Monday, May 4, 2015

Stay of Execution by Kellie Larson Murphy - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This interview is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one 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.

Welcome to It's Raining Books, Kellie. Why do you write in your genre?

When I first started writing fiction, I didn’t consciously pick a genre. I just started writing the story that was in my head. In hindsight, that’s probably because I’m influenced by what I love. I read everything from literature to non-fiction but somehow, when I just want sheer entertainment, I pick up murder and mayhem. The truth is, writing mystery and suspense comes far more easily than a love scene or comedy. It’s my love of mysteries and thrillers that sparked my writing.

What draws you to it?

There are two main reasons I’m drawn to mystery. First, I love the pacing of a good mystery or thriller. It’s not necessarily that you can’t set the book aside before you get to the end, it’s that you don’t want to. For me, suspense is the definition of page-turner. Second, a good mystery always has a character with an edge, someone who’d different or “out there” or just plain evil. I love the villains almost as much as the good guys!

What research is required?

Both of the books in the Cancini Mystery series required some research, but in Stay of Execution, it was particularly important to learn a little about the history of DNA as well as some basics. Also, while I’ve been to towns very much like the fictional Little Springs, I still had to research small towns across the western part of Virginia to bring it to life.

Name one thing you learned from your hero.

Cancini believes that everyone is not who they seem, no one is above suspicion, and choices are black and white. He struggles to recognize that life is sometimes gray and that doing the right thing can mean different things to different people. I love when he stumbles upon this truth (and so do we). I also love that while he’s a fallen catholic and avoids religion, one of his closest confidantes is a priest.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I don’t really have any quirks but I’m not very good at sharing a work-in-progress. Maybe it’s a habit or a superstition, but I just don’t do it. I know many authors who will post chapters as they go or who let their beta readers see partially finished work. I keep it to myself until I have a completed draft and even then, I don’t show it to anyone until it’s had at least a rough edit first. (See the next question for why!)

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Neither and both! When I first sit down to write a book, I know how the book will start and how it will end. I know who did it! However, I don’t have a working outline to prompt my writing. I just start at the beginning and write sequentially what I feel would happen next. After I’ve completed the book, then I go back and plot everything on a timeline and summarize each chapter. I look for holes or unnecessary chapters. I cut and paste and rewrite. I guess I pants first and plot second!

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My mug of tea. I don’t drink coffee but I drink A LOT of tea. I love it so much that I will even drink decaf if necessary.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Yes, I’m currently working on the third in the Detective Cancini series, The Last Sin. This one takes place in DC and opens with the violent murder of a young and handsome priest.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I don’t want to give away a plot point so my question is fairly general. I’m sensing that readers want the lonely Cancini to find a relationship and love. How much do readers want that in this series?

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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


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Way To Go by Mandy Colton - Virtual tour and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mandy will be awarding a randomly drawn commenter a $25 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_WayToGoVeronica Lane works in the travel industry in her dream job when she experiences a hellish travel day ending in the loss of her job and stranded far from home. To make the situation even worse, she drowns her sorrows in the hotel bar, and wakes the next morning to a big surprise.

Gathering up the remains of her dignity along with her travel bags, she returns to her hometown in Peachtree City, Georgia. A community similar to a progressive Mayberry, except with golf cart paths and carts. A lot of them. Her family is kooky. The parents are sexually free and liberal, her brother is a golf cart cop with more good looks and brawn than brains. Her grandparents, one from each side, live in the same retirement community and maintain a constant battle while entertaining the other senior citizens. The Grandmother on her dad's side is stuck in the 1960’s, and the Grandfather on her mother's side served in WWII and thinks that the Japanese are still trying to kill him.

She calls inquiring about a job in the newspaper, a group escort for a small tour company in Atlanta. She is hired immediately and leaves the next day with her first group to Jamaica. First, she meets a handsome pilot with the charter airline they use, and then there is one unusual group participant that doesn’t seem to belong. He leaves the group for periods of time and when things happen, he uses MacGyver like skills to get them out of the situations. She is aggravated and knows something is fishy and the bad thing is, the man is very charismatic and she’s not just a little attracted to him.

Upon their return, she finds out that the man is friends with her rather unconventional boss and after a second unusual group excursion to Puerto Rico; she knows for sure that the little tour company in Atlanta is not really what it seems on the outside. When the truth is revealed, she finds herself unintentionally dropped into a new career that she can't exactly add to her resume.

Veronica finds herself in uncomfortable and hilarious situations, surrounded by crazy tour participants, family, friends, neighbors, and pets. After a long dry spell, she finds that there is suddenly an overabundance of romance, drama, and intrigue in her life. Her life is now a sometimes very bumpy, yet exciting ride.

Enjoy an exceprt:

One thing we Southerners liked was our red velvet cake. I even remembered a fierce battle over one between some of the female relatives at a couple of our family reunions. The rivalry had lasted for years. Aunt Darlene thought hers was better than Aunt Gerta’s, and she’d gotten caught trying to sabotage the other aunt’s cake. The next year, Aunt Gerta had just picked up Aunt Darlene’s cake and dumped it. That resulted in a catfight out in the yard and the family dog barfing up a piece of Gerta’s wig when all the kids were eating watermelon later that day. What a great memory.

Plowing through my warm plate of chocolaty red velvet pancakes had brought up that warm and fuzzy memory. I shoveled another bite of pancake with the cream cheese icing and powdered sugar on top and then took a bite of my bacon and looked at the table. It was covered with plates. I looked up at Wes, who shoveled his own mound of food into his mouth. He had pretty much ordered and eaten one of everything on the menu.

Wes could be a dimwit of a brother, but I guess he was considered handsome. His hair was brown with red highlights, and he had our dad’s chiseled good looks and Mom’s eyes. He was tall and muscular, and the girls seemed to like him a lot. He had also always been into sports; he’d played football and was on the track team in high school.

I knit my brows. “How the hell do you eat that way and look like you do?”

He burped and grinned, raising his arm to show me his bicep muscle. “I work out every day at the gym next to the station. We get a discount because we serve the community. Need to stay in tip-top shape, and the women really dig the muscles. I’m ready for anything. Bring it on, bad guys. Grrr!” He chuckled and went back to shoveling.

I rolled my eyes at him. “You’re a golf cart cop. When’s the last time you ran over a felon?”
About the Author:Mandy Colton is from Louisville, KY, and lives a very quiet life with her husband and teenage son. She’s a fan of romance, fun adventure stories, and some occasional sci-fi or paranormal thrown in. Veronica Lane and the idea for her adventures came from her own experiences and career working in the travel industry.

She claims that working in the travel business could be horribly stressful but was equally laugh-out-loud funny at times. She enjoyed many priceless and comical experiences with groups, friends, and peers. Even her clients shared humorous adventures of their own. Her opinion is that there just are no better stories than those that involve true life.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fall Semester by Stephanie Fournet - Review and Giveaway

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click the banner above for other stops on the tour.

A depressed English professor finds love in the most unlikely place in Stephanie Fournet's emotional debut novel, Fall Semester.

Despite his stunning good looks, Dr. Malcolm Vashal is perhaps the most detested professor on campus. A floundering career and the aftershocks of a painful divorce have left the thirty-four-year-old with more than a little self-loathing, which only grows when he meets Maren Gardner. The graduate student with the loyal heart and searching eyes is much too good for him. She is off-limits for more reasons than one, but Malcolm can’t seem to resist her.

Maren is facing the greatest loss of her life, and her family needs her now more than ever. Between caring for them and building her future, Maren doesn’t have time for a social life, much less a relationship, but she can’t push a certain green-eyed professor from her mind. She sees in him a goodness that others don’t, but that might not be enough.

As the two discover each other, their blossoming friendship soon turns into something more, but self-doubts, family tragedy, and personal demons stand in their way.

Can they overcome these odds and share a love that each desperately needs? Or will the end of the semester find them heartbroken?


This is a powerful debut novel. Ms. Fournet has given us two unforgettable characters in Maren and Malcolm.  They are well-drawn, rounded characters--especially that of Malcolm. There was such a growth in this character over the course of the novel. I really enjoyed seeing him able to show his gentle side and his caring, because in the first chapter of the book, I didn't really like him at all.

The book started off a little slow, but it took on a pacing that worked for the story. There were several moments that I thought I knew what was going to happen next, but the author managed to avoid the obvious and take the story in another direction. Possibly the author missed a chance at adding another element of excitement to the story in avoiding these, but then it would have been a different story.

It was more a journey of self-discovery on Malcolm's part than it was an effort of the author to write a dark tortured student/professor relationship tome.  I was a little surprised about her family's reaction, but given the situation her family was dealing with (and their knowledge of Maren), maybe I shouldn't have been. 

Ms. Fournet's writing was almost lyrical in parts. It was a pleasure just to read her prose. All in all, this was a very enjoyable story and I look forward to her next book.  4 flowers.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

He had gotten through his second tomato—while The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “She Looks to Me” played— when the knock at his kitchen door stilled him.

It wasn’t that it never happened. Of course, the mailman came to the door occasionally. Or the UPS carrier. Chinese takeout. But Malcolm was expecting none of these. A wave of chills spilled down his neck because it could only be one person.

Impossible. It’s a Jehovah’s Witness or a Girl Scout.

In the two seconds that it took to cross to the door, Malcolm was aware of a sickening hope that coursed through him. He opened the door, and there she was.

Dressed for a run, Maren stood on his doorstep, biting her thumb, hesitant and unsure. Perspiration dotted her nose and upper lip, and her cheeks were flushed with exertion and, perhaps, bashfulness. Malcolm took in the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen.

She had come looking for him.

Before either of them said a word, Malcolm knew that he was a lost cause. He might be able to feign mere friendship, but he was a goner. Whatever she wanted from him was already hers. He didn’t stand a chance.

“Well,...this is a pleasant surprise.”

Stephanie Fournet lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college, teaching AP English, or running. She loves hearing from fans, so you can follow her on Facebook, message her on Goodreads, or email her at


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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Love or Deception by Morgan K. Wyatt - review and giveaway

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour.

Also, this novel is up for a RONE award, along with many other indie books. If you'd like to support it (or others), click here.

Amy awakes to find her husband Mark missing, along with her memories. Her recollections of Mark include a whirlwind courtship and a beach wedding. Amy is determined to uncover what happened to her husband. How could a man who loved her so intensely just walk away?

The police have no interest in finding Mark. They reason he wasn’t ready for marriage and he walked. She wonders if his disappearance could be associated with her work.

Ryan, a close friend and co-worker, assists her in piecing together her missing memories. As the pair work together, they find that Amy’s actual past reveals a scenario that is so horrifying that it forces them on the run, not knowing whom they can trust. Will Amy’s newly recalled memories prove fatal to both her and Ryan?


I'm a fan of this author, so nabbed this to review. The cover is eye-catching and the premise intriguing so I was excited to start.

Honestly, at first I think I was as confused as Amy ... this is likely partly because we're in her POV, but I still felt like a lot of things were put out there quickly. For me, they were a little too many to absorb right off.  But can I tell you how much I loved her aunt Remy?  She was such a hoot. She loved Amy to death, took care of her, put her in her place when she needed it and didn't take any crap.  I'm pretty sure she was my favorite character.. unless you count Sampson and Burton (a cat and dog, respectively).

Though the story started a bit slow and stumbled around, once it hit its stride it was non-stop excitement.  I never knew who to trust, what was happening, etc.  This was partly due to Amy having memory issues and being our POV character. That was such a good choice! We slowly get to find out what's happening along with her, and it made it that much more nerve-wracking.

The hero, Ryan, took a little while to grow on me.  I thought he was remarkably forward from the start, considering Amy had apparently just lost her husband.  Ryan dropped hints about being in love with Amy, touched her when he could, etc.  It felt a little stalkerish to me. But it didn't take long before I came to appreciate him as much as Amy did.  His change from a mild-mannered scientist to a sexy, sometimes dangerous lover was great to observe.

Ms. Wyatt did a great job building worry and anticipation and slowly giving hints to what the real danger was, without forgetting to let the characters continue to grow.  They mattered, and that's what makes a book good for me. I have to care about the characters, not just wonder about the plot.

Truthfully, while the ending of the dangerous part of this story was satisfying, I sort of felt like it was a little too easy.  This might have been different if we'd have been in other POVs so I could see what they were doing, too (like Simpson), but that would have ruined much of the rest of the story.  I'm a little torn about it.

All-in-all, though Love or Deception was a solid romantic suspense.  Top notch characters, good plot, and solid writing and editing.  I can definitely recommend this to any fans of the genre.

4 Flowers - This was a very good book! I'd recommend it to my friends.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

The tinny tingle of the bell drew her eyes as two guards from the center meandered into the diner. “Guards from the center.” When Ryan started to turn his head, she added. “Don’t look.”

Inhaling deeply, he leaned across the table blocking their view. “Do you think they followed you here? If so, what are you going to do?”

Her eyes measured the space from the table where the guards sat to the door. Too close. Maybe there was a back exit through the swinging doors. If nothing else, she could sprint through the kitchen. She had a feeling Trixie might be doing most of the cooking tonight based on her long disappearances. Cutting her eyes back to Ryan, she whispered, “It might be coincidental, but it won’t be good to see us together. I am heading to the restroom to find another exit, which means I am sticking you with the check.”

She fluffed her hair, pulling it up in clumps making it look more punkish. Retying her plain oxford shirt under her breasts created a midriff-baring top. Unbuttoning the remaining blouse top exposed her breasts with traces of the lace bra cup peeking out.

Ryan coughed. “If you want the guards not to look at you then I would say you are going about it the wrong way.”

The look on her companion’s face seesawed between concern and interest. She looked down at her breasts prominently displayed in her tied up shirt. It made sense, he was a man, and men responded to visual cues. No more than that or was it? Certainly not the time to explore her relationship with the doctor. “I just want them not to mistake me for the serious scientist type.”

“Trust me. If they do see you, I doubt they’ll even bother looking at your face.”

“Thanks, I think.” She slid out of the vinyl booth seat, squeaking as she went.

She refused to look back but put an extra sway into her walk, just in case the guards looked up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Morgan K Wyatt believes in happy endings. When things don’t end well, she holds to the familiar Indian saying: If things don’t work out, then it’s not the end because everything works out in the end. She considers herself living proof after escaping an abusive marriage; she found and married her soul mate. While not every day is sunshine and roses, she writes about the possibility of flowers and chance meetings between strangers.

Her reputation as a plant rescuer has people dropping sick and dying plants at her house, and then speeding off in the night. The magic ingredient that brings the plants back to life is love and Miracl-gro. Morgan would love to hear from you. If you have a name for a character, cute dog pics, or gardening info, even better.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beacon by Angela Brown - Guest post and giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Angela will be awarding a $75 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Please give Angela a big welcome!

Hi! I’m Angela Brown, author of the YA urban fantasy dystopian, Beacon, published by Evernight Teen. For today’s visit, I’d like to share a few things about me that you may not have guessed.

First, I have a daughter nicknamed Chipmunk for her ability to hide chicken nuggets in her cheeks as a toddler - but if you knew me prior to meeting her father, then you’d never guess I’d ever have a child. I wasn’t anti-kiddos. I was thrilled for friends that had children. I just didn’t want any. Puking? Pee that can shoot in your mouth if the little darling was a boy? Crying? Similac smell? Although Chipmunk’s father and I didn’t work out, I’m so glad his season in my life brought about the most precious gift I could ever have. All those things I had problems with were simply par for the course. I just love her so much.

Second, I harbor a secret crush/admiration for the Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki. I personally consider the man an anime genius who could do no wrong, but he’s human, I’m sure he’s imperfect in some kind of way.

Speaking of anime, I love the wide variety of anime at my fingertips. But - and here’s the third thing you wouldn’t guess - I’ve never read a single manga. For those cocking that one eyebrow up just a bit, manga equals Japanese comics. Most anime began as manga. Sadly, I just haven’t gotten a chance to check any of them out *enter sadface*

As an student, I enjoyed English in school, but you’d never guess this fourth thing: in my senior year of high school, I caught a terrible case of senior-itis + rebellion and challenged my AP English teacher on everything! I nearly flunked out from not wanting to do the assignments exactly how she wanted. Thankfully, a bit of common sense slipped in before one more bad grade could send me to summer school.

Lastly, although I write and pray/wish/desire/beg-and-plead-to-readers-to-help-make-it-happen to write full time, I once pursued singing as an option. I was in choir for most of my life and in high school, I auditioned for and was accepted to our high school’s Madrigals. We were considered the “elite” concert choir. But like with English, a bit of senior-itis had my brain in so many places that I didn’t continue on the path of singing in college. I was a part of a singing group with friends, but we did little more than the occasional singing visit to local churches.

All in all, I can say things turned out okay. Here I am getting a chance to share my passion with all of you :-)

And yeah, that’s definitely a good thing.

Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as they're told.

They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.

Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.

Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven't kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.
Enjoy this excerpt:

The corner of Thane’s lips curved in his infamous smirk. “I’m here to protect you from you, silly.”

The elevator dinged our arrival to our floor. Thankfully, floors for the Attendees were guarded by other Surreption agents, to prevent citizens from accessing them by surprise––and to keep out the expected rebel against Bliss.

I fell silent, thinking about Thane’s answer. Any other day, it would have been a joke. We’d ha, ha, ha, laugh it off as Thane being the smartass he was. I’d punch him in the shoulder. He’d feign pain and we’d move on. But now, what if he was right? Not just keeping me from taking my anger out on some pink-haired guy making fun of me. But from whomever—or whatever—I really am. What if it was the world that needed protection from me?

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Red Tide Rising by Allie Gail - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_RedTideRisingAges 18+. Contains strong language, explicit sex and elements of horror. This book is the final installment in the Immortal Touch trilogy.


What good is immortality when every moment is agony?

The vampire Ash has returned from his watery grave, proving that death is merely a minor inconvenience. Picking up where he left off? That might not be as easy. Because someone else is vying for Sami's attention - the last person he ever would have expected. Fulfilling her desire for immortality seems the surest route to winning her favor. But for Sami, this gift will come at a terrible price. One simple lie of omission is all it takes to send her spiraling into a terminal state of madness. And as the last remnants of her sanity slip away, Ash can no longer deny that her maniacal behavior is putting them all at risk. His perfect angel has become a perfect liability.

But can he find it in his heart to destroy her?
RTR - Playlist

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Trust me?” he whispered.

“I trust you.” Her eyes fluttered shut as she waited for the sharp prick of the needle, the one that would send her into her last slumber as a human.

Instead she felt herself being lifted into the air, and even before the back of her head slammed against the hard packed sand, even before the warm water of the tidepool surrounded her, she knew she’d been deceived yet again.

Ash was straddling her body, both hands wrapped around her neck in a grip of steel as he held her head just beneath the water’s surface. The briny sting of saltwater in her nostrils sent panic rushing through her, and she began to struggle like a wild animal, kicking while beating at his arms and tearing at his flesh with her fingernails. It did no good other than to exhaust all her strength. The hands around her throat were immovable. He would not be budged.

A primitive scream escaped her in a short trail of bubbles, accomplishing nothing at all but to deprive her of what little breath she had left. The sapphire eyes that were coldly fixed on her seemed to blur and waver as the rippling water obstructed her vision. She felt dizzy. Her pulse banged out a violent tempo of terror.

Air! Oh God, I need air…I can’t breathe…please, for God’s sake, let go…let go…

In a final desperate bid for oxygen she inhaled reflexively, and her starving lungs ached and burned as they sucked in the stagnant seawater that mercilessly suffocated her.

The frenzied thrashing grew weaker. Her fingers slowly released their clench on his wrists as her body became limp and still. The pale light from the full moon above her dimmed and faded away, and a sleepy blanket of darkness began to cover her with its peaceful comfort.

So this was what it was like to die.

It wasn’t so bad, really.

Blinking once, she relaxed and succumbed to the darkness.

The last sight her mortal eyes took in before the twilight of death clouded them was his broad Cheshire grin, hovering just above the water’s surface.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_RedTideRisingAbout the Author:Allie fell in love with books from the moment she was issued her very first Sally, Dick and Jane reader. Born and raised in Alabama, she now resides in the sunny panhandle of Florida with her own blue-eyed Prince Charming and two fat, obnoxious cats. When she’s not busy obsessing over the lexicon of her latest project, she can usually be found watching B-movie horror (the cheesier, the better!), reading or playing online computer games while indulging her unhealthy Pepsi addiction.

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh - Interview and Giveaway

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

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

I write The Hellequin Chronicles, which is Urban Fantasy. I’ve always loved Fantasy in all of it’s disguises, be it Urban, Epic or otherwise. I’ve also always loved mythology and magic, and knew I wanted to write something that was set in the modern day with those extra things.

What world-building is required?

The initial world building was a substantial undertaking. In the Hellequin Chronicles world, there are other realms, and each one is a mini world with it’s own weathers, landscape, animals and plants. On top of that there are mythological beings to research as one of the biggest parts of the world is that the beings of mythology are real, so while they’re not always portrayed as they might be in the stories everyone knows, I still need to know what parts to change to give them a twist on the norm. Hades, for example, is very different in the Hellequin world than he is in the ancient Greek myths.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Most of the things that Nate, the main character, knows are pretty scary. He’s had a very dark life, and has done a lot of questionable things. But I do now know how to steal one type of BMW, and for future reference, calling up the fire brigade and asking them how to start a fire that looks like an accident results in a lot of very odd questions from a concerned fire investigator.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

You know, I don’t think I do. I should get one so I can say yes. Maybe I should wear a monocle while I write, or buy a parrot or something.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

A bit of both, really. I tend to plot out the main story, character arcs and know what big things need to happen, but everything else happens as it happens. If I did too much plotting, I’d only ignore it, and if I did none, my 130,000 word books would be double that.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A very large bookcase, it’s full of graphic novels, a Lego Mars Rover and a Lord of the Rings Lego ship. I like Lego. Next to that is my office door, which really isn’t that exciting one way or the other.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

My 4th, Prison of Hope, was out on April 14th, and then my 5th is out in Aug. So, it’s going to be a very busy year. Both are in the Hellequin Chronicles series and were a lot of fun to write.

Do you have a question for our readers?

If you could sit and have dinner with any 3 people from history, who would it be and why? Mine would be Stephen Hawking, Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla. I wouldn’t have a clue what they might be talking about half the time, but I would be there when after that lunch they went off and changed the world.

Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human—Hope—creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades.

Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, a 1,600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance.

Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.

“See?” the manager told Mara. “He wishes you no harm.”

“We’ll see how that goes when he’s murdering us in our sleep,” she said.

“I promise to clean up after I’m done,” I said.

The manager gave me a “Was that really necessary?” look while someone behind me made no effort to conceal his or her snigger. Apparently my time of helping was over.

4_13 PRISON AuthorPhoto_PrisonOfHopeAbout the Author: Steve McHugh is the author of the popular Hellequin Chronicles. The fourth book, Prison of Hope, is out on April 14th. He lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reluctant Prince by Dani-Lyn Alexander - Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_TourBanner_ReluctantPrince copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dani-Lyn Alexander will award a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_ReluctantPrinceSeventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.

Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Your Highness, sir.” Jackson lowered to one knee, folded his hands over the other knee, and bowed his head in the traditional greeting for the king.


Jackson stood. He would offer no explanation before one was demanded of him. He would show no weakness. A bead of sweat ran down his back. Well, there was nothing he could do about that. At least it wasn’t visible to the other two men. He would show no outward signs of distress.

“Explain,” the king bellowed.

Jackson jumped. So much for not showing weakness. “Sir.” Damn, damn, damn. Oh well, when in doubt go with honesty. “I have no excuse, sir.” He forced his head to remain high, his gaze to hold the king’s.

The king’s scowl deepened. “Were you unable to find the girl?” His father’s gaze flicked to Kai before he returned his full scrutiny to his disobedient son.

“No, sir. I found her.” Jackson finally gave in and swallowed the lump of fear. It was either that or gag on it.

“Then where is she?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

“Are you being purposefully evasive?” Weaker men had wilted under the stare the old man pinned him with.

Jackson held tight. He wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, but he had always trusted his instincts, and he would do so again now. He pulled his back even straighter, lifted his chin a little in defiance. “No, sir.” He met Kai’s frown of disapproval while he addressed his father. “Permission to speak with you in private, King Maynard?”

“You know that’s not possible.”

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ReluctantPrinceAbout the Author: Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

The book is on sale for only $0.99 during the month of April.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kensington, or Kobo.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Wind Catcher by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef - Spotlight and Giveaway

4_20 SBB_TourBanner_WindCatcher copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be giving away a $20 Amazon/BN GC, autographed print copy of Wind Catcher, or a digital copy of Wind Catcher (3 winners)

4_20 MediaKit_BookCover_WindCatcherJuliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can’t make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.

When she stumbles upon a series of murders, she can’t help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage.

Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her.

All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average—could never be average.

Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.
Enjoy an excerpt:

Everything about me is a lie.

My entire life is a leaning tower of lies that threatens to collapse at any moment and bury me so deep I may never climb out from under the rubble.

I slam the bathroom door and my hand trembles as the old-fashioned steel bolt slides into place.


The locked door offers no real safety. Locked doors can be broken, but it does give me a moment of privacy and a chance to breathe. So much has happened over the past few days. It’s like I’ve become a totally different person, someone unrecognizable.

The adrenaline that had been pumping through my veins has completely melted away now as I lean against the wooden door. My breath comes fast and ragged. My body feels heavy and weary and my legs weaken. Gravity pulls me down. Too tired to resist, I slide down the length of the door until the white marble floor rushes up to meet me.

I work hard to steady my breath and focus on taking in fresh air, expelling the old. It’s a simple process, yet it takes all of my concentration. When air starts to flow, my eyes close. Time slows and drifts by erratically.

Images flash through my mind—an eclectic group of memories: childhood birthdays, second place in a spelling bee, hanging out with Troy, rock climbing with Sicheii. Most are happy, but they’re all tainted now. The lies spoil them. They were never true. They were just part of a story, one that’s changed forever.

My weary mind reaches for sleep, but I resist. Too much time would be wasted. There’s too much for me to do. Too many loose ends need to be tied, so I open moist eyes and wipe away tears I don’t recall crying.

When my vision clears, crimson-streaked fingers flutter near my face as if directed by someone else. I thought blood looked like ketchup, but it’s darker and thicker than you would think. My hands spin in tight circles. Each finger is stained with thick, mud-colored smears.

Whose blood is on them?

A cold sweat coats my back and my chest tightens. This blood must be scrubbed away immediately. It starts to burn as if it’s alive, as if possessed by dark spirits, spirits that want to harm me. It freaks me out. I have got to wash them clean now, this second, immediately, before....

I turn the faucet and hot water tumbles over my skin. I frantically rub my fingers together and hope friction and water alone will make the blood disappear. The water in the sink turns red and then pink, but traces of blood stubbornly stay behind. A bar of soap rests on the edge of the porcelain sink. Lather squishes between my fingers—twisting and turning, scrubbing and rinsing. My skin turns raw from the rubbing, and when the water has lost all its warmth, I turn the faucet off.

Hard to find specks of blood cling to my flesh, but I still see them and feel them.

Will they ever wipe clean? I don’t think so.

A silent scream builds deep within me, which so desperately wants to be released it practically hurts, but no sound slips past my lips. I’m too tired to scream.

About the Authors:4_20 MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WindCatcherWind Catcher: A Chosen Novel is a joint project between the father/daughter team of Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef. Jeff Altabef is an award winning author who has two published thrillers. He has a column on The Examiner focused on writing, and a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. Erynn Altabef is an avid reader, dancer, and community activist who has just earned her Girl Scout Gold Award. When she’s not in High School, she loves reading, performing in school musicals, baking, and watching movies with her friends.

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Drawn Together by Amelia Swan - Interview and Giveaway

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

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

I write contemporary, new adult, and erotic romance. I’d tried writing other things before I found my way to the romance genre. There’s something about it that just clicked for me. Beforehand, I could only come up with ideas for short stories. Now I have more ideas for novel length books than I have time to write.

What research is required?

So far my books have required minimal research. I have a book in progress about a girl who went to veterinary school, so that story will require more research than anything I’ve written in the past.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

It’s hard to answer this question without giving too much away! Hailey and Cody don’t talk about what they want from their relationship, and that ends up being the root of their problems. Honest discussion about your thoughts and feelings is incredibly important in any relationship.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I sigh a lot when I write. I think it’s my way of releasing frustration when I’m stuck in a part of my story. That’s basically it. I can write anywhere at any time, but I prefer to work on my couch. I especially like it when my cat’s in my lap.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

The former high school English teacher in me wishes I could tell you I plan my books, but that just wouldn’t be true. I have a pretty solid idea about how the story’s going to go and who the characters are going to be before I start, but I like to work out the finer details as I go.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My husband. He’s playing DOTA on his laptop.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I have a contemporary romance coming out on May 29th called Wrestling With Summer. It’s about an artist who reluctantly falls for a professional wrestler. The third and final installment of my erotic romance short story series, “For Jay”, will be released later this year. Other than that, I’m working on the sequel to Drawn Together and full-length erotic romance I haven’t named yet.

Do you have a question for our readers?

No questions. I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to read this. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you.

Hailey Sommers is only home from New York for a few months. So when she reconnects with the one guy she can't forget, will she be able to walk away...again?

Hailey can’t wait to get back to New York City. There she’s a hip children’s book author with a healthy social life. Being back in her hometown of Medford only reminds her of the less-than-cool girl she used to be. Until she runs into Cody, her old partner-in-crime in high school art and the boy she lusted after all four years.

Cody West has everything he could want in Medford, except Hailey. When she left for the big city, there was a hole in his life no other girl could fill. But he’s not sure he wants to open himself to the pain if she leaves again.

A chance encounter at the town coffee shop reignites the chemistry between the pair and is almost enough to make Hailey forget how much she wants to return to the city she’s grown to love. Almost. Wanting it all, Hailey plans to bring Cody back to New York with her. The only catch is that she’s not sure he’ll agree…

Now enjoy an excerpt:

He parted his lips, pausing before he spoke as if he wasn’t sure if he should say what was on his mind. “I think about you sometimes.”

My heart stopped. Cody West had been thinking about me. Outwardly, I suppressed my reaction to his confession, trying to play it cool. On the inside, I was freaking out. Raising an eyebrow, I rested my chin in my hand. “Really? What about?”

Cody laughed, taking a big bite out of his cookie. “We’ve had some fun together.”

I pursed my lips as I tried to decide whether or not he was referring to all of the goofing off we did in art class or the night of the graduation party. Cody and I had only been acquaintances in school. We ran in different social circles: he hung out with the football team and I spent all of my time with Callie, my best friend, my only friend back then. Though we had fun together in class, we never spent time together outside of the art room...until we ran into each other at Jessica Mitchell’s. 

Amelia Swan writes contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and new adult romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. All of her heroines are girls she could totally see herself being friends with.


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