Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nobody's Angel by Stacy Gail - virtual tour and giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Stacy Gail on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal romance, "Nobody's Angel".

Stacy will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC for the grand prize; and second prize is a Zazzle mug with cover art on front, plus a Starbucks Via coffee pack (US only) to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

Thanks for answering all my prying questions!  Let's get the ball rolling ...

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

I’m a nerd and proud of it! I’ve loved all things paranormal since I picked up an X-Men comic book when I was nine. Don’t get me wrong—the normal world is incredibly fascinating, but all things paranormal add an extra spice to life that I love to visit every now and again.

What research for paranormal is required?

Boy, did I do a ton of research for NOBODY’S ANGEL, as well as the other three books in The Earth Angel series. First, I started researching the Nephilim (an ancient, supposedly extinct race of angel-human hybrids), Biblically referred to as “heroes of old, men of renown.” I then needed to create modern-day, mostly human Nephilim who still carried traits of their angelic ancestors within their DNA. That meant researching various angels. The hero in NOBODY’S ANGEL, Zeke Reece, is the descendant of an angel of death, so among other abilities, he can pass on spiritual beings from this world to the next.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine.

Actually, it was Kendall, the heroine of NOBODY’S ANGEL, who taught me about strength in the face of adversity. She’s being hunted by a phantasm that is beyond anything she’s ever dealt with in “normal” life; most people would have been defeated by this thing before getting out of the gate. But she’s a journalist, and the only tool she had at hand is her training to get answers. So, despite her quaking-in-her-boots fear, she’s determined to empower herself with information in the hope of discovering what truths are hidden behind the malevolent spirit attacking her.

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

I have a definite writing quirk. Whenever I get “stuck”, I switch writing formats. From laptop to pen and journal or vice-versa, it seems to get me going again.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

SG: Plotter, all the way. ;)

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

SG: “A World of Baby Names” book—75,000 baby names… Y’know, you’d think in all those names, I’d be able to find a name for my latest hero, right? So far, I’m drawing a blank. *sigh*

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Oh, thanks for asking! This release, NOBODY’S ANGEL, kicks of The Earth Angels series, and the second book in the line-up is releasing just a couple of weeks after that! SAVAGE ANGEL will be released by Carina Press on February 4th, 2013. After that, readers won’t have much longer to wait for the third book, WOUNDED ANGEL, which releases in May. I just completed the 1st draft of the fourth and final book in The Earth Angels series, DANGEROUS ANGEL. Once I’ve got it back from my beta readers, it gets sent off to my editor! (Yay for completed series! :D)

Do you have a question for our readers?

SG: Definitely! Readers, what would you like to see more of in your romantic fiction? Paranormal (shapeshifters, psychic abilities, hauntings, angels and demons, modern-day twists on fairy tales), fantasy (other worlds/dimensions, medieval magic era), sci-fi (space opera, cyberpunk/futuristic, alien abduction, scientific experiments gone wrong), contemporary, New Adult? What are you hungering to read in 2013?

Book one in The Earth Angels

Investigative journalist Kendall Glynn is horrified when a friend and colleague signs off permanently during a live newscast, jabbing a pen into his jugular. Kendall's no expert, but judging by the strange white veil in the anchorman's eyes, she would swear he was a man possessed.

A descendant of the accursed Nephilim, Zeke Reece prowls San Francisco by night, keeping the city free from paranormal phenomena. But even he is no match for whatever malevolent force is behind a recent rash of murder-suicides. And when a beautiful tenacious reporter becomes the next target, Zeke has no choice but to stay close to her, until he can find the evil spirit and cross it over.

The closer Kendall gets to the truth, the more danger she's in. Fortunately, a sexy and mysterious masked stranger keeps swooping in to the rescue. Kendall's life depends on finding who or what is responsible for the killings, before it finds her.

“You,” she breathed. She struggled to get a clear view of him, but it was a hopeless task. Even if a mask hadn’t covered half his face, the darkness around him seemed deeper, like an impenetrable black hole where no light could exist. “Where… How…”

“Quiet.” The tension in his voice was palpable. She could even feel it in the body that pinned her to the alley wall, thrumming with a kill-or-be-killed urgency that made her own pulse pound. “It took off once it diverted me. I can’t believe how smart it is.”

“What’s smart?” Shadows filled the places where his eyes should be, leaving dark pools of endless mystery. Belatedly she realized their bodies touched in one long line from chest to knees, and it was all she could do to pull a coherent thought together. “What took off? Why did you attack me?”

A low growl emanated from him. “I didn’t attack you, I saved your life. Again. You’re welcome, by the way.”

“You saved me? From what, that out-of-control scooter? I’ll admit, I never heard it coming—”

“That’s because it wasn’t running at the time.”

“What?” Her eyes went wide as horror began to creep in. “That’s impossible.”

“Impossible is the definition of your life lately.” She sensed more than saw his head angle closer to hers, as if to share intimate whispers in the dark. A shiver she knew he must have felt shook her when the feathering of his breath caressed her lips.

A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.

Contact Information:!/Stacy_Gail_


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rough Harbor by Andrea Stein - virtual tour and giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Andrea Stein on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the contemporary romance, "Rough Harbor".

Andrea will be awarding a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

Andrea was brave enough to share some fun things about her we might not otherwise have guessed... take it away, Andrea!

1. I love vampires, but I don’t think I’ll ever write about them. In college I found out about Anne Rice and spent the next four years diving deep her vampire chronicles…and then I had to stop, until I discovered Buffy and I watched EVERY EPISODE. Weird thing was my boss at the time (a forty something man with two kids and a wife) also loved Buffy and we would discuss it at work the next day. After the series finale, he found me via email or linkedin or something and asked me what I thought. I never quite got into Angel and so I took a break from vampires, until there was this little thing called Twilight which I read about in the Wall Street Journal. I read the book right about the time when the movie was coming out. I wasn’t going to go but my husband stood me up for a date and since I already had a babysitter, I decided to go see the movie. It was the first movie I went to by myself and I was embarrassed since I thought I was way too old to be seeing it and since I was alone, so I lied to the babysitter and said I was meeting a friend. Best part is the ticket take, a guy, basically made fun of me when I bought my ticket for ONE. Since then, I’ve made a little ritual of going to see the movies with other TwiMoms when it comes out.

After Twilight came Vampire Diaries, which I am really way too old to be watching but hey it has at this point, what do I care if I’m comparing tv watching notes with the babysitter.

2. I also love witches. And I might write about them someday. I watched CHARMED, every episode, I was watching it when I went into labor with my first child…And I thought I might have three girls…but it turned out it I had a boy…so there went my chance at having the “charmed ones” but that’s ok, cause boys are cool too. In high school I did use to hang out at the local crystal shop. For a small town, we had two and spent lots of allowance money on crystals to bring me fortune. I might have even tried a spell or two, but somehow, that didn’t quite work out for me.

3. I hate blood and can’t stand bananas…which makes it interesting when you have kids. They constantly want bananas and then they want to put sticky banana fingers on me and I run away from them, and they have no idea why. And if they ever get hurt, I first ask if there is any blood and then if there is, I hope there’s someone else who can look first and tell me how bad it is. All the same I still put band aids on and accept banana kisses cause they’re my kids and I love them.

4. I really have no other hobbies or skills besides the ability to read just about anything all of the time. Put a magazine in front of me and I am compelled to read. A tv with captions in a bar/restaurant and you’ve lost me. I can tune out anything and anyone when I am reading. I am terrible at drawing, I am tone deaf, I can’t decorate, craft or play any sports. I hate to drive, even though I do it. I can cook, sort of, but don’t ask me to bake. I’m disorganized and frequently forget birthdays and other important things until the last minute…but...

5. I’m a great Trivial Pursuit player…really, forget poker and Pictionary and all those other things. It’s all about the random facts…

After a bitter break up and professional set back in London, twenty seven year old Caitlyn has returned to Queensbay to work for Maxwell Randall, an old family friend, at his financial management firm. So far, bit by bit, Caitlyn’s been rebuilding all she lost after Michael St. John broke her heart …and tried to ruin her professional reputation.

But her past comes back to haunt her when Maxwell unexpectedly turns up dead. Not only does Caitlyn find her career in jeopardy but her heart is too, when Noah Randall, Maxwell’s son, and her first love, returns to Queensbay. Once, ten years ago, Caitlyn was sure Noah was the one for her…but the tragedy of her grandfather’s suicide and Noah’s decision to leave town left her bereft…and determined never to trust him again.

Over the past decade, she’s managed to do her best to forget about Noah Randall and the lingering questions surrounding her grandfather’s suicide. But now that’s he back in town – rich and more handsome than ever, and she can’t help wondering what if? What if Noah really was the one?

Noah Randall left home ten years ago to seek his fortune – vowing never to return until he’d made a success of himself – and show Caitlyn Montgomery just what she’d given up. He returns to find that Caitlyn Montgomery has only grown more alluring with time. Noah’s always wanted he couldn’t have…and now he wants Caitlyn again. But she’s determined not to make the same mistake twice.

While Noah and Caitlyn are revisiting old ground – and forging a new relationship, there’s trouble brewing in Queensbay. Old secrets and new lead Caitlyn to believe that perhaps her grandfather didn’t kill himself – and that Maxwell’s death was no accident. But just how far will someone go to keep her – and Noah – from finding out the truth…and will Queesbay prove to have troubled waters after all?

Caitlyn Montgomery carefully let herself in the side door with the key hidden under the flowerpot. Police tape fluttered along the back of the house, the side that faced the water, but here, under the small overhang, there was nothing, only a chilly October breeze and the more distant sound of the water lapping at the rocky shore.

The house was quiet, the silence of sadness. Her footsteps echoed across the polished wood flooring of the hallway as she crossed onto the marble tiles of the foyer. She knew it well, had almost grown up here, and had spent many nights here in the recent months, playing chess and sipping whisky with an old man.

The door to Maxwell Randall’s study swung silently open. Caitlyn crossed the floor quickly, her sneakered feet sinking into the plush carpet. She came around to Maxwell’s desk, an ornate, obnoxious thing meant to look like something a Gilded Age Robber Baron would have owned.

It was just as he’d left it. Empty. Maxwell hadn’t been one for bringing work home, she discovered. His desk was clear, a simple blotter aligned in the middle. A phone off to the right, a brass lamp off to the left. A pad of paper and a can of pens and pencils sat within reach. There was no computer, no planner or desk diary. She supposed if there had been one, the police would have taken it.

Slowly, methodically, she leaned over and began to open the desk drawers. Nothing in the two large ones flanking the right, nor the left. She turned her attention to the middle drawer, the thin one. It stuck a bit, and she felt her heart flutter in anticipation. She knelt down, to get a better view. Caitlyn pushed a strand of her brown-black hair behind her ear and squinted in concentration as she carefully slid her hands toward the back of the narrow drawer.

“What are you doing?”

Her head jerked up, hitting the side of the drawer as she rose to her feet.

“You?” Caitlyn said, surprise radiating through her.

There was a pause. Caitlyn drew herself up to her full height and looked at Noah Randall, all six-feet-one of him, standing in the doorway.

Hi, I’, Andrea Stein an author, mother, wife and blogger and a certified mom-chauffeur. I have been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember, including my first adventure story, inspired by an obsession with Out of Africa (book, movie and biography) about a young girl stranded in Kenya. It was serial fiction handwritten, given to my sister, who couldn’t read my handwriting. That story dies after one installment, but the next year I got a word processor (not a computer, but an ACTUAL WORD PROCESSOR) that showed about twenty lines of text at a time. This was before laptops were widely available and this allowed me to be able to type to my heart’s content in the privacy of my own room. Which I did. I think I spent the time writing stories about my “frenemies” to amuse myself. I also listened to a lot of the Cure and New Wave music. I have since moved on to a happier place.

Even though I read lots of different types of books, I write romance novels with a twist. More like contemporary romance than romantic suspense (I don’t write about serial killers or FBI agents) but I usually like to include a puzzle or mystery for my hero and heroine to solve.

Rough Harbor is my second novel, set in a small New England town. Coming soon is Ivy Cottage, also set in a small New England town on a river.

Other than writing I spend most of my time reading, watching TV, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids, trying to keep the house clean and folding laundry. I love Twizzlers, chocolate and shows on the WB. For me, reading has always been an escape, a way to escape the ordinary and dive into a world that feels real – but with all of the ‘boring’ parts edited out.

As for the rest of my life, I grew up on Long Island, spent a lot of vacations in small New England towns, went to college in New York City, married by high school sweetheart, worked, had kids, stopped working, and kept on writing. Now I live in rural New Jersey (yes, there is such a thing), and though I don’t own any horses, I do have a barn, which I share with squirrels.

There’s something successful writers always tell new writers about their secret to success. Just do it…Bum Glue…write 1ooo words a day…write for two hours a day….Keep writing. And they’re right. I got more successful with my writing when I started to do it consistently. I don’t write every day, but I shoot for five days a week. This means that the words and pages pile up — and I have stories to shape, make and mold…and share.

I hope you enjoy my books, currently available at

Links – Website:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Revenge of the Mad Scientist by Lara Nance - Virtual tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Lara Nance on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the Romantic Steampunk Adventure, "Revenge of the Mad Scientist".

Lara will be awarding an autographed original map of Arabella's steampunk world to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a $50 Amazon gift card and an original steampunk necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

Also, if you sign up for her newsletter on her website from Jan 29 - Feb 3, you will be entered for an autographed copy of her book as well as an original steampunk necklace.

When Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped, all clues point to the mysterious country of Gandiss and the world is thrown into political upheaval.

Arabella is convinced the more sinister nation of Carabarras is to blame, urged on by a mad scientist seeking revenge. So, she sets out on a perilous airship journey across a variety of exotic locales to save him, and halt the potential world war.

But airship pirates, secret assassins and slave traders aren’t her only trials. The fickle hand of fate has made the captain of the only airship available for charter, the man who left her at the altar. For eight years she's wished him dead. Now he's her only hope.

“Oh!” She jumped up, put a hand in her purse and withdrew the handkerchief. “I forgot to tell you about this. I found it on the floor in the room from which Father was taken. I’m positive he left it as a clue but I’m not sure what it means.”

Benji took the piece of cloth with the stick pin and his youthful face screwed up in concentration as he examined it, then he bolted to his feet “D, d, dash it all, Belle. Do you know what this is?”

She shook her head and her heart raced at his tone.

“It’s a ceremonial j, j, jewel given to the Sarcs of Carabarras.”

Her eyes widened. She’d heard of the secret group of assassins but didn’t know any more than the general public. She hoped her adopted boy genius had more details. “You’d better explain.”

“The Sarcs are t, t, taken as children and trained within the secret organization. When they finish their t, t, training, they’re given a task to fulfill. Usually that means k, k, killing someone. If they're successful, they’re given the t, t, title of Sarc and one of these.” He held up the gold and ruby pin. “They wear it on the inside of their c, c, cloaks and never take it off until they die.”

“Or until it falls out of their cloak while they’re kidnapping someone…or…that someone steals it as a clue.” Belle hadn’t really examined it, so she reached out and took it from him. She turned the pin around seeing it in a new light. The golden head resembled some type of flower and the large ruby was planted in the middle of the blossom. She looked up at Benji.

Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites throughout the South. She loves to write in a variety of genres, but the basis of all of her stories is a great tale that will take you on an adventure of imagination.

If you want to escape and lose yourself in a novel, you've come to the right place. Choose your genre and settle in to be entertained. From thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales, to paranormal romance and adventure, she's willing to explore a variety of compelling stories full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance.

Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.

Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

A World Apart by David M. Brown - Virtual review tour and giveaway

(Full length epic fantasy)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.

a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and the book blast, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win an awesome prize!

Demetrius makes his first mistake when he lets his best friend Halcyon marry Eleyna, the love of his life, without saying a word. On the day of the wedding, he walks away from the Elencheran town of Dove's Meadow and joins the army.

He makes his second mistake when the pirate Black Iris tricks him into letting dozens of men, women and children die in a fire. Demetrius is imprisoned in grief and disgrace.

But he can atone. The Black Iris is dead. The Ivory Rose has risen to the top of the pirates and is leading brutal raids on the coast. If Demetrius can capture and kill her, he'll win his pardon.

And then Demetrius discovers the Ivory Rose is Eleyna. He must decide which will be his third mistake: losing his last chance at a pardon or destroying the one woman he's ever loved.

I have to say, this was a hard book to read. Mr. Brown is a remarkably skilled wordsmith and world builder, but this sometimes made for a complex book that was certainly no light, fluffy read.

The book follows several generations of Elencheran men, grandfather, father, son, grandson ... all of whom are molded by their personal beliefs and feelings for The Order, the ruling power of Elenchera.

The bulk of the story is about Demetrius (the "son" in the group above), raised to be a soldier from the time he was four, he's not much older when he meets  Halcyon and Eleyna and they become fast friends.  And so his fate is made.

Through a series of events, he loses his only love, becomes a soldier, then becomes condemned to The Pit, and eventually must make a horrible choice:  save himself or the only woman he'll ever love.

This book, at 822 pages is truly epic.  The author has created a world so real, that no detail is missing from description of terrain to the smallest political component.  He's taken the same care with his characters, and each is clear and individual.  His author's voice is complex and professorial (occasionally felt as though I was in a history lesson).  The plot moves forward at an even pace and I was really part of Elenchera.

Still, both the subject matter and depth of writing made this a book you don't read in a few days.  More likely, it's something to pick up, read a bit, and then digest before you return to the story.  It's unlike any fantasy I've read before and far more literary than my usual fare.  I'd recommend this to true, die hard fantasy fans (if you love Tolkien, I'm betting you'll thoroughly enjoy the Elencheran Chronicles).  If this sounds like you, then definitely give this book a chance.

3 flowers - This was a good book. I liked it.

Now treat yourself to an excerpt:

From Chapter 6: Eleyna & Halcyon (29617)

Demetrius made no response, he was lost in a battle all of his own making now. The challenge of Halcyon was forgotten, he had overcome that, but he now had to succeed in a new struggle – to be a soldier. Demetrius had decided to turn his back on the shepherd life that his father desperately wanted for him in favour of following and emulating his grandfather. Deep down, Demetrius hoped that if he made his grandfather proud then Granicus would reveal the most sought after secret in all of Dove’s Meadow – why Granicus had chosen not to join the Order and bring untold fame to the town.

Demetrius heard another rumble of thunder and between the Green and Pirels Mountains he saw lightning strike briefly. His clothes were now sodden and his feet were uncomfortable in his shoes but Demetrius was beyond such constraints. Dove’s Meadow didn’t feel like it was just below him to the left. Instead, it was almost as if just the narrow walk along the perimeter wall existed and that losing his balance either way would see him fall into a void of nothingness. Everything hinged on Demetrius’ continued steps.

Granicus had once told Demetrius of one of the rebellions he had fought when he was in the army. The rebels had lined up to take on the might of the Himordian army on a sodden battlefield with rain, thunder and lightning doing nothing to turn any man or woman from the conflict. Demetrius imagined he was in that moment now, facing the same dangers that his grandfather had faced.

David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.

Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu's Epiphany and A World Apart, and the in-progress Ansel's Remorse and The Stars Beneath the Parapets combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten. David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month travelling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.


Website –
Blog –
Twitter - @elenchera
Facebook - davidmbrownauthor
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Friday, January 25, 2013

See Me by Natalie-Nicole Bates - virtual tour and giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Natalie Nicole Bates on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal romance, "See Me".

The author will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

Carly Anders is hearing voices in her head. Another one of her kind is trying to contact her. She knows of the malevolent freaks—others who are eternal like her and seek out the weak to inflict pain upon. For years, Carly has held up huge protective walls to keep herself and her secrets safe. Now, physically and mentally exhausted, Carly needs protection and rest.

She accepts the invitation to visit an internet friend who needs help appraising a collection of antique photographs. The situation is not ideal, but Carly hopes a male presence in her life will deter the determined suitor who haunts her thoughts and dreams.

Daniel Tremont is not what Carly is expecting.

The former funeral director has a secret of his own. Not only is he eternal like Carly, he is her creation from all those years before—her abomination she thought she killed.

Daniel has been searching for Carly for years. He knows she is the piece of his life that he has been missing for so long. Now that he has found her, he has no intentions of letting her go.

Often she thought about herself, what she had become in life after her drowning when she was only four.

A mutant. An abomination. A freak.

She knew there were others like her out there in the world as well. Xander, for example. Even Embree, but Embree was dormant. Carly’s senses told her that Embree was alive, but she was alone and in a very dark place.

Just the thought of what might have become of Embree caused a chill to rise on her skin and she shuddered. Would that happen to her someday, too?

Maybe Daniel was ‘something else’, as well.

Sometimes she would be walking down the street and her eyes would connect with a perfect stranger, and she knew by instinct alone they were different. She knew, and they knew, too. But neither spoke a word. It was in the eyes. Whether they were like her, she was unsure.

And Daniel had those eyes as well. Eyes that had the ability to draw her in if she allowed him. Eyes that were an unusual, ethereal pale blue.

But she didn’t fear him. Although mentally tired, she was physically strong when threatened. That was Xander’s gift to her. Just one encounter with him and she was suddenly able to leap higher, run faster than ever before. If confronted, she was certain she could outmatch her opponent. Knowing her abilities gave her the confidence that helped her cope alone all of these years.

Maybe it was a mistake being here. It wasn’t too late to leave a note of goodbye and leave.

Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.

Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.

She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.

Visit Natalie online at

Buy link for SEE ME:

Social media links for Natalie-Nicole Bates

Twitter: BatesNatalie



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr by N. Gemini Sasson - Virtual tour and giveaway

Today we're visiting with author N. Gemini Sasson on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical fiction novel, "Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr".

The author will award a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

For centuries, the bards have sung of King Arthur’s return, but is this reluctant warrior prince the answer to those prophecies?

In the year 1399, Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr is living out a peaceful gentleman’s life in the Dee Valley of Wales with his wife Margaret and their eleven children. But when Henry of Bolingbroke, the Duke of Lancaster, usurps the throne of England from his cousin Richard II, that tranquility is forever shattered. What starts as a feud with a neighboring English lord over a strip of land evolves into something greater—a fight for the very independence of Wales.

Leading his crude army of Welshmen against armor-clad columns of English, Owain wins key victories over his enemies. After a harrowing encounter on the misty slopes of Cadair Idris, the English knight Harry Hotspur offers Owain a pact he cannot resist.

Peace, however, comes with a price. As tragedies mount, Owain questions whether he can find the strength within himself not only to challenge the most powerful monarch of his time, but to fulfill the prophecies and lead his people to freedom without destroying those around him.

Owain leaned against the bedpost, gazing at Margaret, who was swept away in a sea of exhaustion. For a long time he studied her, worshipful of her, thankful and yet gripped with a fear that paralyzed him. Lamplight flickered upon her face, pale and sparkling with perspiration like a fine dusting of crystal. He glanced at the physician, who was packing his instruments and washing his hands as if there were nothing more he could do.

His voice tremulous, Owain probed, “Will she... will she be well soon?”

“More likely so than not,” the physician said. He was a Jew named Abraham that Owain had brought to Sycharth from London to attend to his large family. He wiped his hands on a cloth and then gathered the bag that contained his mysterious tools. “But there were complications. If she were to deliver another child, she could die. Do you understand?”

The strong cries of his new son and daughter filled his ears with the assurance that they had gained their place in the world and were not letting go.

Owain nodded dully. Then he knelt beside his love and wrapped his large hands around one of hers. He kissed her knuckles, and then pressed them to his whiskered cheek. “Marged, the children need you. I need you.” And he buried his face in the sea of down coverings that surrounded her and wept more tears than he had ever in his life shed.

N. Gemini Sasson is the author of six historical novels set in 14th and 15th century Scotland, England and Wales, including The Bruce Trilogy and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist in Historical Fiction). Her latest release is Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr. Long after writing about Robert the Bruce and Queen Isabella, Sasson learned she is a descendant of both.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time by S. R. Howen - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author S. R. Howen on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal horror story with romantic elements, "Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time".

The author will award a $10 GC to Wild Child Publishing to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

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

I never really chose a genre to write in. When I had an agent, he asked me what genre I would place my book in. I had to think on that. When I write a story I don’t start out thinking, oh, this is romance, or mystery, or horror. The story dictates what it wants to be. Maybe my muse knows, but they don’t let me know until the first evil spirit shows up, or we make the leap to hyper drive, or we tumble through time.

For me the draw to writing is the discovery of the story. But my favorite genres are the ones that contain an air of mysticism and the spirit world. The ones that explore the deeper, darker recesses of the human soul.

What research (or world-building) is required?

It doesn’t matter what genre you write in, you build a world. Even if the story takes place on main street, small town America, you build the world around your characters. Research is the backbone to creating a realistic story. Even if I lived on main street in small town America, I would make sure I knew the streets and the settings of the story in detail. Get the facts right and make the reader feel as if they have stepped on board the space ship, or into the bank of a small town and you have won the reader over and will kee them interested, while one wrong fact can have them tossing the book.

Name one thing you learned from your hero.

In the case of Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time, the Main character Shannon Running Deer is drawn into his past and the prehistoric past of his people. He has to come to terms with his past in order to save the future. While nothing so dramatic and all encompassing, I think I did come to the realization that we are all products of our parents and grandparents no matter how much we fight that as teens and adults. There comes a day when we look in the mirror and go, wow, I am like my (insert your greatest influence here). Like my hero in Medicine Man I I let go of the idea that I had ot be what other thought I should be an embraced who I am and who my past made me into.

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

Every story I write has its own soundtrack. Most times I start out with one song and build from there. I have no idea if the music dictates the story, or if the story calls for the music. Since I work on a number of things at once, all I have to do is put the track on and I sink into the world of that story.

I also wear noise canceling ear buds so I don’t hear anything other than the soundtrack. We have a door bell that would wake the dead, can’t even hear that. I have ot have a cup of pens and a stack of index cards, though I have not used them in years, I twitch and can’t write if they are not there at least when I am writing at home.  If I'm out with the laptop it doesn’t seem to matter. I can leave the music or the pens, but at home I need those things.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Pantser. That term to me is odd, feels like it’s a bad thing. Oh, you just fly by the seat of your pants and hope it turns out? I prefer the term "organic". This is such a huge thing among writers, a gigantic source of debate. As I stated above I have no idea where a story is going, or who the characters are, or event he genre when I sit down to write, I often have a name, (or the main character), a song, and maybe a location and that’s it when I start. Do I stall out on stories? Heck no. In 40 years of writing, I’ve only stalled on one story, lost interest and quit. It was my first mystery and I thought I had to plot it out—it didn’t work. My muse said blah we have already told the story move on and he ran away. (Yes, I see my muse as being male) .

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Buddy, the raccoon. Seriously. I have a wildlife rescue and rehab. LOL

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Upcoming I have a traditional fantasy romance, a very different story from Medicine Man I. And of course the second book in the Medicine Man series, Raven. I’ve also written an erotic-romance/mystery that I am looking for an agent for.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Have you gotten your copy of Medicine Man I yet?

Shannon Running Deer is American Indian by blood, he has forsaken his people's ancient ways to embrace the "modern" world as a wealthy, highly successful trauma surgeon.

His comfortable existence begins to unravel when, seemingly by chance, Shannon finds himself gradually drawn into the past. Pursued by an ancient evil, he knows he can change the future, if he can survive the past.

In the tradition of Diana Gabaldon, S.R. Howen's MEDICINE MAN is a distinctive and atmospheric novel full of spirituality, mystical time travel, passion, and suspense.

The teapot shrilled, and Morning Dove’s voice came from the doorway. “I am very tired.”

I took a mug from the shelf above the sink. From a different cupboard, I took down the box of nighttime tea I kept there. I added water and tea to the mug and watched the steam for a moment, before I held it out to her.

“It will help you sleep,” I said when she just looked at the cup.

“I have had enough white-man’s medicines put into me already.” Her eyes flashed with what I took for humor.

“This is a mixture of natural herbs, no preservatives, no artificial colorings, no caffeine. . . ”

With a smile, she took the cup. Her fingers brushed against mine, sending an electric chill along my nerves. I led the way to my study and turned on the gas fireplace. Morning Dove went to the thick sheepskin rug in front of it and sat down. While she sipped the tea, I went to the closet and retrieved a pillow and some blankets. I paused with them in hand to watch her. She sat in the terry robe and held the mug in both hands. She took a small sip and stared into the fire.

Her hair hung down over the robes back in a glimmering wet curtain. One corner of the robe slipped down to reveal her shoulder. I wanted to sink to the floor and wrap myself around her. With a grunt, I pulled myself away from thoughts of intimacy with her. I covered the couch with a sheet and punched the pillow a few times--to fluff it.

The gate buzzer sounded loudly in the silent room. What nut would be out on a night like this unless they had to be? I pulled the door to the study shut and went to answer the gate intercom.

No one answered. When I turned away from it, thinking the storm had made it go off, it buzzed again. Loud and insistent. I jabbed the button.

“Who’s there?”

I heard nothing in return except the thunder rumbling overhead. I pulled open the front door. Down the drive, through the sheets of rain, it looked like a set of round headlights on the other side of the gate. My brother’s Jeep?

I reached back inside and pushed the button to open the gate.

Lightening cracked so bright I couldn’t see for a moment. I blinked back the brightness, tried to blink it away again.

It didn’t help. The deer filling my driveway didn’t go away. They ran past the house in a steady stream, an entire herd. Where had they come from? The drums sounded behind me.

For more than 12 years, S.R. Howen has been an editor at Wild Child Publishing and Freya’s Bower. She also runs workshops on how to craft a winning synopsis and query letter. Over the last few months S.R. Howen has been working on Medicne Man 2: Raven, as well as a second Forge book for Freya's Bower under the pen name Shaunna Wolf. She is also working on an epic fantasy series of books, and a Erotic Romance set in the 1980’s. Under her pen name Vic Ross she is working on a SciFi humor series.

A former military brat, then military spouse, and a traditional naturalist, S.R. Howen currently lives in Texas, with a dozen cats (three of them the non-domestic sort) two squirrles, one raccoon, one dog, and her daughter. She works with wilf life rehab and rescue as well as running a cat shelter and rescue. For more info on her and her works please visit her web site or her facebook page.

Contacts and Buy Links:
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (Wild Child Publishing):
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (Amazon Ebook):
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (Amazon Print) :
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (B&N Ebook):
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (B&N Print):
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time (Kobo ):
Blog: Critters at the Keyboard
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Wolf Sirens: Forbidden by Tina Smith - Review tour and giveaway

(Full length, paranormal YA)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.

Tina will be awarding jewelry in theme of her book (wolf charms, charm bracelets etc), 3D book marks in shifter themes (Wolves, tigers, panthers etc) and Sun catchers (beaded glass and crystal) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win an awesome prize!

When Lila unwillingly moves to the country town of Shade, she can’t imagine the life-altering events that lie in wait for her. Shade has a curfew and has always been surrounded by myths. A central feature of the town is its famous statue of Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, whose spirit is said to protect the innocent.

Lila falls in with a group of intriguing teenagers with luminescent eyes and soon she is drawn into the shadowlands of fantasy and reality, where destiny collides.

A mysterious local girl, Cresida, warns her to stay away, but Lila is drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

Cresida knows their fatal secret and she is honour-bound to protect those who are endangered. But she underestimates Lila’s passion for the mysterious and charismatic clan of youths. Lila begins to feel a call she cannot ignore. Yet her heart is filled with vulnerable desires that begin to turn the underworld upside down, for both hunter and hunted, as she learns they have been waiting for her…

Inspired by the legend of the mythical femme fatale, Wolf Sirens is an intimate tale of unrequited and forbidden love in the underworld, a masterpiece of romance fantasy.

I wasn't entirely certain what to expect from this story, but I do love a good shifter story, and thankfully this was just that.

Our heroine, Lila, is a typical teen who gets mixed up with an interesting crowd of teens at her new school.  They're a little strange, oddly obsessed  with tumbling and dance and clearly hiding something.  Of course, the quirky Cresida isn't much better.  I didn't know who was the right person for her to end up being friends with!

Lila is sometimes fun, sometimes unlikable, but mostly interesting and believable.  I didn't like the group of girls she initially hung out with, and couldn't understand why she did (honestly, they kind of gave me the creeps), but on the other hand she was a new girl in town and I could understand how she craved acceptance.

The author has done a decent job of creating a unique backstory as to how werewolves are created, and the pack dynamic that's a bit different from the norm, which is good.  Her writing is clear and descriptive and, while she's occasionally verbose and the book narrative heavy in places, the plot kept me turning pages.  Add in an unexpected ending, and you have a winning start to a new series that's both interesting enough and unoffensive enough I'd recommend it to my young teenager without hesitation.

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

Treat yourself to an excerpt:

Sam flitted about as usual making sure all was well. She made sure her best friend’s funeral ran smoothly and I thought it was a pleasant touch that she insisted Lily’s favourite music was played, though I’m sure the gathering thought it was odd that a teenager would love Elvis and the Supremes.

I hoped, though I couldn’t be sure, that the rest of the pack, her real family, had a private funeral. One without the orchestration, one where their feelings were real. I didn’t cry at the funeral. Maybe I tried but my eyes were dry. In the night as I lay my head on the pillow I remembered sections of the funeral and as I thought of Sam laying the flowers on her coffin my eyes swelled and all the pain that was absent or numb was real again. I had no one to hold me, but neither did Lily. I wanted the world to swallow me up whole. After missing two weeks of school in the morning we hit practice - now for Lily’s memory or at least that’s what Sam told the concerned faculty. But really it was for herself, to save her own skin; did she feel guilty like me? We all had to attend group counseling in which we all agreed to continue to practice for calisthenics dance finals, in Lily’s memory. And for a time she indeed did haunt the school hall in which we practiced. As a temporary memorial an enormous portrait photograph marooned in flowers leant crookedly against the stage. And she smiled at us with a blank look in her eyes while we danced without her, over the spot where she had died.

Tina Smith is an herbalist, dog lover, Piscean and mother with a fondness for strong female protagonists. A love of the fantasy genre and the deep exploration of dark and evocative subjects inspired Wolf Sirens Forbidden. The sequel Fever further unfolds the tale of the heroine femme fatal, on her journey in the underworld between the lands of myth and reality.

“Rich, complex, and deeply fascinating. Smith’s creation stands apart from other books in the genre. Wolf Sirens has raised the bar for paranormal romance.”- Kevis Hendrickson, author of Rogue Hunter

"Smith weaves a thrilling and beautifully crafted tale that sinks its fangs in and refuses to let go."- Michael Alexander, author of The Vessel

“Fever does not disappoint! Tina Smith captures her readers on the first page and leads them on a fast-paced journey full of suspense and adventure as heroine, Lila, struggles towards the truth.” - Beverley Eikli, author of A Little Deception

Ebook Wolf Sirens Forbidden. Discover the Legend.By Tina Smith.

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The sequel Wolf Sirens Fever. Many are Born, Few are Reborn By Tina Smith.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

For Love of Sarah by Hazel Statham - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Hazel Statham on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance novel, "For Love of Sarah".

Hazel will be awarding winner's choice of either a Cream Coin Freshwater Pearl necklace or a digital copy of DOMINIC or HIS SHADOWED HEART (international giveaway) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a great prize!

Thank you to Hazel for answering all my prying questions.

Why do you write in your genre?

As a long time student of history it is what I know and love, therefore it is most natural for me to write in these eras and I can create my own historical world populated by characters I can empathize with.

What draws you to it?

I love the romance and elegance of the Regency and Georgian eras and it is to these that I am particularly drawn, although, if inspiration drove me, I would not be averse to writing in other periods.

What research is required?

I read a great deal and have several reference books - especially of the Napoleonic Wars. I try to be as accurate in my historical detail as I can and make the story fit the fact not the fact fit the story. Several of my books have heroes returned from the Peninsular War. THE PORTRAIT, released two days later than FOR LOVE OF SARAH, has a hero that has lost his arm during a cannon bombardment. Nonetheless, it is a lighthearted book and I don’t dwell on the macabre. Above all, my books are love stories.

Name one thing you learned from your hero or heroine.

Despite whatever life may throw at them, they emerge triumphant and whole of heart.

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

I can sometimes, if the muse strikes, rise at midnight and start writing into the small hours. But, I don’t think it’s odd - to me it’s perfectly normal!

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Oh, a panster, most definitely a panster! I usually have a general idea of where I want the story to go but am quite willing to let my characters dictate their own tale – which, at times, can take the story off at a most unexpected tangent, adding interest and depth to the plot. It’s like watching a play unfold.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A stone fireplace with a knight either side of the fire. One wields a sword, the other a lance. On the mantle, there are two, large, Beswick horses on stands. One Mr. Fisk, the other Black Beauty.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I have been very lucky and have just had a very productive two months. In December, DOMINIC and HIS SHADOWED HEART were re-released as e-books and in January, FOR LOVE OF SARAH and THE PORTRAIT were released as e-books and paperbacks. My current work in progress is tentatively titled THE HONORABLE HEART, but is nowhere near completion.

Do you have a question for our readers?

More I would say that I am more than happy to answer any reader’s questions. I love to hear from my readers and promise to answer everyone. I hope they enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

How many times can a heart be broken? How many times can love be denied? Sarah and Alexander were destined for each other but after just four short weeks of marriage, their lives were torn asunder.

Alexander, Earl of Thorne thought he had found his ideal mate but, when Sarah absconded shortly after their marriage, his world came crashing down. Now, five years later, he discovers her in a remote Yorkshire village.

Sarah had thought she was safe, but when, severely injured in a freak accident, her husband is thrust once more into her life, she fears her dark secrets and the fact she has a son, will become known.

Despite her own desperate longings, she continually repudiates Alexander’s efforts of reconciliation. However, fate conspires against her, and when her home is made uninhabitable by floods, she and her young son are forced to accept his aid and return to her former home.

Discovery threatens and, despite her breaking heart, she plans to leave Alexander’s life. What is this secret that makes it so imperative that she should abscond from him yet again? Can two broken hearts cleave and emerge victorious or will life's cruel forces tear them apart forever?

Yorkshire, June, 1815

Why now? Dear God, why now? After almost five years of schooling his body and mind from wanting her, the mere sight of her slight form across the crowded marketplace had brought back all the old emotions he’d worked so desperately to subdue, and he reeled with the impact.

He’d thought the stance of the young woman was familiar, as he had on numerous occasions, only to be disappointed, but when she moved into full view by the bakery stall, he immediately realized that it truly was his wife. Sarah, his senses cried, sweet, faithless Sarah. They had been wed but four weeks when she disappeared from his home and life. To find her now in a remote Yorkshire village defied all sense.

His impulse was to confront her immediately, but as he moved to tether his horse to the rail outside the smithy, the blacksmith came out to take the beast from him.

“Lost his shoe, has he, sir?” the man asked, casting an appreciative eye over the large chestnut. “Fine animal, if I might say so…”

Thrusting the reins into the smithy’s hands, Alexander Markham, Earl of Thorne, snapped, “Left side, fore,” effectively cutting short the blacksmith’s appraisal of his mount, and, turning on his heel, left the man to stare after him as he made his way into the throng of people in the marketplace.

Despite his advantage of height, he could see no sign of his wife. She had moved from the stall—but to where? Becoming frustrated with the press of people that milled around him, he strode toward the centre where the ground rose to provide a vantage point, but to no avail. Sarah was nowhere in view, and he began to doubt his own perception.

Hazel Statham began writing at the age of fifteen, finally committing to paper the stories she spun as a child. Writing has been her passion ever since, although marriage, motherhood, and career left time for little else. Once she retired, however, she was able to devote herself to writing full-time, publishing her first novel in 2007. A long time student of history, she writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras, though she has been known to dabble in the medieval as well. She lives in Staffordshire, England, with her husband, Terry, and their beloved yellow Labrador, Mollie.

Hazel loves to hear from her readers and promises to answer all mail.

Website address
Purchase links (available from all Amazon domains)



Monday, January 21, 2013

Love of Shadows by Zoe Brooks - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Zoe Brooks on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the Women's Fiction/Fantasy novel, "Love of Shadows".

Zoe will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Thank you, Zoe, for answering all my questions!

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

A recent review said that Girl in the Glass, the first Judith book, was about “what it takes for a woman to find her place in the world and in herself”. That is spot on for all my books so far including this one, Love of Shadows. Why? I suppose because I am a woman and I wanted to write entertaining books about strong female characters. I also write in a form of fantasy called magic realism. Books in this subgenre have a realistic setting with elements of the fantastical. I like the combination – it allows me to explore real issues more freely.

What research (or worldbuilding) is required?

In magic realism you need both research and worldbuilding in order to create a realistic world. For Love of Shadows I spent several days in the Bodleian Library in Oxford looking at old books about perfume-making and traditional healing, as Judith is both a perfume-maker and a healer. It was absolutely fascinating – did you know that in traditional medicine healers used to diagnose illnesses partly by scent? I also researched the persecution of traditional women healers in the 14th - 17th centuries, when no one knows how many thousands were killed as witches. I am a historian by training and studied the history of Istanbul; as a result the city of Pharsis is partly 19th century Istanbul, partly late medieval Oxford and partly Victorian London.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine?

The book is narrated by Judith. She is a very sensuous woman and experiences the world through all her senses. In addition I decided to give her synaesthesia – she is able to see smells. So in order to write the book I had to revisit how I experienced the world, no longer relying on my dominant senses of sight and hearing. It was fascinating – I realised how much more I could sense. It isn’t that I don’t have the wherewithal to smell, taste or touch the world, it’s just that my brain tended to ignore the messages.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I write all my books in a semi-restored farmhouse in the Czech Republic on the edge of a small village nestling under the forest. I live half my life in the UK and half there. I don’t seem to be able to write much in my homeland, there are too many demands on my time, but in the Czech Republic I can focus exclusively on writing. If I get stuck I take a basket and disappear into the forest to collect wild berries or mushrooms and when I get back the block has cleared.

Plotter or Pantser?

A bit of both really. I plot everything in my head over the months leading up to my trip to my Czech home. Some scenes I will know word for word before I sit down and others will be less clear. There is usually something that surprises me when I start writing – sometimes it’s a character who says follow me and I do. When I do sit down and type I write intensively, starting at page one and doggedly writing through to the end. Then I re-emerge blinking into the daylight and take up my normal life.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there.

I write in a corner of my room so what is there is the wall and on it a pin board, with pictures of my husband and son and several photos of my friend Hannah Kodicek. Hannah was a story editor in the film industry and she taught me so much about how to tell gripping stories. She died of cancer as I was writing the first Judith book and she made me promise that I would finally take the plunge and publish my novels. There’s one picture in particular taken when we were on a walk, she is ahead of me and has turned to call to me. When I am writing I often look up at that.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I am answering this interview in the Czech Republic, where I have been writing the third book in the trilogy about Judith – I’m not sure of the title yet. I hope to have it published by next Autumn at the latest. I also have an idea for another book after that – magic realism but a paranormal mystery this time.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Do you have somewhere you can go where you can be at peace with yourself?

"I had always felt most alive, when I was healing. Without healing I was a tin top spinning out of kilter soon to catch the ground. It took all my energy to hold myself from skidding into chaos."

But in the city of Pharsis traditional women healers are banned from practising and the penalty for breaking the law is death by hanging. After being arrested and interrogated twice Judith is careful to avoid suspicion, but then scarlet fever breaks over the city like a poisonous wave, leaving in its wake the small corpses of children. What will the young healer do?

Love of Shadows is the second novel in The Healer's Shadow trilogy, which began with Girl in the Glass, and follows the lives of Judith and her Shadow, Sarah. It is a study in grief, love and defiance.

“Peter,” I say. “I don’t think I’ve changed that dressing for a while.”

The rumble is growing to thunder and there are voices.

I pick up a clean dressing and a pot of ointment from the shelves and walk across the room.

As I bend over the bed, I try not to think of the light of flames moving along the house walls of the square. I try not to see the look of hatred on the faces of the torchbearers. I try not to listen. I try to focus only on Peter and my hand as it peels back the dressing. I try not to listen to the clamour.

Under my breath I say a prayer: “Angels who are blessed, take this darkness from me.”

And the darkness does clear, for a while. The wound is healing, so I apply some ointment to keep it clean and pick up the new dressing.

They are overhead now. There is no escaping the words, the room almost shakes with them: “Burn the witch! Death to the witch!”

My legs fail me and I slip to my knees. I am in the darkest of my nightmares, darkness shot through with flames. “Sarah, they are coming.”

Zoe Brooks is a British writer and poet, who spends half her life in a partly restored old farmhouse in the Czech Republic, where she writes all her novels and poetry. She aims to write popular books, which have complex characters and themes that get under the reader's skin.

Zoe was a successful published poet in her teens and twenties, (featuring in the Grandchildren of Albion anthology). Girl In The Glass - the first novel in a trilogy about the woman and healer Anya was published on Amazon in March 2012, followed by Mother of Wolves and Love of Shadows. In May 2012 she published her long poem for voices Fool's Paradise as an ebook on Amazon.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

You're Busting My Nuptials by Ann Everett - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Ann Everett on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the humorous romantic mystery, "You're Busting My Nuptials".

Ann will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

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

I consider my genre to be humor, but my publisher considers it mystery. I think that’s because the humor genre is mostly joke books. I’d say my novels are romantic comedies with a light mystery, but I only write the mystery and romance in order to write the humor, so…humor it is! My reason for writing comedy books is because that’s what I enjoy reading the most. When I read, I want to be entertained. I want to laugh. I want to read about silly, ridiculous situations that could possibly happen to me. Some actually have.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine.

My main character, Tizzy, has a four-year-old daughter and I think I’ve learned to be more patient with my grandchildren by writing about Tizzy and Gracie. Many of the things Gracie says are taken straight from conversations I’ve had with my six and seven-year-old granddaughters. They come up with the best dialogue, and that makes writing Gracie easy-peasy.

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

I walk backwards to my chair, turn around three times, do two sides straddle hops, then sit down…KIDDING! I don’t have any quirks, habits or superstitions when it comes to writing. At least I don’t think I do. I’ve been tempted to wear a crown. I may try that in the New Year just to see if the bling helps my brain! I prefer to write with the house quiet and I do best when I’m alone. That way, I don’t have to worry about interruptions happening at any time.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’ve been both. With LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT, I just sat down and wrote and let it come to me as I went. With YOU’RE BUSTING MY NUPTIALS, I outlined and it worked much better for me. I’ll outline from now on. It saves me lots of time when it comes to the editing phase.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Oh Lord. I can see into the kitchen and one the counter there’s a Rubbermaid container full of left-over sugar cookies, pecan tassies, and brownies from a party I had at my house last night. I’ll have to stop now and eat a cookie. Totally your fault!!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m trying hard to write the final installment of my Tizzy/Ridge trilogy, but not having much luck. I don’t even have a good start and many of my readers are already asking me to not stop with a third book. They want more of Tizzy and Ridge and that’s a good thing.

To clear my mind, I’ve put them aside for a bit hoping a break will give me renewed interest. I’ve been working on a romance novel. Actually, it was the first novel I ever wrote. I re-wrote it about a year ago and now I’m re-writing it for a second time. TELL ME A SECRET, starts out as a sweet love story, then gains a little steam toward the middle, then turns more dramatic at the end. It has an element of humor, but not like LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT or YOU’RE BUSTING MY NUPTIALS.

However, I love the characters in TMAS, so I’m hoping to make it good enough to publish.

I’m also working on a cookbook as a companion to LAID OUT and NUPTIALS. Since Sweet Thangs Bakery plays an important part in the books, owners, Pattiecake and Sugarpie thought a cookbook would be a good idea. I blame them for the ten pounds I’ve gained.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Not a question, but a request. I’m having a contest to name the third book in the Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy and I’d love for your readers to enter. There’s not a big prize, but they will get credit in the book, if their title wins. They’ll also receive the trilogy signed by me. AND, if I’m ever in their area doing a book event, I’d love to have the winner join me.

They can go to my website and enter by way of comment to a blog OR they can enter by emailing me.

After almost five years, widow and single mother, Tizzy Donovan finally met the man of her dreams in Texas Ranger Ridge Cooper. But when he fails to show up for their wedding, she’s determined to find out why.

Enlisting the help of first cousin Jinx Monroe, and best friends, Rayann Tatum and Synola Harper, it’s not long until they’re dealing with clowns, yard gnomes, a missing stripper, and a Baptist deacon.

After a car chase and gun fight, head-strong Tizzy is more committed than ever to claim her happily-ever-after. All she needs is a séance with an old witch and a little help from Positive Jesus.

Once on the road, with the plan in place, Rayann dug in her purse and pulled out a piece of paper.

“Hey, I thought it would be fun to give ourselves some stripper names. I found this chart online where you take letters from your name and match them with suggested performance names,” she said, unable to hide her excitement. “According to the website, I’ll be Sugar Candy. Tizzy, you’ll be Velvet Blaze and Synola, you’re now Cinnamon Dream. Don’t you love ‘em?”

“You’re kidding,” Tizzy said.

“No. If we want to work as strippers, we need stripper names,” Rayann said, and looked over her shoulder. “Right, Jinx?”

Jinx smiled. “She has a point.”

“See, Tizzy. Jinx likes the plan”.

Tizzy nodded. “Okay, we’ll do it. I’m Velveeta, you’re Sugar, Synola is Cinnamon.”

“VELVET, not Vel-vee-ta.”

“Oh, sorry. I got confused since the two of you are in a food group, I thought I was too.”

Ann Everett is a Texas girl from her big-bar-hair down to her bare toes. For many years she did stand-up comedy for businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations.

Creator of the White Trash Facelift, halter tops, and beer bling bracelets, Ann embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are the funniest people on earth.

She’s an award winning author and active member of Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization where she serves as director of their twenty-seventh annual writers’ conference.

When Ann’s not writing, she spends her days listening in on people’s conversations at the local Wal-Mart, beauty shop, Dollar Store, and numerous other gathering spots. She draws from that research to pen her romantic comedies, full of southern sass and Texas twang.’Twang
Ann Everett author page/Facebook

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Emily's Trial by Natalie Wright - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Natalie Wright on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the YA Fantasy novel, "Emily's Trial".  The awesome cover and the excerpt to this book intrigued me so much, I've actually bought the books to read (and most likely review) later down the road (I just didn't have time to do it for this tour ... sorry!).

Natalie will award an autographed copy of "Emily's House", a handmade Celtic-inspired armlet, similar to one worn by Emily in the books and book swag to one randomly drawn commenter (US only -- an eBook of "Emily's House" will be substituted as the prize for an international winner), so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

The author opted to be exceptionally brave and share five (illustrated!) things about herself we might not otherwise know. The floor is yours, Natalie.

1. I have an undergraduate degree in Art Education. I haven’t used my four years of college art classes since graduation, except that my drawing skills (though rusty) come in handy from time-to-time to draw sketches of characters. Here’s an early sketch of Dorcha, one of the characters in Emily’s Trial.

2. I have a fascination with horror and science fiction B movies from the 1950’s and 1960’s. One of my favorites is Mothra vs. Godzilla.

3. In elementary school, I dreamed of being on the Mickey Mouse club show. The fact that I couldn’t dance, sing or act was a bit of a set back ;-(

4. I was born to working class parents without wealth, title or college education. But I count as my ancestors William the Conqueror (aka ‘The Bastard King’), Grom the Old (first historically recognized King of Denmark), and Kings and Queens of France and Scotland. An explanation for how my ancestry went from European royalty to me? A series of women marrying badly!

5. While I didn’t marry a man of wealth, fame or power, I married well. We’ve been married for almost 25 years, and when he kisses me, I still feel my insides turn to jelly. TMI? *G* He snores, I want to staple odor eaters to his feet, and he has an unending ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. But one brush of his lips on my neck – or a smoldering look into my eyes – and I’m as lost to him now as I was 25 years ago.

Two years ago, Emily’s journey began. She learned the ancient magic of her Celtic ancestors,and became a modern Celtic Priestess. The golden torc, forged by faerie hands, is still wound around her arm, fused to her soul. She was entrusted with powerful magic – secret knowledge.

But even a Priestess can feel desire – temptation – and the quest for love. Will passion entice Emily to use her sacred magic in a forbidden way? Can new love take root in a world of nightmares? And will her friendships survive Emily’s Trial?

The Journey Continues . . .

The Apocalypse didn't start with four horsemen, harbingers of the horror to come. It didn't start with a plague, or pestilence, or even zombies rising from the dead.

It came slowly, and without warning. It crept up on people in the shadows, no more than a vague darkness that spread like an unseen cancer.

And it wasn't set into action by a divine hand. A teenage girl was the catalyst for the End Times.

I should know. I'm the one that started it.

I didn't plan to. I didn't want to start the End Times, and I'm not evil.

Madame Wong taught me to tell the truth, and so here it is. I'm the one responsible for the Apocalypse. And this is the story of how I unwittingly unlocked the door to the darkness; of how a Priestess of the Order of Brighid, entrusted with powerful magic that was supposed to be used for the benefit of all humankind, unleashed a force that would destroy it instead.

And it all began with desire.

Natalie is the author of The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. When not writing, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Wattpadding or eating chocolate, Natalie nurtures her young daughter, feeds her dog too many treats, and can’t resist watching Ancient Aliens, no matter how absurd the show becomes.

Natalie enjoys travel, good wine, and excellent food shared with family and friends. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, now lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a high rise in a big city.

“Books are my friends, ideas my passion.”

Natalie enjoys chatting with readers, so stop by and say hi:

Twitter: @NatalieWright_
Facebook: NatalieWright.Author