Friday, April 29, 2016

Renovation by Kim Loraine - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kim Loraine 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 on the tour.

The Process

Writing a book is different for everyone. Some people start and hammer it all out in one awesome marathon of flowing ideas and brilliant words. That’s not me. I plot, plan, and second-guess myself constantly. And that’s just writing the book. Once I send it to my critique partner it comes back and the doubts creep back in as I implement changes based on her feedback.

I’m fortunate to have a great team of people I use throughout the process from first draft to publication. My Beta readers are a wonderful resource. They usually get to see the book after my critique partner. Once I’m pretty sure what I’m sending them will be super close to the finished product, I hit send and the waiting begins. I wait to hear what they think, whether they connect with the characters, if they found any inconsistencies, and more than that, I wait to see if they liked it. That’s the worst part. The waiting.

Assuming the Beta readers give me glowing feedback, I send the manuscript off to my editor and wait some more. After the first round of edits are done and I know I won’t need to make any content changes, my editor and I spend time polishing the book. We make it the best it can be. There’s nothing more embarrassing than finding basic grammar errors in your published work (believe me, I know) and not being able to fix it.

My favorite part of this whole process is cover art. I’ve got an awesome cover artist. The day my proofs pop up in my inbox is always exciting. Usually, for the first week after I approve a cover, I make it my profile picture on social media and stare at it with a dopey grin on my face.

Even though self-doubt creeps in and inspiration wanes, I love writing. As long as people want to read my books (honestly, even if they don’t) I’ll write.

Valerie Peters is done with bad boys and ready to start living for herself. She’s determined to settle for nothing less than a romantic, sweeps-you-off-your-feet, nice-guy. So when a sexy firefighter with the hottest reputation in town saves her from near-drowning, there’s no doubt he’s everything she shouldn't want.

Donovan’s looks and image have kept his nights entertaining and his ring finger empty. One-night stands serve as a short-term distraction to the flashbacks of his past he increasingly struggles to ignore. But a chance encounter with his best friend’s sister makes him realize that one night is no longer enough.

Together they discover that bad can actually be the best and forever is worth everything.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Donovan Miller braced his arms on the side of the pool as he pushed himself out of the water. His limbs trembled slightly from exertion. He reached for his towel and caught sight of the swimmer a few lanes away. She was tiny. Her body moved smoothly through the water, mesmerizing him as she rotated back and forth. He could tell she was an experienced swimmer by the consistency in her strokes. As he toweled off, he admired the curves of her body. Alarm bells rang in his head when he realized she was rapidly approaching the wall and showed no sign of slowing.

"Hey! Hey! Watch out!" he shouted as he ran toward her lane, hoping desperately to intercept her.

With a dim thud, her head hit the side of the pool. He watched as her eyes rolled back and she sank under the water.

"Shit! Shit!"

Jumping into the swimmer's lane, he pulled her to the surface, attempting to immobilize her neck as much as possible. He assessed her pulse and checked to make sure her airway wasn't compromised.

"Call an ambulance," he barked at the dumbstruck lifeguards headed in their direction.

She floated in his arms, eyes closed, bleeding. He took a moment to feel thankful he'd seen the effects of blood mixed with water before. Even a small amount of blood can look like a murder scene when water is added. He held her while they waited for the ambulance. He stroked her hair and checked her pulse again, disconcerted by the feeling of her soft skin under his fingers. Her eyes fluttered open, affording him a concerned glance before she winced in pain.

"What happened?" Her voice was thin and raspy.

"Shh, don't try to move, sweetheart. You slammed into that wall pretty hard."

"I . . . mmm . . . lost my count."

"It's gonna be okay."

She frowned, eyebrows pulling together. "Can I get up now?"

"There's an ambulance on the way. They'll be here in a minute. We need to wait to move you. I want to get you on a spine board and in a neck brace." He smiled and locked eyes with her. "What's your name, sweetheart?"

"Valerie. Valerie Peters." Her face pulled into an adorable frown again. "Don't call me sweetheart. I don't even know you."

About the Author:
Kim Loraine is the author of the “Golden Beach” series, including “Restoration” (2015) and “Renovation” (2015). She started writing at a young age, scribbling down song lyrics, short stories, and poems she was too afraid to share with anyone. Busy working as a music teacher in her Pacific Northwest hometown, it wasn’t until her family of four picked up everything and moved to beautiful Japan that she decided to finally take the plunge and send her characters out into the world.

The central theme in Kim’s books is self-discovery, whether that is found through taking risks, breaking down walls, or admitting mistakes. Kim likes to write characters that seem like someone you actually know, who find that life is a journey not without its challenges.

When not writing Kim spends her time with her husband, chasing around their crazy kids, exploring Japan, and binge-watching Doctor Who on Netflix.

You can follow Kim on Facebook or Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Dawning of Scarlett by Jennifer Osborn

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding a digital copy of The Dawning of Scarlett via iBooks to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As a pale revenant—the vampire faction believing all life is sacred—sixteen-year-old Scarlett Ellis has learned to hide in the human world. She goes to night-school, works at a coffee shop, and her uncle Chasem trains her in martial arts. No matter what, she has to be prepared, because when she turns seventeen, she’ll be of Dawning age—and her biological father Apollo vows to see her dead first.

Expecting her Dawning to be impossible, she accepts the fact that she will become a rogue, forever hunted by revenant renegades and outcast by her own people. Scarlett thinks she’s prepared for this—until the curly-haired Nicholas Lightener walks into her life and asks her out on a date.

Torn between her feelings for Nick and the danger of the revenant world, Scarlett’s strange life is turned inside-out when she’s kidnapped and forced to do the one thing she swore she’d never do. Plus, she has no idea whose memories keep appearing in her dreams, or if they can even help her. Determined to free herself from a death sentence, Scarlett must fight to become who she was born to be.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Suddenly, I’m standing in a field, illuminated by sunlight, but I'm not burning. It's warm and relaxing. I look down to the translucent skin of my hands and can see the blood coursing through my veins. I turn my hand over, staring at it.

A movement catches my eye and I look up. Before me is a beautiful woman with dark hair and clear eyes. At first, her gaze is loving, adoring almost, and then it fades into a bone-chilling shriek as she turns to run away in horror. I try to reassure her that it’s okay, but the words get stuck in my throat. Her skin burns and flakes away, and before I know it, her scream fades to a muffled shriek, abruptly cut off as she becomes a pile of ash. A maniacal laugh sounds beside me, and I turn to see a dark-headed man with a deviant grin.

"Wasn't that lovely?" he asks me, laughing right as I feel my skin start to burn.

About the Author:
After working in the legal and technical fields for many years, Jennifer Osborn took the plunge into full time writing in 2015. She is the award-winning author of The Shilund Saga and The Sentinel’s Insurgency. When not writing, she listens to a different muse and creates paintings and collages of all sorts.

She lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband, three dogs, and two cats.

You can find out more about her at

Amazon Author Page:

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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Trouble With Seduction by Victoria Hansen - Spotlight and Giveaway

BB_theTroubleWithSeduction_Banner copy

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

MediaKit_BookCover_TheTroubleWithSeductionRebellious, Scandalous and Irredeemable

Sarah, Lady Strathford is ready for a little harmless frivolity with a man of her own age and her own appetites…surely that’s not too much to ask! After the death of her beloved husband years before Sarah is ready for an adventure… Enter the dashing, roguish – and baffling – Mr Cornelius Ravenhill.

Ravenhill, however, is not the gentleman he seems, and soon Sarah finds herself battling against the corrupt and harsh world around her as it threatens to destroy all she holds dear. The question is, will her seduction at the hands of Mr Ravenhill prove to be her saviour or her downfall?

Enjoy an excerpt:

"This excerpt is from an unedited ARC and there may be small changes in the final book."

“I have a favor to ask, Amelia.” Sarah rolled her cigar between her fingers. “It has come to my attention that perhaps someone connected to Edward’s accident was at your party a few weeks ago. Would it be possible for you to make a list of all present? And could you please include the servants and anyone else who might have arrived late, guest or not.”

“Oh, my, Sarah! Whom do you suspect?”

“I’m not sure. It’s for an acquaintance who thought they briefly saw someone there.”

Amelia’s face lit up. “This is all so mysterious. Who is this acquaintance?”

Sarah bit her lower lip and tasted rich Cuban tobacco. Yesterday’s image of Mr. Ravenhill in his revealing work smock appeared in her mind. She probably should have nothing more to do with him. Handsome males had always brought trouble. The very first boy she’d admired had teased her into breaking her leg. Its weakness would probably forever plague her.

She shouldn’t reveal he was the one who wanted the list, but she hated lying, and especially to her friends. “This acquaintance believes they have found a connection between the fire that killed Edward and the men who attacked…him.”

“It’s Mr. Ravenhill!” Amelia clapped excitedly.

Calista’s dimple twitched, and she shoved her cigar into her mouth.

Sarah wanted to make herself very small and slink away. This was exactly what she’d been afraid of, and these were her friends. She and Ravenhill were such a chestnut – a wealthy widow befriending a handsome rake, the younger son of a peer. “You purposely misunderstand the situation. There is nothing between us and that is the way it will stay.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheTroubleWithSeductionAward winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is stories with happily ever afters. Her first book, The Trouble With Misbehaving, was published in February 2016. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.


Buy the book at Mills and Boon, Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, or Google Play.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

In Defense of the Moth by Johnny Newport

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Johnny Newport 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 on the tour.

The Moon...

It is said the moon’s spell can move us and nobody understands her pull like Johnny Gomez.

Johnny, a devil-may-care and fatalistic salesman, remains tethered to his privileged life by a love for his children, his career and the moon—and not necessarily in that order. In fact, it’s Johnny’s lifelong passion for the moon, through both obsessive, independent study and a communal involvement in an astronomy society, that serves as the only outward distraction as a life of standard struggles waxes into a burgeoning crisis.

Until one night Johnny finds that the moon—his preferred method of self-medication-- no longer exists...but for him only and not anyone else.

Or so it seems, leaving Johnny’s continued marriage with reality to hinge on his rediscovery of the moon!

If you like allegories and/or philosophical apologies for acute insanity, grab “In Defense of the Moth or A Meaningless Dance in the Blinding Heat and Light” and join the eclipse.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I walked past a block of shuttered buildings. Most I noticed had been shuttered for a long time, but the last office was a more recent failure. It was a beauty salon last I remembered. I reached the street corner where the tall street lamp was planted in the sidewalk and I gazed upward. A flutter of moths danced to the low hum of energy the light created. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t for long as they would be dead soon, but at least without the light of the moon they had the luck of having a substitute for their meaning, even if artificial, through man’s production.

They owe us one, I thought.”

About the Author:
Johnny Newport (The Moth) is carrying the consciousness of the oft-failed man native to 2016. Strictly from a visual standpoint he looks like he may be kept in a nice package, but this is not so. Johnny Newport has two feet on the warpath and probably smells like last night’s street tacos.

Johnny knows that his devil-may-care attitude is unfair—to himself and to others—but this is precisely the origin for the voice of an unbridled generation of privilege; the 21st-century-livers that intimately know they have squandered (squandered what? How can we say definitively and with any assurance despite knowing that a squandering has, indeed, befallen?), and will continue to do so, happily.

Otherwise about me, I studied at the University of Texas at Austin, have spent the last two years in The Writer's Path program at SMU (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and have applied to a handful of low-res MFA programs for fall of '16.

Short story publications in 2015 were:

* Mr. Franklin’s Heartbreaking Sympathy (The Speculative Book, anthology)

* La Tortuga, (Limestone, University of Kentucky MFA journal)

* He, Who Controls the Spices (Euphemism, Illinois State University graduate journal)

* I Blame Lolita (Moth magazine, Ireland's premiere literary review)
* Letter to the Jew's Mom (The Vehicle, Eastern Illinois University online journal)


Buy the book at Amazon.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hidden Chamber of Death by Hawk MacKinney - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk MacKinney 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.

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

A landowner-rancher, raises Herford and Angus cattle and uses quarter horses—best in thick scrub ranges and brush—to corral and herd. A farmer, produces feed for the animals and food for the two-legged ones. The owner of sprawling lands of timber, harvested and replanted to restore habitats & endangered ecosystem—plants AND animal. Disapproves of new-money showy ostentation. Knows 15min of spotlight fame is the icing on the cake; the real work of painting pictures with words occurs in the solitude of the cave on Mars. Brooks no violations of his Man-Cave on Mars; does not suffer deceit and untruths of any sort. When words and actions don’t match, the words are false. His word is his bond. Considerate of those less fortunate.

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

In Hidden Chamber of Death, SEAL Craige Howelle Graeme Roynane Ingram has completed USNavy/SEAL active duty commitments. Along with several charities, he is a pick-&-choose part-time PI, and Trustee of Ardochy Manor and the estate of the late eccentric dowager Theosia Ambarella McGiffern. Craige soon uncovers estate discrepancies, banking conspiracies, deception, blackmail, and larceny hiding a madman's frenzied trail of murderous lust…and one very captivating young widow, Terry Stanley. He attempts to protect Terri and her teenage son before there are more dead bodies…including his own. The perp or perps are motivated by sensual twisted pleasure. Thwarted at every turn and frustrated, Craige’s instincts and those of his local across-the-river homicide investigator SEAL-bud acquired during their active duty are tested to the edge of a very close stalking death. A twist on keeping your friends close; keep your enemies closer…if you know who they are.

What was your favorite scene to write in this story?

Over several scenes in different titles the developing closeness between Craige and the young widow, Terri Wofford Stanley and her son…serial characters in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series titles.

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

Pathologist, medical examiner Frederick `Fred' Dinkins.


He works alone and undisturbed in his morgue much like a writer in a room buried among stacks of book and papers and antique spider webs snuggled with dust bunnies. Fred relentlessly digs and distills the forensic minutiae of natural causes and felony skullduggery down to its picky parts-&-pieces. Probing the obvious, matching it with the mundane, puzzling together puzzles and oft-twisted secreted conundrums…or the fumbled mistakes by perps. Except for a sinister caveat, fumbled mistakes with a psychotic can be tranquilly fatal. Psychotics are neither insane nor demented; they make their own rules. No one else matters. We see it daily, hourly…all around us in our civilized societies. Educated or not, psychotics are highly intelligent with a heavy dose of cocked-&-loaded paranoia, and if cornered are beastly aggressive in unexpected of ways. They are bottomless wellsprings from which to concoct perps, and they readily enjoy confounding and killing adversaries with devious MOs.

Hidden Chamber of Death is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and suspense that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a banking conspiracy. Working with the local homicide investigator, who just happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram's attempts to protect a lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure depraved pleasure. In this first book of the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY SERIES, the instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Years later, Grannie’s death turned his world upside-down. He still remembered watching her coffin sink into the ground next to his parents and the terrible time he had afterwards. It wrenched his butt out of the Naval Academy, but Grannie was right again.

She’d often say, “Things be happenin’ like they should.

After several months of brooding, he and his high school bud, Graysen MacGerald, enlisted. He went through Navy SEAL BUD training where he learned a lot about himself, met some great people and acquired some bad habits, which he still had. Heavy sack time wasn’t one of them unless he had a tequila hangover or was snugged next to a hot body. That never happened on base—well, almost never.

Investments had paid off nicely. He’d added several large sections to Grannie’s place. She’d had a tough fight keeping her land from speculators pulling tax schemes to force it to auction. Some were her own kin. It wasn’t the first time Ingrams and Graemes faced that, and it wasn’t the first time backbiters reckoned wrong about Corinthia Ingram being easy pickings. She logged enough timber to pay the taxes and made damn sure riffraff, Ingram or otherwise, never set foot on Moccasin Hollow. Water and mineral rights were worth plenty then, and they were worth more now. Now and then, kaolin conglomerates pinged Craige about long-term leases, but it wasn't happening on Ingram land.

Craige's broker almost choked at the idea of his investing in Russian timber commodities. The seven-figure chunk of negotiable paper made his broker nervous. “You could lose it all, and they can be mean as snot,” he told Craige.

“Sometimes they have a right to be mean as snot.” It wouldn’t be the first time Craige’d done business with them, which he didn't reveal. He also didn’t tell him the Russians once had standing orders to shoot him on sight.

For a minute Craige thought he might have to administer CPR to this man, but the broker made the arrangements. Craige hadn’t planned on inspecting the properties till spring, but absentee landlords made for easy skimming. By being there he could make sure the cuts were from the selected sections. He wouldn’t be partner to slash and stripping whole mountains. Even with his inside contacts, it was a real eye opener. It’s never only about the money.

About the Author:
Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on fetal and adult anatomy, Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. This was followed by the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. In a change of direction, October of 2012 saw the release of Hawk’s first science fiction novel, The Bleikovat Event, in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series. Volume II in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series, The Missing Planets, was released in 2014 with Volume III in the works.

Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was just released, and Book 2 in the series, Westobou Gold, will be released in the fall.

Book Video:
Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When in Rome by J. Lynn Rowan - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author 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.

Atlanta-based photographer Kate Miller doesn’t believe in fairytale romance or relationships of the forever kind. She’s determined to build her own happiness through hard work and professional success. So, when the opportunity arises to join an exclusive fashion photo shoot in Rome, she jumps on the chance to gain international recognition. But she’s not counting on an instant attraction to the charismatic, sexy, and irritatingly arrogant director of the shoot.

World famous, Domenic Varezzi is used to calling the shots. His clients trust his instincts and they’re willing to pay for the best. But while his career is thriving, his personal life has been lackluster at best. Hoping Kate could be the answer he’s been looking for, he’s determined to win her over. Every challenge she sends his way drives him to break through her tough-as-nails exterior to reach the vulnerable heart that matches his own.

Surrounded by the beauty and magic of Italy’s “Eternal City,” a foundation begins to form that could lead to a lifetime partnership, both in business and in love. Until Domenic’s past comes back to haunt the present and threatens to destroy everything.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Let’s get moving,” Domenic says, taking the boarding passes from Joe. “Pilot wants to be cleared for takeoff in twenty minutes.”

The team lines up, toes tapping, as he thumbs through the boarding passes and starts calling out our names. “Corrine. Rafe. Dave.” Each person steps forward to take their passes and heads toward the gate agent. “Lauren. Joe. Miranda.”

Then it’s just me. Domenic and me, staring at each other steps away from the jet bridge. He holds my boarding pass out to me, and a little surge of indignation heats my face. I want to hear him say my name, the way he said everyone else’s, like it’s validation for my spot on his team. My brows lower and my mouth tightens. I stride toward him, close enough to take my boarding pass.

But I don’t.

I glare at him.


A little coil of something hotter than indignation winding through my core at the amusement shining in his emerald eyes.

He thinks this is funny. My discomfort and impatience is a freaking joke to him.

“Well?” I grind out.

Slowly, he extends my boarding pass toward me. A half-grin pulls at one corner of his mouth as I continue to wait. Something else appears in his eyes alongside that irksome amusement.

My stomach flips.

“Kate.” His voice is low and sonorous, just loud enough for me to hear.

The flip, and the simmering annoyance that’s been building over the past three minutes, explodes into an eruption of raging butterflies. Dizziness threatens the stability of my stance, and my cheeks are on fire. Short of breath, I snatch my boarding pass from his artistically elegant fingers and march myself down the jet bridge.

About the Author:
J. Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.

Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.

When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys travelling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.

A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and the most adorable baby on the planet.

Amazon Author Page:



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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Letting Go: An Anthology of Events - Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author 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 of the tour.

A fascinating collection of life stories told by 30 authors from eight countries. They write of their attempts to move beyond crippling grief, free themselves of haunting memories, get out from under abusive relationships. They tell of their struggles – often painful, sometimes funny - to let go of everything from a fear of horses, to old family homes, and piles of books and papers
Enjoy an exclusive excerpt from "The Battle Within" by Marione Malimba Namukuta:

Some things we are always eager to let go of, like hair dye that has overstayed its time. More difficult to turn our backs on—a culture we despise but were born into, a marriage we know has been over for a while, a loved one who has battled an illness long after there is no hope for revitalization. Even after we have come to the decision to let go, the process is never easy.

In 1999, I lost my younger sister to pneumonia. Then at Christmas that same year, my mother died after suffering a chronic illness for two years. Having lost the last of my parents—my father died when I was six—I left behind my home, dignity and the familiar as I began to navigate the world from a new point of view. For four years, my two remaining sisters and I were separated, each tossed from one relative to another, all poor with little or nothing to give. Those who had the means to take care of us did not want to. Eventually, our maternal auntie, who drank a lot and was verbally abusive, took us in but made clear it was only for charity; she had no obligation towards any of us. We were to expect nothing from her and earn our stay at her house.

Being an orphan at an early age of thirteen is hard. Knowing you are not wanted is harder. That period of my life seemed to last for a very long time.

When you have been devastated by watching your dreams slip away, endured the betrayal of friends and family and lost loved ones, you make a decision to either get stuck in disillusionment or soar above your circumstances, for this will fundamentally affect who you are and who you will become.

I chose to leave behind the down-trodden and helpless orphan girl; I was determined never to return to that state of being. I awakened to the need to take care of myself and be self-sufficient materially. And, I have achieved this: I am hardworking, responsible and strong-minded, but even so, life continues to bring with it a lot of uncertainty. Abandoning a label, which the circumstances of life have dictated and placed on you, is one of toughest things I have done and still have to do. I have to keep looking over my shoulder to make sure the little girl is not catching up with me. One would expect that after you have been disappointed over and over again, letting go would spiral into an automatic response, like a well-mastered art, instead of every challenge bringing with it a new and unexpected conflict.

About the Authors:

Julie Strong, “Acadie”

Julie Strong is a physician and shamanic healer in Halifax, Nova Scotia and holds a medical degree from Trinity College, Dublin; a BA in classics, Dalhousie University, Halifax; and is trained in psychosynthesis, a transpersonal psychology fostering wholeness and creativity.

Her “Athena in Love” won the 2012 Canadian Atlantic Fringe Festival’s new playwright award; she received the 2010 Atlantic Writers’ Federation Award for short story; The Medical Post of Canada has published her articles. She has presented on madness and on the “Shamanic Roots of Western Medicine” in America and Europe, and teaches shamanic healing workshops, helping others find their power animals and spirit teachers. Strong was born in England.

#2 Roz Kuehn, “Commencing Being Fearless”

Roz Kuehn received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C She is the author of a novel, Various Stages of Undress (loosely based on six years as an exotic dancer in Washington, D.C., which was runner-up for the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, and a finalist for both the Breadloaf Bakeless Prize and Bellwether Prize. She has also received numerous Delaware State Arts Council fellowships, including a $10,000 Master of Fiction fellowship, as well as a Barbara Deming Memorial Award for feminist writing. Her memoir, Losing Glynis, is about a coterie of well-meaning girlfriends who swoop in and make a royal mess of a close friend’s dying days. She acted as fiction editor for The Washington Review for four years and currently works as a legal secretary in a New York City firm.

#3 Emily Tsokos Purtill, The Perfect Mother

Emily Tsokos Purtill has won several Australian awards for young writers, including the prestigious Tim Winton Award for Outstanding Achievement for Young Writers. Her winning story was published in the anthology HATCHED (edited by Tim Winton, Fremantle Arts Press, 2013). She holds a bachelor of laws and a master of laws from the University of Western Australia and has recently returned to writing after working as a lawyer for eight years in Australia and Paris. In 2014, Emily was living in New York where she participated in an advanced fiction course at New York University. She currently lives in Perth, Western Australia, with her husband and children. She can be contacted at

#4 Joan Scott, “The Paper Room”

Joan Scott was born in England. At fifteen she wrote a prize-winning essay about a trip to Paris. The newspaper prize paid for a baguette and a croissant. Years later when the writing life paled and the rent was due, she honed her creative writing skills with London advertising agencies, taught tango to VIPs, marketed wines and left rainy England for a Californian drought, where she became ‘Nanny Joan’ resulting in a nonfiction proposal, We Don’t Just Go Places, We Experience Them, for caregivers and grandparents to bolster children’s creativity.

Moving to Boston, she promoted textiles, wrote poems and articles on beekeepers, burying beetles and ballerinas, then joined corporate America to build a career in international marketing communications. While being paid to travel, she continued writing on sampans, helicopters and hi-speed Japanese trains. She has let go of paper with her slice-of-life blogs: “When Life Gets in the Way of Writing the Great British Novel,” and is becoming a fearless flyer, navigating social media with her psychological suspense, debut novel, Who Is Maxine Ash? She can be contacted on

#5 Martha Ellen Hughes, “Isolation”

Martha Ellen Hughes founded the non-profit Peripatetic Writing Workshop, Inc., in 1991. This intensive writing workshop and retreat, lead by herself, Maureen Brady and other writers, meets twice annually, currently in Florida and Italy. She has taught creative writing at New York University for more than twenty-five years and is a free-lance editor of novels and nonfiction books. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College and is a native of Louisiana. For further information, please visit

#6 George P. Farrell, “Hoarding Memories”

George P. Farrell was born, raised, housed, clothed and well-fed in the Bronx, NY. Generally puzzled and baffled by life but always hopeful.

“In my early twenties I discovered writing as a cheaper and better alternative to psychological counselling. Discovered the Catskills was a good place to pursue a writing career and inspecting boats, a reasonable way to put food on the table. I have written six novels and a bunch of short stories, as I traveled along my learning curve, and so far have produced a literary income of forty dollars plus numerous, very-appreciated pats-on-the-back. I am looking forward, with some trepidation, to more of the same.”

#7 Marione Malimba Namukuta, “The Battle Within”

Marione Malimba Namukuta, twenty-eight, single, lives in Kampala, Uganda. She works as a researcher specializing increasingly in the fields of population and health, monitoring and evaluating both national and international projects.

Namukuta has keen interests in other cultures, a command of several languages and loves to write and travel. She writes children’s short stories and is a member of the Uganda Children’s Writers and Illustrators Association.

#8 Elizbeth Wohl, “Outside In”

Elizabeth Wohl was a journalist for many years, as an Associated Press reporter, a Ms. Magazine contributing editor and during the Vietnam War, a freelance reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Her fiction has been published in The Quarter, Fiction and other literary magazines. She lives in Brooklyn and is hoping the wisdom in this anthology will help her stop revising and let go of her novel.

#9 Nilo Alvarez, “Spoiled Fruit Bears Bad Seeds”

Nilo Alvarez was born on Negroes, one of many Pacific Ocean islands discovered in 1521 by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. Named the Philippines for Spain’s King Philip II, eleven of the archipelago’s original 7,113 islands are under water, the victim of global warming. In his fiction, Alvarez often uses his small, friendly town of Talisa, where from the top of the water tower during his childhood all one could see were waving green sugarcane fields, planted during American colonization. Few people lived on Negroes; his aunt, a midwife, delivered all the babies. His mother often took him to movies and told him stories about her life. What he most enjoyed were her stories about World War II. Her colourful stories plus the movies inspired him to become a writer.

#10 Sue Parman, “The Holy Ghost Bird”

Sue Parman, a retired professor of anthropology, is the author of numerous academic books (including Scottish Crofters, now in its second edition). She has also won numerous awards for poetry, plays, essays, short stories and art. Her most recent book combines poetry and art (The Carnivorous Gaze, Turnstone Press, 2014). Her most recent article is a memoir based on her correspondence with Tolkien (“A Song for J.R.R. Tolkien,” The Antioch Review, 2015). She is currently completing, The Death Flower, a biomedical mystery set in the Amazon. For further information please visit or She lives in Oregon.

#11 Joe Levine, Finis

Farewell to a Novel Too Long in Progress

Joe Levine lives with his wife and daughters in New York City, where he toils in the spin trade. He wrote “Finis” about his unpublished novel, A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, in 2007. After subsequently sending the book to scores of agents without success, he has indeed let it go, although the characters live on in his mind. Recent events in his life have made him realize writing autobiographical fiction requires research, too—and the quest can be as perilous as any other.

#12 Evalyn Lee, “Throwing Out the Trash”

Evalyn Lee attended graduate studies at Oxford University, where she studied with the Joyce Scholar, Richard Ellman, and the literary critic, John Bayley. A former CBS producer, she has written on a wide range of topics, including the Gulf Wars and many investigative pieces for the likes of Dan Rather, Mike Wallace and Lesley Stahl. Her television broadcast work won an Emmy and numerous Writers Guild Awards. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Amarillo Bay, Diverse Arts Project and Willow Review. She is working on her first novel, living in London with two kids, one husband and Hugo the dog and writes: “This is my first personal essay. I mean every word I have written—if depression strikes, try to let go of shame and blame. Aristotle got it right: ‘It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.’ You are the light of your own life. If you can't see it, reach out and find others who can.”

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Horizon by Tabitha Lord - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tabitha Lord will be awarding a $10 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’d Never Guess About Me…

Or maybe you would? Well, this could be fun, or embarrassing, or a little of both! Here goes…

1. I really am a sci-fi fan. Star Wars remains my favorite movie of all time and I consistently beat my children at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. It’s not even a fair fight. Other sci-fi related items: I am attending both Boston ComicCon and RI ComicCon this year as an author, and I truly feel like I’ve arrived!

2. When a book is too suspenseful, I get stressed out and read the ending first. I always go back and read it through, but this takes the edge off so I can relax and enjoy the story without worrying about the end. I know it’s cheating!

3. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 40th birthday. It was very, very hard. Not Everest hard, but still a huge physical and mental challenge. I wrote a blog post about it here:

4. I’ve been married for 22 years. My husband and I were young and broke, but four kids and a lot of work later and we have a pretty terrific life. And my children are some of the finest people I know. I’ll take a little credit. In our house there aren’t many rules, but the important ones – respect, good manners, and personal accountability – are non-negotiable. Honestly, though, they are their own people and just came into the world full of awesomeness.

5. Zombie apocalypse or alien invasion? This is a serious debate in our house and we discuss contingency plans for both.

Caeli Crys isn’t living—she’s surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can’t help but risk discovery to save his life.

Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His co-pilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he’s only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind.

As Derek recovers, Caeli shares the horror of her past and her fear for the future. When Derek’s command ship, Horizon, sends rescue, Derek convinces Caeli to leave with him. But his world is as treacherous as hers—full of spies, interplanetary terrorist plots, and political intrigue. Soon the Horizon team is racing to defend an outlying planet from a deadly enemy, and Caeli’s unique skills may just give them the edge they need to save it.

Enjoy an excerpt: She felt them before she heard them. The sudden wave of panic gripped Caeli so fiercely that she fell to her knees. Sweat beaded on her forehead and her body shook with another person’s cold fear. We’re losing altitude. I can’t keep her nose up. Time is running out. A voice echoed in her head, frantic. The words were strange and foreign, but she felt their intent.

A ship pierced the white clouds overhead. Frozen in place, Caeli tracked it streaking across the sky, her consciousness now fully merged with one of the desperate occupants onboard. Her breath came in short, gasping bursts. Seconds later a shattering pain exploded through her body and she screamed. The ground shook violently beneath her, and then nothing.

About the Author:
Tabitha currently lives in Rhode Island, a few towns away from where she grew up. She is married, has four great kids, a spoiled Ragdoll cat, and lovable black lab. The house is noisy and the dinner table full! She holds a degree in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and taught Latin for years at a small, independent Waldorf school. She also worked in the admissions office there before turning her attention to full-time writing.

You can visit her blog at where she posts author interviews, hosts guest bloggers, and discusses some favorite topics including parenting and her writing journey. Horizon is her first novel.


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Monday, April 4, 2016

Frost Burn by K.T. Munson and Nichelle Rae - Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors 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.

Fire and Frost; no two nations have ever been so divided. Only two bridges across the great River Gora connects them and their long standing hatred. When spring comes early, the Frost Nation looks upon the Fire Nation with suspicion. Soon they will discover that the rising rivers, warmer temperatures, and the earthquakes are all a result of something far more terrifying then each other. When the world seems to turn against them they will only have each other to look to. Can they put their differences aside long enough to fix their planet? They must or face extinction.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

“What is it, Lady Aradel?” one girl asked.

“Kirill?” she called, having completely forgotten their fun.

“Yes Lady Aradel?” he mocked with a snide grin on his face. But then he followed her gaze.

“Who are they?” she asked, trying to tuck the children completely behind her.

“Outlanders,” he said, as the people drew closer. “Take the children back,” he commanded.

She ignored him, wondering why so many of them were coming this way. Kirill stepped out into the road, drawing their attention. They looked beaten and battered, exhausted to their very bones.

Aradel’s eyebrows rose in surprise. She turned towards the children. “Come along,” she said, hurrying them in a row down the road towards the palace. Thank the stars they weren’t far from the castle.

“What is your business here?” she heard Kirill ask behind her, his commander-of-the-guard voice kicking in.

Aradel looked over her shoulder at them. Kirill was blocking the strangers’ way. Her eyes scanned their faces. She gasped in shock and horror as her gaze fell on one. She turned and pushed past Kirill. The crowd parted for her, the people recognizing that her necklace marked her as a member of the elite, those few chosen as possible successors to Queen Vesna.

She reached the second layer of the crowd and stopped before an old woman. When the woman lifted her head, Aradel could barely manage to keep herself from gasping again at her face. Her entire cheek was covered in fractured skin. It looked like ice after someone stomped on it and cracked it.

Aradel reached out and touched the woman’s face, letting her powers fill the woman. The fractured skin mended, but it was likely that she would have that faded blue mark for the rest of her life. Once it got into the skin, nothing could make it vanish.

“What happened?” Aradel whispered, and the old woman’s eyes filled with tears.

“The spring,” she said, her voice heavy with emotion. “The spring came early.”

About the Author: K.T. Munson is an independent author who enjoys creating worlds with words. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

Nichelle Rae was born and raised in Massachusetts. Her love for writing began when she was fourteen years old. Through the years she has gotten much praise from peers, professors, and professional author’s she has had a chance to work with on her writing and her ability to put emotions into text and fantastic action scenes.


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