Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anthem's Fall by S.L. Dunn - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

Anthem’s Fall has elements of both sci-fi and fantasy, so it can be said that my favorite genre as a writer is anything fantastical. I love all genres, and my bookshelf is quite eclectic, but when it comes to writing my own works, I’m exclusive to scifi/fantasy. For me, those are the genres that place a focus on the integration of imagination.

Empathy is at the heart of every novel, but only in sci fi/fantasy is imagination also a key component. The way I see it, if I’m going to be making stuff up, I might as well go all the way and create entire worlds. Why set your goal at a base hit when you can swing for the fences?

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

A large portion of the “science fiction” I introduce in the New York side of Anthem’s Fall is loosely based on the work of Craig Venter. He’s a famous synthetic biologist who created an artificial cell in 2009. Yes, you read that correctly. It came as a shock to myself when I read about Craig Venter’s work. He’s the scientist who was in charge of the Human Genome Project, and he does some pretty out-there research.

I read every book of his and some other big scientists in the field of synthetic biology in order to make my science fiction come as close to real science as possible. Of course, I push the real science into the realm of fantasy, but the influence behind the Vatruvian cell lies in currently accepted theories of synthetic biology. I actually made a document that goes through my in-text insinuations and dialogue lines about the Vatruvian cell and defends it with real quotes made by current scientists. Again, I push the technology beyond the boundary of fiction over the course of the novel, but the foundation is there.

We are in living in a world much closer to a science fiction novel than we think!

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Kristen is a brilliant synthetic biologist working toward a PhD. The issue I ran into while writing her scenes was that…. I’m not a brilliant synthetic biologist working toward a PhD! It took a lot of editing and a lot of care to make sure I didn’t weaken her character with my words. Writing through the perspective of a scientist (in an otherwise real world) is not easy. I learned the tenuous art of “less is more” in the course of endless rewrites and the reproaches of friends who actually are pursuing PhDs in biology and chemistry.

My goal was to have Kristen come off as genuine, but not have readers running to dust off their old biology textbooks.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I rarely write for longer than an hour a sitting. My mind wanders off too quickly, so my writing process is a constant cycle of sitting down to write and then getting up to change locations or to get the blood flowing. I personally think writing is far too taxing to simply sit down and write for five hours straight. I wish I could, and I’m jealous of writers who can!

Plotter or pantser?

A little bit of both. When I began Anthem’s Fall, I started with the characters along with a few down-the-road plot points and went from there. But once the words started flying, the story and the characters ended up telling the story. I found that a lot of the scenes I outlined early on had to change because I realized a given character would never act so foolishly or cruelly etc.

You can only plot so far, and once you actually reach page 300, you generally find some of your characters have changed from your original concept.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A two foot long wrought-iron Viking Longship that I found at a consignment store this winter. It was the find of a lifetime. I peeled a tiny “Made in China” sticker off the bottom and now it looks like it belongs in a Scandinavian museum.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Anthem’s Fall is scheduled for release on July 31, 2014, so I’m busy with launch prep these days. I also have a few unrelated shorter works planned for release over the summer, and every day I get closer to finishing the first draft of the sequel to Anthem’s Fall.

I’m always giving away free copies of Anthem’s Fall on my website, so don’t be a stranger! Come aboard and sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date!

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes! I’ve found that no two people discover new novels the same way. I myself usually try out a fresh book or author based on the recommendation of friends. I’d love to know how your readers discover new authors? I’m sure this blog is one way, but I’d love to hear how readers go about finding new stories and novels. Thanks!

MEDIA KIT AnthemsFall_ebookAbove a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.

Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.
Here's an excerpt:

“Yes, Lord Vengelis!” the boy called, but suddenly froze with fear. The boy began trembling, his chest convulsing in terror. Vengelis slowly turned and looked in all directions. Hysteria was rampant; men, women, and children were running every direction, many horribly wounded. None of them were soldiers. The fire was blazing out of control, and the entire block was immersed in raging flames.

A woman standing nearby, just below a broad tilted awning, remained unscathed. Her appearance contrasted strangely with the mayhem around them. She was thin and average sized, of Royal appearance, with blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Tattered ribbons of the awning and bits of orange cinders and ash blew all about her. She was smiling at Vengelis, her teeth white and perfect. Vengelis was taken aback.

Her eyes.

Vengelis squinted through the billowing ash and felt an eerie sense of disquiet surface within him. Her eyes were not quite right. There was a glowing property to her stare, as though her eyes were emitting a strange blue radiance. She was beautiful, but the serene way she was smiling in the midst of the madness was peculiarly horrifying.

“State your name and rank!” Vengelis called out.

The boy stifled a small cry as the woman’s smile broadened. Vengelis glared and turned his attention from her to the boy. In a corner of his mind he already knew he was speaking to one of the Felixes. She moved her unsettling gaze from Vengelis to the boy. The boy let out a terrible sob and released the soldier he had been dragging. The woman took a step closer to the child.

There was no longer any doubt in Vengelis’s mind.

The woman whirled into motion, dashing toward the boy and reaching for his throat. The boy flinched and locked his eyes shut, expecting instant death. But it did not come. He peered through his trembling eyelids after a moment passed. The woman was still reaching for his throat, though now just in front of him. Vengelis had closed the distance and grabbed her wrist with his left hand, stopping the strike in its tracks. Her fingernails were reaching out longingly, inches from the boy’s neck. The woman turned to Vengelis, her expression vacant.

“Huge . . . mistake,” Vengelis growled through gritted teeth, his knuckles white from the vice grip on her wrist. “Get out of here, kid.”

About the Author:S.L. Dunn is the debut author of Anthem’s Fall, a novel he wrote amid the wanderings of his mid twenties. He has written while living intermittently in St. John USVI, Boston, Maine and Seattle. Raised on big screen superheroes and pop science fiction, he sought to create a novel that bridged a near-sci-fi thriller with a grand new fantasy. He currently resides in Seattle with his girlfriend Liz and their dog Lucy, and is hard at work completing the next book of the Anthem’s Fall series. Get in touch at

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The Heartbeat Series by Renee Lee Fisher - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author is giving away the winner's choice of an autographed copy of Rock Notes, Love Notes, or Music Notes, plus a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and Betsey Johnson Makeup Purse.

NOTE: Today ONLY you can buy a copy of Rock Notes for only $0.99.

Madison Tierney’s a writer, whose husband, Thomas suddenly left her after 10 years; she is destroyed and now recently alone and divorced. She picks herself up slowly trying to restore her lost confidence and ability to love again. She follows her writing passion and ventures to follow a local band - Rolling Isaac’s and write about them, raw and real and how they follow their dreams. Her book is titled ROCK NOTES.

Her ex-husband wants to come back, and she is torn with what she had for ten years with him which was safe, comforting and a committed relationship. And now she is falling hard for the band singer - Max Rand (Madison calls him Rand), who is several years younger than her and every moment with him is intense and unpredictable.

Rand has tragically lost love in his life. He has no love left to give. He fills his time with many groupies and late nights. The story travels you to various concert venues, from a sexy piercing party to a New Years rocking eve. There are many interruptions and assumptions for this couple along their journey.

While Madison is writing ROCK NOTES, somewhere along the way she begins to write LOVE NOTES, which are personal secret love letters for Rand. Also Rand is always writing music with the hope of creating his first solo album. Both Madison and Rand appear to be able to write their feelings on paper effortlessly but have a hard time conveying them to one another. This story is about being so broken inside from having your heart ripped apart, to attempting to rebuild trust, follow your dreams and hopefully find love.

Will she return to the warm awaiting arms of her ex-husband who still is in love with her? Or will there be a new beginning for Madison and Rand? Can these two empty souls feel love again? Or will what ignites between them simply fade away after the concert lights dim?


As our bodies joined as one, I felt more in that one moment than I have ever felt with anyone. I never wanted to leave your arms, your body, and our connection. I believe that you complete me, you were made for me. I struggled to keep my feelings at bay and not let you know but I am too emotionally involved with you and to know now that you are with me is beyond belief. Where we head from here together has unlimited paths. I know I will always have this need now to have you fulfill me as I know you can. I see you and just a glance across the room to you makes me want to have us running to the bedroom. Silently I ponder how to relay to you just how much Love I contain for you. Some days I feel like my heart is about to burst. Maddy xo

Madison and Rand’s love story continues as they move their relationship to a more passionate, intimate level…but again they are thrown some challenges. Will Madison and Rand be together and move forward or…backward? Read what comes their way to cause doubt in their minds. Just when everything is going fine, sometimes accidents occur.


Oh, God, something horrible has happened. I only remember parts of it and they seem like snapshots that were taken so quickly…I need to feel you near me. I need to reach out and touch you and let you know I love you. Rand, I never felt so in love as I do when I am with you. Maddy xo

“What the hell are you talking about Madison? You have me at a complete loss here?” Rand

Madison must fully trust Rand to commit herself to him forever in marriage. Rand must make her see and feel what she truly means to him. This story will pull at your heart and make you tear as you turn the pages that may finally reveal Madison’s handwritten LOVE NOTES.

Will they get their Happily Ever After?

How will Madison and Rand keep their love and music playing?

Music Notes (Book Three of the Heartbeat Series)

Just when life seems to be going smooth, Madison receives news that leaves her speechless. She's a writer that for the moment cannot form her words. Rand now is the one to continue their story…his story.

Music Notes will take you on the tour with Max Rand as his first Solo Album – Simply Mad is launched. Will his travel for several months put distance in their relationship? Can their love survive?

Rand will travel through his own journey of self discovery along the way. Just when Rand is at a high point in his life, a collapse . . . will bring one of them down...Rand? Madison?

One person will offer the ultimate sacrifice. See the songs that Rand has written, and where his inspiration comes from.

Follow this novel and see how it plays out.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Once my eyes closed, my thoughts turned to Rand, lost soul, lost love, so similar to me but then on stage he was so confident and sure of himself and his place in the world. That confidence was something that I lacked. He attacked the stage and all his charm and stunning looks dissolved those that set their eyes or minds on him. My mind kept trailing over and over about him.

His deep blue eyes, his messy dark hair that just swept over his shoulder, his towering height, his hidden inks. I could think of nothing but him.

I tensed for a moment when I felt someone hovering over me. I felt a breath and caught the scent of Rand fresh from a shower. I was lying on my side and I slightly opened my eyes. I knew I was seeing him, not dreaming. I could see him getting closer and I shut my eyes, remaining so very still. He reached down, took his curved fingers down my cheek, so slowly and tenderly and then he leaned in and kissed me on the forehead. Trailing his mouth down from my forehead he placed a soft kiss on the side of my neck and then moved upward to the tip of my shoulder and he lightly bit at my cami strap. I was so completely shocked and although I wanted to reach around and tell him I was awake, I couldn’t move. I had hopes that in the darkness he didn’t see me see peak out at him moments earlier. He then whispered, "Night Madison" and he tugged off my boots and pulled a light blanket over me.

When the sun appeared in the bedroom I awoke all nervous, I got up and went to the bathroom. I had to search my purse for items to make myself presentable. It had only been about four hours that I slept. I gathered my boots and put my sweater back on and went downstairs to find Rand already wide awake and in the kitchen making us some breakfast.

"I’m starving," he said looking at me like he was ready to devour me. "Madison what are you hungry for?"

He made me hesitate to answer him, I was definitely hungry for him. "I think I could eat something." My stomach was excited and jumping inside just from seeing him so relaxed and cooking.

"Your phone has been vibrating all morning."

"What’s vibrating?" I was too focused on his body and didn’t hear his words.

"Your phone, you left it on the steps last night with your computer."

"Oh, okay that’s what was vibrating." I was still watching his body in motion, and was thinking of how I would like him to make me stir. He caught me staring at him and I looked away and then I remembered I had silenced my phone during their practice and then powered it up when we walked over to the house. I had to pull myself together so I went to retrieve my phone and I looked at all the missed messages, they were from Jillian. I hollered back, "Rand, I just need a few minutes to check my messages." I went into his main front room and dialed her back.

"Where the hell are you?" Jillian yelled. She was so worried that I hadn’t called her and she stopped by my place having her own key and I was no where to be found. It took some effort to calm her but I told her briefly what had happened since the concert.

"Jillian can you take me to Philly today to get my car? I don’t want to put Rand out anymore. I’ll just see if he can bring me back to my house."

"I’ll agree only on one condition, I want every single detail, don’t leave anything out, I want all of them!" I had to put my hand over the phone as she said this. She was so loud and I hoped Rand did not hear any of this.

"Hey, I should go, I don’t want to be rude, he is making me breakfast," I whispered to her.

"No I bet you’re his breakfast…but I’ll come get you at noon. You can tell me then how great this sexy man is."

I didn’t get to comment, as she hung up too quickly. Rand flashed me a sexy smile when I returned to the kitchen, I wasn’t sure if he heard any of our conversation. I did look up at the high ceiling in his house and knew each word spoken echoed.

About the Author:
Renee Lee Fisher is an author that has the passion for putting her pen and ideas to paper. A pure romance junkie and she loves to tell stories. She was an English Major of LaSalle University and always wanted to be a writer. In the past years her books titled - From the Vine (a collection of writings/poems) and Cody and the Pumpkin Truck (a Childrens' Book) were published. She has also written many other children's stories, lyrics, articles and wedding ceremonies. Currently she is deep into her Heartbeat Series of Contemporary Romance Novels which are titled - ROCK NOTES, LOVE NOTES, MUSIC NOTES, FIRST BEAT, FIRST BASS and FIRST TASTE.

Also coming soon The Crossing Series I, II and III of The Knot Hole, The Passage and The Muse.

Renee resides in Eagleville, PA. with her husband Michael, of many years and her two cats - Nyah and Cody. She has a great support system of Love from her family and friends.

Renee BELIEVES you should follow your DREAMS and that -

The HAPPIEST of people don't have the best of everything,
they simply make the best of everything.
Renee loves to travel, especially to St. Martin - Netherland Antilles. She enjoys meeting new people to inspire her and she will always write down a person's name that is unique to use as a potential character in her future writings.

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter - Twitter
Buy Rock Notes at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance eBooks.

Buy Love Notes at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance eBooks.

Buy Music Notes at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance eBooks.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Honor Bound by Kat Loveland - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kat will be awarding a $40 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Visit from Kat Loveland and Friends

I thought I would do something a little different here and introduce you to two of my characters (well technically three) from Honor Bound and then answer the questions myself.

First up - Twins John and Clara - High fashions models that can speak mind to mind and teleport things back and forth to each other, then Cesco, he tends to move much faster than normal humans can.

“Hello, Kat dragged us into this by threatening to reveal that one super embarrassing moment from our childhoods if we didn’t help her out. So here we are. Clara gets to handle the fun fact and I’ll give you an interesting one,then Cesco can take over. Clara?"

"A fun fact about us? We grew up in Japan where education is highly prized, I am abysmal at math, he’s not. There are perks to being able to talk mind to mind when you’re taking math tests and you are much more interested in flirting with the boy in front of you then actually trying to pass the test. It’s handy when the answers just pop into your mind as a gift from your math genius brother. John?"

"Good job, Clara, let’s just tell everyone we’re cheaters, shall we? An interesting fact. Hmmm, Clara can’t cook worth a damn. She tries; she does but I am a much better cook than she is. I have much more patience and I find it fun to add my own little flair to a recipe. Once Cesco, with his heightened senses joined us it became even more of a challenge to make the food that much better. When someone can smell the food you’re cooking from fifty feet outside the front door of a rather large house or farther if he tries you really want to make sure what you’re cooking actually smells enticing. Cesco?"

"Thanks John, and trust me, I have smelled plenty of craptastic cooking in my life. I appreciate that you take the time actually cook and not just burn things. I guess I can share an embarrassing fact. I’ve always moved much faster than normal people but when I was younger my enthusiasm sometimes got ahead of me. When I started really getting into Parkour I trained a lot at an abandoned building by my house that had several dumpsters that were always filled with stuff in the alley next to it. There was this girl who had seen me pulling tricks and vaults off at school and showed interest, in me and the tricks so of course I had to try impress her. I had her meet me at the abandoned building and there was this spot on the second floor that had a few old desks, a pretty tall filing cabinet and the window had been completely broken out. The dumpsters sat in the alley on the opposite side of a brick wall beneath this window. I had done this run several times, I would vault over the desks, land on top of the last one, use it to vault to the top of the filing cabinet and dive roll out of the window onto some mattresses I had placed on the ground to cushion the landing. I decided to add something extra to it before this girl came to watch me. I dragged a desk out from the bottom floor and placed it on the other side of the mattress, plan being to roll out of the landing from the second floor, vault onto the top of the desk and use that to jump from and land on the top of the wall. Well the first part of it went well; I hopped the desks, landed on top of the filing cabinet, dove out the window, she screamed, I landed, hopped onto the last desk and jumped to the wall. Well, I didn't account for the fact that I had started moving a bit faster than normal people and my extra speed took me over the wall and right into the dumpsters which were filled with who knows what. I was so mad at myself and embarrassed I got out of the dumpster and bolted home without even talking to her. Needless to say that story made it's way around school pretty quick and I got the nickname DD for Dumpster Diver for awhile. Kat?”

"Yikes, that's not exactly the recommended way to impress your date, Cesco. I'm sure it left an impression though, just not the one you were going for. Fun fact about me, I've done and will get back into doing Parkour, sparring and archery when the ball of death that is currently inhabiting the sky here in Arizona goes away again. I love writing fight scenes which I get complimented on repeatedly, rum and coke is my drink of choice and I'm doing GISHWHES this year. If you don't know what that is, Google it. Thanks for letting me entertain you for a bit on a Wednesday."


X-Men meets the Real World. "This was an amazing book while steeped in fantasy it tackles a huge subject , the subject of human trafficking. Instead of a bland preachy PSA against it, this story uses amazing imagery, action, intensity, and heart to keep you reading well into the night."

Children and teens with unique abilities are being sold on the black market. When twins John and Clara made a vow several years ago to help children that had abilities, they never thought they would be forced to fight hardened criminals. Honor Bound Awakenings shows the beginning of the journey they and their friends from idealism to reality and what sacrifices they will be forced to make to keep their vow.


Picking up the moment Awakenings end – John and Clara are forced to choose which of them will continue to put themselves in the line of fire, Cesco has to make peace with what he may have to become to keep the others safe, Min-Ji confronts her painful past head on, Sarah and her family must learn to adapt to the results of her Awakening and Jessie has to struggle to keep the group emotionally stable.

Enjoy an excerpt from Honor Bound: Sacrifices:

He couldn't move, Min-Ji was screaming, he felt searing heat and smelled burning flesh, pain raged through his shoulder. Min-Ji, she couldn't!

“Min-Ji! Don't!” Cesco screamed. His eyes flew open, harsh light blinded him. Someone was holding him down. His right arm wasn't moving, his left arm shot full speed at the face hovering over him, the punch connected, flinging the man across the room where he landed against the wall. Cesco tried to get up, as soon as he moved the intense pain in his shoulder and face floored him causing him to curl into a tight ball. “Min-Ji! Holy crap! What happened?” The phrases coming between waves of pain.

“Cesco! Stop!” John's voice barely cut through the pain.


“Yes, I'm here. Lay back, you're hurt.”

“Where are we? Is everyone ok?”

John's hands pushed against his chest easing him onto his back.

“My shoulder, I can't move it.”

“You were shot. The bullet shattered your collarbone and put a hole in your shoulder blade. You just punched Dr. Rothstein. He was sewing you up. Clara was shot too but she's all right. Doctor, are you ok? Sorry about that.”

First priority was to try to forget everyone else's emotions. She slowly started unraveling those in her mind, hellish pain and agony, that wasn't her. She had developed a visualization to help her through things like this, she imagined all of the emotions that weren't hers as clothes she was wearing and would slowly strip away the layers until she got down to just her own skin. It worked fairly well.

Layer after layer came off. Eventually she cleared everything away so she only had her emotions left and could take inventory of her mental state. The storage facility office froze in her mind, blood on the floor, dismembered people, Min-Ji screaming and Cesco on the floor. As an empath she had learned how to face her own emotions along with manipulating and controlling others. She took a deep breath and allowed herself to relive the moment. Sheer panic and disgust hit her, her heart started to race and her stomach clenched again as she smelled the blood and charred flesh. How badly she had wanted to run the other way, but she couldn't. She couldn't at the time and she sure as hell wouldn't now. Forcing herself to stand there, she allowed the whole scene to slam into her mind over and over until it no longer affected her.

Eventually she could look at it without her pulse skyrocketing so she moved to the next one, driving the car as John shot the people they were chasing. That wasn't so bad, she and John were focused so their emotions weren't out of control and the blood and gore was manageable for her to look at. The last one she didn't want to face but she had to. Her view of Min-Ji coming out of the office and setting a person on fire, the emotions that Min-Ji had felt had been so intense. She and Min-Ji had bonded so often to keep Min-Ji stable that Jessie was starting to think it had almost become permanent. She picked up on even small shifts in Min-Ji's emotions now without having to touch her.

John went to check on Clara, he had felt her mind start stirring.

“Clara, you need to rest.”

“That's a bit complicated,” a gentle laugh brushed against his mind. “You haven't been blocking all that well. I know about Min-Ji and Cesco. I know about how you almost blacked out. I drifted for a bit and slept but there's too much going on and I am picking up on it. I held back as much as I could until you had a quiet moment. We have a lot to figure out.”

“You're taking this rather well.”

“Not really. Just pushing it down for now.” As she said that he felt her let him in a bit more and was suddenly glad she had been pushing things down. She was in a panic, if he had been feeling that along with his emotions he would be a wreck. He put his blocks up so she wouldn't have to do all the work.

“Thank you,” he told her.

“You're welcome.”

“Sarah is on the way to help with Cesco. I am not sure how much she will be able to do. Dr. Rothstein said he can repair the shoulder later if we are staying in town and wrote prescriptions for drugs. You should be able to walk well enough for the show. Maybe Sarah can heal it fast enough so you're not in pain. It's just a small wound, nothing is broken in your leg. We need to get Cesco in the car and get back to the condo and we still have a million things to do for the show. We have more press tomorrow, we're going to look like hell.”

She squeezed his hand back. “When...I did what I did to you,” she shuddered a bit at the memory, “I wasn't panicking. I know you thought I was but I wasn't. I wanted to protect Chad and hurt you, but I didn't know it was you because it felt like I was being kidnapped again.” She paused, her voice growing soft. “All I thought was what would be the fastest way to make you stop, I wasn't really scared, I was angry. I don't want to say anything else right now, please Dad.” The memory of that moment was pushing her close to the edge. She looked down at the armrest of the seat one of her hands had been resting on it, it had started rippling and shifting form. She quickly pulled her hands away from the chair and away from her Dad's hand then held them up in the air. She couldn't shift things if she wasn't touching them.

“You don't have to. I understand now.” He reached his arm around her and pulled her close. “We will get through this, somehow we will. I promise you.” He said as he kissed the top of her head. They stayed like that the rest of the flight.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author Photo 2Who is Kat Loveland? Why does she write?

Good questions. Complicated questions. Questions that make you say hmmmmmmm.

Kat is a person of great charm and grace, she lights up whatever room she walks into. Her stunning fashion sense mesmerizes all who see her. Witty rejoinders and endless amounts of relevant and thoroughly researched facts and tidbits flow effortlessly from her mouth.....

Yeah, ok, Not so much. I've got the witty rejoinders but not the fashion sense. I like comfy, simple clothes and sparring with weapons. I occasionally try my hand at archery and artistic photography, sometimes I'll even hop a wall or vault a bench. I'm a tomboy at heart, what can I say.

Why do I write? My imaginary friends are endlessly entertaining and they always do whatever the hell I tell them to. Besides it's fun to play Goddess, most authors won't admit that but I'm pretty blunt. It's fun to torture, harass, endlessly confound and every once in a while make a character a bit happy with life. Not too often though, that's just silly.

My editor tells me and I quote : “Only a genius can write three books at the same time, work all the time and shoot arrows into the air and hope and pray what goes up does not come down on top of her.” Have I mentioned she's an awesome editor?

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
Buy the book at Amazon.

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The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter - Spotlight and Giveaway

BBT The Frost of Sprintime Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, plus an autographed bookmark will be awarded to 5 randomly drawn winners (US ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT Prize Image BOOKMARK - The Frost of Springtime

MEDIA KIT THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME - Cover ArtTo rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

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Buy the ebook at Amazon *Available in the Kindle Lending Library or Barnes and Noble. Buy the paperback from Amazon.


Enjoy an excerpt:

Sofia saw the memories buried within his eyes. Gunshots. Screams. Rolling cannons and the faded cries of despair. They lodged inside Aleksender, battling for his soul.

Sofia rose from the ground and tentatively crouched behind him. Remaining silent, her hands sunk below the material of his dress shirt and encouraged him with gentle caresses.

“Disease and death were everywhere. Men with boils and rashes the size of saucers. Anyway, we almost managed to escape. It was a good mile away that we were spotted. They were corrupt soldiers, nothing but hungry dogs with a taste for blood-lust. We were tied at the wrists and ankles, crammed inside a tent. Whether it was days or weeks, I cannot say.” Scoffing under his breath, he spat, “The fools demanded answers. They demanded our plans. Strategies. We refused each time. Even so none of us knew anything.”

“Oh, Alek. Why didn’t you tell them? To think you could have avoided so much pain.”

His shoulders lifted into a dry shrug. “I suppose we took a morbid delight in their frustration.” His voice was icy, harsh and void of all emotion. “And besides—it was the prospect of whipping information from our skin that kept us alive. But we were eventually returned to the camp. Bloodied, battered and burned—but alive.” Aleksender passed fingertips through his hairline. “Till this day, I have no idea what changed their minds …” Aleksender sighed and gave an afterthought, “Word had spread of their rather unorthodox methods, so to speak. According to rumor, they’d paid dearly.”

“I pray they burn in hell,” Sofia gasped. “Every last one of them!”

Aleksender laughed, amused by her goodhearted blasphemy. “Ah, Sofia, ma chérie. You do wonders for me.” And then a sudden thought came to his mind. “Christophe was there with me.”

“In the tents?” Sofia murmured, her heart reaching out to both heroes.

Aleksender merely nodded.

Although she’d never had the pleasure of meeting Monsieur Cleef, his name inspired a strange twinge of nostalgia inside her gut. Aleksender had often spoken of his dear friend—a rather admirable man of big ideas and too little restraint. From what she knew of the roguish skirt-chaser, she’d always admired him very much.

“Such wonderfully brave men,” she crooned, caressing one of many scars. “You have a soldier’s heart.”

Cloaked beneath the darkness, Sofia’s fingertips moved over his back in hypnotic motions, not leaving an inch of him unloved. “Do they pain you much?”

“No,” he hoarsely answered, “they are no bother.” His body trembled within her arms. “Not any longer.”

Between tentative kisses and muffled sniffles, she whispered, “To think of the pain you endured. The cruelty—your suffering.”

Aligning their two bodies, Aleksender cradled Sofia’s face between his palms and sweetly stroked her skin. Sofia’s toes curled against the barrier of her slippers. It was intoxicating. By far the sweetest moment in her nineteen years of life. With a last kiss, he whispered into her mouth, “Pain is in the mind. And, in my mind, ma chérie … I was with you.”


MEDIA KIT RachelDemeter_portraitAbout the Author: Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Google+ ~ Pinterest


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Sanctum: The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock - Guest Blog and Giveaway

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


1. I have horrible hearing which I’m pretty certain is a result of way too many concerts and living with a Walkman, and then iPod and now an iPhone, plugged into my ears. It’s gotten so bad that I find myself either reading lips or asking people to repeat themselves, especially if they have deep voices. My parents warned me that would happen...

2. I was a HUGE Duran Duran fan. Huge. I think at the time they called girls like me and my friends Duranies. Simon, John and the boys were our New Kids on the Block and N’Sync and you could not tell us they were not the sh*t. My walls were covered with posters of them, I had every album I could get my hands on and recorded hours of their interviews and videos on numerous VCR tapes (remember those, old folks?). It’s amazing the amount of energy and effort a thirteen year old girl will put into something she’s passionate about. God, I loved those dudes.

3. When I was in high school, I was very serious about acting. I took voice lessons, performed in my high school’s musical theatre productions, and had every intention of pursuing it as a career choice. My parents were one hundred percent supportive, driving me to all of my lessons, attending all of my plays, and even donating money to my high school’s threatre department. They also were put in touch with and invested in a film being directed for one of Ted Turner’s channels at the time. The director told my parents he would give me a credited role in the film so I could get my SAG card, he just wanted to meet with me first and talk about the industry. So we met and although I cannot remember one detail of this man, I will never forget his advice. He told me that he would be happy to help me but that I needed to be prepared because I looked black and would always be given roles that should really go to a black actor, it would be pretty impossible to cast me without angering others, and I would be lucky if I ever got any roles. Two things: 1) I am so mad I met with this man alone, without my parents there to put him in his place or hinder him from making those comments and 2) even today, it steams me up that I listened to him and set aside my acting dreams. I coulda been a contender!

4. I gained 63 pounds when I was pregnant. I don’t think I really need to elaborate on this fact.

5. I am addicted to Cap’N Crunch with Crunchberries. If we have any in our house, I will eat them. Like all day. For every meal.

“Every now and again an excellent novel will come forth dealing with fantasy and magic that will just grab and hold my attention from beginning to end. That is exactly what THE GIRL did.” -- OOSA Online Book Club

In THE GIRL, Madhuri Blaylock introduced readers to the world of The Sanctum, one corrupted by greed and savagery and hellbent on achieving a single goal: destroying the prophesied hybrid. When one of its most celebrated warriors questioned his allegiances, age-old secrets were unveiled and violence erupted. The journey becomes more perilous and intense as the trilogy surges forward with


Can you cross the plains of death, collect every piece of your soul and make it back to the land of the living?

And if you complete the journey, will your loved ones welcome your return?

The Ramyan have been answering such questions since the creation of The Sanctum. A mysterious sect of Magicals, haunting the blank spaces of time and memory, they serve no one but themselves and their higher purpose. They exist on a plane removed from earthly matters, shifting easily between the living and the dead, moving in time to the beat of their own drummer.

At least they did. Dev and Wyatt change all of that when the prophesied hybrid lands on the steps of Rinshun Palace, seeking help for the wounded Class A Warrior. That decision alters lives and sets old agendas back on course. But at what cost to Dev and Wyatt? And does that really even matter?

“The characters in Madhuri Blaylock's novel...are well written and unique, and the story is just fantastic...I just loved every page of the story!” - Readers' Favorite

Enjoy an excerpt:

The clearing in the park still hummed with magic. Her magic. And her scent. It was why he kept coming back to the same spot every night, just for a whiff. Then he could go about his business, whatever that might be.

Darvin Lucius Jefferson was one hundred and ten, going on seventeen. He was a wealthy, bored teenager who became a wealthy, somewhat bored vampire. There were a few things in this life that brought him joy, piqued his interest: from the very first day he saw her, Jools Clayworth, and as of nine days ago, that stunning thing her brother was running around with before he died.

Of course, Darvin had no idea whether or not Wyatt perished subsequent to his ministrations, nor did he care. He simply assumed the too-good looking, sanctimonious warrior was dead, for his wound was hideous and he seemed to be breathing on borrowed time. Darvin had told the pretty thing as much that night, then he'd returned to his perch atop the Dakota and watched her strap the warrior to her back and escape into nothingness.

What a feat that had been.

One moment she was there, in all her stunning beauty and tortured agony, the next she was gone.


As if she'd never been there at all.

Darvin went to the spot that night, less to follow her than simply explore. It was glamoured to avoid human detection but he found it easily, having watched the warrior and his beautiful best friend, Ryker Morrison, comb the area many a time over the past year. But try as he might, Darvin could spot nothing to hint at an escape hatch or portal. Whatever the pretty thing had used to vanish into thin air, it was long gone, hidden from prying eyes. All that lingered was her scent, that hypnotizing, intoxicating essence of her that Darvin wished he could bottle and keep hidden in his pocket. Away from Darby.

Darby Winthrop.

The one and only.

The dark queen of New York.

The southern belle from hell.

His maker.

About the Author:
Madhuri is a Jersey City Heights girl via Snellville, Georgia, who writes paranormal fiction and is slightly infatuated with tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, Doc Martens, Laini Taylor, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

She's currently working on The Sanctum trilogy and hopes one day soon, everyone is walking around with copies of The Girl and The Boy in their pocket or on their Kindle.

She wants to get a goat and a burro, but since she lives in the city, will settle for some chickens.

To learn more about her, you can follow her blog at, follow her on Twitter at @madhuriblaylock or like her on Facebook at

She's totally chatty so drop her a line any time.

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Kiss Me by Moonlight by Michele Zurlo - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michele will be awarding a choice of signed paperback copy of Wanting Wilder, Mina’s Heart, Kiss Me Goodnight, or Kiss Me By Moonlight, and a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (US ONLY) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by It's Raining Books, Michele. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

Michele: I’ve always been drawn to New Adult, even before it was a genre. Even before I wrote Letting Go, I wrote a novel under another name called Tomorrow Cries. Today it would be considered NA, but when it came out four years ago, it didn’t really fit anywhere. I had to change things to make it fit mainstream romance, including the age of the heroine. Rhiannon was supposed to be 16 at the start of the novel, but the publisher’s rules said she had to be at least 18. It didn’t do well, and I wonder if it had anything to do with the other changes I had to make for it to fit the genres already out there. What did I learn from this? Screw the publisher’s rules and go with my instincts. I’ve since launched my own publishing company so that I don’t have to follow anybody’s rules but my own.

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

Michele: If you’re going to write in a genre, you should be aware of what’s out there. Your readers definitely will be. That doesn’t mean you have to follow the rules. The fun thing about writing is that you get to rewrite lore to fit your story. I’ve revised lore in all of my paranormal titles, reenvisioning the way werewolves evolved, changing vampire lore, and exploring hauntings and past lives. The key is to keep it interesting and make it believable to your readers.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Michele: Lacey taught me that sometimes lying will get you out of certain situations, especially if the person to whom you’re lying wants to believe you. It’s interesting how we can manipulate people with well-placed lies. They don’t have to be grand or overdone, as Lacey shows us in Kiss Me By Moonlight. They can be small, whispered things that blow up, like when she calls Dylan a manwhore and sparks a #manwhore reaction.

Just kidding. I suck at lying. Sometimes I wish I could lie like her. It would make some situations easier, but I can’t control my facial expressions that well. Yet.

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

Michele: Those who know me would argue that everything about me is a quirk. My writing quirks are pretty normal—I can’t write if people are behind me. My other quirks are more interesting: If I turn around, I have to unturn. I can’t walk under a ladder, which cracks my dad up because he grew up in rural West Virginia on a farm where they raised cattle and abundant superstitions. I tried telling him it had to do with claustrophobia, but he likes to think I’d make my great-grandmother proud, so I let him have it. I am claustrophobic. I don’t care to be touched by most people. I have to have peanut-butter on toast for breakfast or my whole day is ruined. I go crazy if things aren’t even (or symmetrical, depending on the circumstances). I had a student who found this out and used to change the blinds in my classroom so that they weren’t level. He thought it was hilarious until I threatened detention. Those things weren’t easy to level out. I’m moving back to that classroom this year, and I’m planning to hang curtains. In the comments, I’d love to hear about YOUR quirks.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Michele: I pants first and plot later, and that doesn’t just pertain to my writing style. I’m impulsive with everything. One time I decided to make a quilt. I chose a grandmother’s flower garden design because it was the design of the quilt on my bed when I was little. It had been hand-sewn by my grandmother and great-grandmother, and my cousin (not related to that grandmother) got mad at my mom one day and cut it up. It was the only thing my dad had left from his mother (who had passed away when he was eleven), and it devastated him. So fifteen years later, I decided to make him a replacement. The only problem? I didn’t know the first thing about sewing. It turns out you can’t just do it. You have to lay it out, measure things and all that planning stuff. My best friend’s mother is a quilter. She laughed when I told her my dilemma, but then she taught me the necessary skills. Two and a half years later, I presented my dad with a gorgeous, completely hand-sewn quilt. (To this day, I do not use a sewing machine.)

I write like that too. My first novel, Letting Go, was BDSM by accident. I wrote it, including fantasies in which I’d indulged, and then later I found out it was a real thing. Several good friends turned out to be practitioners, and that’s how I got involved. Lacey’s problems with OCD came to me early on, but then I had to research to find out exactly how her traumatic childhood could trigger her behaviors. Between WebMD and Lady MacBeth, I figured it out.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Michele: This took me a minute because I had to figure out right and left. A copy of Schooled by Gordon Korman is to my right. Lego Chima sets are to my left. My kids really need to clean off the kitchen table.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Michele: What motivates you most to pick up a new novel?

Hey there. It’s Lacey again. Falling in love and landing Dylan hasn’t been the panacea I thought it would be. For starters, he moved into my apartment without asking, and he continues to have no respect for my need to have things in sets of six. Pile that on top of my emotional upheaval after losing my stepfather, and you have a recipe for disaster no amount of German chocolate cake can cure.

Yes, Lacey Hallem’s life remains fraught with challenge, but you know she’s a fighter. Forming a talent management agency with her best friends has been the best career move she’s ever made—even if it’s the only thing currently working according to plan. Lacey’s OCD is getting the better of her, and this time her hands aren’t the only casualty. When her lies ruin her relationships with both Kiss Me Goodnight and Dylan, she’s forced to confront her demons in ways she’s never had to before. As she once again faces her past, can she learn once and for all to let love and friendship through the barriers she’s built?

Both harrowing and hilarious, this conclusion to the tale of Lacey and Dylan will leave you laughing, crying, and fanning yourself—sometimes all at once. Michele Zurlo triumphs again in this moving story about life’s quirks and what we all have to do to get by.
Enjoy an excerpt:

On the way home, Dylan fumed silently. I drove this time, as he tended to speed and cut people off when he was in a sour mood. When we were almost to my apartment, he said, “Aren’t you going to apologize?”

I glanced at him, surprised he’d ask for me to lie. “I’m sorry?”

“That’s not going to cut it.”

“I’m not sorry I said it. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but you know how I feel about that song.” I turned into the parking lot and found the space designated for my apartment.

“You called me a manwhore, Lacey.” His entire life, he’d slept with two women, one of whom had been his late wife. “That’s not the image we’re trying to project. We want fans to focus on our music, not our imagined bedroom antics.”

I got out of the car. This was another “discussion” Dylan wanted to have. You know what I’m spoiling for? An all-out fight. A lot of pent-up frustration and anger mixed with residual hurt and grief inside me, and that much emotion is going to demand an outlet if I don’t provide one.

On the plus side, the fact that I want to argue, scream, and yell boded well for the conditions of my hands. Perhaps that’s why Dylan listed those options earlier. He knew what I’d wanted before I did. I kind of resent him for that. People you were mad at aren’t supposed to be right or accommodating. Dylan managed to be both. Manwhore.

About the Author:
I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve. I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at or @MZurloAuthor. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Victorian Scoundrel by Stephanie Burkhart - Review and Giveaway

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stephanie will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Edmund of Wales, back to 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Alice soon finds herself over her head in trouble. Edmund is determined to help Prince Albert build a dirigible and the prime minister appears intent in preventing her from stopping Edmund. Alice knows it's too early for the massive flying machine to take to the air. Complicating matters is the passionate Grayson Kentfield, Earl of Swinton. Alice can't stop her pulse from pounding when she's near him.

Can Alice give her heart to a man from the past while working to stop Edmund from changing history?

My review:

What a fun read. Stephanie Burkhart has brought us a time travel romance that combines elements of steampunk (love the idea of scent-mail). It's not a long book and is an easy evening's read.

The main characters, Alice and Edmund, are cousins who are actually more like brother and sister. When Alice discovers Edmund going back in time, she follows him to try and keep him out of trouble, because where Edmund goes, trouble seems to follow. And, she finds out that what Edmund is attempting could very well change the future/their present so Alice has to try and stop him. Add to that the complication that both Alice and Edmund fall in love durint their time in the 1850s and you have the essence of the story.

There were some very neat elements of steampunk scattered through the story-- the Victorian age Alice and Edmund find themselves in is just a little different from what historical England not to mention the current time for Alice and Edmund where things are powered by compressed natural gas and glasses exist to help dyslexia.

I was hoping for a little more characterization -- I liked the characters, but I didn't feel like I connected with these characters as much as I have with other characters the author has penned. It was more like reading about what was happening to them rather than being drawn into and becoming a part of it myself. However, this is just the first book of a series, so hopefully we will see the characters grow and develop in the future books.

I could easily see this book as a series--it reminded me in tone a bit of the original Wild Wild West--fun banter between the main characters, some interesting inventions, and a problem to solve. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. 3.5 flower rating: This was a good book. I liked it.

Enjoy an excerpt:

She nibbled on her lower lip, a curious habit she had. When she was indecisive, perhaps? Then she drew the necklace over her head, giving it to him. He placed the coin flat in the palm of his hand, and let the chain dangle through his fingers. It was bronze or brass, with a strange sequence of numbers and letters. He furrowed his brow. Alice bent over and used her finger to push her glasses firmly back onto the bridge of her nose.

"It's some type of alpha-numeric code," Grayson mused out loud.

Alice looked on, a murky expression on her face. "Perhaps."

Grayson looked up. "I've seen a similar code on the datamancers they introduced in Parliament."

"What's a datamancer?" she asked.

He tried not to get lost in those soulful cerulean eyes of hers. "You don't know what a datamancer is?"


"It thinks for itself--"

"Grayson, what's in your hand?"

Grayson and Alice turned in the direction of the door. Sir John briskly walked toward them escorted by a soldier and another gentleman Grayson recognized as the prince's secretary.

About the Author:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Desert Breeze Publishing, or Kobo. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 28, 2014

All In by Autumn Stark - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Autumn will be awarding at each stop a signed copy of All In to a randomly drawn commenter (US ONLY), and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon/BN GC plus a signed copy of All In will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY). 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?

1. I was drawn to the romance genre in general because of how it deals with one of the most basic building blocks of the human experience--relationships. The great thing about romance novels is that they deal with romantic relationships, but also friendships, family, and all other manner of relationships you might come across. It’s about human connection. That fascinates me. I write erotic romance and contemporary romance in particular because I like exploring seemingly normal situations from a different perspective. I like shaking up normal, comfortable characters and forcing them into completely uncomfortable situations that turn out amazingly well. In that way, maybe my readers can shake up their own world a little, still identify with the characters and story, and do so safely from their couches.

What research is required?

Honestly? For these stories it was a lot of map perusing, daydreaming, and exploration of all manner of Cosmo-esque articles. The great thing about writing contemporary romance is that the research is really limited to the realm of a fairly normal world. Since my heroes and heroines are relatively normal (I do have romance novel writers and famous actors), so are their lives and their settings.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Go after what you want even if it scares the sh*t out of you. Jay’s not exactly scared, but Parker sure is and boy does she have to grab the bull by the horns. I hope I always take a page out of Jay’s book and go boldly forward toward what I want. Though, I think I might be a little more subtle about it.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I tend to write my best sex scenes in incredibly public settings. I was in the middle of a busy lobby having a half-conversation with a janitor when I wrote one of the best sex scenes in this book. Apparently my sexy writerly side is a bit into voyeurism.

Plotter or pantser?

Both! I tend to be a pantser 60 or 70% of the time--I start off writing with whatever scene I see in my head. But once I get that initial scene down, I try to plot out as much of the story as I can. From there I follow my outline until the story takes over. In the case of All In, Jay pretty much enjoyed ruining my outlines as much as possible. This particular book was 90% pantsing.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A boombox (you heard me) with a folded up red hoodie, some Target coupons, and a bra (completely unfolded of course) on top of it.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Yes! Book Three, Fallen, is newly out. It’s the third book in the In Plain Sight Series and follows All In. It’s the story of Connor Stevens and Rainie Warren, two characters you’ll recognize from the series. Also coming are books four and five in the In Plain Sight series.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Parker comes face to face with this one: If you were looking your biggest fantasy or dream in the face, could you reach out and take it?

Jay Markham, a wildly popular actor and a chronic womanizer, has become bored with his life. Jay decides to take a break and goes to visit his life-long best friend and famous romance novelist, Anthony Tate. But just because Jay decides to take a break doesn’t mean his fans will let him. The fans and the paparazzi follow him to the small Washington town and, in an effort to escape a particularly dogged fan, Jay ducks into the first open door he can find.

Parker Hardisson is a fairly normal, if self-contained, woman in her, ahem, early thirties. Relatively happy with her life as a freelance translator, she gets to work out of her own home and enjoy her life as quiet and drama-free as possible. So what if she’s a teensy bit lonely? So what if there’s some part of her that wants to explore the world? Things are working out just fine. So, when a mega-movie star comes slamming into her house, she wonders if she’s finally cracked.

Parker seizes the opportunity to make the deal of a lifetime. No strings, no questions. The problem is, Jay is playing this game by his own rules.

Enjoy an excerpt:

It was possibly nine in the morning the next day before Abby barged into Parker’s house. To be fair, Abby had used her key which Jay must have given back to her, but it was as close to barging as one might get, all things considered. Parker was barely awake.

“Parker? Are you home?”

“Where else would I be?” Parker tried to sound pleasant, but at best she knew she sounded grouchy as she called out to Abby.

“I don’t know, having wild sex with Jay in Los Angeles?” Abby walked into the kitchen as Parker was focusing on pouring coffee grinds into her espresso machine. Parker graced her with a snort as an answer. “Well, you could be.”

“I don’t know what that overgrown pretty boy told you, but I am not going to Los Angeles.”

“I’ll wait till you’ve had your coffee.” Abby grabbed her own cup and patiently sat on one of the bar stools under her kitchen island. Parker tried not to remember exactly what had been done on that particular counter while also trying to remember if she’d sanitized the thing since the sex marathon had started.

“Coffee won’t change my answer.”

“Might make you more talkative though.”

“Or more able to kill without getting caught.”

“I’ll take the chance.” Abby grinned at her and Parker sighed.

About the Author:
Autumn Stark writes Romance with a sense of humor and a whole lotta steamy fun. Doesn’t mean there aren’t a few whips every now and then, but she’s a sucker for a happy ending. Autumn has been writing in one capacity or another her entire life, but Break Me is her debut novel.

Autumn Stark is the pen name for author and publisher, April Oglesbee.

All In is the second book in the All In series.


Buy the book aat Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The Aerenden Series by Kristen Taber

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristen will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC and 10 copies of The Gildonae Alliance (Aerenden #2) Audible Book. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome, Kristen, to It's Raining Books. Why do you write in the fantasy genre? What draws you to it?

Fantasy is a remarkable genre for an overactive imagination. With most genres, authors are restricted by certain standards and rules that we all must live by in this world. I live by those guidelines when I write my Molly’s Tears romance series (unpublished currently), but when I want to break free from those restrictions, I write Fantasy. Obviously, authors have to follow their own basic rules within the lands they create, and their stories have to make logical sense, but Fantasy provides a bigger canvas to paint on. Inventing monsters and animals is a tremendous outlet for fears, anger, or just to have a little extra fun. And creating ancient civilizations and new magical elements can be an exhilarating challenge. Because I’ve established backstory for Ærenden that stretches thousands of years into the kingdom’s history, I feel more connected to its people and their plight. Not to say that I’m disconnected from the characters in my romance series. I love them just as much, but my fantasy world pulls on my heartstrings in a different way. Their stakes are so much higher. They have war to contend with and generations of betrayal. I can’t quite build those things into L.A. (the setting for Molly’s Tears) without crossing into a completely different genre.

What research/world-building is required?

I think it varies by author, but my research has extended from studying name origins to language theory (for parts of the ancient Æren language) to folk lore. The Mardróch, for instance, are modeled a little bit after the Grim Reaper and druid imagery, though obviously they’re a monster-human hybrid race of their own making. As far as world building, that is mostly derived from my overactive brain (and lots of sleepless nights), but I do have maps detailing the areas travelled in the book, and outlines for lands outside of the kingdom. Personal experience lends itself to the descriptions for these lands. Meaghan’s Earth home is similar to the area where I grew up in Maine, and the mountain areas of Ærenden resemble Shenandoah National Park in places. My family and I hike there every summer. Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

When life gets hard, take a deep breath and charge forward. Strength is not a matter of having brawn, but having the courage to keep going despite our fears. In the past, troublesome situations have blocked me and instilled self-doubt, but since I’ve been visiting with Meaghan and had the pleasure of watching her grow into a strong, and often strong-willed, young woman, I’ve realized I need to borrow some of her traits for myself. Now, when a situation would make me feel uncertain, I push through it and find a solution. Strength is not about the weapons we carry or the fights we win; it’s about being resilient. It’s about believing in the person we can become.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I don’t know if it’s really a quirk, but I write best at night. I try earlier in the day, but find I write twice as much and have stronger creativity between the hours of 7pm and midnight (or 2 am). Unfortunately, that doesn’t work well for my family life, so I’m trying to talk my muse into visiting earlier in the day. I also have to do a lot of my thinking by hand. Ideas and plot points get jotted down in a notebook. Once they’re solidly developed, they go on a white board in my office, along with characters and questions that need to be answered within the series. These are then connected by footnote-style numbers and color-coding. It would probably make more sense to do all of that in some sort of writing program, so I’m not trying to decipher my own scribbles, but I just can’t seem to fall in love with digital tools in the same way I have with a pen/notebook and marker/whiteboard.

Plotter or pantser?

Both. Well, actually, I’m a plotter, but my characters are pantsers and they always seem to win that war. As a good example, I did a basic outline for the 4th book in the Ærenden series, and the characters have already changed it. I wrote out the first chapter the way I wanted it, but then suffered from terrible writer’s block. The block only lifted once I rewrote the scene exactly as it had appeared to me originally (when I was writing book 2). My characters also visit me while I’m focused on other things (walking, working out, cleaning) to argue their reasons for why a story has to change, or explain to me why I need to insert something odd into a conversation or scene. By the way, before you commit me, I know my characters aren’t really there, but that’s how my creativity (or maybe subconscious) operates. And that’s why I think being a full plotter will never work for me. I do have a direction for the books and I know where they’re going to end, but sometimes getting there is as much of a surprise journey for me as it is for my readers.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A window, although I’m not sure if a window can sit. The blinds are sitting on the sill, so maybe they count, but they aren’t very effective. The sun has been blinding me most of the day. I also have a rubber duck sitting on my desk that I picked up in the Picasso museum in Barcelona a couple of years ago. It always cracks me up, partly because it has a Picasso-style face, and partly because it reminds me of my friend and his wife who spent a couple of days in the city with us. We laughed more than not on that trip (including in the museum). I’ve included a picture of the duck for you.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m currently writing Book #4 in the Ærenden series and anticipate that should be released around this time in 2015 (unless I suddenly get rich and can hire a nanny to help take care of my 1-year-old, then it’ll be 2014 ;-)). I also received some exciting news recently. Karen Savage, the audio book narrator for The Child Returns and The Gildonae Alliance (Aerenden #1 and #2, respectively) has signed on to read the 3rd book in the series, The Zeiihbu Master (the cover for the audio book is on the screen behind the duck). We’ll be working on that in June, with an anticipated release date on Audible and iTunes of sometime in July, if all goes well. I’m also putting the finishing touches on the 1st book in my romance series, though I haven’t decided if I want to release it myself or try to find an agent or publishing house for it. Each route to publishing has its own positives and negatives, so it’s a matter of deciding which road is the best one for that series.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes, of course. What a fabulous idea! My question is….

Who’s your favorite literary character and why?

I’m so excited to read everyone’s responses!

Book One: The Child Returns

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.


Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance

Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.


Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master

Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.

About the Author:
Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

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