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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Ashen Rayne by Skye Knizley from JGBS

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Title:   Ashen Rayne
Series:  Shadowlands #1
Author:  Skye Knizley
Published:  July 6th, 2015
Publisher:  Vamptasy Publishing/Encompass Ink
Genre:  LGBT Thriller
Recommended Age:  18+
I have to say that I’ve been waiting for this book to be released.  I’m really excited to read it.  It sounds like it’s going to be awesome!

Synopsis:
Young women are vanishing from Miami’s club scene, most disappearing without a trace, others found suffocated in plastic bags, their battered corpses filled with a deadly cocktail of narcotics.

There are no suspects and few clues.

When exotic dancer Rayne is taken, her sister Blaze calls the ladies of Shadowlands to find her.

With only five days before Rayne is found dead or never found at all, Smoak and Ash dive into Miami’s underworld of drugs, prostitution and slavery, using every skill they have to find her before the clock runs out.

Alone?

Afraid?

Lost?

In trouble and have nowhere to turn?

Call Shadowlands. We’re here to help.




FREE with Kindle Unlimited



Excerpt from Ashen Rayne by Skye Knizley:
Smoak arrived in North Beach nearly half an hour after leaving the apartment. The lunch rush had been murder on Alton Road, and she’d been forced to wind her way through traffic, which did nothing to improve her mood.

 

Murphy lived in a large condominium complex with views of both the ocean and the not too distant skyscrapers of the city proper. Each of the condominiums within the complex were two stories tall with four apartments per building, two on the top and two on the bottom.

Murphy’s residence was on the first floor with a walk out to the harbor beyond the complex. Smoak parked her bike on the street in front of his building and walked toward his door, her hands in her jacket pockets. 

Detective Murphy answered the door after Smoak’s third persistent ring of the doorbell. He was messy-haired and stood bleary eyed in his boxers, the fly hanging open.

“What do you want?” he growled. “I work nights!”

Smoak lowered her glasses. “Hey, Murphy, long time no see. I’d hoped Mr. Higgins had buried you under a bigger rock, but here we are, just like old times. Do you have a minute for a friend?”

“You…” Murphy breathed.

“Me,” Smoak confirmed. 

Murphy stared for a moment then pushed the door shut in Smoak’s face. She could hear him moving around inside and knew he was getting ready to run. She leaned back and kicked the door, popping the cheap lock with the heel of her boot. She followed through and glanced around the wide entryway. Murphy had knocked over two dining chairs in his haste. He’d also broken a glass coffee table in the next room and now stood amidst the glass, trying to put on a pair of pants and not cut his feet at the same time.

“What’s the problem, Murph?” Smoak asked. “I just want to ask you a couple questions. You act like I’m trying to sell you Amway.”

Murphy buckled his belt and backed away, reaching for the sliding door. “I’ve seen your military record, MacKenna. You aren’t here to ask any questions, they sent you to kill me!”
Smoak spread her hands to show they were empty. “What are you talking about? No one sent me. I’m looking for Rayne Nightingale, and I think you might have been one of the last people to see her. I just want to talk. Gaia, what has you so spooked?”

“You’re not here to kill me?” Murphy asked.

“Of course not! What kind of idiot kills a cop in his own place?” Smoak asked. “I’d wait till you were getting donuts…”

A shotgun blast ripped through the apartment door, breaking the hinges and knocking Smoak off her feet to fall in a heap among the dining chairs.

“Detective Murphy,” a man said in a Russian accent. “Gregor has decided it is time for you to retire.”

“The Russians!” Murphy yelled.

Smoak heard the sliding door open and the breaking of more glass, combined with the report of another shotgun blast. She gritted her teeth against the pain in her back and stood, drawing her knives as she rose. A large man, his broad chest and muscular arms covered in tattoos, stood in the doorway, a tactical shotgun clutched in his beefy hands.

“Go away, bub,” she said. “I need him alive.”

The man leveled his shotgun at her and sneered. “Too bad, girl. You brought knives to a gunfight. Move out of the way, and you won’t get hurt.”

“Not the first time,” Smoak replied. “Drop the shotgun and lay down on the floor with your hands on your head.”

 

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About the Author:

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 Wiccan, 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.


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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Print copy of Ashen Rayne with swag pack


Giveaway is US only.

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Ink Calls to Ink–Book Tour by Juniper Grove Book Solutions

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Title:   Ink Calls to Ink
Author:   Nathan Crowder
Published:  July 23rd, 2015
Publisher:  Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Content Warning:   PG-13 Violence


Synopsis:  Franklin the Steadfast Soldier saw first hand what the cold indifference of modern London does to a Fictional Personae–a Fict. Refugees from their respective texts, scratching out a meager existence, the Ficts’ only comfort is the weekly Book Fair.
When a determined Knight of the Round Table hires him to find a missing king, Franklin starts to believe a better world could be possible. But the Knight works for the Host of Heaven, and Medea and Judas warn Franklin: One man’s heaven is not heaven for all. There is no place for misfits and villains in this new world order, their crimes are pre-ordained, written into the very fabric of their being.
To protect their city from a holy war, Franklin and his friends must stop the Once and Future King and an army of angels. Will they find the courage to write their own stories, or will they die slaves to their text and the ink in their blood?

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Excerpt from Ink Calls to Ink by Nathan Crowder:
“What brings you to the Book Fair, Franklin?”

The richly-accented voice snapped the Soldier’s head around. He recognized Judas immediately. While not adversaries by any means, they had engaged in their share of disagreements at the shelter. Franklin didn’t know what it was about the fallen acolyte that set his teeth on edge and, for his part, Judas seemed to delight in testing the Steadfast nature of Franklin’s title. The Soldier said nothing. His eyes narrowed in suspicion when he saw the young Juliet Capulet in the Scripture’s company. “Surely you have nothing to sell,” Judas continued, “and little money with which to buy.”

This last was said without a hint of judgement, and they both acknowledged it as a truth—both men existed largely on the charity of others, and the occasional coin earned from their very specific skills and reputations. “I have been retained by a woman who desired a degree of protection while stepping out this evening.” The soldier indicated the flap of the tent behind him with a tilt of his head. He hiked himself up straighter upon his crutch. “While it is true that I possess skills rarely sought, my courage and integrity bring peace of mind to those who need it.”

Moll chose this inopportune time to fold back the flap. “Only a moment more and you will escort me home before William even knows I was gone,” she said, her tone pitched as though she was addressing a disobedient dog. She retreated back within the tent, ignorant of the flush appearing at the base of Franklin’s neck.

“That is who hired you?” Juliet joined in, pointing towards the tent, with a disbelieving look. Judas offered up a sad smile. “Tell me, Franklin: how much does your integrity cost these days?”

Franklin clenched his jaw. “Even a Steadfast Soldier needs to eat, Judas. We were not all given thirty silver coins.”

Both men glared hard at each other as if willing the other to burst into flames. Juliet looked embarrassed to be seen with either Judas or Franklin, and peeled herself free from their company. The waifish teen made a bee-line for Medea, which didn’t surprise the Soldier in the slightest.

It was Judas who broke the silence first, his voice cold and flat—a sterile scalpel. “How I enjoy these talks, Franklin.”

“And I as well,” the Steadfast Soldier’s voice dripped. “Let us do this again sometime soon.”

Judas ambled in the direction Juliet had gone. He didn’t seem to be following her so much as already heading that way. Franklin waited where he stood, and it was only a few seconds later that Moll exited the tent with a bemused smile. “Good news, I take it?” he asked.

“Great news. Now, hurry me back to my home.”

Scarcely had they taken five steps when a bellowing voice cleared a path behind them. “Moll, you scurrilous wench! You’ll learn the price you pay for cheating ol’ Billy Sikes!”

The Soldier’s head dropped in realization. “And that would be William?” he sighed to his employer.

Moll’s smile as she glanced back over her shoulder at Franklin was all sugar and razorblades. “If you want the rest of your money, you had better make certain he doesn’t lay a finger upon me.”

By the time Franklin had spun around, there was a clear path from him to Bill Sikes. The well-known Dickens rowdy wasn’t particularly tall, but his arms were corded with muscle, and veins bulged in his neck. His face was red with rage as he closed the twenty feet between with an incomprehensible roar. There will be no reasoning with him, the Soldier realized, at least not at this point. Like it or not, Franklin had to fight this madman. He tightened his grip on the crutch in his right hand. Remember, the client paid for courage as well as integrity, he thought distantly as he limped into desperate combat.

 


 photo Nathan-Crowder.pngAbout the Author:

Nathan Crowder is a writer of long fantasy and short horror with a love of pop culture and working-class heroes. He currently lives in the Bohemian wilds of Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood where he blogs about writing, film, and fringe candy, and is known to haunt the local coffee houses, comic shop, dives, and karaoke stages. Nathan lives alone with his cat, Shiva, who is currently managing his career in exchange for fresh kibble.

He has appeared in several anthologies including That Ain’t Right: Historic Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley, Coins of Chaos, and Cthulhurotica.





Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • 10 signed, print copies of Ink Calls to Ink
Giveaway is US and Canada only.




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