Monday, November 30, 2015

Hidden by Amy McKinley - Interview and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Amy, thank you for stopping by It's Raining Books. What are your favorite TV shows?

Modern Family and Big Bang Theory. There are several more that we DVR…X Factor, Ultimate Alaska, and Mike and Molly to name a few. Oh! And I actually like a few kids’ shows too, but I won’t list them here ;) (Lab Rats).

What is your favorite meal?

Pizza is a top contender because I don’t have to make it. Or steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

Well, I’m writing one now about five demigoddesses who are cursed by the Fates. They must find their unique key to unlock their individual curses or they’ll become harbingers of death and destruction to the gods who will in turn kill their family.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I admire a number of writers for their ability to create engaging stories that hook me until the very end. The two I follow closely are Karen Marie Moning and Kresley Cole. I love their characters and storylines.

However, I read a lot of others that I absolutely love.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Jade has to hide from the Oneiroi, the deadly dream gods, who hunt her. She and her sisters scatter across Earth to increase their odds, leaving the demon realm where they know the bloodhounds of the gods will search. Since her life is about hiding from these gods, and she’s deeply unhappy about having to wear a glamour living among humans, that’s how I arrived at the title: HIDDEN.

MediaKit_BookCover_HiddenCursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.

Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.

Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jade froze, her paintbrush hanging mid-air above her palette. An eerie, surreal frame was cast as light streamed diagonally through the bay window.

Whispers seduced and coerced.

She scanned the entire painting. The buildings cast long, ominous shadows, stalking the pedestrians as they made their way to and fro, huddled against the misery of the evening. A man lay sprawled, his lifeblood staining the sidewalk crimson. Half in a deserted alley, he was yet to be discovered. This was the detail Jade concentrated on. She blended a burnt red and used careful brush strokes to complete the scene as the portrait fell prey to the darkness that burned inside her.

Without meaning to, her gaze was once again drawn to the slain man. She reached up and touched the blood seeping from his body, coming away wet. Bringing her hand to her nose she closed her eyes and inhaled.

Instead of the cloying scent of her oils, she inhaled the coppery smell of blood.

Stunned, her mouth parted on a silent scream. No! Darkness bubbled to the surface, invading her senses with a roar. Unable to fight the invasion, her heart beat an increasing crescendo. Part of her didn’t want to struggle, not with the temptation of death on her hand.

Deep inside, a macabre shadow stretched. Hungry for more, its long arms clawed for purchase with each breath. Changing her, as part of her argued for the better. The other part—the one that gloried in her fire-kissed hair and shimmering eyes—cried against this crime and screamed for redemption.

She crouched to welcome the demonic strength as the parasitic monster grew inside her. Evolving into a fierce predator, she was able to taste, weigh, and measure the souls who sifted through her fingers.

Still, she fought for space in her own body. For control.

But with the scent of blood, of death, of prey—she was losing fast. It’s happening. Unshed tears burned her eyes. Finally. The curse of the three Fates had begun. With her.

Slowly Jade stood and bit down on her lip and welcomed the pain. The distraction would help fight the transformation. Dipping the brush into the Caribbean blue, she swirled then began to paint a shimmering cove. The vision soothed the beast that lurked just beneath, but it was temporary, and Jade knew its evil would soon rebel. The Fates’ curse would change her over time, unleashing an unstoppable power within her, annihilating the gods who created her and anyone who got in her path.

Including her family.

Dropping the blue-tipped brush, Jade’s back snapped straight and her mouth opened on silent scream. Succumbing to a surge of menace, she lost control. Every cell stretched to accommodate the new presence. Shivering from the effects of her altered state, she briefly shut her eyes, adjusting. When she opened them, her painting was before her, and she viewed the scene anew. Cocking her head, she closely observed a woman who tightly clutched her rain slicker about her body.

This one will not make it home tonight.

About the Author: Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden is the first in the Five Fates Series.


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Friday, November 27, 2015

Dead in a Park by B.L. Blair - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. B. L. Blair will be awarding a $20 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.

When Leah Norwood finds the body of Donald Collins in the city park, she doesn’t know he is a distant relative. Young Donnie was a jewel thief and a career criminal. Hidden in the lining of his suit jacket was an exact replica of a ring that has been in Leah’s family for over a hundred years. After her home is burglarized, the sexy chief of police is convinced the ruby ring has something to do with the murder.

Leah wants to find out what happened to Donnie, but why would someone kill for a hundred year old ring? She discovers a connection between Donnie and the drug-dealing Cantono family, between the Cantono family and a jewelry appraiser, and between the jewelry appraiser and one of her own employees. Chief Griggs might be onto something. All clues lead back to the family ring.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Harry,” I yelled before I ran after him. When I stepped onto the grass on the side of the path, my feet squished. Looking down, I saw the ground was soft and still muddy in places. I didn’t really have a choice as I could hear Harry barking wildly nearby. It sounded like he was close to the creek. Consigning my shoes to their fate, I waded into the brush. I didn’t have to go far before I found my dog.

He was standing near the creek bed, barking ferociously at the dead man on the ground. At first, I wasn’t sure he was actually dead, but one step closer showed he was laying perfectly still, head at an odd angle, and face-down in the small creek. He was dressed in what appeared to be a custom-made suit, the white collar of his shirt just showing along the neckline of his jacket and a fedora at his side. I looked at him from head to toe and then stopped.

He was so neatly dressed that I was shocked to see that he wasn’t wearing any shoes. His feet were encased in socks, but his shoes were nowhere in sight. And who wears a fedora? What was a well-dressed mobster doing in Reed Hill City Park? I couldn’t see much of his face, but he looked like a young man. The clothing and hat seemed totally out of place. Harry ran up to me, and I grabbed his leash. Wrapping it tightly around my hand, I pulled him away from the scene and back out to the walking path. I reached in my pocket for my phone. As I dialed 911, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell happened to his shoes.

About the Author: B. L. Blair writes simple and sweet romance and mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Holton Romance Series and the Leah Norwood Mysteries. She enjoys reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

Series Blog:

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stardust Dreams by S.B. Redstone - Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

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

Actually, I write in several main genres and add sub-genres to make my stories unique and more interesting. My first novel, not yet published, is a fascinating horror story, I’ve titled it Succubus Resurrection. It is historical with a romance sub-genre between the hero of the story and a victim’s sister. My first published novel, A Sinister Obsession, through Black Opal Books is a mystery thriller, with a paranormal female detective who has a romance like none other you’ve ever seen or read about. Although I do love writing horror and mystery thrillers, where I can create powerful emotionally charged scenes and feelings, I found myself more interested in their complex romance sub-genres than the killer. So, as I typically do, just as I am finishing that novel, I’m preparing for the next. Then, an interesting thing happened. As a senior, with senior friends, I learned seniors read and they read a great deal. And what they care about is love, immortality, adventure, relationships, and excitement. My mind asked a question. What if? And my unconscious mind came up with Stardust Dreams, a love story that has a science fiction backdrop. I will finish by saying I love a good romance: Wuthering Heights, Love Story, Romeo and Juliet, and Casablanca to name a few. And I usually shed more than a few tears when tragedy strikes.

What research is required?

I have always had a great curiosity for astronomy and alien worlds. I probably watched every science fiction film ever made throughout my lifetime. I love to read books on astronomy, watch science shows on television, and read articles on the web. I loved Star Trek until it became the monster of the week. I really dislike horror movies where aliens come to Earth to dominate or just kill for the stupidest motivation. It is absurd to think that super advanced species, having the capability of traveling thousands of light years to reach us in a short period of time, would have blood thirsty intentions. It’s illogical. With that said, I engaged in many hours of research for Stardust Dreams. Absolute realism was a must to make the story believable. I learned: the take-off speed of a jumbo jet, cryogenics, theories of light, rocket propulsion, necessary planetary conditions for life to develop, and ice ages to name a few. And I learned through my artist son who is a set designer that if you make an error, someone will discover it.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Follow your dreams. Make it happen. Don’t give up. Lance, Sage, and Medora struggle to achieve their happiness. As a writer, it is so easy to give up trying to write a bestseller when success is so hard to achieve. We spend so many hours, months, and for some years writing a great story, then have it rejected by literary agents who dictate winners and losers for the traditional publishing industry. Once it’s published by an independent publisher or self-published, if you don’t just want it read by family and friends, you have to spend countless hours marketing your book, which isn’t my expertise. However, if my main characters have the courage and fortitude to fight against the odds, so can I.

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

Ugh. No superstitions. I do have one compulsive behavior. I must play computer card games until I feel relaxed to put a word on the computer screen and I must win them no matter how long it takes to clear the cobwebs. Sometimes, it takes only about fifteen minutes and sometimes up to an hour. Once I am writing, I do take breaks and play a few more games of Free Cell to relax.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I am both a plotter and pantser. I don’t put any words on a computer screen until I’ve written the entire book in my head first. I need to know the beginning, middle, and ending to see if the story is feasible or not. The main characters, in general, are designed in my head as well. Once I have everything in place, I make a chapter by chapter outline in the computer as that is the strong foundation to build a great story. Then, my fingers type at high speed, letting my unconscious run wild creating details and in-depth personalities of the characters. As Michelangelo was said to have said, he simply freed his subjects from the marble, that’s how I feel about the stories waiting to be freed in my mind.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A shrunken head! Gruel! A picture of the Titanic sinking! Not exactly! I am currently in New York for a couple of weeks where I have an apartment close to my kids and young grandkids. My wife and I hang out with them as much as possible. Then, it’s back to warm Florida. I write in the living room, with big windows looking out on a bright and sunny southern sky. Never one to eat an early breakfast, I have a snack table next to me as I write on the sofa. On the table right now is my coffee mug, cookies, and a bag of salt free pretzels. Later chocolate candy will land there as well. Nothing exotic.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

The novel I am working on now is about a montage of lives centered around a magical fifty-five and over retirement community. If We’re Sleeping, Don’t Wake Us! is a romance, comedy (new genre for me), drama like a Neil Simon movie, Plaza Suite. It explores grand parenting, love, marriage, lost dreams, depression, and self-sacrifice. How would you feel, and how would your life change, if you woke up, looked in the bathroom mirror, and instead of seeing an old face, you saw a young face with the same look of staggering astonishment?

Do you have a question for our readers?

Of course. What draws you to read a book? It’s cover? The synopsis? Price? Genre? Famous name? Publisher? Recommendation?

Abstract Image Of A Planet With Water. Find New Sources And TechLance Forrester is a dreamer. After a celebrated career as an astronaut and engineer, he and a friend build a secret spacecraft to seek their destinies in the stars. But his friend dies and Lance is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Desperate not to succumb to his fate, he convinces an acquaintance, ailing actress Sage Saint Claire, whom he hasn’t seen since high school, to join him on his quest to reach an advanced alien civilization which can heal them both.

Unfortunately, true life is not a Hollywood movie, as much as Sage might want it to be, and problems abound. Mistakes in the past have turned Sage into a bitter old woman, and she turns out to be a less-than-perfect traveling companion which no amount of optimism, youth, or good health can cure. Can these two intrepid octogenarians-turned-immortals overcome the emotional scars of their pasts and achieve true happiness, or are they doomed to suffer for their mistakes, no matter how far from Earth they go?

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

I paused to dramatize my resolve and let a burst of quixotic energy erupt from me. “Cherish the adventure!”

It wasn’t her fears that I was battling against, but a lifetime of distrust. My confidence in a successful mission collapsed.

“Of course, you have no reason to believe a word of what I’ve told you. You don’t really know me, except through my noted accomplishments. But I can’t disappoint you because I’m only offering friendship and hope.” I pushed my point harder.

“Sure, we can die here on Earth. We can die in space. Or we can awaken on a remote and caring world that saves us! We are the captains of our fate, not the Grim Reaper—yet!”

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

Website: Website

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Bloody City by Megan Morgan - Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Five Things You Probably Don't Know about Megan Morgan

Since most of you probably don’t know anything about me, I’m sure you could never guess any of these things! I’ve tried to pick the most interesting things about me to share (the fact I’m a crazy cat lady and I can consume caffeine in quantities that defy human physiology is probably a surprise to no one).

1. My day job is in the service industry. I’ve been a server/bartender closing in on a decade now, exclusively a bartender for the past couple years (waiting tables is hard and I needed a break). I’ve worked in all sorts of places—cozy restaurants, fun bars, music venues, dive bars, sports bars, and now I work in an airline club at an airport. I’ve seen a lot of interesting things and even more interesting people. It’s ironic because I used to be painfully shy—and I still am in some respects—so this sort of work shouldn’t be a good fit for me. It brought me out of my shell though, and I love it. I’ve met some of the best friends of my life working in restaurants and bars.

2. I’m living single. I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend. Gasp! A romance writer who doesn’t have a love life? I used to be married, and I’ve had my fair share of boyfriends. Right now, I’m career and me-focused and I’m not looking for a relationship. It’s nice doing my own thing and spending my time the way I want to. That doesn’t mean I won’t fall in love in the future, of course. I’m not sweating it. Maybe some tall, dark, handsome man will read one of my books and he’ll be just dying to meet me…

3. I have an obsession with scented candles, especially ones that are baked goods and fall-scented. If I had the funds, I’d clean Yankee Candle out of their entire stock. I actually coordinate candles in different rooms so their smells mesh and so the scents flow appealingly between rooms. I don’t know if this is an art or I just invented it, but I like my house to smell good. My adult son who still lives with me is afraid I’m going to burn the place down someday.

4. I’m a grown, 40-year-old woman who has a Hello Kitty blanket on her bed. Maybe this is why I’m single? Or, maybe I get to have it because I am single. I love Hello Kitty, too.

5. For most my life I stayed in one spot, but in the past ten years or so that changed. I got plentiful opportunities to travel and I’ve visited a lot of exciting US cities—Chicago, New York City, New Orleans, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Nashville. I really want to live in Chicago someday, that’s my dream city. This is crazy because I hate winter weather (I live in Cleveland) and you’d think I’d want to move south and settle in somewhere it stays warm year-round. Chicago appeals to me so much though, and that’s where I picture myself someday. That’s why The Bloody City (and all the other books in the Siren Song series) are set there.

On the run…

It’s been four months since the head of the Institute of Supernatural Research was murdered. But that doesn’t mean June Coffin is out of hiding yet. In a world where being different can get you killed, it’s best to keep a low profile. Especially for a Siren who can control other people with the call of her voice. That goes double if your powers might be inexplicably growing…

On the hunt…

But June isn’t the only one trying to clear her name. There’s Sam, the charismatic paranormal rights leader, and Micha, the first human on record to go paranormal. All of them must bargain with a mysterious vampire named Occam Reed if they want to stay alive.

Out of time…

As tensions increase between humans and paranormals, June must decide who to trust. If only she could hear the song inside her heart…

Enjoy an excerpt:

The whole thing was like attending one’s own funeral, only slightly less creepy.

Midway through the next speech, movement behind the stage caught June’s attention. A group of people were gathering back there. Her spirits lifted. Maybe the FBI was about to throw down.

“What’s going on back there?” Sam stood on his tiptoes.

“Probably more people who want to talk.” June sighed.

She skimmed the crowd, seeing if anyone looked as bored as she felt. A familiar face popped out for a split second, and she quickly looked back at the spot. She had to be imagining things.

She wasn’t.

Roughly thirty yards away in the tight-packed crowd, a man stood, staring at them. He wore a hoodie despite the heat, the hood pulled up and shielding his face. His eyes were bloodshot and watery.

“Sam.” She scrabbled at his hand. “Someone’s watching us.”

The man moved toward them. The speaker on stage had finished and other people were coming out. Sam was focused there, but he looked at June, and then around.

“Occam,” she whispered. “To the left.”

Occam pushed up next to them and stopped. His eyes were rimmed with red, his skin flushed.

“I know you’re in there,” he taunted.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Sam whispered.

Dread welled in June’s chest. The intensity of Occam’s gaze chilled her to the bone beneath the blazing sun.

The blazing sun. A vampire was out in broad daylight. He didn’t even have the benefit of shade, like at the clinic. Why?

“Get out of here,” Occam said. “Or you are going to die.”

About the Author:
Megan Morgan is an urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and erotica author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender in an airport lounge by day and purveyor of things that go bump in the night, she’s trying to turn writing into her day job so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. She’s a member of the RWA and author of the Siren Song urban fantasy series from Kensington Books, as well as numerous other shorter, sexy works. She resides on the shores of Lake Erie with her adult son and not-so-adult cat, the latter of which ‘helps’ her write her works by stuffing herself between writer and laptop on a regular basis.


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Monday, November 23, 2015

Space Cadets by Laurence Moroney - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Laurence will be awarding a signed copy of Space Cadets to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After conflicts in Korea, Pakistan and the Middle East turned nuclear, the world stood on the eve of destruction. Realizing that we only have this one precious planet containing all of humanity, the United Nations pulled us back from the brink, and started a new, multinational effort to conquer space. Many years later, the peak of achievement for any young person is to be admitted to the Space Academy. Previously available only to a precious few, it has recently opened enrollment to anybody who can meet their strenuous entry criteria. Space Cadets is the story of the first African-American girl, Aisha Parks, to enter into the academy, where she learns that the more some things change, the more they stay the same, and despite the honorable intentions of the academy, there are some dark secrets being kept – secrets that could be the end of us all.
Enjoy an excerpt:


It never failed to give her a thrill when she saw the moonscape rush by underneath her ship, and the blue curve of Earth rise above it. Aisha smiled at its beauty.

Down there, girls her age were wondering about homecoming dances, and what dress they’d wear, or which boy would ask them out. She was much happier here, piloting her ship, zipping at breakneck speeds across the Moon, and getting ready to break into deep space.

“I think I see them,” said David, her navigator and co-pilot, sitting in one of the wing pods to her right. “Two-seven-zero karem one-nine-eight.”

“Confirmed,” came the clipped voice of Soo-Kyung, her gunner. Aisha glanced to the pod on her left and her eyes met Soo-Kyung’s. The Korean girl smiled and nodded.

Aisha always wanted a visual confirmation. Comm lines could be hacked and voices faked. Soo-Kyung knew this instinctively. That’s what made them a great team.

“Okay,” said Aisha. “Weapons hot. Let’s check them out.”

She punched in the coordinates, and the ship turned towards their target.

“Visual range in five seconds,” said David.

“I see them,” Aisha replied. Her heads up display started to light up with targets. Squares projected on her canopy, wrapping tiny dots that could easily be mistaken for stars to the naked eye.

“That’s a lot of ships,” she said, awe sneaking into her voice.

“That’s a bloody awful lot of ships,” said David.

Soo-Kyung was business as always. “Orders?”

“Can you confirm ship type?”

“They are mostly type-three fighters. About eighty of them.”

“What else?”

“A single mothership. That’s the target.”

“No other fighters?”

“A couple of type-ones, but hard to tell with all the movement.”

The fighters were moving around the mothership, following what looked like random patterns, making it hard to get a radar lock.

“Are they moving to intercept?”

“No, sir.”

“David, probe the edge of their defense shield.”

His gentle voice sounded in her earpiece. “Yes, Sir.”

David took the ship forward slowly, while Soo-Kyung watched the behavior of the enemy fighters. They knew from experience that these ships could turn from defense to offense in the blink of an eye. If they didn’t react, they could find themselves surrounded and destroyed in seconds.

“We are at the edge of previous attack ranges,” said Soo-Kyung. “Recommend that we hold at this position.”

“Do it.”

The ship halted, and they floated in space, watching the enemy.

“Any update on ship types, David?”

“The best I got is maybe two or three type-ones, the rest are definitely type-three.”

She wished she had read the spec books more closely, but was glad David was there. “Turning radius of type-threes?”

“Two hundred degrees,” he answered, almost in reflex.

“Distance of fighters from the mothership?”

“Average about three hundred clicks.”

Soo-Kyung raised an eyebrow. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yes,” said Aisha. “Full frontal assault, all shields on front.”

“If we leave our back exposed--”

“Hopefully they won’t get a chance. Maximum throttle, straight at the mothership, direct all energy to front shields.”

“Including lasers?”

“Including lasers. We’re on bullets and torpedoes. Can you do it?”

She heard the smile in Soo-Kyung’s voice. “Done.”

“Good. And fire at will.”


“David. Punch course in.”

“Course, aye.”

“Manual control to me.”


“Here goes nothing!”

Aisha punched the program, and she felt the craft lurch as they accelerated forward. She continued its burn, getting faster and faster as they approached the enemy ships.

“Ships turning to intercept.”


She saw the enemy ships swarming to intercept. Suddenly their random patterns stopped, and they turned, almost as one, bearing down on her. They opened fire, but the forward shields held.

“Intercept in five seconds,” said Soo-Kyung. Aisha marveled at her ability to stay calm, and it seemed the more stressful the situation, the calmer she was.

And just like that they flew through the squadrons of enemy fighters, on a course straight for the mothership.

“They’re turning to intercept.”

Time seemed to slow down in her mind. The mothership approached weapons range at a painful crawl. The enemy fighters, now behind her, were slowly turning to follow them, with a clear shot at Aisha’s tail. She’d turned off their lasers, directing their energy to the shields, so they’d need to be close for ballistic weapons to be effective.

It was going to be tight. Once the enemy fighters had turned around, the back of Aisha’s fighter was exposed. The lead ones had almost turned, and were ready to open fire.

But then Soo-Kyung had her target locked and opened up with everything she had on the mothership. Direct hits, but the ship stayed intact.

A hit on their right wing made the ship lurch.

“Now would be a good time, Soo-Kyung.”

Aisha looked to her left, seeing her friends’ face deep in concentration. Another torpedo launched, hitting a module to the rear of the mothership's bridge. A small explosion was followed by several large ones, but before the ship was destroyed, Aisha’s ship was hit again. This time right in the engines.

Aisha felt her ship lurch. Red lights all over her console. The reactor had taken a direct hit. It was about to go critical. Her heart was beating hard. She reached for the eject buttons, hesitating long enough to see the mothership go up in a ball of flame.

The moment’s hesitation was enough.She felt the ship lurch as the reactor gave out. Her mind slowed as the white flash enveloped them. She had enough time to realize, with resignation, that she was dead. Both co-pilots too.

The simulator door opened, and Captain Simms’ craggy face looked in at her.

“You’re dead. All of you. Again,” he said. Disapproval in his voice. “I thought you guys were better than that.”

About the Author: a Rafflecopter giveawayLaurence Moroney is the author of more books than he’s prepared to admit. After several best selling programming books, his first Young Adult novel “The Fourth World” became a #1 book on Amazon Kindle, spawned two sequels “The Million Year Journey” and “The Legend of the Locust”, and is currently being shopped around studios for a potential movie. “Space Cadets” is his latest, a cutting edge science fiction novel, based on real science that starts a new series charting out humanity’s course to the stars. He’s presently working on the sequel “The Quiet World”, which he hopes to finish in 2015. For his day job, Laurence works as a Developer Advocate for Google, where he is constantly counting his blessings for being part of the best workplace in the world…

Find him here:

Space Cadets Blog:
Space Cadets Website:

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Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern

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

With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, “Tell her I love her.”

Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epicly bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.

Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly-rebellious daughter is missing, and there’s yet another body in her hostas. Mother won’t be pleased.

Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby and elude the killer—all before her next charity gala committee meeting.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The nurse led me to a room with real walls, paused outside the real door, then offered me a gentle pat on the shoulder. “Is there someone I can call to come pick you up?”

I shook my head. Libba was taking care of Grace. I’d talked to them both, assured a teary Grace I was fine and promised to be home soon. Calling any of my other friends would mean a lengthy explanation. I had only one explanation in me and it was reserved for the police. “No, thank you.”

“Not your husband?”

“I’m a widow.”

She sucked in a breath. “I’m sorry.”

I wasn’t. Even if he was still alive, it was unlikely Henry would have gone to the trouble of picking me up from the hospital. “Thank you for offering. When I’m done, I’ll call a cab.”

I smoothed the loose folds of my shirt. Why did I never talk to the police looking polished or put together? Then I entered the room.

Detective Anarchy Jones sat at the table inside.

My feet stopped moving forward, my intestines defied the laws of science and turned from solid to liquid in the time it took me to blink. My knees no longer seemed strong enough to support me. Only my mouth continued to function. “What are you doing here?” I lifted my unbandaged hand to cover it before it said anything else.

Detective Jones stood. A smile that webbed the corners of his eyes and quirked his lips ghosted across his lean face. “The usual. Investigating a murder where you found the body.”

About the Author:
Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist.


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

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Friday, November 20, 2015

The Heart's Journey Home by Nikki Jackson - Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nikki Jackson 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. Welcome Nikki Jackson to It's Raining Books who stopped by to answer a few of our questions. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I really like young people. Their hearts and heads are so open. They haven’t become stick-in-the-mud jaded adults. They grow, they forgive without tons of drama, they’re still dreaming. And they are so committed. Look, if somebody tells me I can’t go to school because I’m a female and they’re going to throw acid in my face if I show up I’m liable to sit my tush at home and go to school online. Just sayin’. Teenagers are brave and they believe something to the depths of their soul. That’s a character I’d love to write and develop till my pen runs out of ink. Teens just make great characters and they’re what drew me to the young adult genre - knowing I can create deep, rich, growing and developing characters that are totally believable.

What research is required?

I’m probably sounding like a broken record to those who know me but if anything drives me crazy it’s reading something that’s messed up because the writer didn’t bother doing the research. Personally, I spent almost a year doing the research for The Heart’s Journey Home, I’m not kidding. This is a 4-5 book series that has tons going on in it. There are the three major characters, the list of secondary characters and then tons of folks behind them. The setting ranges from Napa California, to West Virginia, To Maryland to Israel. The main character Tori is part Lakota and Norse (Viking) so I had to research both these groups so I could build an authentic heritage for Tori that didn’t offend the Lakotas. AJ lost a leg to cancer so I had to research that. He’s into animation so I had to research that. Kalea is into NASA so I had to research that. Her dad’s part owner of a winery so I had to research wines and grapes. The FBI is running a junior training camp for teens as well as the NSA running their own camp. I had to research enough whereby both these weeklong camps would be realistic to the reader. The story takes place in the year 2009 so I had to research everything electronic – from phones to TVs to ensure I wasn’t writing in something post-2009. I even had to check the music the kids listened to. Granted, writing fiction means you’re making up the story but you can’t just ‘make up’ details your readers are aware of or juggle history (if you’re writing contemporary fiction) unless there’s a good reason and it’s been set-up through the course of the story. I’m a stickler for doing the necessary work up front and putting a good product out there for the reader.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Be true to you even if it means you’re standing there all by yourself. There’s this scene in the story where Tori could make the decision to do something because it’s the easier route, or she could choose the other route and be stuck there alone. She couldn’t take the easier way out. See, she felt that if she caved in this one point, then when and where would be the next cave and the next one. She would rather be there by herself, and get dogged out for it, then to cave and feel that somehow she’s betrayed herself. It was an impossibly lonely task but at the end of the day she was a better person for it.

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

I’m not sure if any of my writing habits are interesting or quirky. I’m old school so I write everything out longhand first on these yellow legal pads (which I number), then I type everything out on the laptop. I write everywhere. I’ve been on mission trips with my church and I’ve been just writing away – China, Thailand, Peru and Pakistan. These flights are typically super long so I’m writing. If it’s a long drive from village to village, I’m writing. If we’re sitting quiet for more than fifteen minutes I’m writing. The Heart’s Journey Home was penned all over the world.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Oh my gosh, definitely a plotter. This book would have been a hot mess if I didn’t have a serious outline. As it is it’s over 700 pages and that’s with a tight outline! I kid you not there’s tons going on in this book. There’s twists and turns and reveals that would have had my dreads standing on end if I had to keep all of this in my head. There’s the major storyline but then there’s all these little secondary storylines because the major characters are in relationships with secondary characters, then there’s also things going on behind the scene that Tori knows nothing about but the reader sees, these are additional story lines. The Heart’s Journey Home is a good story and a fast read despite its size.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
I have to laugh. I’m at my desk at the office and to the right of my computer screen is a copy of my book covers in a double photo frame. A color copy of the current book: California Blend Summer Vacation and a copy of the next book in the series: A Layover in Doppelganger-ville. Half of my life is spent here at the office, at this desk, doing my working stiff nine-to-five. I need something concrete and in my face as a daily reminder that there’s more to me than the working career grind. I glance over at those book covers a hundred times a day and they remind me that I’m a writer.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m currently working on the second book of the series titled – A Layover in Doppelganger-ville. This book finds Tori thrusted in a situation beyond her control and for the first time in her life she has to depend on adults more and herself less. Her independent ways are a hindrance and a danger where she is and the question is can she adapt or will she act out thus putting herself in harm’s way? I’m also mulling over a sci-fi series. Strong female teen vs aliens. I love the sound of that. I’d like to have that out sometime next year.

Do you have a question for our readers?

No real questions just a couple parting comments. To you aspiring writers – please don’t wait till you’ve got gray hair in your dreads before you finally get around to publishing your first book. Find a way to make this a priority in your life. You’re a writer if you believe you are regardless of what others may think. Find ways to encourage yourself. Find other writers (or at least one other writer) to hang with and encourage each other. Write something every day, if only for ten minutes. Always endeavor to put your best work out there. To you readers - we really want you to love our work. Support us. Be kind. Give us constructive criticism. This writer/reader thing is a collaboration of sorts and hopefully a lifelong friendship.

It’s summer vacation, and all seventeen-year-old Tori Logan wants to do is hang out with her two best friends, practice her mixed martial arts and go to FBI spy camp. Summer means freedom (mostly from adults) and Tori plans to fill every spare moment of her last summer before graduating from High School with all the fun things she and her best pals can come up with. Tori, whose mom died of breast cancer when she was young, has always relied on her own strength to get by - especially because her Archeologist father tends to leave her behind with his live-in girlfriend while he gallivants around the world on digs. Thankfully, Tori can take care of herself. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Her Lakota Sioux grandfather, a former Navy SEAL, trained Tori in self-defense from a young age. Now, as a teenager, Tori excels at mixed martial arts and the use of various weapons. During the summer she will be attending an FBI sponsored Summer Camp which she hopes will lead to her dream job – becoming an FBI serial killer profiler. With her two best friends at her side, Tori believes she can handle anything. And with summer vacation stretching before them, the trio plans to find plenty of adventure. But while Tori is determined to be independent, life has other plans for this fierce young woman, and they include coming to grips with some hard - and surprising - truths about both her past and her future.
Enjoy an excerpt: I could really use a belt. Fin thought as he jumped from the porch, bounding over the five steps. Running down the graveled drive at break-neck speed he cursed the fact he was wearing tennis shoes - that along with the baggy, beltless pants was hemming up his stride. The sound of shrieks and a male voice yelling at him in a foreign language didn’t help the matter. Fin tripped over his own size 12 feet, rolled and got up running. After gathering his wits about him he heard a muffled roar zoom past him followed by a streak of green. He was unsure of what it was but he was too scared to try to figure it out – he was running now – minus the jeans and a tennis shoe. Fin all but dove into his Camaro thankful he’d left the keys in the ignition and not in his pants pocket. He turned the key and sped down the drive, kicking dirt and gravel in his wake. In his rear-view mirror he could see the crazy man chasing him with the longest, sharpest sword he’d ever seen. Making it to the end of the drive, Fin did a complete donut, spun the vehicle around in the right direction and then tore off down the street. Tori had grabbed his errant shoe and AJ leaned down to scoop up the jeans, then the two of them tore down the drive after Fin. About the Author:
Ever since she was young, Nikki Jackson has loved reading and the way that books allow you to journey on wonderful adventures without ever leaving the comfort of home. She decided at a young age that she wanted to become a writer to enable others to experience the magic of books—and The Heart’s Journey Home is the result. In addition to writing, Nikki Jackson is a contract worker for General Motors. She and her husband currently live in the Detroit metropolitan area. Check out Nikki's blog or catch up with her on Twitter. Buy the book at Amazon. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dating on the Dork Side by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance - Spotlight and Giveaway

11_19 MBB_DatingOnTheDorkSide_Banner copy

Check out the cover for the newest offering from Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance - Dating on the Dork Side. Charity and Darcy will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to one randomly drawn winner, a print copy of "Dating on the Dork Side" to another randomly drawn winner (US/Canada only) and a print copy of "The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading" to a third randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada only) via rafflecopter during the tour.
11_19 Cover_DatingOnTheDorkSideStung by an epic betrayal, Camy Cavanaugh relies on the sure things: her best friend, her job as peer tutor, and her safe spot on the sidelines of life. But when she hacks into a secret, trash-talking website, it ignites a war between the sexes that won’t end until the whole school is turned upside down–and Camy’s world is turned inside out.

Now the hottest girls in school refuse to date the A-List boys. But with the Homecoming dance looming, everyone from the queen bee to the girl “most likely to” pushes Camy to hook them up with guys from the nerd herd.

And then there’s quarterback, A-lister–and former crush–Gavin Madison. He hasn’t spoken to Camy in three years … but he’s talking now, begging her to pair the guys on the football team with girls from the Honor Roll.

It’s a contest of wills and everything is on the line–even Camy’s heart. Will she retreat to the sidelines, or will she find the courage to get back in the game?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Tuesday at lunch, Mercedes cornered me at my locker. “I heard about Elle and Rhino,” she said. “Can you do that for me?”

“Do what for you?”

“Set me up with someone. I was supposed to go with Lukas, but Elle won’t let that happen. So, I was thinking ... maybe you could help me date on the dork side?”

“On the what?”

“You know, get me hooked up with one of those nice guys you know. All the boys in my classes are either jocks or jerks. And they’re all on the list.” She rolled her eyes. “So, will you?”

I wasn’t sure what to say. On one hand, Mercedes Washington was the real deal, a true Hottie of Troy. She didn’t need my help to get a boy. But on the other hand … the girl standing next to me bounced on the balls of her feet like she could barely contain her enthusiasm. And, underneath all that energy, she was really very sweet. I couldn’t tell if she didn’t see the difference between us or if she just pretended it didn’t exist. Someone like Mercedes deserved a boy who would treat her with the respect she deserved.

“Do you like Star Wars?” I asked.

About the Authors:Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She spent twelve years as a Girl Scout and six in the Army; that she wore a green uniform for both may not be a coincidence. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer for a software company in St. Paul.

Her short speculative fiction has appeared in UFO Publishing’s Unidentified Funny Objects and Coffee anthologies, Flash Fiction Online and Cicada.

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Darcy Vance is the slacker half of the author duo of Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance. She didn’t start writing seriously until she was 40, and didn’t publish her first novel until she was 50. Even then, she needed a co-author to get the job done.

While Charity was busy slinging corn for Green Giant and jumping out of airplanes for the Army, Darcy was busy making out with boys and perfecting the art of the doodle. She only makes out with one boy now (her husband) but she still doodles wantonly.

Wattpad: (there is a free story there)

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