Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Chants to Persephone


Chants to Persephone

by Jennifer Macaire

The Thief of Souls has stolen Alexander's soul, and the druids have foretold the end of their world and have raised an army to kidnap Paul. They mean to stop Rome from invading Gaul and thus change the course of time. Meanwhile, an oracle tells Alexander and Ashley they must go to the Land of the Eaters of the Dead. Paul has stowed away on their ship, and Nearchus has decided that now is the time to profess his love to Alexander. To further complicate things, Charidmus, an old foe of Alexander's, recognizes him and realizes he hasn't died. Ashley knows she must stop the druids, find the Thief of Souls, keep Charidemus quiet, somehow get Nearchus out of their bed, and time back on track - or the Time Senders are going to have a fit. There's also a small matter of a human sacrifice with Alexander as the chosen victim. What's a time traveller to do?





EXCERPT:  I remembered the first time I’d seen Darius, king of all Persia. He’d been sitting on his throne, and when he stood, he’d taken my breath away. Tall, with black hair, smooth skin, and golden eyes like a lion. He had been naked except for a gold chain around his neck. It had been in Persepolis, the sacred city Alexander had destroyed in a fit of rage. I could recall the day the city fell. The spring breeze had been soft as a kiss. Bright sunlight sparkled on the white marble, dazzling me. A dead slave sat in Darius’s throne with his throat cut, while two of his generals hung above him, their skin flayed. The only colours had been the sparkling white of the marble, the empty blue of the sky, and the scarlet blood as it ran across the hot stone. All that, because Paul had been kidnapped by Darius. Now Anoramix had Paul, the Harbinger of Destruction. I wondered if Anoramix realized just what the Harbinger of Destruction’s father was capable of when he got angry.

  Links to buy:   getbook.at/Persephone


author _photoAbout the Author: Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. Blog: https://jennifermacaire.blogspot.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimeforAlexander/  




Monday, October 29, 2018

The Sweetest October by Megan Slayer



Love and Halloween are an odd couple, but they can be the best means to heal a broken heart.

Allison Prince never planned on leaving her job with the Waite Gazette, but when the chance to discover her past comes along, she can’t say no. She’s determined to learn about her grandmother and make the advice in her column more relatable. With her rescue dog, Woofy, beside her, she sets out to learn as much as she can about Hallowsville, Ohio.

Erik Greene doesn’t believe in love and isn’t fond of Halloween. He’s convinced his broken heart won’t heal—until he meets Allison and visits the local animal shelter. He doesn’t want a journalist snooping around Hallowsville. But Allison isn’t all she seems and the pup at the shelter proves love is possible.

Can he open his heart to new opportunities and chase the love of his life? Or is he destined to be the Dandy Devil of Hallowsville all alone?

Read an Excerpt:

©2018 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“I knew about you long before your emails, even if I didn’t realize I did.”

“Erik?” He had to have said something. He hated her.

“Mr. Surly?” Delilah laughed and shook her head. “No.”

“Does he ever smile?” She toyed with the class covering the counter. “Or would that break his face?”

“He’s good at distant.”

“Too bad. He’s cute.” She hadn’t wanted to blurt that out. “But petulant.”

Delilah’s brows rose and she stopped laughing. “Remember the cute comment when you’ve fallen in love with him and he doesn’t return your feelings. Trust me. He’s cute, but he’s a handful very few women want to take on.”

“He can be all the cute he wants. I can tell you he won’t make a move.”

“Why wouldn’t he ask you out?” Delilah asked. “You’re adorable. It runs in the family, you know. We’re all adorable.”

“Compared to you and the other women I’ve seen, I’m nothing great. I’m short, curvy and not perfect,” Allie said. She knew her limits. Her exes liked to remind her as to where she could improve. Erik would be the same. “Why aren’t you with him? Or are you? You make a handsome couple.”

“Erik? No.” Delilah rewrapped a spool of ribbon around the cardboard. “He’s not my type, but I’ve dated him. It was a disaster.” She tapped the spool on the counter. “You’re more his type.”

“No thanks.” She refused to even try when she had the feeling she’d be shot down on the first date.

“Well, don’t think you’ll cure him. He’s beyond help.”

“I don’t know what you mean, but I won’t.”

“Remember that.”

“I’m not looking to date anyone. I dumped my boyfriend right before I left because I found out he’d cheated on me. I don’t have time to go through that again. Plus, once the month-long trip down memory lane is over, I’m back at the Gazette.” So she’d slipped and said she was home. So what? The word change was a simple goof-up. Nothing more.

“We don’t have a paper here in Hallowsville,” Delilah said.

“Okay?” She didn’t understand. “You share one with the next town over? The county?”

“Nope.” Delilah put the ribbon down. “You are an Astor. You’ve got the right to stick around and since you’re in the newspaper business, you’d know how to run one. Why not stay a while after the month and give us a newspaper? There’s still a press and once people found out we had a paper again, you’d have business.”

“I write columns, not oversee publications.” Running a newspaper? Half the time she struggled with balancing her checkbook. The thought of accounts, advertising, stories…she’d sink in weeks.

“You helped run the student paper in college.”

“It was a free paper and mostly used by the students to line bird cages and for house-breaking dogs.” Her heart sank. “I don’t know anything about the day-to-day operations of a paper.”

“It’s not like you’d be running it alone.” Delilah left her stool and retrieved three spools of ribbon from the other end of the counter. “Hallowsville is a remarkable place. When we see a need, we find a way to fill it and come together while doing so. You might be better at running the paper than you think.”

“Delilah.” No matter what she said, she wouldn’t change her cousin’s mind.

“I hope you rethink the paper, but I really hope you stick to your gut feeling concerning Erik.”

About the Author:
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm. Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj .

Website: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Blog: https://wendizwaduk.wordpress.com
Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/wendizwaduk.meganslayer/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Slayer/e/B008BJCFSC
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-slayer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wendizwaduk/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GV43J1Q/
Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/3G97vr
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sweetest-october-megan-slayer/1129446661
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-sweetest-october
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-sweetest-october/id1434747968?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Megan Slayer will be awarding a prize pack featuring a necklace made by the author and a signed swag pack to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

TURNAROUND FARM by Elaine Cantrell


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.  Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Dedicated career girl Holly Grant has no time for romance. She doesn’t need a man to complete her, thank you very much. Building Grant Realty takes all of her time and attention. If she can close a deal for Turnaround Farm, her business will take off like a rocket. Her first problem is that Jeb Wakefield doesn’t want to sell his farm, and her second problem is Jeb’s grandson Dan, the finest looking man Holly’s ever seen.

Read an Excerpt:

He had no idea what had come over him, but he ignored the small voice in his head that told him to leave her alone and took a step closer to her. The aroma of her perfume teased his nose with its light, floral scent.

Holly gasped when his hands gently came to rest on her shoulders. Dan swept her hair to one side and brushed the side of her neck with his lips. He turned her around and pulled her close. “Put your arms around me, Holly.”

He saw a pulse wildly beating in her throat, but she slid her arms around him.

Dan pulled her head onto his shoulder and stroked her hair, reveling in its silky, blonde beauty. “I love your hair,” he whispered.

“We shouldn’t be here.”

Dan never knew how it happened. One minute the two of them were standing beside the bed; the next they were on the bed stretched out side by side with their arms around each other. Oh, the feel of her...soft and warm and yielding!

When their eyes met, he knew that if they didn’t get out of bed immediately, he would make love to her. And he could think of nothing he wanted more.

Maybe Holly saw it too because she seemed to recover her senses. “We shouldn’t do this,” she gasped. “This is the kind of thing my mother does.”

“I know.” Dan sat up on the side of the bed and observed, “Your bed smells like you and the perfume you wear.”

About the Author:
Born and raised in South Carolina, I hold a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University and am a member of Romance Writers of America and Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators. I’ve been married for forty-five years to my college sweetheart. We have two sons who’ve given us three wonderful grandchildren. We also have a sweet calico kitty, and a devoted little black and white dog.

I've been writing since 2001 when my son asked me to proofread a book he'd written. I figured if he could write a book, so could I. My first published novel, A New Leaf, was the winner of the 2003 Timeless Love contest. If I wasn't sold on writing before, that did it. I've been writing ever since and don't have any plans to stop. Frankly, I don't think I could even if I wanted to. Writing is a strange compulsion that drives me to spend long hours in front of a keyboard when I could be doing important things like napping or eating chocolate. My house isn't dusted as often, I rarely cook, and who cares if the laundry gets done or not. Yeah, no doubt about it, I'm addicted.

http://www.elainecantrell.com
http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/elainecantrell
http://www.facebook.com/elainepcantrell
http://www.pinterest.com/elainecantrell

Turnaround Farm buy link: https://wingsepress.com/turnaround-farm/

Elaine Cantrell will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Disconnect

I must have been a strange child. I was happy to be with people, happy to be alone, happy to sink or swim - it really didn't matter. I wasn't competitive, if someone else wanted to win, that was fine. Prizes or parties meant nothing to me. I hated loud noises; the sounds of fireworks and celebrations startled and frightened me as much as gunshots and fights. But through everything, I struggled to make sense of the world. I needed things to be organized - not in my closet, or even in the sense of neatness - I needed actions and words to match, I needed ideas and ideals to coincide. The disconnect started early.

I went to Sunday school. I don't know how old I was - I was preparing for my first communion. We learned about Jesus, about God, and already I was confused. One of my first picture books had been about Greek myths. Where were Zeus and Hera? Where was Heaven? Was it the same as Mount Olympus? My questions were met with a patient smile.  "Greek myths," the priest informed me, "are fake stories made up by pagans. We are studying religion, the Christian religion, which was founded by Jesus more than a thousand years ago. He believed that you should love one another, and his religion is founded on brotherly love." 

I loved the sound of that. A whole religion founded on caring for people! I was on board. I didn't question the priest any more until we started learning our first song. "Onward Christian Soldiers." I suppose the tune is catchy enough, but the words confused me. Wasn't Jesus against war? Why did Christian soldiers have to carry swords? If Jesus preached love, and God said, "thou shall not kill", then who were these Christian soldiers going to kill?

This time, my questions were met with less patience. "There are people who will try to go against God's teachings. They will try to turn you against God. You must arm yourself against them and be Jesus's soldier in the war against Christianity." I wasn't convinced. Killing someone to make them believe in something didn't sit well with me. I was the original "live and let live" kid. I raised my hand. "If someone wants to believe in Zeus, and tries to get me to..." I was cut off.  The priest was starting to sound exasperated. "I told you, Zeus does not exist." 

But I had a book with all his stories in it, and I'd seen statues made of marble of him. I had a book with illustrations even - it showed a bearded man holding lightning bolts. And all I had of Jesus was a book with his stories in it, and a painted statue (not as imposing as the marble) and a folder that the priest had given us showing a man sitting under a tree with a child on his lap and a lamb lying by his side. Timidly, I raised my hand again. "How do we know God really exists?" I asked. "Can I talk to him?"

To my relief, the priest smiled broadly. "Of course you can talk to him! It's called prayer, and the first prayer we will learn is 'The Lord's Prayer'. It starts off 'Our Father, who art in heaven...'"
I caught the word 'art', and thought that if they did drawing and painting in heaven, it must not be a bad place. And Jesus wanted everyone to love one another, so that was nice too. But talking to God through prayer wasn't proof for me. I asked if he would answer back, so I would know for sure he was there, and the priest finally lost all patience and pointedly ignored me until the end of the class. Then he took me aside and told me to stop asking questions - that the next time I asked a question or even made a sound, I would be removed from the class - was that clear? Perfectly. Well, until the next session. Then, I forgot I was supposed to be quiet, and I got into the story of Jesus calming the storm and made the sound of whooshing wind and thunder to go along with the tale...and got kicked out of Sunday school class.

I was sitting on the back steps of the church alone - waiting for my Dad to come pick me up. I was content, as usual. The sun was shining, the steps were comfortable, there were birds in the sky and dandylions growing in the cracks on the sidewalk. I didn't mind getting kicked out of Sunday school. My father was livid. He came early, saw me sitting alone, and stormed into the classroom, towing me by the arm, and grabbed the Sunday school teacher (it wasn't the priest this time - it was one of his minions) and said if he saw me sitting outside alone again, he'd really lost his temper. My father's eyes were very, very pale blue.  At that time, he had reddish gold hair, and looked like Robert Redford. When he was angry, which was rare (he was one of the calmest persons I ever knew) his eyes narrowed and practically glowed. He snarled, and the Sunday School teacher sat down and just nodded.

I continued my studies, sitting in the very back, as quiet as a mouse (I was good at pretending to be something else - but mice, I reasoned, didn't understand human speech, so I didin't listen to a word the teacher said).

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My brother, me, my sister - the day of my firsst communion  - ( I was clueless)

When the time came for the First Communion, I had no idea what was going on. I'd day-dreamed my way through the rest of the classes and found myself dressed in a ridiculous short, white, fluffy wedding gown type dress, complete with veil and white gloves. My grandmother gave me a pocket sized bible - also white - with a cunning cross encrusted inside the front cover. You could pop the Jesus out, and it clipped on a rosary, which she also pressed into my hand. I had no idea what to do with the rosery. We filed in and I simply imitated what everyone else did. I sat, kneeled, stood, got in line, opened my mouth llike a baby bird, got some sort of bready disk stuck on my tongue, said "Amen", and went to kneel down again. Everyone was quiet. I stared around until I met the priest's stern gaze. Then I realized everyone else had their heads bowed. I put my head on my hands and waited. I fell asleep. My neighbor, as she got to her feet, jostled me and woke me up. I yawned and got in line. Now what? We went into a little box, where, I realized, a man was sitting across from me, hidden by a wooden screen. This, I realized belatedly, was a confessional and I was supposed to confess. The priest repeated his question - what did I wish to confess? I had no idea. I hadn't killed anyone. I didn't lie, cheat, steal. I wasn't jealous of anyone.  I made up a story about pushing my sister into a mud puddle because I coveted her comic book. Oh, and I didn't eat my string beans  because I hated them (Actually, I hated everything - I ate only three things - peanut butter, toast, and apples). This seemed to satisfy the priest who told me to "say nineourfathers and twelvehailmarys and God bless you my child."

I had no idea what nineourfathers was, or twelvehailmarys could be.  I knelt, like everyone else was, and put my head on my hands, and fell asleep again.  I was eternally exhausted. I was insomniac (since I was born, it seems) and as soon as I put my head down anywhere during the day, I slept - in school, on the bus, sitting on a swing... just not when I was lying in bed. Too many monsters at night!) So, I slept until the priest tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up, bleary-eyed, and realized everyone else had left. I was mortified. I thought he'd scold me, but he was beaming. "You prayed longer than anyone else," he said. "I'm so happy for you, Jennifer. Did you say all your Our Father prayers and the Hail Marys, like you were supposed to?"

I blinked at him - and finally realized what the "nineourfathers" and "twelvehailmarys" were. I got to my feet and smiled back. "Yes," I lied.  I had a feeling my entire First Communion had just been silently revoked in heaven, but I didn't mind. I'd already decided that I liked Jesus well enough, but the trappings of the church hid his words more than they enhanced them. My father's anger at finding me on the chuch steps fortified my decision that from then on, I'd believe in what I felt was right - and not what other people would tell me to believe.

But that day, I also put the Greek myths to rest in their place. The world had changed. The old gods were dead, a new god had killed them. But that didn't mean I had to worship him.  I would not be a Christian soldier bent on killing anyone who didn't believe in Christ. People could believe what they wanted, I decided. Any anyhow, I was more interested in Jesus as a person, because that was when he was most beloved to me. Years later, when I saw "Jesus Christ Superstar", I had the impression that Andrew Lloyd Weber had read my mind. It's still one of my favorite movies (I only saw the movie, I would have had loved to see the play).

But my disconnect still continues; and today, I see the major religions gearing up for a nice little war with each other, even within the same religion, like Islam, there are factions fighitng for power - because that is what it's all about, isn't it? The power to control the most people as possible in order to be the king of the block. It goes against everything any god has ever said, but people are hypocrites.
Right now in the USA, Trump has the support of evangelical Christians - how huge a disconnect is that?  They consider him a “good moral person".

And, "according to Bill Leonard, professor of church history at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, the context to white evangelicals hitching their wagon to Trump is “panic at the precipitous decline of Christianity” in US society."

For more reading about that - here is an interesting article:
 'Toxic Christianity': the evangelicals creating champions for Trump, The Guardian, 21 October 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/21/evangelical-christians-trump-liberty-university-jerry-falwell

PS:  I don't mind religion. I actually loved my book on Greek myths and thought Jesus Christ Superstar was one of the best films ever made. But I don't want to have power over anyone except myself. I want to be able to decide who touches my body and when, I want to be able to eat good food that isn't full of chemicals or made of tortured animals, I'd like to be able to get education and healthcare, I'd to be able to get a job that pays decent wages. And I wish that for the entire world. That's all. Not mansions or swimming pools or diamonds - just good food, good wages, good education and healthcare. Oh, and art, music, and books - lots and lots of books to read. Maybe that is heaven on Mount Olympus? 

Waltz With Me Cowboy by Debra Holt


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Debra Holt will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Calla Rose returned home to McKenna Springs to help save her family's business... The Yellow Rose... a ninety-year old Texas dance hall. She also came home to heal. Being a victim and finding her trust level in men damaged, she is determined to succeed in this one thing for her family and nothing is going to deter her from doing just that. Now even a green-eyed cowboy/mayor with heart-stopping smiles and kisses that threaten to thaw the ice around her heart.

Ty Conners wasn't looking for love. He had simply stopped in to welcome the latest business owner to town. But coming face to face with Calla Rose would prove an unforgettable experience in more ways than one and send his heart into a tailspin. Never a man to not face a challenge head-on, he prepared to get past the barricades she had erected between herself and the male population. But it was easier said than done, and just when he's within reach of her heart, a lie brings memories of pain and distrust and Calla's heart may be out of his reach for good.

Read an Excerpt:

“You’re right. It’s the best offer. And I’ll take you up on it.” She placed her hand in his in order to get a hand up from the step. Mistake. His hand was warm, and the warmth seemed to flow up her arm and fill her with a sense of peace that was most disconcerting. Once on her feet, she gave a slight tug and he released his grip. Was she sorry? Silly thought. Her mind was just tired from the long and trying day. The fresh air would do the trick to put things in their proper perspective... including the man beside her.

A few minutes later, Calla felt the tenseness leave the neck muscles and the corners of her mouth curved upward of their own accord. The windows were down, and the pickup was making its way along the country lane as it followed the curves of the river, crisscrossing bridges from one side to the other as it went deeper into the tall canyon. The breeze ruffled through her hair. Here she was, taking a ride in a pickup, listening to a lively George Strait swing tune on the radio, and a good-looking cowboy beside her. If those people from her old life could see her now… would they think she had lost her mind? Did she think she had?

Or would they think she had finally found it? That sudden realization brought a strange feeling with it. If she didn’t know better, she’d think she had finally found where she belonged. But that couldn’t be… could it? The city life and a stately courtroom had been her mecca. How did things switch course in mid-stream on her? Calla’s gaze went to the man beside her and just then, he turned and gave her a look and smile that answered her unspoken question. Silly! She jerked her gaze back to the open window. How could he know what she was thinking? When she wasn’t sure of it herself?

About the Author:
Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance...Janet Dailey's Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles...and sighs...to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

Debra invites you to visit her website. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email. Twitter is and Facebook at . Website: http://www.debraholtbooks.com
Email: debraholtbooks@gmail.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraHoltBooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebraHoltBooks

Buy the book at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FRKGCGW/ref=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb

Debra Holt will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

THE EXENE CHRONICLES by Camille A. Collins


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Camille will be awarding a lovely pen and notebook to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Camille A. Collins's lyrical debut novel speaks to the passionate engagement of adolescent girls—with music, with injustice, with love, with life. This is a courageous coming-of-age story, one that poet Nikki Giovanni recommends "sharing with our teenage sons and daughters."

Collins's 1980s southern California set novel is a literary debut that tackles social inequality with poetic riffs and heart-pounding angst.

Read an Excerpt:

Cobblestones, crisscrossed by scarlet rills…

Away from the clean, wide streets of Coronado, downtown San Diego, with its vagrant hotels, Salvation Army treasures, and errant trash tumbling along the gutters, provided Ryan and Lia some undefined relief. The grit egged on their teething pathos, their emerging view of life through some inverted prism, where on the one hand, they believed that in some far-off distance they would attain a sort of middle-class contentment, but for the present, nothing besides a noncommittal flirtation with the dark, baneful, and untoward, procured in the pedestrian way of most fourteen-year- olds (through books, music, and imaginative musings), could create for them a sense of satisfaction.

In order to feed their insatiable quest for all things bleak on a diet more substantial than what Danielle Steel had to offer, the girls’ eighth grade English teacher introduced them to Baudelaire. Whether or not they had really understood The Fountain of Blood was hard to say.

“Romeo and Juliet isn’t so melodramatic,” Ryan murmured reflectively.

“I mean, who wouldn’t die for love? I would…if it came to that.”

“You’re nuts.”

“It’s just…I think that Prince song is right: the party’s over in the year 2000. Do you realize we’ll be, like, thirty years old, if we even live to see 2000?”

“Wait. What’s that got to do with anything?” Lia frowned.

“I dunno, it’s just … I’d rather die young for love instead of living without it, not knowing what might happen. Have you ever seen those warships down at the end of Palm Avenue? I hate them.”

Lia paused to consider Ryan’s words.

“You’re right. I never thought about it that way … but you’re absolutely right. I guess I’d prefer it that way too.”

Apparently, what Mrs. Buchanan had offered as a cautionary tale had suffered gross misinterpretation.

About the Author: Camille A. Collins has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The African-American National Biography, published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press; in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University, and other places.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B07HGLR7FN/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vu00_tkin_p1_i0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4398269.Camille_Collins
Publisher Author Page: http://www.brainmillpress.com/the-exene-chronicles

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FB2MHT1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

Camille will be awarding a lovely pen and notebook to a randomly drawn winner.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson


Blythe of the Gates
by Leah Erickson
Genre: Historical Fiction

Can the gates of perception be bypassed?


A rash love affair with a member of the Irish Mafia catapults Luna Mulkerrins into scandal, murder, scorn and decadent friendships in Ragtime Manhattan. Escaping from the blaze of publicity, a new Luna emerges: Blythe of the Seven Gates. Her meteoric rise as a magician leads to fame, vaudeville, silent movies and the notoriety of a damaging court case. Can Luna reclaim her reputation and reinvent herself as an independent woman of the time?

From Leah Erickson, author of The Brambles, winner of the Crime Fiction award from the IPA.




Leah Erickson is the author of the novel "The Brambles" (2017) and "Blythe of the Gates." She is the recipient of the 2018 Independent Press Award and the Independent Book Award. Her short fiction has appeared in many magazines and journals in print and online, including The Fabulist, Pantheon Magazine, The Saint Ann's Review, Eclectica, The Coachella Review, and many more. She lives near Newport, Rhode Island with her husband and daughter.



Covered in cracked, brown leather and very old, the box had rows of hammered
brass tacks along its edges, the lock held shut with a heavy latch of blackened
metal. Only the Magician was allowed to use the key, and he kept it in his breast
pocket at all times.
Luna knew about the faded red velvet lining. And she knew how the antique
metal hinges creaked when he opened it. She knew about the ancient smell of
mildewed newspaper, the smell of trapped life, the smell of time passed by …
Luna. Open your eyes and look at it!”
Why the Magician did this to her, she did not know. Some nights when he was
in a particularly wicked mood, he'd take the box down from the top of his closet
and make Luna look inside, even though she turned away, and shut her eyes to it.
This made him laugh. “Girl, I am your husband. Listen to me! Look at it.”
But it was unbearable, to look straight into it, because it hurt. Looking straight
into the thing was like looking straight into the sun; when she shut her eyes, she
saw pulsing blood, red and floating orbs …
Look.”
To look inside the box was to feel dissolution, deep down in her very center,
spreading out and out until she had no more edges to her.
But once she did look, it was so hard to look away again.
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SHADOW'S WAY by Barbara Frances


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a $25 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops on the tour.

Prepare to be spellbound. Barbara Frances' long-awaited third novel, Shadow's Way, takes you to the coastal, deep South, where the past and the present mingle in a gothic tale of insanity, murder, and sexual intrigue.

You'll meet the beautiful Elaine Chauvier, former actress and proprietor of Shadow's Way, her family's antebellum home; the esteemed Archbishop Andre Figurant and his fallen identical twin, Bastien; newly arrived Ophelia and Rudy, here to explore their Chauvier roots and their ties to Shadow's Way; and the mysterious Madame Claudine. Under a veneer of piety and graciousness, i.e., the questions: What is good? What is evil? What is reality?

Read an excerpt:

Archbishop Figurant gazed down the extended maple table, luminous from layer upon layer of bee’s wax. Soon they would be arriving. It was going to be a hard hitting but necessary meeting, long overdue. Abandoning protocol, he would be going against the Church’s hierarchy to expose a long-lived charade of denial and hypocrisy. No longer was he going to ram his head up his self-righteous ass. He was going to act.

Lanita entered the room with a large tray of chicken sandwiches and fruit pastries. “Oh, ‘cuse me, your Excellency. I didn’t know you were already here. I’ll be out of your way in no time.” Her words hummed with the rhythmic cadence of a Caribbean island. Neat as a pin in a freshly starched uniform and hair tucked away in a plain white turban, she slipped from point to point, smooth and efficient.

“You’re fine, Lanita. I’m trying to get my thoughts in order. You’d best put out some ashtrays. I anticipate Monsignors Flannigan and Murphy will burn up a field of tobacco when they hear what I’ve got to say.” She laughed out loud. “Maybe I should put out the whiskey, too, yes?

“No, they’ll have to survive on coffee or water today.” He smiled at her. “Be good for them.”

He and Lanita had a comfortable relationship. She had been his housekeeper for six years. He knew some of her secrets and she knew some of his. Late afternoons he often watched her from the upstairs window as she rode her bicycle home, hair fanning out in an Afro halo and a colorful skirt billowing in the wind.

Two chapters available at http://shadowsway.com/chapters.html

About the Author:
Barbara Frances has plenty of stories and a life spent acquiring them. Growing up Catholic on a small Texas farm, her childhood ambition was to become a nun. In ninth grade she entered a boarding school in Our Lady of the Lake Convent as an aspirant, the first of several steps before taking vows. On graduation, however, she passed up the nun’s habit for a college degree in English and Theatre Arts. Her professors were aghast when she declined a PhD program in order to become a stewardess, but Barbara never looked back. “In the Sixties, a stewardess was a glamorous occupation.” Her career highlights include dating a very gentlemanly Chuck Berry and “opening the bar” for a planeload of underage privates on their way to Vietnam.

Marriage, children, school teaching and divorce distracted her from storytelling, but one summer she and a friend coauthored a screenplay. “I never had such fun! I come from a family of storytellers. Relatives would come over and after dinner everyone would tell tales. Sometimes they were even true.” The next summer Barbara wrote a screenplay solo. Contest recognition, an agent and three optioned scripts followed but, weary of fickle producers and endless rewrites, she turned to novels. Shadow’s Way is her third book. Her first, Lottie’s Adventure, is aimed at young readers. Her second, Like I Used To Dance, is a family saga set in 1950’s rural Texas. Barbara’s fans can be thankful she passed up convent life for one of stories and storytelling. She and her husband Bill live in Austin, Texas.

Barbara welcomes questions or comments about Shadow’s Way at barb@barbarafrances.com.

http://shadowsway.com
http://barbarafrances.com

Buy the book at https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Way-Barbara-Frances-ebook/dp/B07FZ895H1/ref=sr_1_1

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY a $25 Amazon/BN GC
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Breakdown series


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

BREAKDOWN is a unique and groundbreaking four-book suspense series that will keep you turning pages until the killer is finally exposed.

In this explosive new miniseries, the idyllic community of Shutter Lake, nestled in the peaceful Sierra Nevada Mountains, is rocked by a shocking murder. Four women, friends who moved to the area to find healing and solace, must now dig deep and overcome the scars of past troubles to find a ruthless killer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


All the Lies, BREAKDOWN Book 3 by Peggy Webb

THE BREAKDOWN BROADENS... Julia Ford was once famous globally for investigative journalism until the story she was covering went so wrong and an unthinkable act put her on the run. She sought refuge in idyllic Shutter Lake, took a job as lifestyle reporter for the local paper and remained hidden in plan sight for five years...until murder snuffed out Sylvia Cole, the young woman who knew too much.

With Sylvia's killer still on the loose, another girl missing and Julia's past showing up in the form of FBI Special Agent Richards, Julia begins a search that uncovers an evil spreading throughout Shutter Lake. Her last encounter with evil ripped her life apart. But this one could destroy some of the town's most prominent citizens and tear down Shutter Lake's very foundation. How far will she go to expose the deadly secrets in a once-perfect town built on lies?

Read an Excerpt

Only twenty days ‘til Halloween. Julia knew. She’d counted. Every October for the last five years.

As if she needed any reminders, ghoulish carved pumpkins decorated doorsteps, faux bats hung from trees, and ghosts lurked in every dark corner of her neighborhood – the one she’d deliberately chosen when she moved here. Nothing bad could ever happen in a neighborhood on a street named Harmony. On a quiet street where kids tossed balls at twilight and mothers stood in doorways calling them to supper, where the blue-ribbon school was just a few blocks away and the police station was within easy walking distance.

For that matter, nearly everything Julia needed was within walking distance. Until now. Until Dana Perkins had pulled her out of a safe rut and asked her to dredge up investigative skills from a life she’d left behind. One of Dana’s students at Shutter Lake High was missing, and she would not rest until the girl was found.

Less than an hour ago Dana had pressed her again about the girl as they stood in front of city hall where Julia’s instincts told her Chief of Police Griff McCabe was lying about closing in on Sylvia’s Cole’s killer. Everybody in Shutter Lake was up in arms about the town’s first murder.

Julia shifted her shoulder bag to a more comfortable position as she strode toward her cottage, a modest craftsman where culinary herbs grew on the kitchen windowsill and light poured through the windows in every room. Julia couldn’t stand the darkness. Nor the pumpkins. Those grotesque masks. She wanted to walk up and slap every one of them.

She glanced around as if someone might have read her thoughts. Satisfied that her secret was safe, she hurried inside to her orderly cocoon. The Victorian wall-hung mirror in the hallway showed a tall, slender woman on the wrong side of forty with long blond hair windblown and blue eyes untroubled. Julia Ford, lifestyle columnist for the Firefly, a weekly newspaper few outside of Shutter Lake had ever heard of, a paper she’d have dismissed as insignificant before she came here.

She nodded at her reflection, satisfied. Her mask was still in place.

Kicking off her shoes she padded barefoot to her kitchen and made her favorite drink, green tea chai from a mix she ordered online. Fading light coming through the stained glass in Julia’s kitchen window turned her walls a rainbow of soft pink and gold. She loved that about California - the mild weather and the perpetual sunlight that gave Shutter Lake a golden glow.

Until the glow got tainted by murder. And now a disappearance. A runaway? A kidnapping?

She carried her drink into the sunroom she used as an office and powered up her computer.

“Let’s see where you’re hiding, Josie Rodriguez.”

About the Author:
Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author, has penned more than 80 books in multiple genres and is the most prolific writer the state of Mississippi has ever produced. She also writes as Elaine Hussey. Her acclaimed novel, The Sweetest Hallelujah, garnered praise from critics who dubbed her one of the “Southern literary greats” and compared her to Harper Lee. Peggy holds an M.A. from the University of Mississippi and is a former adjunct instructor of writing at Mississippi State University (2004-2005). A gifted musician and actress, Peggy loves taking the stage at Tupelo Community Theater, singing in a 60-voice church choir and playing her vintage baby grand.

http://www.peggywebb.com
https://twitter.com/PeggyWebbAuthor
https://www.facebook.com/peggy.webb.92
Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS51LHD

The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

WATER TO WATER by Karen A. Wyle



Water to Water
by Karen A. Wyle
Genre: Science Fiction
When the time comes for Vushla to die, they go into the ocean and are dissolved away. Or so Terrill has always believed, and still believes after taking part in his father's final journey. But when he meets a young Vushlu who lives by the sea, Terrill must confront information that calls this fundamental belief into question. Will the two of them discover the truth? And what should they do with what they find?
Two young Vushla questioned what everyone knew about death. What should they do with the answer?

EXCERPT


Honnu squatted by the campfire, all four legs comfortably sunk in the sand, his lower armor
sealed tight to keep sand out, and watched the procession approach the sea. It was a small
group, with only one young Vushlu among the older ones. A funeral, then. The young one must
be the son or daughter of the Vushlu, aging or ailing, whose funeral it was.
Honnu turned away before the group reached the edge of the water. He knew, of course, what
would happen, but he had no wish to watch. After all, he lived with the ocean, lived from it, rode
out every day to toss the nets and haul them back. He and his family depended on the ocean.
But he often thought he must feel like a farmer with a very, very large and powerful bull. Such a
useful animal — it sired strong beasts like itself, and it pulled plows through earth too sticky for
pull-cycles. But it could, any time it chose to, trample the farmer into jelly. The farmer could
hope that the bull would never turn on its master. Honnu lived with the certain knowledge that
one day, the ocean would reveal itself as the largest possible beast, and devour him whole.
No, he had no need to watch it happen to others, not when he would be paddling the boat out
again tomorrow morning.

CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Character Interview with Terrill

[NOTE: Terrill is a Vushlu. He would have become an adult next year by taking a ritual first journey to the ocean with other Vushla his age. Instead, he attained adult status prematurely, accompanying his dying father to the ocean, where his father went into the water to be dissolved.

Interviewing Terrill is a tricky task. As the book begins, he is understandably morose. Later, when he is less so, he has good reasons not to reveal his activities and concerns. I’ve dealt with this dilemma by splitting his interview into two, and working within the limitations Terrill sets.

The first interview takes place at a rest stop during the funeral party’s return trip. Terrill speaks in a quiet monotone most of the time.]

Q. I’m very sorry about your father.

A. Thank you.

Q. It will take you quite a while to get home. How are you occupying yourself along the way?

A. I’m trying to remember as much as I can about Da. [a pause; he clenches and armors his fists] But the things I remember keep reminding me of things I don’t know. Questions I never asked, and never can, now. [long pause]

Q. Have you found any ways to keep your spirits up?

A. There’s a Weesah peddler who’s been traveling alongside us. He likes to tell stories. When I listen to them, it takes my mind off . . . other things. I’ve even laughed a few times. [glances to the side] Not that my uncle approves. Of the listening or the laughing.

[An older Vushlu approaches; the interview concludes]

-----------

[The second interview takes place around three months (or the equivalent) later. Terrill is now traveling in the peddler’s wagon, as is Honnu, another Vushlu about his age.]

Q. Is this where you expected to be, at this time?

A. No. Nothing about what I’m doing these days is as I expected. One unpredictable event has led to another.

Q. What can you tell me about these events?

A. [a slight smile – which for Vushla means a rounded mouth] Very little, I’m afraid. Except that one of our funeral party, my aunt, became very ill on the way home. The others returned to the sea with her. I [a short pause] chose not to. That led to my becoming better acquainted with Honnu. And that led to everything else.

Q. So do you think you’ll become a peddler?

A. [another smile] I don’t think so. But for now, I’m a peddler’s assistant and have my duties. I’d better go.

Q. Perhaps we’ll meet again along the road.

A. I . . . don’t think that is very likely. But stranger things have happened. [a quiet chuckle] Indeed they have.





Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle's childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9. 






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Friday, October 12, 2018

And then he was Gone by Joan Hall Hovey


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

WHERE IS ADAM?

Julie Raynes’ husband is missing. Devastated and confused, she refuses to believe that he would leave her voluntarily, though her best friend thinks differently. However, her Aunt Alice, a psychic, tells her Adam has been murdered, and when she reveals how she knows this, any hope that Adam is still alive, dissipates.

The police also believe that Adam Raynes was murdered. And Julie is their prime suspect. Her life in ruins, Julie vows to hunt down whoever is responsible for Adam’s murder and make them pay for their crime.

In the meantime, David Gray, a young man who was pulled from a lake by a fisherman when he was 9 years old, wakens from a coma after nearly two decades. Unknown to Julie, Adam and David share a dark connection, a darkness that threatens to devour them both.

Read the first chapter at http://www.joanhallhovey.com/432547197

About the Author:
Writing gives me a sense of achievement and satisfaction that nothing else does. (Except having my babies.) And that's not a bad analogy, if not an original one. Holding your published book in your hands, (especially that first one), running your fingers over its smooth cover, tracing your name there - is heady stuff! These days of course, knowing my readers are downloading my books onto their Kindles and ipads and Kobos, and so on is just as great. For me, a dream come true, even though it's been awhile since I wrote my first book.

I am drawn to explore the dark side of humanity, and my intention is to give the reader a roller coaster ride that will resonate long after the last word is read. I know that I am truly blessed to be permitted to work every day at what I most love and need to do. I think you appreciate it even more when you've had to go to those awful 9 to 5 jobs you hated, because the bills have to be paid. And I've had my share of them over the years -- hulling strawberries, waiting tables, grading eggs... (top that one). A couple of those jobs have left scars. I've been stalked by a psychotic customer when I was selling 'CAA'. (Canada's version of 'AAA'.) I've been chased around the desk by a so-called pillar of society while working as a secretary. But while I wouldn't want to repeat it, I wouldn't take back a single moment of any of it. All is 'grist' for the writer's mill.

The next best thing is hearing from my readers. You have been so generous in your comments, so kind to take the time in your own busy lives to write to me. Telling me that my novels kept you up all night, or that you couldn't put the book down is music to my ears, and keep me going in the dark times that come to all writers, while I find my way about in the unknown, unlit territory of that next book.

***


In addition to her critically award-winning suspense novels including And Then he was Gone and The Deepest Dark, Joan Hall Hovey's articles and short stories have appeared in such diverse publications as The Toronto Star, Atlantic Advocate, Seek, Home Life Magazine, Mystery Scene, The New Brunswick Reader, Fredericton Gleaner, New Freeman and Kings County Record. Her short story Dark Reunion was selected for the anthology investigating Women, Published by Simon & Pierre.

Ms. Hovey has held workshops and given talks at various schools and libraries in her area, including New Brunswick Community College, and taught a course in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. For a number of years, she has been a tutor with Winghill School, a distance education school in Ottawa for aspiring writers.She is a member of the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick, past regional Vice-President of Crime Writers of Canada and International Thriller Writers.

Her books are available at most online book stores, including Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and more. Check out her website at http://wwwjoanhallhovey.com

She lives in Saint John, NB, in an uptown building over 100 years old, with her cat Bella. Aside from writing (and reading of course) She enjoys playing piano and spending time with her grandson. She is presently at work on her latest suspense novel.

Her novels include:

And Then he was Gone
The Deepest Dark
The Abduction of Mary Rose
Tragic Spawn
Night Corridor
Chill Waters
Nowhere To Hide
Listen to the Shadows

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Then-He-Was-Gone-ebook/dp/B01NBANC1Q

Joan Hall Hovey will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Smart Bitches Buy Bitcoin by Branden LaNette

  This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions . Branden LaNette will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC ...