Scarred by Elizabeth Montgomery Book Tour

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Scarred

Title: Scarred

Author: Elizabeth Montgomery

Published: June 26th, 2015

Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Genre: YA Coming of Age, Antibullying

Age Recommendation: 13+

For those of us who come into the world different, we see it for what it really is.

Harsh.

Avery Chamberlin is special, unique. Beautiful words to gloss over the fact that she is different. She has never felt like she fit in. Why should she?

She was reminded on a daily basis that she was not like her peers.

Flawed. Damaged. A freak.

Avery will have to come out of her shell to prove that even the bullies

have their own insecurities.

LIFE ISN’T ABOUT LABELS

20% of proceeds go to an antibullying foundation.

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Elizabeth Montgomery

Author Elizabeth Montgomery was born in Williamsburg, Virginia and raised a hop, skip, and a jump away in Yorktown, Virginia. Paranormal inspiration was easily obtained during her childhood in the Historic Triangle. This helped to spur her love of Paranormal romance stories, but she also enjoys reading YA and NA.

She is currently raising four children and a husband while elbow-deep in the depths of the writing cave. You can often find her searching on Google for an appropriate, or sometimes inappropriate, photo to insert in any random conversation. If not on Google, or Facebook chat, she can be found drinking coffee (like any normal writer), eating Gummy Bears, baking fanciful cakes, reading, or writing.

“I always wondered what authors meant when they said that their characters tell them what to write – I get it now!”

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Find Elizabeth on the Periscope mobile app: @EMontgomeryAuth

We’re so happy to have Elizabeth with us this today!

Describe your relationship with a good book. 

My relationship with a good book can be described in many words but I can sum it up in a few…THE FEELS! I have to feel the feels…happy, sad, humor, grief, contentment (That’s a big one, I like the story to feel complete).

When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?

I first started writing a few years ago, my first book Persecution actually started as a funny between me and a couple friends in a chat message. I sat down at my computer and it all just hit me, all the characters were talking to me, it was great!

Please describe your work ethic as an author.

I have 4 kids and work 16 hour shifts on the weekends (Pediatric nurse) so I utilize the time that the kids are in school to get the majority of my writing done. I tend to be a procrastinator so there have been many a late night where coffee was my best friend lol.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Scarred in hopes that it would help kids that have been bullied to realize the amazing people and that they CAN stand up for themselves while never losing self-respect. 

My oldest son was bullied in fifth grade and the school really didn’t do much more than a slap on the wrist to other kid. The system failed my son so I took it upon myself to educate him and he hasn’t been bullied since.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?

Over the next five years my goal is to write full time and only continue my nursing job as necessary to keep my license active.

Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

Ohh, this is a good one! Okay so you know this thing we call life? I totally have it figured out. Yep, totally 😉 (I couldn’t even type this with a straight face lol)

 

The halls were crowded with kids trying to get to class, but one person stood out in the crowd as she always did. Harper Clarke. The bane of my existence. I learned early on in middle school that she came from the upper crust, but her love was bought by her alcoholic mother and absent father. She was beautiful, popular, and I’m pretty sure she could wipe her butt with hundred dollar bills if there was no toilet paper.

Walking into class, I saw the one person I wished would just move out of the state, Harper. She was draped over my desk. Our English teacher thought it was a good idea to assign seats in tenth grade. It had not been conducive to my fading-into-the-crowd plan since my desk was toward the front of the room.
“Can you remove your butt from my desk please?” I asked as sweetly as I could.
“Aww, what’s wrong, Scarface? Didn’t bring your guns?” she asked with a bogus frown and then doubled over laughing. She had called me Scarface ever since I could remember. One of the downfalls to growing up in a small town: everyone knows everyone. Forever.
“What are you talking about, Harper?” I asked, dropping my backpack to the ground beside the desk.
“Don’t you get it? Scarface…guns…Al Pacino.” Her head tilted to the side like a confused puppy. “Whatever,” she said as she rolled her eyes. “I heard you’re coming to Blake’s party?” she asked, crossing her legs across the desk.
“Who told you that?” I was starting to get annoyed, but I didn’t want to push her; she was ruthless and would tear me to shreds in a public humiliation scene.
“Well, Blake himself, silly. I think he likes you.” She had a southern twang in her voice and a pageant smile plastered across her face.
“That’s nice. Can I have my desk back please? Class is about to start and you wouldn’t want a smudge on that perfect image you have, would you?” I winked at her as she wrinkled up her face at me before grabbing my backpack and dumping its contents on the floor. Flipping her hair over her shoulder, she walked away like nothing happened.

 

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Awakened by CJ Anderson Book Blitz

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Awakened

Title: Awakened

Series: The Gods and Guardians Trilogy #1

Author: CJ Anderson

Published: August 28th, 2015

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy

Content Warning: Mild violence

Age Recommendation: 13+

 

The new guy in town has a few secrets …one of which is the ability to levitate and use telekinesis to move objects – Dru Sanjay hasn’t been able to share his secrets with anyone. That is until he meets…HER.

Alayna West can see and experience emotions as color. Her only desire is to complete high school, go to college and create a better life far away from her rural roots. But plans change when she meets…HIM.

When Dru and Alayna meet they experience a hair raising, skin prickling, and unexplainable connection. As Alayna is drawn into Dru’s world, she learns of the Guardians; others like her who have special abilities, whose genetics can be traced back to the Gods. Only the Gods and the other Guardians are actually extraterrestrials who have been banned from Earth for the last 2,000 years.

Alayna’s plans for a better life are shot to H-E-double toothpicks when she discovers another gift and Dru struggles with keeping his last secret. All the while, the chemistry between them, along with outside forces, pose a threat that could change their futures forever.

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CJ Anderson

CJ Anderson has been obsessed with science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. Star Wars, Superman and Transformers are among her earliest memories. But it was Madeline L’Engle’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, that first grabbed her attention as an elementary student to the genre in the world of books. She has been reading Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy ever since!

Creating stories has been a life-long journey for CJ. As a young child she create stories to tell her imaginary friends. Later on in school, when she became bored during class, adventures in fairytale lands, were a common theme running wild in her imagination. It never really occurred to her to write them down, though, until she was older and taking a class on creativity. Once she started writing, she never wanted to stop. She says it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

CJ has been teaching Gifted & Talented for six years and has been both encouraged and inspired by her students. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two beautiful daughters and two cats. When she isn’t writing, teaching or spending time with her family, you can find her working out, reading or fangirling, of course! The God Kissed: Awakened is her first novel and the first book in a planned trilogy.

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“It all happens so fast. Dru is calling my name and I look up toward the cliff. When I move my head I catch a glimpse of something in my peripheral vision; something big, something that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up straight. It’s some sort of large and scary looking creature and it’s prowling straight toward me.

The creature is as large as a bear, but it has the body and head of a lion with something that looks like a goat rising out of its back and a long tail, at least six feet long, whipping around with the head of what looks to be a large, creepy venomous snake. My pulse quickens as if fear itself were trapping me and I’m incapacitated.

I think I must be either a) dreaming, b) crazy, or c) dead because then I see Dru flying through the air. What the hell? He is going to kill himself! What is he doing?

Dru slams into the monster; it flies through the air and then drops to the ground. As far as I can tell, with the exception of the snake, which is partially smashed beneath the body, the monster is knocked out. The snake head is making a high pitched hissing sound and it makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Then, Dru is right beside me holding me tight against him. Both of our hearts are pounding.

“Alayna! Alayna, luv, are you OK?” Dru asks, his voice uneasy.

I’m baffled. “Me? Am I OK? What about you? You just jumped, no flew, no, I don’t know what the hell you did but you just slammed into a…a …a…was that a chimera?!…and after jumping from that height, you just walked away!” I stammer.

“I know,” Dru says, “and I can explain. But first, I think we need to head back the way we came before our friend wakes up. She is going to be pissed off!”

He grabs my hand and we run. I’m fast, but it’s hard to maneuver through the woods with all the brush and vegetation, much of which is waist high.

We’re about a quarter mile from the motorcycle when we finally see the trail. Dru slows down for just a moment, looks around and grabs my hand. “Faster!” He yells. “It’s coming.”

I chance a quick glance behind us and see three enraged heads. One is roaring, one hissing, and one is making a terrible ear-deafening bleating sound. I run faster than I have ever run before, even faster than yesterday at the track. Adrenaline is rushing through my veins so quickly that it keeps me going.

We’re almost there but the creature is gaining on us. We can see the motorcycle at the bottom of the cliff. All we have to do is run down the hill and turn the corner and we will be home free.”

 

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Michael’s Awakening+Interview with author

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Michael's Awakening

Title: Michael’s Awakening

Author: Jaclyn Osborn

Published: June 16th, 2015

Publisher: Encompass Ink

Genre: MM Romance

Content Warning: Explicit sexual content, graphic violence

Age Recommendation: 18+

 

One moment. That’s all it takes for life as you once knew it to change irrevocably. For Michael Kingston, that moment was when he first laid eyes on Gabriel. In his life, Michael had only known darkness, leaving behind a broken shell of a man. Unspeakable memories of his childhood constantly plagued him, causing him to disconnect emotionally from the world. No one had ever shown him love; therefore, he believed that he was unworthy of it. And then everything changed.

Gabriel Greyson had always been different. Growing up in a small, Bible-thumping town, his preferences for men, makeup, and fashion made him an outcast. But, with the support and love of his family, he overcame obstacles thrown his way and rose above the intolerance. He danced to the beat of his own glammed-out drum and refused to believe that he was anything other than ultra-fabulous. Working as a beautician, he had a job he adored and felt that everything was perfect in his life. Everything except for true love.

When these two men meet, sparks fly. For the first time in Michael’s life, he feels he can overcome the darkness inside him. Gabriel gives him hope and slowly brings him out of the shadows, showing him that even the darkest souls can be redeemed. But there are secrets that Michael keeps locked away. Michael’s fear is that Gabriel will turn away when he discovers the truth. After all, who could ever love a beast?

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Jaclyn Osborn

Jaclyn Osborn was born and raised in the state of Arkansas. When not working her day job, she spends her days writing, reading, and having epic Lord of the Rings movie marathons. All types of genres interest her in the MM world and she hopes to delve into a few of them in her writing career.

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We are happy to have Jaclyn with us today!

Describe your relationship with a good book.

When I am reading an excellent book, everything around me disappears and I transport myself into the world I’m reading about. For me, a good book doesn’t have to be a specific genre or point of view. A good book is simply a story that touches me in some way. If it can evoke a strong emotion from me, whether it be sadness, whimsical fantasies, or rage, I consider it a job well done from the author who wrote it.

When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?

I’ve been writing since I was eleven. The first thing I wrote that I was proud of was when I was in the 10th grade. I had just read “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding and fell in love with it. For fun, I decided to write an alternate ending for the book. I showed it to my English teacher and she was in awe, saying that it read like it could have actually been part of the original. That was an amazing compliment.

Please describe your work ethic as an author.

I write every day. On the weekends, I have a part-time job at a movie theater, but throughout the week, I dedicate my days to my true passion, writing. After the coffee is made, I pull out my laptop and get to work. I start writing around 9am and I stop around 5pm.

How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?

It’s hard, I’m not going to lie. Even when I’m not writing, I’m writing. If that makes sense. To balance things, I set a writing schedule daily. 9am to 5pm. After that, I allow myself to visit with people, read a book that isn’t mine, watch a movie, go out shopping, etc. But even when I’m doing those things, story ideas and scenarios are still running through my head.

Why did you write this book?

Great question! One of my main characters from this book, Gabriel, had appeared in my head months before I actually started writing the book. Way before I even thought I COULD write a book. I was an active role-player on Facebook for a popular paranormal romance book series, so I was always writing fan-fiction for characters that belonged to someone else. That started bothering me. I wanted my own characters. So, I created Gabriel. A few of my best friends kept saying that I needed to write a book and then it hit me who Gabriel was.  When I first started writing “Michael’s Awakening”, I didn’t even think I was going to be able to get it published. But then a wonderful friend of mine intervened and told me about her publisher, and that’s how I was introduced to Encompass Ink.

What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?

When I write, I try to write a book that I would like to read. I have always been huge on soulmate stories in the past, so I drew upon that while writing this book. As for actual experiences that help inspire my work, I find myself writing stories that take place in small towns or country settings. I’m from the South so it’s easy to draw inspiration from that.

 What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?

As an author, I hope to keep writing and releasing stories. There are so many ideas I have for future projects and I really hope to delve into them. They all are still M/M romance, but the genres are different, ranging from paranormal to historical romance. In my outside life, I hope to be able to write full-time and not have my second job.

Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

I will finish all of my current writings in progress before I start working on new ones. *lips twitch*

 

Gabriel’s lips were like that metaphorical cliff that appeared in our minds when we were faced with a decision that would ultimately alter our lives, a decision that would forever change who we are. I suspected from the beginning that he possessed a power that would tie me to him forever if I were to get too close.

His beauty and grace had first caught my eye, but now his inner fire had scorched my soul. If I were to claim Gabriel’s lips with mine, I would never be the same again.

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Protect Heart–Interview with LaQuette–JGN

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Protected Heart

Title: Protected Heart

Series: Queens of Kings: Book 3

Author: LaQuette

Published: June 23rd, 2015

Publisher: Hot Ink Press

Genre: Interracial erotic romantic suspense

Content Warning: Explicit sexual content and adult language

Age Recommendation: 18+

 

When trust becomes a matter of life or death…

Heart Searlington, captain of the seventy-fourth precinct in Brooklyn, New York, has everything she could ever want. The sexy as sin husband, the perfect house, and the perfect addition to their family, four-month-old Amare.

But when a senseless act of violence threatens the lives of two people she loves, Heart does what comes natural to her…she protects what’s hers.

Kenneth Searlington, billionaire real estate tycoon, is living the ultimate dream—family, friends, and wealth. Life couldn’t be more perfect, until trusting the wrong friend puts his life on the line.

When he can’t trust friends or family, Kenneth takes matters into his own hands. Who should Kenneth trust? The wife who lied, or the friend and family who betrayed him? Maybe the only person he can trust is himself?

When protecting the heart she loves forces Heart to omit certain truths about herself and those she loves, can Kenneth see past her betrayal long enough for her to keep him alive?

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2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance, LaQuette, a native of Brooklyn, New York, spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.

Writing–her escape from everyday madness–has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she’d forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, @LaQuetteLikes, her website, www.LaQuetteLikes.com, Amazon, her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at LaQuetteRomanceAuthor@gmail.com.

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I’d like to welcome LaQuette! 

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

It’s really like having a romantic relationship. There are highs that make you feel as if you’re floating above the world. There are also lows that make your heart hurt. There’s tears, anger, every emotion under the sun can be experienced in a good book, by a skilled author.

2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?

I’ve always written in journals, still do.   The first thing I wrote that I was extremely proud of was probably my Master’s thesis. I worked so hard on that and it the fact that it was well-received by my advisers was an added plus.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

I always want to get it right. I research a great deal.   I’m always attempting to make certain that if I’m talking about something, at the very least, I have the fundamentals correct.

4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?

The truth is sometimes it doesn’t balance out.   Sometimes I might have to sacrifice sleep, or laundry to make certain that I’m giving a book it’s due.

5) Why did you write this book?

This is the third book in my Queens of Kings series. This book follows a couple from the dating stage, to five years into their marriage. I wanted to depict a real couple and show readers what happens after the “I do’s.”

6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?

As a young African-American woman reading romance, I didn’t find much diversity in the romance genre. I read lovely stories, but they always feature characters that were more mainstream. I wanted to read a book that depicted what romance looked like for a diverse woman.   Now as an author, I’m determined to create imaginative stories that involve woman of color as the heroines.  

7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?

A happy and healthy family is always my goal. As far as my writing career is concerned, I’m interested in branching out into other sub-genres of romance such as paranormal and male/male.

8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

I’m almost six feet tall in my bare feet.

 

The subtle touch of fingers so familiar to his skin he could confuse it for his own grazed the slick skin of his shoulder until it slid down his back as smoothly as the droplets of water raining down on him.

“You okay?” she asked softly into his ear. “I was afraid today was too much for you. You’ve only been back home a handful of days.”

He nodded his head, eyes still closed to the streaming water saturating the thick strands of his hair.

He felt her hand crawl back up the length of his back, the movement making the muscles that rested just beneath her digits twitch in anticipation. Heart was right, he had returned from the hospital several days before, but in that time the two of them had barely spent any alone time together.

They’d both been physically present, and usually that was all it took to stoke the embers that always seemed to be on a low simmer just waiting for an excuse to fan the flames to full blaze. But since his release there had been something there, something that was keeping them from being them.

Kenneth turned his head slightly toward the sound of her voice. He opened his eyes just enough to see the water-sprinkled vision of her standing to the side of him. He pulled her into his embrace and pinned her back against the wall between his outstretched arms.

There was nothing like the sight of his wife naked and waiting for him. No matter how difficult things were between them they’d always had this. It baffled him that he’d allowed whatever this was between them to fester to the point where he hadn’t touched his wife in days.

The knowledge that she’d kept something so important from him F*#ked with his head in a way he hadn’t anticipated. Truth was he really hadn’t even given serious thought as to why her omission of the facts about Bryan and Justice impacted him so much.

But to deny himself this, this connection, this reassurance that his world was grounded, that they were whole, what the f*#k was he thinking?

He positioned her directly under the spray of water and watched the fullness of her hair flatten against her scalp and back. She would bitch at him later about having to go to the hairdresser, but the thought of that conversation alone was pulling up the corners of his mouth into a wicked smile.

He allowed his fingers to rest at the base of her head, fingers caressing her nape in just the right way to make her fall into his touch. His heart tightened slightly. They’d been stressed and their connection strained, but underneath all the bullshit, it was still there and he was grateful for it.

Their connection is what kept his soul intact, what kept him sane enough to deal with the rest of his life when dealing with the craziness that wealth brought.

“We have a lot to discuss, Heart.”

“Kenneth I—”

He leaned down and pressed a hard kiss to stop whatever it was she was about to say. Words weren’t what they needed now. He giggled to himself. If their shrink could hear his thoughts she’d be jumping up and down screaming her opposition to his line of thinking.

Kenneth wasn’t against therapy. It had definitely worked to get the two of them back on track, and he definitely wanted them to sign up for a session or two after this latest fiasco, but this wasn’t something that needed fixing. This was the one way that their communication was perfect and they were absolutely in sync.

He plunged his tongue inside the warmth of her mouth and savored the sweet hint of apple juice that danced on his taste buds.

He pulled back just a moment to give them each a chance to breathe.

“I’m not avoiding the conversation we need to have, and as soon as we’re finished in here we’re going to throw on some clothes and go downstairs in the kitchen and hash this sh*t out over a cup of coffee. But right now, I just need to feel my wife.”

 

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Serena’s Fall by MK Smith Book Tour by JGBS

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Serenas Fall

Title: Serena’s Fall

Author: MK Smith

Published: August 4th, 2015

Publisher: Champagne Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Content Warning: Minor language

Age Recommendation: 14+

Betrayed by her once-upon-a-naive-time friends, Serena, the last Water Fey, can’t touch any man she would ever want without dooming him to a hero’s brutal death. So she lives outcast among her own kind, caring for orphaned Fey children, casualties of an ancient war that broke magic and doomed the Fey to possible extinction.

Now her friends are back, desperate to use her powers to stop the return of the greatest evil the Fey have ever faced. Prophesy says if she doesn’t magic-up a hero and bond him to a mysterious, mystical sword, the human world will be the next to fall.

Two potential heroes surface—Lance, the free spirited surfer, and the doomed warrior Gramm. Both men want her, both need her, and both have a claim to her heart.

But Serena’s tired of human heroes dying because some Water Fey said so. With her combat boots strung tight and her corset even tighter, maybe it’s time to weave some new lines of destiny. Goth style.

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MK Smith

MK Smith writes urban fantasy with attitude, telling stories filled with quirky imperfect characters trying to survive life, friendship, and each other. Part Choctaw, all storyteller, a neighbor taught him to love fantasy when she gave him his first book. Since then he has flown on dragons, carried baleful magic in faraway lands, fought supernatural powers, and lived the melancholy of the eternal elves. But the Fey are closest to his heart. And he loves telling their stories round the fire or at his keyboard late into the night. And he’ll keep telling those stories until he becomes a story himself.

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We are really happy to have MK Smith with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

You both have expectations. Some of those have to be set aside. A book might want you to care deeply about back story, about the nuances of the magic system, about the choices made in the mythology. But a reader might be more interested in the character’s arc, their inner journey. A truly good book can blend those things so that while a reader is lost in the characters they are moving through a world that feels rich.

For me, a good book makes me want to pay attention, stay close, go deep. On a primal level a good book draws me into the characters so that I experience their life. When the character is hungry, I’m hungry. Tired, I’m tired.  And happy or sad or thrilled too. When I finish a book like that I can’t think well.  I have to readjust to the world around me. Especially if it is one of those can’t-put-it-down rides where I stay up all night reading.

Because, for a book you truly love, it’s worth the sacrifice. 

2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?

I first started writing for others in college. I was paid to write speeches, and not paid to write the poetry I pretty much donated to some long dead journals. I always knew good writing could move people, but the first time I recall my words truly moving someone was when I wrote and delivered the eulogy for a fallen soldier.

Decorated and home from tour, he served in the local sheriff’s department and was killed stopping an intruder from hurting a family. When I was approached to write the work by a retired sheriff who knew about my poetry, I studied the fallen officer’s life and realized I needed to put into context how many of that man’s friends, brothers and sisters in arms, abroad and at home, had preceded him into death.

I included the names of his fellow soldiers and officers into a single roll call, highlighting how each of the over fifty men and woman had died:

Sergeant Aaron… died in the desserts of… shot while carrying his wounded brother to safety.

Lieutenant Sandra… died, shot pursuing a murder suspect…

In addition to his personal triumphs I wanted to show the assembled soldiers, officers, and family the sheriff was part of a community of warriors across a spectrum of genders and creeds and races who died for their belief in defending others and building a better world.

When I was done, a stony faced major crushed my hand in his and tried, but couldn’t speak. But his stoic silence told me everything I needed to know. I had spoken for the dead, and by doing that, let the feelings of the living free to be expressed. It was one of the proudest writing moments of my life.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

Sadly sequels do not write themselves! Since I left industry to work as an author I treat it like a job. Whether I want to write, feel inspired to write, or care about writing doesn’t matter. My schedule calls for me to spend 4-5 hours a day writing and 1-2 editing, five days a week. Reality sometimes interferes, but those days are becoming rarer as I move down my author’s journey.

4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?

I am fortunate I do not have to work outside of writing, and that gives me a rare flexibility. My life is balanced such that I can usually manage both my personal life and my writing such that conflicts are rare. Before my retirement, I had to wall off my writing time as precious. Setting specific hours at night or in the early morning. And stick to those times because the rest of my day was filled.

5) Why did you write this book?

To give my girls a book about a trio of strong women who work through imperfect relationships to be the center of their own lives and destinies.

6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?

I had the privilege of growing up with a mother who loved stories and storytelling. She used to let me sit up late into the night with her in her study. I sat at her feet, smelling the old leather bindings on the books, and drinking Mate, an Argentinean herbal tea, from a gourd handed down from my great grandfather, while she told me stories, fables, and myths.

Hundreds of nights listening gave me a sense of how different types of characters move through stories. In the years after, I also took up the mantle of oral storyteller. While I’m sure my characters are influenced by my study of Anthropology, Psychology, and the courses I have taken on writing, plotting and character development to hone my skills. The single most important part of my writing experience is to read my words aloud so I can hear the cadence. Because words have a rhythm. And even as a writer, I see myself as part musician, working to make the cadence powerful.

7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?

I am content. In my outside life I have most of what I desire, and I am very careful not to add on new desires. But within the next three I see myself acquiring a place by the ocean where I can go to escape and write. And in five to seven years I will build my mountain cabin retreat. Once those are done, I will be completely satisfied. More than wealth, I crave peace and creativity.

IN my writing life, I am working on improving my process to produce well edited novels at a faster pace. By five years from now I would like to craft 3-4 novels per year in Urban Fantasy and Romance and be a USA Today best seller.

8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

When I worked in IT, I was a security consultant heading up a top tier Tiger Team working with some of the largest tech firms in the world. One of my projects involved securing the data stream from the Social Security mainframes. But when we got deep into the data we discovered a covert link allowing one way insertion of information. Its’ purpose, to create fake people on demand in the system. We tracked it back to a source in Stalingrad. But far from a cold war relic, the Soviets had been using it to create fake identities and plant spies.

LOL, so like 90% of that is true…

I have to admit, a great set of questions with my favorite being the first.

Thanks!

I couldn’t stand still. I paced alongside the boxes and ran my nails down the cardboard. If I were a cat, my hair would have stood on end, and my tail would have twitched.

Chloe said nothing. Her eyes darted between Rachel’s and mine but couldn’t find a place to land.

I waited for her to say something brilliant, but I didn’t expect anything would make me want to be part of her Alice in Wonderland insanity. This was Morían. Morían Le Fey. The walking genocide who painted the White Isle in blood, broke the flow of magic, and decimated every Fey clan this side of the veil in a single night—oh, and started a war that killed millions of humans.
Sure, we’ll handle her.

Heat radiated out from my core, and my skin tingled as if I were breaking out in a cold sweat. But Water Fey didn’t sweat. I tugged at my corset and wished I had laced tighter. We didn’t stand a single chance in all the nine hells at fighting one of the most powerful Fey in history.

“Well, I’m listening. But this is beyond crazy. We’re eighteen years old, not one hundred eighty. We’re barely old enough to even have powers by Fey standards. And the Incarnates, the most powerful Fey from each clan, who stopped her last time were thousands of years old.” I hoped I wasn’t sneering too loud.

Rachel ignored me and threw her best you’re wasting my time look at Chloe. “So, where is she staging her comeback?” Her tone said she wasn’t expecting much of an answer.

“The vision’s…complicated.” Chloe focused on Rachel, with less naked hostility, but her voice rose sharply. She chewed her bottom lip. Complicated my ass. She was hiding something.

“So you don’t know.” Rachel went right for the kill. “Was it even your vision?”

Chloe stomped her right foot. “Yes. It was.”

The proximity alarm sounded in my head. Crash imminent, I decided to speed it up so I could go home. Chloe’s moment to take the lead had passed. If she had straight answers she would have spoken up by now. She had to be hoping we could roll back to the days when—details irrelevant—we’d have done anything for each other.

Those days were gone.

 

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Show Time by Phil Harvey Book Blitz by JGBS

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Title:  Show Time
Author:   Phil Harvey
Published:  April 2nd, 2012
Publisher:  Lost Coast Press
Genre:  Thriller
Content Warning:   Mild sexual content and language
Recommended Age:  18+

Synopsis:
Future viewing audiences have become totally desensitized to violence and entirely dependent on sensation to escape their boring workaday lives—an addiction nurtured by the media with graphic portrayals of war and crime and with so-called reality programming. Now, TV execs in pursuit of the only things they care about—higher ratings and bigger paychecks—have created the ultimate reality show: Seven people, each bearing the scars of his or her past, are deposited on an island in the middle of Lake Superior. Given some bare necessities and the promise of $400,000 each if they can endure, the three women and four men risk death by starvation or freezing as the Great Lakes winter approaches. The island is wired for sound, and flying drones provide the video feed, so everything the contestants do and say is broadcast worldwide. Their seven-month ordeal is entirely unscripted, they can’t ask for help or they forfeit the prize, and as far as the network is concerned—the fewer survivors the better.
Excerpt from Show Time by Phil Harvey:
Day 198
THE SNOW WAS DEEP, drifting and crusting into whorled shapes under the pale sky. The thermometer nailed to the tree at the edge of the camp area read minus 11, inching down toward the minus-40 line where Fahrenheit and Celsius were equal. Ambrose had a bet with himself that it wouldn’t go that far.
He puffed his breath out, watched the faint cloud quickly disappear in the dry Lake Superior air. I’m going to do it today, he thought. I’m going to start today. The time has come.
He walked carefully to the tree where three wood saws hung, and selected the smallest, a band-type saw with an eighteen-inch blade stretched between the ends of a bowed metal tube. The teeth of the saw were deeply serrated, worn from cutting wood, hundreds of small logs and sticks that had kept them from freezing. He tested the teeth. For all the work they had performed, they remained remarkably sharp. This saw would do, this saw and his hunting knife.
He checked the leg pocket of his pants for the waterproof match container. In the same pocket there were three fire-starter pellets. No shortage of those.
As Ambrose left the clearing, Maureen and Ashai looked up. Ambrose flipped his fingers in a little wave. Ashai nodded back. Maureen looked at him for a moment and then went back to the tedious job of softening boiled lichen with her teeth. It was all they’d had to eat for five days.
Ambrose walked slowly and with great care along the trail to Rudy’s camp, the little saw hanging heavy in his hand. As he walked, his eyes darted from side to side, alert for a rabbit or a vole or perhaps even a fox, but there was no sign of edible life, only fir trees and yew bushes.
Ambrose had been hungry before. He had gone without food for three days on a camping trip in Manitoba. It had not been pleasant, but at the end of the third day they had arrived back at their truck and driven straight to an all-night diner at the intersection of Route 124 and old route 42 where their hunger was soon sated with pancakes and maple syrup.
Here, it had settled into a rhythm. When he woke in the middle of the night, and again in the morning, well before dawn, there was an empty feeling in his stomach, an urgent pull, a void. He knew the feeling would come, and he was afraid of it. Usually, it went away for a few hours during the daylight. Then it came back.
Sometimes, with the others, Ambrose drank hot water just to have some feeling in his belly, but the water didn’t make the empty feeling go away. From the dreaded gnawing, it would progress to a sense of weakness. At the really bad moments, when he sat or lay in the darkness, he could feel his strength draining from his extremities toward the center of his body, a sense that his vital parts were demanding nourishment, and his blood was pulling his energy inward like a turtle retracting its head and legs.
At those moments, Ambrose felt himself becoming weaker and, truly, when he stood up afterward he felt as though his body would not do what he asked, chop wood or walk far. At such moments there was no question of returning to the den he shared with Cecily. He sat down or lay back and hoped for that terrible draining, weakening sensation to go away.
It didn’t take long to reach the clearing on the north shore. What was left of Rudy’s shelter was barely visible under the deep snow, but it was enough to mark the shallow grave where they had left Rudy’s body two months before.
Ambrose went to work. Under a stiff, frozen tarpaulin and a few inches of frozen dirt lay a hundred pounds of frozen meat. It was time.
There was a layer of fresh powder and then a crust, but the crust was thin and Ambrose broke it with his boot heel, quickly uncovering Rudy’s grave. The blue tarp just showed through the dirt. They had dumped enough soil on top of the tarp so the foxes and raccoons wouldn’t find it interesting. With the body frozen, there would be no smell. On that, at least, they had been right. There was no sign of animal digging.
Ambrose pushed the soil back with his gloved hands, standing from time to time to kick at a heavy frozen clod with his boots, then working again on his knees until the blue tarp over Rudy’s body was uncovered. He tugged at the corners of the tarp near where he knew Rudy’s head would be. It took some more kicking and digging until the corners came free. Then he pulled the tarp back slowly, one corner, then the other. There was Rudy. Frozen solid. His once-dark face was nearly white, ashen. One hand stuck off awkwardly to the side, the head turned back in the direction of the main camp.
Ambrose slid his hunting knife carefully out of its sheath and slowly, fearfully, began cutting the back of Rudy’s parka pants.

***
“Do you think they’ll do it?” Janice McNeely said. She was staring at the #12 monitor.
Jimmy Asaki looked up. “Yes,” he said. “They’re starving.”
“They’ve uncovered him. Look.”
“I see.”
“If they do it, do you think Bud will air it?”
“Probably.”
“Maybe they’ll keep it away from the open mikes.”
“I don’t think they care about that anymore. I don’t think they care what reaches the open lines. They’re fighting for their lives.”

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About the Author:

Phil Harvey’s fiction has appeared in twenty-two literary magazines, including Phantasmagoria, which nominated one of his stories for a Pushcart Prize, and Antietam Review, which named another the winner of its annual contest. Most recently his work has appeared in The MacGuffin, Natural Bridge, and the Dos Passos Review.

Harvey’ nonfiction includes: Let Every Child Be Wanted, which drew praise from former President Jimmy Carter; Government Creep, which, as one reviewer noted, “proves that government has invaded virtually every nook and cranny of our lives,” and The Government vs. Erotica, which Publishers Weekly and Booklist praised, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Roundtable nominated as the year’s best book on intellectual freedom, and Media Coalition called “a frightening, enlightening story.”

By day, Phil Harvey is president of DKT International, a non-profit family planning and AIDS prevention organization, and president and majority shareholder of Adam & Eve, a mail-order business that sells sexually oriented books and films.

He lives with his wife, Harriet Lesser, in Cabin John, Maryland. He is stepfather and grandfather to several very promising kids. He welcomes emails from readers who have serious and thoughtful questions about any of his stories, novels or books.


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Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson, plus interview!

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Minutes Before Sunset

Title: Minutes Before Sunset

Series: The Timely Death Trilogy #1

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

Published: July 28th, 2015

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Content Warning: Violence, Adult Language

Age Recommendation: 13+

 

Two destinies. One death.

“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

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Shannon Thompson

Shannon A. Thompson is a twenty-three-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox. She was merely sixteen when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads’ Book of the Month. As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.

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We are pleased to have Shannon with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book. A good relationship lasts forever. That novel stays with you. It becomes a part of you, and it helps you grow.

2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of? I first started writing at a very young age as a coping mechanism. I suffered from night terrors, which caused some hallucinations, as a child, and my mother—who was an avid writer and reader—told me to turn them into stories to make sense of them. I started doing that, and I never stopped writing. My first story I remember bring proud of, though, wasn’t one of those stories. It was actually short story about Thanksgiving in 5th grade. At that age, I started all my stores out with “Hi. My name is ____. And this is my story about _____.” My teacher pulled me aside and told me to start in the middle of action and write her a story over break. I started my Thanksgiving story with a turkey running away from a butcher in a grocery store. Looking back on it, it didn’t make a lot of sense, but my teacher’s smile made me proud.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author. My mantra is “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” I encourage every writer to come up with his or her own mantra. It will help them get through the tough days while also energizing the good ones. Mine not only reminds me of why I write, but also what I have to do to succeed.

4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life? I find time. I think everyone can. It’s just a matter of making the sacrifices you have to make. For instance, instead of going out on the weekends with friends as a teenager or college student, I stayed in and wrote. As a full-time editor now, I write and read in my free time, and that’s about all I do in my free time. That and traveling. I love traveling.

5) Why did you write this book? Well, as I talked about earlier, I turned night terrors into stories as a kid, and in fact, that’s what happened with The Timely Death Trilogy too. The trilogy is based off a series of dreams I had, and the second novel, Seconds Before Sunrise, shows a lot of those dreams. I actually wrote the second book first, and then Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, happened to open up the second one. I more or less created the trilogy to make sense of the dreams.

6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work? My mother’s death definitely affects my work. I rarely have traditionally “complete” families, because I grew up with ever-changing family dynamics. I had my mother, father, and brother, and then it was largely my brother and I and nannies (my father was a traveling businessman when my mother died), and then I had a stepfamily with three stepsiblings for a little while. Even when I moved away to college, my roommate passed away, so my life was very chaotic. I moved around a lot, already over a dozen times in my 24 years, so I had a lot of loss—in regards to home, in regards to family and friends—so loss is often found in my stories as a central piece. I like working with characters striving to find themselves and the meaning of identity to them. I also work with a lot of memory loss. That being said, I love humor, and I love finding humor in dark situations, so I think cynical characters and situations that call for sarcasm is also common.

7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life? As an author, I definitely want to keep sharing new and exciting novels. I can promise that I will always create my own creatures. For instance, The Timely Death Trilogy deals with shades and lights, and November Snow deals with bad bloods. All future novels have unique creatures in them too. I also want to travel more so I can meet readers face-to-face, but I want to travel as just me too.

8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

I hate to lie. ;]

“You look mad,” he said, quieter this time.

I wouldn’t look at him. “I am.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t get you,” I admitted. “I have no idea why you’re acting this way, and it makes me feel like I don’t know you.”

“I didn’t realize you wanted to know me,” he said, and I turned around, momentarily meeting his eyes. They were dark, shadowed by an expression I hadn’t seen before.

“Why wouldn’t I?” I asked, feeling heat crawl over my neck. “We’ve already spent a lot of time together.”

“For a project that’s completed, Jessica,” he said, and he shook his head, driving silently through my neighborhood. I waited for him to speak, but he didn’t. Soon, we were at the end of my driveway. Eric shoved the gears into park, and I reached for the door, but he locked it.

“Why are you so interested in my life?” he asked, and my heart pounded. I didn’t say anything. His eyes met mine, filled with an intensity that made me shudder. “It’s not that great.”

“I know,” I managed. My voice was shaking.

His face reddened. “But you ask questions.”

“And you answer them.”

His mouth opened, but then it snapped shut. He sighed, turned away, and grabbed the steering wheel as if he were driving again. We remained parked. “I’m Eric James Welborn,” he stated, his voice wavering into an awkwardness I’d never heard with his normally confident and cocky attitude.

James? His middle name felt personal—like he had opened up a side of himself he’d forgotten about. But I didn’t feel intrusive. I felt comforted, like I already knew the answer before he’d spoken it. But I hadn’t.

            “Your name doesn’t tell me who you are,” I said, surprised by my fluidity.

He barely smiled. “Maybe I like it that way.”

“I don’t.”

 

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Cursed Rebel by H.G. Lynch–Interview!

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Cursed Rebel

Title: Cursed Rebel

Author: H.G. Lynch

Published: July 14th, 2015

Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Age Recommendation: 15+

Never trust a pretty face. My grandma taught me that. She warned me about the Fair Folk but I never believed her…until I was kidnapped by one. And damn, he is pretty.

But Fin was sent to bring me to his King, and if I want to survive the Otherworld, I have no choice but to trust him – for now.

Oh, and did I mention my sexy best friend is hunting me? I should’ve listened to Gran.

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HG Lynch

H.G. Lynch is a Scottish Paranormal Romance author, avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat, Sooki, off her laptop. She believes that chocolate cake can save the world, and is highly caffeine-addicted. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
Her books are dark fantasy romances, usually with a bad boy and a bad girl. Sometimes with zombies, sometimes vampires, sometimes other things.

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We are so happy to have H.G. Lynch join us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book. A specific good book? Clockwork Prince is my favourite book, and it’s a love-hate relationship. That book ruined me. It made me fall in love and broke my heart and glued the pieces back together only to smash them apart again.

2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of? I started writing when I was fifteen, and the day I finished the manuscript for my first book was one of the proudest moment of my life.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author. My work ethic is kind of bipolar – sometimes I’ll write 6000 words in a day, and sometimes I’ll leave a story for a week without writing a word. I have to do a lot of promotion for my books as well. Sometimes I’ll spend hours and hours on promotion without a break, and sometimes I’ll hop on Facebook and lose the will to do anything at all.

4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life? Not very well. I rarely see my friends, rarely go out, because as soon as I leave the house I feel like I should be writing or promoting my books instead of doing frivolous things like shopping and seeing movies. The only exception is the time I spend with my boyfriend – I always make time for him, and I never feel guilty about it.

5) Why did you write this book? I wrote Cursed Rebel because I like to try new things in writing. I’ve written vampire books, a werewolf book, a New Adult, an Erotica, even a zombie dystopian…it was about time I tried faeries.

6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work? Probably my lack of appeal to males. I have social anxiety, and I had an eating disorder for a long time because of stress from bullying, so in school, I wasn’t in a healthy state – as a result, I was small and nervous and felt like I would never find a guy to love me. I like to write female characters who don’t want or expect love, and then throw it at them and see how it changes them.

7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life? Well I’d like to be a New York Times Bestselling author, and I’d like to have the money to buy my own house.

8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself. I hate cats.

Looking at the faery boy in front of me, with his exquisite features and striking eyes, I thought that Grandma had been right. I was realising she had been right about a lot of things. I wished I’d listened to her better, wished I’d believed her when she warned me about the Fair Folk.

Staring into those inhumanly bright eyes, seeing the glitter of something cruel beneath that prettiness, I whimpered. I didn’t mean to, and the second I did, I wished I hadn’t. I couldn’t show fear there, or the beautiful monsters would tear me apart like well-disguised lions.

CHBB

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Stake Out & Storm Rise: Double Trouble

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Title: Stake-Out

Series: Paranormal Book Detectives #1

Author: Lily Luchesi

Published: May 19th, 2015

Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing

Genre: Paranormal

Content Warning: Graphic violence and adult language

Age Recommendation: 17+

 

Detective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn’t even human: he’s a 200 year old rogue vampire!

The department doesn’t believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.

But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny’s strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

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“Should I…say something? A prayer?” he asked Angelica, uncertain.

“Only if it makes you feel better,” she said. “Better off saving your breath until you’ve finished your duties. After that, say all the prayers you want for your friend.”
He sighed, and started reciting the Hail Mary in his mind, if only to distract him and steady his nerves for what he was about to do. He held the stake in place with his left hand and swung the hammer down with all his strength with his right. He felt the crunch of bone and the pressure of the muscles before the stake lodged itself into Camille’s heart.
Dark, cold and rancid blood spewed out of the wound, hitting him in the face. He didn’t tear his eyes away, however, from the hideous sight that was formerly his best friend. Her eyes–formerly bright green–snapped open; the whites were reddish and the irises were gone, it was all black pupil. Her formerly wide and friendly mouth opened. He watched, as if in slow motion, the jaw widen and distend beyond any lengths humanly possible, as Vincent’s had two years prior, as he had attacked that girl. The fangs were fully extended and as sharp as the very stake he’d used on her. But was the absolute worst, above the aforementioned atrocities, was the shriek that emitted from her throat. It started out softly, like a kitten whining, but it steadily and rapidly got louder until it resembled a cross between nails on a blackboard, a bat’s call and a demonic crow’s caw. He wanted to cover his ears, close his eyes, and rock like a baby until the men in the white coats came to take him away. But he couldn’t. He knew that he needed to save Camille’s soul before he lost whatever remained of his mind.
He dropped the hammer to the floor of the grave and grabbed the dagger Angelica handed him. The shriek stopped, mercifully, but the sound still reverberated in his ears. He wondered idly if he’d have hearing damage. He looked at Camille. Blood was covering her uniform, splattered on her hands, arms and face. Blood also trickled from her mouth (where she’d gnashed her fangs against her lower lip) and nose. Her eyes followed his movements, filled with blind hate and hunger. Her fanged mouth was set in a vicious grimace. Any pity he’d had for Camille vanished. This thing was not his partner and he was going to rid the world of this abomination once and for all.
He brandished the dagger and Camille looked at him even more hatefully. With a simple swipe, he severed the head from the body. Blood oozed out below the head and onto the white lining of the coffin before the eyes faded back to Camille’s natural green and the fangs retreated back into her gums. She was no longer a monster and her soul was set free.

Lily Luchesi

Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call “Gothic”, she doesn’t believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover, and will always associate vampires with love, blood and rock and roll. Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe’s complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and a debut novel, Stake-Out, was published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015.

She had a short story titled “Undead Ever After” in the Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly anthology Love Sucks, published on June 13th, 2015.

Her short (LGBTQA) erotic horror story “The Devil’s Dozen” will be published in the Hot Ink Press anthology Death, Love and Lust (release date TBA).

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Stormrise

Title: Stormrise

Series: The Storm Chronicles #1

Author: Skye Knizley

Published: October 31st, 2013

Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Content Warning: R-rated action, violence, and sexual content

Age Recommendation: 16+

Life isn’t easy for Detective Raven Storm. Her best friend was recently killed and dismembered, her latest case ended with her partner in intensive care, and her mother, the vampiric Mistress of the City is playing matchmaker… again. The last thing she wants is another bizarre murder case with a partner she doesn’t know. But that is exactly what she gets when she is handed the enigmatic case of Nathan King, who was found in his car with a gaping hole where his stomach should be.

Soon Raven is unraveling a mystery that leads her deep into the city’s preternatural underworld, and into the arms of a sexy vampire she barely knows, but whose heart she seeks in the darkness…

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The neon lights of the ‘All Live, All Nude’ sign flickered in the rain, showering the street with sparks that sizzled and flared in the cold night, an electric cadence to match the distant rumble of thunder as dark clouds continued to roll in off the lake and blanket the Windy City in an autumnal thunderstorm. Detective Raven Storm stood beneath the sparking sign, her pale skin contrasting with a waterfall of hair so red it was almost black. Her green eyes glowed with a feral light in the alternating flashes of lightning from the storm and sparks showering from the tilting sign above.
Raven’s heels clicked on the sidewalk and splashed in puddles as she walked back and forth in the shadows, her stylish grey pantsuit and silk blouse darkened where the cold rain had soaked through. She didn’t notice the chill. She was watching the apartment building opposite the club for her latest and only suspect in a series of brutal murders that had taken the lives of seventeen women in the last three weeks. The news called him the Lakeside Strangler; the details of his savage attacks had been leaked to the press and the city had been in a panic ever since. She was going to end his killing spree tonight, one way or another.
Shortly before one in the morning she saw him: a young heartthrob, his black suit and fedora drenched with rain. He held an umbrella in one hand, a gorgeous young woman’s arm in the other, keeping her safe from the rain under the umbrella while he got soaked. Raven watched the couple enter the old apartment building, her heart beating faster. She didn’t want to wait, didn’t want to endanger another woman, but she had to be sure. The suspect had evaded her before and this could be just a young couple out for a lark; she’d had only a glimpse of his face before he had vanished into the darkness. Shooting the wrong guy would be bad form and lead to red tape.
Raven held her ground, waiting until the pair had entered the elevator before sprinting across the street and bounding up the stairs two at a time, her balance perfect as she ran, her heels ringing out on the ground. She slid to a halt in front of the elevators and rang for the car, tapping one heel against the floor while she waited for the doors to open, hoping she wouldn’t again be too late or that she would be wrong altogether.
Seconds later she stepped out on the twelfth floor of the building. The suspect’s apartment was at the end of the hall and Raven jogged towards it, her senses stretched to the maximum. When she reached the apartment, she pressed her ear to the steel security door and listened intently. Somewhere inside she could hear the couple kissing and the faint rustle of the woman’s dress as the man pawed at her. The sound of kissing ended abruptly; in her mind’s eye Raven saw her suspect pulling his victim’s dress over her head before wrapping his hands around her slender neck. She could wait no longer; if he followed the pattern he would soon strangle and rape his victim and make his escape. With a single, powerful blow, she kicked the door open and crashed through, her left hand drawing the stainless-steel Automag pistol from its holster beneath her jacket.
She had been right. The suspect was kneeling over the woman, her dress draped over his shoulders like a cape, his hands wrapped around her slender throat in a vice-like grip. The woman writhed and gasped for air, her legs flailing between his thighs as she fought to escape.
“Chicago Police!” Raven yelled, the gun pointed evenly at the man’s head. “Release the woman and freeze!”
The suspect smiled and raised his hands, allowing the woman between his knees to wheeze and cough for breath.
“Of course, officer,” he said in a German-accented voice. “Have I done something wrong? My girlfriend and I were just having a little exotic fun!”
“Shut up and keep your hands where I can see them.” Raven moved closer, her eyes flicking between the gasping woman and the suspect. “You are under arrest for battery and second-degree assault!”
“I think not, officer,” he replied gleefully. “I find prison to be so boring and confining. Catch me if you can!”
The man moved in a blur, leaping to his feet and rushing towards the young detective with his arms stretched wide.
Raven fired twice, but he was so supernaturally quick that her shots went wide, punching melon-sized holes in the wall behind him. She didn’t have time to adjust her aim before the large man slammed into her, knocking her to the floor. Her head cracked against the hard tile flooring and stars jumped behind her eyes, making them water. When she could see again, he was straddling her, his wine-scented breath warm in her nose.
“Now, I’ll kill you, and then take my pleasure with her,” he crowed, saliva trailing from his lips. “Two damsels for the price of one; what could be better? Such a beautiful dark and stormy night!”
Raven growled and writhed under the larger man, recoiling in disgust as she felt his swelling manhood pressed against her thigh.
“I’m a Chicago police officer,” she said between clenched teeth. “You kill me and you’ll be out of options. You’ll have nowhere to run and it will be life in prison without parole. Let me go and give yourself up!”
The killer leaned closer, his tongue trailing over Raven’s cheek before he whispered, “Oh! No! No, no, no! I have given you a death sentence and it will be carried out! Once you are dead I’ll have all the options in the world. Do I take your body or kill the other one? Do I take her then kill her? Kill her then take her? Decisions, decisions, it’s so hard to choose; I’m giddy with anticipation!”
Giggling like a maniac, he ground his crotch into Raven’s thigh, moaning with lust and perverse pleasure at the feeling of the helpless woman beneath him.
Raven snarled and closed her eyes tight, ignoring the madman on top of her. When she opened them again, her green eyes glowed with power, the black pupils becoming the feral slits of a predatory cat. With a growl, she head-butted the man, breaking his nose and causing him to loosen his grip. She then pushed him away with all her strength, sending him flying across the room to land painfully on top of an antique side table.
“I’m also,” she said, regaining her feet, “the youngest child of Valentina, Mistress of the City. Surrender and I’ll see you get a fair trial before they lock your ass away. Keep fighting me and I’ll surely pull your head off!”
The killer rolled off the side table and stretched, his back cracking loudly.
“Ah, you would be the Mistress’s bastard child, then!” he replied with a sneer. “The pathetic half-vampire! Your father was a police detective too, wasn’t he? Dead before his time? Head all blown off with his own gun? It will be a pleasure to feel your corpse cool beneath me as I take you one last time!”
Still grinning, the killer shook, his skin melting and flowing like butter in the sun, his shape exploding outward until he looked altogether alien. He blinked huge, multifaceted eyes and flexed claws longer than Raven’s entire arm, each joint cracking as bones settled into place.
“A doppelganger!” Raven breathed. “No wonder you were so hard to catch.”
“Indeed,” the creature replied in a chorus of voices. “Our body is legion, and when we finish with you, we will move on and continue our work elsewhere! So many beautiful women, so little time, as they say!”

 

Skye Kinzley

Skye Knizley lives officially in the middle of nowhere. Really, it is.

When at home she spends her time writing urban fantasy novels including the best-selling Storm Chronicles series and the Midnight Roads, a series loosely based on her own travels around the country. Her debut ‘Chronicles novel, Stormrise, struck gold less than twenty four hours from being unleashed on an unsuspecting public, hitting best seller status in three categories in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Her additional novels have all followed suit and she has no plans to stop writing any time soon.

If she’s not setting quill to parchment Skye can be found hiking with her Siberian Husky, camping, motorcycling, ghost hunting, or gaming.

Skye is a proud Wicca, musician and gamer girl and will happily discuss any of those topics. And no, practicing Wicca doesn’t mean she dances naked around stone circles. As far as you know.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

Skye has been kind enough to tell us her top 

10 favorite TV or book detectives/mystery solvers

In no particular order:

Sherlock Holmes

Jaz Parks

Columbo

Nancy Drew

Kate Beckett

Modesty Blaze

Gemma James

Dinah Lance (Black Canary comics)

Alex Drake

Veronica Mars

 

Shadowstorm

Don’t miss the fourth book in the Storm Chronicles, Shadowstorm, due to be released August 29th.

Also, be sure to join the Facebook release party!

 

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Bitter Black Kiss by Michelle Clay Interview & Book Tour, JGN

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Bitter Black Kiss

Title: Bitter Black Kiss

Author: Michelle Clay

Published: July 17th, 2015

Publisher: Hot Ink Press

Genre: Paranormal Erotica

Content Warning: Explicit sexual content

Age Recommendation: 18+

 

~ Synopsis ~

 

Former event planner Nicole Riley lost not only her job, but part of her humanity when a concert in L.A., fails catastrophically and the band attacks a rival werewolf pack. Now Nicky keeps her “inner beast” subdued by taking wolfs bane and refuses to become a monster. She’s trying to rebuild her reputation and manages the Bitter Black nightclub where Brody Dunn is the dee-jay.

Brody Dunn, a former special crimes detective turned private investigator, plays on Nicole’s sympathy by claiming to have just suffered a wolf bite. He keeps his past, careers, agenda and just about everything else from Nicole – except for his attraction.

They have bigger problems than Brody’s lies. Nicole’s boss is a ruthless drug lord, determined to have Nicole for himself. The danger increases for everyone when he challenges the local Alpha. If they survive, and she can forgive Brody’s betrayal, will she accept what they’ve become?

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~ About the Author ~

 

Michelle Clay

Even as a child, Michelle wasn’t afraid of the things that went bump in the night. In fact, the thought of a world where werewolves roamed and Dracula reigned king may seem like an eldritch dream to most, but was exciting to Michelle. Instead of turning on a light for comfort, she reveled in the dark, imagining the lives of what was out there roaming the night and frightening those who didn’t truly appreciate how interesting the supernatural really were.

Nowadays, her visions continuously take shape as she brings life to the worlds she has imagined since childhood. These wild imaginings have informed and enriched her storytelling as an adult, bringing a fresh new voice to the paranormal romance and erotica genres.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

We are ecstatic to have with us today Michelle Clay!

  • 1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

When I find a good book, I want to curl up somewhere comfy and read for hours on end. I want the rest of the world to leave me alone because I become one with that story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Kindle book or an actual spine with pages book… I’ll grip it and hold it close until I’m done or until I fall asleep. And God forbid anyone interrupt me. lol

  • 2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?

Fantastic question. I started writing (not very well) when I was in high school. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when my YA novel, The Bad Wolf got published that I felt like maybe this writer thing was something I might actually be decent at. I’m glad it did though, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to be when I grow up. *wink*

  • 3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

As an author I do my best to write a damn good story. I don’t want to let down my fans, so I put my all into everything I write. I can’t tell you the amount of self-editing I do or revisions to make each and every story shine its brightest.

  • 4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?

That’s a difficult one, as I also have a full-time job. Thankfully, I don’t require a lot of sleep! lol

  • 5) Why did you write this book?

I have always loved lycanthropic (werewolf) lore and movies. The idea that they could only transform during the full moon has always bothered me. I wanted a feasible antidote to that. I thought hey, since the lycans were out of the closet, so to speak, the drug dealers would figure out a way to capitalize on it. So, here we have Bitter Black Kiss – Werewolves, strippers, drug lords… oh my!

  • 6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?

For this particular work, a traumatic dog attack was pulled out of my past trauma bucket. Of course it was nowhere near as bad as in this book. Thank goodness!! Some of the other books have experiences that I’ve gone through or that others have shared with me.

  • 7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?

World domination? Ha, seriously though… I’d love to see Bitter Black Kiss or my YA novel, The Bad Wolf, made into a movie! Realistically, I’d like to be able to write full time and work on a screenplay or two.

  • 8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

I’m actually a mermaid. I’m only allowed to be here on land until next spring then I have to return to the sea. It’s like a work visa, of sorts. I have to go to the ocean and wait for my ride… a majestic narwhal. Will you guys be there to see me off?

~ Excerpt ~

“So, what are you going to do?”

He frowned, lost. “During the full moon?”
Nicole nodded.
He’d considered attending the Wild Hunt, have a night of debauchery, but he figured it would be unwise. The current leader was itching for him to join. His presence would be taken as an agreement to become part of the pack.
“I suppose I could restrain myself until the next morning.” The idea posed a multitude of mouthwatering possibilities if she’d agree to detain herself with him. “You know, just in case I’m unable to control myself.”
“That’s what I do. Restrain myself.” They approached her red Mazda. “I send Molly away and lock myself in my bedroom.”
Brody envisioned her tethered to the bed. The image made him salivate. She might run away screaming if she knew he had a raging hard-on. Ideas like this just made him want her more. “You take an ungodly amount of wolfsbane then what? You just wait it out?”
“I don’t like the urges I get. I can’t live that way.”
“Maybe you just need someone to show you— to help you through it.” He grasped her hand and pulled her toward him. She didn’t resist. Her free hand lay against his chest. Her chin tilted up, and her eyes were full of curiosity. His lips were mere inches from hers. He closed his eyes and lowered his head, almost expecting her to turn away. She didn’t.
Nicole’s eyes fluttered shut, and her body melted against his. He brought a hand to her lower back. The other found its way to her ponytail and set her hair free. It fell around her shoulders and tickled his skin. One of Nicole’s hands found its way beneath his shirt. Fingertips fluttered against his stomach then across his chest. Their tongues danced together, and he deepened the kiss. The hand on her back fell lower to cup her ass.
Brody walked her backward, toward the back end of the car. He hadn’t made out in the backseat of a car in ages, but damn…
The door opened though he didn’t recall which of them did it. Nicole lay back on the seat, her eyes half open, watching his every move. One of her running shoes lay in the sand outside while the other had been kicked to the floorboard.
He sank into the seat with a low, sexy growl. Damn, this blonde bombshell… he had to have her.

~ Giveaway ~

 

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