Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donald will be awarding an autographed copy of the Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…


Read an Excerpt:

After seconds that seemed to stretch into eternity, the cigarette butt tumbled past Mark and eventually reached the depth where the concentration of methane and hydrogen sulfide reached explosive levels.

There was a deafening whoosh, and a huge fireball the size of the hole erupted from the pit. Luckily, the blast from the explosion blew us backwards, away from the hole. That was the only thing that saved us from the intense heat radiating from the colossal swirling ball of fire and smoke that had roared from the crater. It felt like I was standing next to a hundred heat lamps, and I heard the sizzling sound of my hair and beard beginning to burn on the side of my head that faced the flames. Turning my back to the hole, I immediately used my hands to extinguish my burning hair before it could seriously burn me. Disgusted by the stench of a mixture of burnt hair and rotten eggs, I picked myself up and looked back towards the hole. Above us, a huge pillar of smoke rose like the ash cloud of an erupting volcano. Looking back down, we saw the burning nylon rope continue to rise until its end slipped over the edge of the hole. Only a little of Mark’s smoldering body harness was still attached to its end.

“No!” We heard Jill’s horror-filled scream coming loudly over our walkie-talkies, followed less than a second later when her anguished cry reached us from across the pit. I could just make out Jill’s wavering form through the turbulent superheated air rising up between us as she raced back around the hole.

I looked over to where Kowalski was standing, staring in disbelief at the fiery pit his thoughtlessness had created. I was beyond furious. The next thing I knew, I had him by the jacket and was screaming in his face, “You Goddamned careless son of a bitch! Weren’t you listening? Didn’t you hear me say there was hydrogen sulfide in the pit?”

“Buh, buh, but…” he stammered as he tried to back away from me.

Without realizing it, I was slowly backing him up to the hole. I might have backed him over the edge had Bill not forced himself between us. “That’s enough!” he commanded.

Suddenly, I realized what I was doing and let go. It was clear from his expression that he’d had no idea that the gasses in the bottom of the hole were flammable, let alone sufficiently concentrated to be explosive.

My fiery rage died as I turned my anger inward. Kowalski hadn’t killed Mark. I had. I was in charge and responsible for the lives of my team. I should have spotted the danger sooner. Mark was my student, so I should have sent him up first. Worst of all, I had seen Kowalski smoking next to the hole and done nothing. I turned my back on the hole and wearily walked away across the empty tundra.




About the Author:
A computer geek by day, at night and on weekends Donald Firesmith writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from magical woods and mystical gemstones.

A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term “distinguished” makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.

http://donaldfiresmith.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FiresmithAuthorFanPage
https://twitter.com/DonFiresmith
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1290902.Donald_G_Firesmith

Praise Quotes

“I enjoyed my time in Firesmith’s world. I did not want to leave. I really got a kick out of it, and would happily come back for more. Recommended.” MJ Kobernus, author of The Guardian: Blood in the Sand

“This book rocks.” Barton Paul Levenson, author of Dark Gods of Alter Telluria

“a quick, enjoyable read. Full of action and fraught with danger” Dave Robertson, author of Strange Hunting, Strange Hunting II, and The Brave and The Dead

“The book is an easy and quick read and an action-filled one that you’ll imagine as a TV series or a movie with no difficulty.” Olga Núñez Miret, author of Escaping Psychiatry

Buy the book at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, CreateSpace, Instafreebie, or Smashwords. FREE!!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

He Takes the Cake by J. Lynn Rowan


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a randomly drawn commenter with a $20 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Life is good for Tess Gardiner: Her Savannah, Georgia, bakery and cafe is thriving. She’s earned Master Pastry Chef status from the American Culinary Federation. And she’s attending a regional culinary convention in Charleston, where she’s been invited to sit on a small business panel discussion. The opportunity to tout her success will, hopefully, lead to bigger and better things in her professional life. As for her personal life? The relative contentedness she’s enjoyed for years receives a sudden jolt when she comes face to face with Tyler Brinks, the ex-boyfriend she summarily dismissed from her life eight years ago.

Tyler’s success as a highly-trained chef has launched him into the stratosphere. He already owns one ridiculously successful restaurant, and he’s aggressively working on plans for a second. But he’s never quite gotten over Tess, and he’s never really been sure what actually went wrong between them. So when a pastry and baking competition is announced for the week following the culinary convention in Charleston, Ty jumps at the chance to tempt Tess with the challenge of being his partner, giving him the perfect opportunity to remind her how good they once were together.

As the competition heats up in the kitchen, it soon becomes clear to Tess that Ty has more than cream puffs and cupcakes on his mind. And she can’t deny that her feelings for Ty never truly cooled, but have been simmering all these years, despite the way their relationship ended. Now Ty’s attention has her wondering—is this just the path to final closure? Or could this be a second chance at true love?

Read an excerpt:

“Before we go in there, I have something for you,” Ty says, reaching out but stopping just short of actually touching me.

I stare at his extended hand for a second, then flick my gaze up to his eyes. “Okay.”

Smiling, Ty crosses to a chair on the other side of the kitchen, where he’d draped his chef’s jacket so it would be out of the way. He grabs it and shrugs into it, but then picks up something from the seat of the chair. Folded fabric, the same bright white as his chef’s jacket.

My breath catches in my throat. “Is that . . .?”

“I picked it up for you on my way home yesterday.” He shakes out another chef’s jacket, cut and tailored for a woman’s build. “Hope I guessed the size right.”

I take the chef’s jacket, holding it by the shoulders and studying every seam, stitch, and button. “It’s gorgeous, Ty. Thank you!”

He shrugs in that nonchalant way of his, but his eyes twinkle with joy at my pleasure. “I figured we ought to match. And it’s a gift. Whether or not we continue to round two or beyond, it’s yours to keep.”

“You didn’t need to do this,” I murmur, lowering the garment. “I already owe you for the entry fee, and—”

“I would’ve had to pay the entry fee whether you were working with me or not, so forget it.”

Ty fastens the buttons on his jacket. Then he takes mine back and circles around me, holding the chef’s jacket open so I can slide my arms in. The starched fabric crinkles a little, coaxing a giggle from me.

But the feel of Ty’s hands on my shoulders, the sense of them reaching around to fasten the buttons, makes me freeze. When he notices, he pauses, too. Then his hands drop away, and he clears his throat as he turns and grabs the handle of the serving cart.

“We should get this down to the judges.” His voice sounds choked.

Nodding, I finish with my buttons and follow him out.


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 their little rainbow, affectionately known as Babycakes.

Email: jlynnrowanliterature@gmail.com
Website: http://jlynnrowanliterature.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JLynnRowan
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JLynnRowanLit
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jlynnrowan
YouTube: YouTube
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14191767.J_Lynn_Rowan
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Lynn-Rowan/e/B012YC8PQ2/

Buy Better Than Chocolate at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Buy When in Rome at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Buy The One I'm With with Amazon.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Second Time's the Charm Book Set and Two Giveaways


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

What happens when a summer getaway
offers a second chance at love?

Five unforgettable romances. Five delicious heroes. Summer lovin’ doesn’t get any better than this. Escape with these brand new, sweet and sensual second chances at love.

Dive into these lush beachy reads and feel the temptation of lost love rekindled…and lose yourself in captivating, heart-melting happy-ever-afters!

Read an excerpt from I Love You Again by Khardine Gray:

"Let's do the bets before the guys get here." Jennifer smiled. Neil and his groomsmen were meeting them for dinner. It was the chance for everyone to meet properly. "Neil's best man is single and a complete hottie." Jennifer giggled.

"Hottie?" Trina asked with narrowed eyes. "Can you even say that anymore?"

"Yes, because my Neil knows I think he's the hottest of them all. Anyway, I've known his friend for years, and I always thought he'd be nice for one of you two. I don't know the other guys that well but this guy has the full package."

Trina rolled her eyes. "Mandy can have him. I bet twenty she'll be the wedding hook up."

"Me?" Mandy pointed to herself. "I bet thirty it's you." "Okay. I'll go with Mandy and Jennifer, Trina," Lizzie said. "I'm going in big for a hundred." Jennifer smiled.

Trina shook her head. Jennifer always went in big. It was sad that this time she would lose a hundred bucks. That was a decent pair of shoes or a nice top in Nordstrom. It was so silly to waste so much on a bet.

"Oh you would wouldn't you," Lizzie grumbled. "I bet one fifty on Mandy then."

"Oh look. They're here, and there he is." Jennifer beamed. They looked across the restaurant, over the crowded tables to the entrance where more people were coming in to start their evening.

Trina saw Neil first. He'd had his black hair cut into a neat style that allowed him to keep his locks. Dressed in a white cotton shirt and dark trousers he looked elegant and carried his tall, muscular stature with grace. Trina thought he moved as if he were floating towards them. No, not them.

He floated towards Jennifer and had the look of love all over him. Jennifer smiled at him and blew a kiss which he made a show of catching and placing on his heart. Mandy and Lizzie both awed and cooed. Trina looked back to Neil and saw two dark haired guys next to him that she didn't recognize.

"It's the guy behind Neil. The really tall gorgeous one with all the muscles." Jennifer giggled. "There."

Trina followed Jennifer's gaze and looked behind Neil. When her eyes landed on the man Jennifer was referring to, her whole body froze.

Completely froze. She was sure her heart had stopped too because she couldn't feel it anymore. Trina drew in a sharp breath and choked back a cry as spasms of shock erupted within her.

She felt faint and feverish both at the same time as she continued to look at him in an attempt to work out if her mind was playing tricks on her. Prolonging her stare confirmed it was not. She'd recognize him anywhere. Yes, he was tall - six feet four to be exact - and still gorgeous with his Hollywood good looks, muscular physique and shiny blonde hair. But this guy was deadly.


About the Authors: Holly Cortelyou is a romance author who pens sweet and spicy small town, contemporary romances as wells as supernatural and paranormal historical romances.

On any given day, Holly can be found sipping coffee and surfing Facebook for gossip on royals, college football (Go Ducks!), knitting, and ghosts!

After trying on many hats as a meeting planner, political scientist, long-haul trucker, and financial services specialist, she’s finally found the perfect fit as a romance writer!

Holly’s living her own Happily Ever After with an uber-handy and sexily broad-shouldered husband, and a fluffball kitty in sun-kissed Southern Oregon…and an exuberant lab puppy who rules their hearts!

She has hazel eyes and a goofy sense of humor…all the rest is subject to change without notice.

You can always find her at www.HollyCortelyou.com and holly@hollycortelyou.com.

Happy Reading!!!

Stay in Touch

Website: www.hollycortelyou.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HollyCortelyouAuthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HollyCortelyou
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/HollyCortelyou
Instagram: www.instagram.com/HollyCortelyou

Ja’Nese Dixon pens tales of romance in several sub-genres. But her favorites are the ones that manage to keep readers sitting on the edge of their seats lying to themselves about reading “just one more chapter”.

Ja’Nese is an avid reader and coffee drinker, who also loves to run, cook, and craft. Her ultimate goal as a writer is to give you a little “staycation” with every story. And she aims to make this present story no exception. Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy.

Ja’Nese calls Houston home with her husband, three kiddos and a four-legged diva dog.

Visit her website at www.janesedixon.com if you enjoy romance, suspense and good stories.

Stay in Touch

Website: www.janesedixon.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/janesedixon
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorjanesedixon
Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorjanesedixon

Khardine Gray is a contemporary romance author who lives in England with her husband, two kids, and three crazy ferrets.

She is well traveled, cultured, and a woman with a passion for dancing and ice skating.

When not writing you can catch her shopping, indulging on pizza and hot chocolate, or hanging out with her family and friends.

No need to spend money on an airline ticket. Simply pick up one of Khardine's books to become immersed in the fascinating stories and characters she creates.

Stay in Touch

Website: www.khardinegraybooks.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/khardinegray1
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/khardinegraybooks
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/khardine _gray_books

Robyn Rychards grew up in the granola bowl of the United States, Boulder Colorado, a town filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. She considers herself a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none and has taught herself to sew, paint, play the piano, garden, cook, the list goes on. But now that her books are published, she’s thrilled to finally be considered a master of one. At least as much as a person can be, for the learning never really stops.

She feels her active imagination is a blessing and a curse, with the blessing far outweighing the curse since it has led her to fulfill her dream of writing for Harlequin. Robyn started writing stories when she was a teenager because she didn’t have enough books to read. Sometimes she finds it hard to believe that people are willing to pay her to do something she enjoys so much, but mostly she’s happy to have such a wonderful excuse not to cook and clean. And a job that means you can stay in your jammies as long as you want? Priceless.

She also loves to hear from her readers, so send her an email at robynrychards@gmail.com. You can get in touch with her on Twitter, @robynrychards. She loves meeting new people on Facebook too and can be found under her name, Robyn Rychards. Check out her web page at www.robynrychards.com for details about her books and upcoming releases.

Stay in Touch

Website: www.robynrychards.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/robynrychards
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robynrychardsauthor/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/robynrychards

T. S. Sharp, AKA Tierra, is a driven, passionate and charismatic author hailing from Mobile, Alabama.

A self-described “twenty-something introvert”, T. S. Sharp is truly passionate about anything that concerns words and reading, and she would often spend her time reading even beyond her school obligations, often resting in her bed with her trusty kindle and a wealth of amazing literature at her disposal.

Although she is debuting with her first work, Tierra is a very flexible and eclectic writer with a very kaleidoscopic taste: she loves to read different genres and therefore, she creates very diverse stories in her head, unleashing the full potential of her creativity and sharing her ideas with the readers in a unique and refreshing ways.

Tierra’s passion can only be accurately described with her own words and specifically, with one of her most sincere wishes:

“I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy creating them.” – T. S. Sharp

Stay in Touch

Website: www.tssharp.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TsSharp_author
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTSSharp/

In addition to the Rafflecopter, enter the Summer Lovin’ Giveaway


Enter for a Chance to Win

Five unforgettable romances. Five delicious heroes. Summer lovin’ doesn’t get any better than this. Escape with these brand new, sweet and sensual second chances at love.

Grand Prize Winner

$25 Gift Card and a five (5)book bundle from us.

All Entrants receive five stories for your eReader!

Enter here: http://www.purposeprevailspublishing.com/second-times-the-charm/

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

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Blissful Disaster by Amy Gale


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

Amy L Gale, thanks so much for stopping by. So, how did you get started writing?

I’ve always loved to write but I started writing romance novels about three years ago when a few of my friends became obsessed with the New Adult genre and ran out of books to read. I decided to write one for us and it all started there.

What was the inspiration for your book?

I love music and who doesn’t love a hot rocker? I imagined what it would be like to date someone in the spotlight when you’re trying to establish your own career and the book took off from there.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?

Horror

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?

I’m not a huge history buff so I don’t read or write much historical romance.

What are you up to right now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?

I’m currently writing a Paranormal Romance and I’m participating in a Sci-fi/PNR boxset, a Forbidden Love boxset and a holiday romance boxset.

All right, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color? Green
Favorite movie? Goodfellas
Book that inspired you to become an author? Fifty Shades of Grey, The Notebook
You have one superpower. What is it? Time-travel
You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they? Robert Plant (I’m a huge Led Zeppelin fan), Albert Einstein (smart guys are sexy), and Chris Helmsworth (who doesn’t want to meet Thor?).

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?

Definitely Lexie from Blissful Tragedy. She’s strong and independent, loyal to her friends, and never turns her back on love.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

One night stands.
Career-driven Ali Whitman, never dreamed of having one, until she finds herself waking up next to a handsome tattooed man she knows nothing about. After celebrating her promotion to field reporter at Entertainment Rocks! magazine, she breaks her number one rule - to focus on work without the distraction of the opposite sex.

Rules.
Tyler Young lives by his own set. As bassist for Devil’s Garden, he exudes sexual energy and lives for the moment; no strings attached, no regrets, and no looking back.

When the two are brought face to face during an interview it goes sour, sparking a string of disasters. As their feelings for each other grow, they find themselves living by a new set of rules, but demons from the past haunt their new found love. Is it possible to crawl from the ashes of the aftermath or will it all go down in flames?

Love.
Perfect bliss or complete disaster?

Read an excerpt:

The elevator doors close, and we begin our ascent. My stomach flip-flops worse than the time I almost hurled on the Tower of Terror at Disney World. Tyler turns around and presses the stop button. What’s he doing? Jesus, it can’t be legal to stop an elevator without a legitimate reason. I’ve got to try and hit the call button. I mean, I hardly know him. What if he has a violent temper? If I was watching this unfold on television, I’d be screaming at the girl for being so stupid. Yet, here I am in another bad situation. I either have terrible luck or need to make some major life changes. He turns toward me and steps forward. Tears fill my eyes as I stare at the vein bulging from his forehead. There’s nowhere to run.

He shakes the magazine in front of my face. “What the hell is this?”

Okay Ali, think. No need to piss him off any more than he already is. “You don’t like it?” Why did that line sound so much better in my head? Great. Now he probably thinks I’m being condescending.

He holds the magazine up and flips through the pages, crinkling and ripping the edges as he frantically makes his way to page seventeen. “Devil’s Garden is all about sex and rock and roll. They love this city because the chicks come to them and love spending time with their fans, especially backstage. Even those of the group who are married or engaged can’t get enough of their backstage fans.” He throws the magazine on the elevator floor. “What’s your problem? Are you trying to use us to make a name for yourself or do you like ruining people’s lives?”


About the Author:
Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, Amy Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes. She attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach. She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, six cats, and golden retriever.

http://www.authoramygale.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Gale/540928695977160
http://www.twitter.com/amyg618
http://www.amygale.tumblr.com/
http://www.5princebooks.com/amygale.html

The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

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

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Call to Honor by Tawny Weber

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

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

I’m pretty good with apologies and at giving them in the right timeframe, so I can’t think of anyone from my past that I’d want to apologize to. I should probably apologize to my husband a few dozen times for getting so caught up with writing that I forgot to make dinner, but that’s not the past. Well, it was yesterday, so maybe that counts?

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I’d love to have either a dragon. One that flew and would take me for rides. It’d be amazing, way better than a car. The cleanup probably wouldn’t be so fun, though.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

That’s a great question, and a tough to answer since I don’t read other books in my specific sub-genre. It's so easy to be influenced by anything we read, whether it’s a character, a storyline or even a name, so I actively avoid reading other SEAL or military romances. Which means I can’t tell you how my books are different, except that maybe they are very strongly told in my voice. The humor, the strong heroes, the message of loyalty and the way I try to empower my heroines is pretty consistent in all of my books and while that’s probably not unique to me, I’d like to think the way I wrap it all together is.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I remember being given was to be true to my voice. My first editor was really wonderful about helping me see exactly what made my voice unique and how to focus bringing that writing style out in my books. The worst advice I can remember was the suggestion to write to the market. In other words, to figure out what the hottest trend was and write that. I’ve never been able to do that –first because I am lousy at spotting trends until they are one their way out. And second, because too often it would conflict with that first piece of advice.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No. Everything in CALL TO HONOR is purely fictional. I’ve never been able to base my characters on real life people or even on actors because my creative brain just won’t go there. Real life people are already who they are, they have their own lives, their own loves, their own issues.

“No man left behind” is inscribed in the DNA of every SEAL and Lieutenant Diego Torres is no exception. But with a team member killed—and the body missing— Diego’s honor is sorely tested. Now his career and reputation are on the line, and a traitor is hiding among them. Diego wants answers...and only one woman has them.

Single mom Harper Maclean has two priorities—raising her son Nathan and starting a new life. Her mysterious new neighbor may be impossibly charming, but Diego asks too many questions about her past—and about the father of her child. Questions she fears will reveal her burning attraction for Diego, and ultimately put them all in danger’s path.

Read an Excerpt:

Harper’s frown intensified. All of this dating and sex talk was stupid. All it did was stir up thoughts of Brandon, bad memories and hurt feelings. And like anything to do with Brandon Ramsey, the second one thought occurred, a million followed. He was the poster boy for taking a mile when an inch was all she’d offered.

No more, she ordered herself. He wasn’t a part of her now, and her past was over.

“Registered letter for one Mr. Nathan Ramsey, care of Harper Maclean,” Andi said, coming back waving a large envelope. “Who’d get his name wrong?”

The bowl of cleaned berries suddenly shaking in her hands, Harper set it on the bar with care and stared. Her chest hurt. She couldn’t think for the buzzing in her ears.

Ramsey.

Harper’s heart raced so fast, it tripped over itself. How was that possible? Why would Brandon contact Nathan? As far as he knew, she’d followed his instructions to end the pregnancy. How did he know she’d had the baby? How did he know Nathan’s name? Had he always known?

The air locked in Harper’s chest, vicious and tight, cutting off her breath, sending shards of pain knifing through her.

Why was he contacting her? Contacting Nathan? Was he going to try to get custody?

Or had his parents gotten wind of unaccounted Ramsey DNA and tracked down their heir apparent?

Harper looked toward the stairs with a desperate gaze. She should get Nathan. They should go. Now.

As soon as she thought that, Harper squared her shoulders.

To hell with that. Nathan was her son. This was her home. She’d be damned if Brandon or his rich parents were going to screw with either.

Still, her hand trembled so much as she took the letter that she dropped it onto the marble countertop as if it were on fire.

“Harper,” Andi moaned. “You’re killing me. Open. Open. Open.”

Knowing Andi would keep it up until she did, she huffed out a hot breath. Sliding her thumbnail under the flap, Harper reluctantly tugged the paper out.

She noted the official-looking insignia and the fancy lettering denoting it to be from Admiral H. M. Cree, Special Ops commander.

Her brow creased as she read.

The room narrowed, and all the air disappeared. The words spun into a swirling blur of black on white. She needed to sit down. But she managed only a single step before her legs gave out and she sank to the floor, the letter clutched in her hands.

“What is it?” Instead of pulling her back up, Andi dropped down next to her, gathering Harper into her arms. She tried to read the paper, but Harper couldn’t let it go. “Sweetie, what does it say?”

“He’s dead,” Harper murmured, her voice sounding as if it were coming from the other end of a long tunnel. “Brandon is dead.”


About the Author:
New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of more than forty books, Tawny Weber loves writing about sexy heroes, most notably her popular Navy SEALs series. Her sassy, emotional romances are filled with men dedicated to being the best—and women determined to have the best. Tawny credits her ex-military alpha husband for inspiration in her writing, and in her life. The recipient of numerous writing accolades, including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice and in addition to the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Tawny has also hit the number one spot on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A homeschooling mom, Tawny enjoys scrapbooking, gardening and spending time with her family and dogs in her Northern California home.

You can find Tawny on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Website: http://tawnyweber.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TawnyWeber.RomanceAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TawnyWeber
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/tawnyweber
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/513828.Tawny_Weber

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

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The Goddess's Choice by Jamie Merchant


This post is part of a virtual book tour organied by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jamie 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.

In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane--or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farmboy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.

Read an Excerpt:

Since the lady didn’t care, Robbie didn’t feel the slightest bit embarrassed that he couldn’t dance. She whirled away from him, and he swung her into his arms. She laughed, and he wished the night could last forever, but far too soon the lady stumbled and caught hold of his arm. “Should we sit one out, Milady?”Mbr>
Breathing heavily, the lady nodded. “I guess I’m more tired than I thought.”

As Robbie led her back to her retainers, he noticed the grim looks on their faces. The scarred man had joined the two younger ones who’d been following them around. Scarface bowed to the lady. “Milady, we have a long ride back. We truly must leave.”

The lady sighed. "I guess you're right." She turned to Robbie. “I had a good time. It was fun.”

It was the best day of my life! Please don’t leave! Please say you’ll come again! “Yes, Milady. It was fun.”

“I truly wish I could stay longer, but we do have a long ride, and it isn’t fair to keep my men longer,” she said. Robbie cursed her men into the seven hells. The lady, however, let go of his hand. She kissed him on the cheek, caressing his face with her soft lips. “Goodbye, Robbie. Remember me,” she said, then followed the scarred man off into the darkness.

How could she think he’d ever forget her? Robbie touched his cheek, feeling as if he’d just lost the most precious thing in the world. He hurried away from the dance floor before anyone could see him crying. He wiped his eyes as he threaded his way through the now deserted stalls toward Wild Thing.


About the Author:
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice. She is now releasing an expanded edition of the novel. Her other novels include The Soul Stone and The Ghost in Exile. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies--Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Short-story.me. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.

http://jamie-marchant.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jamieofkorthlundia/
https://twitter.com/JamieMarchantSF
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5258855.Jamie_Marchant
http://jamie-marchant.com/newsletter/

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Broken Spire by Sue Perkins


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

Ash's silvery purple hair sets her apart from her peers and at the magic college of Spires a few senior maeven consider her magic to be alien and unsuccessfully try to expel her. Ash feels a compulsive attraction tempting her to enter the broken North Spire. She believes this off limits ruin holds the answer to her origins, but is not willing to take the chance of expulsion from Spires.

Orm, Ash's equally talented classmate, is determined to support the girl he considers his soulmate, and promises to help her find out the secrets of the North Spire when they reach the end of their third year.

At the end of the first year, Ash nervously waits to see if she will be allowed to continue at Spires, or will she be sent home in disgrace.


Read an excerpt:

This opportunity would shape her future, become a Spires maeven or always remain the outsider. Rupe saw the others looking at her and gave everyone a furious glare. The students quickly looked away and the whispering stopped.

Their journey took several days. Few villages lay on this route, and they did not collect any more students. Instead they made straight for Laktu. As they neared the town the roads became smoother. Paved instead of compressed earth, with gullies at the side to drain away surface water from the heavy rains. Their final day took them through a dense forest and out the other side.

"Rupe, look. I can see the spires of the college."

On the horizon they saw rolling hills and stretching far above them the four spires which gave the college its name.

"See there's the broken one Tuvor told me about. Nobody's allowed in there because it's dangerous."

The procession followed the Searcher up over the hills. He stopped at the top to allow them their first sight of the town of Laktu.

"As you can see, Spires dominates the town. The East Spire houses the dormitories, the West Spire the rooms of the maeven and the South Spire the classrooms." The guide carried on before anyone could ask about the broken spire. "The North Spire is broken. You are not permitted to enter there under pain of dismissal. If you disobey you will go home in disgrace."


About the Author:
Sue Perkins grew up in Devon, England and emigrated to New Zealand with her family. Sue and her husband now live at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Her interests include writing, reading, genealogy and aqua jogging.

Sue’s book genres include romance, fantasy romance, young adult fantasy and middle grade fantasy. Her first romance book was released in May 2007, quickly followed by a fantasy trilogy. She now has many books published in all the genres. Her aim for the future is to write a full-length epic fantasy novel. The outline is complete, and Sue is hoping to find time to finish the first draft by the end of 2017. Meanwhile she carries on with her current fantasy series - Rak Shoma, a blend of magic and fantasy.

http://sueperkinsauthor.com
http://sueperkinsauthor.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sue-Perkins/187981637917791
http://twitter.com/SuePerkinsAuthr

Buy the book at Desert Breeze Publishing.

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Ahe'ey by Jamie Le Fay


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jamie will be awarding a $40 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.

Morgan's feminist books didn't prepare her to deal with the dashing Gabriel and the land of Ahe'ey . . .

Morgan is a dreamer, change maker and art lover. She is a feisty, slightly preachy, romantic feminist full of contradictions and insecurities. Morgan uncovers a world where women have the power, and where magic is no longer just a figment of her wild imagination. Sounds like a dream, but it may, in fact, turn into a nightmare.

The world of the Ahe'ey challenges and subverts her views about gender, genes, and nature versus nurture.

The strong and uninvited chemistry between her and the dashing Gabriel makes matters even more complicated. His stunning looks keep short-circuiting her rational mind.


Read an excerpt:

It took less than two minutes for Gabriel to knock on her door. “Surely you’re not considering going ahead with the outdoor event?” He spoke faster, and his pitch was higher than usual. “It’s much too dangerous. We have no way to control the crowd or prevent an attack. I can’t allow—”

“You can’t what, sir?” she said, raising her voice. She was furious. Her eyes were spears ready to be fired without mercy. “Who do you think you are, to give me orders?”

There was nothing he could say or do. This confrontation wasn’t about the event. She needed to show him that she was the agent of her own destiny and that he had no power over her.

“Morgan, don’t risk your life for anger and pride.” He lowered his voice and attempted to reason with her.

“Great advice from the person who placed my life at risk in the first place. Why don’t you go and do your job instead? Aren’t you supposed to be leading my security team? Do your job! Neither you nor the MRD will stop me from doing mine. I won’t allow manipulation or bullying.” Morgan’s tone was cutting, almost feral.

“I can’t let you risk your life,” his mouth twisted; his voice held a cocktail of frustration and desperation.


About the Author:
Jamie is an accomplished writer and speaker that focuses mainly on topics related to girlhood, feminism, gender equality, and the misrepresentation of minorities in media and marketing.

http://www.angeelseries.com
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34459933-ahe-ey
https://twitter.com/angeelseries
https://www.facebook.com/JamieLeFay/

Links to all online booksellers

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Running Wild Anthology of Stories, Volume One - Lisa Diane Kastner


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding three individual prizes, a $10, a $25 and a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A special thanks to Lisa Diane Kastner for agreeing to join us today. What is your writing environment?

I write anywhere and everywhere. I learned to do this early on because I worked either half or full time at the same time I was in college. So, in order to survive, I needed to use every moment of every day to its fullest. This meant researching while waiting for a bus; editing while eating lunch; and reviewing copy while in between classes.

What is your writing process?

Typically an idea or an image comes to mind and I free write against it. I will also start researching that time period or that topic and that helps to flesh out the story. Once I have researched and written around 15 to 50 pages, then I go back, clean up the pages, and plot out the rest of the story. At that point, I will continue to write against the plotted story. Admittedly, I rarely keep to the plotline because my characters tend to do whatever they like. But the plotline acts as an anchor to go back to and make sure there’s consistency. I must admit, what my characters do on their own tends to be more interesting than what I plotted. After I’ve written a fresh section, I’ll then go back the next day to read and edit it, then I’ll start on a fresh section.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why?

Oh wow. Mat Johnson who wrote Loving Day. He’s funny, tackles really tough and polarizing topics, and is just a dang great writer. His stories are engaging, varied, and hits to the heart of social and cultural issues in America.

What was your inspiration for this particular novel?

I’m the executive editor of Running Wild Press. I started Running Wild Press because at the end of the day, everyone wants to read a great story. No matter the genre, no matter the form, we pick up books, read magazines, watch television, and chomp on popcorn while being enthralled in movie theaters for a great story. I knew so many excellent writers whose writing didn’t fit into a box and yet the writing and stories were great. They kept you engaged, enthralled, and with a wonderful feeling at the end. Yet these stories couldn’t find a home. Their rejection letters were full of praise and yet ended with statements like, “It’s not for us” or “I don’t know where to sell it”. I wanted to give these stories a home and enable the broader world to love them.

Running Wild Anthology of Stories, Volume One is a reflection of this. All great stories, engaging voices that may not fit into a genre box. It’s a mix of fiction, nonfiction, narrative poem. We have horror/mystery, fantasy/non-fiction based (based on true events), literary fiction/women’s fiction and much more.

What is your favorite scene in your new release?

I can’t pick one. I love all the stories, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the anthology. This said, I love A.J. O’Connell’s piece because of the internal strife of the narrator as she obsesses over a missing person; I love Sarah Duckworth’s piece about the feeling of being haunted or watched; I love Jack Hillman’s narrator and how he follows up on mysterious killings; I love Lisa Montagne’s piece about her first foray into demonstrating her womanhood; and I love Gary Zenker’s piece about what it’s like to have your writing workshopped.

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?

Running Wild Press will publish the first of a series from Jack Hillman about a wheelchaired warrior and his warrior sorceress wife/partner and their adventures. We’re also publishing a novella anthology and a novella series called Newly Minted Wings and Salty French Fries. We’re in the midst of negotiating a few other works so stay tuned to hear more about those.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love hanging out with my husband, yoga, watching movies, traveling, going to museums, reading, playing with our kittens, and hanging out with friends.

What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?

An interesting fact? Hm. Well, I look like I’m Irish but according to Ancestry.com I’m mostly Eastern and Western European with a decent dose of Middle Eastern. Almost no Irish or Scottish though.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?

1. Traveling South America to visit Portugal, Chile, and Columbia. I have a novel series set in those countries so I’d like to visit them for a bit.
2. Sushi and cupcakes with my husband. It’s a thing. 😊
3. Traveling to Budapest to see the hotel that inspired the Grand Budapest Hotel.

This gripping collection of stories - fiction, nonfiction, and narrative poem - will make your imagination run wild! Featuring stories by Sarah Smith Ducksworth, Elaine Crauder, Luanne Smith, Keith R. Fentonmiller, Lisa Montagne, Ann Stolinsky, A.J. O’Connell, Aimee LaBrie, Kristan Campbell, Jack Hillman, Bill Scruggs, Joshua Hedges, Gary Zenker. You will travel alternative planets, run away away like teens in search of adventure, solve a murderous mystery, come to grips with your fears, and much more.

Read an Excerpt from Luanne Smith’s “Me and My Old Man"

“I have fallen for an old man. Gray-white hair and wrinkled folds, drooping skin, eyes yellowed as parchment, his lips have almost disappeared from his face. He isn’t rich. He doesn’t have genius to pass along to me. He smokes, drinks, snores, walks too slowly from a bad knee, laughs with a crackle of sound harsh as a rasp of sandpaper on brick.”

About the Authors:

Elaine Crauder’s fiction is also in Cooweescoowee, The Boston Literary Magazine, The Eastern Iowa Review , and Penumbra. Another story received the Westmoreland Short Story Award. Eleven of her short stories have been finalists or semi-finalists in contests, including finalists in the Tobias Wolff and Mark Twain House contests. ”The Price Of A Pony,” under the title”Christmas the Hard Way,” was a semi-finalist for both Ruminate Magazine’s short story prize and for the Salem College Center for Women Writers Reynolds Price short fiction award.

Richard D. “Ky” Owen is a lawyer with Goodwin & Goodwin, LLP, in Charleston, West Virginia. He earned a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University in 1981 and a J.D. from Hamline University in 1984. Coming from a family of writers, he considers himself a “writer by birth.” He is the author of None Call Me Dad and he blogs about parenting and Michigan State sports at https://www.blogger.com/www.nonecallmedad.com.

Keith R. Fentonmiller is a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. His Pushcart-nominated short story was recently published in the Stonecoast Review. His debut novel, Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat, was published March 20, 2017 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Based in Southern California, Dr. Lisa Montagne currently divides her time between writing poetry and prose, teaching writing to (mostly) willing college students, and overseeing educational technology projects and support at Fullerton College. She is also a Swing, Blues, and Argentine Tango dancer, host, DJ, and instructor. She likes to drink Champagne in as many places as she can, including Europe; to read poetry aloud to anybody who will listen; to cook for anybody who is willing to sit down long enough to enjoy her food; to dabble in drawing, painting, and photography; and to read anything plopped in front of her, ranging from D.H. Lawrence to Vogue magazine. She also likes to watch television and movies, and to imagine how much better she would have produced them herself. She lived in Las Vegas at one time, so she likes to tell people that she was a stripper there. She was really just a graduate student and high school teacher, but it’s more fun to let people wonder. Although rumored to be a direct descendent of Oompa Loompas, Lisa is actually the offspring of a college professor and a circus dwarf. You can find some more of her writing at archive405.com and lisamontagne.com, and see evidence of her adventures on http://www.instagram.com/lisamlore.

Ann Stolinsky is a Pennsylvania-based word and game expert. She is the founder and owner of Gontza Games, an independent board and card game company, and three of her games are currently in the marketplace: “MINDFIELD, The Game of United States Military Trivia”; “Pass the Grogger!”; and “Christmas Cards.” Check her out at http://www.gontzagames.com. She is also a partner in Gemini Wordsmiths, a full-service copyediting and content creating company. Visit www.geminiwordsmiths.com for more information and testimonials. Ann reviews books for Amazing Stories Magazine, an online sci-fi magazine which can be found at www.amazingstoriesmag.com, and and is an Assistant Editor for Red Sun Magazine, www.redsunmagazine.com. Her most recent publishing credit is a poem in the Fall 2015 issue of Space and Time Magazine. She is a graduate of the Bram Stoker award-winning author Jonathan Maberry’s short story writing class.

Lisa Diane Kastner is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery. She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award. Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey she migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously engage in little sparks of anarchy.

Aimee LaBrie works as a communications director at Rutgers University. She earned her MFA in fiction from Penn State, and her MLA from University of Pennsylvania. Her short story collection, Wonderful Girl, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction and published by the University of North Texas Press in 2007. Her second collection of stories, A Good Thing, placed as a finalist in the BOA Short Fiction Contest. Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Pleiades, Minnesota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Permafrost, and other literary journals. In 2012, she won first place in Zoetrope’s All-Story Fiction contest. You can read her at http://www.butcallmebetsy.blogspot.com.

Kristan Campbell is a short story writer born in Washington, D.C. but has only visited her grandmother there during some of the summers of her childhood. She’s more familiar with Philadelphia, New York City, and Paris than her native city and aims to weave her experiences in those places into tales based on places and people that are out of the ordinary. She studied Journalism at Temple University (what seemed like a practical approach to writing at the time) and Comparative Literature at Hunter College (which seemed like a fun idea at the time) before accepting that she should have been an English major all along. Kristan completed her B.A. in English at Temple University in 2010 and an MFA in Fiction at Fairfield University in 2016. She’s currently attempting to eke out a living doing freelance editing with the help of her cat, Fishy, who manages her desktop printer with enthusiasm.

Bill Ed Scruggs spent his younger years meeting the Southern mountain countryside and exploring the people, taking time out as needed for work in various occupations. He lives (temporarily) in Connecticut and has one child, a psychiatrist. Presently he is reconstructing his memories and imaginings in a series of novels and short stories (Facebook page Foothills Fiction - Bill Ed Scruggs) Warrensburg is a fictional photo of a country village in the illumination of fireflies.

Joshua Hedges is a debut Science Fiction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Computer Science. When he’s not writing stories or code, he ventures outdoors with his wife and three-year-old son to hunt dragons in the forest.

Gary Zenker is a marketing professional whose days are filled with creating business and marketing plans, and writing ad copy and media content. By night, he applies his imagination to flash fiction tales that cross genre and focus on revealing various facets of human nature. He is the author of Meetup Leader, a book on running successful groups; is editor and publisher of 19 books in the rock & roll Archives series; and co-author of Says Seth, a humorous collection written with his then six-year-old son. His work has earned a dozen marketing awards and placed in four writers’ contests, including a first place recognition from Oxford University Press. He founded and continues to lead two writers groups in southeastern PA, assisting others to develop their skills and achieve their writing goals. http://www.zenkermarketing.com

https://www.facebook.com/runningwildpress


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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Behind the Mask by various authors


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. In addition to the Rafflecopter, the publisher is offering a special contest-- leave a comment on this blog and you will be entered into a giveaway to receive a copy of the book (epub/mobi). (Drawing will be held in 5 days.)

We are glad to have Adam R. Shannon visit with us today. Adam, what inspired you to write this story?

I had an idea for an opening scene – a young runaway on a train, making faces at a baby in the next row of seats. She’s returning to a city where she once witnessed frightening battles between superheroes and villains, events that only she seems to remember. She’s looking for answers, and she’s not going home without them. The rest of the story unfolded from there.

What was your favorite part to write?

I got a big kick out of developing backstories and powers for the superheroes who are mentioned in the story. I wanted them to feel a little familiar – using the syntax we’ve come to employ for these stories – but offer new variations rather than stamped-out copies from the genre.

What was the hardest part to write?

There’s a flashback in which the protagonist recalls encountering a superhero in the middle of a cataclysmic incident. I wanted to show how much that event meant to her, even though the moment itself was very brief. Writing it was a reminder of how humans can transform even horrible events into personal, private moments that resonate with them for the rest of their lives.

How did you come up with your characters?

That’s always been something of a mystery to me - I don’t have reliable access to that part of my brain’s machinery. I had a few broad sketches for the main characters when I started writing, and they grew more flesh as I wrote them.

Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?

I’ll be attending the Clarion West writers’ workshop for six weeks this summer. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to study under Daryl Gregory, Kij Johnson, John Chu, Pat Cadigan, Daniel José Older, and Connie Willis.

Read an excerpt from "Over an Embattled City" by Adam R. Shannon

They say that every time you remember something, you open up the memory and repack it again, like viewing a painting and making a perfect copy of it, over and over. With time, the details smear and change, until the picture is something entirely different, not a transcription of the way the world was, but your own creation.

But my memory of the Outsider feels perfect, untouched.

Dust blew around me. Not like a sandstorm, but an unspeakable darkness, the pulverized remains of people, buildings, and dreams. Blocks of debris impacted nearby, like the footsteps of an approaching giant.

My mother, somewhere in the dust, was screaming my name.

Then he was there.

He never bothered with an extravagant costume, never indulged in theatrical capes or high collars. He wore the same simple shirt and pants he had on when he came back to our time. When his feet settled on the cracked sidewalk beside me, I felt the solid, reassuring thump through the bottoms of my shoes.

“And what are you doing here?” he asked. There was a faint accent, an endearing lilt he never quite shed when he learned our language.

I knew him by sight. Everyone did. I’d watched him in videos, on the news, and listened to my parents debate whether he was a hero or something else.

I stared.

“Do you have a name?” he asked.

I nodded. “Emma.”

A man ran out of the swirling dust, his face contorted in panic, and vanished back into the storm.

Outsider smiled. Caked dust cracked at the corners of his eyes. “Emma the Brave,” he said.


Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.


About the Authors:
Adam R. Shannon is a career firefighter/paramedic, as well as a fiction writer, hiker, and cook. His work has been shortlisted for an Aeon award and appeared in Morpheus Tales and the SFFWorld anthology You Are Here: Tales of Cryptographic Wonders. He and his wife live in Virginia, where they care for an affable German Shepherd, occasional foster dogs, a free-range toad, and a colony of snails who live in an old apothecary jar. His website and blog are at http://AdamRShannon.com.

All author bios:

Kelly Link is the author of four short story collections: Get in Trouble, a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners, and Stranger Things Happen. She lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Seanan McGuire lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, in a large, creaky house with a questionable past. She shares her home with two enormous blue cats, a querulous calico, the world’s most hostile iguana, and an assortment of other oddities, including more horror movies than any one person has any business owning. It is her life goal to write for the X-Men, and she gets a little closer every day.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye and InCryptid urban fantasy series, both from DAW Books, and the Newsflesh and Parasitology trilogies, both from Orbit (published under the name “Mira Grant”). She writes a distressing amount of short fiction, and has released three collections set in her superhero universe, starring Velma “Velveteen” Martinez and her allies. Seanan usually needs a nap. Keep up with her at www.seananmcguire.com, or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/seananmcguire.

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World. She's written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories. She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R.R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop. An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com.

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Her second novel, Hearts of Tabat, appears in early 2017 from Wordfire Press. She is the current President of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see http://www.kittywumpus.net.

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning and Premio Roma nominee A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), the World Fantasy Award winning Osama (2011) and of the critically-acclaimed The Violent Century (2013). His latest novel is Central Station (2016). He is the author of many other novels, novellas and short stories.

Kate Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and several small agents of chaos disguised as a dog, cat, and child. She works as a cover designer and video game writer. Her fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres, and other venues, and her YA survival thriller I Am Still Alive is forthcoming from Viking. You can find her online at katemarshallwrites.com.

Chris Large writes regularly for Aurealis Magazine and has had fiction published in Australian speculative fiction magazines and anthologies. He's a single parent who enjoys writing stories for middle-graders and young adults, and about family life in all its forms. He lives in Tasmania, a small island at the bottom of Australia, where everyone rides Kangaroos and says 'G'day mate!' to utter strangers.

Stuart Suffel's body of work includes stories published by Jurassic London, Evil Girlfriend Media, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Kraxon Magazine, and Aurora Wolf among others. He exists in Ireland, lives in the Twilight Zone, and will work for Chocolate Sambuca Ice cream. http://www.twitter.com/suffelstuart

Michael Milne is a writer and teacher originally from Canada, who lived in Korea and China, and is now in Switzerland. Not being from anywhere anymore really helps when writing science fiction. His work has been published in The Sockdolager, Imminent Quarterly, and anthologies on Meerkat Press and Gray Whisper.

Jennifer Pullen received her doctorate from Ohio University and her MFA from Eastern Washington University. She originally hails from Washington State. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are upcoming in journals including: Going Down Swinging (AU), Cleaver, Off the Coast, Phantom Drift Limited, and Clockhouse.

Stephanie Lai is a Chinese-Australian writer and occasional translator. She has published long meandering thinkpieces in Peril Magazine, the Toast, the Lifted Brow and Overland. Of recent, her short fiction has appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction, Cranky Ladies of History, and the In Your Face Anthology. Despite loathing time travel, her defence of Dr Who companion Perpugilliam Brown can be found in Companion Piece (2015). She is an amateur infrastructure nerd and a professional climate change adaptation educator (she's helping you survive our oncoming climate change dystopia). You can find her on http://www.twitter.com/yiduiqie, at stephanielai.net, or talking about pop culture and drop bears at no-award.net.

Aimee Ogden is a former biologist, science teacher, and software tester. Now she writes stories about sad astronauts and angry princesses. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Baen.com, Persistent Visions, and The Sockdolager.

Nathan Crowder is a Seattle-based fan of little known musicians, unpopular candy, and just happens to write fantasy, horror, and superheroes. His other works include the fantasy novel Ink Calls to Ink, short fiction in anthologies such as Selfies from the End of the World, and Cthulhurotica, and his numerous Cobalt City superhero stories and novels. He is still processing the death of David Bowie.

Sarah Pinsker is the author of the 2015 Nebula Award winning novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road." Her novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind" was the 2014 Sturgeon Award winner and a 2013 Nebula finalist. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, among others, and numerous anthologies. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Galician. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife and dog. She can be found online at sarahpinsker.com and twitter.com/sarahpinsker.

Keith Frady writes weird short stories in a cluttered apartment in Atlanta. His work has appeared in Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology, Literally Stories, The Yellow Chair Review, and The Breakroom Stories.

Ziggy Schutz is a young queer writer living on the west coast of Canada. She's been a fan of superheroes almost as long as she's been writing, so she's very excited this is the form her first published work took. When not writing, she can often be found stage managing local musicals and mouthing the words to all the songs. Ziggy can be found at www.twitter.com/ziggytschutz, where she's probably ranting about representation in fiction.

Matt Mikalatos is the author of four novels, the most recent of which is Capeville: Death of the Black Vulture, a YA superhero novel. You can connect with him online at Capeville.net or Facebook.com/mikalatosbooks.

Patrick Flanagan - For security reasons, Patrick Flanagan writes from one of several undisclosed locations; either—

1) A Top Secret-classified government laboratory which studies genetic aberrations and unexplained phenomena;
2) A sophisticated compound hidden in plain sight behind an electromagnetic cloaking shield;
3) A decaying Victorian mansion, long plagued by reports of terrifying paranormal activity; or
4) The subterranean ruins of a once-proud empire which ruled the Earth before recorded history, and whose inbred descendants linger on in clans of cannibalistic rabble

—all of which are conveniently accessible from exits 106 or 108 of the Garden State Parkway. Our intelligence reports that his paranoid ravings have been previously documented by Grand Mal Press, Evil Jester Press, and Sam's Dot Publishing. In our assessment he should be taken seriously, but not literally. (Note: Do NOT make any sudden movements within a 50' radius.)

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels THE MERCY OF THE TIDE (2017, Meerkat) and SMOKE CITY (2018, Meerkat). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. An advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at keithrosson.com.

Book Page: http://meerkatpress.com/books/behind-the-mask-a-superhero-anthology/#mbt-book-purchase-anchor
Publisher: http://www.meerkatpress.com

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