Missed Spelled by Sarah Belle [Guest Post]

 

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Blurb

Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman and ruins their shared dream of happiness. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.

 

Guest Post

 

‘Miss Spelled’ is set in my old hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and seeing as Sophie is keen to come down under one day, I thought it would be a bit of fun to share an excerpt from ‘Miss Spelled’ where the lead characters, Lou and Aidan are standing in the Eureka Sky Deck, a glass cube suspended on the side of the Eureka Tower, 88 storeys above ground. It is the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere and the view is breathtaking.

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The lights go out and I can’t see a thing. It’s pitch black. But despite the temporary blindness, there’s the sense that there is a great, cavernous void between my feet and solid ground, the thought of which makes my shoulders tighten and rise up towards my earlobes.

“Close your eyes,” Aiden says. “It will help your eyes to adjust quicker.”

I do as he says and can feel the sway of the building in the wind, underneath my feet. My thigh muscles tighten in readiness to turn and run. As the fear starts to consume me again, Aiden stands behind me and wraps his arms around my shaking body. With his guidance, we walk the three metres to the far wall of the cube, where my fingers automatically clutch the railing in front of me. Eyes still closed, my grip is such that my knuckles feel like they are about to pop out of the skin.

Aiden puts his hands over mine and intertwines our fingers. Even though it means I have less of a grip on the railing, their warmth and strength is welcome, and my heart rate slows a fraction.

My body shudders slightly as he steps closer, his hips now pressing firmly against the small of my back, his thighs resting against the back of my legs. There is no gap between our bodies. He has become my blanket, my warmth.

“Now, open your eyes,” Aiden whispers. His warm breath wafts past my ear and I can feel the pressure of his chest against my back. The fine wool of his suit feels cool and soft against my bare skin, but does little to conceal the contours of Aiden’s lean, muscled chest beneath it.

Not wanting to lose this moment of oneness, my eyes slowly open to be greeted by a magical land of lights that stretch out forever around me, on all sides. The usually mundane street, traffic and building lights take on the appearance of an enchanted wonderland, and the cloudless sky twinkles with a million stars as though heaven is reaching down towards us. If it weren’t for the pane of glass between the us and the sky, I may be able to reach out and brush a star with my fingertips.

               A feeling of peace washes over me like a cleansing waterfall, as I allow myself to be lost in the beauty and magic of everything around me. Floating amongst the stars is beautiful with the feel of Aiden’s body against mine, his heart beating at my back, his breath against my skin. If this moment never ended, if it lasted for eternity, it wouldn’t be long enough.

“Oh Aiden! It’s so…so…incredibly beautiful. Look at it. Who would think that a smelly old city could be transformed into this…magical kingdom.”

“Over there,” he points to the left, our fingers still intertwined, “is your house, and a bit further over is your parent’s house.” My eyes followed his fingers. “ Down there is my office, and just over there is your school.”

As beautiful as the view is, I can only see Aiden’s long fingers wrapped around my own. My hands moisten in his as my heart rate speeds up, but not out of fear this time.

His voice is low, barely above a whisper. I tilt my head to the side slightly so that his breath touches skin of my neck. It tickles in a very pleasurable way and even though our fingers are still intertwined, mine are tingling with the need to touch him, to feel the warmth of his body underneath them.

A small groan escapes me as a delicious shiver works its way up my spine.

“And down there is my apartment where I intend to take you after this, so I can feel every part of your naked body pressed against mine,” he says as his lips touch my exposed neck and shoulders.

I inhale deeply, taking in the mixture of Aiden’s woody aftershave and his own scent. It’s intoxicating and leaves me feeling light headed. He smells delicious, and my desire to have him now is too overpowering to deny any longer. I spin around to face him.

“Why wait until we get home?” I say, and then reach up to take his lips with mine. It’s as though I could devour him on the spot, not caring whether or not people can see us.

He lifts me up onto the railing as my hands work quickly to release him from his trousers and wrap my thighs around his hips. The heat between us has risen to the point that the cube has now fogged up, leaving only the promise of the lit wonderland on the outside as a dull reminder that other humans exist.

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 Author Bio

Sarah Belle started her professional life in the hospitality industry, working in some of the roughest hotels in Melbourne in the late Eighties, surrounded by drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, and undercover police. Tiring of the inherent dangers of her working environment, Sarah completed a business degree and went on to work in the recruitment industry where she met and married the man of her dreams. They have four young sons and live on the beautiful Queensland coast, where Sarah’s days are spent being a frazzled mum, writer, Bikram Yoga devotee, a Naughty Ninja and the only woman in a house of five males.

 

 

Links

 

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No Grits No Glory by Elaine Calloway [Guest Post]

 

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Chick Lit

Brianna fled down South to Savannah to escape the voices of the dead. Just when she thought she’d left all paranormal things behind, she discovers her house is haunted—by a family of Southern ghosts. These persistent beings not only hide her white shoes after Labor Day, but they wreak havoc on her life to convince her to help them bring their killer to justice.

Steven put Savannah in his rearview mirror years ago to follow his passion for music. When his band splits up and he can’t reach his little sister for weeks, he races home—only to learn his whole family died in a mysterious house fire. The house Brianna now lives in.

Together, Brianna and Steven learn who murdered Steven’s family and become caught in a web of intrigue that will threaten their careers, their homes–but especially their lives.

 

 

Guest Post

Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits is a favorite in Savannah and along the coast to Hilton Head. This decadent meal, which No Grits No Glory‘s Brianna and Steven enjoy, reflects the local culture.

 

Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits

 

INGREDIENTS

2-3 cups grits (real, do not use instant)

1 cup heavy cream

2-3 cups milk

1 pound bacon

1 stick butter

1 pound deveined shrimp

 

INSTRUCTIONS

– Soak the grits in milk for several hours.

– Cook the bacon on the stovetop (fry) and set bacon aside on plate BUT do not wash out pan – keep the bacon grease in the pan as a base.

– Cook the shrimp in the bacon grease, add salt/pepper seasonings as desired.

– Use that as the base to cook and/or reheat the shrimp.

– Once shrimp is cooked, take out of pan & set aside.

– Cook the grits in butter & heavy cream until desired consistency.

– Add bacon, seasoning, shrimp on top & serve.

 

 

Author Bio

Elaine Calloway is the Amazon.com bestselling author of paranormal and fantasy novels with elements of romance and desire. Her “tales of the living, the dead and the eerie in between” include the Elemental Clans Series, the Southern Ghosts Series and several shortnew_elaine_bio stories. A New Orleans native, Elaine grew up with a love of all things supernatural and enjoys visiting the “Crescent City.” She currently lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. www.elainecalloway.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links

Dissonance by Shira Anthony [Guest Post + Giveaway]

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Dissonance by Shira Anthony

Release Date: August 8, 2014

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

 

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British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.

When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.

Note: Blue Notes Series novels are standalone stories, and can be read in any order.

 

 

 

 Guest Post

 

 

Real Life Inspiration: The Blue Notes Series, by Shira Anthony

 

Thanks, Sophie, for hosting the Dissonance Blog Tour today! For those of you who might be new to the Blue Notes Series, all of the novels in the series are standalone gay (male/male) romances featuring music and musicians. Dissonance is no exception. It features Galen Rusk, a trumpeter who plays for tips in the New York City subway. Readers often ask me what order they should read the books in. I think there are three ways you can: 1) in order of publication, 2) in chronological order, and 3) pick a summary that speaks to you and just dive in anywhere! You can find all the series books at the Dreamspinner Press store and on Amazon.com.

Sophie has asked me to talk about something really fun: true stories that would make great plot bunnies. That’s a perfect topic, because many of my stories are based in part on true stories, and Dissonance is no exception. In fact, the first book in the series, Blue Notes, is based in part on a trip I took to Paris about five years ago, and my own background having lived in Grenoble, France, for several years when I was in high school.

You’ve probably heard the term, “write what you know.” There’s a reason it’s a great idea—your stories ring far truer if you write from your own experiences. I’m a former opera singer and violinist, and the only real research I need to do for books about musicians is from my own life. But when you think about those experiences, you don’t even need to think big picture. I think it’s the little details that make readers believe and feel as though they are experiencing what the characters experience. Sure, the big ones matter too, but maybe not as much as you’d think.

So what do I mean? Take playing an instrument, for example. You, like me, probably think of recorded music when someone asks you to name your favorite song. And recordings are perfect, for the most part. Someone coughs, and the sound engineer cleans the recording up, splices that bit out, or just has you do another take. But that sort of perfect performance isn’t what a musician experiences when she or he plays an instrument. There sounds other than the music itself that you might hear if you sat next to a soloist playing on stage. The details about those sounds are what make the story real.

So, for example, if you were to stand next to me playing a violin, you’d hear the music, of course, but you’d also hear the sound of the horsehair on the bow as it scrapes across the strings and makes them vibrate. You might hear my fingers tapping against the fingerboard. For a singer, you might hear my breathing, or the way certain words vibrate at the back of my throat.

Of course, there are bigger true stories. Jason in Blue Notes remembers his childhood experiences of being the only American at a French school. He remembers how he hated when his parents dragged him to ancient church after ancient church. He remembers skiing at the Olympic ski station in the Alps. Those are all my experiences, through Jason’s eyes.

I hope that when you read the Blue Notes Series books that you feel as though you’ve stepped into the characters’ shoes. I hope you hear the music as more than just the notes. And remember that much of what you’re reading there is true!

Don’t forget to enter the blog tour giveaway (details below)!

 

 

 Author Bio

 In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

 

 

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Scandal by Sarah Ockler [Guest Post + Giveaway]

 

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File Size: 3989 KB
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 17, 2014)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Language: English
ASIN: B00FNVSNCI

Blurb

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…


You can purchase #scandal at the following Retailers:
Guest Post
Sarah stopped by the neighborhood to chat about random preferences in a very fun this and that

——> This OR That with Sophie!

Fiction or Non-Fiction? Fiction

Tea or Coffee? Both! Coffee is a must-have for mornings. At night I like tea.

Physical Books or E-books? Both! I’m a total book sniffer, so I’ll always have a spot in my heart for physical books. I used to be one of those people who said I’d never get an e-reader… until I received one as a gift. I LOVE it. Basically, I’ll take my books any way I can get ‘em!

 

Writing in the Morning or in the Afternoon/Evening? It’s different every day. I no longer have a set routine, but I generally feel more creative late at night.

Dinner or Dessert? Dessert for dinner!

Comedies or Dramas? Both. But I haven’t seen a great comedy in a long time. Today’s trend of cruelty-as-humor or lady-bashing-as-humor doesn’t do it for me.

Pen or Pencil? Both. Depends on the mood. They each have a different feel on the page. But if I’m writing something I want to last, like a journal entry or letter, pen for sure.

Sleeping In or Waking Early? Sleeping in! It’s one of the perks of working from home.

The Past or the Future? The present. It’s all we have!

Being Outdoors or Indoors? Outdoors! Put me up on a mountain or out by the sea.

Dusk or Dawn? Generally I only see the dawn if I’m still up from the night before. So, dusk!

Chocolate or Vanilla? What kind of question is this? CHOCOLATE!

The Beginning of a Story or The End? Love them both, but there’s something especially magical about the start of a new writing or reading adventure.

Author Bio

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of several books for teens: The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, and the upcoming #scandal. Her books have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado,Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. In addition to her website at sarahockler.com, fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

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Giveaway

Neither Book Nerd Tours or Book Suburbia are not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books the mail

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2 Winners will Receive a Copy of #scandal by Sarah Ockler.

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The Wild Hunt by Ron C. Nieto [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Mature YA Paranormal
Date Published: May 29, 2014
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21416356-the-wild-hunt

Blurb

 

Magic still lingers in the mist-covered corners of the world, wherever the Old Ways are remembered. However, as civilization and reason scoff at the Fair Folk, the paths to power have been forgotten by all but a few.

Lily Boyd was meant to become a faerie doctor, a warden of humans and a keeper of balance, until disbelief and pragmatism led her away from the hidden world and into a mundane life. But truth has a way to be Heard and she will be forced to face it if she wants to save her family.

Armed with nothing but her childhood memories and protected by a debt of gratitude she doesn’t understand, Lily must decide who to trust while she navigates a world that is darker and more twisted than she is prepared for.

And should she make the wrong choice, should she mistake friend and foe… the eternal balance between the Faerie Courts may shatter, and then there will be more than Lily’s life on the line.

Guest Post

The Wild Hunt Soundtrack

If you have read anything about me, even the one random quote, you know how important music is in my writing. Without the right soundtrack, I’m quite unable to get the story to flow! For the Wild Hunt, I’ve used a pretty huge list, probably the most varied of all my books so far, but there are some songs that just fit too perfectly, and those are the ones I want to share with you today:

The Lady of Shallot, by Loreena McKennitt
Okay, this song is simply beautiful. But beyond that, it talks about a woman who lives experiencing life through a mirror, never seeing the real thing… and when she does, it kills her. Really, listen to the lyrics: they’re appropriate!


• The Elfin Knight
An old traditional Scottish ballad about an elfin knight who wants a woman, but there are some impossible conditions for them to be each other’s true love.

• Scarborough Fair – Nolwenn Leroy
Another traditional ballad about two lovers who’ve fallen apart. One of them gives some impossible conditions to the other if they want to go back to being lovers… And yes, I realize this is a bit of a theme, and yes it does make sense with the series.

• Arrival to Earth (Transformers OST) – Steve Jablonsky
Tell me it isn’t suitably epic and moving and I’ll eat my own computer. Enough said.

• Nerevar Rising (The Elder Scrolls III OST) – Jeremy Soule
Another incredibly epic song, sad and uplifting at the same time. A great fit for some parts of the novel where the feels are specially strong!

 

Author Bio

Ron C. Nieto is a fantasy and romance author who has been writing in her secluded fortress for the longest time. Recently, she had a talk with her cat and deauthor_piccided that she should share her creations, because it was selfish to hoard them all for herself.

If you would like to know more about her, please visit her website.

 

Giveaway

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Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum [BookBlitz + Guest Post + Giveaway




On the morning before her 67th death, it is business as usual for Jesse Sullivan: meet with the mortician, counsel soon-to-be-dead clients, and have coffee while reading the latest regeneration theory. Jesse dies for a living, literally. As a Necronite, she is one of the population’s rare 2% who can serve as a death replacement agent, dying so others don’t have to. Although each death is different, the result is the same: a life is saved, and Jesse resurrects days later with sore muscles, new scars, and another hole in her memory.

But when Jesse is murdered and becomes the sole suspect in a federal investigation, more than her freedom and sanity are at stake. She must catch the killer herself—or die trying.

You can purchase Dying For a Living at the following Retailers:
    

 

Guest Post

 

10 favorite books of all times

An impossible task! But here is a good sampling:

1 Empress by Shan Sa
2 A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
3 Here by Wislawa Szymborska
4 Dune by Frank Herbert
5 The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
6 Averno and/or The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck
7 On Writing by Stephen King
8 Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton
9 Emma by Jane Austen
10 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. When not writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, and wearing a gi. Her poetry has appeared in North American Review, Bateau and elsewhere. Her first urban fantasy novel Dying for a Living  is now available on Amazon, as well as her short story, Dive. She’d love to hear from you on Facebook, G+, her blog, or Twitter.

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4 Winners will receive an  E-Copy of  Dying For a Living +Signed Bookmarks by Kory M. Shrum.
1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Must be 13+ to Enter
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Into the Wind by Shira Anthony [Special Guest Post + Giveaway]

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What an HONOR to have one of my absolute FAVORITE authors again around the neighborhood, this time with a  love story as beautiful as the hidden treasures beneath the sea: ‘Into the Wind: Mermen of Ea Book 2’

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Blurb

Since learning of his merman shifter heritage, Taren has begun building a life with Ian Dunaidh among the mainland Ea. But memories of his past life still haunt him, and as the threat of war with the hostile island merfolk looms ever closer, Taren fears he will lose Ian the same way he lost his beloved centuries before. Together they sail to the Gateway Islands in search of the fabled rune stone—a weapon of great power the Ea believe will protect them—and Odhrán, the pirate rumored to possess it.

After humans attack the Phantom, Taren finds himself washed up on an island, faced with a mysterious boy named Brynn who promises to lead him to Odhrán. But Taren isn’t sure if he can trust Brynn, and Odhrán is rumored to enslave Ea to protect his stronghold. Taren will have to put his life on the line to find his way back to Ian and attempt to recover the stone. Even if he does find it, his troubles are far from over: he and Ian are being stalked by an enemy who wants them dead at all costs.

Guest Post

 

Tired of Vampires and Werewolves? How About Mermen?

Thanks so much, Sophie, for hosting me on your blog and letting me ramble a bit about my mermen. For those of you who haven’t heard, Into the Wind, the second book in the Mermen of Ea Series was just released from Dreamspinner Press! High fantasy, adventure and romance, set on the high seas. With a twist. Mermen, of course!

When I first imagined the creatures who inhabit the books, there were very few stories about mermen (gay mermen in particular) on the market. Now, I’m hearing about lots of books soon to be released, and I have to wonder if mermen aren’t the new vampires or werewolves in the MM genre. Not that I’d mind—I love the myths of merfolk, and there’s so much unexplored territory, I think there’s plenty of room for a million different takes on the myth.

My merman are not frilly fish. In fact, I didn’t pattern them on fish at all—they are patterned on dolphins. I did this for a few different reasons, not the least of which is that dolphins are mammals, and I just didn’t see my mermen laying eggs or being cold-blooded! Totally un-sexy! I’ve seen dolphins in the wild; we often see them when we sail the Carolina coast on our sailboat. They’re powerful, sleek, intelligent mammals and they’re social creatures, often chasing our boat for miles and playing in the surf.

The mermen of Ea exist primarily in their human form (a point which becomes important as the story progresses). They must live near water and must transform into their mer-forms regularly, however, or they die. They are powerful, sensual creatures who struggle with their non-human side and primal need to dominate. They also possess powerful magical “gifts” and are deeply spiritual beings. Over the centuries, however, the Ea have become distrustful of humans and are at war internally over whether their future should be linked to humankind.

The Mermen of Ea books are both romances and adventure stories. They follow the story of Ian Dunaidh and Taren Laxley, and the strange bond they share. For Taren, it’s a journey of self-discovery. Born a slave and not knowing his true nature, when Ian reveals that Taren is a merman, Taren’s life takes an unexpected turn.

In Into the Wind, the second book in what I’ve planned as a trilogy, Taren and Ian are an established couple, but things have hardly settled down for them. They are pulled into a looming war between mermen factions, and they are separated as they hunt for the illusive rune stone, a weapon they believe is the key to their people’s survival. For Taren, who hasn’t quite come to terms with the fact that he’s no longer a slave, their time apart allows him to grow and change in ways that will help him prepare for the final installment of their story, and the battle they know they will soon face. Running with the Wind, Book 3 in the series, will be release sometime in 2015.

You can find Stealing the Wind (Book 1) and Into the Wind (Book 2) on Dreamspinner Press’s website, on Amazon.com, AllRomanceEbooks.com, Barnes & Noble, and most other online booksellers.

Would you like a chance to win a gorgeous unisex pendant and a Mermen of Ea goodie basket? I’m running a special Into the Wind Blog Tour Giveaway! Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter widget: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba93/ The giveaway ends on May 31st at midnight! Good luck! –Shira

Excerpt

TAREN CHASED Ian through the surf, the water flying about him as his bare feet slapped the sand. The warm autumn sun on his shoulders and the salty tang of the water made him smile.

“You’re too slow!” Ian called from halfway across the beach.

Taren laughed and dove into a wave, swam in his human form until he came upon Ian, grabbed him around the ankles, then knocked him into the water. Ian spluttered and transformed, planting his powerful tail. He paused for only an instant, then pivoted and swam against a wave that crested and broke near shore.

Taren looked around, trying to sense Ian. During the time they’d spent together at Callaecia, the powerful sensations he shared with Ian had only grown in their intensity. Even though he couldn’t see him, Taren felt Ian’s heart race as he swam, felt his pleasure, heard his lungs fill with water, and knew he was nearby. He didn’t see Ian until he surfaced in a spray of foam, took Taren’s hands, and dragged him down, forcing him to transform as well.

You cheated! Taren wriggled away from Ian and took off for one of the underwater caves near the cliffs. He flicked his tail harder when he sensed the movement of water behind him. Ian was the stronger swimmer, although in the months Taren had lived amongst the Ea at Callaecia, he’d learned to use his Ea body to its greatest advantage.

Ian caught up with Taren a moment later, swimming beneath Taren before encircling his waist with his powerful arms, capturing him in his embrace.

I yield! Taren laughed and allowed Ian to pull him closer. Besides, you’ve long ago captured my heart. He nipped at Ian’s neck, eliciting a low rumble he could feel in his belly more than hear with his ears. Taren still marveled that in his Ea form he could hear so much under the water. He’d asked Ian once why the Ea didn’t choose to spend their lives in this form, so taken was he with the joys of his Ea body and the beauty of the sea. Ian had just shrugged and told him that the Ea viewed their transformation as a gift from the goddess that set them apart from humans, but that they believed they were meant to live on land.

They swam out from land as they held each other, tails beating the water in tandem as they spiraled in a dizzying dance. More than anything, Taren found the Ea mating ritual a beautiful thing. Ian’s Ea body was also beautiful. In this form, Ian’s chest was broad and the muscles of his belly and arms more powerful. As a human, Ian was strong. As an Ea, he possessed strength and surprising grace few others did. Taren loved to watch Ian swim, watch the sinews of his body ripple as he moved his tail, watch his hair twist in the current. More thrilling, perhaps, was the knowledge that Ian was his, that Ian desired him above all others, that Taren held Ian’s heart.

Ian released Taren as they glided over the sand at the bottom. Large schools of silver fish followed the contours of their bodies, calling to mind the shimmer of moon across the waves. Here, many feet below the surface, the pressure of the water created a warm cocoon around Taren and drove the warmth in his chest to his extremities, making his fingers more sensitive.

Taren flicked his tail to propel him around so that he and Ian swam toward each other, arms extended, then moved upward as they laced their fingers together and floated perpendicular to the sea floor. They kissed and their tongues entwined. Ian tasted of the ocean and of the promise of Taren’s new life. Their former incarnations, Treande and Owyn, had been equals in everything. Partners, friends, lovers. Taren both relished and feared the power of his connection to Ian and the unexpected turn of fate that had brought them together, as well as the revelations of their past.

With a grin, Taren spun around so that he faced Ian’s tail. He rotated his arm so that the sharp tines that ran from his fingers to his wrist grazed the slick surface. He’d learned how to retract the barbs so they would not injure; he’d also learned that if used properly, the gentle scrape of the barbs was a sensual treat Ian could not resist.

“Goddess!” Ian shouted in his mind. “Is it your wish to render me completely helpless with lust?”

Taren repressed a chuckle as he continued to stroke Ian’s body. He might not be able to best Ian with his physical prowess, but he knew he held a stronger power over Ian. He relished the thought that he possessed Ian’s heart and soul, for it made his own uncontrollable hunger to be near Ian bearable.

 

 

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Storm in a B Cup by Lindy Dale [BookBlitz + Guest Post]

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BlurbIt’s my funeral. If I want you to play Bon Jovi as they wheel my body away to be cremated you’ll do it.”

The horrified look on Brendan’s face says he’ll do anything but. “People will laugh.”
“I want them to. I want a funeral where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did, and then they get really pissed.”
Sophie Molloy has Breast Cancer. She didn’t think it was cancer to begin with, she thought it was another cyst. She also didn’t think it would be the catalyst for a series of life changing events, none of which involved chemotherapy. Within months of her diagnosis, Sophie loses not only her right breast but her boyfriend of three years, her house and her best friend. Her life spirals from great to bad, then ugly. Nothing can make it better, not even the crazy care packages her mother keeps sending from Melbourne.
To make matters worse, Sophie fears she’s developing a crush on the plastic surgeon that will be reconstructing her breast. Dr. Hanson has the bedside manner of an angel and the looks to match. He’s so caring and compassionate, Sophie begins to believe he cares about her in a most non-doctor-patient kind of way. But he doesn’t, of course. He’s merely her doctor. Or does he?

A fictional tale, based on the author’s medical journey with the disease, Storm in a B Cup is a warm-hearted glimpse into the world of a Breast Cancer sufferer that will have you laughing out loud. 
Guest Post

Hospital Etiquette for Newbies

(Or how to NOT piss your roommate off)

 

So, I’m sitting here in my hospital bed for the tenth time in two years, hoping that the end is in sight. I thought I was going home today. My new boob appears to have other ideas ~ I now have an infection and until it’s under control, I’m stuck here.

I’m a seasoned hospital goer, but I know many of you aren’t, there are probably some among you who hate hospitals, who avoid them like the plague, who have no idea to act. And this brings me to the subject of today’s post ~ hospital etiquette.

1. Put your damn phone on silent! In this day of modern technology, it’s great to be able to get in touch with loved ones when you reach the ward or to be able to Instagram your wounds the minute you wake up from surgery but PLEASE, if the person in the bed next to you is trying to sleep, do not have your ringtone up as loud as is humanly possible and refrain from using the cute bubble sounds when you text. Not everyone gets a giggle out of it.

2. Do not whine to your partner/friend/doctor about how annoying your roommate is when you think they’re asleep. The odds are they’re probably not and can hear every thing you say. Likewise, do not tell all and sundry how you need a private room, whilst making nodding motions towards your roommate and raising your eyebrows suggestively. We’d all like a private room. Sometimes the freakin’ hospital is full!

3. Do not go to the toilet in the middle of the night carrying your drain and a packet of throat lozenges. The chances are extremely high that you WILL drop the lozenges on the timber floor and wake up your roommate. You will also expose your bottom to said roommate whilst scrambling on the floor to pick them up. Hospital gowns are very flimsy pieces of attire.

4.  Do not pull the dividing curtain along the whole way when you have access to the only window in the room. Consider that the other person only has a view of the fake Monet on the wall and may have been staring at it for a good week already. You did not pay for the view. It does not belong to you.

5. And lastly, remember that if you turn on the TV at three in the morning when someone else is on the other side of the dividing curtain trying to sleep, then proceed to call for a cup of tea like you’re dialing room service; karma is gonna come back and bite you in the bum. Yes, lady. I heard you talking about bugs in your sleep last night. I saw your naked bottom. It wasn’t pretty and now I’ve told the whole world in a blog post!

Happy hospital stay 🙂

 

Excerpt

 

About an hour later, Brendan arrives home late from squash to find me surfing the net on the new TV. Having located the last stash of chocolates — which I’d hidden so well even I couldn’t find them in the first search — I’ve demolished the lot, washing them down with a bottle of red. I’m feeling a little bit tipsy. Or it could be a sugar rush.

Raising his eyebrows at the coffee table, which is littered with wrappers and bearing a couple of wine rings, Brendan screws the papers into a tight ball and takes them and the empty bottle to the kitchen. He returns with a sponge, which he uses to wipe the table before returning it to its plastic bowl under the kitchen sink.

“Are you drunk?” he asks, returning to the room.

“Possibly.”

“Is that wise?”

“Probably not. I’ll have a massive hangover in the morning.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“I realise that.”

I glare at him. Since the first traumatic days of my diagnosis, Brendan appears to have returned to his old self. Yes, he’s sporting a lot of new ties and at odd moments, I catch him studying me with a sad look on his face, but I think he’s trying to support me as best he can by acting as normally as he can. Which would of course, include chastising me for drinking too much and making a mess on his coffee table.

He walks around the sofa and flops down beside me. His body is clammy from his game of squash and his hair is standing in jagged spikes on top of his head. Somehow, he still manages to look devastatingly handsome.

“What’s this?” Brendan picks up my To Do list.

“A few things I need to sort out.” I try to snatch the list away but he holds it at arm’s length and begins to read.

“You’re planning your funeral? Jesus, Sophie!”

“You don’t think I’d let you be in charge do you?”

With the piece of paper in his hand, Brendan gets up and heads for the fridge. He pulls out a bottle of water and drinks half before wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. He slings an arm over the open door. “Why are you planning your funeral?”

“In case I die on the operating table.”

“You’re not going to die on the operating table.” Shaking his head, he finishes his water and takes a three point shot at the recycling bin.

“I know, but in case I do, I’ve left you a list of requests.”

Brendan comes back to the sofa and picks up a second piece of paper from beside me. It has a heading entitled ‘Sophie’s Funeral’ and a page-long dot-pointed set of ideas. His eyes scan the page and he shakes his head again.

“I’m not playing Bon Jovi at your funeral, Soph.”

“It’s my funeral. If I want you to play Have A Nice Day as they wheel my body away to be cremated, you’ll do it.”

“But it’s a rock song.”

“I know. I want people to be happy. That song makes me happy. Speaking of which, I want U2 as well. Walk On.  And P!nk, Bad Influence while you do the photo montage.”

“People will laugh.”

“I want them to. People shouldn’t cry because I’m gone. They should have a wake where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did and then they get really pissed. I do not want crying and I definitely don’t want you to sprinkle my remains in some tacky rose garden somewhere.”

“Where will I put you then?”

“In an urn on the mantel. Then I can heckle you when you put the moves on a new woman.”

He looks horrified.

“Joke.”

He takes another look at the list. “They can’t sew your boob back on after you die.”

“Why? It’s no good to anybody but me. The surgeon’s going to sew me up anyway, so I don’t see the difference.  It doesn’t have to be neat sewing. It just needs to be there so I’m complete and look nice in my death outfit.”

“Maybe you should discuss that with the doctor next Thursday.”

I snatch the pieces of paper from him. “All right. I will. I might get a sensible answer from her.”

“Hmm.”

I put the list aside and glancing at my watch, I pick up the phone. I scrawl another item while I wait.

Eyebrows.

“Hello? Anna? This is Sophie Molloy. I was wondering if you could fit me in for a full body wax, mani-pedi and an eyebrow wax and tint before next Thursday?”

Brendan’s mouth has hit the carpet. “You’re going to hospital, not the Oscars,” he hisses.

“Shhh!” I hold my hand up and turn away so I can’t see him making faces at me. “One o’clock will be great. Thanks Anna. Yeah, see you then.” I hang up the phone and calmly scratch an item off the list.

“Sophie.”

The only thing I need now is luggage. I really need luggage.

“Sophie!” Brendan snatches the remote from me and turns the TV off. I can see he’s getting annoyed, so I try to give him my attention.

“Yes?”

“How much have you spent? So far?”

I do a quick tally. “Roughly eight hundred.”

“You do understand that’s two plane tickets to Melbourne?”

“Says the man who spent a small fortune on technology the other day.”

He gives me the look.

“I’m going to hospital. I need to look my best. People are going to see me naked.”

“I’m pretty sure they’ve seen naked people before. They won’t care if your toes aren’t buffed.”

“I know, but I will. If I’m going to be unconscious in an operating theatre with a bunch of people I don’t know, I won’t be giving them any excuse to talk about me, except to say how pretty my hair is.”

My lip starts to wobble when I hear how incredibly shallow I sound and I collapse into Brendan’s arms. Sobbing.

“It’s okay. I understand. You can’t control the cancer, so you’re trying to control everything else in your life. You don’t like not being in control.”

“Are you saying I’m a control freak?”

He pauses for a minute, knowing that his sex life hangs in the balance here. If he says the wrong thing, I could cut him off. For a very long time.

“I’m saying you like to be organised and this has thrown you for a loop. You can’t orchestrate this part of your life. You have to let the professionals do their job.”

I understand what he’s saying and he’s perfectly right. I am an organiser. But I like things to be a certain way. That’s me. I reach up and peck his cheek. I feel so much better now I know I’m not having some sort of pre-op breakdown.

“Brendan?”

“Yeah?”

“If you don’t play Bon Jovi at my funeral, I’ll come back and haunt you while you’re having sex.”

“That sounds kinky.”

“Don’t bet on it.”

Author Bio

Lindy lives on acreage in country Western Australia where she spends her days teaching, writing, walking and looking after orphan lambs. (See Daisy Darling)

She’s a hopeless U2 and Bon Jovi fan – as judged by her collection of tour t-shirts. She’s also rugby union fanatic, coffee and Lindy Dalechampagne lover, chocoholic, over-exaggerator, trashy TV, music and iPhone addict.
Lindy has been writing in the genre of Chick Lit & Women’s Fiction for the past ten years but has also tried her hand at a paranormal romance in the book, Angel’s Bend. Chick Lit remains her main love.
Connect with Lindy:
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Piper Day’s Ultimate Guide to Avoiding George Clooney by Vanessa Fewings and Christina Cannarella [BookBlitz]

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PIPERDAY (Vanessa Fewings)

 

 Title:   Piper Day’s Ultimate Guide to Avoiding George Clooney

Author:  Vanessa Fewings and Christina Cannarella

Genre:  Chick – LIt

Publication Date:  December 3rd, 2013

Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

 

BLURB

Finding romance in the world’s most glamorous city isn’t easy.

For Piper Day, fresh in town to work as a studio nurse on one of Hollywood’s busiest backlots, finding love seems impossible. Two men who couldn’t be more different vie for her affection: a wildly wealthy actor who gleefully bathes in the adoration of his public and a sweet, humble teacher who works at the on-lot childcare center.

 Throw in the task of having to avoid one of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities or risk losing her job, Piper’s life is anything but smooth sailing.

On any given day, Piper can be helping a patient on the dusty set of a western or on the futuristic bridge of a starship or in the plush office of a studio executive. She never knows where a nurse will be needed once she enters the legendary gates of Gemstone Studios.

These are the adventures of Piper Day, a life where reality and fantasy tango in the dream-soaked world of Tinseltown.

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Top Reasons you love your favorite author.

 

Vanessa:

 1.  I have many favorite authors but the one who I hold dear to my heart is Anne Rice.

2.  I had the pleasure of meeting Anne at The 25th Annual Vampire Ball in New Orleans, and she was as wonderful and gracious as you can imagine. It was a highlight to get to talk with her!

3.  Anne Rice inspired me to become an author.

4.  She’s very generous to her fans.

5.  She gives amazing writing advice.

Christina:

I have a lot of favorite authors but what makes them my favorites are usually one of these attributes…

 

1.  They make me laugh out loud.

2.  They make me cry.

3.  I have a “HOLY SH*#!” moment.

4.  I want to imagine myself as one of the characters in their books.

5.  They give me goose bumps and/or chills.

 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble

 

BIO

 

Vanessa Fewings (aka V.M.K. Fewings) is the award-winning author of The Stone Masters Vampire Series. Her first erotic novel, Enthrall, will be released later this summer. Prior to publishing, Vanessa worked as a registered nurse and midwife. She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. She has travelled extensively throughout the Author Pic ~ Vanessa Fewings copyworld and has lived in Germany, Hong Kong, and Cyprus. Born and raised in England, Vanessa now proudly calls herself an American and resides in California with her husband.

Vanessa has been invited as a special guest to attend the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club’s Annual Ball and Undead Con in New Orleans this Halloween. Alongside some of the most distinguished authors, including Anne Rice herself, Vanessa will be a guest on writer panels and at the author meet and greet where fans will get the chance to chat with her personally about her new vampire novel Bohemian.

Vanessa Fewings is repped by management firm IPG.

Connect with the Author:  WebsiteGoodreads | Pinterest | Facebook| Twitter

BIO

Christina Cannarella is a Los Angeles-based creative writer, actor and medical consultant for tv shows and films.  She fused her nursing career with Hollywood when she began working in the entertainment industry, both behind and in front of the camera over a decade ago.  Some of the shows included in her resume are Parks and CannarellaRecreation, Masters of Sex, Private Practice, Revenge and Parenthood.

Her first original sitcom script, “On the Boulevard”, was chosen as one of the winners of an FX Competition for “the next great half-hour comedy show.”

Christina grew up in an Italian family from Wisconsin, intermingling her midwestern values with her quick wit, she adds a sprinkle of this in all of her creative endeavors.

She is very excited to be releasing her first novel, Piper Day’s Ultimate Guide to Avoiding George Clooney in collaboration with Vanessa Fewings.

 

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The Weight of Words by Georgina Guthrie [BookBlitz + Guest Post]

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Cover ~ The Weight of Words

Title: The Weight of Words (Weight of Words #1)

Author: Georgina Guthrie

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age Group: New Adult

Publication Date: November 26, 2013

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Cover by: Micha Stone and Amy Brokaw

Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

BLURB

Aubrey Price is in the final months of her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. Bright, witty and fiercely independent, Aubrey works part-time for the college Dean and has her sights set on graduating with distinction. When she meets Dean Grant’s son, Daniel, the TA in her senior Shakespearean studies course, a shared love of the Bard’s works and an instant mutual attraction draw Aubrey and Daniel together. Unfortunately, a strict anti-fraternizing policy, made more perilous by a black mark on Daniel’s record, keeps them apart.

Against this academic backdrop, Aubrey and Daniel navigate their way through a steamy courtship, their forbidden romance aided, abetted and sometimes thwarted by a colorful cast of friends, family and classmates.

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Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble

Connect with the Author: Facebook | Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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People often ask for help advice on how to find inspiration as a writer. It’s not easy to hook someone up with a personal muse. For me, ideas exist in every nook and cranny of my life. I can’t imagine making it through a day without gleaning inspiration from my experiences.

My friends inspire me with their anecdotes and jokes. I carry a notebook with me everywhere (and also keep one on my nightstand). I’m always jotting down snippets of conversations, one-liners or thought-provoking comments I hear during my day. I’ve been known to build an entire scene around something funny a friend has said.

Another constant source of inspiration is my immediate family. My daughter is one of the wittiest people I know. (Unfortunately, she knows she’s funny, which brings with it a whole host of other issues…). My extended family provides constant fodder for character development and story ideas. They’re a shamefully blasphemous lot, but my goodness, they’re hilarious.

But what do you do if you’re a writer seeking inspiration and your friends are a dull, pedantic lot, your family about as interesting as an old shoe? What then? Well, in that case, my advice is simple: Look elsewhere.

Read books, peruse poetry, listen to music or watch a great movie. If I have writer’s block, I read. More often than not, I’ll abandon what I’m reading halfway through a chapter because I’ve been hit with the sudden need to write something down before I forget. Inevitably, I keep going. Last year, I wrote an entire novel inspired by a twenty-three word poem by Emily Dickinson!

Exposing yourself to different situations is a great way to stimulate ideas. If you can afford to travel, do it. Visiting new places is often all you need to stoke the creative juices. If travelling isn’t in the budget, spend time at airports and train stations anyway. People-watching will almost certainly help you to bring a new character to life.

If all else fails, hit up the local coffee shop. Eavesdrop! Listening to life going on around you is arguably one of the most important things a writer can do. The seeds of stories are everywhere.  Keep your eyes and ears open. Breathe deeply and take everything in. Be open to possibilities.

As soon as you have the kernel of an idea, write it down. I tend to find that once I start to write my thoughts down, new ideas germinate. It’s a strange but wonderful self-perpetuating cycle.

Inspiration begets inspiration. You just have to find a thread and give it a pull.

 


BIO

Georgina Guthrie has been a self-professed book hugger for as long as she can remember. An avid reader and compulsive diarist, she is thrilled to be taking the leap into the world of publishing. GG resides in Toronto, Canada, but she still considers herself a Brit through and through and can often be found roaming the aisles of her favourite British import shop.

A graduate of the University of Toronto where she studied English literature, GG is happy to fill her hours reading and writing, but she’s just as likely to be found enjoying a good film with her husband, dancing around the kitchen with her daughter, or hanging out with friends and family, almost certainly with a glass of red wine in one hand a bag of cheese and onion crisps in the other.

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Knight of Wands by S.M. Blooding [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

 

 

by SM Blooding

Book 2 of the
Devices of War Trilogy

Genre: New Adult Fantasy Steampunk Adventure

Publisher: Blooding Books

Book Description: (Can be read as stand-alone)

Return to a world of mind blowing visuals, heart stopping action, and ships that sail the skies.

Nix, Queen of Wands, has exactly what she wants—Synn El’Asim, the greatest Mark the world has ever seen. Even though she bound his soul to hers, he is not easily controlled. If she wants him, she must do the one thing that pains her most. Let him go, and give him what he desires. Peace.

Armed with a treaty bearing Nix’s seal, Synn sets off to bridge the gap between the world’s two reigning tyrants—the Hands of Tarot and the Great Families. He struggles to trust Nix as he fights for control of his soul. He’s going to need every ounce of restraint when dealing with his mother, leader of the Great Families. She will not give up her power without a fight. Nix will honor her treaty only if Synn agrees to become her knight. His mother refuses to sign the peace agreement if he falls into the queen’s control.

Frustrated, Synn does the one thing neither woman saw coming. He invites all the tribes, currently voiceless in the war between these two ruling tyrants, to partake in the treaty negotiations. All they have to do is prove their worth in his Peace Games. As Synn’s influence and subsequent power grows, a new fight begins.

Who will control Synn’s League of Cities? Can he protect more people as a leader of the Great Families, or as the Knight of Wands?

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Purchase for only $2.99 or Read for FREE with Prime!

 

Fall of Sky CityFall of Sky City Book 1 :
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Praise for Fall of Sky City

Wow! What did I just read?? The story was deliciously complex, full of fear, wonder, magic, gadgets, gizmos, one heck of a psycho Queen and wonderful friends. Every character brought something to the story, each with a unique personality that came to life through the book, each with their own fears to overcome. Victoria Limbert

I love the world Blooding has created. She managed to create it in a way that it combines specs of all my favorite movies, books, etc. It’s a mixture of young adult fantasy, steam punk, dystopia, sci-fi, paranormal and even some tiny bit of romance. Fall of Sky City is a diverse book that is intense, a little bit violent, and a whole lot of awesome! I look forward to reading the next book of the series! Unputdownable Books

SM Blooding is a new author to me, but this is definitely not the last book I’ll read by her. Synn El’Asim is a powerful character–the reader sees him grow from a young man who has not yet come into his power to a strong man who is courageous enough to fight for what he believes in–his family and his people. The world building Ms. Blooding does is nothing short of remarkable. A world composed of flying ships, ice worlds, danger, and intrigue. My World of Dreams

This book is action-packed and intense. You feel like you’re part of the drama. This story is intense. The action is perfectly paced. I had trouble putting the book down. I really felt for Synn from the very beginning. He goes through so much. As soon as he gets his mark, he is plunged into one situation after another. Queen Nix, who is horrifying by the way, pushes Synn to new levels, in more and more diabolical ways. With the help of friends and family, Synn becomes a strong leader. Waiting on Sunday to Drown

I’m amazed of the world Blooding has created and built. It has Sky, Land, and Water Cities. These cities each has its own technologies, language, and a whole different way of life. These worlds remind me a lot of Avatar the Last Airbender and Star Wars, which I both loved wholeheartedly. Bahrain Newspaper Article Review!

 

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Pizza with Synn, Dyna & Nix

One of the things I enjoy doing is taking my characters to dinner. When they’re in their natural environment, they can get a bit too serious. The last few times we’ve attempted to interview Nix, she got on a pretty high horse, and it was difficult to get anything out of her. So, invited them all into my living room and bought pizza. I deleted the parts where I had to tell Nix and Dyna what a pizza even was, how to use a fork—because we use those in my house—and what the TV was. It took us about thirty minutes to get past all that.

Frankie: Okay, so if you could describe The Knight of Wands in twenty words or less, how would you do it?

Dyna: One man’s interesting attempt to outsmart a deviously cunning woman.

Synn: Only one? I had to try to outwit you, my mother and Nix.

Dyna: Are you whining?

Synn: *chuckles* No.

Frankie: What about you, Synn? How would you describe it?

Synn: Huh. Well, we’re on our way through book three now, so I’d probably call it, “How did one naïve boy think he could change the world without paying a price?”

Frankie: *cringes* Yeah. Ouch. There’s that. Nix, your turn.

Nix: *pulls at the cheese* I still don’t understand why we would eat this.

Frankie: Are you going to participate in this interview?

Nix: Possibly.

Frankie: *sighing eye roll* Okay, how about you tell us how you got started as a villain.

Nix: It didn’t happen overnight, my dear. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be evil.

Synn: But you do know you’re not a good person, right?

Dyna: Synn, she’s not horrible, either.

Synn: She’s a murderer. A mass murderer.

Dyna: She wasn’t always this way.

Nix: No. Once upon a time, I was someone worth keeping.

Synn: *snorts* You.

Nix: I had a husband I loved, a son, a family.

Frankie: What happened?

Nix: *takes in a deep breath* Is this sauce supposed to taste this way?

Frankie: Yes, it is. Okay, fine. What’s it like to be a villain?

Nix: Freeing. *sits back on the sofa, pushing the paper plate away* I have no one to tell me no. No responsibilities. I do what I want when I want to. I don’t know why Synn works so hard to be good. All he’s going to do is lose all those he loves.

*the room goes silent*

Frankie: What you’re trying to tell me is that you lost everything once? You know what that’s like? What Synn’s going through?

Nix: Not to the extent Synn has, but, yes. Dyna, what is it like to be a spy?

Dyna: You were one of our best. Why don’t you answer that question?

Frankie: You know, the bickering’s cute and all, but let’s stick to answering the questions.

Dyna: I am the person in charge of intelligence gathering. I find it very challenging.

Synn: That was a very boring way of saying she’s very busy learning everything she can about anyone in power.

Frankie: *grins* What are your thoughts on intelligence gathering, Synn? You’ve had Joshua looking into bettering your technology in that area.

Synn: I’ve been having him working on communications equipment. There’s a vast difference there.

Nix: You’re going to sit there and tell us that you don’t listen to your radios to see what we’re doing?

Dyna: We’re his allies now, sister.

Synn: We have a long way to go before we’re allies. Frankie, thank you for the pizza, but I have things I need to get to.

Well, that was short and sweet. We made it through . . . three questions? I sometimes wonder how I get anything done as a writer. I can’t pin these guys down for anything. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the interview.

 

 

 

BIO

SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.

 

 

 

 

She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Find out more about her at:

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BookBlitz Special: Northern Light By E.J. Russell (Entangled Ever After Virtual Book Tour)

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Cover_Northern Light - E.J. Russell

 

Northern Light

E.J. Russell

ISBN: 9781622662845

Genre: M/M Romance

Blurb

 

Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.

Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery — he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.

 

But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.

 

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Guest Post

 

My youngest (by eight minutes) son is a lifelong aficionado of the macabre. Nick’s favorite book in grade school was an oversized, cheerfully illustrated book on historical disasters (his favorite was – and still is – the Black Plague), and post-grade school, he graduated to all-things-Stephen-King.

 

It’s only natural, then, that when he was a senior at the local arts magnet high school, he and his friends decided to make a horror movie. Their script involved a too-good-to-be-true free vacation at a B & B that turned out to be the lair of cannibals. The location for the creepy isolated hotel?

 

Our house.Untitled

 

I didn’t know whether to be insulted or flattered.

 

True, the very remoteness of our out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere house can be alarming. We live on a six-mile-long, partially paved road, with no feeder streets – you can only enter from one end or the other. Our house, screened from the road by a stand of shaggy Douglas firs, sits at the back of a grove of ancient, gnarled walnut trees that have almost forgotten how to leaf out, and the blackberry brambles looming on either side of the bumpy driveway rival Sleeping Beauty’s daunting thorn hedge.

 

To my husband, this set-up is a dream come true. For him, our virtual fortress on the hill is the perfect sanctuary, a retreat where he never has to see a neighbor if he doesn’t want to. But for our extrovert daughter, who gets freaked out by the least hint of the weird, it’s a nightmare in the making. She avoids being home alone like she’d avoid Nick’s favorite disaster, and if for some reason she can’t, she turns on every light in the house. Every. Stinking. One.

 

Nick, pragmatic opportunist that he is, was perfectly willing to exploit the creep factor for his film, even though he’s just as quick to embrace the seclusion when he’s feeling anti-social.

 

My two heroes in Northern Light have a similar love/hate relationship with rural isolation.

 

For desperate painter Stefan, the remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, off the grid and hugged by the forest, is a refuge. There, away from the stress of his financial difficulties and the reminders of his personal failures, he finally has a chance to reconnect with his artistic vision and start to rebuild his shattered life.

 

But the solitude that Stefan finds so comforting nearly sends Luke, my art investigator, running for…well, not the hills. He hates those damn hills. For Luke, who once endured a disabling traumatic event in the mountains, safety is a well-populated sea-level community, where he can see the horizon whenever he looks out his window, and know that he’s not trapped.

 

So how about you? City dweller or country cousin?  Hustle and bustle or peace and quiet? Or are you like Nick, who’ll take which ever one suits his mood at the moment?

 

 

 

Excerpt

Luke slammed the heel of his hand against his forehead. Shitgoddamnsonofabitch. He’d asked the fucking question. Now he’d have to listen to an answer he could never un-know. His chest heaved and he stared Stefan down, waiting for the words that would either damn him as a liar or condemn him as a forger. Either one would force Luke to choose between rebooting his career or destroying the man he’d once loved.

Stefan blinked. Blinked again, brows drawing together in a tight vee. “What?”

For some reason, maybe aftershocks from his Fiat-flashback or mortification that Stefan had witnessed his resultant freak-out, the bewildered affront on Stefan’s face kicked Luke into art investigator asshole mode. “Did you think you’d get away with the fake Arcolettis because he was a relative unknown? Because all his pieces except one are in private hands?”

“Who the hell is Arcoletti?”

Luke guffawed, sounding unpleasant even to himself. “Good one.”

“No. I mean it. Who’s Arcoletti?”

“Jeremiah Arcoletti. American realist painter. Disappeared in 1945 along with all thirteen canvases from his last collection.” Luke’s eyes popped wide. “Holy shit. That’s it, isn’t it? The lost collection.” He poked Stefan’s shoulders with stiff fingers, peripherally aware arguing in the middle of a dark mountain road was ridiculous and possibly suicidal, but he didn’t give a flying fuck. They’d finish this now. “Is that your plan? Recreate the lost collection out here in your little studio in the big woods?”

“Stop it.” Stefan batted Luke’s hand away, his gaze fixed on the ground, avoiding the question. Pleading the artistic Fifth. Last refuge of the guilty.

“Where’d you see his work? The museum in Amsterdam? Hell, in all those years of prancing around with Marius, you could have seen every fricking one of the privately held pieces. Marius had the connections for it. You could toss his name around to get access to the Gordon letters too. Damn it.” He dropped his arms, suddenly spent. “The Stefan I knew would have cut off his hands before he’d counterfeit another artist’s work. What’s happened to you?”

“What hasn’t?” Stefan’s eyes were wide, his pupils huge in the combined light of headlights and flashlight. “But I swear. I’ve never heard of this Arcoletti.”

“No? Then tell me. What’s coming off your easel these days? Studies in Monochrome? The Picture of Oregon Gray?”

“I…I don’t know.”

The feeble disavowal flipped Luke’s asshole switch back on. “Don’t give me that shit. You don’t paint with your eyes closed.”

“No. I just…” Stefan’s voice was hoarse, and he clutched his flashlight to his belly, casting warped, inverted shadows across his face and distorting his features into a death’s-head mask. “I’ve been painting, but I don’t remember them. I’m not even sure how many there are.”

“Artistic amnesia? Bullshit. You must have seen them when you handed them over to Boardman.”

Stefan shook his head and pinched his eyes closed. “Thomas always loaded them into his car. I never looked. Not after…not when they were finished.”

“Why? Guilt?”

“No. I was afraid…” Stefan wrapped his arms across his stomach, pointing the flashlight into the woods, and his face was his own again, drawn and haunted.

“Afraid of getting caught?”

“Afraid of what I’d paint next,” he whispered.

Luke’s lips twisted. “Denial. It’s what’s for dinner. No wonder you’re so fricking thin.”

“Why is everything black and white for you, Luke? Let in some color, for Christ’s sake.” Stefan forked the fingers of one hand through his hair. “Even a little gray would be a change.”

Luke refused to allow the broken edge of Stefan’s voice to influence him. He’d let sentiment sway him once before and it had cold-cocked his career. “Right or wrong, Stef. It’s not that tough a choice.”

“Fine.” Stefan raised his head and met Luke’s gaze, his shoulders shifting as if bracing for a blow. “You’ve already made up your mind, as usual. Go ahead. Turn me in to the art police.”

Luke searched Stefan’s face for some flicker of remorse, some acknowledgement he accepted the enormity of his crime. Nothing. Only the droop of his lips and a telltale glitter in his eyes, hinting at unshed tears. “Can you give me a reason not to?”

Stefan’s breath caught in what might have been a laugh if his face weren’t so bleak. “Guess not.” He saluted Luke with a middle finger. “Enjoy your drive.”

Stefan strode uphill, the beam of his flashlight bouncing from road to hillside, and Luke’s last trace of adrenaline drained away. He sighed, deep and exhausted.

The lousy car sat perpendicular to the road, driver’s door ajar. If he was lucky, he’d manage to creep down the hill by midnight. He shut the damn door before the brainless chime of the key alarm drove him nuts and leaned his forehead against the car roof, the beaded rain icy against his heated skin.

“Shit.”

 

Author Bio

 

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer and business intelligence consultant. She returned to her childhood love of writing fiction after her twin sons learned to drive and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class.

 

Her daily commute now consists of walking from one side of her office to the other — from left-brain day job to right-brain author cave — where she’s perfected the fine art of typing with a cat draped across her wrists and a dog attached to her hip. Her stories include gay and straight characters because her life includes gay and straight characters (as does everyone’s).

 

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

 

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 Giveaway!

 

E.J. is giving away The Oregon Chill-chaser bundle: (US ONLY)

 

Mystic Water hand warmer mug from Clay in Motion Pottery

 9.5 oz Dark Hot Chocolate mix from Moonstruck Chocolatiers

 

 

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BookBlitz: Faster Than The Rest by Shirleen Davies


 

FASTERWestern Historical Romance

Publication Date: 8/27/2013

Buy on Amazon

 

U. S. Marshal Jamie MacLaren will do whatever he must to find people who have been abducted, then return them to their families. This includes the woman who betrayed him then disappeared from his life.

Victoria Wicklund has endured numerous obstacles since she left Fire Mountain. None as frightening as being the victim of a kidnapping. At least that is what she thought until Jamie MacLaren appeared to rescue her. He was older, just as handsome as she remembered, and as unforgiving as the Arizona sun in summer.

 

Neither expects the desire they shared many years before to still burn as strong as ever. Nor do they anticipate the accusations upon their return to Fire Mountain. Will Jamie seek revenge, turning his back on the only woman he ever loved? Can Victoria forgive herself enough to trust the one man who can help her?

 

 

 

Excerpt

 

“Tell me, Victoria. Why did you leave if it wasn’t for the money?” His voice was a whisper across her face. She could almost smell the anger pulsing from him, along with all the other familiar scents of the man she’d always loved. He was just as intoxicating now, just as impossible to resist.

 

She lifted her face to his to look into eyes that had turned a deep steel grey. She could lose herself in those eyes. It was her last coherent thought as his mouth moved towards hers inch-by-inch, brushing across her lips, and coaxing them to open for him. When she didn’t resist Jamie moved one arm to the back of her neck, holding her in place while his other arm moved to her back, pressing her to him. Her arms slid up and around his neck, pulling his head down to hers. His mouth moved to her eyes, traveled across her checks and down her neck, before settling again on her parted lips.

 

Jamie was amazed at how the taste and feel of Victoria in his arms hadn’t changed. She was still the most desirable woman he’d ever known. No matter what else had transpired, his body still craved hers as it had none other.

 

shirleenProfile1

Bio

 

I have been writing most of my life, but only recently began the transition into fiction. Historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and short stories are what keep me reading, so that is the focus of my writing.

 

I was born in California, grew up between a growing beach town and a small town at the base of the San Bernardino mountains. My mother originally planned to name me Katherine, but she read an article in the paper about a woman named Shirleen shortly before my birth, so instead of having a cool nickname, like Kate, I am simply Shirleen. My mainstays growing up were all the Nancy Drew mystery books; I loved them. Eventually I moved on to mysteries, suspense stories, crime novels, and romance. Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorites.

Besides California, life changes have allowed me to live in Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. Everywhere I have lived has been inspirational in one way or another, giving me the opportunity to meet remarkable people with their own stories to tell. I’ve sailed, skied, owned horses plus lots of other animals, and ridden various off-road vehicles. I enjoy dancing, fishing, hunting, being the back-seater on my husband’s Harley, traveling and, of course, reading and writing.

 

Prior to transitioning to writing fiction, I worked for Fortune 500 and many smaller, start-up companies. Fortunately, I regained my sanity long enough to start my own consulting firm, which I still maintain today.  My husband and I spend most of our time at our main home in the mountains of Arizona and our second home in Southern California. Between us we have five boys with growing careers and families of their own.  So, from my perspective, my life is a success and always an adventure. I wouldn’t change a thing; well, except finding more time to write.

 

 

I love hearing from readers, so please feel email me at shirleen@shirleendavies.com.

Website: http://www.shirleendavies.com

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