Friday, January 29, 2016

Desert Heat by P.H. Turner - Spotlight and Giveaway

BBT_DesertHeat_Banner copy

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

Social worker Jordan Bia finds a child who escaped her captors and a life in the sex trade, but four other girls from her small Mexican village were not so lucky. Smugglers hide their human cargo in the hoodoos of a remote canyon on the reservation—a place the Navajo shun, fearful of the witches who practice their black rituals and feast on the dark energy of evil. Mysterious rites, omens of death, and bodies litter the canyon.

When she meets Navajo police officer Sam Tohee, sparks fly fueled by the danger of hunting men who buy and sell little girls. Techno savvy Jordan plots to trap the smugglers and free the rest of the children, but unless she and Sam can find the power to defeat the witches she may not live long enough to save the girls.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I walked down the center of the shadowy street, far away from men who might slither out of alleys and doorways and grab me, a lone female. The woman whose child I had come to check on lived over a bar when she functioned well enough to remember where she lived. She and the child were nowhere to be found. I had tarried too long, and the night hovered under the thin crescent of moonlight that marked the time between the dark moon and the new moon. Clouds scuttled across the moon, darkening the sky.

The puny glow from the single streetlight outlined two men slouched between boarded-up buildings, smoking and swigging from bottles sheathed in tattered brown bags. They catcalled and hooted, "We got whatcha want, girlie." I scurried faster to my old Honda Civic, parked a block away. My heart pounded and my calves burned from the effort to put distance between me and their drunken lewdness.

Soft crying, a sound more like a wounded kitten than a person, stopped me in the middle of the street. I cocked my head toward the dim alley but only saw shadows. The pitiful sound drifted out, forlorn and frightened. I scanned the street for movement. No one was there. I walked on my toes to the mouth of the alley. Nothing stirred. Tiny fingers of light trickled into the alley from the streetlight. "Who's there?"

The crying became snuffling, and then silence.

Footsteps rustled. I called into the darkness, asking if anyone needed help.

"Si," the voice whimpered.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DesertHeatAbout the Author: I call Austin, Texas home now after working on the East and West coasts, the Rocky Mountains, and an island in the Gulf of Mexico. I've come full circle to live and work close to the farm my family settled in the 1850's.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and years in the news business provided lots of peculiar characters and stories to write about. My books are set in my favorite places, the desert canyons and high mountains of the American West.


Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Obsidian Worlds by Jason Werbeloff - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jason will be awarding a $15 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 for joining us today. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I write science fiction, often with a dystopian, cyberpunk or gory feel. Why? For two reasons. For one, science fiction adds something that no other genre can: a radically new setting. Think of science fiction like adding Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) to food. Whatever the food, MSG makes it taste just that much better. Likewise, if you enjoy thrillers, or horrors, or romance, place the very same plot on an alien planet, or in a space port, and you’ve got a fresh take, with fascinating world mechanics that can enhance the story. And like MSG, sci-fi can give you a headache – but you’ll always come back for more.

The second reason I love writing sci-fi is that it allows me to write philosophical fiction. I’m a philosopher by training (I have a PhD in philosophy), and one of the activities philosophers love most is constructing thought experiments. “What if the world was the same as our current world, except for x, y and z?” All of my stories in my anthology, Obsidian Worlds, are thought experiments. For example, what if society decided to farm and eat women (Dinner with Flexi); or, what if the cryogenic freezing became commonplace (The Cryo Killer); or, what would life be like from the perspective of a bottle of silicone lube (Bleed Me Silicone)?

What world-building is required?

Although science fiction involves building worlds radically different from our own in some crucial respect, the world must accurately resemble our own in every other respect – otherwise it won’t be plausible. So it’s important to have an accurate grasp of current science and technological trends, to forecast where that science or technology might reach one day. If it can’t be explained, at least in theory, then it’s not sci-fi – it’s fantasy. (And fantasy generally leaves a bad aftertaste for me, with a few notable exceptions, like John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things).

My first novel, The Solace Pill, is about 3d printers capable of scanning and printing whole, functioning human beings. This isn’t possible right now, but all the ingredients are here today – the ability to print with organic material, the ability to scan people with fMRIs, etc. To write the book I did a lot of research into current 3d printing technology. Challenging and interesting.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Each of the eleven stories in Obsidian Worlds has a distinct hero/heroine, but they all have one thing in common – they strive obstinately to succeed against the odds. I try to do the same in my own life, but sometimes I take cues from my protagonists, and try a little harder.

I often think of Q46F, an android in one of my stories. He lives out his days, trapped alone in a bunker, amidst a world embroiled in a zombie-apocalypse. Despite having no contact with a sentient being outside his bunker for years, he’s forever hopeful for a signal. For a message. And then, he receives one…

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

I don’t have much of a writing routine, which itself is quirky. From my discussions with fellow writers, I know that most of us have elaborate rituals we need to perform before we can sit down and write. Coffee brewed just the right way. A particular music album. No sex that morning. I’ve heard lots of them.

But for me, I write whenever my mind stills, and focuses on my characters. The characters call to me, and there’s no telling quite when that will happen. It’s often after midnight, or during an intimate conversation with my partner (that can be a problem). But when they call, characters can’t be denied. They must, must be written.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

A combination of both. I plot out the beginning and the end of the story using Scrivener (fantastic software for writers). And then, once I’ve got the beginning written out, I let the story take me. Characters often grow in ways I can’t anticipate when I’m planning the story upfront, and I don’t mind that. I let them drive me where they like, and it’s usually a better location than I originally planned.

But the ending … the ending. You gotta have that planned upfront, or bad thing’ll happen. Whole books are ruined by a bad ending.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

There’s a note from my partner that he wrote me this morning while I was sleeping, wishing me luck for the dentist today. I have a needle phobia, and today was my first root treatment – a most ghastly experience. I write gory science fiction, and adore gore movies and books. But for some reason, I tell you, when the gore happens to me, I’m as sensitive as a newborn kitten. At one point during the procedure, the dentist, on a wet, slimy gloved finger, showed me my severed nerve. “Look,” he said. “Look!” I did. And promptly passed out.

Maybe that’s why I love writing gore. So that it’s happening to someone other than me.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m currently a little past half-way through a gory sci-fi biopunk thriller. It’s going to be a full-length novel (about 80k words, all being well). And it’s the first novel I’ve written from a single point of view (although there is a secondary POV that enters near the middle). I was never quite confident enough to write a full novel from one point of view, but now that I’m into it, I’m hooked. I’m starting to really identify with my protagonist, even though this poor guy isn’t someone you’d want to be – all manner of havoc befalls him. I’m loving it.

Do you have a question for our readers?

What’s your favori
te gory movie/book? I’m currently gore-crazy. Body horror counts. Please tell me!

Jason Werbeloff’s short stories have been downloaded over 20,000 times. Obsidian Worlds brings together his 11 best-selling sci-fi shorts into a mind-bending philosophical anthology.

In Your Averaged Joe, a man’s headache is large enough to hold the multiverse. Q46F is an obsessive-compulsive android who finds love in a zombie-embroiled apocalypse. The end of the world isn’t all that bad – The Experience Machine will fulfil your every desire (and some you hadn’t considered). A sex bot dares to dream of freedom in Dinner with Flexi. But mind what you eat, because The Photons in the Cheese Are Lost. Don’t fret though: The Cryo Killer guarantees that your death will be painless, or your money back when you’re thawed. Unless, that is, you’re The Man with Two Legs.

Plug into Obsidian Worlds for these and other immersive stories, including the hilarious Time-Traveling Chicken Sexer. Your brain will never be the same again.

Enjoy an excerpt from "Your Averaged Joe":

“Sorry, this is a bit overwhelming. Let me introduce myself.” Then all three men spoke in unison, extending their hands, “I’m Thursday.” They each chewed a piece of gum, their masticating movements simultaneous.

Joe eyed the identical hands. Long, frosty fingers. Whitest skin. He shook hands with each. Their grips were firm. All three.

Thursday continued, “This is the Chamber.” He waved his arm around the room proudly. Joe considered the space. The rows of beds seemed to stretch forever. He couldn’t see the end of the room. And no pillars. Nothing to support the pink ceiling that extended in all directions. Joe scrunched his feet at the enormity of the Chamber, and the floor squeezed between his toes. But the floor wasn’t smooth – it was … hairy? He glanced down, and yup, fine dark hairs covered its surface. It was like standing on a forearm. Goose bumps erupted along his arms, down his legs, Joe shifted his weight to his heels, trying to avoid the hairs from scratching between his toes. And as the goose bumps spread across his back, down his chest, the ground beneath his feet changed. Between the silky black hairs, the fleshy floor lumped in places. Lumps the size of fists. Bumps, goose bumps. On the ground. He shivered.

Trying not to think about it, and resisting the urge to jump, to get his feet anywhere but on the fleshy floor, he stared at the beds. Each held a single occupant, each with brown hair, each wearing the same pale blue nightgown he was wearing. Joe looked to the bed beside his, and his heart stopped.

The man in the bed was him.

About the Author:
Jason Werbeloff is a novelist and philosopher. He loves chocolate and his Labrador, Sunny.

He's interested in the nature of social groups, personal identity, freedom, and the nature of the mind. His passion is translating philosophical debate around these topics into works of science fiction, while gorging himself on chocolate.

Amazon Author Page – download all of Werbeloff's fiction from Amazon.

Newsletter – subscribe to get 'The Solace Pill' free, as well as VIP access to Werbeloff's latest fiction.

Goodreads – read reviews of Werbeloff’s fiction.

Facebook and Twitter – follow Werbeloff for release date information on upcoming shorts and novels.

Website - read about the author, and the philosophy behind his fiction.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Sugarspear Chronicles by Nicole Arlyn - Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_TheSugarspearChronicles copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will win the prize described in the Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


MediaKit_BookCover_TheSugarspearChroniclesThe Sugarspear Chronicles, the incredible twenty-six-novella saga that started with a little girl and her willow tree, is finally available in one complete collection.

The Sugarspear Chronicles: The Complete Collection is the story of young Sadie Sugarspear, a girl who endures intolerable abuse by reading about a fantasy world filled with incredible sights and outlandish people—a place she’s only ever encountered through her real father’s storybook.

One day, when the cruelty becomes too much to bear, Sadie runs away and hides inside her beloved willow tree. To her surprise, the tree opens, sending Sadie down into the abyss, into a land she’s only ever read about—where she must being a long, terrifying, and heartbreaking journey home.

Readers can now enjoy the entirety of author Nicole Arlyn’s dark fantasy saga in one complete book. This complete collection also includes a note from the author detailing the inspiration and events that led to The Sugarspear Chronicles.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“A big treasure chest of something. In a fresco on my ceiling that was moving, alive, like the things I have written. Art, it comes to life, imagination, it comes to life, and it all becomes a part of truth, or it all gets burned or hidden, or it gets more beautiful, and I don’t know anymore even what is the truth I am too lost in you. But you’ll see, if you go, somewhere inside you, if you come with me, come with me to Revelathia. There, nothing is illusion. It’s all life.”

“Revelathia is an imaginary place, Sadie, a place that people make up so they can feel better, like my mother did.”

“And like I did.” She waited for him to respond but he didn’t. “Why did you give me the map then? You told me it was a real place.”

“Sadie was a child, lost and alone, she needed comfort she needed to believe. All she saw were thorns. I wanted to show her something else.”

He walked towards the mountain and leaned against it, picked up a rock and threw it. He wouldn’t look at her. Her teeth began to chatter. She was colder than it was cold out.

“Why are you so mad after we loved each other like that?” Sadie said. “Why do people do things like this? Ruin love with fear.”

His face was out of the moonlight.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheSugarspearChroniclesNicole is a writer and an actress born in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked in films such as Clay Pigeons, opposite Joaquin Phoenix; The Wedding Planner; and Brooklyn Bound, among many others. She has performed, written and directed theater productions in New York, Los Angeles, and Europe. She has also read her poems in many poetry lounges in Europe and America, and is a song lyricist for musicians.

After living in Rome, Italy, for the past several years, Nicole has returned to New York City where she lives with her husband and son. She is at work on more novels.

Author Page:
Author Website:

FREE at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Black Crow White Lie by Candi Sary - Guest Blog and Giveaway

NBTM_BlackCrowWhiteLie_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Candi Sary will be awarding a $15 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.

5 Things We’d Probably Never Guess About You by Candi Sary

1. My turquoise obsession—I wear something turquoise every day, and even my toenails are painted turquoise all the time. I’ve tried wearing other colors, but it’s as if color has vibration, and I just feel off in red or orange or black. Turquoise hasn’t only taken over my closet. I surround myself with it. I have turquoise dishes in my turquoise kitchen, a turquoise Christmas tree, turquoise handbags, turquoise decor… you name it! And I even live in a turquoise house. My husband finally gave in to having it painted after years of my suggesting it. Sometimes, after a long day in a somewhat dull world, it makes me so happy to pull up to my pretty turquoise house.

2. I can surf and ride a skateboard—I bought a skateboard in college and asked the little skater kid down the street to teach me to ride it. He even taught me to Ollie—practicing on carpet at first. I’m not very good, but I can do it! I started surfing almost 15 years ago when my son learned to surf. I only go out in small waves, and I definitely “surf like a mom,” but it’s one of my favorite things to do.

3. My admittedly irrational fears—I read A Short History of Nearly Everything and when I learned in detail about the possibility (the very slim possibility) of asteroids slamming into the earth without warning, I haven’t been able to look up at the night sky the same again. Sometimes I imagine movie-like scenarios and let my imagination get the best of me. My similar fears of tsunamis, black widows and other random dangers make me wonder if this is the downside of having an overactive, creative mind.

4. I still get a toy for Christmas—When I was too old for toys (by my mom’s standards) I started getting only clothes and other more mature gifts for Christmas. While I certainly appreciated the presents, I remember I felt like the magic of Christmas was gone. When I told my mom, she decided to add just one toy under the tree each year, all the way into adulthood. And now my husband buys me one toy each year. Something about a colorful toy and its playfulness, no matter how small and simple, excites me and continues to bring out the kid in me.

5. My outrageous number of rejections—I probably received well over 1,000 rejection letters in my writing career. I submitted each of my seven novels to agents and publishers over the years, and while the “no’s” were not always easy to take, I learned so much from them. The early no’s were often simple form letters, but the later ones (the ones that came after publishers and agents said yes to reading my novels) were more detailed and personal and sometimes even encouraging. They not only taught me specifics on how to improve my writing, but they also taught me that “no” is not the end of the world, and persistence can change everything.

Young Carson Calley has a rare and magical gift of healing, a gift which both defines him and threatens to betray him. He lives in Hollywood motels with his alcoholic, fortune-telling mother, Juliette. She nurtures his gift, but her ways are deceptive. She feeds the boy fantastical stories to convince him of his greatness. At fourteen, Carson finally wises up to her lies and his identity is completely shattered. Juliette is too deep in her addiction to help him separate the facts from the fictions, so he looks for answers on the streets of Hollywood. There he finds Faris, a tattoo shop owner, and Casper, a cashier at a head shop. These two unlikely mentors help this troubled yet extraordinary boy find his way to the truth.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Putting my hands over her head I felt the tiny stars that always came. It felt like thousands of them came pouring out of my hands. I couldn’t see them with my eyes; I could only see them with my eyes closed. But I could feel them. They filled my hands with heat, and when I shared them with my mom, they made her feel better.

I don’t remember the first time I used the stars, just like I don’t remember the first time I used my voice. When I asked my mom how I got them, she said I just knew I had them in me—the same way I knew I had words in me.

About the Author: Candi Sary graduated from the University of California, Irvine. Her awards for Black Crow White Lie include 1st Place in the Dante Rossetti Awards, winner of the Reader Views Literary Award for the West-Pacific, and first runner-up in the Eric Hoffer Award for fiction. Her novel was also adapted into a short film by Chase Michael Wilson. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two children. She can often be found surfing out in the waters of Newport Beach.

Publisher Website:

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Simmer and Smoke by Peggy Lampman - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peggy Lampman will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by It's Raining Books to talk to us today. Why do you write in your genre?

I write in the genre that I enjoy reading: Literary and High Concept Fiction; particularly women’s literary fiction.

What draws you to it?

Because I can relate on so many levels. I’m a woman (duh), and I love a good story, well told.

There have been experiences in my life that have changed me, and there was no closure for me until I wrote about those experiences, digging at the pain and pulling it out. When I read a piece of literary fiction that I enjoy, it’s sort of like the same experience. Reading and writing in this genre is cathartic for me.

What research is required?

The book does have bits of strangeness––metaphorical leering jackalopes, personified hogs and the like–– but it’s not fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi. There is quite a bit of quirky imagery in the novel; particularly in Coryville and surrounding Miss Ann’s glass eye.

My husband and I have relatives that live in “colorful” communities. I have drawn tremendous inspiration from these folks that I’ve come to love, and appreciate their giving me license to draw intimately from their landscape.

I’ve worn dozens of hats in my life, have lived in big cities and small towns, and have studied and befriended various types of people. To know, first-hand, the people and community of your book, is the best research for me.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

To get back on the horse that throws me.

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

I’m quirky superstitious. I was raised in the Deep South and had a babysitter who scared me with tales of the Devil and his pitchfork. If I wasn’t a good little girl, he would skewer and roast me over the flames. Once my mother got wind of how I was coerced to eat my peas, the sitter didn’t last long. But not before she had convinced me of the power of numbers. I chose the number six (and multiples of six, to be my lucky number(s). To this day my heart beats in a rhythm of six. Superstitions play into the characters of my protagonists.

The pachamama I brought back with me from Peru, is my talisman. I hope she brings me color and imagination when writing my next book.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Most definitely a plotter. I work from an outline, which is in constant transition. Occasionally, I push aside the road map and let the ride rip––seatbelt unfastened–– but the light flickering at the end of the tunnel reminds me where I’m headed.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

I’m gazing out of the window in our cottage in northern Michigan. A little snow angel is sitting outside. Wait. She’s sprouting ice cycle legs . She stands. She is running though the forest, grasping at pinecones. She hurls them into the wind, as if to fight off an attacker.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Most definitely. I was just contacted by my agent, Wendy Sherman, who said she had a buyer for my book––Lake Union Publishing. They will re-brand and re-publish the book in August, and I will be under contract (with an advance!) to have a second book completed within the year.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes. What’s sitting at YOUR right?

Thanks very much for inviting me to your book blog! To learn more about “Simmer and Smoke”, please visit me on my author page at

A single mother who dreams of becoming a chef.

A food writer who just lost the love of her life.

Two women discover what's worth fighting for in this deliciously rendered novel that illuminates the power of food, love, friendship and family on the human heart


Shelby Preston--a young, single mother trapped in a hardscrabble life in rural Georgia--escapes her reality as she fantasizes herself a respected chef in a kitchen of gleaming stainless steel and pans shimmering with heat. Mallory Lakes--an Atlanta newspaper food writer--may lose her job, and searches for her muse in a shot glass of illusion.


Mallory secures her job by crafting a zealous doppelgänger to satisfy the expectations of an illusive cyber audience. This also mollifies the memories of her lover who recently bolted; no warning. Shelby persuades her mother to take care of her daughter so she can pursue her dream of going to chef school in Atlanta. She cooks them a special dinner said to bring good luck; Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good.


Chasing desires and ambitions, the women's lives unravel down a path beyond the kitchen, then weave together in an unsettling culinary landscape of organic farms and shadowy borders--some borders not meant to be crossed. As Mallory combats her demons with booze and pills, and Shelby battles the odds stacked against her for becoming a chef, the women discover what's really worth fighting for.

Enjoy an excerpt:


Ashes in a box vanished into the ground. All my life I’ve yearned for something more, something I struggle to define. An image lies in wait, appears in a flash, then gone. It’s in the brushed edge of a dream that leaves behind no memory, only a warming prickle of joy. It’s in the smell of fresh-turned soil after a frost, ancient and newborn. It’s in the taste of honeysuckle nectar—what the wood nymphs drink, I tell my child—that we dot onto our tongues every spring.

About the Author:
Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm. She moved back to Ann Arbor, her college town, and opened up a specialty foods store, The Back Alley Gourmet. After selling the business, she wrote under a weekly food byline in The Ann Arbor News and MLive. This is her first novel. Goodreads:

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Green Rose by Stephanie Burkhart - Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_TheGreenRose_Banner copy

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

MediaKit_BookCover_TheGreenRoseOn the continent of Gaia, evil is brewing. Turncoat wizard, Balthyser, kidnaps the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. He wants the green rose, a source of powerful magic.

Princess Sonia of Tapin is forced to hunt down the rose in exchange for her father's life. It's the ultimate betrayal of Gaia's peace, but she has no choice if she wants to save her father.

Prince Ivánstan of Dahaka accompanies her on the journey. Both face challenges and obstacles that test their strength of character during the hunt for the rose. Dare Sonia put her trust and faith in a man she hardly knows to secure Gaia's peace or will the continent's harmony be shattered forever?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sonia stepped into the alley. The stark shadows sent a chill down her spine.



A strong arm wrapped around her neck, tugging her back against a thickly muscled chest.

She dropped her supplies. Her hand went for Broadwing, but powerful fingers grasped her wrist. There was no mistaking his citrus scent.



Hiro descended, talons extended.

Gabriel pinned Sonia's arm next to his body, shifting his arm and weight. Sonia struggled, but stopped when she felt the steel of a dagger against her throat. Her body felt immobilized by the upward twist in her trapped arm, forcing her free arm to hang limply at her side.

"No further, bird, or I'll slice her throat."

Hiro slowed his descent and circled overhead, never letting his gaze leave Sonia. Thank Nyla Hiro was here. Never had Gabriel caught her so unaware. How had he found her?

"What can I do?"

"Bring Ivánstan."

Hiro flew away.

"What did you tell that foul bird?" Gabriel hissed next to her ear.

"I urged him to leave."

"You were never a good liar."

"Unhand me."

His loud chuckle filled the air. "Nay, not yet, you have something I want."

Sonia struggled, turning her face toward the shadows to avoid his stench, but Gabriel held her firmly. A fresh bout of pain lashed up her arm. "Release her!"

Sonia directed her gaze toward Ivánstan's voice. Hiro was perched on his shoulder, his eyes blazing with anger. Sonia gasped. Hiro had never perched on another's shoulder before.

"Well, if the bird didn't fetch good Prince Ivánstan."

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheGreenRoseAbout the Author:Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.


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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fairly Certain by Deborah Ann Davis - Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deborah will be awarding a $25 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.

Petir takes a rough tumble in the Connecticut woods, but awakens in the middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow...and arrow. Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. But when she is captured by the enemy, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue the fair maiden.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He groaned aloud as he gingerly surveyed his battered body for damage.

Despite some newly acquired grit, his teeth were intact.

Head still moved although it pounded.

Toes wiggled.

Ribs ached.

Arms and shoulders worked but were sore.

Yup, Pete, tree climbing was a seriously stupid idea. At the time, of course, the idea hadn’t seemed stupid. How difficult could it be for a lost computer geek to clamber up a low-limbed tree like a little kid, get his bearings, and jump down?

Later, he could scold himself for too many hours behind a computer and not enough hours at the tennis table, but right now, he needed to spit. And wipe this crap off his face so he could open his eyes. He brushed his palms off and slowly propped himself on an elbow.

Everything hurt, but it all seemed to be working. That was a relief. He had no backup plan for being alone in the woods with an injury. He spat out what he hoped was only dirt and ran his tongue over the remaining grit while he wiped around his eyes.


Good thing Chris and Jimmy weren’t there. If they had witnessed his impromptu tree dive, he would never have heard the end of it. He rolled over to spit again.

Holy— The sudden pain blazing down the back of his leg took his breath away. Alarm shot through him proportional to its intensity.

About the Author:
I’m DEBORAH ANN DAVIS, and I write Quirky New/Young Adult Fiction with a Twist. I began writing when searching for inspiration for my 5th grade English Journal. Lo and behold, my world was full of funny tales just waiting to be told. It never occurred to me to pursue writing, not even when I discovered my flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of undergrad majors, I realized I could reach a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As you probably know, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? I jumped into teaching with both feet and loved it for 27 years. It came with an added bonus: Once teens know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh. Go figure.

Twelve years after our first kiss, I reunited with, and married my childhood sweetheart. Together we coached our daughter's AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years, our daughter and our money went to college.

During a particularly nasty bout of Lyme disease, I turned to Fitness to boost my Health, and to Writing to boost my Happiness. Currently, I am a healthy and happy Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer who loves to write.

We presently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. When I’m not writing novels for my Love of Fairs series, I enjoy dabbling with living a sustainable life, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. I also promote increasing movement throughout your day as Wiggle Writer at


Buy Fairly Certain at IndieBound, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, bLio, or Inktera.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 22, 2016

Blind Chess by Cristelle Comby - Interview and Giveaway

VBT_BlindChess_Banner copy
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cristelle Comby will be awarding all four books of the series, signed by the author (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If someone were writing a story about you, what would your blurb say?

There’s some family drama in the background. I had a difficult childhood and traumatic teenage years. I guess the blurb would rely heavily on that to entice readers to buy the book – never mind that my life is now perfectly normal and happy. I’m not sure that’s a book I’d like to read.

Would you tell us a little about your newest release that isn't in the blurb?

Well it’s the direct continuation of Danse Macabre, the third book in the series. It picks up where the other one left off. Alexandra Neve’s in the hospital, badly injured. Her life’s hanging on the thread. That leaves Ashford Egan on his own for the first time since the two of them started their PI company. He has a pretty good idea who tried to murder his friend, and he knows there’s probably a second bullet somewhere with his name on it. The only way they can both survive is for him to catch the man who ordered the hit… London’s most notorious criminal.

What was your favorite scene to write in this story?

The ending was sweet to write. The face/off with the Sorter was also a great fun to do.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

I wouldn’t mind being Dimitri. His life is never really in danger, and by the end of the book it looks like his trafficking business is really going to be booming. So yeah, I think he’s made a pretty sweet life for himself. Plus remember that he can get you an excellent caviar at a very low price – no custom fees applicable.

It is supposed to be Neve and Egan. Two partners, a team. What happens when a member of this team of Private Investigators is shot, prognosis unknown?
As Alexandra Neve lays comatose and defenceless, Ashford Egan must take on their enemy alone, and find the cagiest criminal Scotland Yard has seen in decades. Determined to succeed, Egan will stop at nothing. He’ll hit on married women, plant bugs, hire hitmen. And he’ll do it all blind, which makes things ten times as difficult.

Double-crossed by friends, convinced there is corruption in those sworn to uphold the law, Egan is forced to form unlikely alliances as he moves forward in a game that requires skills, nerves of steel, and a willingness to play against all odds.

Enjoy an excerpt:

A gentle wind is blowing, but it is too cold for the leaves to carry any scent. Seconds tick away, as I wait.

A few minutes before the half hour, I hear the whining of the Lantesks’ garage door and soon after the rumble of a car engine coming to life. Mrs Lantesk is on time to go to work.

Ten feet long the old woman had said of the gravel lane. It isn’t much and I count the seconds after I first hear the crunching of gravel under the car’s tyres. On three, I take a large step forward, bracing myself for the impact I know is coming.

An instant later, the front of Mrs Lantesk’s car hits me on my right side and I fly to the ground, instantly losing all sense of direction. Up is down, down is left and I am only certain of one thing.

I hurt.

Turns out, no matter how ready you are for it, no matter how much planning is involved, or how carefully you give in to the motion and roll to the floor to absorb as much of the momentum as possible... getting hit by a moving vehicle hurts.

The car comes to an abrupt halt an instant later, tyres screeching against the gravel. The engine dies and I hear the car door open. It is followed by a steady stream of feminine and high-pitched, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.’

Monica Lantesk must be wearing heels for I hear her feet tapping the pavement as she hurries towards where I lie sprawled.

‘Are you all right?’ she asks in between another chortle of oh-my-Gods.

I am, for the most part. I’m not seeing stars or anything and I take quick stock of the situation. Nothing seems broken; my glasses are missing, but I still have my cane in hand. I push myself up on one elbow and make a show of moving the cane about in what I hope is a dazed and confused manner. There is another wave of oh-my-Gods, as the woman realises I am blind and she starts to pat me awkwardly on the shoulder.

About the Author:Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Blind Chess is her fourth new-adult novel in the Neve & Egan series.

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kicking Sideways by Dina Keratsis - Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dina will be awarding $15 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.

Five Facts about Dina Keratsis

I don’t know if these are fun or interesting but they are definitely embarrassing, even down to the fascination with lists. Here goes:

1) I fall in love with the morphing of certain fictional characters and actors. Bone-crushingly, obsessively, in love. For a few days, I’m absolutely demented. My husband fortunately thinks it’s hilarious. The latest is Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Writing or reading romance fan-fiction about said character doesn’t help. And those people that role-play? I don’t get it. Fantasizing does no good because you can never escape that you are pretending at something that’s not real. Even if Ewan McGregor showed up at my door dressed as Obi-Wan, I’d know it wasn’t real. That said, Ewan, you are welcome on my doorstep anytime. The kids, er, yes, the kids would love it!

2) Speaking of Star Wars, my doppelganger is C3PO. I'm uptight, awkward in social settings, anxious, think in a British accent, have a shiny forehead, and am great with theory but particularly bad at applying it to situations.

3) I have seizure disorder which leads to some mortifying experiences. Once I was at a conference in Sausalito and had to go to Kinkos. While there, I felt a seizure coming and turned to the desk clerk to say, “Help me.” Next thing I remember is waking up with a bunch of paramedics and my boss surrounding me. This horrible personal moment showed me how beautiful people can be. The staff at the Casa Madrona, where I was staying, took good care of me that night. The hotel, incidentally, appears in Kicking Sideways. That night, the staff rang a call to my room. The clerk at Kinkos phoned to make sure I was okay. I’ve never forgotten her kindness.

4) My day job is an office manager to one of the best men on the planet. When he retires, my dream job is to be Eddie Vedder’s executive assistant. He and his wife do so much good in the world and it would be awesome to work behind the scenes for someone I respect. As this is unlikely to happen, hopefully this writing gig will work out.

5) My parents watched too many musicals because my kids and I often sing our dialogue instead of talking. Think opera: “Son, what would you like for lunch today, la, la, la?” “Salami and cheese, if you please, Mama!” Then daughter will chime in: “And a cookie!” Singing the day is very entertaining. Try it.

Now I want to hear a snippet about you.

MediaKit_BookCover_KickingSidewaysLucretia “Cree” Cabot spends her time saving everybody else to avoid facing her own haunted life. Between raising her younger brother and trying to open a women’s shelter, Cree has built an impenetrable wall around her heart. But when a tenant for Cliff Cottage appears at her door, he cracks her vigilantly controlled world, forcing her to look within to confront the emptiness inside.

Mike Sullivan, famous superhero artist, is searching for a peaceful summer break and a new perspective on life. A farm in sunny Santa Cruz seems like just the place. Looking to escape from his usual routine, he doesn’t count on falling for a woman who is as stubborn as the mule that lives in her barn. Yet beneath Cree’s prickly exterior, he finds a woman in pain—a woman with an immense capacity for love. Mike knows she is the only one for him, but will Cree find the courage to truly live and love before the best thing to walk into her life leaves her behind?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Cree looked at him blankly, her eyes a dull blade. “I just want it to be perfect for them. I want their bedrooms to be fresh and bright, not musty farmhouse wallpaper and someone else’s memories,” she despaired. “I want them to feel like they have a place to belong and start over.”

His heart tugged for her and fell just a little bit more in love with this practical woman who had enough poetry to want to save the world. He reached across the table and took her hand, tightened as she resisted, and was surprised when she succumbed.

“It’ll get done,” he whispered, giving her hand a little squeeze. “I promise.” Her hand melted in his and the burden dissolved from her face. She smiled tiredly before pulling her hand away to pick up a dish.

“Go hang out with your girlfriends for a couple of days.”

She looked down at the plate and walked to the sink.

“You do have some of those, don’t you?” he asked, suspicious.

“Not really,” she replied. “All my college friends moved away a few years ago and I haven’t met too many people around town.” Shrugging, she added, “I don’t mind when it comes down to it.”

“Cree likes to be alone,” Seth said. “She’s weird.”

“I’m one for haunting graveyards by myself as well. Nothing wrong with liking your own company, kid,” he said as an arm shot out and his hand caught Cree’s arm as she passed with another plate for the sink. “Nope,” he commanded. “Go sex wax your board or whatever you surfers do to prepare for a day with the sharks.” He took the plate from her as he released her wrist. “You’re taking tomorrow off.”

About the Author Dina Keratsis is an award-winning author of romance fiction in which all roads lead to illumination and magic is found in the mundane. A New England girl, she has a penchant for punk rock, Scottish tea rooms and a mad crush on Sirius Black. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blood's Force by Ellis Morning - Guest Blog and Giveaway

VBT_BloodsForce_Banner copy

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

Five Things You Might Not Know About Ellis Morning

Hello there, it's so nice to be here today! So, five deep dark secrets? I'm happy to oblige!

1) I've trained in several martial arts styles: Kenpo, Jun Fan, Muay Thai, Eskrima, and German longsword. My training informs a great deal of what I write combat-wise within Blood's Force. Dame Jessamine, especially, fights the way I fought: reluctantly, favoring speed and leverage over raw strength.

2) I learned knitting and sewing from my mom and grandmother. I never rose to the level of making my own clothes, but I can handle repairs and alterations. I've also knitted a Tom Baker-era Doctor Who scarf for my husband!

3) I'm a giant Star Trek nerd. I love The Original Series best, TNG second. My husband and I even met online in a Star Trek roleplaying forum, when my character reprimanded his for insubordination; it was complete infatuation from there. For me, the best thing about the early Star Trek series were their optimistic outlooks toward the future. Humanity is rapidly developing all this daunting new technology ... and it'll be great! We're gonna get past all our warlike urges and prejudices, solve all our scarcity and environmental issues, become respected galactic citizens, then boldly go where no one has gone before.

4) I know how to pick locks. But I only practice my powers in a hobby environment, promise!

5) I'm a dabbler in both languages and music. My German's pretty competent, and I also know some Farsi, Spanish, and Japanese. I've played piano since I was six, and have picked up guitar, viola, oboe, and recorder at various points.

Have any fun facts of your own? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Where superstition is law, there is no order!

Dame Jessamine is a knight errant with a spaceship for a steed, a pupil of ancient science and technology who quests on behalf of the downtrodden. She's accustomed to forging her own path through the galaxy—until she's hijacked at sword-point and sent to investigate Nidaros, a remote barony known for bursts of rebellion.

MediaKit_BookCover_BloodsForceIn Nidaros, Jessamine finds a populace short on food and patience, innocents detained for torture, and a court trapped in a web of delusion. The Baron considers her a distraction. The magicians, convinced of a "curse," dismiss her pleas for rational action. Even as Jessamine forges an alliance with the soldiers, an unknown foe seeks to frame her as an agitator.

Stuck amid murderous intrigue and cut off from her mentors, Jessamine must figure out how to save Nidaros from starvation. But the only people who understand the true "curse" have been accused of witchcraft—and if Jessamine's not careful with her ancient knowledge, she'll join them in the dungeon!

Blood’s Force is Book 1 of the Sword and Starship series of science fiction/fantasy adventure.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The uneven fence lacked the care and planning of a permanent fixture. It also lacked a gate. At the point where cobblestone met fence, a proclamation had been nailed up on the boards, stalwart against the wind threatening to carry it elsewhere. Flanking the parchment were two iron amulets of circular serpents gagging on their own tails, warning enough for those who couldn’t read. Weathering had warped the parchment and smeared the issuing party’s seal, but the message remained legible:

By the Will of the UNSEEN,
by Decree of OUR LORD AND SOVEREIGN Albion Hadwin Catherwood VII (LMHR)
and by the Might of his Magic Adepts is the Settlement once known as Gules hereby
for Failure to protect Assets sacred to OUR LORD and his Dominion.
Gules is cast from the Domain of Catherwood, furnished back unto Nature,
Her Denizens confined herein without Wish or Aid.
An any should trespass, shall the Trespasser share the Curse.
An any should render Succor to the Wretched within, shall the Renderer share the Curse.
Such is the Will of the UNSEEN, the Powers holding Dominion over all Dominions.

“Hell,” I muttered, for once regretting my gift of literacy. I felt like I’d just read the account of a madman who’d cut off his own hand to teach the rest of his body a lesson. My ribcage tightened, but not with the primitive fear of evil forces. Drea and my other mentors had freed me from belief in curses, Unseen, and other powerless superstitions. My heart ached for the people trapped beyond the fence, who almost certainly hadn’t done anything to deserve being so cruelly severed from the rest of the galaxy.

Damned magic adepts. They were the same everywhere I went. There seemed no limit to the evil they could justify as “the Will of the Unseen.”

About the Author:Ellis has always loved staging adventures in her head before going to sleep each night. When she was twelve, she started putting these adventures on paper.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_BloodsForceFor the next twenty years, she wrote with varying degrees of seriousness, but always as a hobby. In that time, she fell in love with Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, the original Star Trek series, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Science fiction became her favorite domain to work in, but she also enjoyed reading fantasy, horror, Western, and detective stories, and incorporating their elements into her work. One of her favorite things to do was make people laugh.

Ellis denied being a writer for decades. But then she sold articles to The Daily WTF, and a short story to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. After quitting her full-time job to finish her first novel, it was time to own up to writing as her calling. She's currently an editor at The Daily WTF, and having the time of her life penning novels and short stories.

Google+: Google+

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 18, 2016

Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath by Annette Oppenlander - Interview and Giveaway

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

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

I write YA historical fiction. First of all you’ve got to love writing for teens and be able to get into their heads. Because of the history element research is a must. I have always enjoyed researching, but didn’t discover my love of history until a fateful interview I did with my parents. In 2002 I asked them about their experiences as children in WW2. What they told me changed my life and my outlook on history. I was hooked.

In high school I thought history was the most boring subject. We had to study endless battles and years of political treaties. Who cares? I think the only way to bring history alive is to dig deep into detail and make the characters come alive with emotion and adventure wrapped into a solid story.

What research is required?

For “Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath” I had to learn all I could about living in medieval times as well as everything about Castle Hanstein, Lord Werner von Hanstein and the Duke von Schwarzburg. Luckily one of the Hanstein descendants had written a family history, a thick tome with a few pages about Werner, family trees and original notations from city annals.

Since peasants didn’t have any means to preserve their stories, I drew inspiration from the many descriptions of life in the Middle Ages. If you write stories based on history you’ve got to really like researching detail. What does a peasant eat, how does he live? What does his home look like? What does their world look like? So, while I do world-building in a sense, that world has to be based on facts or at least what we know about the past.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

That would be Max ‘Nerds,’ a slightly hapless gamer who lives in a foreign country, whose parents are divorced and who isn’t quite sure where he belongs inside and out. Max lands in medieval Germany and is now faced with insurmountable problems. Yet, he rises above, his inner convictions leading him on the right path, albeit a few detours, while he makes some terrific friends.

I learned that if you set aside your fears and inhibitions you can go far. Max often harbors doubt, but in the end he overcomes his worries and fears to become a stronger person.

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

I wish I could say I write in the shower or use an old-fashioned typewriter. The only strange thing I sometimes do when looking for a particular word or phrase is that it comes to me in German – the language I spoke for the first 27 years – and I look up the translation in English. I sort of draw from two vocabularies and actually think this enriches my writing.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’m a pantser so I don’t outline. I have a general idea about my main character(s) and a broad idea of a plot. That’s it. I do, however, develop a detailed bio with external and internal characteristics for all main characters. I love this sense of freedom because my stories often develop in directions I haven’t foreseen. New people emerge, new situations develop. I feel outlining would restrict me.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Well, I’m sitting on my couch in the living room and to my right is the window. Outside I see my front yard with a couple of bare trees, forgotten brown leaves quivering in the wind. The house roofs of my neighbors across the street are coated white which tells me that we had frost. It’s quiet this early on Sunday morning as a weak sun attempts to brighten the street. I’m happy to be inside, warm and snug under a wool blanket.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I just finished the third book in the Escape from the Past trilogy, called Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End. I’m expecting a release date in the fall of 2016. Next week I’m starting a new project about a couple of teens growing up during WW2 in Germany. This story is based on true events so I’ll continue to do research along the way.

On the trivial but still important side I’ve just moved into my new home office. Well, it’s a former bedroom with lots of bookshelves, a desk and plenty of calendars. I do have a roommate, though, my mutt, Mocha, who insisted on having her bed in there.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I’d love to know what readers love about reading YA and/or historical fiction. I’m also curious about how readers pick their books, i.e. via a friend’s recommendation, from the table in the bookstore, e-mails from online services, etc.

Thank you for having me!

When fifteen-year old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he’s sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn’t realize that 1) He’s been secretly chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: To return home he must decipher the game’s rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever.

Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornet’s nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Mutter, I brought someone.” Bero slumped on the bench, scanning the table. I stood unmoving. Two tallow lamps flickered in earthen pots, barely making a dent into the gloom. The thick mixture of smoke, dust and body odor was worse. Disgusted, I rubbed my nose. It didn’t do any good.

The left side of the ceiling hung so low that I easily touched it with my hand. The other half was hidden by dense smoke. A scrawny fire smoldered in a stone hearth along the back wall. In front of it stood a woman of indefinable age, stirring a cast-iron pot.

“You’re late,” she said without turning. “Next time we eat without you.”

“I told you she’s mad,” said the girl who’d been shelling beans earlier.

“Hush, Adela,” the mother shot back. I looked back and forth between them, struggling to follow the weird speech while identifying the smell emanating from the pot. Nothing came to mind. Despite the terrible stench in the house, my stomach gurgled in anticipation.

“Nay, I was late because of this lad,” Bero said. “He needs shelter for tonight.”

At last, the mother turned around. Even in the gloom I could tell that she was shocked, maybe scared, her eyes blackish pools in the haggard face. She carefully placed the ladle on a stone plate and stepped closer—her eyes now squinting, scrutinizing. I wanted to bolt. A disgusting odor enveloped me. While Bero smelled of earth and pigs, the woman reeked of sweat and something sour. I tried breathing shallow breaths, thinking I should just leave and sleep outside. But then I thought of the rustling in the woods, the evil riders wielding their swords— worse, how clueless I felt.

About the Author:
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”


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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Measure of Love by Saundra MacKay - Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_TheMeasureOfLove_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Saundra will be awarding a $30 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheMeasureOfLoveThe Measure of Love is unique in that it is an authentic modern-day love story that captures the mystique and splendor of large size women of today. It will captivate the hearts of the readers as they walks through Vanessa’s everyday life as she confronts the realistic obstacles from being a woman of size. The story addresses size in a kinder, gentler way about full figured women beyond the realm of society’s idea of what is physically beautiful

Enjoy an excerpt:

Good fortune spared her from becoming further unnerved by allowing her to get to the airport without much delay, and to find a parking spot, with a few minutes left before his flight was to arrive. Vanessa felt as if she couldn’t make time move fast enough. With each passing minute, she couldn’t deny her mounting eagerness to see his handsome face come through the exit doorway. While the passengers were disembarking, Vanessa positioned herself in a place where she could easily see him come through the door, yet far enough away from the crowd of onlookers waiting for the same reason. As the doors opened and each unfamiliar face passed through the doorway, she felt as if her inflated heart was going to burst onto the carpet. She felt sure she would stop breathing if she didn’t see his face in the next few seconds.

Vanessa stood very still, watching the stream of emerging passengers. And then, suddenly, there he was, looking like the million dollars he was worth in her shining eyes. Unbeknownst to her, Jon had been anticipating seeing her just as much once the plane had landed, and the need had only increased as the plane, much too slowly, had taxied up the runway. His feet had wanted to run down the long walkway, making him impatient with the necessary procedures and the lingering passengers who, to his increasing anxiety, were taking their time walking down it. He didn’t know why, but he was nervous and very anxious, even though he’d been looking forward to this day since it had been arranged.

By the time Jon reached the exit, he was so wired it took everything he had not to push the people ahead of him out of his way to run the extra steps. Then, at the exact same moment, their eyes locked. Vanessa stood there, so statuesque, and wearing the biggest smile. It took all the remaining restraint he had not to drop his bag where he stood, run to her, and grab her up in his hungry arms to consume every inch of her big, beautiful body. She was one fine female, and he could see she had no idea of the enormous impression she made as she stood looking like a vision to all who had an eye for real beauty.

Never taking his eyes off hers, Jon walked toward her, lowered his bag, and forced himself to slowly pull her into his impatient arms. The feel of her softness revived the many feelings that had possessed him since he last left her, and gave him a new wish to hold on to her for a lifetime, just as he was at that very moment. For someone of such a large frame, she was so small in so

He had missed her. For someone of such a large frame, she was so small in so many ways not obvious to those who couldn’t see past the image taken in by the discriminating eye. Jon just wanted to hold her and protect her forever from all the ugliness around her and within her own insecure reflection. Vanessa wrapped her large arms around his neck, nestled her face deep into his shoulder beneath his scented square chin, and whispered, “I’ve missed you so much. Welcome, my love.”

"© copyright DON WEST / fOTOGRAfIKS all rights reserved - domestic & foreign 617.524.1975"About the Author:  I was a large-sized child shaped by the view of those expecting me to act a certain way because of my size and their narrow views. As a “fat” child I was treated just how they thought I would act, as if I was so sensitive I were incapable of doing most things thin children could do. It was around the age of twelve I started to gain weight, changing my physical image of my body. It was a slow, steady process, but the ramifications were not.

As I grew older and the pounds followed, the images changed dramatically and I wasn’t capable of fighting the effects from it. As a young girl of size, trying to keep some semblance of positive image was an uphill battle. It was the start of feeling isolated and unsure as an introverted child growing up and into most of my teen years. I didn’t feel I could trust anyone enough to talk to about personal issues, especially anything to do with my weight.

As a teen and into adulthood the meaning of unrequired love was lost to me. As I explored the world around me, I unknowingly learned how to trust many of the voices of the people I was blessed to have had walk through my life. In time, it showed me my innate trust in something bigger than society’s issues and helped me to listen to my own voice to hear the messages I tell myself.

Now, the image of my body is one of kindness, caring, and love. In light of realizing its society’s image of body that is distorted and do not accept the difference in every individual, I have come a long way to appreciate the uniqueness of my body. Today love means so many things to me, and is felt in defining ways that have helped shape me into the person I am today. I believe I have always reflexively felt a connection to my innate love for myself and on so many amazing levels love have helped me to understand and value the real me.

As a young adult, I started to read every opportunity I had. Then my love of words was found, allowing me to create a world in which I could express myself comfortably. I now have the pleasure of embracing the feelings of joy and excitement that come with being a writer of truth and a romance novelist. It’s possible because I evaluate myself and my growth with honesty in hopes of being capable of writing true-to-life love stories. Love stories about large-size women who are seen for more than their innate beauty and are worthy to be the heroine who gets the man

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book from Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The X Factor by Ivan Sivec - Spotlight and Giveaway

SBB_TheXFactor_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ivan will be awarding a free e-copy of the X Factor or a signed greeting card from Slovenia (international) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


It takes three mistakes to be swallowed up and spat out by the fashion industry.
You trust the wrong people.
You think you know everything there is to know about life.
You abuse drugs.

The almost 18-year-old Maja is a regular high-school kid, who at the threshold of adulthood thinks she knows everything there is to know about life. As she enters the world of fashion modelling she gets completely enchanted.
However, the more her career thrives she’s less able to see the danger lurking around fashion industry. Maja starts falling in a downward spiral of drug addiction and is torn between the tempting dream of becoming a world famous model and the horrendous thought of destroying her body beyond the point of no salvation.

At a yacht party Maja gets drugged, assaulted and tossed overboard. She’s found the next day. Barely alive. Only a shade of her former self, in a gray space between life and death, she realises the fashion industry sucked everything out of her – except one thing – the will to live. Maja wants to be her old self again.

Ironically, it means losing the only thing that made her special. She has to give up on her hidden X Factor.

The X Factor:
Confession of a Naïve Fashion Model
is a psychological YA novel showing the glamorous fashion world behind its less glamorous scenes.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The window scene.

It was like a scene from a film about the escape of prisoners. They tied four sheets together to form a rope and climbed down onto the pavement, one by one. It was easy, just as if they were shooting a commercial. Downstairs, they hugged, as if they had just saved each other’s lives.

“And now what?”

“Nothing’s open right now and we won’t make it far on foot.”

There was a bakery on the other side of the street. Every day they rushed past, as they were tempted by the wonderful smell coming out of it. They were too afraid they would give in to temptation.

“We’ll break in to the shop, end of discussion!” Maja was overcome by a divine power. “As soon as we get our first salary, we’ll pay the owner back everything, including a large tip. I’m sure he’ll be understanding.”

“But is there even any bread in there?”

“There must be! Old bread and bread rolls stay in the bakery until the morning, when the farmers from the suburbs pick them up. They must use them for pig fodder. I’ve watched them from our window many times.”

The bakery wasn’t built very solidly. They took out an old window, easily entered and rushed to the shelves.

“Wow, that’s a lot of bread!”

“Oh, I’m so happy!”

Sitting on the floor in the middle of the room they stuffed themselves with old bread rolls until their stomachs became blown up as if they were pregnant.

“Well, I won’t die after all!”

“I won’t die either!”

Feeling blissfully satisfied, knowing they were full, they fell asleep from exhaustion and all the bad things that happened to them.

The owner found them half lying, half sitting, surrounded by old bread rolls.

“Mamma mia, mamma mia! What’s the world coming to?” he said, wringing his hands.

“They’re wearing the most expensive clothes in the world, but they would have died of hunger if they hadn’t stolen some bread!” He carefully woke them up and said with an understanding tone:

“Don’t be afraid, I won’t report you to the police. I’ve been observing you for a long time now. You’re as thin as rakes! Are you even women still?! I wouldn’t like to have such a woman for anything in the world. Oh, mamma mia, mamma mia, what’s the world coming to, what’s the world coming to…!”

They swore that when they get rich they would repay him for all the damage and add a prize on top.

“The biggest prize for me would be if you would buy some bread rolls each evening and start living a normal life.”

But despite the fact they were full, they couldn’t work that day. They were too full. They were so sick they vomited everything out, every last bite. They were too weak to even leave their beds. That was their first day without work. It was their own fault.

“A final warning before expulsion,” the director Monica let them know. “There are at least a hundred girls waiting in line who are serious about work. One more mistake like that and you’re out!”

16.3.2008 Ljubljana, Slovenija. Ivan Sivec, slovenski pisatelj.FOTO:JURE ERŽEN/Delo
16.3.2008 Ljubljana, Slovenija. Ivan Sivec, slovenski pisatelj.FOTO:JURE ERŽEN/Delo
About the Author: Ivan Sivec is a writer, poet and publicist from Slovenia, Europe. People say he is ‘a man with a hundred stories’ and he has been sharing them with his audience, both young and mature, for over four decades now. He is listed under the top five Slovenian bestselling authors.

In his rich and thriving career he has written in many genres. As a poet he has written more than 2,500 lyrics for ethnic and entertaining music for which he received several awards. His broad prosaic ‘repertoire’ includes biographies, historical, psychological and adventure novels, travelogues, youth book series, picture books as well as humorous stories. To this date he published over 130 books and is considered to be one of the most popular Slovenian authors.

His particular interest goes to psychological novels on issues teenagers face today, especially topics like suicide, drug addiction, adoption, AIDS... He shares true stories to let the young reader know they’re not alone.

Sivec devotes his free time to his wife of 44 years, their two children and three grandchildren. Since his retirement a decade ago he enjoys his days hiking the Alpine peaks (he is especially proud to have conquered the tallest mountain in Europe, the French Mont Blanc (4,810 m/ 15,771 ft), together with his daughter-in-law Tina). When he is not gathering inspiration from the mountains he is soaking in the tranquility of the Mediterranean Sea with his wife. Nature is his source of creativity. It allows Ivan to gather his thoughts and pour them onto paper.

Facebook: or

Buy the book at Amazon, Kobo, or Barnes and Noble.FREE ON AMAZON TODAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway