The Innocent by Michelle K. Pickett

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Title:  The Innocent
Series:  The Milayna Series, Book 3
Author:  Michelle K. Pickett
Published:  November 3rd, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YAm Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Violence and Language
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis:  A year ago, eighteen year-old Milayna fought Azazel, Hell’s angel, for her soul. She thought she’d seen the last of him, but he’s back, and he’s brought his friends with him. The Four Brothers want Milayna’s life, and they have wicked powers to use to take it.
While Milayna struggles against the Four Brothers, she also has to fight Azazel for her younger brother’s soul. Ben is at a crucial point in his life—a time when he is weakest to Azazel and his powers. Milayna has to shield her brother from Azazel until Ben reaches the age of accountability and enters a period of safety from Azazel and his soul-sucking demons.
As if having four demon brothers out to end her life and Hell’s angel out to steal her brother’s soul wasn’t enough, Milayna is still reeling from the disappearance of Chay. Can she find him in time to save their relationship? Or will the constant struggle with Hell and all its evil send her seeking comfort in the arms of Xavier?
Grab your copy of book 1, Milayna, for FREE on Amazon!



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About the Author:
Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.
Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.
Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014.
We are so happy to have Michelle with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

A good book is like a long lost love. I saw a meme once that read something like: An unfinished book is like an unfulfilled romance. A little sappy, but I liked the sentiment. If a book is written well, you fall in love with the characters, the world. You root for them, laugh with them, and cry with, and sometimes for, them.

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, either parts of novels that never went past a few chapters, or in my journal.

Trying to pick a piece of work that I’m most proud of is difficult. Each book, each character touches an author’s life in a different way. So it’s difficult to judge them the same. For instance, PODs was my first YA novel, and was the first traditionally published. But Unspeakable is a novel that SPOKE to me. It was truly a labor of love. I’m proud of both books for different reasons.

If pressed, though, I’d have to say my first novel—Concilium—is the one I’m most proud of. It’s the first novel I ever finished, and the first time I told my family that I loved writing (I’d finished a 400 page book and no one even knew I was writing!) The book, although indie published, didn’t go far despite the handful of good reviews it received. I’ve since pulled it from stores and plan to rewrite some areas and republish it.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

My work ethic is pretty simple. There are two parts to it. First, I live with the belief that anything worth having is worth working for. My dad taught me this. He gave me an excellent example of what hard work entails. And taught me to use it in all areas of life. Since I love writing, it is definitely something worth working for.

Second, always tell my story. This doesn’t mean tell a true story about myself—you wouldn’t want to read it. Trust me, I’m not very interesting. No, it means tell the stories I’m passionate about. I want to find new stories and new ways to tell them.

So my bottom line: Work hard to tell my story.

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

Um… I’m not sure I’ve ever been balanced. Things overlap. Life intrudes on my writing time, and sometimes writing intrudes in the other areas of my life. But I try to set limits to keep different areas of my life separate. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But I think being aware that I need to keep things in check, helps… even when my balancing act is dangerously unbalanced.

5) Why did you write this book?

The Innocent is the ending of Milayna’s journey. I wrote it to give her a happy ending. As for why I wrote the series as a whole, I can’t tell you. The notes and partial scenes I’d written were on my computer. One day I read through them and then started writing.

That’s kind of how it works for me. I have over fifty novels in various stages of the writing process on my computer right now. Some have a good deal of notes, character studies, and scenes already written. Others just have a sentence or two—just an idea that sparked one day and I wanted to write it down before the spark fizzled. It doesn’t mean that all the ideas I have jotted in notebooks all over my house, or I’ve saved on my computer will develop into books—it doesn’t work that way. An idea might sound great, but when I start to write or outline (what little I do), I find it can’t sustain an entire book.

So short answer to my long babbling explanation: I can’t tell you what sparked the idea. The books were written in 2013, I’ve already forgotten what gave me the idea for them. But I can say, I loved writing them.

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

Hmm, that’s a hard question. I know that I do draw from real life while writing, but I don’t do it intentionally. I’ve never sat down and said, “I’m going to make this character just like my husband.” But, when I’ve finished a book and reread it, sometimes I do see characteristics or personality traits of people I know in a character’s behavior. But it’s totally random and, for the most part, unintentional.

I’ve only written something that was pulled from my life twice. The first was a conversation my son, then nine or ten years-old, and I had that I thought was hilarious, so I modified it so it would fit into my second novel (Concilium: The Departure). The second would be the plot for Unspeakable. I pulled a lot of inspiration from my own life for that novel… although, please don’t think it’s autobiographical. It’s not.

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

Well, I’ll start with my life outside of writing, because if that part of my life isn’t taken care of, I can’t write.

In my “normal” life, and I use that term very loosely. There isn’t much about me that is normal. My daughter bought me a shirt that reads: Normal is boring. That’s my philosophy. I happily embrace my inner weirdo. In the next five years I hope I’m where I am today. I don’t mean where I am physically… I can go anywhere. I don’t me financially… but, honestly, a few hundred thousand dollars is always welcome (ha-ha). I mean the stuff in life that isn’t tangible. The love I give, and receive from, my family. The way my husband crunches his potato chips that drives me freakin’ insane… but, at the same time, I love the sound because I know he’s near. The way my kids bound in the door after school. These are all things I treasure. So in five years I’d want to believe, hope, pray, that they are still a constant in my life.

My life as an author in five years? Well, I hope that I’m still writing, and someone is still reading what I write. I’m not going to say I don’t care if I’ve won awards, made the NY Times Bestsellers list, signed a movie deal… because, let’s face it, any author who seeks publication would want those things. They all validate that our work is good enough… and we all seek validation in whatever we do. So, yes, I’d like to write the next sparkly vampire… or whatever. That goes without saying. But what I want? Where I want to be? Again, where I am. Writing things that make me happy.

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

I’m an excellent speller. I won three straight district-wide spelling bees in elementary school.

Here’s one thing that’s not a lie… I’ve really enjoyed your interview. Thank you for hosting me and the third book in the Milayna Series: The Innocent. I appreciate it so very much!

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ends November 22nd at Midnight (EST)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Forsaken by CJ Hart

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Title:  The Forsaken
Series:  The Abandoned Series, Book 2
Author:  C. J. Hart
Published:  November 2nd, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YAm Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Violence and Language
Recommended Age:  13+
Synopsis:  Fear. Uncertainty. Wonder. Those three things are thrumming through me, pounding in my ears and coating my tongue with acid. All words that escape my mouth are wrong; I can’t explain how it feels to not remember—for chunks of my memory and hours of my night to have been erased. Erased? No… forgotten.

How do you forget whether you killed a person or not the night before?

Cassie Spencer’s human life is over, and the resulting consequences are flooding in. As she learns to adapt to her new life, pieces of her honorary family are unraveling. Every day is another spent worrying who Ash will take from her next. Though he’s not the only danger she should be concerned about.
A man turns up dead. Eaten.
The Hunters suspect Ash is behind it—one of his sadistic games. But who is really at fault?
And then there’s the mystery illness Cassie contracts, a disease unheard of by both her father and the elders. Can they find her a cure before her condition worsens?
Not every hero wears a cape. Some wear gray beanies.


Grab a copy of book 1, The Hunted, for FREE on Amazon!


Excerpt from The Forsaken by CJ Hart:


—Ash—
Almost five months ago, our dear leader traded his life, his alpha status, for a human. A weak, pitiful thing barely worth the energy—but good enough to eat, in my opinion. I kept asking myself, Why doesn’t he just slit her throat? Humans are annoying. Wasn’t he bored already? I couldn’t comprehend why, after endless days of playing the doting boyfriend, he hadn’t killed her yet.
But I was wrong.
Even more months ago, years ago, Sebby decided to quit munching on humans and chose to hunt animals instead. That’s when he went soft, lost his spine. He got a job at a record store. What does he think he is now—human?
At the same time, some major changes were snowballing.
The elders decided to allow Seb’s allegiance to the mortal race.
Kat sided with them.
And I decided to torture those they loved the most. Starting with Seb’s new girlfriend. An added bonus was that her father was a Hunter. Anything I did to her, directly and indirectly, he would undoubtedly feel. But when I saw her at the café that day, when Sebby was drooling all over her, I realized the best way to get to her father was to play a little game with her. And how do you make a teenage girl miserable? You kidnap her best friend.
I don’t recall her name, but I do remember her scream. She was a fighter, and she loved to squeal as I peeled her skin off strip by strip. Oh, what a treat it was to smell her fear.
I smirk at the memory, and then I grimace.
Cassie Spencer thinks she’s better than us. Better than me. That she’s good and honorable. It’s laughable, really. Now that she’s one of us, we’re equals. It’s only a matter of time before she screws up again. And I only have to be in the right place, the right time, to catch it.
And it will happen.
She’s the same as the rest of us—whether she likes to admit that or not. She’s a monster. A freak.
The only one who gets under my skin.

 

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About the Author:
Renée Shearer writes young adult fiction under the name of C.J. Hart. Renée is a full-time writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, with a crazy pooch named Abbey and a boisterous, somersaulting rescue budgie named Kaleb. Her days are spent living in her fictional worlds and consuming way too much caffeine. She has an (unhealthy?) obsession with all things cupcake- and coffee-related plus Kerouac and YA dystopia/fantasy books. Renée can often be found surrounded by books, marathoning crime shows and munching on vegan goodies, on Twitter (@Renee_Shearer), Pinterest, or dancing in a rainstorm.
Renée hopes to one day visit Rio and is currently learning Brazilian Portuguese.
 We are so happy to have C.J. Hart with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

A good book draws me into its world for hours at a time, is warm and inviting, and makes me want to go back and reread after I finish.

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

I’ve been writing stories ever since I could write, and I’m proud of all my stories, especially the earlier stuff, as they helped cement my love of writing; helped me explore fictional worlds.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

When writing or editing, I treat being an author as a real job, and am usually at my desk from 9am-3pm. Sometimes, I start at 8am if I’m raring to go. I’m not much of a procrastinator when it comes to writing, because it’s something I love, and while I don’t write every day (usually every second month), I can finish a book in about a month and a half.

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

I make sure to take breaks and have a couple days off to spend with family, friends, or reading. I’m not always good at keeping the balance.

5) Why did you write this book?

Because I had to. I had to get the characters out of my head!

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

Nothing for my YA books (they’re shifters—I don’t have personal experience with that), but for my adult books, there are stalker exes and caffeine addictions…yep, I totally have experience with that 😉

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

I haven’t really looked that far ahead as an author. Being a bestselling author would be awesome. Personally, I also would like to become a foster parent for animals that don’t currently have a home. I’m a HUGE animal lover, and even though that would be hard work, I think it could be just as fulfilling as being a bestseller.

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

I once wrote a book about a skateboarding zebra.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:






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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ends November 22nd at Midnight (EST)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Elementals: Season One by S.G. Basu

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Title:  Elementals: Season 1
Author:  Author: S.G. Basu
Published:  September 29th, 2015
Publisher:   Vinayaka Publishing
Genre:  Science Fiction Thriller
Content Warning:  Mild violence and language
Recommended Age:  15+
Synopsis:  Mayhem is about to visit Löthia.
Löthia is at peace–after a millennium of genetic tinkering, Löthians’ power over the elements has been obliterated. The Elemental Wars that have plagued their civilization from the beginning of time is now distant history.
But have the Elementals been tamed for good?
Or is this just the quiet before the storm rips Löthia apart once again?


Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited!


Excerpt from Elementals: Season 1 by S.G. Basu:
Nothing during the course of the grouchy summer day indicated that, by the time it was over, seventeen-year-old Anavyx Elon would be accused of the grisliest murder in recent Löthian history.

Dual complete moons blazed across the purple skies of Löthia that evening, and there shouldn’t have been any interruptions to Anavyx’s routine, yet there was.

She heard the faint noise of her bedroom door opening when she was halfway through her shower. Her body, warm from the water cascading down from the canopy over her head, stiffened immediately.

“Moma?” Anavyx called, voice trembling a little as her throat dried up with fear. No one replied.

It couldn’t be Moma.

Alana, her mother, was a top geneticist in the Peaks. Her evening consultation hours ended precisely at 2030 hours, not a moment before or after. There was no reason for her to leave her patients and come into the private section of the house looking for Anavyx.
Maybe it was Dadi.

Anavyx banished that idea with a shake of her head. It was impossible. Her father did not set foot in the house before midnight. Nothing except a calamity would bring him home this early. And even if he came home, he would never venture into her room. So who could it be?

There was no other noise after the door opened. That was the oddest thing—the silence. It made her insides curl up in a tight ball.

Anavyx reached for her robe and having wrapped its flowing expanse around herself, tiptoed forward to investigate. She barely took a step into her room, heart pounding uncontrollably fast and unbearably loud, when she saw him.



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About the Author:
S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books.
Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.
She shares her home with a large collection of Legos, a patient husband, and resident inspiration and entertainer, her daughter.



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We are so happy to have S.G. Basu with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

A good book is one that endears and endures. A good book is enjoyable, no matter how many times it has been read. A good book ages well too. No matter how old you grow, the book appeals, revealing more and more with each read. One of my favorites is Frank Herbert’s Dune. It was magical when I first read it in grade school and it still is as wonderful.

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

While I took to serious writing only in 2008, have enjoyed writing since I was a child. Way back when . . . I was in middle school, we were assigned classwork to write an original skit on Don Quixote . . . so I did. My English teacher, who was known for being hard to please, was so impressed with my piece that she recommended it for publication in the school magazine. Thinking that she saw so much potential in something I wrote on the fly, makes my heart swell even now.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

Creating a challenging but sustainable work ethic is very important for a writer, particularly for indies like me. Here are my top three:
-Have a dedicated writing time: When writing was simply a hobby, I wrote in spurts. Obviously, my productivity was definitely nowhere near what it is now. Now, I write and do other writing related work for at least 5 hours every day, five days a week. I stay extremely focused during the weekdays. By design, I take my weekends easy.
-Create daily targets: I have a list of writing related things to do each day and I finish them each day. This is over and above the 250 words minimum that I have to write every day.
-Keep your resolutions: This almost goes without saying. It’s easy to make resolutions, but a far difficult job keeping them. As an indie author, it is hard to keep up with the constant barrage of tasks, but I always finish what I start.

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

It’s a constant battle with the clock, multitasking like I never thought was possible. I’m a new indie writer, and just like it is for any start up, the amount of work I have to put in is enormous. I also enjoy raising my young family, so I try to be extremely focused when I’m working. That way, my time for with my family or my own “playtime” is always a solid chunk of quality time. It has taken a lot of practice, but I’ve gotten better at creating “the zone” around me at the snap of a finger, rather than waiting for the right time or the right place.

5) Why did you write this book?

In 2015, one of my main goals was to challenge myself, push my boundaries so to speak. I usually write sprawling narratives, and my stories are usually not fast paced or short. So, I added writing a short, fast paced story to my list of this year’s resolutions. Couple that with the temptation to write a thriller, and the serialized science fiction thriller, “Elementals,” came to be.

It was a fun ride that I didn’t expect to enjoy so much. But now that I’ve developed a taste for it, there will be many more serialized science fiction thrillers coming from this stable.

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

Every life experience finds its way out through a writer’s words. For me, the biggest influence has been the diverse cultures I’ve been fortunate to observe up close. I love to travel and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met infuse color into the tapestries of my stories.

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 hope to amass a vast amount of content by then, maybe publish 30 or so books. Also hope to have a much better grip on marketing myself and my work.

In my other life, I want to travel to new places, visit the couple continents that I’ve never set foot on. Mostly though, I want to be an even better Mom.

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

Don’t know about lies, but here’s a quirky fact about me–I used to be a professional snake charmer. In 2009, I performed at the CharmerFest with my wildly popular brood of snakes. Snuffles, my 15ft. dark-spotted Anaconda, even has a Facebook fan page.



Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • An ecopy of Elementals, Season 1
Ends November 30th, 2015 11:59 PM (EST) 


Giveaway is International.


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The Demon’s Grave by E.M.

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Title:  The Demon’s Grave
Series:  The Demon’s Grave #1
Author:  E.M. MacCallum
Published:  June 2015
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Recommended Age:  16+

Synopsis:  When strange shadows and messages plague Nora’s daily life she fears for her sanity. To escape questions from her family, Nora joins her friends on a weekend getaway. Despite not liking Aidan Birket, Nora finds his remote, Victorian house charming. Until they discover the marble doorway on the third floor and, against Nora’s better judgment, they open it.
Trespassing into an unfamiliar world called the Demon’s Grave, the group face a charismatic demon and six nightmarish Challenges as punishment. Those that make it to the end can go home, but those that don’t will be his forever. Friendships are tested, secrets revealed and sacrifices will be made.
Nora battles zombies, doppelgängers, eyeless bikers, and the demon—whose interests are more than just a game of cat and mouse. If it’s all in her head, then it should be easy. But, if not, it means the demon knows about her sticky past, and the death of her twin sister.


Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Excerpt from The Demon’s Grave by E.M. MacCallum:
“Aidan,” I insisted in a whisper.
A few car lengths north of the Chevy a stereo crackled to life. An echoing voice sang followed by a choir of voices that doo de doo’ed in the background. The slow song sounded like something from the 1950’s.
Read and I exchanged a curious glance as the echoing main voice mentioned a game. Read pulled his hand from mine and we both wiped our slick palms on our jeans.
“What is it?” I asked Aidan. “What should we be looking for?”
He didn’t answer, his eyes kept wandering to the cars then down the street and to the motorbikes.
Read’s shoulders sagged, exasperated. He looked ready to say something when the roar of an engine smothered the music as well as my yelp. It stopped Read cold.
Aidan jumped and grabbed my arm as if I were the one to save him.
Craning my neck to see if there was a single vehicle taking up the roadway, I saw none. It had been so loud I couldn’t pinpoint the direction it came from.
The music began to take over the street once more, a new song erupting from the crackling speakers.
Between shallow breaths, Aidan said, “come on.”
Before Read or I could question him, Aidan stood up and started in long, purposeful strides, the kind that was harder to stop.
Read nudged me to move, or rather shoved me. Panicked, we hurried to Aidan. Looking to him, our pace quickened to keep up. Aidan stared straight ahead. His lean figure was rigid, but he hadn’t slowed.
Keeping close to the buildings, we passed the occupied car playing music. I could see three teenage boys inside. The muffled vintage music carried through the window.
I felt the scream choke in my throat as we passed. The passengers didn’t have eyes.
Their shapeless pale faces lacked not only the eyes but also mouths. The skin where lips should be had stretched horizontally, sealing any opening. The only portion of their faces that was noticeable was the lump of their nose—without nostrils. Even their hair was all the same color, styled the same, with a part in the middle, and they wore the same collared shirt and slacks.
I thought to myself, it’s just a few of the faceless, nameless people of this city, like any other…right? Maybe the demon had a sense of sick, very sick, humor.
I could hear, the eerie chorus of voices within the car, making it all the more surreal.
The three boys in the car watched us pass, as is if they could see. They turned their heads as we hurried along and I found myself staring back for as long as I could.



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About the Author:

E.M. loves long walks through bookstores, Disney, horror movies/books, anything supernatural, and researching random facts. She lives by a lake out in the Canadian wilderness with internet access, her husband and rag-tag band of pets.


We are very happy to have E.M. MacCallum with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

My relationship with a good book usually starts with a unstoppable first chapter then with characters who are both relatable and flawed. After that, if the story takes me on a journey I didn’t expect or predict, I’m quite attached and a bit obsessed. Like Harry-Potter-Fan-Obsessed.

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

I started writing in grade three when I wanted to put a new twist to one of my favorite novels. It wasn’t long before I made up my own story. I’ve always been proud of this story though it may never see the light of day. It was about the first vampires in existence. Bear in mind, I was eight or nine when I wrote this. The first vampires were twins and when their thirst surfaced for the villagers to find out, the one fled leaving the main character to pay the price. I’ve been working to enhance this story for a real publisher, but it’s still being developed, and has only become more twisted with each pass.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

One thing my parent’s instilled in me when in school was to “always try your best. Even if it’s not a 100%, at least you did what you could.” I try to apply that to every story, which might be why I’m so late to the publishing game. I want my stories to be the best I can put out there at that time.

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

I try to time-manage. It’s not always successful, but it’s something I always keep at the forefront of my mind. On days off work I can have from 1-7 hours of marketing/pitching/writing/blogging. Days on, it’s 30 minutes max for my writing. Thankfully, my work schedule at the moment is 4 days on, 4 days off, so it balances out.

5) Why did you write this book?

I originally wrote it when I was thirteen. At the time, I’d meet with my awesome cousins three times a year with a new story to read them. I loved their questions and suggestions and always tried to have something new to read them when I visited. I have no idea what inspired this story in particular, to be honest. At the time, I started stories organically and just let it go wherever it wanted to go. It was years later that I dusted it off and started to re-write to make it worthy of an audience.

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

You know what? Nothing and everything. It depends on the story and the characters. When it comes to reactions to situations, I rely on the character’s personality and people who I know who might be similar and mash it up for the end result.

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

In five years I hope to have many more novels out and, hopefully, a career writing and a family of either rug-rats or animals. I’m good with either way life swings me but I want to keep writing regardless.

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

I love spicy food. Like baked potatoes with too pepper is what I live for.




Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • GRAND PRIZE is a $25 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of The Demon’s Grave.


Giveaway is International.
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Witch Hunt by Kasi Blake

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Title: Witch Hunt
Series:  The Witch Game Novels, Book Two
Author:  Kasi Blake
Published:  October 6th, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Synopsis:
A magical game of hide-and-seek begins.
Find the missing player and win.
The game resets.
They all forget and start the game again.

Seventeen-year-old Starr Hughes hasn’t believed in magic since the day her mother died. As an aspiring reporter, the only thing she cares about is cold, hard facts. So when she hears the popular kids at school (the It-Squad) are about to start a secret game, she wants every detail, especially since she has a major crush on gorgeous Dylan Winchester. Hiding under the headmaster’s desk, planting bugs, and breaking into a classmate’s home are all on her to-do list. With her boy-crazy best friend Lily at her side, Starr discovers that witches are not only real, but they also need her help. Someone is using the game to steal their memories, their powers, and perhaps even their lives.
***Get Book one, Crushed FREE on Amazon!***




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About the Author:
If you ask Kasi Blake how old she was when she started writing, she will probably say twelve. That’s when she wrote her first short story. But it started long before then. Her first characters were invisible friends she played with as a child. In the third grade she wrote a one-page story about a mummy for an assignment, and the teacher read it to the class. Even though she was embarrassed, the other kids laughed in all the right places, and she realized she could affect other people through her writing. She loves to get lost in emotional stories, crying and laughing with the characters, so she thinks it’s the most amazing thing in the world to be able to do this for other people.
Kasi is a hardcore Supernatural fanatic and practically has the shows memorized line for line. If you want to see her freak out, tell her you’ve never watched an episode. Then be prepared to listen to a long list of reasons why you should. In her spare time, when she’s not reading or writing, she does nail art, engages in day-long shopping trips with friends, and takes care of her many animals.
Originally from California, she resides in the Midwest on a farm with cows, chickens, ducks, a dog, and two cats.
We are very pleased to have Kasi Blake with us today!

Describe your relationship with a good book.

I am a fast reader, and when I fall in love with a book, I can’t stand to put it down for even an hour. When the last Harry Potter novel came out, I was up at four in the morning, finishing it. Books are gateways to other worlds, other lives, and I can’t get enough of them.

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

I started when I was twelve, but it was a very long time until I wrote something I was proud of. Off the top of my head, I would say Vampires Rule was the first book I wrote that I absolutely loved.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

Even when I’m not at the computer, I’m working as an author. My stories are almost always on my mind. When I do housework, I use that time to work out my outline or a scene. Sometimes I am writing from first thing in the morning until midnight. Depends on where I am in the process. Because I work from home, relatives and friends think I should be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice and do something for them. That makes it harder to get my writing done, but I manage.

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

That’s a tough one. But I’m a full-time writer, so that makes it easier. When things are going good and I’m in the zone, it’s hard to remember that I need to do other things. Housework and relationships suffer if I’m not careful. I try to remember that. When I forget, other people usually remind me.

5) Why did you write this book?

My agent was having trouble finding a publisher for Vampires Rule because of the whole Twilight explosion. Publishers didn’t want any more vampires. So, my agent told me to try something that hasn’t been done repeatedly. I came up with the Witch Game Novels. They are a cross between The Craft and Pretty Little Liars.

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

Since I write YA, that would be my high school years. I still vividly remember the emotional ups and downs, how I felt trapped in a negative home atmosphere after my parents divorced, and what it felt like to get my heart ripped out by the boy I thought I would always love.

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

In five years, I want to be married with several books under my belt. I’d like to be a popular author, not necessarily a famous one, but one with a huge readership. One of the reasons I started writing is to reach people that I don’t know, make them laugh and cry and think about stuff in a new way.

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

When I’m not writing, I’m riding in the backseat of a black Impala, hunting with Sam and Dean.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
 



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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ends October 25th at Midnight (EST)
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The Hunter Awakens by J.R. Roper

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Title:  The Hunter Awakens
Series:  The Morus Chronicles Book 1
Author:   J.R. Roper
Published:  July 6th, 2014
Publisher:  Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre:  Middle Grade Action/FantasyAwards:

2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner
Winner Best Children’s Novel 2014: Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Literary Classics Seal of Approval: Highly recommended for home and school libraries.
Synopsis:
When thirteen-year-old Ethan Morus is forced to stay on his grandparents’ old farm, he expects to find weathered barns, rusty tools, and a creaky house in need of fresh paint. What he doesn’t expect is to hear a legend placing his family at the center of an ancient treasure hunt. Or find burial chambers protected by poltergeists, or a secret lair guarded by an ancient beast. And least of all, Ethan doesn’t suspect that powerful sorcerers are watching his every move.
They’ve found Ethan and believe he is from a line of treasure hunters who possess a rare instinct to locate powerful artifacts. Whether he has the instinct or not, Ethan is faced with a choice–search the Morus property and find what they want or lose yet another family member.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReadBe sure to grab your copy of The Hunter Awakens for the special tour price of only 99 cents!

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Excerpt from The Hunter Awakens by J.R. Roper
Mel closed her eyes and drew in long breaths as he passed. A hint of the sorcerer was all she smelled. He was alone.
She waited for him to near the summit, and when he was close she dropped to the ground and approached from well within the forest. When she reached the top, it was clear he’d already begun his conjuring.
The sorcerer stood in the middle of the hilltop, held his staff in front of him and spoke softly in the old tongue. He lifted the staff and slammed it into the ground. The earth groaned.
He looked to the sky. “Reveal.”
Mel followed his gaze. A faint shadow swooped through the clouds and she retreated behind a thick tree. It was the thunderbird—the harbinger of conjured storms.
From his messenger bag, a red orb rose into the air and wisps of wood fastened it to the top of his staff.
Mel glanced above and readied her throwers. She’d put out the thunderbird’s eye if it attacked.
The sorcerer gripped his staff with both hands and pointed the end toward the setting sun, the direction of Roseville. He lowered it slowly and spun, drawing a wide circle where grass shriveled. The smell of scorched earth forced Mel to hold her breath. She hated the smell of anything burnt and the old rock beneath the grass smelled like the burning of ancient bones.
Within moments, clouds rolled overhead. The orb’s red light pierced the early dark. The sorcerer grasped for the sky with his left hand and spoke an incantation that the wind swept away.
The last sliver of sunlight winked out, as if a shawl had been drawn over the sky. A fog chased up the hill like a tidal wave and clouded Mel’s view. The fog moved upward and the sky rippled with a surge of power. All heavenly lights darkened and Mel aimed a thrower in the direction of the sorcerer.
If he knew she was here and came looking for her, it’d be his last act on Earth. She feared no one. She was Hellish Mel.

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About the Author:
J.R. Roper is the author of The Morus Chronicles, a fantasy series for middle grade readers. The first two books, The Hunter Awakens and The Spirit of Steel are now available along with a collection of short stories titled Mel & the Black Rider. Roper’s work has appeared in ChildGood Magazine, Families First Monthly, and in anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, Horrified Press, and Thirteen O’Clock Press.
We are very pleased to have J.R. Roper with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

Fast and furious. I can’t let it go but also want to keep it on my shelf forever. Does that sound creepy?

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

I started writing in September 2007. I had graduated with a BA in Social Studies and failed to land a full time teaching job so I took a job as a one-on-one paraprofessional for a student with a genetic disorder. My wife was teaching full-time, so when she would spend her evenings planning and grading, I worked on the first draft of The Hunter Awakens. I finished the draft in March 2008. It was an incredibly proud moment even though the first draft was dreadful.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

As a full time teacher, coach, and father of two little boys, I struggle to write every single day. Instead I set weekly goals and binge write (or edit) when I have larger blocks of time. Some weeks I am extremely productive and others I fail miserably. I try to celebrate the good and move on from the bad quickly. I feel like immersion is the key especially when the writing is slow. I listen to podcasts related to writing while doing dishes at night (Writers on Writing is fantastic). I read articles from Writers Digest and browse twitter and facebook for quick reads that teach me something. I watch documentaries and true crime for plot and character ideas. To some degree I am always working.

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

Not always easily. Being a teacher, coach, father, husband, and friend of many, it can be difficult to keep my writing time sacred. Some nights are a complete fail and others are incredibly productive. Setting a writing timer for fifteen or thirty minutes can be gold for getting something done even when I want to go to bed.

5) Why did you write this book?

I fell in love with reading when I discovered Harry Potter and wanted to create an opportunity for other reluctant readers to fall in love with a book. That is now my goal as an author. Fast paced exciting reads for kids who don’t consider themselves readers.

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

The setting on an old family farm was the inspiration for the story. From the setting grew the characters and ultimately the plot.

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

As an author, my goal for the next five years is to finish The Morus Chronicles, and a new trilogy (YA epic fantasy), the first book of which I am currently editing. During that time I also plan to grow my brand as a go to author for reluctant readers. Outside of writing, I hope to move out into the country and continue to improve as an educator.

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

I also write under a pen name and have written a dozen erotica novellas. That is actually how we pay the bills.

 

 

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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • 5 Kindle copies of The Hunter Awakens
Giveaway is International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Maze in Grace–Poetry is alive!

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Title:  A Maze in Grace

Author:  Denise Dwyer D’Errico
Published:  December 3rd, 2014
Genre:  Poetry
Synopsis:
Poetry about the twists and turns of life. Explore your own challenges and honor your blessings as you read A Maze in Grace.



Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited


About the Author:
Denise Dwyer D’Errico is a married, working mother of two young children, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from St. Mary’s College of California, and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministries: Liturgical Music from Santa Clara University. She is the composer of “Be Still,” a liturgical choral piece published by the leading church music publisher GIA. “Be Still” has been recommended for performance for prayer services in memoriam of September 11th. Denise has over twenty years’ experience as a liturgical musician, as cantor, piano accompanist, and music director of adult choirs, children’s choirs, musicals and handbell choirs. She has also provided piano, vocal, and music theory instruction for children and adults. She has spoken to audiences on parenting and Autism Awareness. Denise has particular interest in illustrating harmony among seemingly unrelated subjects.


We are excited to have Denise with us today!

Describe your relationship with a good book.

A good book is one I return to year after year, because it takes me to exotic, magical places and makes me both laugh and cry. The covers are worn with my revisiting, and they may disappear at times because I’ve forgotten which friend I’ve lent them to. Sometimes I keep multiple copies around, just in case.

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

In college I wrote an essay comparing the gospel story to a fairy tale. It received honorable mention in a contest, which my younger sister won with her essay that kind of poked fun at me.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

When I’m writing, I am working. Sometimes there is no watching tv in the evenings. I stopped watching a show that I liked after the second season. It is now the fifth season and I have not looked back. But sometimes I need to read, or work on promoting my book before I go back to hard writing.

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

I bring a tablet everywhere, work, my kids’ soccer practice, dance rehearsal, drum lessons. Sometimes only those fleeting moments are all that I have.

5) Why did you write this book?

I recognized a pattern in my own life, and I thought describing it might help others in their own journeys.

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

The times that I have felt the most vulnerable. If I can write about those times honestly, then people seem to relate. Their own circumstance may have been different, but honesty and vulnerability are two things that people understand.

7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life? I have a novel inside me waiting to break forth. I think I will need another fact-finding trip to the island of Guam before it will all come together.

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

I play acoustic guitar and the ukelele. My favorite thing to do is whip out the ukelele on public transit and start a sing-a-long. Only once have I been thrown off the BART train.

Excerpts from A Maze in Grace:


penMissing

missing
reminiscing
my younger self
pen in hand
poetry broke forth
handwritten
genuine
twenty years
I’ve only blinked
technology
advanced
or so we think
me,
I miss ink


* * *

Mosaiccolor_me_vivid_kaleidoscope_by_tasteslikepurple
tiny rocks and pretty colors juxtaposed
memories and images unfold
some of them are dazzling, others dull
altogether recreating something whole
watercolor destinies ebb and flow
mosaic synchronicity kaleidoscopes
everchanging possibility and timeless space
modulates into another sacred place




Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway is International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The End is Now–interview with Connor Titus!

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Title:   In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal: The End is Now
Author:   Crystal Connor, writing as Connor Titus
Published:  August 6th, 2014
Genre:  Horror, Dark Fantasy
Content Warning:  Adult content and violence
Recommended Age:  17+
Synopsis:
The Order of The Sentinels.
The Order of The Learned.
The Order of The Writs.
The Order of the Cloth.
Angels.
Demons.
Trapped and isolated, the residents of Fates Keep come to realize that they are not alone…
In a world with two realities the imaginations of author’s Crystal Connor and Lori Titus are unleashed upon the unsuspecting people living in the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal and the fate of all the world hangs in the balance.
One town. One catastrophe. One story told two different ways. What started in the foothills of Mt. Empyreal could be the end of us all.

Excerpt from The End is Now by Connor Titus:
When deception and lies ascended to paradise, all silver-tongued and golden haired, Emerson was already dead, Jerrod was on earth, Jason was on patrol, and William, the youngest of the Celestials, was on duty.
Rythy was chained to her cell with irons of fire; the bars of her chamber had been fortified with the blessings from God himself and her wings had been clipped. She was fed, but only given enough to eat to sustain life … not strengthen it.
Regardless, William was terrified of her.
And more so of late as she no longer yanked her chains while hurling protest and insults. Instead, she sat, like a cat with her tail wrapped around her feet.
He liked it better when she acted like a caged animal.
William hadn’t seen Emerson or Jerrod for days, but was just as relieved when he looked up from the logbook and saw Dianna.
Looking into her golden face was like being roused from some terrible dream. “Boy, I am sure glad to see you; did you come to audit the log?”
He turned the book so that she could see it. There was only one problem, the officer he was speaking to was not Dianna.
“Oh, William, I almost forgot,” Dianna started as she rounded the corner and came face to face with her…self.
Rythy started laughing, and with impeachable timing and flawless execution, all hell broke loose in heaven.
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About the Author:

Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen.
 We are ecstatic to have with us today author Crystal Connor!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

I would say its romantic in that psychotic stalkerish sorta way, because when a book is really good I don’t want to do anything else but read it to the very end. I nearly starved myself to death during the 11 days it took me to read Stephen King’s Under The Dome, lol

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

I’ve always told really creepy stories I used to love scaring the heck out of my siblings and friends but I didn’t start writing them down consistently until I was in Jr. High. And of course becoming published was a pretty big deal for me, as it surely is for everyone. And it feels the same for every book, it’s just so much fun. I am having a blast.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

My work ethic as a writer is hectic and irrational. Sometime I will be up for days writing to the point where my eyes feel like sand paper and my hand swells up to the point where it hurts to hold a pen, and then other times I go weeks without writing anything. There’s no rhyme or reason to the way I write.

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

In 2011 I quit my job to write full time and there really hasn’t been any balance since. I spend 90% of my time either writing or brainstorming on ways to market on a shoestring budget. Luckily my family and close friends understands this completely and don’t give me a hard time when I miss dinner gatherings or social events, plus they don’t freak out if they don’t hear from me for long stretches of time.

I have a really good support base and Lord knows I couldn’t do this without them.

5) Why did you write this book?

Like with all the books and short stories I’ve written prior, my sole purpose is to entertain people with bone-chilling, high octane, top notch horror, science fiction or dark fantasy. The End is Now is an opportunity that didn’t knock on my door, it kicked it in. I had been wanting to expand a short story from And They All Lived Happily Ever After! called The Parish. When my co-author Lori Titus sent me the writing prompts that jump started our project it was everything I need to do just that.

But it ended up being so much more than that because we ended up co-writing two books that take place in the same town, with the same characters. These books are not a part one and two, they are not continuation of the same story … they are two standalone books that you can either read back to back or months, even years apart.

Even after all this time we are still pretty amazed that we were able to pull this off. The title to the other book is Guardians of Man: Black Feathers Fell in the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal.

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

I draw inspiration from just about everything. The things I saw and learned about while traveling throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The awe inspiring, sometimes frightening things that young children says, a partially overheard conversation, the expression on someone’s face … it really does come from everywhere.

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

In the next five years it would be nice to have built a fairly large fan base to the point where I am a house hold name in horror, to be contacted with request to attending conventions as a guest of honor. And I’d also like to be travelling outside of my country again, revisiting countries I’ve already been to as well as exploring Europe.

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

Well here’s the thing. There’s a huge difference between writing fiction and telling a lie. A lie is born out of intention and that intention is to deceive someone.

A fictional story isn’t written with the intent to deceive or mislead it is presented as a work of the imagination, not a statement of fact, so right off the bat the reader knows that the story isn’t real and therefore isn’t being lied too.

You wouldn’t believe it if someone came up to you and told you that they were from 20 years into the future, yet they’re believable within a science fictional world about time travel.

(So, was that answer a lie or the truth?)

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
Grand Prize (INT):
·         Signed Copy of The End is Now
·         Signed Copy of The Guardians of Man
·         Signed Copy of The Darkness
·         Free Code for the audiobook …And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
 First Prize (US):
·         Signed Copy of The End is Now
·         Signed Copy of The Guardians of Man
·         Free Code for the audiobook …And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
 Second Prize (US):
·         Signed Copy of The End is Now
·         Free Code for the audiobook …And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
Third Prize (INT):
·         Free Code for the audiobook …And They All Lived Happily Ever After!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Into the Myth by R.L. Weeks

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Title:  Into the Myth
Author:  R.L. Weeks
Published:  August 27th, 2015  
Publisher:  Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy
Recommended Age:  13+

Synopsis:  “Your myth, my reality”
College can’t come soon enough for Lily. That is until Kyle, the new transfer, shows an interest in her. Except, since he’s been in town, strange accidents have been happening. Accidents that Kyle seems to be insinuating are Lily’s fault.
When she learns the truth, she is thrown into a world she didn’t believe to be true, but she is in danger. There are many forces against her, ones she has to try and protect herself and her loved ones from. The problem is, the biggest threats could be concealed in the lies of the people she loves. She has to quickly decipher who she can trust and who’s against her, if not, she could lose a lot more than her life.


Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited!


Excerpt from Into the Myth by R.L. Weeks:
“So there is no actual proof. I mean, they say that’s what happens, but it could be a fairy tale to prevent people from doing those rituals. Her lover could have been miserable because she died and he loved her.” Everyone in the class is now staring at me, their mouths open a little. I raise an eyebrow to my perplexed professor. “Umm… I…” he splutters, looks at the picture of her then back to me. “You could be right.” He presses his lips together and manages to produce a half-smile. “But it would be unwise for someone to try and prove those theories wrong.” He pauses, everyone stares at him. I follow the bead of sweat trickling down the side of his head. “As there’s a good chance they could be right.”
“I would never attempt to do black magic. I was just making a point,” I lie. He nods and turns his attention back to the class. He recites a script written by one of her lovers. I sit at the desk, a little amused. Although I feel a little happier knowing it hasn’t actually been proven, his words still echo in my mind. They could be right, the theories. I spend the rest of the lesson admiring the picture of the woman who risked everything to bring back the one she loved. I wonder if there’s a way to find out if she really did damn herself to an eternity of pain in the underworld. I doubt it. I wonder how many sorcerers have tried and failed to find out.
“Produce a six-page essay on her years between twenty and twenty-five. Most of her spells were created within this time. Bonus points to anyone who can find out what ritual she created, that later affected the King of England, Henry the Eighth,” he hollers, bringing me out of my daydream.
What was that about Henry the Eighth? Never mind. The professor steps back and picks up several books, everyone gets up.
“That was awesome,” a guy says from behind me. I turn and look up at a tall muscular man with pale brown eyes.
“Umm… thanks.”
I smile nervously and go to walk out the door. I spot Miles just in front of me.
“Miles.”
“What’s your name?” The muscular guy interrupts me and Miles disappears out of view. I allow three girls to pass me, all of whom shoot Mr. Muscles a flirtatious smile. Then look at me with annoyance or envy, I can’t tell.
“Lily,” I say and look out the window. I can’t see Miles anywhere.
“Pretty name. I’m Sean, Sean Pelletier,” he says, extending his hand. I shake his hand and pull my fingers out of his tight grip.
“Nice to meet you. Wait, Pelletier, isn’t that?”
“Yes, my ancestors founded the society,” he says proudly. His surname is engraved on almost every wall in the building.
“Awesome.”
“So, how are you finding it here?” he asks. He glides his hand through his raven black, shoulder-length hair. I follow him out onto the courtyard and spot Miles on one of the benches.
“Things are going great.”
His face splits into a grin as he eyes up my bear necklace. “In good with some Berserkers?” How does he know?




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About the Author:
Rebecca is an author living in Exeter, UK. She grew up in Devon, surrounded by local folklore, which she incorporates into her writing. She doesn’t believe there are enough books for teens with strong female protagonists tackling real issues whilst incorporating the fantasy elements that offers teens the ‘escape from reality’. Her first book, a new adult dark fantasy was published in August 2015 by A-argus publishing. Into the Myth, a young adult urban fantasy, the first in a series of four, is set to release on the 27th August 2015 by CHBB publishing. As well as writing full-time, Rebecca works part time as a support worker. Editing others works, studying for her psychology diploma, blogging about various supernatural news and writing tips for other authors, are among the other things that Rebecca enjoys doing in her spare time. She hopes to write novels that inspire and help young people, in the same way, as she believes fantasy books helped her through tough times.

 
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Giveaway Details:
The author is hosting an awesome giveaway where you can WIN a bunch of prizes! Up for grabs are 2 Kindle Paperwhites with cases, 8 signed copies of Into the Myth, 15 bookmarks, 5 pens, 3 chapsticks, 2 Iphone 5/5s cases, 1 Into the Myth keyring and 5 fridge magnets. 
Enter the two giveaways at the links below:


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Stay With Me–author Lily Adile Lamb–NEW interview!

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 photo Stay-with-Me.jpgTitle:  Stay With
Me
Author:  Lily Adile
Lamb
Published:  July 25th,
2015  
Publisher:  Encompass
Ink Publishing
Genre:  Contemporary
Gay Romance, M/M
Content Warning:  Explicit
sexual content, mild violence
Recommended Age:  18+
 
Synopsis:
It has been weeks since Curtis first saw the young waiter
with the haunted eyes. No matter how often he went to the café to find the
right opportunity to introduce himself, that moment simply did not come that
quickly.
 
Joseph was aware of the gentle giant who quietly came to
have his lunch and then left day after day. Fearing his father’s wrath and
under his ever watchful eyes, he made no moves nor overtures. Until one day
when the other man approaches to him…
 
 
 
Excerpt from Stay with Me by Lily Adile Lamb:
His colleague Jason spoke highly of the little corner café
at the mall. Curtis decided to try the food during his lunch break, since he’d
left his sandwiches on the kitchen bench-top at home that morning. Bugger, he
thought sourly, because it was a typically hot Aussie day, and he wasn’t in the
mood to walk to the mall. Perth had always been sweltering in the summer, but
today, it was humid as well. He hated the thought of sweating and then having
visible wet patches painting the fabric under his arms. 
He didn’t want to give the impression of being a sweaty, smelly, big bear.
Curtis was slightly overweight, and at just over six-feet, it made him feel
visible and a little self-conscious in the crowd. 
He waved at everyone as he left. At the bank where he worked as a teller in
central Perth, he got on well with everyone. His colleagues often teased him
about choosing to work longer hours, but he took it on the chin. Of course,
they’d tease him because he couldn’t hide his shyness.
Emerging from the building, he felt the scorching heat instantly. He quickly
walked, using the shade of other buildings. His wallet was in his pocket, and
he carried his Kindle. Curtis was a voracious reader and hooked on the newest
thriller/suspense novel by his favorite author, Dorien Grey. He’d left his
mobile phone behind, so he wouldn’t be distracted by phone calls. 
As it was a Friday, the mall was busy. He looked around curiously before
climbing down the stairs to the Asian café in the corner. It was busy and had a
long queue. Fuck. I hope I won’t spend my lunch break standing here, he thought
irritably. 
Waiting at the counter to order his meal, Curtis glanced at a short, slim Asian
waiter, taking a steaming hot bowl of some epicurean delight to a lucky
customer. He couldn’t see the man’s face, but something about his general
demeanor caught his attention. He moved deftly through the crowds carrying the
bowl to its intended customer. What caught Curtis’s attention was the way he hunched
his shoulders as if he didn’t wish to be noticed by anyone. No one that young
should walk like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. Curtis
couldn’t take his eyes off the man with the fragile appearance.
“What can I get for you?” the elderly attendant asked, looking directly at
Curtis.
“Huh? Oh! I’d like to order a small size of your special fried rice, please,”
Curtis said. He paid for it and was given a number to pick up his lunch when it
was called. He walked away from the counter, but stood close enough to collect
his meal. He waited for a while, but grew tired of standing like a beanpole
among those much shorter than him, and looked around for a free table. 
He again found himself watching the waiter. This time, he had a better
opportunity to look at him, noting the man’s full profile. He had short, dark
hair that complemented his pale complexion and the pixie-like, fragile bone
structure of his youthful face. Curtis sat down but didn’t open his Kindle.
Instead, he watched the waiter, whose face appeared sad and pale, as if he
didn’t see much sun, despite the sunny days of summer. Curtis sighed and
finally opened his Kindle to read. Immersed in the story, he forgot about his
surroundings and got caught up in the adventure. Since he had a thing for
wounded male heroes, he could already visualize the character, John, in the
story.
Excuse me? Did you order the fried rice?” asked a quiet voice. 
Curtis looked up and found the waiter he’d been checking out earlier holding
his food. “Oh! Yes, that’s what I ordered.” Curtis felt bad for forgetting to
pick up his lunch. It was clear the guy was extremely busy. “Sorry, I forgot to
come to the counter.”
The man smiled reassuringly at Curtis before he dropped his gaze. “It’s fine.”
Then he walked away. 
For the first time, Curtis had been able to look directly into his eyes. He had
delicately exotic Asian features. His eyes are amazing, nearly black in color,
yet lack any sparkle. In fact, they looked haunted. He had a cute little nose
and his lips were full, almost pouty. Curtis continued to watch the man who was
much shorter compared to Curtis’s big frame. He felt suddenly protective toward
him. 
By the time Curtis finished his fried rice, his lunch break was nearly over. He
wiped his mouth with the tissue and stood up to leave, but couldn’t resist the
urge to look back at the man one last time.

 

Chapter One

 

 
A month had passed since Curtis first saw the waiter. He wasn’t sure whether he
should continue going to the café each day for lunch because he hadn’t found
the courage to approach the guy. He was worried people had begun to notice and
felt nervous that his behavior was stalkerish. He tried to appear as though he
went there for the good food only and not for the man himself. The waiter was
certainly cute, but more than that drew Curtis in. The sadness that overlaid
the sweetness caught his attention and held it. That was what kept him coming
back again and again. 
It made his heart heavy to think people might’ve noticed his behavior and think
he was creepy. Who wanted to be known as a creepy stalker-bear guy? 
He prayed he was being subtle and hoped he wasn’t receiving any speculative
looks from anyone. But he really had to make a decision soon—either strike up a
conversation with the guy, or stop coming for lunch and torturing himself. 
There he was, wiping a table for a couple of customers. He was wearing the same
style of clothes as before. The jeans he wore looked old and frayed, but they
hugged his cute little arse as he bent over, took a swipe at the table with a
damp rag, and collected the dishes. When he stood up, it was obvious the shirt
was as old as the jeans. It was thinned to nearly nothing from frequent
laundering. So transparent, it could have been made of gauze—it did nothing to
hide the guy’s ribs. 
Curtis didn’t even realize he stood stock-still, staring at the man until his
eyes caught the old man at the cashier’s desk glaring at him with a clenched
jaw. His deep frown made Curtis feel awkward to the point where he felt his
cheeks burning. He looked at his phone and checked for messages but still
furtively watched the waiter. He saw the expression he’d come to recognize as
sadness, but this time, there was more to it. He looked like a man who’d lost
all hope. He was also limping and dragged his feet at times. 
Is he injured? Why does he look like he’s in despair? Fuck. What’s happening in
his life? …..

 

 
About the Author:
Lily Adile, a Turkish writer, lived in the UK for many years before emigrating to
Australia. She visits her family in Turkey regularly and travels to other
countries, like Singapore, to visit other family members.
 
She is blessed with three grown up children and a furry child, Sir JJ Basil.
 
 
 
 We are so happy to have Lily with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.  Intensely emotional. I forget to sleep and do anything else.

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

Last year and it was the scene where Joseph and Curtis first set their eyes on each other.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

Write a story that comes from my heart to tell others. It needs to have a meaning and bring out the best in you. It needs to have real life like characters.

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

I don’t always balance well. I am grateful for my husband who understands how I get carried away and takes it in his stride. There have been moments, I did not want to sleep or go out. It lessens my TV time as well. But I do my best to make sure my husband does not feel neglected because he is my anchor.

5) Why did you write this book?

This story has therapeutic qualities for me… It helped me to let go.

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

The domestic violence part and feeling hopeless and then meeting someone who showed nothing but kindness.

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

I want to tell more stories to adults…the stories that they could read late at night in the bed to relax and smile about. I also dream of becoming a full-time writer with improved skills and better online editing software. Hahahaa

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

Oh. People love to come to my home for dinners. My culinary skills bring out the kid in my friends. I asked them to just come along and see what delicious surprises are waiting for them. Would you believe, some of them even cancel their other arrangements so they could sit at my table ? Yeah. I slave myself in the kitchen to create that welcome to my home and let’s have fun while eating experience.

 

 
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Encompass Ink Publishing
Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include
the following:

 

  • 2 Kindle copies of Stay with Me

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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