Monday, September 1, 2014

Love on the Lido Deck by Barbara Oliverio - Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara 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.

I understand you are a teacher as well as an author. How do you find time for both?

My teaching responsibilities are part-time, so those can fit into my writing schedule a bit easier than one might think. They are quarterly weekend seminars that require bursts of planning and energy rather than a weekly teaching schedule. My other regularly scheduled activities, however, are volunteer activities. I’m a planner, so I’m able to plan those activities after my writing time in the morning.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I am a combination of both. I do a huge amount of research and planning before I ever write one word. That includes creating “persona” sheets for each of my characters and interviewing each of them so that as I write about them, they speak and act organically. Then, I create a sweeping outline of the story. While I’m writing, however, I occasionally let my characters lead me down a path that I haven’t already thought about. After all, they know themselves better than I do! I can always reel them back in and make them follow my general outline.

What was the inspiration for Love on the Lido Deck?

This book is the sequel to Love on the Back Burner, and is the “other” story of two best friends who are witty, fun young women in today’s society who are seeking love and career happiness while maintaining their values. I decided to set it on a cruise ship because a cruise is like a small community where everyone has the opportunity to visit with each other in a fun setting. Keira’s story in Love on the Lido Deck is multi-layered and one of her stories is how to learn how to deal with the fact that her widowed mother has now found love again.

Tell us about your heroine Keira from Love on the Lido Deck and what you like best about her?

Keira has always struggled with her image of being the cool, collected ice princess who analyzes every decision. She is a great contrast to her best friend Alexandria, the heroine of Love on the Back Burner who is the bubbly and energetic drama queen. I like Keira because deep down, she really is just very shy and has been covering that fact up for a lot of years. I wanted to give her the opportunity to break out of her shell and to also realize that the people that love her know how wonderful she really is.

What's next for you?

I’m working on a new romantic comedy with new characters. The heroine of this one is working in an off-beat profession and will face the challenges in that profession. I will keep true to my style of building a romance through plot and dialogue rather than relying on excessive sex and crude language because that has been my goal from the beginning of my fiction writing career. I’m also studying the techniques of writing screenplays because I feel that my stories lend themselves to a movie setting.

Sharp-witted, always-organized Keira Graham has traded in her high tech career as a systems analyst for the whirlwind world of event planning. As she builds up her fledging business, she learns that her widowed mother has news of her own – she has a serious gentleman caller! Is Keira ready for mom’s new romance?

When she gets a game-changing opportunity to organize a major event on a luxury Caribbean cruise, Keira turns to best pal chef Alexandria D'Agostino to help recruit famous chefs who will offer classes for foodies looking for fun in the sun as they gain cooking know-how. The cruise becomes a rollicking adventure for Keira, her sassy assistant Juliet, the entire D'Agostino clan, Keira's mother and other surprise guests. And has Keira meet her match in charismatic Cruise Director Brennan McAllister, who could have something more than keeping everything shipshape on his mind?

Enjoy an excerpt:

You have got to be kidding me.

This guy was—what?—10 years younger than my mother! I was expecting polo and khakis, and he was in designer jeans. Gray hair with a receding hairline? Oh no, he was years away from gray. His full head of light-brown locks were shorn in a super trendy cut. And those shoes? Definitely not Naturalizers!

I caught my mother’s stern look in the corner of my eye and pulled my debutante self together.

“Sorry.” I gave myself a mental shake of the head. “Pleased to meet you. Would you join us for brownies and tea?”

I ushered him to the counter.

“Thank you, Keira.” He sat down, but I didn’t need to worry about serving him. My mother fluttered around with a sparkle in her eye and a skip in her step.

“Russ, do you want to forego tea and have coffee in your usual cup?” she asked.

His usual cup? He’d been around long enough to have a USUAL CUP?

“Thanks, May-May.”

Whoa! May-May? What was she, all of a sudden? A character in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical?

I pulled my phone conspicuously from my pocket.

“Yikes! Would you look at that? I have a client meeting I forgot about!” I lied. “I gotta go.”

I kissed my mother’s cheek and stuck my hand out stiffly to Russell.

“Very pleased to meet you. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.” I blurted out in what I hoped was a polite tone.

“Bye, Mother.”

“Keira—” Her disappointed voice trailed after me as I dashed through the house, took the steps on the porch two at a time, jumped into my car, and tore down the driveway.


About the Author:
Readers' Favorite Award™ Winner Barbara Oliverio is the daughter of Italian immigrants and grew up in North Central West Virginia with a love of reading and a passion for learning. Following a career path that included being a teacher, journalist, and marketer, she has lived as far away from home as Italy where she practiced her family's native tongue as well as took advantage of living near to other European countries to travel extensively. A rabid Pittsburgh Steeler fan, she lives with her husband, an equally committed New York Giants fan, in suburban Denver where off-football-season dinner conversation is calmer and is usually accompanied by a meal she cooks from one of her mother's treasured recipes. Other interests include New York Times crossword puzzles, good movies, and travel. She volunteers extensively for her parish and writes for its publications. She also teaches part-time for the St. Catherine of Siena Institute.

www.barbaraoliverio.com
www.scolapastapress.com
Twitter.com/Boliverioauthor
Facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraOliverio
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, or Smashwords. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Silent Partner by Stan Schatt - Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stan 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.

Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Duh. Of course I am, but I’m also the one who tripped you. Give me some credit for that. I think it’s like a hundred years of bad karma if you let the person you’re protecting get killed.”

“You’re protecting me? How come you didn’t keep me from being shot?”

“Give me a break. I told you that I’m new to this. The bullet only nicked your butt; so don’t make a federal case out of it. If I hadn’t tripped you, you’d be paralyzed. You should be grateful to me.”

Josh felt a cold shiver run up his spine.

“Then you’re dead?”

“We don’t refer to it that way. We like to say that we’ve moved to another plane.”

“How come I can see you?”

Andy smiled thinly.

“You Harrells have a gift. Everyone has a guardian angel, but only certain people can see us. It’s easier in a way for us if you can’t see us.”

“You’ll keep anything bad from happening to me?”

“There’s such a thing as free will, my dear. I can only help you so much.

If it’s your time, then it’s lights out. Now that you’re thirty, things are going to get a lot harder.”

“What do you mean?”

Josh had a sinking feeling in his stomach, and it wasn’t the alcohol.

“A lot of things are going to change for you now. As I said, you Harrells are gifted, although some of your relatives thought of it as a curse.”

“I don’t believe this. You mean my father really did see someone? He wasn’t crazy?”

“Of course he saw someone. I hope you don’t throw your full glass of whiskey at me the way he threw his at his guardian.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“You’re asking too many questions. Just take my word that everything’s relative, including time.”

“What do you want?”

About the Author:
Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology. He is co-author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel.

He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming.

http://www.pen-l.com/SilentPartner.html
http://www.stanschatt.com
http://www.twitter.com/stanschatt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 29, 2014

Second Skin by Jesse Pearl - Interview and Giveaway


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

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I’ve written fantasy, sci-fi, poetry, literary, erotica, and romance, I read almost every genre, too. I generally don’t care about setting if it’s a good story. But even in all the genres I read, the pieces that I dig for, that stick with me the most, are the love stories. Even in the gritty, dark, high fantasy novels of Joe Abercrombie (one of my faves), I still wish for two of the characters to find happiness. He’s not a romance author so he has no obligation to deliver on that (and he doesn’t, the bastard), so I guess I just need to write my own dark, gritty stories where there is at least a guarantee of two people falling in love.

What research (or world-building – for fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi) is required?

You need to do enough research about the details you’re including to at least sound plausible. I think it does depend a bit on whether your story is more character driven or plot driven, however. A more character driven story can be lighter on research, as long as you understand your characters’ backgrounds.

For the Second Skin series I ended up doing a lot of military research because I have no military background, nor do any of my immediate relatives. My grandfather and one uncle were in the Marines, but their experiences never affected me (my parents were hippies). I enlisted a good friend to be my sounding board for all things military. I also interviewed a tattoo artist while I was writing the book, even though I had first-hand experience with one on an intimate level after college.

You just have to know what your weaknesses are and not be afraid to make the effort to get every question answered.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Betrayal should hurt and there should be consequences. But if the love is strong enough, forgiveness should have a chance. Maybe I’m too easy on my characters in the grand scheme of things, but I wager that they would disagree.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I like to have instrumental music when I edit, but character-related playlists while I write. The music can inspire my development of the character I’m focusing on. But when I edit I can’t have the distraction of voices or I might miss errors.

Plotter or pantser?

I’m about 90 percent pantser. I build a basic framework for the story in my head, so I know there’s a Point A and Point B (the beginning and the end), and perhaps a few milestones in the middle. The plot gets fleshed out as I write my characters’ journeys between those points.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My very furry cat, Jack. He tends to find the clearest spot on my desk and take up residence. My desk is lacking very many clear spots at the moment, but it ensures he’ll get petted more frequently since he’s about two inches from my mouse.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I am constantly working on something. At the moment it’s a series of menage erotica novellas that I publish under a different pen name to protect the innocent (or maybe the guilty). I don’t hide it, however, and readers can find the link on my website—just look for the dragons.

Do you have a question for our readers?

If you had to choose between a book written about a badass hero or a book written about a badass heroine, which would you read first? Both have the exact same roles in life, and both have equally intense and satisfying love lives that play into their stories.

Does gender matter to you in a protagonist?


Obsession is never just skin deep.

Sam Blanco’s greatest desire is to escape his abusive father and violent neighborhood the only way he can—by earning money as a tattoo artist for a street gang. He’s befriended their leader, the deadly Leo Reyes, and gained a measure of safety under their protection. But just when things are going right for the first time in Sam’s life, Leo’s girlfriend, Pilar Flores, walks in and requests a tattoo in an unusual location. Sam obliges, but the experience leaves them both reeling. Unable to focus for days, Sam finds himself craving Pilar’s touch, but she’s exactly the kind of trouble he doesn’t need.

Pilar Flores is her father’s daughter. Being the daughter of a drug lord is not an easy role to fill, but she aspires to live up to the title and make her father proud. But her father has no plans to allow her into the business, and Pilar hates being sidelined. She hates that Leo is away for days on end, and she especially hates being treated like an incompetent female by every man she sees. Except for Sam. She decides to take control of her life the only way she knows how—through seduction. But she’s not prepared for how eager and passionate a lover Sam is, or how deeply she’s drawn to him. Even though she knows their ill-fated affair can’t possibly end well…

Enjoy an excerpt:

During the service she spied him and her heart skipped a beat. His broad shoulders and beautiful black hair were unmistakable in the front pew of the church. A middle-aged woman with striking features and thick, jet-black hair worn in a chignon sat beside him, stoic and erect, with a grim expression on her face. A young woman sat on the other side of him. She clutched his hand with a tissue held tightly in her other fist. Her nose was slightly pink from crying.

Pilar’s stomach clenched at the sight of the woman. Her face tightened, a crawling sensation spreading over her skin.

He’d said he didn’t have a girlfriend, so who was she? She was beautiful, whoever she was, with perfect fair skin and sleek, straight hair that fell in a sheet down her back and shone blue black in the sunlight streaming through the high windows.

She was exceedingly modest, too, judging from the expensive black suit she wore, no skin exposed aside from her hands and her head. Pilar felt like nothing more than a Mexican whore after looking at the pretty young woman for a moment. Pilar had worn her own hair down in its golden-brown waves, and with her low-cut dress and lack of undergarments, she felt shamed by the perfect beauty that clung to Leo’s arm.

Forget Leo’s worth in her father’s eyes, she wasn’t worthy of him in her own eyes. Tears welled up in her eyes. She tried to hold them back but was
unable to, and was abstractly grateful that she was at a funeral where no one would question their cause.


About the Author:Jesse Pearle grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a place where there was no danger in dancing naked in the moonlight at the top of a mountain. Always possessed of a creative mind, but never quite the right amount of focus, she wandered for decades. She received a degree in fine art which she put to poor use working an uneventful desk job for an engineering company when she started writing her first really ambitious piece of fiction. She lives in sunny Southern California with her ever supportive husband and four attention-whoring cats.

http://jessepearle.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JessePearle
https://twitter.com/JessePearle

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Designs on You by Carrie Pack - Interview and Giveaway

8_19 VBT_DesignsOnYou_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carrie will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.

Carrie, thanks so much for stopping by. How did you get started writing?

I’d love to be able to say I’ve been writing my whole life, but in all honesty, I was scared to. I didn’t think I had any good ideas. Then I got into writing fan fiction, and that really helped me to find my legs. I still question the quality of my ideas sometimes, but now I have the confidence to know that when I do have an idea, I can write it.

What was the inspiration for your book?

Scott Parker’s career in Designs on You was inspired by my experience working as a production artist and graphic designer right out of college. It was interesting work, but it was also be tedious; I did a lot of repetitive tasks. Retouching photos became a part of the gig for me—I did everything from change the color of a blouse to putting one model’s head on another man’s body.

That’s kind of where I got the idea for Scott to fall for a model. When you retouch photos, you have to look at every detail carefully. It’s challenging but also monotonous, and you feel like you’re violating the model’s privacy a bit. What happens when you fall for the model you’re forced to stare at day in and day out? Scott fantasizes to avoid the monotony. But what happens when you befriend the person you fantasize about?

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?

Science-fiction. It’s a really challenging genre that I’m just starting to stick my toes in.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?

I’m not a big fan of mystery novels. It’s so hard to find ones that are difficult to solve, and even harder to write them. There aren’t many genres I won’t read, but mysteries have to be really good and come recommended by a reliable source. And I don’t think I could do it justice as a writer.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?

I don’t have any other releases in the works yet, but I am working on a story involving time travel. It’s a concept I’ve always been interested in, and now I think I have a strong enough idea to make it work.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions.
Favorite color?
Purple

Favorite movie? Apollo 13

Book that inspired you to become an author?

I can’t think of any one book that inspired me to write. It’s more of a culmination of everything I’ve ever read. I’ve been an avid reader since I was just three years old. (I memorized books and would “read” them back to my mom.) So for me, it’s always been about wanting to create worlds like others had created for me. Books are precious to me, and I wanted to be a part of that.

All right, you have one superpower. What is it?

I always say my superpower is “cutting through the bull,” but if I had to pick a traditional superpower, I’d want to be able to fly.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?

My maternal grandfather because I never got to meet him and my mom tells me he’d have liked me a lot, Ben Folds—I’d love to pick his brain on music, and Oscar Wilde, to tell him that one day the love that sent him to prison would be something he could write about openly and not have to disguise it with code words.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?

I think I’m most like Scott’s roommate, Ben. He tells it like it is and isn’t afraid to experiment with bacon.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

8_19 Cover_DesignsOnYouIf graphic designer Scott Parker has to design one more cupcake company logo, he might lose it. So when he is tasked with retouching photos for a big fashion client, a stunning, lanky model mesmerizes Scott and occupies his fantasies long after the assignment is finished. When the model is assigned to one of Scott’s projects, Scott discovers that the object of his desire is nothing like what he imagined. Despite Jamie Donovan’s aloof and dismissive behavior, Scott struggles to forge a friendship with him, all the while trying to keep his attraction at bay. Will Jamie follow through on signals that he may be interested, or will he forever be the beautiful man in the photograph, an untouchable fantasy?

Enjoy an excerpt:

 “Jamie, just make sure you maintain eye contact with the camera,” Scott says. “Direct it all at the lens.” What he means is, take all that anger, desire, passion, frustration, whatever it is that is holding him back, whatever he’s feeling, and channel it into his work. Let it go. He lowers his voice and leans in so only Jamie can hear him. “Direct it all at me if you have to.”

 Jamie seems to understand because he nods, his eyes fixed on Scott’s as his breathing picks up, and if it weren’t for the camera and all the lights between them, Scott would swear they’re back outside that bathroom, suspended in the second before Jamie kissed him. Then Jamie locks his gaze on the camera lens three feet from his face, determination apparent in the set of his jaw, and a hushed anticipation settles over them. Jamie blinks twice and relaxes into the posture that Scott instantly recognizes as his model’s stance; he’s ready to go.

 Scott smiles and ducks behind the camera, using the viewfinder rather than the digital display. There’s an intimacy in it, seeing Jamie through the focused view of the lens, and Scott is awestruck. It’s like seeing Jamie for the first time, all of his emotions raw and his soul laid bare—and it’s nothing like the pictures Scott used to get off to. This is Jamie the person, the one who is Scott’s friend, not Jamie the model or the insane erotic fantasy that Scott had created around him. In that moment of realization, the shock of Jamie’s beauty shoots through Scott like fireworks—a sharp point of light that erupts into a shower of sparks in his chest. He holds his breath and snaps the shutter. Zach had left it on a rapid-fire setting, so he shoots about ten frames at once, catching the subtle changes in Jamie’s expression. He glances down at the display; even at only three inches wide, he can tell the shots are what they’re looking for.

Scott lifts the camera back up and smiles. “All right, Jamie, let’s try that again, and this time I want you to really take a risk. Try something new and don’t hold back.”

8_19 AuthorPic_carrie pack  About the Author:A former graphic artist, Carrie Pack turned to her early career experience as the backdrop for her first novel. She lives in Florida with her husband, where she teaches advertising writing at a local college.
Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter







Buy the book at Interlude Press.
8_19 InterludePressLogo
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five Things about Rose Shababy - Guest Blog and Giveaway


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

*****


Preparing for the release of my debut novel, The Blue Effect, I’ve written tons of interviews and guest posts for various blogs. Most of the interviews have very similar questions and although I try to mix it up a bit, it’s hard to come up with twenty different answers to the same question.

That’s why I was excited when I received my “assignment” from It’s Raining Books. I was given the option of a guest post based on the following criteria: Share five things we’d probably never guess about you. Fun, interesting, edifying or even embarrassing.

Something different! I jumped on it immediately.

So, here goes. Five things about Rose Shababy. Enjoy!

1) I’m super OCD, although I pick the strangest things to obsess over. Case in point: I once saved a bag of dog poop. I might mention that all of it was scooped off my front lawn and that I do not own a dog. My intention was to one day return it to its rightful owner. Sadly, even the best laid plans go awry, which you can read about in my blog here.

2) Speaking of dogs, I tell my husband I’m going to get one. He doesn’t want one, a lap dog even less.

So of course I tell him I’m going to get a Dachshund. If it’s a girl I’m going to name it Spike, Tinkerbell if it’s a boy. We’ll have a closet filled with doggie clothes. Boots and sweaters and tutus. We’ll take it everywhere we go, tucked away in one of those pink doggie purses with the little screen so it can look out. We’ll cook for three; my husband, me, and the dog.

I’ve told my husband this so many times, he may actually believe me at this point, even though I dislike the idea of owning a dog more than he does. It’s just fun to tease him.

3) About four years ago I met one of my favorite authors, Christopher Moore. He came to town to do a reading at a local book store.

He’s a humorist, and I planned for weeks what I was going to say to him when I finally met him face to face. I knew it had to be witty and quick and I was filled with glee when I finally settled on my lines. I imagined him throwing his head back, laughing uproariously at my cleverness and recognizing me as an equal. Thus would begin a beautiful friendship.
,br> Eagerly, I waited in line for him to sign my favorite book, quip at the ready. Finally my moment came and as I handed him my obviously well-read copy of “Lamb” I said, “I’m so excited to meet you, I feel like a groupie. I don’t know whether I should scream or throw my panties at you.”

He looked up blankly and said, “What?”

I mumbled something about how nice it was to meet him and slunk off to hide in a corner, embarrassed and crushed. How could it be? How could he fail to recognize my genius?

Still, to this day, I’m convinced that under the surface he squirreled away my brilliant greeting and someday I’ll read the line in one of his books.

4) I have a Spotify playlist titled “So Bad It’s Good.” It’s a list of tunes I’m secretly ashamed to like in any way. It includes such masterpieces as:



I know what you’re thinking. How could I admit to liking any of these songs? To which I reply, we all have guilty pleasures. These songs are like cigarettes. You know it’s wrong, but you can’t help it. I’m an ex-smoker, I know. At least this bad habit won’t give me cancer.

5) I love Star Trek. This isn’t new information, it’s in my author bio, but what it doesn’t tell you is how much. I have posters. And t-shirts. I have action figures that sit up on a shelf above my desk and watch my progress. I watch an episode every day. Sir Patrick Stewart is on my “freebie list” (remember that episode of Friends?). I don’t care if he’s 74 years old, he’s still Captain Picard, and he’s still hella sexy.

Blue Brennan is jaded and bitter despite her pinup girl looks and quick wit. Night after night, she scours the Seattle club scene looking for someone or something to fill the emptiness inside.

When she meets the mysterious Kasey, her world stops… literally. He claims she has the ability to control time and stuns her even further when he reveals his own gifts.

Blue is inexplicably drawn to Kasey and reluctantly enters his world filled with a new breed of humanity. They’re misfits like her, blessed or cursed with powerful abilities, struggling to hide their differences from the rest of society.

Then the group discovers a nameless, faceless sociopath with nightmarish powers; and he’s coming for Blue. She’s left reeling when they discover her gifts are the key to defeating his terrible evil and saving them all.

Now she must race against the clock to harness her own powers and save her new friends. Can she be more than a renegade? Can she be a hero too?

Enjoy an excerpt:

He held out his free hand and I reached for it without thinking. Taking the hand of this stranger seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

Our fingers touched and my skin came alive. I felt a surge of electricity as some sort of energy shot from his hand into mine, running through my whole body and back to his like an endless circuit. I couldn’t stifle the gasp that broke through my lips. I stared at him, my vision narrowing until his face and eyes and smile were the only things I could see.

The energy between us exploded outward like a wave into the crowd, through the people and everything around me stopped. The music ended like a switch had been flipped, the people froze mid-step and even the air around me seemed to stop moving.

About the Author:
Rose Shababy and her family reside in eastern Washington State. Rose grew up in the Northwest but swears she’s going to move to warmer climates someday. She’s claimed this for over 20 years, however, and has yet to move more than 75 miles away from her mother.

Rose has a deep love of all things Star Trek and yearns to travel the heavens, as well as an intense desire to be bitten by a radioactive spider. Unfortunately she sucks at science and math so she hasn’t been able bring her dreams to life, instead living vicariously through books, comics, television and film. She hopes to someday make a million dollars so she can afford to buy her way to the international space station, but she’d settle for being able to fly around the world and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Rose also loves to cook and worked for years in a gourmet Italian grocery and deli where she learned to hone her skills. She prepares culinary masterpieces for her family, but fervently wishes the dishes would wash themselves. Especially now that her dishwashers/children are nearly grown and only one still lives at home.

Rose likes to use her free time wisely. For instance, she likes to daydream, will often read for hours until she falls asleep on the couch with an electric blanket and a warm tabby cat curled up on her hip, as well as spending cozy weekend days watching Syfy movies like Sharknado and Mega Piranha with her husband.
,br> If Rose were a cartoon animal, she’d prefer to be a wise old owl or a sleek and sexy jaguar, but in reality she’d probably be a myopic mole with coke-bottle glasses.

https://www.facebook.com/rose.shababy
http://roseshababy.com/
https://twitter.com/RoseShababy

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Amazon.

On September 8, attend her Release Party.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Taming Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson - Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jessica will be giving away a $50 Amazon GC via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she comes to her senses will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. When his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jason looked bored. “Get to the important part, Grayson. Was she beautiful?”

Again, Marc was ill-prepared to answer such a question. Taken individually, that large mouth, those plump pink lips, her long nose, red hair, and freckled skin—nothing about her was spectacular by any means. But together, all those odd pieces and parts, which seemed so ordinary at first glance, fit together to form the picture of a particularly stunning woman.

“Yes,” he answered quite simply. No need to give Jason any more fodder for discussion by rambling on like some sort of awful poet.

Jason grinned from ear to ear. “Well, that is quite eventful, indeed.” He swept a crumb off his jacket sleeve. “Does this original have a name?”

Marc stopped suddenly, his coffee halfway to his lips. “Name?”

Jason laughed. “Yes, her name. This unique creature has to have a name. Diana? Aphrodite? Venus, perhaps?” Then Jason stopped laughing as realization spread over his face like a mordant rash. “You don’t know her bloody name, do you?”

Marc set his cup down on the table and stared at it. “She never volunteered the information and I never bothered to ask.”


About the Author:
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.

http://www.JessicaJefferson.com and http://www.embracingromance.com/
Like me at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Jefferson/545243542195152
Follow me at https://twitter.com/authorJessicaJ/

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Legal Action by Kimball Lee - Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kimball will be awarding a $50 Visa Gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Bright, beautiful attorney, Charlotte Christiansen has never lost a court case. She's built a reputation as a cool, on the rise lawyer while trying to escape the 'naughty cheerleader' pictorial in American Jock magazine that she posed for to pay her way through law school. She shares the top floor of a historic San Diego building with her best friends from college who happen to be two very male, very sexy Special Forces operatives. Her ex is a celebrity NFL quarterback who could pass for a Viking God. She's surrounded by hot men but her life revolves around work and she doesn't have time for love or sex. Until Alexander Bly, the stop-the-clock gorgeous, billionaire publishing magnate becomes her newest client at the law firm. He's the man responsible for the magazine cover that turned Charlotte into every man's sex fantasy. Bly has had women and the world at his beck and call, but no woman has ever rocked his world. Charlotte is about to. When they come together the desire and sex are white-hot and all-consuming, but falling in love takes them completely by surprise.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Listen, Charlotte, I just wanted to say hello. It’s been a long time. I should let you get home to your husband, boyfriends, whatever. You look great, by the way.” He hesitated for a minute, running his hand through his dark, wavy hair. He looked at her with those wide, sea-glass colored eyes, then he smiled a small smile and walked away.

She knew she should stop him. He was not only dangerously sexy; he was one of the most powerful men in the world, not to mention one of the richest. She’d met him, worked for him in a sense, six years before.

He’d been an arrogant twenty-eight year old with the world at his feet, and women at his beck and call. He was breathtakingly handsome then, and it was hard to believe he was even more so now.

Oh well, she thought, he’s either still racking up conquests or he’s married and ready to cheat on his wife.

She drove to her loft, parked on the street, and stepped in to the freight elevator. She lived on the top floor of a vintage warehouse in downtown San Diego with two other residents who happened to be men.

They were also her closest friends and had become her only family. The three of them bought the building two years before, converted the top floor into three apartments, and rented out the retail spaces below. One loft for each of them, although JP and Finn felt free to lounge in her living room or use her rooftop deck; and each had a key to her apartment.


About the Author:
Kimball Lee writes funny, interesting, happy, sad, romantic, often titillating, and always thought provoking books that pack a lot good reading into just the right number of pages. Lee’s first novella, Legal Action, changed her life over night with more than 250,000 downloads in the first few months. Kimball writes twelve to fifteen hours a day and she loves ALMOST every minute of it! Ms. Lee states that her social life has completely disappeared, but interaction with her readers through email, Facebook, and Twitter makes her very happy... (As well as the occasional Diet Coke and chocolate cupcake!) Kimball Lee is represented by Joyce Holland at D4EO Literary Agency.

Personal Website: www.KimballLee.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KimballLeeAuthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KimballLee1
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kimball-Lee/e/B00ECONMB4

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Cairns of Sainctuarie by Hawk MacKinney - Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk 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.

The Cairns of Sanctuarie: Volume I - The Bleikovat Event

Among the close-kin clans of western rural Malfesian Murians, farming and gelf ranches are long held traditions. Times are good…full barns, fat gelf calves and large families thrive among the sprawling grain fields and hamlets and the river from which they derive their name—the Feldon. Word comes with the trade caravans that times are not so good in the regions far to the east of the Feldon River: tumultuous changes stir among the remote province of Bleikovia. Old timer Feldovats shrug it off as one more squabble between clans over boundaries or water rights…too distant to affect the Feldovats.

The western clans learn too late, however, it is no local squabble. Outnumbered and unprepared, Feldovats resist a hoard bent on plunder and conquest. Days of battle along the Feldon River stain the riverbanks in green Murian blood. In the finals days of exhausted fighting, Judikar Klarvko Celo, leader of the Clan Klarvkon and the Feldovats, is fatally stabbed with the slow-acting sevon poison. The Judikar’s consort, Etikaa Klarvkaa, becomes Regentkaa, and with Celovat Field Commander Korvo Celo serving as her advisor, she leads the demoralized Feldovat survivors on a gruesome ill-prepared winter trek through high mountain passes of ice and blizzard snow in an attempt to elude the Green Dragon forces of the Bleikovats.

Etkaa’s only son, Klarvko Celo II, helps spirit Feldovat young across a remote mountain exodus to the west toward Eedov Province. The battered, starving Feldovats reach the Malfesian coast at Eedov City only to be confronted with their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded lumbering Maalonovion freighters, Feldovats and Malfesian refugees set sail. On arrival in Maalon City they are welcomed among their Maalon hosts, and settle into a new life.

But famine and a pandemic pestilence stir old hates and nurse former ambitions. The enraged Overseers of Bleikovia move against the Klarvkons, this time bringing bloodshed to Maalonovia. The exiles from the Feldon must fight once again, but starvation and plague across the Planete Myr make it a different war from the battles along the Feldon…a na’ä blikovat…the Bleikovvat Phenomenon…an event with unexpected consequences and outcomes none could have foreseen.

Before the vendetta killing is exhausted, the Regentkaa Klarvkaa and her son are swept onto the Maalon throne, setting the Klarvkon Dynasty and the Murians toward an intergalactic golden age, and a star-flung destiny the once-agrarian Feldovats could never have envisaged.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Prologue

The catafalque of the old Dowager Queen rested on the high rostrum of the Temple of the Goddess Myraa. There was little ceremony to the cremation of dead. Yet, all that had passed made this requiem for the Dowager Queen Klarvkaa Etkaa Bremanova Celovaa Bremanova symbol of the changes which had swept so many lives. Long annuals before the ascendancy of The Klarvkon Dynasty, the massive wood and granite Temple to the Goddess Myraa had been destroyed in the firestorm which laid waste Eedov City. After the close of the Malfesian War the temple was rebuilt, but not the city. On the ashes of the old temple, immense columns rose above the sanctuary and vaults. Iridescent alabaster and polished marbles greeted pilgrim supplicants who had come to the shoreline plains washed by the Green Sea.

Dowager Etkaa Klarvkaa…wife, myäat, founding matriarch of the Klarvkon Dynasty, gave hope from a time without hope. As was her wish, she would be cremated on the soil of her birth, her ashes to mingle with those of her consort, Klarvko Celo. Their son, His Imperial Majesty Klarvko Celo the Second, decreed it would be. At the enormous base of the great temple…a spectacle never seen before and seldom since those times, came an undulating ocean of banners. Some of clans which no longer existed, even the once-hated Green Dragon of Bleikovia. Murians had taken her to their hearts…and never relinquished her. Her shadow would reach across the centuries, and measure all who followed.

About the Author:
Welsh and Scottish Hawk MacKinney grew up in northwest Arkansas, and wrote for his school newspaper. Hawk served over twenty years as a Special Staff Corps Officer with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Recruiting Officer, a Navy Recruiting Command Liaison Officer, and Commanding Officer of units attached to the U.S. Marine Corps bases at Parris Island, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California. Along with his postgraduate degrees, he studied English and Russian history and foreign languages. As a faculty member in major medical and veterinarian universities, he authored professional articles and taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. In addition to his sci-fi series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie, Hawk MacKinney has authored the Craige Ingram Mystery Series and Moccasin Trace, a historical romance nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award.

www.hawkmackinney.net
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m-H8pfoh-A
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Sage Words Publishing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

Guarding Poppy by Christine Wenrick - Author Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a runner up will receive autographed copies of Someone Else's Skye and Guarding Poppy (US only). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books--let's get right to it. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I love when the stakes are heightened, and you can’t get much more heightened than superhuman. But in my paranormal world-building I also like when there is a sense of the familiar, which is why my supernatural characters interact with humans. It keep them and the reader tide by many of the same boundaries that affect us, such as time, geography and seasons. I believe that helps keep the story relatable.

What research (or world-building – for fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi) is required?

I think that is what’s so great about the paranormal genre. You can write to the limits of your imagination. Since my world does deal with current times and real places I do have a fair amount of research to do on any geographical location I have not been to, as well as current populations and people. But then I can add to that base and create the world I see in my head.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

I learned not to give up from Caleb and Olivia. Their love story lasted through three books and they went through such horrible events at times, even as the writer who knew how it was all going to end, I was asking myself if it was reasonable that they would still be together in the end. Yet their relationship still persevered on the page. I’m not quite sure how, but it did, and it makes me look at relationships between men and women differently today because of it.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Yes, any character with a common name like Mike or Bill is usually toast in one of my novels. I like more uncommon names. That doesn’t mean they need to be Katniss Everdeen, but more like Caleb, Jax, Skye, Gemma and Poppy. This wasn’t something I planned or intended, just something that has sort of evolved through the books.

Plotter or pantser?

Plotter, definitely. I am impressed by anyone who can roll through a first draft by the seat of their pants.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A glass of Pellegrino water mixed with a splash of cranberry juice and my IPod. I like to listen to music a little before I write.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Book three in my Men of Brahm Hill series, Leaving Lily Behind, will be released sometime next April.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes, throughout this tour we’ve had a lot of discussion about book covers and their effect on the reader in choosing whether or not to buy a certain book. I’m curious if the cover design plays a role for your readers in deciding to buy a new-to-them author’s work.

ONE NIGHT . . . ONE VIOLENT, SUPERNATURAL BATTLE . . .

AND FIVE STORIES OF THE MEN WHOSE LIVES WILL BE CHANGED BY IT.

Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.

Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector, claiming he has all the answers to her problems. The real problem, though, is . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.

WILL ALEC FIND HIS WAY OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND SURRENDER TO HIS FEELINGS FOR POPPY BEFORE THE WARLOCK CHASING HER CATCHES UP TO THEM BOTH?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sovereign Elder Joseph Davin stepped forward to embrace Poppy. “You’re not safe here, little flower.” Now Alec really felt like he was intruding on a private conversation. “I must protect you the best way I know how. I promised your mother.” He then motioned back to Alec. “I trust Alec. He’s a former Guardian—and a very good one. You yourself said that you can feel Irina getting closer. Let Alec take you someplace where he can protect you and you can know what it feels like to be safe. In the meantime, I will find a way to deal with Irina.”

Poppy dropped her head quietly, and for a moment it seemed she wasn’t going to answer him. “I feel safer here with you than I will with a stranger.”

“He’s right,” Alec finally said as he came slowly to his feet, realizing he needed to do something to gain this woman’s trust—though he could hardly blame her for being guarded after spending a lifetime on the run. “I may be a stranger to you, but I can protect you. And more importantly, I can give you all the tools at my disposal so you can protect yourself. If you have a sense for recognizing the warlock who’s threatening you, your Dhampir instincts are telling you that you’re in danger. You need to start trusting those instincts.”

Those huge gold eyes of hers locked on him fully with a look of utter determination as she walked right up to him—thankfully, straight this time. He had to admit, he flinched just a bit with the possibility she might trip again.

“I don’t want any part of witchcraft, Dhampirs or vampires. That’s not who I am.”

“Yes, it is,” he challenged her without hesitation. “That’s exactly who you are.”

Her eyes narrowed as if she were preparing to blast him with a thousand different reasons why that was not true, but instead she replied, “I will agree to go with you on two conditions.” Alec simply crossed his arms in front of his chest. What was it about women and their conditions? Why couldn’t they just agree? “One, you’ll agree to never disagree with me again.” Alec’s brows arched high at that rather impossible request. “And two, I will only go with you if it doesn’t require us crossing an ocean in an air-”

Poppy’s words were cut off by her small squeal when Alec caught sight of Joseph sticking a needle into her arm. Her eyes widened in shock and she tried to turn to Joseph, but her limbs gave out from under her almost immediately. Alec reached out and caught Poppy when she would have otherwise collapsed to the floor. “What in the world did you do that for?”

“No worries,” Joseph assured him. “It’s just a little something to help her relax for the trip.”

Alec blinked at him. “Relax? She doesn’t like flying?”

Joseph shook his head. “Terrified of it, actually. Unfortunately, Poppy lacks an appreciation for the severity of her current situation. We need to get her out of London tonight—hence, something to relax her. But once she’s someplace safe she’ll be no trouble at all.”

Alec’s gaze narrowed shrewdly. By what he had already witnessed in the few scant minutes he had been in this woman’s presence, she was the very definition of the term high maintenance.

So he doubted that very much.


About the Author:
Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served as inspiration for her writing. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christine.wenrick
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineWenrickBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: @CWenrick https://twitter.com/CWenrick
Website: http://www.christinewenrick.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Honeymoon Prize by Melissa McClone - Spotlight and Giveaway



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

NOTE: This book is on sale for only $0.99 during the tour.  Why not grab yourself a copy today?

He needs a wife...

Single bodyguard Nick Calhoun has been given an ultimatum by his boss--find a wife or lose his cushy, high-paying job. Clients' wives are hitting on him and putting Nick, and his boss, in hot water. But monogamy? He's never been a white picket fence kind of guy, and he's not about to embrace the happily married lifestyle now. He needs a wife who doesn't care about his steamy, extra-curricular love life...and he knows just the woman to fit the bill.

She needs a home...

Adalaide Sinclair spent years caring for her ill grandmother. Upon Grammy's death, she's stunned to find herself evicted from the only home she's ever known and labeled a thief by her inheritance-hungry family. Addie needs to find a place to live and a job--fast. So when her childhood friend, Nick, proposes a no-sex marriage of convenience, she puts her dreams of true love and happily-ever-after on hold. Finding Prince Charming can wait a little longer, right?

But will their friendship survive the honeymoon?

When Nick and Addie unexpectedly win a dream honeymoon, they decide to go their separate ways during the ten-day vacation. Too bad a camera crew is waiting for them at the tropical paradise. Acting like a head-over-heels bride and groom for reality TV wreaks havoc on their no-sex agreement...and blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Will Nick and Addie remain married in name only, or will a romantic honeymoon for show turn them into true newlyweds?


Enjoy an excerpt:

“I feel like a Miss, not a Mrs.”

“Well, you’ve got five years to get used to the title.”

Five years.

That suddenly seemed like a long time to play house. Dating while caring for her grandmother had been impossible. She’d tried a few times over the years. But given up. Still she believed in love, the forever kind that would last a lifetime. Someday she would find that.

Someday . . .

He touched her arm. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, just . . .” In spite of her doubts, Addie hoped Nick understood the depth of her gratitude. A week ago, she’d forgotten her key to Emily’s apartment and fallen asleep on the welcome mat leaning against the front door, waiting for her friend to return from a date. “Thanks for everything. I owe you big time.”

“Thank you.” He flashed her a charming smile that sent female hearts aflutter, brought women to their knees at bars and clubs, and convinced Addie to accept his marriage-of convenience proposal. Not that saying yes took much convincing. Desperation had a way of making a person see the brighter side to any option, including marrying her closest guy friend.

“Without legal proof I was a one woman guy, my boss would ship me off to some boring assignment guarding a building or I’d be looking for a new job.” “I’d be homeless.”

He winked. “You win.”

“We both win and get a free honeymoon out of the deal.”


With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Website: http://www.melissamcclone.com

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

Twitter: @melissamcclone

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LE4Q370

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Up the Tower by JP Lantern - Spotlight and Giveaway


Congratulations to J.P. Lantern as he celebrates the release of Up the Tower with this Book Blast scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. One reader will win a $25 Amazon gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Before anything else—before the riot, before the flood, before the gap and the deaths and the fires and the pain—before all of that, Ana just wanted to get the hell out of Junktown.

But she was stuck there with Raj, and Raj had all the bodyguards, so she couldn't very well leave on her own. Walk into Junktown without any protection? No, thank you. She had a knife on her, but that was hardly enough. The knife fit neatly in a small, luxury Cardion-brand sheath at her side.
,br> The rest of her outfit was direct out from a fashion magazine. She wore tight black Cardion slacks, her patent leather Aushwere ankle boots sexy and stylish and perfect for inner-city walking. Her dark blue blouse was Cardion again (there had been a sale); already she had noticed the way Raj had been hugging his eyes to how it cupped and clung to her body. He would have been looking a bit more, perhaps, but she wore her favorite Kadaya Sarin-brand leather jacket, allowing her a bit of modesty with the long sleeves and tight collar, despite the thinness of the material. She was a woman dressed to impress, but also was no whore—she had her man. He liked her dressed attractive, but not like some slut. Ana knew what he wanted, because that was her entire life, as she saw it, from now on.

They were inside the ground floor of a tall building. Cleanbots rushed around them, sweeping up dust, guided along by retrofitted eyebots that spied out areas of dust and disrepair.

“Here's where we'll have the lobby,” said Raj, opening his hands out wide to the open space.

Ana had presence of mind to hold her tongue.

What she wanted to say was, “Really, dear? Here in the first possible place that someone could enter from the street? That's where you'll have the lobby? That's so inventive. You're so smart.”

What did she say was, “Oh! It will look beautiful, I'm sure.”

About the Author:
J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.

Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171112.J_P_Lantern
Blog/website: http://jplantern.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JpLanternBooks
twitter: @jplantern

a Rafflecopter giveaway