indeed all she could have ever wanted. A confirmation of her greatest hope … and her greatest fears. Read the book hailed by New York Times Best-selling authors and reviewers, including Jacquelyn Mitchard, Oprah’s very first book club selection author.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“It seems you did not actually read my amazing piece on all of this in Time Travel, Inc.”

Kate laughed. “Is that for real? The real name of your magazine?”

“Well, yes. Seems it caused a bit of confusion with my Botswanan guide, as well. He saw me faxing some notes back to my editor and asked if I was really writing about time travel.”

“So you told him yes, naturally.”

“I actually did.” Ian looked only mildly sheepish when he said this.

“Anyway, that Botswanan guide invited me to drinks the next day. They make a drink down there from the fruit of the marula tree. It’s known to cure disease and do all sorts of things. So, over this decadent marula tree booze, my guide told me a story of a mystic in the delta who swears that through some combination of the fermented marula tree fruit and Botswanan agate, he can make things happen.”

“What things?”

“Well, time travel, of course.”

For a moment, Kate thought Ian was mocking her, or perhaps was a complete lunatic, but then he burst out laughing. “I know, crazy right? That’s what marula drink will do to you. At any rate, I have spent the last six months trying to convince my editor that there is another story down there in the delta – something about the mystic and the agate and the marula. And I’ve finally succeeded. If nothing else, I’m going to treat myself to one helluva marula drunk.”

Kate stopped eating and blinked hard at her plate of curry. She could not help but wonder what it would be like to drink marula booze in the Botswanan delta with this handsome man who seemed like he just might believe in time travel.

And who was making her want to believe as well.

Watch the book video:

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LemongrassHopeAmy Impellizzeri is a reformed corporate litigator, former start-up executive, and best-selling author. In 2009, she left her 13-year litigation career to write and advocate for working women, later joining the executive team of the award-winning website, Hybrid Her (named by ForbesWoman as a “Top Website for Women” in 2010 and 2011). Through her work at Hybrid Her, and as Vice President, Community & Content, for its later re-brand, ShopFunder, Amy worked closely with hundreds of creative and inspiring entrepreneurs and fundraisers, writing and marketing their stories to new audiences.

In October 2014, Amy transitioned to full-time writer, with the publication of her first novel, Lemongrass Hope (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2014), which debuted as an Amazon best-seller (Romance/Fantasy and Romance/Time Travel). Oprah’s very first Book Club Selection author and New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author, Jacquelyn Mitchard, has called Lemongrass Hope a “fine and fresh thing – a truly new story.” Lemongrass Hope was featured by Library Journal and Foreword Reviews Magazine, and has been a favorite with Book Clubs and numerous Book Bloggers (including as the #1 favorite reviewed selection in 2014 by The Literary Connoisseur). Lemongrass Hope was recently selected as an INDIEFAB 2014 Book of the Year Finalist (Romance) by Foreword Reviews Magazine.

Amy’s first non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015), is due out Summer 2015. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, ABA Law Practice Today, The Glass Hammer, Divine Caroline, Skirt! Magazine, among more.

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Killing Time by Ingrid Nickelsen – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_KillingTimeDeath is the ultimate heartbreak. Evangeline never expected it to break hers after she died. No one should have to choose between their husband and their first love, but it is that choice that shatters her spirit.

She makes her choice, choosing not to transition, and finds that death can be vengeful too.

The world of the dead is far more complex that she ever knew, and facing the consequences of her actions might be the hardest obstacle yet, Fighting to survive in a world she doesn’t understand, she seeks the help of the wanderers. Time is running out as winter grips the land and her companions help her search for Will. Perhaps, if she keeps her eyes open and believes in her love enough, she will make her way back to him before the Hunters find her first.

Unexpected reunions, impossible choices, and long-hidden secrets will fill her journey with joy and sadness. It is Hunting season and Evangeline will have to fight for those she loves while remembering that cheating death always has a price.

Told from a dual perspective, Killing Time brings the For Better or for Worse series to a heart-stopping continuation in every sense of the word

Enjoy an excerpt:

The snow is burning my skin. I know it. But I can’t feel it, not really. It doesn’t hurt that much, I guess.

I don’t know how to move anymore, lying here on the cold white ground like a dead body. I feel dead.

Guilt weighs on me, and now it’s simply too hard to fight it. I can’t fight it. I stare numbly at the empty sky above me, utterly disoriented. I hear his voice calling me over and over again, desperately willing it to stop. That’s what hurts most. The pain in his voice, piercing the darkness. Piercing me. I close my eyes to silence my tears.

Please, stop. I’m so sorry.

About the Author: Ingrid is a 23-year-old French girl, college student, and dreamer. She currently resides in Paris, where she spends most of her time going to museums and the movies. Despite the romantic atmosphere in Montmartre, or even the fancy cafés in the Champs Elysées, she would easily trade it all for a nice walk in the woods with her schnauzer, Golden. She is always craving adventures, and finds that books are the cheapest way to travel to far-away lands. She is inwardly convinced that words have the power to heal the worst blisters on our hearts, or at least can make us forget about them for a little while. And sometimes, it is just enough to face another crazy day.

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Why I Write Paranormal/Fantasy Romance by Debbie Peterson – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

*****

“So,” many people have asked, “why did you choose to write paranormal/fantasy romance? Why not just write mainstream contemporary or historical romance and leave the otherworldly out if?”

Since the question is asked so often, I have spent a lot of time thinking about that answer. First and foremost, I have to tell you that I love making an impossible love quite possible after all. However, some of my strangest experiences are very likely, a major factor as well. Whether consciously or sub-consciously, they’d have to be. Right?

I think at one time or another, we’ve all been creeped out. You know what I mean… that feeling that you’re being watched or something isn’t quite right about a specific place and you just want to leave. Most of us have experienced hair standing up on the back of our neck or arms…

I’ve had that…but I’ve also seen a few ghosts as well. Laugh if you will, but I have seen them. My first experience happened in the old house my grandparents bought and were moving into. My family drove down to help them move and as might be customary in a small town, several of the neighbors showed up to help as well. Keep in mind this happened in the middle of a pleasant, warm summer day. The sun was shining. The only thing on my mind as a young teenage girl was getting the trucks unloaded so I could go and do something fun.

About halfway through the load, I picked up a box labeled “upstairs.” Cool. I wanted to see what the second floor looked like anyway. So, up the stairs I went. When I arrived at the top, I could see three rooms. One to my left, one to my right and one straight in front of me. In that center room stood a man. He looked about fiftyish, and wore a plaid shirt underneath his denim overalls. He also wore an old hat and a pair of glasses. I thought he was one of the neighbors who had come to help and direct traffic, so I said, “Where do you want me to put this box?”

He said NOTHING in response. He simply stared at me for several very uncomfortable seconds. I didn’t quite know what to do. Should I put the box down where I stood? Ask again or… While I was trying to decide, the man simply disappeared. Yes he did… Right in front of my face. Without taking my eyes off of the spot he had occupied, I put the box down and kind of kicked it in the direction of the bedroom. I turned around and rushed down the stairs as fast as I could. From that point on, I avoided all boxes that were supposed to go upstairs.

I never saw him again, though we visited the house many times. Nevertheless, we could hear him. And when I say we I mean my entire family. During our visits we all slept downstairs in the living room, on floors, couches, chairs or wherever. The minute we were all settled, the ghost would begin to pace. He would begin at one end of the second floor, walk all the way to the opposite side and then retrace his steps–over and over again. Even my very skeptical father admitted that nothing but someone walking in a pair of heavy boots could make that sound.

He’s not the only ghost I’ve seen. I have seen others, but we’ll save those experiences for another way. I will tell you this: the ghosts I’ve seen were not in any way transparent. I couldn’t see through them and that’s why I assumed that each of them were real people until they disappeared before my very eyes. Very disturbing to say the least…

How about you? Have you ever seen a ghost?

MediaKit_BookCover_CourtoftheHawkEpigraphist Dr. Essie DeSpencer travels to an ancient Welsh castle in order to decipher an Ogham inscription discovered by the handsome and enigmatic, Garreth ap Daffyd. But the journey is not what she expects. She doesn’t plan to fall for the Lord of the castle, or to find herself deeply entrenched in legends, myths, and magic. Real legends, and real magic, that have devastating consequences.

Garreth didn’t plan for Essie to stay any longer than it took her to decipher the pictograph. Instead, he finds himself falling in love for the first time in his very long life. Now the Lord of
Llys y Gwalch must find a way to attain the heart of his soul mate and keep her safe from the dangers that threaten them both.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“How old are you?” She held her breath and waited. In fact, she waited so long she wondered if he’d answer the question at all.

Finally, he dropped his gaze and returned a slow nod. He made the gesture more in response to an inner resignation than directing it toward her. “First, if I might ask, what gave rise to your curiosity?”

She combed the windblown hair away from her face and shrugged. “Does it make any difference as to how you’ll respond?”

He considered that for a time before he spoke. “No, I suppose it doesn’t. Still, I’d like to know.”

“All right, I don’t have a problem giving you the answer.” She cleared her throat. “The quake disturbed several portraits hanging along the hallways. I found one of them on the floor after leaving my room. So, I picked the antiquated thing up with every intention of replacing it, but the subject stole my attention. You see, if asked under oath in a court of law, I would swear you posed for the portrait at least two, maybe even three centuries ago.”

“And you didn’t stop to consider whether or not the man in the painting might be a distant ancestor to whom I bear a great resemblance?” he asked.

She extended a finger to his face, gently traced the scar that did naught but enhance his looks, and shook her head. “Not when the artist painted him with this.”

About the Author Debbie is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance because she has a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, making an impossible love possible, and happily ever after endings. She loves music, art, beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and thunder storms.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family within the lovely, arid deserts of southern Nevada. She also pursues her interests in family history, which she also teaches, mythology, and history.

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Back to Us by Teresa Roman – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Teresa Roman is awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_BackToUsAbandoned by her parents at fourteen, Jessica knows what it means to struggle. Jessica’s vowed that getting her degree is the only thing she has time for, until a summer internship brings Justin into her life. But Justin has scars of his own. A tour of duty in Afghanistan has left him with wounds. A medical discharge from the Navy leaves Justin struggling to make sense of his new reality. Then he meets Jessica; but can the two of them leave their pain in the past and make a future together?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mike was looking at me, his eyes full of sympathy. “Look, J, I hate to say this but the choice is pretty simple.”

“And that would be?”

“You and I don’t know what it means to have a real family, but I know that’s what you want. I’ve seen you do some stupid shit to try and get it, too.”

Leave it to my brother to come right out and say something like that. “Like what?”

“Like move in with that loser who was boning some girl behind your back.”

I rolled my eyes at Mike and put my hands on my hips. “Gee, thanks for reminding me.”

“The point is, Justin can’t give you what you want. He might make you happy now, but sooner or later that train’s gonna come to a stop, and you’re gonna have to hop off.”

“Mike,” Mel snapped.

“Hey, I’m just being honest here.”

Because that’s what Mike did. He told the truth whether you liked hearing it or not, and a small part of me worried that he was right. What I didn’t know was how I was ever going to find the courage to hop off the train before it crashed and left me in a million pieces.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_BackToUsTeresa Roman is a lover of books. That’s what prompted her to try her hand at writing. She currently resides in Sacramento, CA with her husband, three adorable children and the puppy her son convinced them to adopt. When she isn’t at her day job or running around with her kids, you can find her in front of the computer hard at work writing or with her head buried in another book.

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How to Handle Negative Criticism by Kellie Larsen Murphy

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kellie Larsen Murphy 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.

Please see our review of this book HERE.

How to Handle Negative Criticism

“Such flat-footed writing, dull vocabulary, lack of wit and style. Characters underdeveloped and pretty much interchangeable—just mouthpieces for the plot really.” (1)

Ouch. That’s not a favorable book review no matter how you slice it. Okay, so at least the reviewer implies there is a plot but still… These reviews aren’t much better:

“It’s not a horrible book. But it is not very clever and it is not very engaging.” (2)

“This was a huge disappointment. Plot was lacking, as was any sort of inspiration. I don’t know who wrote this book. Just isn’t good.” (3)

“The worst part was the writing. The dialog was riddled with speech which would not have been appropriate for the time or the class of the people speaking.” (4)

“Terribly written, rambling and thrown together. Absurd plot and entanglements. What a waste of my time.” (5)

Every one of the above reviews is bad and to make matters worse, they are all REAL one-star reviews posted on Amazon. Even more amazing is that each of those reviews is for books that currently sit on the New York Times Best Seller List! Wow! What’s my point? Simply put, it doesn’t matter how well-loved a book is, it will still have bad reviews. In recent weeks, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN has sat at the top or near the top of many bestsellers’ lists. It has earned more than 20,000 reviews on Amazon! Frankly, that number is just mind-blowing to me, but equally mind-blowing is realizing that more than 2,000 of those reviews are one or two-stars! Even so, I don’t think Paula Hawkins is too concerned. She has more reviews than most authors get throughout their entire career. Still, in spite of her success, there are readers who took the time to post negative reviews. So, what does that mean? To me, it means people are reading her book and at the end of the day, that’s what every author wants.

Yes, it stinks for an author when they get a bad review…or two…or dozens. So, how should the author handle it? Easy. LET IT GO. Yes, let it go—even if the review criticizes the writing but is filled with misspellings. Even if the reviewer clearly didn’t finish the book. Even if the review started with “I don’t like romances” and the book is science fiction. LET IT GO! Why? Because authors are supposed to be professional. Every reader (and I do mean every single one of them) is entitled to their opinion. As authors, we don’t have to agree or like it, but responding only makes the author appear thin-skinned and petty. And let’s be honest, that is a recipe for losing sales.

While it’s important to avoid responding to those negative reviews (take ten breaths, walk away, anything that works!), it is equally important to pay attention to them. If the number of one and two star reviews creeps over 25% of total reviews, the author may have a problem. Is there a common theme in those reviews? Is it something fixable? If the writer is an independent author, then they have the opportunity to swallow their pride and release a revised edition. If not, then the author should keep those reviews in the back of their mind when writing the next book. While it’s impossible to please every reader, aiming for the majority should be every author’s goal.
Negative reviews are no fun. They are deflating and discouraging, but trust me, LET IT GO and eventually the sting will fade. Even the classic, Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, got this review, “This book suckith!”

Reviews quoted above are for the following bestsellers:
(1) THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
(2) LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE by Jessica Knoll
(3) BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews
(4) AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen
(5) THE BONE TREE (PENN CAGE) by Greg Iles

MediaKit_BookCover_StayOfExecutionLittle Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent–until a series of rapes and murders at the college. After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Co-Ed Killer,” could end the terror.

Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true “Co-Ed Killer,” Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin’s release coincides with a fresh wave of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest “Co-Ed Killer” before the next girl dies…

A tension-filled psychological mystery, STAY OF EXECUTION is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The boy looked up at the tall trees, their branches thick and twisted, blocking the warmth from the sun. He pulled the strings of his knapsack tight and walked faster. Feet moving quickly over the slippery ground cover, he tripped, falling forward toward the round trunk of a large oak. “Stupid root. Stupid trees.” Picking himself up, he wiped his hands on his jeans, the brown, wet moss leaving marks on the worn pants. It was only then that he noticed what had caused his fall. Not a root. A leg. He stepped closer to see a bare leg, a woman’s leg, covered in dirt and leaves as though someone had tried to hide her. The boy’s eyes widened, and he screamed. Turning, he ran from the woods toward the first house he could find, still screaming.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_StayOfExecutionKellie Larsen Murphy is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution, the first two books in the Detective Cancini Mystery series. She has written for several mid-Atlantic magazines and resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.

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Character Interview with Illion from DRAGON KISSES by Michele Zurlo – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Character interview: Illion from Dragon Kisses

I’m here with Illion, a dragon shifter. On Zmaj, when dragons shift into a humaniod form, they appear as aspects, or parts, of one being. Though Illion appears as five separate men—Illion, Aurelio, Beck, Cashel, and Fayne—he considers himself one person. Speaking with one aspect is the same as speaking with all of them. They’re telepathically linked, and even when separated, they can function as one. When Cassie, Niall, Arabella, and Laurel first appeared on Zmaj, Illion was the one who found them. As such, he reserved the right to claim whichever one he wanted, and he chose Cassie. In Dragon Kisses, we don’t get to hear directly from Illion, but luckily he’s agreed to sit down with us today for this interview.

Q: From the start, you seemed quite smitten with Cassie. What went through your mind when you first saw her?

Illion: I noticed the spark in her eyes. She did not seem afraid; rather she seemed intrigued by my appearance. I may have noted her pleasing physical appearance at the same time. She has amazing curves that I find quite attractive.

Q: When Cassie left you, why did you not go after her and demand an explanation?

Illion: Zmaj are raised to view humans as pets, useful for scratching a sexual itch and nothing more. From an early age, I questioned this philosophy. I questioned everything we were taught and all Zmaj customs, which frequently landed me in trouble, but that is another story. My mother was human. She died a few years after my younger brother was born, so my memories of her are few, but the ones I have are powerful. My father treated her as a true mate. She was proud and strong, with a powerful personality that I greatly admired. I recognized those traits in Cassie, and I prized them. When a strong woman comes to you of her own volition, it carries momentous meaning. I wanted her to want me as much as I wanted her.

Q: Jonathan is the biological son of your brother. What kinds of challenges did he present to you?

Illion: Having been raised to fear the Zmaj, Jonathan wanted to reject his dragon when he reached maturity. This would have caused his death. I had to work to earn his trust and help him come to terms with his true nature. I blame myself for that, however. When my brother was killed, I did not notice what happened to Evelyn, his mate. I did not understand the nature of their relationship until Cassie opened my eyes to the concept of love. If I had, I would have kept them close so that Jonathan could have had a Zmaj father figure. Evelyn did the best she could under the circumstances. It seems my brother fell in love with a woman who was strong like our mother.

Q: Your point of view doesn’t appear in any of the Dragon Kisses novels. Will future installments feature chapters where you get to tell the story?

Illion: I do not know. My fate is in the hands of that wondrous force who directs all action.

Q: Thank you for hanging out with us today. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Illion: If a Zmaj somehow appears on your world, please greet them with more kindness than humans are typically shown here. Do not replicate our mistakes. I must go. Cassie awaits.

BookCover_DragonKisses1Dragon Kisses #1 (Cassie and Niall)

Waking up in a strange barn was just the tip of the iceberg. Cassie and Niall find themselves transported to another world, one full of dragon shifters who want to possess them. Cassie is claimed by Illion, an electric blue dragon who shifts into five hulking men, and Niall is claimed by Wynn, a lime green dragon who shifts into two men and two women.

The Zmaj feed from the sexual energy of humans, and finding a cache of five in an abandoned barn is a momentous occasion. Convincing them to stay and protecting them from the Inamanida, their sworn enemy, is another task altogether. And falling in love? Zmaj don’t do that.

When Cassie runs away, Illion is forced to confront his prejudices and his brethren in order to save her from a fate worse than death.

Warnings: MMMFF, MMFMMM, light bondage, dominant dragon shifters

BookCover_DragonKisses2Dragon Kisses #2 (Arabella and Jonathan)

Waking with no memory, Arabella finds herself courted by three men claiming to be her mates. Dragon shifters Tobin, Gerrit, and Blakely woo her with sweet words and deeds, convincing her that she’s always lived this fairy tale existence. Life is perfect until the Inamanida King decides the experiment has gone on long enough—and Tobin is ordered to turn Arabella over to be tortured and used by the entire clan.

Meanwhile Jonathan is working to help settle the humans in Zmaj’s outer city. As the son of a prominent human leader, finds himself thrust into a leadership role and having to liaise with creatures he was raised to fear. Soon he falls for Laurel, a beautiful woman recently arrived from Earth, but as secrets emerge, he faces a stark truth that could cost him everything.

Tobin and Jonathan must risk everything and deal with consequences that could cost them the fragile relationships they’ve built with the women they love.

Warnings: MFMM, MF

BookCover_DragonKisses3Dragon Kisses #3 (Laurel, Niall, Jonathan)

In the months following Jonathan’s transformation, Laurel struggles to come to terms with her feelings for him and the horrific memories of time spent as a dragon’s slave. Jonathan struggles to be patient, but Laurel’s fear is breaking his heart. Niall and Cassie open a popular bakery and revel in the bliss of love and their new lives. Arabella pines for Tobin’s aspects to be reunited, and Nora discovers the secret of creating Zmaj offspring.

Meanwhile all Zmaj braces for the Inamanida attack that Tobin warned them about. When it finally comes, the Zmaj find themselves vastly outnumbered by enemy forces. In the violence that follows, everything changes.

Enjoy an excerpt from Dragon Kisses 1:

Dragon Kisses #1 (Cassie and Niall)

Excerpt 1:

“Cassie.” The deep voice calling my name belonged to the dragon man standing next to the one who had watched over us. “Come.”

Was it wrong that his commanding tone had me close to coming? Nora’s assurance came from, I knew, deep inside my psyche. After all, in a dream all the characters were aspects of myself. Niall was my caution, and Nora was my sense of adventure. I pried myself from Niall’s hold. “We’ll be fine.”

Even facing the weirdest situation and the worst odds, I was an optimist. Before Niall could process what I was doing, I left the safety of the group. Taking those first steps toward a new life was easy when I knew I’d soon wake up in the safety and comfort of my bed, and I figured nothing was to be gained by huddling against a barn. Plus, this would make one hell of a diary entry when I woke up, and it would help keep my mind off Chad, the jerkweasel who’d dumped me yesterday.

Laurel and Oliver followed me. Both of them seemed to be dazed and confused. The blue-haired men morphed into a dragon, and we climbed onto its back. The three of us fit easily. I sat forward of the wings. Oliver situated himself behind me, and Laurel wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Hold onto the scales,” Nora shouted.

I slid my hands around the edges of two blue scales. Each was a large as a dinner plate, but they had ridges on the top which were perfect for holding. One leap, and it took off.

Flying on the back of a dragon was unlike anything I’d experienced. My tummy fluttered from the quick ascent—or from that niggling bit of sense that told me I wasn’t playing it safe, and wind whipped through my hair. I had the feeling the dragon was flying slower than normal, and I appreciated his restraint. Any faster, and I might have freaked out.

Or not. Who could be afraid of heights or strangers in such a wonderful fantasy?

About the Author:I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

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Two Princes: The Biker and the Billionaire – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will be awarding a copy of the memoirs of Ash Armand, the celebrity who appears on the cover of Two Princes to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two brothers, one a player, one a playboy, are on a collision course with destiny and a woman who thought she won a prize when she was allowed a look inside the Sons of Sanctuary MC.

Brigid Roan is a graduate student at the University of Texas. She had no trouble getting her thesis approved, but finding a Hill Country motorcycle club willing to give her access to their lifestyle was looking impossible. Then she got a lead. A friend of a friend had a cousin with family ties to The Sons of Sanctuary.

What Brigid wanted was information to prove a proposition. The last thing she had in mind was falling for one of the members of the club. Especially since she was a feminist academic out to prove that motorcycle clubs are organized according to the same structure as primitive tribal society.

Brash Fornight was standing in line at the H.E.B. Market when his world tipped on its axis. While waiting his turn to check out, his gaze had wandered to the magazine display and settled on the new issue of “NOW”. The image on the cover, although GQ’d up in an insanely urbane way, was… him.

After reading the article, Brash threw some stuff in a duffle and left his only home, a room at The Sons of Sanctuary clubhouse, with a vague explanation about needing a couple of days away. He left his truck at the Austin airport and caught a plane for New York, on a mission to find a mysterious guy walking around with his face.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Sir?” Brash Fornight gradually became aware that someone behind him in the grocery checkout line was trying to get his attention. “Sir?” He refocused and glanced behind him. The woman leaning on a cart overflowing with chip bags and cookie boxes nodded toward the cashier indicating that it was his turn to move forward. Brash looked her in the eye and had to give her props. Most people wouldn’t have the balls to try to herd a guy wearing Sons of Sanctuary MC leather.

The club employed a woman who cooked and did grocery shopping several times a week as part of her job description, but Brash didn’t like to explain his relentless craving for peanuts and he liked being teased about it even less. He didn’t know whether it was the Vitamin B or the fat or just because he liked the taste, but he couldn’t imagine going a day without them.

That’s how he came to be standing statue still In the grocery checkout line, being prompted by some woman with more nerve than sense. While he was waiting, his eyes drifted over the magazine display and settled on the cover of “NOW”, on the Most Eligible Bachelor edition no less. The debonair figure staring back was wearing Brash’s own face and body. He looked different with short hair and a four thousand dollar suit with the shirt fashionably open at the neckline, but the similarity was inescapable.

On impulse he grabbed the magazine and tossed it onto the conveyor belt with his week’s stash of peanuts.

He stuffed the bags into the saddlebags of his bike and roared toward home, nervously tapping his fingers on handlebars at red lights, riding on shoulders to keep from slowing down. He was anxious to get to the privacy of his own room and read about Branach St. Germaine.

Two beers, one jar of peanuts, and one “NOW” article later, Brash was sitting on the edge of his bed looking at the wall, seeing nothing but his own heavy thoughts. He pulled out his phone, looked up a website, and waited on hold for ten minutes to hear the time of the next flight from Austin to New York.

There was a flight to Newark in a little over three hours. He looked at his watch and calculated the time it would take to drive from Dripping Springs at that time of day. As he booked the flight, he stood up, walked to the small closet, grabbed a duffel bag, and began shoving stuff into it. Ten minutes later, he closed his door and locked it, threw the duffel over his shoulder, and headed straight for the office downstairs. He dropped the duffel on the hallway floor beside the closed door and knocked.

“Yeah?” Brash looked inside, glad that his dad was by himself, and stepped in. “What’s up?”

“I’m takin’ personal time, Pop. Gonna be gone for a couple of days.”

“What the hell is ‘personal time’?”

The gruffness made Brash smile. “It means I’m not gonna be here if you call and I’m not tellin’ you why.”

The Sons of Sanctuary President looked up at Brash, over the top of his readers, and narrowed his eyes. “You got a secret?”

“Everybody’s got secrets.”

Brandon Fornight studied his son for a minute. “True enough. Is it the kind of secret that could affect this club?”

Brash shook his head. “Don’t see how.”

“Well, then. See you… When did you say you’d be back?”

“I didn’t.”

“Bein’ purposefully vague, are you?”

Brash grinned. “That’s why they call it personal time. But I expect to be back Friday.”

“You gonna have your phone with you?” When Brash nodded, Bran looked back down at his ledger in a deliberately dismissive gesture. “Well, get outta here then.”

Brash parked his bike in the airplane hangar. The structure had already been on the property when the club had bought it and turned it into a compound twenty years earlier. They used part of it for vehicle maintenance and repair and part for parking.

Some of the guys who were working looked over and shot curious glances his way when Brash threw his duffel into his pickup and started it up, but it wasn’t their way to ask questions. The Sons figured that if somebody wanted you to know something, they’d tell you.

Brash took a cab to a midtown hotel, wondering all the way why human beings would choose to live in such a place. As he slid his credit card across the hotel counter to the agent on duty, he glanced at the name, Brandon Fornight. It seemed unlikely that it was a coincidence that that the mysterious look-alike’s first name began with the same four letters. He ordered room service and pulled out his laptop.

Getting intel on the guy didn’t take advanced ops. Within an hour Brash knew where Brannach St. Germaine worked, what kind of car he drove, what kind of women he dated, who his tailor was, and where he liked to dine. There was no shortage of photos online, but the one that grabbed his attention wasn’t one of the many with starlets or debutantes on his arm. It was the one taken with his arm around his mother as they were arriving together for some red carpet fundraiser. Brash had an almost irresistible compulsion to reach up and touch her face on the screen in front of him.

The knock on the door signaled that room service had arrived. It cost a fortune, but looked and tasted like shit. So he closed the computer and went out for a walk to clear his head and find something edible.

USA TODAY Bestselling Author.

The Order of the Black Swan has won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria writes cross-genre with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. She is making her debut into contemporary romance with publication of the SUMMER FIRE ultimate romance collection anthology with the intro to the Sons of Sanctuary MC series. The first novel of that will be released June 16, 2015

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.VictoriaDanann.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Danann/e/B007VCOJES/

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BLACK SWAN FAN PAGE: www.facebook.com/vdanann

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Fueled by Lust: Makar and Baruch by Celeste Prater – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Celeste Prater is awarding a randomly drawn commenter a $20 Amazon/BN gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Releasing 06/17/2015 exclusively at www.bookstrand.com/celeste-prater and 6-8 weeks later at major retailers

MediaKit_BookCover_FueledByLustMakarAndBaruchA quick mission to retrieve a bag of blood leaves Makar Decanus and Baruch Abella’s head spinning when they stumble upon their potential mate. Unknown to them at the time, this isn’t just any ordinary doctor with sea-green eyes and a tantalizing scent of violets. She might very well be the catalyst leading to the destruction of the Insedi race.

Dr. Keely Anderson thinks she’s on to something wondrous when not one, but three patients reveal they’ve seen men disappearing before their eyes. Undaunted by her prick boss’s demand she stop investigating, Keely finds herself swept into the arms of two overwhelming males that want to see her permanently positioned between their sexy as hell bodies. But will her heartrending past keep them at arm’s length?

Book 7 in the Fueled By Lust Series will pull at your heartstrings, make you gasp at the action, and have you fall head over heels in love once again with the Insedi race.

Reader note: Series best read in sequence

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“I want you to be comfortable, sweetness. You have a look on your face as if you’re expecting me to crush you. That’s not an ideal mindset to instigate your desire.” He rolled to a sitting position, leaned against the couch, and patted his thigh.

“Here, sit on my lap. We’ll just hold each other for a bit.”

Muscles melting in relief, Keely threw her leg over his and settled onto his lap.

He caressed her arm and spoke softly. “Ready?”

She nodded and glanced over to Baruch. He was trying to focus his eyes.

Keely jumped when Makar’s hands landed on her hips.

“Relax. You’re in charge. Okay?”

She stared into his golden eyes and tried to figure out why she was so damn jumpy. Releasing her breath, she placed her hands on his shoulders and leaned forward. “I’m going to kiss you. Will you do that electrical charge thing again? I need some warning.”

“No, sweets. That was a one-time deal. Lay it on me.”

Moving closer, she felt his palms slide up her back. The moment their mouths touched, she closed her eyes and fell into the most sublime experience imaginable. His lips were soft, his motions gentle, and his tongue warm and inviting. Gradually, she grew bolder and demanded more from the kiss, withdrawing, nipping his full lower lip, and kissing the sting away before starting the intimate exploration all over again. His palms pressed harder against her back, pulling her closer.

Coming up for air, she sighed when her breasts smashed against his chest and he nibbled along her neck. A slight tug on her earlobe sent tingles shooting across her skin. His sensuously accented words had her wiggling on his lap.

“That’s it, sweetness. I smell a slight aroma of violets. Let go, baby. Give us more. Umm, yes. Keep moving your hips. Yes, just like that. Ride me. Ah, you’re making me so hard, Keely.”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FueledByLustMakarAndBaruchCeleste was born and raised in a small town between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin. Wanting to see more than her small Texas town, she joined the Marines, which satisfied her craving to see more of the U.S. and her drive to see if she could be one of the few and the proud.

A firm believer in educating the mind, Celeste has achieved several advanced degrees, the latest being a master’s of science.

Her true love is writing erotic romance, especially about alien hunks that know how to treat their females.

Drusus, Severus, Cato, Lucien, Caelius, Maxim and many more have swirled in her dreams until she had to bring them to life and allow them to find love within the pages of the Fueled by Lust book series.

Book 1 DRUSUS was nominated as Top 5 Finalist and placed 3rd in the 2014 RWA Passionate Ink’s 9th Annual Passionate Plume Book Contest in Erotic SciFi/Fantasy Category, Book 2 SEVERUS achieved BEST BOOK review rating and won April 2014 BOOK OF THE MONTH Reader Poll at LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, Book 3 CATO won the May/June 2014, and LUCIEN won the September 2014 BOOK OF THE MONTH Reader Poll at LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS. All currently released books in the series have made it into the Top 5 Bestseller Lists at Bookstrand.com within days of release as well as making it into the Top 10 Hottest New Releases in Erotic Science Fiction on Amazon.

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Five Lessons I Learned from a Galactic Bartender by M. Pax – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $40 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.

Five Lessons I Learned from a Galactic Bartender

An average dude in the galaxy, Craze dreams of owning a successful bar and becoming a business tycoon. The galaxy can’t grant him a single wealthy customer let alone his loftier goals. He lives on an arid moon full of dust, yet he has a few things going for him: living hair so he’s always perfectly groomed, irresistibly soft skin, good looks, a good size, and he brews a fantastic ale, malt, and mead.

What I learned from him:

  1. The next person through the door will most likely be unhinged. Nothing sane travels the starway connecting the solar systems of the Backworlds. Keep a stunner handy.
  1. Practice a good growl and sneer. Appearing intimidating is a handy tactic, and it’s OK if the loons believe you’re loonier. It’ll keep them far away, which is the best place for the loons to be.
  1. Chocolate is better than gold. It’s the most valued commodity in the Backworlds. Yeah, it’s great stuff. Always keep a stash.
  1. Good business will multiply chips. Bad business will drain accounts. Location and connections will get you far. However, nasty past affairs can bring down the best-crafted plans. Don’t leave baggage hanging around.
  1. It’s OK to have a big gooey center that oozes for a good sob story. Living on the edge of the Backworlds is harsh. Everyone needs a break and most need a second chance.

I also learned survival can be bigger than myself and to pour my heart into what I make.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This is the sixth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.

The Backworlds hang by a Quantum string, a thread about to snap. Annihilation is coming if Craze can’t stop it.

The genocidal alien he had trapped breaks free, destroying a ship belonging to the Backworlds’ oldest enemy, the Fo’wo’s. The murderous alien wants to overtake the galaxy. The Fo’wo’s want another war.

The Backworlds’ best chance to survive is to overcome a century of hate and forge an alliance with the Fo’wo’s. Because of his history with the alien, Craze is recruited to represent his people. Now he’s the most hated man in the galaxy.

The looming war will be a holocaust unless he can stop it, knowing salvation comes at a price.

Boing Boing gives The Backworlds 5 stars! “This is a fun, fast paced novel that reminded me a bit of early Heinlein”.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Engaging the thrusters on the jetpack strapped to her back, Rainly steered herself through space. Its vastness terrified her. Her skin prickled. The man in the white robe jabbering in her head overwhelmed her, blocking out all until she found herself back on the Sequi opening the box she had retrieved. She had hoped answering the man’s summons would end her blackouts.

“I don’t want to know what I did,” she whispered, her teeth chattering and limbs quaking. She couldn’t take much more of this.

The size and dimensions of a coffin, the box was also a ship. One more sophisticated than the Sequi. Using a control paddle, Rainly maneuvered a dolly under the box, then she wheeled it into the living quarters. Her sister had moved the couches, creating ample space.

Her hands clapping, her sister beamed. “Let’s meet our master.”

Together they pried open the chamber per instructions pulsing in Rainly’s head. The flood of data had to be making a clamor in her sister’s mind too, because she moved in the same ways.

Inside the box lay a brain in a sac of goo. Nothing like Rainly expected. “Is it a Fo’wo?” she asked her sister.

“Not yet. We have to reboot him first.”

Rainly had to wonder whether she and her sister had gone insane.

M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds and the contemporary science fiction series The Rifters, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Learn more at:

mpaxauthor.com

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Stardust Dreams by S.B. Redstone – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. S. B. Redstone will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops.

Abstract Image Of A Planet With Water. Find New Sources And TechLance Forrester is a dreamer. After a celebrated career as an astronaut and engineer, he and a friend build a secret spacecraft to seek their destinies in the stars. But his friend dies and Lance is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Desperate not to succumb to his fate, he convinces an acquaintance, ailing actress Sage Saint Claire, whom he hasn’t seen since high school, to join him on his quest to reach an advanced alien civilization which can heal them both. Unfortunately, true life is not a Hollywood movie, as much as Sage might want it to be, and problems abound. Mistakes in the past have turned Sage into a bitter old woman, and she turns out to be a less-than-perfect traveling companion which no amount of optimism, youth, or good health can cure. Can these two intrepid octogenarians-turned-immortals overcome the emotional scars of their pasts and achieve true happiness, or are they doomed to suffer for their mistakes, no matter how far from Earth they go?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I knew that the truth in my heart reflected in my old, weary eyes. “Yes, I do. Look, I’m no slick-talking salesman, as you can see. I’m just a scientist and engineer, but I truly believe there is a statistical probability of success. But even if I’m wrong, and our voyage ends up to be pointless, so what? Think of the fun you’ll have. Imagine the excitement and wonders of space travel that come before our long sleep.” I paused to dramatize my resolve and let a burst of quixotic energy erupt from me. “Cherish the adventure!”

It wasn’t her fears that I was battling against, but a lifetime of distrust. My confidence in a successful mission collapsed. “Of course, you have no reason to believe a word of what I’ve told you. You don’t really know me, except through my noted accomplishments. But I can’t disappoint you because I’m only offering friendship and hope.” I pushed my point harder. “Sure, we can die here on Earth. We can die in space. Or we can awaken on a remote and caring world that saves us! We are the captains of our fate, not the Grim Reaper—yet!”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_StardustDreamsSteven Rosenstein, penname S. B. Redstone, had a career as a school psychologist and private practice Licensed Clinical Social Worker on Long Island. Always seeking the truths of human nature, he wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, published by New Horizon Press Books. He has written articles on human nature and relationships, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows. Always having a vivid imagination, he first became a successful writer of short stories. His mystery thriller, A Sinister Obsession, was published by Black Opal Books. As an expert in the field of human psychology, he has an exceptional ability to develop realistic and exciting characters in his novels. Many of my characters have been taken from his clinical experiences. Stardust Dreams is his first romance novel, although romantic relationships stand out in his other works. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Org and Romance Writers of America. He resides with his wife in New York and Florida.

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