Saturday, 27 June 2015

Magic of Solstice Tour Featuring Melissa Barker-Simpson & Gina Briganti

Welcome to the 27th day of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers' Tour 2015!

250x250 ButtonWow! Only three days left to go, but even if you haven't done so, yet, you can still sign up to the Facebook page. There's still a lot going on. Tomorrow we have three hosts: C.B. MacGillavry, Allison D. Reid and Rebecca Jaycox, plus I will be sharing an excerpt from Shadow Stalker: Separate Paths (Episode 10), which incidentally has been released today and is available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, and a little tidbit about my fascination with fantasy. Today Melissa Barker-Simpson and Gina Briganti will be sharing an excerpts from Changing Worlds: A Double Book Anthology.

About Melissa

I've been writing since, well...since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I often look back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at my inexperience, I am reminded that I have always lived in other worlds.
MelMy first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn't always work!
I have a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates my love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, I get to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.
I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!

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Gina Pic 2 head 300ppiAbout Gina

Gina Briganti has been writing since she could hold a pencil. It has always been a comfort that to create she needs only three things; the pencil, the paper, and her imagination.
She lives in beautiful Joshua Tree, CA, the setting for her debut paranormal romance series, Natural Gifts.

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Changing Worlds 2About Changing Worlds: A Double Book Anthology

The Contract (Prequel to the Fractured Series)
By Melissa Barker-Simpson

After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, humans now stick to the world’s major cities. To even the score, and to protect those cities, hunters joined together to establish cells across the globe. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell within the north of England.
Though a skilled fighter and powerful witch, Maddison can be brash, and unpredictable. She has a penchant for trouble, and is usually the first to volunteer in battle. When she accepts an assignment to protect the Hympe King, Tobias Locke, Maddison’s fate becomes bound to his. As the stakes change, and she finds herself trapped inside the bowels of an enemy camp, Maddison must fight for her freedom, her independence, and for a prisoner who has not seen the light of day for almost a century.

Excerpt from The Contract

The noise in the room snapped off like a muted television channel. No, not muted, she thought as she stared around the table – someone had hit the pause button. It meant only one thing. Orion Reece was in the building.
Shit. Can this day get any worse?
She waited for the fireworks which usually accompanied his arrival. Orion enjoyed to flaunt his presence. He was a god of unrivalled power, one who followed no rules but his own. It was something he had in common with the Fractured, the dark souls responsible for the Demonic War. Rumour had it he’d aligned himself with Draco, their leader.
She saw the gleam of his pale blonde hair first, alight with the depth of his power. Either that or he brushed it a hundred times a day. His dramatic pause at the end of the dining table made her want to roll her eyes. It was nothing compared to the levitation trick as he raised himself onto the edge, his boots making no sound against the scarred wood. Her lips actually twitched in an effort to hold back the smile.
Everything about him was designed to draw a woman; the tall, sculptured body, the strong jaw, the sinful mouth. The effects were lethal. As he walked gracefully down the table, the obstacles in his path slid out of the way; plates, glasses, cutlery, they all moved as he did. His gaze swung from left to right, taking in those who had become mere statues.
“You’ve got to admit,” he said in a dark, seductive voice. “That’s pretty impressive.”
It would be more impressive if you weren’t such a dick.

Saunders' Choice (A Natural Gifts Novella)
By Gina Briganti

Saunders finds himself in a plane of existence called the Dreaming, where he encounters Velvet, the most exciting creature he will ever meet.  The answer seems obvious, but Saunders’ life has never been easy.
Grand sandcastle on the beach during a summer day
Grand sandcastle on the beach during a summer day

Excerpt from Saunders' Choice

Velvet visited with her dear friend Riddle for most of the next morning.  He showed her the history he had added to his sandcastle walls while she was away on the tour.
One of the designs was a story from a world she hadn’t seen before.  She suspected that it was where Riddle, and possibly Debra, came from originally.
The story was about happy, content, creatures practicing the art of creating, sometimes with teachers, and at other times on their own.  The final, cleverly painted frame of the story depicted the accomplishment of a luxurious looking natural world, full of wildlife, lush green trees, and crystal blue waters.
“This is a beautiful story.”  Velvet planted a kiss on the top of Riddle’s head.
He blushed, as she thought he might.  There were times when she held her kisses back, just so she wouldn’t embarrass him.  She enjoyed his new art too much to hold back this time.
“Thank you.”  Riddle mumbled, and then cleared his throat.
“Can I ask questions about it?”  She’d learned long ago to respect Riddle’s privacy and wouldn’t push the point if he was reluctant.
Riddle didn’t hesitate.  Apparently he already decided what he was willing to share about the story.
“You may have one
then your questions
will be done.”
He didn’t always speak in rhyme, but the few who were lucky enough to know him knew that when he did, he was imparting a true gift.  Few people knew Riddle at all.  Even fewer had heard him speak.
One question.  Velvet pondered.  The perfect question then popped into her head.
“What does this story mean to you?”  Velvet settled onto a chair while Riddle looked from her, to the picture, and then back again.
“It means that we all have a greater gift than we realize.  We can create infinitely more than we give ourselves credit for.”  Riddle settled himself into a chair like Velvet’s, and then smiled at her when he saw that she understood how much he meant what he said.
“Thank you for sharing that with me, Riddle.  It means a lot to me that you did.”
Riddle simply smiled.  They sat together in companionable silence until Velvet decided to try a few of her new physical comedy jokes on him.
Riddle smiled and clapped, feeling giddy.  Seeing Riddle acting so happy was one of the best feelings Velvet could imagine.
Long ago, Velvet had knocked on the sandcastle door with the simple goal of telling the creature who lived there that she thought it was an incredible looking sandcastle.
The door had opened on its own, and Velvet stepped inside without hesitation.
Riddle took a small chance in allowing a new creature into his home, but his intuition was much more developed than Velvet understood at the time.
When she saw him for the first time, and accepted him completely through her reactions, they became friends.
Their friendship was one of the most important in both of their lives.

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