Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Viscount's Wife: A #Romance Novel by Jenna Brandt

Jenna Brandt would love for you to follow her on Amazon. Just click the above follow button. She is a Christian historical fiction author and her books span from the Victorian to Western to WWI eras with elements of romance, suspense and faith.

She has been an avid reader since she could hold a book and started writing stories almost as early. Jenna has been published in several newspapers as well as edited for multiple papers and graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College where she was the Editor-in-Chief of her college newspaper. She's an on-going contributor for The Mighty Website and her first Blog was published on Yahoo Parenting and The Grief Toolbox as well as featured on the ABC News and Good Morning America websites.

Writing is her passion but she also enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading, engaging in social media and spending time with her three young daughters and husband where they live in the Central Valley of California. She's active in her local church where she volunteers on their first impressions team as well as writes for the church’s creative team.

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About the Book


Surrender to destiny: a window to heart opens, when one door closes.


Magnificently riveting and deeply romantic, The Viscount's Wife shows the complexities of navigating a new marriage while fitting into a new world.

Lord William Almonbury is the spare heir, allowing him the freedom to travel the world and marry for love. Inheriting his father's viscountship was never in the cards, but when both his brother and father become ill, William is summoned home to take over the family affairs.

When Debbey met and married William Almonbury in America, his nobility was part of his past. She never imagined due to unforeseen circumstances, she would not only move across the world, but suddenly become a viscount's wife. Thrust into a world unlike anything she could have ever imagined, Debbey must learn to navigate being the new Viscountess Braybridge.

Will William be able to handle the pressures of his new title? Can Debbey win the hearts of William's friends and family? Or will their new life in England destroy their hope for a happy marriage?


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Keep reading for an excerpt:


As they moved along the outskirts of the woods, Debbey’s intoxicating scent of jasmine tickled his nose. William enjoyed the feel of his wife leaning back against him. The rhythmic pattering of her heart pulsated through to his own chest, enticing him to lean closer. His lips brushed the edge of her neck. He felt her inhale sharply, but she did not pull away. Instead, she moved towards his caress.

The horse moved evenly beneath them as it galloped along the frosted ground. A few minutes later, they arrived at their destination. William dismounted first and helped Debbey descend after him.

She turned to face him with a puzzled look on her face. “What are we doing here?” she inquired quizzically.

“Your favorite fruit is a persimmon, correct?”

She nodded as he took her hand and guided her into the center of a small orchard.

He stated, “I wanted to surprise you. Our neighbors at Harrington House have an extensive orchard. They have an entire section of persimmon trees they imported from America. Lord Blanchard’s daughter loves them.”

Her eyes grew round with awe as she marveled at the trees ripe with enticing offerings. “I can’t believe you thought to do this, William. The trees are so beautiful. Their branches are heavy with the plump fruits.”

“With all you have been through as of late, I wanted to do something special for you.”

William reached up and plucked a persimmon from a nearby tree. He gently rubbed it against the front of his shirt and extended his hand towards her mouth. Her eyes twinkled with appreciation as she gingerly took a bite of the fruit.

Debbey’s eyes grew even wider with excitement as tiny trickles of juice ran down the sides of her mouth. With his free hand, William pulled a handkerchief from his pocket, and dabbed the juice away from her mouth before it could fall and damage her dress.

“I have to say, that is the most delicious persimmon I have ever had the pleasure of sampling.”

Monday, 29 January 2018

Lovelock Ones: A #SciFi #Dystopian #Thriller by Tricia Copeland




Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in Colorado with her family. Her newest publication is Lovelock Ones, a young adult dystopian sci-fi novel. Her books include the new adult contemporary romance series, Being Me, as well as a young adult urban fantasy series, The Kingdom Journals, and Drops of Sunshine, a YA paranormal novella. If she’s not on a trail, you can find Tricia at www.triciacopeland.com or on your favorite social media.







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About the Book


Jema and Troy mange semi-normal lives at the Port Orford Naval Base despite global warming and mandatory genetic typing. With the threat of a second worldwide flu epidemic, their parents send them to a remote desert community. Jema’s sister contracts the virus, and Jema and Troy must decide whether to compromise the group to save one. Can Lovelock develop a cure in time to avoid mass casualty? As the political stage shifts, who can be trusted?

Find Lovelock Ones at the release price Jan 25th – Feb 8th!


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Keep reading for an excerpt:


“I’m never going to get this.” I let the bow fall to my side.

“Mark.” Jema used my Lovelock name. “I’ve been doing this for ten years. You’re not going to be perfect in a couple of months. It’s muscle memory, just like with football. You’ll get it.”

We’d been practicing for almost three months, both shooting and adapting to our community names. I called her Cleo about sixty percent of the time and hit the center target only one in ten.

“But for you it’s like breathing, Cleo.” I forced out her new name, trying to make the switch in my psyche. She would always be Jema to me.

“Have you never had to work at anything?”

“Yeah, this.” I held up the bow and arrow.

She kicked at the sand under her feet. “Maybe I’m not a good teacher. I just remember how my dad taught me. Think about it like throwing a football. You aim and then release, right?” Cocking her arm back, she faked a throw.

I dropped the bow. “If you put your arms around me like this.” I took her hands and wound them around my waist, so our lips were inches apart. Even in the dim light, I could see her cheeks flush. I loved feeling the warmth from her face. One day I would get up the courage to kiss her again.

Backing away, I lifted the bow and drew the string and arrow to my ear. “Twenty more and then we’ll run.”

“Might help if you use your night goggles like the rest of us.” Her voice trailed off as she walked away.

Swish. I let the arrow fly and fitted another on the string until my quiver emptied. I jogged to collect the arrows and turned to scan the area for Jema. I grabbed a bag and headed to her. “Commander Butler will be happy.” I held the open sac out to her.

“It’s a big one. It will have to hold him till we’re back.”

“You’d think he’d get tired of these.” I synched the bag closed.

“He loves rabbit.”

We walked to the blacktop, and I set the bow on top of her catch. Bumping her shoulder, I faced into the wind. “You ready for this?”

“You beating me again? Never.”

“No, tomorrow.” I pumped my knees up and down in place a few times.

“Yep.” She started a slow jog beside me.

“Not nervous?”

“Always nervous. I hate that it has to be a different place every time.”

“Yeah, and this is the farthest west we’ve been since our marrow run.” I shook my head, clearing the image of the dead soldiers from my brain.

“I do not like that the rendezvous is half an hour from the border.”

“Butler says they’re tightening security.”

Beside me, Jema’s shoulders trembled. “I feel like General Zhou is waiting for us at Port Orford.”

“Yeah, I can see him sitting at your kitchen table, wondering where you went.” I elbowed her, and she jumped to stay in stride.

“Fine. Whatever. Make fun of my nightmares.”

“At least you don’t dream about punching the commander every night.”

Friday, 26 January 2018

Tales From Midhgardhur, Volume I: A #Fantasy #ShortStories by Colin Anders Brodd

Colin Brodd grew up in the great state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, but currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. His business cards read "Gentleman Classicist Extraordinaire." He has held many different positions in his life, but his main professional calling has always been a teacher of Latin and Classical Humanities. In addition to Latin and Ancient Greek, he enjoys working with Old English and Old Norse and other old Germanic languages. His favorite genres of fiction are fantasy and science fiction, and he has a great love of RPGs (role-playing games). His favorite nonfiction books tend to be classical and military history or linguistics and languages (especially the aforementioned Greek and Latin). He sincerely appreciates your interest in his work.

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About the Book


This is the first volume in a collection of short stories set in Midhgardhur, the Norse fantasy world of Colin Anders Brodd. Most of these stories were previously published online in the Channillo series "Tales From Midhgardhur." Prepare to meet vikings and shieldmaidens, giants and dragons, wonder and horror, swords and sorcery! This collection includes The Tale of Halfdanur the Black, a prequel to The Saga of Asa Oathkeeper!

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Where are you from?


I'm from the great state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, a state with a great tradition of dark and weird literature (E.A. Poe worked there for a time, and H.P. Lovecraft was a native son). But I started writing professionally in Phoenix, Arizona. I've found some great local community for authors out here!

Do you have a "day job"?


I am a teacher of Latin and Classical Humanities, although more recently, I've been devoting much of my time to my foster and adoptive parenting.

What genres do you write?


Fantasy - My first book was more like epic fantasy, with a sound and rhythm like the storytelling voice of the Norse sagas. But I am heavily influenced by swords and sorcery fiction and dark fantasy, and I think that comes through in my short stories.

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?


Science Fiction is the genre I enjoy the most after fantasy, and I'll probably try my hand at writing some . . . someday . . .

What inspires you to write?


I can't help it. I have words in me, stories inside me, and they need to come out. They burn their way out of me if I don't excise them through writing!

Do you have a daily word or page count goal?


I don't have a "set" word count, but when I'm working on something big, I like to get at least 2000 words a day down. I can't help but edit as I go, which slows me down.

How long does it take you to write a novel?


I've done it in a month (I've "won" NaNoWriMo several times), but the thing is, that's not a finished novel. The revisions can take months or years. Really, my first novel needed a couple of years before it was truly finished.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?


I would not want to be most of my characters! The most dreadful things happen to them! But I think sometimes I would want to spend a day as Asa Oathkeeper, the protagonist of my first novel. It would be interesting to be such a strong and physically fit woman (I'm a not-so-fit man!), and to be able to see some of the wonders and horrors of her world in person. I know how they look in my head, but it would be quite another thing to experience them!

What is your writing process?


I usually need to get clear in my head the outline of the story I want to tell and the basic elements, then sit down to write it. I can't help but edit somewhat as I go, but I like to do several rounds of read-throughs and edits after that. Although I like to be able to "see" some scenes in my head before I write, I don't have to - it just takes longer. And so far, I always start at the beginning and write to the end - I just can't jump around the way some authors do!

Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?


Any and all of the above. One nice thing about having more short stories than novels is the variety of different styles to experiment with. My first novel was third-person. My second (so far unpublished) novel was first-person. My stories have variety. I actually have one story ("Remember!") which is a rare 2nd person story, of which I am quite proud.

Are you a pantser or outliner?


I fall firmly in the "outliner" camp. I tried pantsing it, once . . . and honestly, I still haven't finished writing that book.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?


Well, the books have been easy so far. "The Saga of Asa Oathkeeper" was meant to be a saga-style recounting of the adventures of a character named Asa, called Oathkeeper. My other 2 published books (so far!) have been collections of stories from my online series "Tales From Midhgardhur," so I have (rather unimaginatively) called them "Tales From Midhgardhur, Volume I" and "Tales From Midhgardhur, Volume II." But I do agonize over the titles of short stories. Many of them are meant to have some kind of clever twist or double-meaning or even triple, when I can pull that off (e.g. "The Trade" was about a sort of troll changeling who had been traded for a human baby at birth, but it's a first-person narrative about the profession of troll-hunting, which the narrator refers to as his "trade" - "Burning Spirits" contained some combustible alcoholic spirits, some characters with metaphorically fiery spirits, and some actual faerie-spirits, one of whom eventually burns).

What are you working on now?


Short stories for "Tales From Midhgardhur" on Channillo. They'll be collected into Volume III, eventually.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?


Finding time to write is always the hardest thing. I have four children; at the time I wrote my last book, they were 17, 16, 5, and 3 years old. They take a lot of my time! But aside from that . . . getting bogged down with scenes that were essential to the book, but not very fun to write. Sometimes I just have to write things that are not fun to write, although I hope they are fun to read.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


I hope you enjoy my work! I would love to hear more from fans - please reach out on social media! I would be glad to answer questions and discuss my work more!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 - 18): A #YA #Fantasy #Serial by Renee Scattergood




Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy and paranormal thrillers.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God's Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6).

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Things go from bad to worse when the Galvadi Empire develops a new technology to use against the shadow stalkers. Now Kado and Makari are more determined than ever to keep Auren away from their enemies, but Auren decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands. She turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow they must get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all.

Episode 13: Defiance


Three years have passed since Auren and Shai escaped the daily torture of the Galvadi. With Makari's help, they have learned more about the Galvadi's technology and discovered ways to overcome its effects on their power, which gave them an edge in the war. However, the Galvadi have spent that time developing new technology that could mean the end of the shadow stalkers.


Episode 14: Falling to Pieces


Things go from bad to worse after Cali is captured by the Galvadi. The new technology they have employed is making a rescue attempt impossible and endangering the lives of all the shadow stalkers. Auren refuses to give up though, but the more she tries to fix thing, the more Kado tightens the leash.

Episode 15: Into My Own


Just when Auren thinks she’d had enough of Kado’s overbearing and overprotective nature, he surprises her by apologizing and admitting he had been wrong. Auren finally accepts that she is not at fault for Cali’s death after visiting her in the shadow world, but Kado and Makari are still preventing her from confronting Drevin. They don’t feel she is ready, and Auren is beginning to believe they will never let her fulfil her destiny. It’s time she takes matters into her own hands.


Episode 16: A New Emperor


Makari is told the only way he can prove his loyalty is by torturing Auren, but he refuses to go through it. So Jharak, Drevin’s master interrogator, took the liberty to be the one to break her, but in the end, it would take forcing her to watch him torture and kill Makari.

Episode 17: Allies to Enemies Part 1


Traitors are weeded out and new allies are found. Auren and Makari are determined to bring peace once again to the Serpent Isles, but they have a deadline. If they don’t make it in time, they could end up at war with their own people.


Episode 18: Allies to Enemies Part 2


General Graves wants Auren and Makari dead. When Makari demands one of Graves’ men, who secretly supports Makari, is sent to him for extra security at the palace, Graves uses a mind control drug to get him to assassinate them. Will Auren and Makari learn what happened before it’s too late?

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


"We are not going to revisit this argument." Kado grabbed my arm to stop my pacing and turned me to face him. "You are not ready to face Drevin yet."

"I'll never be ready in your eyes. I don't even understand why it's up to you to decide."

"Because I am your Foramar and your mentor, Auren," Kado yelled, slamming his fist on the stone slab he used for a table. "You will do exactly as you're told and nothing more. Have I made myself clear?"

I screamed in frustration and stormed out of the cave. I needed to be away from him. For the last three years, I'd had all this stuff about my destiny shoved down my throat. All I wanted was to get it over with so I could finally go back to some kind of normal life. If Kado had his way though, I would never be allowed to do what needed to be done. I laughed at the irony. When this all first started, I wanted nothing to do with it. Now, as time went on, I sensed this inexplicable pull I had no way of explaining to anyone. Kado said he understood, but I had my doubts. How could he understand? How could anyone, except the shadow people? I was sure they were the ones causing it.

It was time. It was the right time to bring Drevin down, and I had the feeling if I didn't make my move soon it might be too late. Even if the Coalition won the war, Drevin would still win unless I stopped him. I had no idea how I knew all this. I just did. I had never felt anything so strongly, but Kado refused to listen. He said I was being impulsive and not really listening to what the shadow people were telling me.

Well, if Kado wouldn't listen, I would make Makari listen. This constant worry made it almost impossible to function. It infuriated me that Makari put himself at such risk while telling me I shouldn't. I was the one who would stop Drevin. If the two of them wanted me to trust them so blindly, they needed to start trusting me.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Foragers: A #SciFi Novel by Katherine Nader

I'm an aspiring author and screenwriter currently living in different parts of the world. For the past two years, I've been travelling and experiencing collective living with friends, family and even strangers. We all have one thing in common which is meditation. I'm an active member and a volunteer for Sahaja Yoga Meditation that has helped me become who I am today. I love traveling to SY seminars, festivals, concerts, even volunteering at schools for the celebration of Inner Peace Day.

Learning about cultures, traditions, religions and even spirituality has given me perspective on many aspects of my life and a sense of 'the self.' I try to capture all these experiences in my writing. For example, The Foragers takes place in Japan, a place I visited and lived in for 3 months. I came to learn about the First Nations called Ainu. Not many people know about them, so I have mentioned them in the series. I've also been to South Korea and witnessed the harshness of the forced military service on boys once they come of age. I portray this through another character. The Kan is actually a sixth sense/intuition that martial artists practiced in Japanese history.

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About the Book


"A re-imagining of the Hunger Games, where descendants of a royal samurai clan, the Ainu commune, a South Korean soldier, an American agent, and Japanese assassins work together to win The Foragers Contest." -GW


A group of contestants are multi-tasked to compete for the honor of becoming the Ultimate Forager. In order to pass the initial round, they must secure one of three registration badges, their own, their predator’s or their prey’s.

Among the contestants, two assassin clans seek recruits to win their battle for power over S.S.O. A former government agent, a boy looking for his father, an assassin, and an orphan are enemies on the path to becoming an unlikely family.


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Keep reading for an interview with Maya, a character from the book:


Who is your enemy?


Daremoga watashi no tekidesu. Everyone except for the Italian children I saved from assassination. I can't trust anyone or risk them getting killed by the S.S.O. They're everywhere.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?


That's exactly what I'm trying to figure out right now, whether I belong with the Kan, the Mori or no clan at all. But I'm a fighter and will keep trying to find my place in this world.

What are your goals?


Currently, I need to make it into the next round of the game or die trying. We'll see how it goes from there.

What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?


Breaking in and out of a vault with three idiots. Oh and did I mention it's deep within a mountain? Imagine doing that ... twice.

Where is the best place to visit in your world?


Anywhere but the Shirakami-Sanchi forest, unless you have a death wish.

Do you have any hobbies?


I like to sharpen my kunai and sometimes I use them to make a fire. I've also used them to fight a bear once.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?


Everyday feels like my last. I hope to one day put an end to the S.S.O so I don't have to keep watching over my back. I will spend my last day as I have on all other days--getting one step closer to taking them down.

Monday, 15 January 2018

The Order of Actaeon (Waxwood Series: Book 1) by Tam May

Tam May was born in Israel but grew up in the United States. She earned her B.A. and M.A degrees in English and worked as an English college instructor and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher before she became a full-time writer. She started writing when she was 14 and writing became her voice. She writes psychological fiction, exploring characters’ emotional realities informed by past experiences, dreams, feelings, fantasies, nightmares, imagination, and self-analysis.

Her first work, a short story collection titled Gnarled Bones And Other Stories was published in January 2017. She is currently working on a novella series called the Waxwood Series. Set in a Northern California resort town, the series explores the crumbling relationships among the wealthy San Francisco Alderdice family. Book 1, The Order of Actaeon, will be released on January 18, 2017. In the book, the Alderdice family son and heir falls into the hands of a charismatic older man obsessed with power and leadership during a summer vacation in the resort town of Waxwood. The second book, The Claustrophobic Heart, brings in Gena Flax, a young woman who must cope with the mental deterioration of her aunt during their summer stay at Waxwood. In the last book of the series, Dandelion Children, Daisy, the daughter of the Alderdice family is drawn into the disturbed life of the man who ruined her brother during one rainy summer in Waxwood.

She is also working on another book, House of Masks, about a woman who is mourning the death of her father and gets drawn into the lives of her two neighbors, one eccentric and one embittered.

She lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature and watching classic films.

To keep updated on Tam May’s current projects, giveaways, promos, and blog posts, as well as receive a free gift, sign up for her newsletter.

You can also join Tam’s Dreamers Reading Group, for a chance to chat with others about books and opportunities to read advanced review copies of Tam May’s books, as well as special promotions and giveaways.

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About the Book


Sometimes the hunter becomes the hunted.


Jake is the heir of the prominent Alderdice family in San Francisco. Although dearly loved by his sister Vivian, his passion for art and his contemplative temperament make him a pariah in the eyes of his tyrannical mother Larissa.

When the Alderdices spend their yearly summer vacation in the prominent resort town of Waxwood, Jake meets Stevens, a charismatic older man. Stevens’ paternal authority and obsession for power and leadership fits into Larissa’s idea of manhood. Jake develops a hero worship for Stevens who in turn is intrigued by Jake’s artistic talent and philosophical nature. Stevens introduces him to the Order Of Actaeon, a group of misanthropes who have rejected commercial and conventional luxuries for a “pure” life in the woods.

But behind the potent charms of his new friend and seductive simplicity of the Actaeon lifestyle lies something brutal and sinister that Jake could not have anticipated.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


“I’d like to meet Jake and Vivian’s father,” Stevens said. “Will he be coming down here some time this summer?” Jake gave him a stony glance. He was sure Stevens remembered what he had told him about Raymond.

There was a few minutes silence while Jake felt they were all trying to think of how to respond without lighting the fire of shame to the Alderdice name.

Vivian was the first to speak. “We had different fathers. Mother was determined to wipe any trace of them off the face of the earth and she damn near succeeded.”

“My daughter uses vulgar words, Mr. Stevens,” Larissa said. “But she’s not far wrong.” Her polished fingernail trailed the damp cocktail glass. “I am once a widow and once a divorcee. I took back my maiden name and gave it to my children. I wanted to give them their dignity back.”

“Mother finds any flaw undignified,” Vivian said in a tight voice, “My father was a weak man who died of a heart attack and Jake’s father was a cheating bastard who went away when Jake was three years old.”

Larissa’s face darkened with the mark of her rage and she pushed the empty cocktail glass away from her a little too savagely, making it tumble to the grass. Jake quickly picked it up and set it gently on the table.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.” Stevens’ head tipped just enough to show humility but not so his eyes were totally hidden.

“No,” said Vivian. “You shouldn’t. But now that you have, tell me, Mr. Stevens, does a man who abandons his son to run off with a younger woman fit your theory of defending what is precious?”

“That’s enough, Vivian,” Larissa snapped.

“I don’t mind answering the question, Mrs. Alderdice,” said Stevens. “I find it reprehensible, of course.”

“Of course,” Vivian echoed.

“But sometimes people should run away,” he continued. “When they’re too volatile or too dangerous to be around others, that is.”

“You mean,” said Vivian, her voice softening, “sometimes hurting others becomes an act of love.”

“Something like that,” he said. “For some men, the rules are different. It’s not always easy to understand.”

“Explain it, then.” Vivian leaned forward.

“Viv, I don’t think — “Jake began.

“I don’t mind,” said Stevens. “I have nothing to hide.”

“I must admit, you have me curious,” said Larissa.

Stevens smiled then. It was the smile of the Cheshire cat, hanging solitary but mystifying.

“The boundaries aren’t as rigid with primitive people as they are in so-called civilized society,” he said. “Jung knew it. So did Freud.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” said Larissa.

“Taboos aren’t as neatly categorized,” he explained.

“You mean you can sleep with your father or mother and not be damned?” asked Vivian.

“Don’t be disgusting,” Larissa said with a wince.

“I don’t mean that at all,” he said, a little edgy. “Even primitive people have lines they won’t cross”

Click here to read the full excerpt!

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Clown Forest Murders: A #Mystery Novel by A.C. Brooks & R.R. Brooks

Robert R. Brooks (R.R. Brooks) spent his career doing pharmaceutical research and development. Now living in western North Carolina, he has published both fiction and nonfiction, including science fiction and fantasy stories exploring strange encounters and issues of doubt and belief. Leo Publishing released his epic fantasy novel Justi the Gifted in 2015. A science fiction tale and second fantasy novel are in the works. He is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group, the Appalachian Round Table, the Brevard Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and the N.C. Writers’ Network. He maintains author’s pages on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Andrew C. Brooks (A.C. Brooks) works in internet technology in California. When he’s not training for an Ironman competition, he writes. He has published a short story, extensive blog materials (www.andhesays.com), and technical writings (www.smartthings.com). His college-connected psychological mystery with R.R. Brooks is one of several novels of humor and adventure he has written.


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About the Book


At age eight, Dave Austin witnesses his brother’s savage murder in rural Norwich, New York, but amnesia suppresses the memory, and the killer escapes. Locals suspect an itinerant, a pedophile, or a disturbed friend maddened by psychedelic mushrooms.

When Dave starts college, pressures at Princeton and alcohol elicit dreams, each one revealing a bit of memory. Then come visions as Dave senses the killer return. Images of teenagers killed where his brother died precipitate a crisis, and David returns to Norwich to find his dead brother’s friend, a disturbed witness who knows something. Dave’s appearance alarms his psychiatrist, the officers who hadn’t solved the case, and especially the killer, who knows he should not have let the young Dave escape.

Now the killer must correct his mistake. When a crazy farmer invites Dave to learn the killer’s name in the Clown Forest at midnight, how can he resist? He may learn what he needs to identify the murderer—if he gets the truth, and survives.


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Keep reading for an excerpt:


As if it wasn’t enough to have nightmares, he suddenly realized these were more than just bad dreams…

Dave read the story twice, feeling dread. He should feel distant, uninvolved. The crime didn’t happen on campus or in the town of Princeton. Not even in Norwich. He didn’t know the victim. It was unfortunate and heinous, but what did that have to do with him?

Dave jerked, his body shaking. Two puzzle pieces fit together—his fear and the carnival killing. He feared the carnival murder because it was like his brother’s and Carter’s—the same modus operandi. Repeat criminals tended to do things the same way, picking the same types of victims, the same locations, the same way of entering. Didn’t Ted Bundy pick similar girls?

Didn’t Son of Sam, Dave Berkowitz, choose the same locations where lovers parked? Didn’t Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer, prefer strangulation? If it was the same MO, could it be the same killer?

Dave re-read the paragraph on how the carnival worker had died. The phrasing about repeated blows to the face, even after the victim was surely dead, was exactly what had been written about his brother’s death.

One other detail finally hit him. Shocked, he realized he’d dreamed about the carnival murder on the same night it happened.

He’d gone to sleep before midnight and the kid was killed just after midnight. It wasn’t precognition he was afflicted with. It was co-cognition.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The A to Z of You and Me: #Poetry by Jeremy Mifsud

Jeremy Mifsud is a final-year psychology student, currently enrolled at the University of Malta. In his poems, he writes about various topics, including mental health, LGBTQ-related topics, love and environmentalism. His works have been featured in multiple anthologies, including an upcoming anthology "Please Hear What I'm Not Saying" (2018). His next collection "Welcome to the Sombre Days" is forthcoming in 2018, by which he hopes to connect with LGBTQ youth and other youth who suffer from mental health problems.






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About the Book


The A to Z of You and Me is a collection of 26 love poems. The poems featured in this publication are all dedicated to my boyfriend and tell my experience of our story in an honest way. Feelings expressed within the poems range from those of adoration and love to those vulnerable moments of isolation and neglect. Throughout the book, these conflicting emotions clash in a harmonious symphony, painting the whole picture of the relationship, with all its struggles and rewards.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Silence


I enter the room,
my footsteps echo,
as the cold air
touches my skin.

My heart beating,
body breathing,
no other movement
can be heard.

You are nowhere to be seen,
my eyes remain hopeful,
trying to find a trace
of any of your belongings.

No luck,
I hear the clock tick and tock,
and that is the only sound
I can hear.

The walls keep on closing on me,
time running out,
I am suffocating out of oxygen,
suffering in silence.

Then, I scream,
sound waves breaking out the silence,
can you hear me
squeal in pain?

I try breaking out the walls,
find a way to communicate
but I am locked inside,
constantly knocking for your reply.

There is no light that gives me hope,
darkness shrouds the room,
and I lay here waiting,
I will keep on waiting,
until I hear your voice again.

Friday, 5 January 2018

The Swamp Queen: A #Mystery Novel by Jude Roy

Jude Roy is from Chataignier, a small Cajun community in south Louisiana. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, and his novels are available on Amazon. He writes mysteries and general fiction set in south Louisiana.

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About the Book


An old college buddy, a missing woman, a dead body, and all clues leading to the great Atchafalaya Swamp has John LeGrand scratching his head. Woody Bergeron, John's old college roommate, stole his girlfriend and married her. Now, she's missing, so he hired John to find her. The Swamp Queen is another Cajun PI caper and this one takes place in the Atchafalaya Basin, 800,000 acres of alligator-infested wetland. Who kidnapped Teresa Bergeron and why? John must find out although it brings back some painful memories.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


At a very early age. I come from a culture of storytellers. The Cajun language is spoken and rarely written French, so there were lots of storytellers. As a very young child, I would sit in the shadows and listen to my father and his friends tell stories by lantern light. When I started school and was introduced to books, I knew I was going to write some of those stories.

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?


Actually, no. My high school English teacher, Mrs. Duplechien, saw something in my work that she liked and encouraged me to show it to others. When I entered college, I was fortunate to have Earnest Gaines as my mentor. He liked my work and introduced me to his agent. Consequently, I had six stories published in The Southern Review. I have always wanted to share my ideas and embraced both negative and positive comments as learning tools.

Where are you from? Does your area have a good writing community?


As I said earlier, I grew up in Chataignier, LA and practically everything I write has something to do with the Cajun culture. Currently, I teach writing at a small college in Western Kentucky. I belong to a fantastic writing group that meets once a month and we share our work with each other. Madisonville is a small town but the arts thrive here--writers, movie makers, playwrights, actors, painters, photographers, the whole artist gamut.


Do you have a "day job"?


I teach writing at a small college here, freshman writing, developmental writing, creative writing, occasional business writing, and literature. I enjoy being in the classroom with young writers, but I hate grading papers. I'm retiring in January 2018 and devoting more time to my own writing, however.

What genres do you write?


I like mysteries, the tough but sensitive detective. I have a series out, the Cajun PI Series, and I have a grand old time coming up with situations to put my detective in. I also write general fiction set in the Cajun culture. My collection of short stories, Lighted Windows, fits in that category. I also dabble in poetry and personal essays, but only a little.

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?


My current work in progress is a psychological thriller. It's in the hands of a psychologist friend who is making sure I've got the psychological part correct. The tortured mind of a serial killer attracts me, especially the why. What motivates someone, an intelligent someone in my antagonist's case, to kill innocent people?

How long does it take you to write a novel?


That depends on how complex the novel is. The Swamp Queen took a year to finish. I started my psychological thriller three years ago. The first year was devoted entirely to research. I have one work that I've been working on for over twenty years. You would think I would have given up on it, but I find myself drawn to it occasionally.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?


The life-cycle of a maggot. They're fascinating little creatures.


When did you first consider yourself an author?


When I sold a few stories to the Southern Review. I took my hundred-dollar check and danced around my neighborhood yelling, "I'm a writer. I'm a writer." It didn't take long for reality to set in, however. My next ten submissions were rejected.


What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?


Writing is a sedentary occupation, so I play tennis two or three times a week. I also walk/jog around the neighborhood.

What is your writing process?


I never consciously came up with a routine, but over the years I found that I did indeed have one. I wake up at four o'clock every morning, boot up the computer, and put in a couple of hours writing. If I don't have to go to work, I write more. Night time is for social media, thinking, reading, or an occasional movie.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?


I write from real life experiences. The imagination comes in when I take those experiences and build a story around them. For example, I failed the first grade because I could not speak or write English. In Lighted Windows, my collection of short stories, one of the stories, "The Half-Acre," a young Cajun boy fails the first grade and the teacher tells his father that the boy has two choices: give up his culture and join the modern world or slave in the fields like him. The father offers the boy a half-acre plot and tells him he can either farm it or not. The boy comes up with a third option. Of course, none of this happened in real life.

What inspired your current work?


My wife and I lived on the Atchafalaya Swamp for a couple of years. I always wanted to set a story there. When I got the idea for The Swamp Queen, the character took me to Lafayette, LA, and I knew that part of the novel would be set in a swamp.

Do you have any advice for other authors?


Nothing that they probably haven't heard before. Earnest Gaines gave me two pieces of advice that have always stayed with me. The first was, Read, read, read. Write, write, write. The second was, Always have a destination in mind when you start a work. I try to stay true to that.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


Yeah, I have a character who writes letters to a person who never reads them and never answers; yet, he can't stop writing the letters. Sometimes, it feels like that. I'm not really very interested in sales, although it's nice to make a buck here and there. What I really enjoy is when a reader tells me that he/she read my book got some pleasure from it. And if they didn't, I want to know that too.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Gun Kiss: A #Suspense #Thriller Novel by Khaled Talib

Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines.

The author, who resides in Singapore, is a member of the Crime Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers.

His debut, Smokescreen, was listed as one of the six "boundary-breaking indies" by the IndieReader while his second novel Incognito won the Silver Award for the AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest 2017.



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About the Book


When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


The tall buildings around Washington, D.C.’s 10th Street overshadowed the historic Ford’s Theatre. Though the building had undergone refurbishment both inside and out, it still seemed slightly out of place in modern America. However, that didn’t stop the throngs of tourists visiting the building that June morning as wispy clouds threaded through the cerulean sky.

It was a crowded weekend day when Abraham Lincoln, in his overcoat, and two Union soldiers, their faces covered with bandanas, stepped out of the van. They meandered past the theater’s five historic doorways toward the modern glass entrance. Everyone assumed they were part of a promotion taking place at the museum. It was not uncommon to see park rangers and tour guides dressed in period costumes.

The man behind the Lincoln mask was Rick Walker—at least, that was the name he was currently going by. Highly educated, the thirty-six-year-old professional thief had a penchant for the fast life. If the assignment was a success today, he’d promised his girlfriend a nice holiday.

Two female park rangers stepped forward when Rick and his companions reached the front of the line.

“You have to get in line, sir. Also, you need to get tickets. Kindly remove the mask and bandanas before entering,” one of the park rangers said.

“I do apologize, madam, but I’m in a bit of a hurry,” Rick said. “I don’t think I need a ticket, nor do I have to get in line given who I am.”

“That’s the only way you’re going to get in,” the park ranger said.

“Well, if you insist, madam, and once again, please accept my apologies.” Rick bowed and tipped his hat, then extended a hand to the park ranger, who instinctively took it.

Rick grabbed her wrist tightly and locked it to his own with a steel cuff.

“What are you doing?” the park ranger yelled, trying to jerk her hand away.

“Getting acquainted,” Rick said.

The park ranger reached for the walkie-talkie strapped to her belt, but Rick snatched it away from her. Frantically, she turned to the other park ranger. “Get security!”

One of the two Union soldiers dropped his prop rifle and grabbed the other park ranger’s hand, then cuffed her wrist to his own. He pulled out a real gun tucked under his waistband and aimed it at her.

Rick unbuttoned the jacket of his three-piece suit and brandished the bomb strapped to his chest.

“Bomb! Bomb!” a young teenager in the line shrieked.

Pandemonium broke out as the screams of panic amplified. People ran in every direction. Those who moved slowly were slammed aside, or knocked over.

Rick pulled the ranger cuffed to him aside. “We’re going downstairs, and we’re going to take the Deringer. Obey your president,” he said in a hollow voice.

“Yes, sir,” the park ranger said as beads of sweat formed on her forehead.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Forged In Fire: A #Romance Novel by Maggie Adams



Maggie Adams is an Amazon Best Selling romance author. Her first book in the Tempered Steel Series, Whistlin’ Dixie, debuted in Amazon’s Top 100 for Women’s Fiction, humor, in November 2014. Since then, she has consistently made the Amazon bestseller 5-star list with her Tempered Steel Series. Her series has launched the tiny town of Grafton, Illinois, into International recognition with sales in Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and the UK. She is the recipient of the Dayreader Reviews Best of 2015 for Leather and Lace, the Reader Favorite Award for Something’s Gotta Give in 2016, the Indie Romance Convention Romantic Comedy Award 2017 for Forged in Fire and the 2017 New Apple Awards nomination – Suspense for Cold as Ice.



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About the Book


“Lady, if I were you, I’d get the hell away from here ‘cause when I make it up this hill, I’m gonna be looking for you.”

Lucky Coalson’s luck has run out. His ex-wife turned out to be a con artist; his business is in a shambles, and he’s been tossed into a muddy river by a smart assed feminist with a chip on her shoulder. Things couldn’t get much worse…or so he thought.
When Lucky’s accused of murdering his ex-wife, the Coalson family enlists the help of a private investigator to gather the clues necessary to prove his innocence. Little did they know that Renee Morgan is the same woman that sent Lucky scrambling up a sodden river bank at the height of a storm.

The two square off immediately, but Renee’s admiration of the Coalson family, despite her dislike of Lucky, is the deciding factor in her acceptance of the job. And although Lucky bristles every time she speaks, he grudgingly respects her intelligence and savvy skills as a private investigator.

As the hunt for the killer escalates, the two find they are not the only ones looking for the mysterious assassin. And the other people are more than willing to take out anyone that gets in their way, including those that Lucky and Renee hold dear to their hearts.
In a moment of passion that rocks them to the core, they realize their love may be forged in fire, but both have been badly burned by past lovers, and too stubborn to admit the truth. Can they find a way around their fears, or will Lucky’s ex-wife continue to plague him from the grave?

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


What genres do you write?


I have written just about everything from sweet romance to horror, but I love to write contemporary romance with an edge. By that, I mean twists of comedy, suspense, erotica, paranormal, or issues of relevance in today's society. Most of my work is a combination of many of the above, but I guess romantic comedy is my favorite to write because it flows easily for me. I'm a walking, talking "I Love Lucy" sitcom according to my husband!


Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?


I'm starting a paranormal spinoff series to my popular Tempered Steel Series which is also set in Grafton, Illinois. The Plains Indians were prevalent in the area, and many legends have evolved surrounding the animals and spirits in near the Mississippi River. My Legends series will delve into that.

What is the quirkiest thing you've ever done while writing?


I make my family play out the scenes in the living room so I can figure out the dynamics of the what ifs. My daughter has been "shot", son has been "stabbed", and my husband has careened around both of them as a gun-toting assassin on a motorcycle. They are so supportive, they take it all in stride.

What authors have most influenced you?


Oh, so many! I first fell in love with historical romance thanks to Kathleen Woodiwiss and her "Flame and the Flower" is still one of my favorites; my friend introduced me to Amanda Quick's work and the fact that she can write a story from a historical setting, then continue the thread into contemporary and futuristic, is amazing! My favorite authors now are Lexi Blake and Shayla Black, both fabulous writers and very nice women.


What are your goals as an author?


I would like to make a consistent living as an author. I think I can get there. I'm not really into titles as such, so the whole NY Times Best-Seller isn't really a goal, but if folks know who I am because a friend or colleague recommended my book...well that is worth so much more to me! That's where I'd like to be in five years.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?


A young woman wrote to me that my series helped her during her chemotherapy treatments. Whenever she felt she couldn't keep her optimism up, or the pain was intense, she would reread on of my books, whichever she felt was appropriate to the situation she was feeling. I was so amazed and humbled by that. As an author, you hope to bring in your readers, but that letter took me to a whole other level of pride and compassion for those that love my books.

I was so touched, I sent her the entire series in paperback.


Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique?


Yes. I had a woman trash Whistlin' Dixie for it's "sugary sweet homespun silliness". She also made critical comments about me as an author and the "rather unintelligent people that read this sort of stuff." I was incensed on behalf of my fans. It's one thing not to like the book - okay, I can handle that; I can even handle a personal attack, but my fans? NO WAY!!! So I politely wrote to the blog where the review was printed, and asked that they remove the part about my fans. They were apologetic and removed the entire post. I was satisfied with that.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?



  • The Bible - every time I read it, I get something new
  • The works by Alexander Dumas - his adventures are legendary and include all the points I love to read.
  • The Joy of Cooking - because I need to know how to cook fish.
  • The Boy Scouts Handbook - because I have no idea how to survive anywhere!
  • Whistlin' Dixie - because it all started here and I can continue it in my head!


What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?


The Masters of Menage by Lexi Blake and Shayla Black

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?


I have too many!!! That's the thing about being an author. You have to write, so no time to read! I need to read The last four new books by Lexi Blake in her Masters and Mercenaries series; Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz' stuff for the last three years; and so many indie authors I can't even begin!

Do you prefer ebooks, print or both?


I love print, especially hardback. The feel of it in your hands, the smell of the pages, I know I'm weird! But, my love of books started early, so I just can't help it!

What made you decide to self-publish?


lol 177 rejections from traditional publishers! They were kind but most said they didn't know where to put me as my books aren't just romance - they have more.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?


Actually, my Tempered Steel Series is based on the flood of Grafton, Il, in 1993. My relatives lived there and we had just moved from there. It was devastating, and the clean up was tough, but the folks there were determined to rebuild the village and make it bigger and better than ever. And they did. I had to write about it, and, of course, give it a romantic twist because I'm a hopeless romantic!

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?


The Tempered Steel Series is based on my husband and his brothers! I took one good trait and one not-so-good trait from each of them and put it into the characters of the brothers in the series. To this day, they argue over which character they are!


What are you working on now?


I'm writing a humorous fiction novel for women based on a 40 something divorcee', who has spent her life in that "mom/wife" bubble and has no idea how to go about finding work, romance, and friends in this new tech society. It's called, "Minx", and should be out late 2018.


What inspired your current work?


A conversation of "what-ifs" with my husband. After being married for over 30 years, it's inconceivable to not have my partner. We got into this conversation because we were talking about retirement and my imagination took over.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


Thank for from the bottom of my heart. When I feel doubtful of my work, you are there to cheer me on; when I need help getting the word out, I know I can count on your support; when I release each new book, you are there to share in my happiness. I couldn't do this without you. You made Me believe!

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