Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fall Semester by Stephanie Fournet - Review and Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

She had come looking for him.

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

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

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


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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beacon by Angela Brown - Guest post and giveaway

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

Please give Angela a big welcome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yeah, that’s definitely a good thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodreads author page:

Angela Brown in the Pursuit of Publishness blog:

Amazon author page:

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Red Tide Rising by Allie Gail - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

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


What good is immortality when every moment is agony?

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Trust me?” he whispered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So this was what it was like to die.

It wasn’t so bad, really.

Blinking once, she relaxed and succumbed to the darkness.

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

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

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh - Interview and Giveaway

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

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

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

What world-building is required?

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

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

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

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

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

Are you a plotter or pantser?

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

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

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

Anything new coming up from you? What?

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

Do you have a question for our readers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reluctant Prince by Dani-Lyn Alexander - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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


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

“Explain,” the king bellowed.

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

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

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

“Then where is she?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

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

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

“You know that’s not possible.”

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

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

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

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Monday, April 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything about me is a lie.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Whose blood is on them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Drawn Together by Amelia Swan - Interview and Giveaway

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

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

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

What research is required?

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

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

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

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

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

Are you a plotter or pantser?

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

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

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

Anything new coming up from you? What?

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

Do you have a question for our readers?

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

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

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

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

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Light at the End of Judgment and Day by Marcia Colette - Review and giveaway

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

Violinist and angel, Yvette Mills has spent almost 200 years living among humans while rounding up ghosts to send into Judgment. Back on the mend from her last confrontation with a malevolent entity, she's ready to reenter the classical-music scene. One problem. She’s not facing one ghost. She's facing hundreds with a few demonic entities sprinkled in.

Dozens of tenants have left the Folsom Building in downtown Charlotte because of the strange goings on. When Yvette's agent goes for the bargain-basement rental prices and now has an office there, her mission is clear. Rid the building of the paranormal vermin to keep him and the few tenants left, safe. It won't be easy when a psychic, who's leading a team of paranormal investigators, discovers she can see ghosts, too. If they discover she’s truly an angel sent from the heavens, she’ll be the first to find herself thrown into the pits of hell.

My review:

A fascinating twist on ghost-busting!

I wasn't sure what to expect, exactly, going into this book. Watching Yvette juggle the "normal" life of being a concert violinist (at least in this life/body ... she's been several people over the past couple hundred years) and being an angel tasked with ridding this world of ghosts was both fun and fascinating. The author does a great job throwing us right into the action and helping us get to know Yvette and the other characters involved in this book.

The plot was pretty solid (it had a few hiccups and a couple of things that made me wonder if people were actually paying attention to things) and the characters were well-rounded and folks I totally enjoyed reading about.  The author has a way with words that really makes the story flow along and I never got jolted out of the story due to odd phrasing or editing errors--a big deal for me as I'm a bit of a grammar nerd.

The combination of believable characters, solid writing, humor and intense situations made for an intriguing read and it's long enough to be a full story, but short enough to read in one sitting.  I have a feeling (maybe it's just hope) that this is the start of a series.  If so, I'll be in line to grab book two when it's available.

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

The elevator wobbled. I touched the wall to make sure there was something to hold onto in case the next wobble meant something else. I watched as the green numbers incremented by one on the wall above my head.

Another wobble.

What kind of rickety elevator was this? Surely, this wasn’t the top-of-the-line building on South Tryon Road, but the least I expected was to get to the nineteenth floor in one piece.

The lights blacked out and the elevator slowed to a stop. I stood on a dark, metal box with nervousness creeping across my shoulders. All sorts of horrible images about what could happen next assaulted my thoughts.

I should've been used to situations like this.

After a deep breath, I steadied my nerves. Death by elevator would be a new one, given the number of other ways I had died over the years. The only good thing about it would be I’d never feel the moment of impact. God was good.

Calmness blanketed me. I reached inside my purse and pulled out my cell phone. I pressed the button on the side to light up the screen.

A screaming, ethereal face appeared and disappeared with the speed of a flasher standing on a street corner and exposing himself to a pedestrian. That was why the elevator really stopped. Sighing, I slipped my phone in my purse and crossed my arms.

About the author: Bestselling author Marcia Colette didn’t discover her love for reading until her late teens when she started reading John Saul and progressed to works by Bentley Little, Stephen King and Laurell K. Hamilton. Her reading tastes convinced her to write paranormals where curses cause people to shift into spiders, psychotic and telekinetic mothers are locked away in attics, and murderous doppelgangers are on a rampage. Let's not forget about the hunky werecheetah coalitions who live throughout North Carolina. As long as she can make it believable, that's all that matters.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Marcia now lives in North Carolina with her mom and beautiful daughter. They’re not raising zombies in the backyard. There aren’t any hellhounds living in the den, only a rabbit and a cockatiel. So where she gets her ideas is as much a mystery to her as anyone else.

The best place to find her--when she's not stirring up trouble--is on her blog where she loves connecting with readers.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Billionaire's Suite Dreams by Lori Ryan - Spotlight and Giveaway

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

NOTE: This book is FREE during the month of April!~

Her Secrets Are All About to Come Out

Pop star PJ Cantrell's life and career are threatened when an angry blackmailer uncovers the truth about her hidden past. PJ knows it has to be someone close, someone she trusts. She turns to long-time friend Gabe Sawyer for help, but finds more than she bargained for. As she quickly discovers she wants more from him than friendship and support, she has to wonder what he'll think of her when he finally learns the truth.

Gabe Sawyer built a successful chain of luxury hotels by focusing on one thing and one thing only - his work. And, he's now discovering, that just isn't enough in life. He's loved PJ from afar, but he's never felt the time was right for a deeper relationship. When he discovers a blackmailer is threatening her life, everything changes as he struggles to keep her safe and end the threat to her life and to the career she loves.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What happened, Gabe?” she asked, but it came out more as an accusation. “What aren’t you telling me?”

He tried a halfhearted ‘it’s nothing’ kind of response, but she put her hands on her hips and waited him out.

He picked up the envelope and handed her the sheets of paper. “These came to me by courier while you were sleeping,” he said as she read the sheaf of papers.
It’s almost time, Pretty Pru. It’s almost time, Pretty Pru. It’s almost time, Pretty Pru.

She looked up at Gabe and Zach. “He knows where I am.”

Gabe’s face was grave as he nodded. “Yes, he knows.”

She looked at him and knew he wasn’t telling her everything. “What are you hiding? What haven’t you told me?”

“This came, too,” he said quietly. She knew what it was the minute she saw it. Matthew’s baby picture. The one she’d carried with her until it was lost a month ago. The photo of him the day he was born.

PJ didn’t hesitate. She dropped the photo back on the counter as though it had bit her, and ran to her room and began haphazardly shoving her things into her bag. She needed to get to Matthew. Gabe and Zach followed her. She felt Gabe’s arms come around her, stilling her hands and stopping her frantic packing.

Zach came around in front of her. “PJ, I’ve got guys headed that way now. They’ll have Matthew and his family whisked away within the hour, and they’ll get them to a safe place. Somewhere we can control.”

And Gabe kept talking to her, his breath warm and reassuring as her heart raced in her chest. “They’ll get to them, Pru. I promise. We’ll keep Matthew safe. I’ll keep you both safe.” But PJ didn’t care about her own safety anymore. In a heartbeat, she’d give herself to whoever it was that was doing all of this in exchange for Matthew’s safety.

About the Author:
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. Her books range from sweetheart to steamy in heat level (for sweeter, read the Evers, TX series.)

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children (with another on the way!), two mostly well-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It's a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn't change a thing.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing. She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series, the Evers, Texas Series, and will be putting out several novellas with baseball player heroes in Bella Andre's Kindle World, Game For Love, in late 2014. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

Twitter: @loriryanauthor

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

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Perfect Fit by Lynda Simmons - Serialized Novella and Giveaway

,br> This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Read today's installment of "Good Works" by Lynda Simmons, a serialized novella.

Chapter Six

I turned around slowly, told myself to take a breath, be patient, or at least non-violent.

“Aisha, your brother is probably driving around right now looking for you. He may even have called in other people to join the hunt. You can’t disappear into a cab or even the subway because of video cameras, so we’re stuck walking. It is therefore essential that we blend into the background, draw no attention to ourselves whatsoever. And you cannot do that in a pink hijab.”

Her face remained impassive. “I don’t have a choice.”

“You always have a choice. You can hang onto a pink hijab that not only stands out, but screams ‘hey look at me,’ and risk being found. Or you can take it off so you don’t stand out, and hope your brother won’t notice you.” I took a step closer. “It’s not like I want you to never wear it again. Just for a little while.”

“I know it sounds simple enough, but my faith is my life. It’s who I am, and what I am. The hijab isn’t just a piece of clothing, it’s my commitment to that faith and a way of life.”

“Let me guess. A life of female modesty, the goal of religions everywhere. Right up there with no access to birth control or abortion or anything else that lets a woman control her own fertility and therefore her own future.”

I could feel the soapbox taking shape under my feet, the lectures lining up inside my head, stacking one on top of the other like building blocks. Bang: Defeating the Rape Culture. Bang: Wage Equity, Still a Cruel Joke. Bang. Keep Government Out of Our Uteruses. Bang, bang, bang.

Whatever she was going to say next, I already had the opposing point ready, complete with amusing anecdote. But the expression on her face told me that no amount of discussion would do either of us any good. Just as each of my girls had a deeply imbedded social conscience, this one had a deeply imbedded religion, and there was no easy cure for either. I could talk till I was blue and nothing would change. Babble on Mrs. Sandhurst.

So I took a step back both physically and philosophically. “Let’s look at this another way.”

“No need,” she said. “Because you’re absolutely right. Finn told me a while back that once I set out on this journey, I’d need to blend in, draw no attention to myself, just like you said. So I came prepared.”

She shrugged off the backpack and set it on the ground. Unzipped the top, grabbed hold of a piece of black cloth and started pulling. The thing went on forever, like a flag, or perhaps a parachute.

“What is it?” I asked.

“A full length chador with a matching niqab.” She rose and held them out to me. “No one will recognize us in these.”

I backed up another step. “Us?”

“I have two,” she said with such obvious glee I might have said, “good for you,” if I’d been able to form words.

“I probably only needed one,” she continued. “But Finn had given me a nice budget and I kept hearing my mother’s advice about wardrobe essentials. One in the closet, one on your back and one in the wash. So I ordered three, but I could only fit two in the backpack.” She thrust it at me again. “I’ll show you how to put it on. Takes a bit of practice, but honestly we can go anywhere in one of these. Zara won’t be able to point you out, and I could probably walk right up to Hassan and he wouldn’t have a clue it was me.”

She had me there. Zara would recognize me on sight. But in Aisha’s outfits, we’d be unidentifiable, indistinguishable from each other. Just two black ghosts floating down the street. But still.

“I couldn’t possibly,” I said.

She tilted her head to the side. “Is it against your religion?”

“It’s against everything I believe in.”

“Like asking me to take off the hijab.” She lowered her hands. “So what do we do?”

Now I was the one with a choice to make. Suck it up and bend. Or leave her to her own devices. Perhaps she’d be okay on her own. A lone black ghost searching for a banquet hall. But she was so young and I was already here, and as Nathan used to say, in for a nickel, in for a dime.

Plus it would give me something else to put in a column. Take My Chador, Please.

“Fine,” I said. “Show me how to do this.”

Minutes later, I was draped and muzzled and starting to panic inside six meters of the finest Japanese crepe. “I can’t breathe,” I said, clutching at the front of the niqab, tugging it down past my chin. Gulping mouthfuls of air and wiping sweat from my upper lip. “It’s too hot, I’ll pass out.”

“You’ll get used to it,” she said, her voice barely making it through the niqab. The rest of her was completely gone, swallowed up into the endless folds of the chador. Only her eyes, hands and the toes of her sneakers were visible. “Now that I think of it,” she said. “I probably should have ordered the gloves too.”

“Aisha, its June. Gloves would kill me.”

“You’re right.” She bent to zip up the backpack. “Just try to keep your hands inside the chador. Looks more authentic.” She straightened, holding the backpack at her side. That was when I noticed the logo. Cupped hands, a sapling. Bringing Back Eden, the same one I’d seen on Finn’s backpack earlier. Maybe it was code for his underground railroad.

“No other way to carry this thing,” she said, shortening the straps so the bag wouldn’t drag on the ground. She took a few steps to make sure she had the right length then nodded at the street. “Shall we go?”

MediaKit_BookCover_PerfectFitFast-paced, funny and incurably romantic

Rachel Banks has never believed in magic or moonlight, but if she’d thought that putting a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would conjure up a nightmare in the form of blue-eyed charmer Mark Robison, she’d have stuffed that cake into her mouth instead! Mark is only in Madeira Beach for some much needed R&R and his new neighbour is not the kind of woman made for vacation memories. But there’s something about the incurable romantic that just keeps drawing him back.

Jennifer Crusie. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Lynda Simmons? Oh, yeah!

About the Author:
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Savage Winds by R.J. Merle - Guest Blog 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 B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops in the tour.

Author R.J. Merle’s Fascination with Technology

In the Children of the Elements Series due to Top Secret technological advances, a cluster of children within the East Tennessee Mountains develop psychic powers.

Imagine a world a world without cell phones, one in which typing speed out raced existing computer software, and there were a few channels on television, and no home internet access…

All of those tech features have manifested in the last few decades.

To think we’ve advanced so far that in a waiting room people communicate via texts with people hundreds, even thousands, of miles away…

Thus, how could one not be fascinated with the advances of technology?

Taking this fascination with technology and weaving it into a Science Fiction Adventure and depicting potential negative consequences of the use of such supposed technological advances turned out to be a fun and rewarding experience.

Children of the Elements, A Secret City Science Fiction Adventure Series features such fictional—or are they?—advances.

Five full novels, one huge story.

When nature refuses to be controlled, can mankind endure? Brainwaves altered by a covert government project based out of the Secret City of Oak Ridge, the Children of the Elements are brought together and tested as weapons of mass destruction. Their struggle to free themselves and survive in the hostile East Tennessee Mountains creates massive chaos and threatens to bring about an apocalypse.

Savage Winds, the first book in the series, shares the story of a little girl able to direct the wind with her wind play, and features the technique of presenting extraordinary features in a normal, every-day world. The children live in the East Tennessee Mountains and their psychic gifts are a part of their daily lives. Also, techno-geek Stedford Thackett, an eighteen-year-old whose story spans all five books, with his awkwardness and clumsiness tends to ground the story more deeply in reality.

Even in fiction where the worlds are fantastical, there tends to be normal aspects of the characters that are endearing and relatable to the reader, so that the fantasy characteristics of the story tend to be accepted as real and plausible.

Basically, blending the implausible, as seamlessly as possible, within the plausible assists in presenting more believable story aspects and presents the story happenings as plausible when crafting Fantasy fiction.

Savage Winds (Children of the Elements, A Secret City Science Fiction Adventure Series, Book 1)

A dangerous conspiracy unfolds...

In Author R.J. Merle’s whirlwind start of the Children of the Elements series, a clumsy teenage techno-geek struggles to protect kidnapped children from a covert government organization responsible for creating their abilities to control the five elements. A mighty wind…

Eighteen-year-old Stedford Thackett’s conspiracy theorist brother ensnares him in a real life children-as-weapons plot, while a determined scientist grooms happy-go-lucky five-year-old Darcie Lynn Carpenter to use the wind as a deadly weapon.

Out of control...

Despite the firm hand of Scientist Nora Hicks, Stedford struggles to rescue the kids and escape, even as Darcie Lynn fights to gain control of the surging power of the savage winds.

A Word-o-Gram for the series would include descriptions to include Psychic Powers, Telekinesis, Apocalypse, Electro-Magnetic Pulse, Zombies, and Mutants.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Dead men don’t tell tales, yet the late project head’s records held revelations kept from Scientist Nora Hicks for far too long.

In an office deep inside an East Tennessee mountain, Nora snapped a black leather-bound book closed.

Except for the carved stone ceiling, the office mimicked a non-descript working office in Anywhere, USA. Bulky military-issue metal and wood furniture stood as a harsh legacy to the covert Secret City project and to the starkness of her life.

Sitting at the borrowed hulk of a desk in a dank underground office, she asked, “Why was this kept from me?”

Across the desk in a guest chair, General Gardner, with thin hair sprouts sprayed into place, said, “Ever since Oak Ridge existed but did not even appear on a map, the city continues to hold and foster more than its share of secrets. As a trusted senior scientist and manager of the project, Dickenson claimed you and your son were the only ones involved.”

“How long have you known there were more of us?” Her grip on the desk’s metal edge forced her gloved hands to stop shaking. The usual underground chill pressed into the heat of her temples and an off-putting tartness oozed over her tongue.

Were Scientist Daniel Dickenson not already dead, she would kill him with her bare hands.


About the Author:
Author R.J. Merle stepped out of the realm of Top-Secret documents (shh, don’t tell…) to write sci-fi and paranormal fiction.

R.J. survived and escaped both the entertainment field and the government-contracting environment, craves the Walking Dead, and entertains what-if tidbits about “supposed” technological and biological advances.

No stranger to the goings on in the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, R.J. Merle blends a down-home flavor with a former in-the-know—hypothetically, of course—technical background to craft the twists and intrigue of Secret City Adventures.

Amazon Author Page:
BN Author Page:

NOTE: Savage Winds is on sale for $0.99!

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Talisma by Marie Mohn - Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_TourBanner_Talisma copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marie will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour and three randomly drawn commenters will each receive an ebook copy of the book. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_TalismaThrilling fantasy, dramatic twists and a stirring love story!

Why did Kaja – a bearer of good fortune – suddenly run out of luck? Shadow creatures lurk in the dark, one misfortune leads to the next, and her fear of being claimed by the aristocrats increases by the hour. Furthermore, she is torn between her seaman and the wild wood wanderer, before whom all warn…

Can she escape her superior opponents? And how will her heart decide?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Before the midday heat sent Donn’s residents retreating to their homes, she was almost sold out and Kaja hummed to herself as she packed up the leftover goods. Just as she stowed the last honey jars, she discovered two stalls further, in front of Salina the tailor, a tall man with pitch-black, wild hair standing on end. He was barefoot, and wore dark suede pants and a fur bag over the shoulder. A wood wanderer!

Kaja knew she’d better look away – her father had ingrained it in her thoroughly. “Never speak to a wood wanderer!” he had always warned. “Do not look to them and keep your distance! They are dangerous!”

However, she couldn’t pull her gaze away from the stranger. Dangerous? Might be. But fascinating! And besides, she couldn’t leave Salina alone with one of the dangerous forest dwellers! Now he turned his head to her and held midway in the movement. She wouldn’t be deterred! Defiantly, she lifted her chin, took a few steps toward him and held his gaze. Were those gold spots in his deep brown eyes? His mouth twisted into a grin. His teeth were not in the least black and putrid, as it was always said!

She had almost reached him, as a tumult arose.

“A wood wanderer!” someone yelled. “Arrest him!” and, “Guards!”

The savage looked around. Before him was the market stand on his left, and from the middle of the market guards came through the crowd. The only possible way led past Kaja. He gave her an appraising look and sprinted in her direction. In passing by he touched her arm and a huge energy shock flashed through her. If the sky hadn’t been clear and free of clouds, she would have sworn she’d been struck by lightning! By the gods, how was that possible?

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TalismaAbout the Author:As a fantasy writer, office manager and optimist Marie Mohn lives with her husband and her son happily in the heart of Austria.

Born in 1985 as the daughter of two authors, she was naturally fascinated by the magical world of books since childhood, devouring one book after another, and soon began to write herself.

Creativity and joy interlink closely in her opinion and she loves to enjoy – besides her own life – invented worlds and adventures.

The German version of “Talisma” has already been successfully published in 2014. It has plenty of great reviews (average rating at Amazon 4.9/5).

"Talisma" has been published on 25th February 2015. It offers thrilling entertainment with a sarcastic heroine, new figures in the world of fantasy (wood wanderers, bearers of good fortune and shadow creatures) and a stirring love story.


Buy the book at Amazon

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Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen by Barbara Becker Holstein - Interview and Giveaway

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

Thanks to Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein for stopping by to answer a few questions for us. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I am a positive psychologist who is passionate about helping people live their dreams and reach their potential. Writing books for girls, tweens, teens and hopefully their parents is a dream come true to help me get to the right populations. After all, just about all of us in childhood are able to have fun, laugh a lot, feel hopeful and excited and full of dreams. It is as we face growing up and as we are adults that a lot of the inner spark fades. By creating a character in The Truth and Secrets, who can share her most inner most thoughts and secrets and yet still come out on top, I have a way to excite both kids and grown-ups to stay true to the spark within! It is a win-win for everyone.

What research is required?

What is necessary to write the way I do in both The Truth and Secrets is a deep commitment to the preciousness and talents of childhood and a deep desire to reawaken in others that spirit that we all had at one time. The combination of a psychological background, and an educational background certainly helps but may not be mandatory. Loving childhood is.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

I have learned o much from the girl in The Truth and Secrets! The most important thing I've learned is to remember our promises to ourselves that we made when we were young. This promises, such as not to be be mean or to travel and have fun were not made lightly. They were made through the pain of what we saw and felt as adults in our lives made more choices that often made our lives worse than they needed to be. So the promises must be honored as best we can for the world to be a better place! I keep trying and I think the girl for my determination!

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

Wow, that is an interesting question. I don't think so. If standing up a few times when I should be writing and getting tea and more nuts to eat is a quirk, then I guess that is mine! And my hips don't thank me!

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I do have a good idea of what I am writing. With both The Truth and Secrets I knew the plot beforehand in that the girl as she wrote each diary had to evolve into a new level of truth, hope and maturity to take her to the next stage in her life. However, some of the things she thought up and I ended up writing about were not consciously on my mind and of course I thank her for all those pages.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

To my right in my printer and my cell phone. How much have both become like alive objects in my life! The printer is amazing, considering I remember the days when I had to go to the drug store to make a copy of a short story I had just typed on my electric typewriter. And as far as that i-phone, it is hypnotic. There must be a secret being inside of there. Hey, that would make a good short story!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

The play version of The Truth and Secrets, titled The Locket is my major new project around these books. Please go to YouTube to see scenes from the play in its developmental stages.

Do you have a question for our readers?

What feelings do you remember from when you were 11? What dreams and hopes did you have then? Are you keeping any promises to yourself? And did you have a crush? Love to know more. Write to me at or leave your answer in the comments.

Following in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Date: December 2
Dear Diary,

I have a secret and it’s been eating me up inside, so I have to tell you. I lied to Angela. I told her I had a terrible sore throat and couldn’t come for the weekend. She said she was sorry and that she would invite me again.

I felt terrible, and then my throat really began to hurt. But I just couldn’t go to Springport for a whole weekend_even though I miss being around Angela.

Now that I have best friends here, I don’t feel the same way I used to about going back to visit. And I didn’t know how to tell Angela that. I could tell when we talked on the phone that she really wanted me to come. And she sent me a new selfie, holding a sign that reads I Miss You! She even told me that she doesn’t have a new best friend since I left. She really misses me. She also told me that Paul is in lots of her classes and he asks if she’s talked to me. How could I tell her I’m in love with Rob and don’t care about Paul anymore? How could I tell her that I have new best friends and want to stay here with them?

I did go to Sally’s instead, and we had the best time. Her mother ordered pizza for us and we drank Coke. We watched television and made popcorn and did each other’s hair with all of Sally’s older sister’s hair products we found in the bathroom. I look silly with curly hair. We kept laughing and falling on the floor and giggling, and we played this fun game that Jackie learned in camp last summer. We all lay down on the floor and we each put our head on someone else’s belly. Someone says, “Ha-ha,” and then the next person says, “Haha-ha,” until everyone is laughing. Then you can’t stop laughing because the belly you are on is bouncing all around under your head.

Sally’s mom got really angry at all the noise we were making, and we had to turn off the lights and pretend to go to sleep. I hardly slept a wink, though. I was so excited and having so much fun with my new friends. I was tired the next morning and really did have a sore throat when I went home, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to have so much fun.

 About the Author:
I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years. The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web.

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