Monday, October 24, 2016

The Widow's Promise by Roselyn Beck - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

When Lady Grace Grayson accepts an invitation to a house party at Rocksavage Manor, she expects a few weeks of painting and serenity in the English countryside. She doesn’t expect to become the target of a murderer.

When Kyle Calshot, accepts a position with Theodore Price, the owner of Rocksavage Manor, he expects to learn all he can about British Politics in Victorian England. He doesn’t expect to be asked to betray a friend or become the bodyguard to a beautiful red haired widow.

As Grace and Kyle struggle against a newfound passion for one another, they must discover the motives of a killer. And when old secrets are revealed can their new love survive?

Read an Excerpt:

“Whoever it is has gone,” he said, his voice low and rumbling. “I heard footsteps going down the hall.” He crossed his powerful arms across his chest. “Keep your door locked at all times,” he said and turned to leave as quietly as he came. He heaved a huge sigh and keeping his back to her said, “I know you are in danger, I want to help you. But I can’t unless you let me.”

“I can’t,” she stated simply. She was tempted, oh so much, but she couldn’t simply lay her problems onto someone else’s lap.

“Why not,” he said turning back toward her.

“I just can’t,” she said, her brown eyes were flat and still. She didn’t trust her voice to say anything more however, and pressed her lips together to stave off the burning of tears she felt in her throat and behind her eyes. She watched as Kyle turned the key in the lock and twisted the knob, opening the door slowly and examining the hallway beyond carefully, before opening it wider and stepping through.

“Regardless of your feelings toward me,” He said softly, back still turned, “I will keep you safe. I only wish you would confide in me.”

And then he was gone shutting her door behind him.

About the Author:
When Roselyn is not managing her two wonderful children, amazing husband, a dog, a cat, four chickens and a bee hive, she can be found either reading or writing. Oh, and the day job where she develops and implements outreach programming for K-12 in entrepreneurship. She’s lived most of her life in New Mexico and loves the blue skies and being able to see hundreds of miles most days, but is always ready for a new adventure in a new place. Writing gives her the opportunity to create them on the page when she can’t actually jump in the car and go. website:
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Sunday's Child by Rosemary Morris - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Georgianne Whitley’s beloved father and brothers died in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte. While she is grieving for them, she must deal with her unpredictable mother’s sorrow, and her younger sisters’ situation caused by it.

Georgianne’s problems increase when the arrogant, wealthy but elderly Earl of Pennington, proposes marriage to her for the sole purpose of being provided with an heir. At first she is tempted by his proposal, but something is not quite right about him. She rejects him not suspecting it will lead to unwelcome repercussions.

About the Author:
I write historical fiction, so I am fortunate to be only a 20 minute train journey from London, which offers so many possibilities for research about times past. So many things spark my imagination. During the last two years I took an open tour bus ride around London. Amongst the sky scrapers and modern buildings Old London can be discovered, including the street which J.K.Rowling used as a model for Diagon Alley in her Harry Potter series.

For as long as I can remember, I enjoyed studying history, reading historical non-fiction, historical fiction and its sub-genres. I enjoy novels in which the characters’ behaviour is appropriate for the era in which they lived.

The more I read the more fascinated I become, and the more aware of the gulf between historical periods and my own. Our ancestors shared the same emotions as we do, but their attitudes and way of life were different to ours. One of the most striking examples is the position of women and children in society in bygone ages.

I don’t think it is possible for a novelist to be 100% accurate about life in former ages. However, the characters in my novels are of their time, not ones dressed in costume who behave like 21st century women. Of course, it is almost impossible to completely understand our ancestors, but through extensive research I ensure my characters observe the social etiquette of their lives and times.

My previously published novels, set in the early 18th century and in the ever popular Regency era, and my previously unpublished historical fiction will be published by Books We Love as e-book editions and paper books.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

The After War by Brandon Zenner - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Brandon Zenner will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction.

Brain Rhodes and his cousin, Steven, are leaving the protection of their underground bunker for the first time, after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the earth.

On the other side of the North American continent, young Simon Kalispell is leaving the safety and seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston.

For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, where the fragmented lives of a small number of survivors will soon be decided by the choices of a corrupt few.

Simon Kalispell and Brian Rhodes are not yet aware, but the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined.

Read an excerpt:

Brian lowered his gun. “It’s okay, Steve. He’s dead.” He looked around. “There’s no one here.”

Steven lowered his rifle, wiping his palms on his thighs and brushing the sweat from his eyes.

“I said he’s dead, Steve—”

“I reckon he’s dead, Brian. I see he’s dead.”

“Come on now. We’re right at town.”

They sidestepped the corpse until it was well behind them. If the body was someone they had once known, it was now impossible to determine who that person might have been.

“That won’t be the last of them,” Brian said. “You better get your head on straight.”

Steven opened his mouth to speak, but then shut it again.

They stepped onto the road as the first house emerged from the woods. They walked past it, taking careful notice of the blank windows—as black as the eye sockets of the corpse—and scanned for any sign of movement, like the fluttering of drapes, or the partially covered face of a person peering out from the darkness with a shotgun clenched tight in their hands. Anything.

But there was no movement.

“Think anyone’s left?” Steven said, with a crack in his voice.

Brian shrugged. “I know as much as you do.”

The yards around the homes, and Pearl Street itself, were spotted with litter and debris of every kind blowing in the gentle breeze. Overgrown tree roots buckled sections of the sidewalk and emerged from cracks in the pavement. They passed the police station bordering the center of town. The cruisers were vacant in the parking lot, and the building was cold and silent.

About the Author:
Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon's best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was released in early 2016. THE AFTER WAR, a dystopian thriller, is available now as a pre-order, at 80% off the final sale price. You can follow the author on his Amazon page, or through his email list on his website. All email subscribers will receive his futuristic short story, HELIX ILLUMINATED, for free as a thank you. His genres of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, and science fiction.

WEBSITE: http://www,

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Deceiving Bella by Cate Beauman - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.

*NOTE: While reading the series in order is recommended, it is not necessary. Each story is a stand alone title featuring new primary characters with limited overlapping secondary characters.*

Read an excerpt:

Bella sighed, crossing her ankles as the breeze rushed up to meet her. “The wind feels good.”

“It does. The sun’s hot.”

“Mmm. These are the days you burn and don’t even realize it until it’s too late.” She looked at Reed. “You’re wearing sunblock?”


She frowned, sitting up straight. “Why aren’t you wearing sunblock?”

He shrugged. “I forgot to put some on.”

“You’re risking sun damage and skin cancer.” She unzipped the backpack and reached in her purse for the small tube of sunscreen she always kept handy.

He grinned. “You carry that stuff with you?”

“Of course. Do you know how many cases of melanoma Dr. Huberty and I see every month? I just referred someone over to her on Thursday.” She took his hand, squirting a small glob in his palm. “Lather up, buddy. You’re not getting cancerous growths on my watch.”

He chuckled. “Is this part of the Reed McKinley Project?”

“You bet. Your face is way too pretty to be getting sliced and diced.”

“Pretty?” He frowned this time as he rubbed the lotion on his arms and the majority of his face. “I’m not pretty.”

She rolled her eyes. “Handsome, then. You missed a few spots.” She faced him and leaned in, spreading out the streaks along his nose, then went to work on his forehead.

He closed his eyes beneath his tinted shades and let loose a breath. “Feels good.”

“Touch is very therapeutic.”

He grunted his response.

“This is an all-natural product fortified with green tea and antioxidants. It’s great for your skin.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

She dabbed a pea-sized drop on her index fingers and traced his ears.

He opened his eyes, meeting hers through amber lenses.

She swallowed, finding the power of his stare both mesmerizing and unsettling. “Most people forget their ears—men especially, which is unfortunate. I had a client lose an entire portion of his helix.”

“I’m not up on my anatomy.”

“This part here.” She outlined the upper area of his cartilage as her gaze wandered to his mouth. “Uh, are you finished with your lunch? Because you should protect your lips as well.”

He snagged a fry from the paper plate, bit in, and held the other half up to her mouth.

She smiled and took it. “These are so good. I wonder what seasoning they use?”

“We could ask.”

She shook her head, applying a light coat of product to his lips as their eyes locked again, then finished by protecting her own. “I can’t see myself making french fries anytime soon.”

“They’re the food of champions.”

“Grease is horrible for the complexion.”

“I’ve never seen skin as flawless as yours.” He skimmed his knuckles along her cheek. “It’s like porcelain.”

Butterflies danced in her stomach, even though she was certain Reed wasn’t trying to put the moves on her.

“How do you keep it so soft?” he asked.

“Product and treatments.” She inched away. “And I try to eat well and drink a ton of water. My face is my advertisement to the world.”

“You can’t be hurting for business, then.”

About the Author: International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at:!newsletter-sign-up/c9td

Cate can be reached at and

You can follow Cate on Twitter @CateBeauman

Contact Cate

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Pale Rider: Zombies Vs. Dinosaurs by James Livingood - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. James will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two worlds collide in this action novelette. Zombies have destroyed civilization. Gasoline fuel is no longer an option, but humanity must find a way to survive. In response to trying to restore our way of life, we engineer franken-monsters. Because of their small brains and massive sizes, these beasts make quick work of farming and clearing land. These large creatures are immune to the zombie virus and perform excellently in loud conditions. They are easy to train. They behave like war horses, prone to help charge in and defend our livelihood.

Read an excerpt:

I followed the broken trail of bushes and trees to where the others in my crew had gone. I stopped up near the center of the group, who looked even more nervous than before.

“Did anyone see a flare?” I asked a little more shrill than I wanted. A darting of eyes told me that we had all forgot to keep an eye out for it during the dinosaur rampage. “Let’s keep an eye out for it. Solomon is counting on us.”

Had we missed the flare? Was Solomon being slowly suffocated in a swarm of hungry blue zombies? Why had there been a brontosaurus out here? Something wasn’t feeling right. Something about the way the dinosaur panicked just didn’t feel right. Clearing land gives you a sixth sense for an expired situation, and this felt downright sour. With each passing brainstorm, I grew more and more queasy. I almost missed the small bloom of light, a little off from where I had been looking. I realized I forgot to calibrate for the new location.

“Alright. Time to work gentlemen.” I told the group as I grasped the reigns.

About the Author:
James was born in Montana, raised with three brothers, and provided trouble for two parents. In his 20's he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He then moved out to Seattle after college and started a life. In 2014, he started to write full time.

Amazon Author Page:

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Timeless Hearts by Lori Landis - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Homicide Investigator, Sergeant Amelia Hall, has been playing a cat and mouse game with serial killer Tom Willis. Willis murdered her sister, many other women, and tried to kill her. As they finally face each other for a final stand they are transported back in time to 1836 during the battle of the Alamo. Jeremy Saunders, Texas Ranger, finds himself in the heat of battle at the Alamo as he meets Amelia Hall who pretends to be a nun. They make their way eastward to warn of Santa Anna's defeat of the Alamo, while hunted by Willis. In a series of events, both harrowing and comical, Amelia and Jeremy find themselves thrust into a search for Willis and into each others arms. Even as they fight their attraction, they begin to understand what is truly important in life. The question is: Are they running out of time? Is it all a mad dream or a reality they never knew they wanted? Only time will tell...

Read an excerpt:

Jeremy's gaze roamed from her face down her body and back up again. There was nothing innocent about that lewd action, which left her feeling naked and vulnerable. What mistake had she made for him to be so sure? Confusion marred her large green eyes as her brows furrowed.

Leaning down into her face he gave a smirk of confidence, knowledge, and purpose. His teeth flashed a brilliant white against his tanned face and black mustache. She stared at his teeth, seeing the infinitesimal overlap of his two front incisors that did not detract from his great smile. His breath moved across her right cheek as he moved his lips next to her ear.

"You are an imposter, dear Sister," he whispered.

His nearness affected her. Her heart pounded uncontrollably in her chest and her senses reeled from the intoxicating scent of leather and man. With his lips almost pressing against her ear she couldn't move. If she tilted her head their lips would meet. If she tried to lean back she would fall out of her chair.

"I don’t understand what you mean."

"Oh," his breath brushed against her neck, causing chills to race down her spine. "You heard me correctly. You, lady, are an impostor."

About the Author:
Lori was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but lived most of her young life in Twin Branch, WV. At the age of 17 she joined the US Army Reserve, serving for several years. 

Her diverse employment background includes having served in law enforcement for over 10 years. Currently, she has a Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree and works as a manager for a healthcare plan.

Lori has three grown sons who constantly make her laugh and bring her great joy with their families. She is married, has a cat and dog, and looks forward to more grandchildren. 

Her interests include reading, music, traveling, enjoying time with family and friends. And, of course, writing.


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Monday, October 10, 2016

Westmorland Alone by Ian Sansom - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ian Sansom will be awarding 3 free e-books to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Enjoy this guest blog by the author:

Here’s something about me. Just one thing. But it’s quite an important thing.

I am changing jobs. Farewells have been said, glasses raised, hugs hugged and hands shaken, and now finally there is the terrible loneliness of the empty office. In the boxes before me, hundreds of files, books, dead plants, one kettle, three mugs, a couple of framed posters and a small ark’s worth of origami animals.

Between meetings and before and after classes, for as long as I can remember, I have been folding - badly - origami models. The first book I ever bought - long before I bought a novel or any slim volume of verse - was one of Robert Harbin’s wonderful little guides to origami, Origami 3: The Art of Paper-Folding (1972). Origami 1 and Origami 2 passed me by, but as teenager I was attracted to the idea of being able to make creatures almost out of nothing, and with no tools, using only my hands - Origami 3 features a couple of startlingly bright green turtles on the cover, crawling across sand like they’ve just emerged, fresh spawned, from the primordial swamp - and I was inspired also by Harbin’s tv series called, simply, Origami, which used to be on when I got home from school.

Harbin was a South African conjuror who had become fascinated by paper-folding, and his first book on the subject, Paper Magic (1956), was one of the pioneering English works on the subject. He made origami sound easy. Watching Harbin on tv and reading his books I think I realised that paperfolding in some profound way was about making things smaller and simpler, and as a teenager I had perhaps the sense, like a lot of teenagers, that I wished to be smaller and simpler, to be able to disappear almost, to enfold and to enclose myself and to become something different, and of the essence.

Unfortunately, although I had Harbin’s book as a guide I soon discovered that there was no actual origami paper to be had in Essex in the 1970s. Indeed, in our house, there was hardly any paper to be had at all. My father would occasionally smuggle some A4 sheets home from work, and I would cut these down into squares, but it was too thick and too white to be able to make satisfactory models. I eventually found that carbon paper was much better for folding, except that it left your hands blue-black and so throughout the mid-1970s I fought a long and lonely battle with paper, attempting to fold mucky, flimsy dolphins, and birds, and dogs, and weird little pointless boxes. I never could do Harbin’s turtle.

Harbin is just one of the extraordinary characters in the strange history of paperfolding - a subject which has now obsessed me for years - and which is not, as people often assume, an ancient art with mystical origins in long-ago Japan. In fact, origami as we know it today probably has its origins in a penthouse apartment on top of the Hotel Iriving, at Gramercy Park in Manhattan, where a woman called Lillian Oppenheimer established the Origami Center of America in 1958.

The entire history of origami in the twentieth century is quite extraordinary, and the characters who played a role in the development of the art as amazing as they are unexpected: Gershon Legman, the maverick Jewish sexologist whose pioneering bibliography brought origami to worldwide attention; Akira Yoshizawa, the Japanese paperfolder and part-time door-to-door snack salesman, who lays claim to being the modern father of the form; Miguel de Unamuno, the Spanish novelist and philosopher, who loved to fold ‘parajitas’, little birds; the incredible Robert Lang, the one-time research scientist turned full-time paper folder and one of the new wave of precision origamists to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, who works with laser-cutters and designs his work using his own specialist origami software; and of course Sadako Sasaki, the little girl who survived the bombing of Hiroshima, but who developed leukemia, caused by the radiation, and who in hospital, dying, folded a thousand paper cranes, that they might bring her good luck, and whose friends and classmates built a memorial for her in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, where to this day people fold paper cranes to honour her memory.

Anyway. As I shut the door on my office for the last time, I think of everything I have learnt there, and leave a single paper crane for my successor. If I could make a paper crane for all my readers I surely would.

Welcome to Westmorland. Perhaps the most scenic county in England! Home of the poets! Land of the great artists! District of the Great lakes! And the scene of a mysterious crime…

Swanton Morley, the People's Professor, once again sets off in his Lagonda to continue his history of England, The County Guides.

Stranded in the market town of Appleby after a tragic rail crash, Morley, his daughter Miriam and his assistant, Stephen Sefton, find themselves drawn into a world of country fairs, gypsy lore and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. When a woman's body is discovered at an archaeological dig, for Morley there's only one possible question: could it be murder?

Join Morley, Miriam and Sefton as they journey along the Great North road and the Settle-Carlisle Line into the dark heart of 1930s England.

Read an excerpt:

It was the most violent collision. There was a moment’s shudder and then a kind of cracking before the great spasm of movement and noise began. I fell forward and struck my head on the luggage rack. I was momentarily stunned and knocked unconscious. When I came to I found we were all tilted together into a corner of the carriage – me, the mother and the baby. Our coach seemed to have tipped to the right, off the tracks, and become wedged against an embankment. What were once the sturdy walls of the carriage were now buckled and torn like the flimsiest material: the wood was splintered, the cloth of the carriage seats split, everything was broken. I remember I shook my head once, twice, three times: it was difficult to make sense of what had happened, the shock was so great. The first thing I recognised was that the mother and baby were both crying loudly – though thank goodness they appeared to be unharmed – and that the carriage was shuddering all around us, shaking and groaning as if it were wounded.

‘Are you OK?’ I said.

The woman continued crying. Her face was streaked with tears.

‘Are you OK?’ I repeated.

Again, she simply sobbed, the baby wailing with her.

‘We must remain calm,’ I said, as loudly and authoritatively as I could manage, above the sounds, trying to reassure both them and myself, willing them to be quiet.

‘Where’s Lucy?’ she said.

Where was Lucy?

I stood up, still rather disorientated and confused.

‘I don’t know—’ I began.

‘You have to get us out!’ said the woman, between sobs.

‘I have to find Lucy.’

‘OK,’ I said. I was still gathering my thoughts, trying to work out what to do.

‘GET US OUT!’ yelled the woman, suddenly frantic.

‘I have to find my daughter! You need to do something.’

I didn’t know what to do.

‘You need to do something!’ yelled the woman again.

‘Help us!’

The carriage continued to rock and sway all around us; clearly, we had to get out.

I looked around: the window was open to darkness and the tracks beneath us.

‘What’s under there?’ cried the woman. ‘Is Lucy under there? Lucy! Lucy!’ She did not wait for a response – she was hysterical. ‘Lucy! Lucy! Lucy!’

‘Look!’ I said. ‘You just have to let me check that everything is safe.’ I was worried that Lucy might be trapped beneath our carriage.

About the Author: Ian Sansom is the author of the Mobile Library Mystery Series. As of 2016, he has written three books in a series that will comprise a projected forty-four novels.

He is a frequent contributor to, and critic for, The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, where he was a fellow of Emmanuel College. He is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches in its Writing Program.

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Dark Communion by CJ Perry - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. CJ Perry will be awarding a $10 and a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

I write Dark Fantasy because it most closely resembles me and my life. I am equal parts good and evil, light and dark. I grew up in an abusive household, my mother died of AIDS when I was 12, and I ran away from home on a regular basis. When I was 16, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and put on heavy medication until I flushed it down the toilet when I was 19 and joined the military. Ive experienced so much pain in my life, but also so many amazing and wonderful things. Bipolar Disorder is marked by extreme highs and lows – from mania to depression unlike anything a normal person could imagine. Writing Dark Fantasy is my catharsis, therapy, and passion all rolled into one. Since I started writing, my need for medication has been greatly diminished.

What world-building is required?

I played D&D since second edition. At first, my friends and I used the Dragonlance campaign setting, but after a while we wanted a world where we wrote the story – where our characters reigned supreme. So, for me, world building happened naturally as the story progressed. I researched castles and medieval history at the school library. I read nonfiction history and fantasy novels. Every gaming session was like a research paper for me. (Seeing as I did little to no schoolwork – they were the only “papers” I ever wrote) Each new character and gaming session fleshed out the world a little more for over twenty years until it took on a life of its own. I don’t think you can find a better template, or engine to build a fantasy world than table top RPGS. Its my belief that half the stories we read or see in the movies were first born on a tabletop. It’s just usually not fashionable to say so. Producers/Publishers probably don’t like to hear “It was a D&D campaign” when considering funding a new film.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Never give up. Have faith and an indomitable spirit, and you will succeed. I heard once that “every successful author was once an unknown who never gave up.” I believe that.

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

Music isn’t all that unique. In half of the interviews Ive done there is a question about music while writing or music as inspiration. But I think I may do it a little differently than most. I can't listen to music while I write, but I can't write without music. So, I pick songs that most closely resemble the themes of my story, or even actual scenes, and then translate the lyrics to mean something completely different. For instance, the song “Take Me to Church” by Hozier has these lyrics in the chorus:

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies.
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen you knife
Offer me that deathless death
Oh good God, let me give you my life

The first time that chorus comes around in the song, is chapter two of Dark Communion. Ayla offers her soul to a Dark Goddess – who could very well be lying to her.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I tried to “pants” a novel once. It ended up being a 180,000 word pile of crap. The plot meandered and contradicted itself. The characters motivations became indistinct. It was just a nightmare that stole years of my life. Now, I outline everything – more than once and with more than one kind of outline. I just don’t have enough discipline to stay focused without it.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My dog, a 9 year old boxer named Leighla Ali. She’s smarter than most people Ive met, and I love her like one of my daughters.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Exorcism of Light is completely outlined, and Ive written the first few chapters. It’s book 2 of the Godswar Chronicles. It begins 18 years after Dark Communion. I cant even tell you which of the characters from Dark Communion are in it without spoiling something – but I can say that it introduces a favorite mythical beast all fantasy readers love.


Do you have a question for our readers?

Ha! No one has ever asked me for a question before. Hmmm….

Got one, and it’s a question I really want to know the answer to.

Are you willing to take a chance on a new independent author? If so, what makes you take that chance?

The minotaurs have kept Ayla and Deetra's people in chains for 200 years. With nothing left to live for, and a death sentence in her womb, Ayla trades her soul for a chance to break the curse which holds her people in slavery. Armed only with her faith, she and Deetra start a revolution, and bring about the return of the Goddess of Darkness.

Read an excerpt:

Ayla lifted the woman’s chin with her finger. “What is your name?”


“How far along are you?” They both knew what she really asked; are you carrying a calf?

The woman met Ayla’s eyes and did not look away.

“Three months.”

Ayla’s heart ached with pity. Judging by the size of her womb, if she had carried a human child, she would only have two months to go. Horses clopped up the drawbridge until the other wagon stopped behind the first. The people on the back leaned to see what went on up ahead. Ayla knelt down in front of the pregnant woman on the cool stone of the gatehouse.

Her voice echoed off the stone walls. “Who is this man with you?”

The woman bowed her head. “My brother, Gaelan, milady.”

Butch’s chest rumbled. “It’s Priestess.”

The woman looked up, then back down and hurried to correct herself. “He’s my brother, Priestess.”

Ayla shook her head at Butch with a stern look and he dipped his head in silent apology. She lifted the woman’s chin again. Her voice kept the compassion it had before, but with an edge.

“You are too far along for any surgeon to help you.”

“I know, Priestess. That’s not why I came.” The pregnant woman’s green eyes held Ayla’s gaze and did not waiver. She set her jaw. “I want to fight.”

About the Author: My deep and abiding love of fantasy began when I was six when I first saw the 1981 film Dragonslayer on VHS with my father. He loved fantasy movies too, but didn’t have the courage to be a dork about it like I did. That movie was a gateway drug that led me straight to the hard stuff - CS Lewis. I was far too young for such potency but by the time I was ten I had read the whole series. That’s when I found my first Dungeons and Dragons group. When I started playing, my friends and I used pre-made campaign settings and published adventures, but I quickly grew restless with their limitations and trite story lines. I needed my own persistent world: something adaptable to my whim and that no one else owned.

Back in my day, there was no internet, so I took out every book about castles and medieval history from the school library and read them in Math class (I'm still terrible at math as a result). I came up with an entire world and brand new history. I read books on cartography and hand drew maps of my new world. I created a cosmology, a hierarchy of gods, and the tenets of their religions. I read the Dungeon Master's guide a dozen times, and every fantasy novel I could get my hands on.

Then, one day, I sat down and told my friends, "Hey guys, wanna try my story instead?"

Even 15 years after the original D&D campaigns ended, former players tell me that they share our incredible stories with their children. I'm honored to say that most of those players still have their original character sheets 16-20 years later, and a couple have even named their children after them.

Now, I'm 39 years old and a loving father of 2 girls, and I still play those games on occasion. My passion has evolved into putting those ideas and amazing stories on paper for the whole world to enjoy. My first novel took me and co-author DC Fergerson 10 years to write and topped out at 180,000 words. Being too long and too complex, I finally ended the project and took its lessons to heart.

I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.

I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer's Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson's Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning.

Many, many years later, I am in the final edit and proofreading stage of Dark Communion, the first installment of the Shadowalker Chronicles. My role as a father of two girls heavily influenced the characters I’d known for over 20 years, shaping them into women that my own daughters could respect. My characters took on a depth and quality that brings them off the page and into the minds of readers, because they have become all too real. I was privileged enough to work on two careers at the same time to accomplish this feat - a fun-loving and involved stay-at-home dad, and a full time writer.

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