Deviation by Christine Manzari – Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a cover reveal for the re-release of Christine Manzari’s DEVIATION. One randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

Enjoy an excerpt:

My hands were shaking. My blood was on fire and my skin was crawling as if my insides were actually boiling. Air. I needed air. I tried to crawl off the bed and get to the window, but the words from the email were blazing through me — a bellowing inferno of indignation.

Donors.

Cease and Desist.

Property.

Punishment.

Indiscretions.

Revoked.

Trusted.

My hands covered my ears as the words screamed through my head. Or was I screaming?

Pressure was building inside me and I just wanted to let it go, to feel relief. It was too much. I was too hot.

Exhale.

The computer exploded, throwing flaming plastic and metal across the bed. The television answered with its own death, spewing its fiery innards onto the desk and floor, igniting the carpet instantly. The rage in my chest echoed like a heartbeat and with each pulse, something in the room burst into flames. In less than a minute, I was surrounded by broken and burning bits of my room, all of them melting or on fire. A small untouched circle of floor under my feet was my haven, my island in the disaster. Flames raced up the drapes, licking at the ceiling as shards of glass from the window fell inward with an eerie tinkling.

I stared in disbelief, unable to move, as the room burned around me and smoke curled to the ceiling like agitated ghosts. The goldfish flopped helplessly among the wet rubble of his shattered home. Pictures hanging on the wall curled up in the heat, catching flame and falling to the floor in large, ashy flakes.

What had I done?

About the Author:

The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Website: www.christinemanzari.com

Email: christine@christinemanzari.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChristineManzari
Twitter: twitter.com/Xenatine
Instagram: instagram.com/xenatine
Pinterest: pinterest.com/xenatine/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Christine_Manzari

Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, or Smashwords.

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Curious Stories by Gregory Eaves – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_CuriousStoriesIf you like mysteries with a surprise twist at the end, then Curious Stories is for you. This is a small diverse collection of mystery short stories, ranging from the noir detective story to supernatural suspense. Neurotic characters and strange turns populate the pages of this quick and entertaining read.

Excerpt from SECRETS OF THE DEAD

He started to nod off to sleep, the rum still sloshing around in his skull. He laid the book on a heavy wooden table and stretched out on his sofa yawning, trying to remember his Uncle Jim. He had only spoken to him over the phone, as a child. Maybe his father’s side was friendlier, he mused, as the lights faded and his consciousness glided into sleep. The last image in his mind was of a phone ringing through a receiver, endlessly, with no one picking it up on the other end.

*

The southern California landscape outside his car window was new to Grover, and he liked it at first. It was filled with varying shades of green and tawny brown, and the air was still warm. The dry heat felt better than Indiana’s cool fall weather. The smell of car exhaust was strong on the freeway though, and the sunny brightness everywhere was starting to give the scenery a washed-out look, the way a photograph looks when overexposed. Then there were the Santa Ana winds that always came in October.

He hadn’t heard about the Santa Anas. When a San Jacinto weather report described them on the radio, how they whistled down through the canyons from the high desert, hot and dry, he wondered out loud if the grit could cause a gun to jam. He laughed and patted his side. The Walther PPK was snuggled close against his ribcage, but it wasn’t uncomfortable yet. That was a good sign. He had chosen that gun, of World War II vintage, from his private collection because it was smaller and easier to carry than his Glock. It didn’t have great firepower or accuracy, and it was old, but he wasn’t really expecting to need it. He just felt naked without a firearm.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_GregoryEavesGregory Eaves was born October 18, 1950, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Speedway High School and Indiana University. In his twenties, he traveled extensively throughout the United States, with an eight year stay in San Diego, California, where he studied and practiced meditation.

Gregory moved to Florida and completed a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida.

Library school rekindled his interest in reading, which had been his favorite activity as a child growing up. Mysteries had been his first love, and he devoured his first mystery books with singular passion and zeal. Nothing else seemed to hit the sweet spot like reading The Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, and Poirot. He later enjoyed authors like Raymond Chandler, John D. McDonald, Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, and others.

SCHISM is Gregory’s first novel. His prior experience with writing included poetry and short stories. One of his short-shorts won runner-up in a contest in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

He now lives on the east coast of Florida, and when he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing guitar and collecting vintage stereo gear and vinyl records. He is a member of American Mensa.

Website ~ Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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High Andes by Rolf Margenau – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

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

Wylie Cypher, suffering from a mid-life crisis, decides to challenge fading youth by taking a trekking vacation across the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) of the High Andes in Peru with his daughter, Mercy, just graduated from college. It is 1981.

While working with legal clients in Lima, he inadvertently acquires documents that contain explosive and damning evidence about the Peruvian government’s extreme interrogation techniques. He learns that something is amiss when police detain and torture him. He loses his little toe. A series of misunderstandings precipitate a heart-pounding chase across the high mountains as two sets of villains – government thugs and members of the communist guerrilla Sendero Luminoso – seek out the Cypher group with murderous intent. Combat in the thin air of the mountains, deceptions of numerous sorts, hairbreadth escapes, torture, action in underground caves populated with mummies, and unexpected plot twists fill the pages of this book.

It is in the United States’ national interest to observe the growing communist threat in its hemisphere, so C.I.A. agents are involved. While Wylie and his cohorts are running for their lives, the author also reports on international smuggling of historical artifacts, the fate of a 600-year-old child mummy, and the ancient spirit of the mountains, Pachamama.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The special child seemed almost weightless in his arms as he approached the niche in the rocks where he intended to place her. Ayar continued to gauge his ascent carefully, constantly scanning the path below and the horizon. Special concern was necessary, as the Chimu had not yet settled the war between their nations. They still sent out raiding parties even as far south as Huaraz.

 

The body of the four-year-old girl he carried was the daughter of Cuca, wife of Maita Capac. Cuca herself was now sick with the plague that lay like a dark hand on the people of the White Mountains. That disease had quickly taken the life of her firstborn, the lively and adored Cocohuay, named for the turtledoves kept in a dovecote outside her window.

The sickness spread almost faster than the noble runners could report. There was news about strange white people at Tumbes in the north. They wore silver jackets and sat on four-legged beasts three times the size of the largest llama. They had huge wooden houses that went on the sea, and sticks that carried thunder.

The plague began at Tumbes, and the wooden houses left two of the strange men there and sailed away. Huayna Capac sent to have them brought to him, but they were lost along the way. Now the ruler’s people in Chavín de Huántar were dying. The embalmer’s services were in high demand.

Cuca called Ayar when her little daughter died. As wife of the regional administrator, Cuca was highly placed and her demands took priority. Not that the embalmer would have denied her. Once he saw the frail little child carefully arranged on the low table among sweet-smelling grasses and flowers, and noted the florid flush of her face and body, his heart went out to the grieving mother. He would do all he could to prepare the little girl.

About the Author:

The author of Public Information has had a varied career. He has been a scrub nurse in an operating room, a professional photographer, a soldier during the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit dedicated to housing the homeless, a manager of large and small businesses and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.

He first published short stories as an English Major from Yale. Finding the double-digit pay for that work insufficient to support a wife and one and a half children, he went to law school in hopes of finding better paying work. Fortunately, that proved to be the case.

When the author discovered that his wife kept all the 300 plus letters he wrote her from Korea, he decided to use that material as the basis for a novel about the Korean War. It was a story he had wanted to tell for many years.

Public Information is based on his experiences as NCO in charge of a combat Infantry Division Public Information (hence the title) Office in Korea. It tells the story of Wylie Cypher, a hapless young soldier who arrives in Korea in the midst of bloody combat. Wylie manages to survive his sixteen-month tour of duty as Margenau recounts in gory, ribald, poignant and accurate detail. His adventures are recounted in military jargon and his sometimes abrasive involvement with the “Army way” describes the good, bad and incredible of life in the military. Along the way, Wylie manages to find and lose love.

Other veterans have found the story authentic and highly illustrative of the background and details of the Korean War. Publisher’s Weekly commented on the author’s ability to create a sense of time and place. During the summer of 2012, Public Information became an Amazon.com Kindle best seller.

Pistils and Poetry is the author’s second book. It is a compilation of Margenau’s favorite Elizabethan poems (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, and numerous others) juxtaposed with the author’s photographs of flowers. It is a rich and engaging poetry book, enhanced and complimented by luscious photos of flowers. The book is considered as an elegant way to tease reluctant poetry readers into an appreciation of the beautiful sentiments and language of long ago masters of the English language.

Encouraged by the reception for his first novel, Margenau published Master Gardener, his second novel, in March 2013. It is a story that explores conflicts between the benefits of engineered crops and their potential for ecological disaster. Wylie Cypher, the hero of Public Information, is now seventy-five years old. He uses his life and legal experience to defend one of the women in his life, Anne Proctor, against the machinations of malevolent BIG AG. Senior citizens band together as eco-terrorists to save the monarch butterfly, and Dick Geier, the ruthless and profane CEO of BIG AG, engages in corporate shenanigans that reflect current headlines. The story is set in Middletown, New Anglia, not too far from Philadelphia, and episodes along the Amazon River in Peru bracketed by episodes along the Amazon River in Peru.

His third novel, published in August 2014, is High Andes. The central narrative follows Wylie Cypher, in his mid-forties and suffering from a serious mid-life crisis, and his daughter, Mercy, as they try to elude various villains chasing them across the White Mountains of Peru. The story deals with armed insurrection by Maoist guerillas, smuggling ancient artifacts, “disappearances” of troublemakers, a five hundred year old child mummy, and the CIA.

Rolf Margenau lives in rural New Jersey with his wife, three dogs, a 1932 Chrysler convertible, and a flower garden favored by monarch butterflies. He is now working on his fourth novel. Tentatively titled National Parks, the story recounts what happens, in the near future, when Congress decides to nationalize America’s National Parks.

Buy High Andes at Amazon

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22849599-high-andes?ac=1

http://www.frogworks.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolf-Margenau/771835992839701

http://twitter.com/RolfMargenau

https://plus.google.com/b/113399859611224723680/113399859611224723680/

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rolf-margenau/12/674/679

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6166920.Rolf_Margenau

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The Most Romantic City in the World by Arianna Giorgi – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Arianna Giorgi is guest blogging with us as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ariana will be awarding an original handmade Venetian mask from Venice to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

*****

Hello beautiful ladies, it’s a pleasure to be your guest. These days here in Rome the weather is awful and I’m now under a blanket, with my cat curled up in my lap and a piping hot cup of tea next to me. And I’m alone! No husband and no girls around. Well, of course I love my family but it’s nice to spend some time on my own every now and then.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read a romance set in Italy, but if you love the Venice scenario, you will love this story.

Have you ever to the most romantic city in the world? Have you ever enjoyed a gondola trip? This is your chance to experience Venice because in Unmask My Heart the city is a true character, like the protagonists.

And if that is not enough to convince you, let me invite you to Like my Facebook author page where I posted photos of the places mentioned in the book.

I was asked what kind of writer I am. To begin with, I’m a writer who would love to have more time to write. The ones of you who are full time workers like me, wives, mothers and cats’ official cuddler, can fully understand me. But I learned how to use every free minute.

I’m a writer who loves historical romance. I love when my readers can enjoy the times and places that I describe in my books. I like when they tell me they feel part of the story, do what my characters do and feel what they feel. And I like to be an honest writer, I want to write only about what I know. This is why I visit every place I write about. Because I believe that readers deserve a believable sense of space and time.

When I need inspiration or I need to collect my thoughts, I run away.

I have a beach house on the beautiful coast of Tuscany. That’s my refuge. When I’m there, I look at the sea, at the Elba Island rising from the Mediterranean Sea right in front of my windows, and I let my imagination go wherever it wants.

Right in the moment when I was just looking at the Elba Island I remembered there was Napoleon’s prison. Then I thought it would be a nice idea to open my book on an island.

Yes, ideas come to me when I am away from home. I wrote Unmask My Heart’s plot during a road trip around Tuscany. One day here, one day there. While visiting castles, walled cities, roofless cathedrals and swords in the stone, Unmask My Heart came to life.

Tuscany gave it life, Rome gave it strength, and Venice gave it magic.

I’m waiting for you on my Facebook author page to talk about Brando and Isabella and much more. Original Venetian giveaways are waiting for you. See you soon!

11_26 arianna CoverUnmask My HeartWhen Rome’s loveliest rose and Venice’s fiercest lion team up to win back the love of their respective spouses-to-be, the Serene Republic may expect a hilarious romp – and perhaps the most torrid love story to have ever bedazzled its gilded canals…

Survived a pirate attack on the Isle of Lina, Venice’s sturdiest outpost, Roman Princess Isabella Pamphili and Venetian war hero Brando Loredan escape from the island and arrive in Venice.

Isabella discovers her fiancé is a cheat, her bride dream a lie. Her future husband, the man she loves with all her heart is flirting in… Brando’s fiancée’s arms!

Shock. Disappointment. Anguish. Fear for her future. The rascal deserves a lesson he will not forget, because a princess of Rome doesn’t bow out so easily. Brando Loredan will not be that hard to convince for he is jealous, angry and vindictive enough to get some brilliant idea. So she joins forces with him to get back her fiancé and put together the little dream back on track. But while trying and insisting on regaining the dream, she discovers a new path of light and love. It is not a lie, like the first dream, but it may be even harder to win.

Unmask My Heart is a story of love and sweet revenge set in sparkling, sumptuous Casanova’s Venice where everything is possible and sins are concealed behind a mask.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Brando grabbed her by the arm and forced her to turn around. She struggled against him, punching her fists on his chest.

“Unhand me.” The princess looked like a puppy facing a lion. Brando dragged her in a hidden corner and pinned her between his body and the wall.

“Stop running away, Isabella.”

“Let me go.” She panted and refused to look at him.

“No. I’ll never let go.”

With a deep sigh, Isabella wiped away her tears that threatened to overflow, and collapsed into his arms.

Brando’s arms slid around her waist to hold her upright.

Isabella looked up at him. Brando drowned in her clear emerald pools. His knees were weak and, his desire to kiss her devoured him. He pushed her ermine soft hair from her face. That neck, that skin … his fingers tried, struggled in every possible way not to touch her. Brando wanted with all his heart to act like a friend. He sincerely wished to comfort her but his hands ached for her, his lips craved her kiss.

He wanted to scrub away the desire for her kiss. Isabella was here in his arms and he could never love her, or taste her as he wished. His face contorted with the pain in his heart.

Isabella stepped closer and wrapped her arms around his neck.

It was too much for him. Brando’s hands cupped her neck and her shoulder. His fingers trailed along her neck and she leaned her head back.

Isabella was there, she wanted love, consolation and passion.

About the Author: 11_26 arianna authorpicArianna Giorgi is a historical romance author and a journalist, a college graduate and an avid reader. She makes her home halfway between the Vatican City and the picturesque old quarter of Trastevere at the heart of the city of Rome in Italy, where Julius Caesar kept an apartment as a young man about town and from where a long list of artists gave the world some of its greatest masterpieces.

She has an intrinsic appreciation of beauty and everything eccentrically romantic, including a strong affiliation to the city of Venice which she visits at least twice a year.

Independent and curious, Arianna has travelled extensively around the globe, from America to Africa and back to Europe. Frankly, she never misses a chance to pack her bags and jump on a plane. Driven by a passion for European history and art, she wanders and investigates every hidden corner of the Old Continent, armed with a camera and a notebook, and looking for intriguing stories and settings for her books.

She loves history, astrology, gourmet cooking, and cats. She lives with her husband, her beautiful daughters and her red cat, surrounded by her own cultivated flowers and the magical grandeur of the Eternal City.

Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at “http://www.amazon.com/Unmask-Heart-Lions-Venice-Book-ebook/dp/B00N7AW9BS/ref=la_B00LT8GI7G_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412275144&sr=1-1″>Amazon

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An Amish Christmas Quilt by Charlotte Hubbard, Jennifer Beckstrand, and Kelly Long

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

11_25 Cover_An Amish Christmas QuiltA Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant

Seth Brenneman didn’t expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kaffman and her two children…or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts—and work a miracle for a lifetime?

A Perfect Amish Christmas

Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …

Enjoy an excerpt from A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant:

Mary Kauffman clutched herself as another contraction ripped through her insides. Fresh tears sprang to her eyes as she somehow kept from screaming—somehow kept the lines in her hand while the horse and buggy continued down the unfamiliar road. Was she anywhere near Willow Ridge and Aunt Miriam’s? How much longer could she possibly keep driving, now that her water had broken?

“Are we there yet?” five-year-old Lucy whined from the back seat.

“Are we lost?” Sol asked in a testier voice. At seven, he was more acutely aware than Lucy of how their father’s death was affecting their family—and more critical of Mary, as well. “I’m pretty sure we should’ve turned left onto that last blacktop we crossed.”

Oh, but Mary wanted to scream—except Sol might be right. She was so frightened and in such excruciating pain, it was entirely possible that she’d forgotten which county road passed through Willow Ridge . . . because you’ve always been riding to Aunt Miriam’s rather than driving . . . always depended upon Dat or Elmer to get you where you needed to go.

Lucy’s two cats scuffled in the cardboard box on the seat beside Mary, and then a ginger paw poked through a breathing hole in the top of the makeshift carrier. When one of them yowled, Rowdy, their border collie, let out a disciplinary woof.

Lucy begin sniffling again. “Can I please let the kitties out to—”

“No!” Mary snapped more vehemently than she intended. “We’ll be at Aunt Miriam’s in just a few—”

“I don’t ever remember seeing those black and white cows before,” Sol remarked tersely. “We need to turn around and—Rowdy, no! You can’t get out and chase those cows!”

About the Authors: 11_25 AuthorPic2Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the Forever After in Apple Lake series, set in two Amish communities in beautiful Wisconsin. She has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the two scheming Amish grandparents who try to help their grandchildren find suitable mates in Huckleberry Hill. Who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief?

Jennifer has a degree in mathematics, which comes in handy when one of her six children needs help with algebra. After twenty-five years of being a chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse, she embarked on a writing career. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America and is represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and two adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten.

You can find out more about Jennifer and her books by going to her website: , visiting her Facebook page: Jennifer Beckstrand Fans or Twitter: @JenniferBeckst1.

11_25 AuthorPic1Charlotte Hubbard

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while I was still a school librarian—I sold my first story to True Story magazine. This launched me into writing about seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and I’ve been a slave to my overactive imagination ever since. My stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way I’ve proposed them: I love it when unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, because they keep me guessing right along with my readers!

I love touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with my border collie Ramona—although it’s humbling, having a dog smarter than I am! I’m an ordained Presbyterian deacon, and I devote a lot of time to singing in my church choir and to practicing/performing with our percussion ensemble. I’m celebrating more than thirty-five years with my husband, who—bless him—has never once suggested I get a real job!

www.CharlotteHubbard.com or Facebook

Buy the print book at Kensington Books, The Book Depository, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, B-A-M, Chapters, IndieBound, or Powell’s. Buy the ebook at Kensington Books, Kindle, Nook, or iBooks.

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10 Questions for Creating Great Characters by Brian and Juliet Freyermuth – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Brian and Juliet will be awarding a $25 Amazon giftcard to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

10 Questions for Creating Great Characters

Your reader should have a new friend or enemy by the time they finish reading your story. Whether we’re writing a novel or short story, we want our readers to team up with our main character and plot the destruction of anyone who hurts them. Here are questions we ask ourselves as we create a new character.

1. What is their role in the story?
It doesn’t matter if they are the main character, the villain or the guy who gets the coffee, all your characters need to have a role in your story. The guy who gets coffee might wind up being a spy for the villain, have more of a role in the next book or simply make your characters stronger. Felix was a very minor vampire character in Demon Dance, the first book of the Sundancer series. He gave Nick a bag of blood and let Nick see a body in the morgue. In Mind of the Beast though, Nick needs to find out who killed Felix’s friend. Not only do we get to see more of Felix’s motivations, but we get to know his history and what makes him tick.

2. What are their strengths?
Everyone, even the coffee guy, should have strengths. It might not show up in the book, but it’ll help you when you write your character. You should know as much about your character’s strengths as possible. Thelma is a former police officer. She knows how to use a gun really well and has an eye for detail that made her a good detective. This knowledge helped us when we wrote Mind of the Beast. It made her a stronger character and she was able to help Nick when they went to the murder victim’s house to look for clues.

3. What are their weaknesses?
Characters need to have emotional, physical and ethical weaknesses. Otherwise your characters will be as interesting as a piece of white toast, unbuttered. Character weaknesses will help you define the parameters of your story. In Nick’s case, he has super speed, strength, heals quickly and heightened senses, but he gets a really awful fever. He needs to eat red meat to even move after the adrenaline wears off.

4. Where do they come from?
Are they aliens from outer space or from Iowa? If it’s a real place, make sure to do enough research to fully define your character. Sure Iowa has corn, but what type of festivals do they have? What are their landmarks? Have any celebrities or notable figures lived there? How would a local describe it?

5. What do they look like?
Taking in all of what you’ve learned so far, close your eyes and picture them. If you’re having trouble picturing them, ask yourself who would play the role if it was made into a movie. Then take that actor and change their face slightly, their hair, etc, until you have a clear picture of them. You could even combine two actors. What would a cross between Patrick Stewart and Harrison Ford look like?

6. What type of entertainment to they like? (Books, T.V., movies, Roleplaying, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, torturing, juggling, jazz hands, etc.)
Your evil character could like reading classics after a long day of torturing people in his dungeon. In Mind of the Beast, Felix is a vampire who likes to have his blood laced with drugs. He was a flower child living on a commune when he was turned and held on to that part of himself. He also likes to play role-playing games. In our world, vampires need a connection with humanity to keep their humanity. Playing these games is what keeps him sane.

7. What is that one thing they can’t say no to?
We all have that exception to the rule. In Nick’s case, he wants to be isolated and write his novels but can’t say no to a friend who needs his help. Thelma is disciplined but will do something rash to protect children or someone she cares about.

8. What is their purpose, what drives them to do what they do?
Let’s look at the coffee guy again. Why does he get coffee? Thelma is a barista who owns her own coffee shop and likes the pace of it. This is so far from being a police officer that she isn’t haunted by her past mistakes.

9. What are their biggest accomplishments and/or defeats?
Accomplishments and defeats can be the driving factor behind a character’s actions. Fay, a Norse Goddess turned librarian can’t help but be very cryptic when she is helping. This goes back to her days of being a goddess of foreknowledge and wisdom.

10. What is their name?
After you answer all these questions, this is when I recommend naming or renaming your character. Would Ingrid be a better name than Luna in Harry Potter? What about Margaret or Jacqueline? Once you know your character it’s much easier to name them.
We hope this gives you an easier time creating one of the best parts of planning a story. One word of caution: Once you create these characters, you might have to redo your story if they don’t want to do what you want them to do. If that happens, listen to them. It can cause an awful case of writer’s block if you don’t. But, if you listen to them, not only will you have more fun writing your story, but it will be better too.

MEDIA KIT MindofthebeastFinalWhen a vampire asks Nick St. James to investigate his friend’s murder, the answer should have been easy, right? NO. Okay, not so easy. How do you say no to a friend like Felix?

Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along.

Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.

If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’

Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?

Enjoy an excerpt:

She shot him again, but he continued toward her. Two bloodstains formed on his ratty shirt. He swung at her, but she quickly shifted to the left.

It was my turn. I punched him from the side and sent him flying into the desk across the room. Sounds of the monitor shattering and wood splintering filled the air as I rushed toward him.

Another sound of gunfire rang out but didn’t stop him from getting to his feet. He barreled toward me like a freight train. The gunshots slowed him considerably, but it didn’t stop him. Pain radiated through my chest as his fist made contact, sending me into the wall between the two rooms. A crack traveled up the wall to the ceiling, and plaster rained down around us.

More shots sounded as I got back to my feet. Two more holes opened in the man’s shirt. He was almost to Thelma when I grabbed him from behind. I used all my enhanced strength to lift him and toss him toward the kitchen. His body flew through the open door, smashing the wood of the frame in the process.

On the counter was the third gnome, his hands covering his speak-no-evil lips. I grabbed it and swung for the man’s head. It contacted with a sick thunk, and blood splashed across the gnome’s face. The bastard wouldn’t go down! I snarled and swung again, but this time he grabbed my wrist in midair and twisted it before tossing me to the ground.

About the Authors: MEDIA KIT Author Pict ColorAfter 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.

Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.

Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.

When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like Persons of Interest and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.

Website: www.magicalunderworld.com

Twitter:

Brian: @brianfreyermuth

Juliet: @julietfrey

Facebook:

Brian: https://www.facebook.com/bfreyermuthofficial

Juliet: https://www.facebook.com/authorjulietfreyermuth

Buy Link:

Demon Dance (Sundancer, Book 1): Amazon

Mind of the Beast (Sundancer, Book 2): Amazon

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What In the World do Writers Tweet? by Joan Curtis – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One winner, randomly drawn by Rafflecopter, will receive a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What in The World Do Writers Tweet?

I’ve been exploring Twitter for writers. Recently I’ve participated in several nice discussions among writers to figure out what they tweet and if they tweet. The variation is amazing, but there are some interesting tips we writers can learn from other tweeters in the writing community

•If you are always tweeting about your own books, you’ll lose followers. That does not mean you cannot toot your own horn, just don’t do it every five seconds. Twitter enables you to tweet frequently (as frequently as you wish). I use bufferapp.com to help me line up my tweets. For Twitter, I release 8 tweets a day versus Facebook’s 3 and LinkedIn’s 2 posts daily.

•Second, you need to say who you are on your profile. Tell visitors what you write. For me, I have the following moniker to introduce me:” Mystery/suspense author of The Clock Strikes Midnight. Coming November 25! Blogging at JoanSays http://www.joancurtis.com/blog”. Here’s another good example by Ann Stampler: Writer of YA’s Afterparty & Where It Began (Simon Pulse) & PB’s, rep’d by Brenda Bowen, & blogger of Really Bad Writing Advice a thttp://www.annstampler.blogspot.com

•Third, tweet good content. I find blogs that I love, and I tweet them regularly. One is The Kill Zone. I also tweet my own blog, but I intersperse it with many other blogs my followers might enjoy. The kinds of content I’m looking for are tips about writing from other writers, grammar conundrums, ideas about character development, tips for fiction writers or for mystery writers, plot development, reviews on books, marketing tips for writers, publishing tips, to name a few. I search the web and constantly add this content to my tweeter feed.

•Fourth, retweet other tweeters. Many of your followers are tweeting good content, too. Retweet what their good tips and information to your own followers. That way you kill two birds with one stone, i.e., you make the initial tweeter happy, and you don’t have to search all over the place for good content.

•Fifth, be sure to hashtag your tweets. Even if the person you are retweeting didn’t use hashtags, you should add them. That way people who are looking for particular content can find your tweets. I tend to use the following hashtags a lot #writingtips #writing #grammartips #reviews. You can make up your own. If you are tweeting a book review, be sure to hashtag the author’s name and the book title.

•Sixth, I’ve been experimenting with tweeting flash fiction. Once a week I write a short flash fiction story of about 3 paragraphs. Then I tweet one or two sentences of the story every day till the end. The hashtags enable my followers to read the entire story at once (or they can do so on my Twitter feed). I have no idea how this will work, but it’s something new, and it keeps my creative juices flowing.

So, these are a few of the things writers can tweet. What about you? What are you tweeting? How have you managed to build a strong following?

11_24 clock Cover_The Clock Strikes MidnightThe Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.

The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.

“Mama, tell Janie to—”

“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.

Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.

Then, everything went black.

When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.

“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.

Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.

Marlene stood on the side of the road.

“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.

Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.

“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.

Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.

Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.

“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.

They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.

It was too late for all of them.

About the Author:11_24 clock Author Pic_The Clock Strikes MidnightJoan Curtis authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She is also published numerous stories, including:

• Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar, Sea Oats Review, Winter, 2004
• A Memoir Of A Friend, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996
• Jacque’s Story in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002
• The Roommate, Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997
• A Special Sort of Stubbornness, Reader’s Digest, March 1997,
• My Father’s Final Gift, Reader Digest, November 1994

Her first place writing awards include : Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.

Other Books:

Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.

The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA

Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.

Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ MuseItUp Publishing Author’s page
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or MuseItUp Publishing.

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Taking the Reins by Katrina Abbott – Spotlight and Giveaway

NOTE: THIS BOOK IS CURRENTLY *FREE* EVERYWHERE IT’S AVAILABLE!! LINKS ARE BELOW.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky person will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Brooklyn Prescott (if that’s even her real name) is the new girl at TheRosewood Academy for Academic Excellence, now that she’s moved back to the States after two years living in London. Rosewood, a boarding school for children of the rich and famous and known for its celebutantes, is missing just one element important to any junior’s education: boys. But luckily for Brooklyn, and the rest of theRosewood girls, there’s a boys’ boarding school, The Westwood Academy, just a few miles away.

On her very first day, Brooklyn meets Will, a gorgeous and flirty boy on campus to help with move in. But is he who she thinks he is? And what about Brady, the cute stable boy? Or Jared, the former child actor with his grown-up good looks who can always make her laugh? As Brooklyn settles in at Rosewood, she’s faced with new friends, new challenges and new opportunities to make herself into the girl she always wanted to be. Whoever that might be.

Taking The Reins is the first installment of The Rosewoods, an exciting new Young Adult series for readers who love fun, flirty love stories.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I stood there with the horse, petting his velvet nose, trying to absorb his quiet calm to help ease my jangling nerves.

It worked a little, until he returned, striding toward the outdoor arena, looking amazingly sexy in his riding outfit. Suddenly, like he was on a mission, he walked straight up to me. His eyes burned into mine and when he didn’t stop a few feet away, I began to panic.

Because I was suddenly sure he was going to grab me and kiss me.

My lungs froze on a breath. My heart began to race.

And then he stopped right in front of me, inside my bubble and close enough that I could smell him; leather, saddle soap, boy.

I looked up at him. His lips were turned up in a slight smile and then they parted. He reached up toward my face, his eyes taking me in with his usual intensity. My cheeks flushed, but ached for his touch. I licked my dry lips and swallowed, suddenly worried about too much saliva. I did not want to ruin this kiss. My eyes fluttered closed as he leaned in.

About the Author:

A survivor of adolescence, Katrina Abbott loves writing about teens: best friends, cute boys, kissing, drama. Her main vice is romance, but she’s been known to succumb to the occasional chocolate binge. She may or may not live in California with her husband, kids and several cats. Taking the Reins is not her first book. Visit Katrina online at www.katrinaabbott.com

Website: http://katrinaabbott.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbbottKatrina

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatrinaAbbottAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/abbottkatrina

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, or Google Play.

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Best Laid Intentions by Talia Carmichael – Guest Blog

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher.

Aspects of Personality

By: Talia Carmichael

 

Creating a character’s personality takes getting to know them very intimately. I have to dig deep within them and know them as well as I know myself. To do this I think beyond what is happening during their story. I go back to what shaped them and made them who they are. I create many parts of their personality and bring it to the page. Each character I create stays with me. Each of the characters have aspects of my own personality.

In my latest release, Best Laid Intentions (Impressions #6) it is the same. I’ve been told by my friends who have read the book I’m like Savage as I’m a musician. When I was younger I was in bands and loved playing music. I still do and I loved the camaraderie of my bandmates. We were there for each other and built our own family. Another aspect of Savage’s personality is his willingness to give up his time for others and never expecting anything from it. For Taylor my love of music and sharing it with others is what I do. I’ve been known to talk music when I meet someone and it leads to my finding new music and sharing with others. As well as new friends. :)

Another thing the characters from Best Laid Intentions (Impressions #6) has in common with me is I’m close to my family (those by blood and by choice—friends) and value friends. I believe in family and friendships. I also believe in love and finding the one who will get you and become your other half. Having a wacky sense of humor and quirks myself, I want to be with someone who will get it. That is sexier than anything else. Someone who I will have a meeting of minds with and understand completely. We can laugh and joke and just get each other. That is something my characters have. That understanding of each other.

The aspects of my personality present in Best Laid Intentions (Impressions #6) makes me smile. When I write I don’t plan to make parts of my characters personalities like mine, it just happens. When I finish any book I think of the characters. And I miss them and can’t wait to see them again. Best Laid Intentions (Impressions #6) is part of a series so there are glimpses of Savage and Taylor to come in future books. I’m already looking forward to writing my next book and seeing what aspects of personality will become part of the story.

About Talia Carmichael:

Talia Carmichael is a romantic who believes that family, no matter if it is by blood or those you choose as family, is integral to who you are. She is an author who writes sexy stories in a variety of genres. She believes in creating stories that encompass all that falling in love or lust entails, from the highs of that first blush of attraction to the lows of not knowing if you can make your coming together as a couple work, and then finally to the acceptance of the reality of making a life together. It’s all about the journey.

Among her books you’ll find contemporary, futuristic, fantasy, and paranormal settings with M/M themes that will have a happily-ever-after. Her books are passionate, intense, and real… to fill the craving. Check out more about Talia at http://taliacarmichael.com or http://taliacarmichael.com/blog. Contact her at http://taliacarmichael.com/blog/contact

or check her out on facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Talia-Carmichael/247134751977720. Twitter: @taliacarmichael

Blurb for Best Laid Intentions:

This is book six in the Impressions series, see the full series listing here

11_24 bestlaidintentions_800Taking a risk and going after what he wants leads a man to the most pleasurable of results…

Taylor Noble decides to take a chance on pursuing Savage. Savage makes him crave but Taylor knows that anything beyond the physical would be foolish. He has too much on his plate for a relationship. But he can have a good time… After all, there’s no way Savage would want more. And Taylor certainly doesn’t either… Yet, as he gets to know Savage, Taylor finds himself questioning his plans for fun with no strings.

From their very first meeting, Savage Griffin is drawn to Taylor. There’s something Savage cannot define that’s so different when he sees, thinks or talks to Taylor. Knowing Taylor is interested gives him the opportunity to explore more about this man who has captured his attention. Savage plans to take advantage of it. Each and every moment—sexual and platonic—brings him closer to Taylor, who captures all his senses. Now it’s just a matter of convincing Taylor that what they share goes way past the physical to the emotional. Yes, emotions are messy but Savage is ready, willing and able to get Taylor to change his best laid intentions and make some new plans.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Like the sound of Best Laid Intentions? Buy it here: https://www.totallybound.com/best-laid-intentions?utm_source=lasreviews&utm_medium=blogtour&utm_campaign=bestlaidintentionsblogtour

 

His Bahamas Affair by Christina OW – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christina will be awarding the entire Albury Affairs series, 3 books in .mobi to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Row of columns (Italy, Vatican)After his joke of a marriage came to an end when his wife ran off with a guest from his resort, Reno Albury decides one night stands are more his speed- especially if they were blonde and blue eyed like his ex-wife. So he was jaded, at least he was having fun, Until he met a blonde and blue eyed girl at his sister’s wedding he couldn’t play the fast game with.

Loraine Larson has a secret that nobody knows thanks to her father’s money and high powered friends. She’s spent years trying to forget the hell she went through in Paris. Wanting to test her new found strength, she goes back to the scene of the crime only to come back with more nightmares. She’s managed to banish his image from her mind but she can’t sleep without seeing that monster’s eyes. But she discovers a shield for that in the arms of her best friend’s brother, and now she’s determined to stay in them no matter the cost. Even if it means her life.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Reno felt his heart lurched as he watched Loraine more carefully, completely oblivious of his presence. She did look like she belonged there, just like in his bed. It had been wonderful slipping into the bed next to her and watching as she unconsciously rolled toward him until she had herself tucked into his side and under his arm.

He realized at that moment he’d never felt at home in his ex-wife’s embrace in bed or anywhere else they were together because Georgia never felt like a wife. But watching Loraine, experiencing all those emotions that came with spending time with him, he realized he’d never felt like that with Georgia. With Georgia, it had been complete lust that had driven that relationship. With Loraine, he thought more about when he’d get the chance to hold her again and just feel her small, soft body against his.

Of course he thought about sleeping with her but not in the ways of his fantasies about Georgia, crude enough to have a priest hire an exorcist. He could only equate his need to have Loraine as like drinking aged scotch after waiting years for it to mature. No rush no fuss, just taking his sweet time enjoying her after waiting longingly to have her.

Loraine was the type of woman he saw himself making a commitment to and living up to everything that was expected of him and so much more.

If only he had the right number of zeroes in his bank account.

About the Author: Christina OW writes suspense, thrillers, erotica, interracial and multicultural romance books. She is the author of Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Regency Romance books and a poet of currently 3 titles. She loves reading novels that take her on a ride of wild emotions. Books have always been an escape for her, for a few hours she gets to live the lives of characters she grows to cherish and admire. She’s always had an active imagination and because of it has lived in her head more than she has been in the outside world. She always imagined scenarios and wondered how they would turn out in the end, and what kind of emotions they would invoke. Thus began her writing career.

Website

Goodreads

Facebook page- Christina OW

Twitter- @Christina_OW

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Blog- Read Me

Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Secret Cravings Publishing, or Bookstrand.

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