Category Archives: Guest Authors

Postings, short stories, and promotions for Authors

VBT – CREATING PLACES

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Creating Places
by Randy Ellefson

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GENRE:   Non-fiction

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Creating a unique, immersive setting one place at a time.

CREATING PLACES (THE ART OF WORLD BUILDING, #2) is a detailed how-to guide on inventing the heart of every imaginary world – places. It includes chapters on inventing planets, moons, continents, mountains, forests, deserts, bodies of water, sovereign powers, settlements, and interesting locales. Extensive, culled research on each is provided to inform your world building decisions and understand the impact on craft, story, and audience. You’ll also learn how and when to create history and maps. Experts and beginners alike will benefit from the free templates that make building worlds easier, quicker, and more fun.

Learn the difference between types of monarchies, democracies, dictatorships and more for realistic variety and believable conflict. Understand how latitude, prevailing winds, and mountains affect climate, rainfall, and what types of forests and deserts will exist in each location. Consistently calculate how long it takes to travel by horse, wagon, sailing vessels, or even dragon over different terrain types and conditions.

CREATING PLACES is the second volume in THE ART OF WORLD BUILDING, the only multi-volume series of its kind. Three times the length, depth, and breadth of other guides, the series can help fantasy and science fiction creators determine how much to build and why, how to use world building in your work, and whether the effort to create places will reap rewards for you and your audience.

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Excerpt

The term “tidal locking” will make many of us think of tides, but these are unrelated phenomenon. Our moon is tidally locked to the Earth. The same side is always facing us because the moon rotates on its axis in the same number of days it takes to orbit us. This might seem coincidental and unique, but most significant moons in our solar system are tidally locked to their planet; those nearest experience this first. Tidal locking is an eventual result caused by gravity. Early in a moon’s orbiting, it might not be tidally locked, but ours may have become locked in as few as a hundred days (its proximity and size having much to do with this).  A moon that is not tidally locked may have recently formed or been captured by the planet. Either way, the stabilization process hasn’t completed.

As world builders, we have some leeway to claim a satellite is locked or not. Most people are unfamiliar with the concept and we should only mention it if locking has occurred, as readers will assume the opposite without being told. Note that a close, large moon like ours will almost certainly be locked; during the brief period when ours was not, it and the Earth were molten and devoid of life.

Normally, only the satellite is locked to the planet, but they can become mutually tidally locked, as happened with Pluto and its moon, Charon. This means that each of them only sees one side of the other. If we stood on our moon, we’d see all sides of Earth as it rotates, but from Earth, we see only one side of the moon because they are not mutually tidally locked. If they were, the moon would stay in the exact same spot in the sky. About half the planet would see it, while the other half wouldn’t even know it existed unless traveling to the far side of the world. This would eliminate most tides (see next section) except those caused by the sun.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Randy Ellefson has written fantasy fiction since his teens and is an avid world builder, having spent three decades creating Llurien, which has its own website. He has a Bachelor’s of Music in classical guitar but has always been more of a rocker, having released several albums and earned endorsements from music companies. He’s a professional software developer and runs a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. suburbs. He loves spending time with his son and daughter when not writing, making music, or playing golf.

Creating Places universal buy link: http://www.books2read.com/creatingplaces

The Art of World Building Podcast http://www.artofworldbuilding.com/podcast (launching a week before the tour)

The Art of World Building Website: http://www.ArtofWorldBuilding.com

Author Website: http://www.RandyEllefson.com

FREE eBook: http://fiction.randyellefson.com/freebook/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/randyellefson

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyEllefsonAuthor

Google+: https://www.google.com/+RandyEllefson

NOTE: The book series has a new podcast where even more details are discussed. This podcast is free to listen! Follow along here: http://www.artofworldbuilding.com/podcast

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Randy Ellefson will be awarding an ultimate world builder’s package to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

http://www.artofworldbuilding.com/giveaways/ultimate-world-builders-giveaway/

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/10/blurb-blitz-creating-places-by-randy.html

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VBT – THE MIRROR SAID YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL

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About the Author

Austiage is a former national-level champion fencer who was born in Washington, DC. She speaks seven languages, attended American University, and is the founder of the Star Individuality Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports youths in developing their unique individuality. Her book The Mirror Said, “You’re Be-You-Tiful” explores the societal pressures that many people are faced with today and offers a game plan for nurturing individuality and owning one’s beauty.

Author

You can visit Austiage’s website at https://www.austiage.com/.

About the Book

 The Mirror Said You're Be-You-Tiful 3

Title: THE MIRROR SAID YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL
Author: Austiage
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 212
Genre: Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:

In her motivational self-help book, THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL, former elite athlete Austiage offers readers a foundation for embracing their unique beauty in a world that doesn’t always value diversity and individuality. Writing in a welcoming, conversational style, Austiage outlines a plan for embracing a positive self-image that develops from the inside out.

An unexpected question (“Does the mirror make you feel ugly?”) was the spark that led Austiage to pen THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL.” She met the young girl, Julianne, who posed the question while donating supplies to a children’s hospital. After talking with the girl about beauty and what it means, the author felt moved to share her thoughts with others on this delicate subject, which many people—young and old, male and female—frequently struggle with. The book has a powerful message that begins by focusing on the individual.

Austiage asserts that beauty is much more than aesthetic. She emphasizes that character is an essential component of beauty and encourages readers to bolster their character by being positive and kind to themselves and others. The author repeatedly stresses the importance of having a strong belief in one’s self and explains how this belief affects how people see themselves, the type of people they invite into their lives, and the manner in which they take care of themselves and pursue their goals.

THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL” takes an in-depth look at the necessity of self-care including eating well without foregoing pleasure, incorporating fitness and relaxation in one’s daily life, using makeup to highlight and enhance one’s beauty, discarding fear and doubt to follow opportunities to find one’s passion, and reevaluating relationships to make conscious decisions about the people in one’s life.

Austiage says, “In my point of view, my book is about helping those who are at the point in their lives that they want to feel better about themselves. I think my book will help people understand that they aren’t the only contributing factor in feeling good or bad about themselves. Rather, the everyday lifestyle choices they make, the people they surround themselves with, and the words they use all merge to develop a feeling unique to how they feel about their identity. Learning how to break down different aspects of daily life and to reevaluate them will dramatically change the way they perceive themselves.” Austiage wrote THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL” “to help everyone understand that they have the ability to feel beautiful. Ultimately, I want readers to step away from my book feeling happiness, beauty, and pride from the inside out.”

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

Getting Motivated for Your Purpose 

Finding your skills and talents—and using them—helps you become your best, beautiful self. Maybe you know exactly what your talents are, or maybe you need to find them. But everyone has a purpose on earth, and it is found through our talents and passions. If you don’t know what your purpose is, you can find it. In reality, you actually do know what your purpose is—you are the sole authority on who you are. Maybe your talent is hidden and you have to find it. Or maybe you have taken your talent for granted and no longer look upon it as a talent. Either way it is there and it has always been there and all you have to do is notice it and embrace it.

To identify your purpose, ask yourself, “What makes me smile? What makes me happy?” Then analyze your answers. It may not always seem clear at first, so keep thinking. For example going out to restaurants with your friends and trying new foods makes you the happiest. Most likely your purpose is not eating, but it may be becoming a chef who creates new foods. Pay particular attention to environments you are attracted to. What you enjoy doing, where you enjoy being, who you enjoy spending time with—these are all part of your purpose in life.

When you feel lost in your life, remember that no one is born found; at some point we need to be lost in order to be found. When I’m feeling lost, I’ve learned not to say that I am lost (that has a negative connotation); instead I say I am currently on the path to becoming found.

Your purpose cannot come by force, finding passions and your purpose in life will come when it is time. You will find it even if you are feeling lost and destroyed. Many times we need to break in order to be rebuilt into who we are supposed to become.

Once you’re purpose is clear, you become motivated. Self-motivation is so beautiful and attractive, although it is not something aesthetic. Be the person who wakes up with a purpose in life. Be the person who will chase their own dreams. People will only start to motivate you when they realize that you already are motivated.

Being self-motivated is not only something that others are attracted to, but being a self-motivated individual gives you a purpose in life which is then going to create confidence within oneself. Feeling beautiful always comes down to feeling confident and pride in ones self.

So many times when we think of being self-motivated as something that is difficult or we wonder if we have it in us to motivate ourselves. In reality becoming self-motivated is 4 simple P’s: Passion, Purpose, Position and Positivity.

Passion: Ask yourself the questions: What am I passionate about? What do I love? What do I never get tired of doing? If you can find something you are genuinely passionate about you will always have a feeling of motivation regardless of how hard you need to work to accomplish the goals you have set. When you are also focused on doing something that you have a passion about you will also be a happier person overall. Purpose: you now have a passion you want to be involved in, now comes the tricky part is to determine what your mission is. You can find your purpose my asking yourself these questions: What about my passion inspires me? When determine what inspires within in a certain topic you have purpose because you know understand how you want to be involved within your passion.

Position: Being able to figure out what it is that you want to do within this topic is crucial. The best way to do this is to just get our a piece of paper and pen and just start to brainstorm all the different positions you could to take on with that passion, and once you have a list then just starting to number then in order of priority—based on your skills and goals. From there you’ll be able to determine what position you want to take on.

Positive: Finally the last key on being able to being a self-motivated individual is to always have a positive outlook on the situation. Obviously there are highs and lows in life, so even if you are involved with some- thing that you are passionate about there are going to be times where not everything will go as you had planned. But understanding these situations and anticipating them will allow you to keep a positive outlook and will allow you to stay self-driven.

Book Teaser:

VBT – Penchant for Vengeance

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About the Book

Title: Penchant for Vengeance
Author: Robert Downs
Genre: Mystery

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Charlottesville, Virginia, Police Detective Luke McGinty has a closet filled with demons, along with a few skeletons; a steady job, but no steady partner or girlfriend; and is still married to his wife Sallie, even though she’s been dead for three years. Then his detective work takes a turn for the worse when a body is discovered at the downtown mall. One dead body isn’t enough, though, and another one turns up. When ties to a cold murder case in another county present themselves, Luke realizes that, if he doesn’t tread carefully, he could end up short more than just a few answers…

Author Bio

Robert Downs LCC

Robert Downs aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. When he’s not writing, Downs can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. To find out more about his latest projects, or to reach out to him on the Internet, visit the author’s website: www.RobertDowns.net. PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE is his fifth novel.

Links

Author website http://www.RobertDowns.net

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RobertDownsBooks

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4821934.Robert_Downs

Giveaway

Giveaway for 2 paperbacks and 2 eBook copies of “Penchant for Vengeance” during the book tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Excerpts

Excerpt #1

Traffic was light—Charlottesville, Virginia, despite being a college town, had a curfew—the morning was dark, and a light mist filled the air, adding drops of water to my bright yellow 1974 Camaro. I took the back roads, rather than using US 250 to reach the downtown mall, with Regal Cinema located near the center, off Main Street. I reached the scene in less than ten minutes, including parking, without using a siren, or running a single red light. The body, however, wasn’t nearly as successful as I was.

“Can’t you guys pick a more reasonable hour?” I asked. “Crime should wait until at least nine o’clock.”

“Why don’t you get your butt out of bed like everyone else?” a cop said.

The man didn’t look familiar, nor did his crew cut, wide shoulders, and pressed uniform. His face lacked wrinkles, and his scowl provided more menace than a rabbit with a semi-automatic weapon.

“I did. I’m here, aren’t I?”

I’d flashed my shield to get in, and now I wanted to flash my nine-millimeter. The early hour meant a yawn preceded one hand wrapped around the thick neck of my competition. I preferred reasonable solutions since reasonableness was all I had left. “What do we know?” I asked.

“We know you don’t belong here,” Nelson Rivers said.

Like his name implied, he preferred headlocks to handshakes and shaved heads over full-haired ones. He and I had respectfully disagreed on multiple occasions, so often I couldn’t remember the last time we’d ever agreed on anything other than the day of the week. He had hands the size of pencil sharpeners, and he pushed more buttons than he allowed pushed in return. What he needed was a little less mouth and a lot more action.

I ignored his comment. Ignorance was a hard emotion to pin down, but it seemed to rear its ugly head quicker than the other ones. And crime scenes brought out a special kind of ignorance. I had a few emotions left in my system, despite the hour, and I wanted to save them for the victim, who appeared about my age.

Excerpt #2

The body was bent like a pretzel. Wounds that were possibly from a knife or a whip slathered the body from the neck to the pubic region, deep enough to resemble tattoos. Some were spaced closely enough to disfigure the top half of the body, rendering an exact age nearly impossible. A crime of passion entered the forefront of my mind, and it clung to the roof of my mouth. The victim probably knew his killer intimately, or was, at the very least, an acquaintance.

The wounds stood out for me: a multitude of lacerations that made me unable to look away. When I scanned below the belt, I noticed the mutilated genitalia, rendering the man much less of one. I didn’t like the look of the scene, with the body splayed at an obscene angle, dropped right outside the glass front doors of Regal Cinema to render two of the doors nearly impassable. It resembled something. I just wasn’t sure what. I’d probably blocked it out of my mind, being that I frequented this particular cinema and watched more movies than I cared to admit.

I hoped it never came back, the thought I had blocked. It always did in the end. That was what hurt the most: Movies exacerbated the oddities of life.

Killers were usually born not made, but sometimes, it was the other way around.

The victim’s hands were positioned above his head, forming a triangle, as if he prayed in death to some higher power. Positioned that way by the killer, his hands rubbed up against each other, his head tilted slightly upward. The wounds to the victim’s hands told me he had put up a struggle, knowing that death was inevitable, yet he had wanted to live all the way to the end. But it wasn’t enough. It often never was.

The lack of blood told me the victim wasn’t killed here, and other than a nude body covered in wounds and dried blood, like strokes from a brush, with his hands pointed toward the sky, there were no other obvious signatures. His head was shaved with only a small area of stubble on his chin. His height and weight fell in the average region, his eyes were black, and his lips formed a permanent grimace. He had defensive wounds on both his wrists and the back of his hands, and his skin was as white as a first-floor apartment.

“Who’s the victim?” I asked.

“Victim’s name is unknown, until we run some tests,” the ME said. “Other than being male, and probably between thirty-five and forty years old, I’m out of guesses.”

Addie Ferguson, the ME, had a knack for guessing ages, along with her serious attention to detail. A short woman, with a few extra pounds she could never seem to get rid of, she preferred ankle-length skirts, black boots, and blue blouses.

“Have we got a time of death?”

VBT – THE EXILED OTHERKIN

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The Exiled Otherkin

by D. Lieber

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GENRE: Fantasy Romance

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Exiled from Faerie when her father dies, half-Fae Ember is surprised by how much the human realm has changed since she was there last. She takes a dangerous job on a merchant airship, hoping a life on the move will keep her well-hidden. Sure, she misses her brother, but years of apathy have numbed her emotions.

When the optimistic and naïve Reilley follows her, it’s annoying to say the least. But when she starts feeling responsible for him, long-stifled emotions crack the ice around her heart.

Faeries, pirates, and traveling players meet in this steampunk fantasy adventure as Ember tries to cope with feelings long forgotten and a past that pursues her.

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EXCERPT

Men and women dashed around the room, gleaming with sweat and smudged with black smears. The fires burned low. A large furnace at the center of the room had a thick chimney leading from it into the ceiling. Some people were moving piles of what looked like coal, while others tended a huge machine. It consisted of a number of large metal coils attached to gears. Some of the coils were wound tight while others were loose. The gears attached to the coils were meshed with gears that had magnets on them. Ropes, made of a material I couldn’t identify, were threaded through the center of the magnet gears.

We passed through engineering and climbed to the main deck. The wooden deck sprawled before us. The chimney from engineering came up through the floor and reached toward the cloth bubble above us.

Shy pointed to a cabin on the left. “That’s where you’ll bunk with the rest of the deckhands, Ember. I still have inventory to do. I trust you both can get settled?” He disappeared below deck.

I walked toward the cabin, and Reilley followed.

“I wish we were bunking together, Ember,” he said, slumping his shoulders. I didn’t respond and entered the cabin, shutting the door in his face.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television, Bollywood, or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.

She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise), and cat (Yin).

Links

Website: www.dlieber.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dlieberwriting

Google+: www.google.com/+DLieber

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15163863.D_Lieber

Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM2fewELAj0

Publisher: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/theexiledotherkin

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0779C96ZZ/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-exiled-otherkin-d-lieber/1127108556

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

D. Lieber will be awarding a fancy homemade bookmark (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a fancy homemade bookmark – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Q&A With… 

Tell us about you as a person. 

I’m a bit eclectic. You can find me equally at home at a museum of natural history as walking through the woods or at a baseball game. I love learning about different cultures, traveling, learning foreign languages, watching foreign television, or listening to foreign music. I’m the type to get excited about little things, and my goal is to make real connections with people in this life.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’m hesitant to choose a famous person I admire. I mean, what is he or she turns out to be a jerk? I’d rather experience a specific time period or place. I’d like to spend a day on Montmartre during the Belle Époque or maybe go to a historical world’s fair.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

After getting into steampunk, I really wanted to write a steampunk story. I don’t recall why I decided to put faeries in it, though I remember thinking very hard and the idea hitting me like a smack on the head. Once I had the two main characters clearly in my mind, it flowed fairly easily with not too many bumps in the process.

What is your writing process? 

It depends on the story I’m writing. I like to write by the seat of my pants with only a vague idea of where the story is heading, but that only works with certain stories. For instance, that was fine for The Exiled Otherkin, but I had to plot everything ahead of time for my detective story. I prefer to be alone in my house with absolute silence and no interruptions when writing, though again there are exceptions. If I need to evoke a certain mood in a scene, I may listen to instrumental music of different genres.

Tell us about your main character.

My protagonist, Ember, is a half-Fae who is exiled from Faerie when her father dies. When readers first meet her, she is an apathetic sort. She has actively tried to cut off her emotions for many years in order to protect herself and those around her. The only person she’s really close to is her younger brother, Pika. She’s not opposed to being close to men physically, though emotionally is out of the question. She’s a strong person, able to take care of herself in most situations. It will take a soft, nonthreatening presence to catch her off guard.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

I don’t believe in choosing an actress before auditions. The best person for the role may be someone unknown.

What are you working on next?

The next story readers are likely to see is called Intended Bondmates:

Vampires may feed on humans, but nothing is as irresistible to them as fae blood.

Runa has long given up on being content with her life. Her only goal is to protect Mikhail until he awakens and gains his full magic. For the last thirteen years, ever since tragedy struck when they were children, she has protected him as was expected of his werewolf guardian. Though she has started looking for a mate, she can’t imagine what will happen once she’s free of Mikhail. But when he requests to be unbound from her before his awakening, she’s given the chance to return to her intended bondmate.

She expects a warm welcome from Konner, not foreseeing his bitterness at having been abandoned. Konner isn’t the only one who is bitter. His brother’s guardian, Rowan, has had to protect both faelings while she was with Mikhail.

It’s up to Runa to find a way to soothe these two demanding males if she hopes to make up for her past betrayal.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Stay active. Go to conventions, interact on social media, and support other authors.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I’ve never read anyone who could weave so many plot yarns together in such a colorful tapestry as Dumas.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Talents? Probably not. There are a lot of things I work to be good at. I love to sing and knit.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

I’d want to be able have a way to make people understand each other’s intentions, almost like a universal language. I think the world would be a lot more peaceful if people tried harder to understand each other.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

In no particular order:

  1. Climb Machu Picchu on a llama
  2. Mount the Glastonbury Tor
  3. Meditate under a tree at a Himalayan Buddhist monastery
  4. Bathe in a hot spring in Japan
  5. Get access to the Vatican Archives

Where can readers find you on the web?

They could go to my website, www.dlieber.com, and subscribe to my newsletter. They can also connect with me on Facebook, www.facebook.com/dlieberwriting or Google+, www.google.com/+DLieber. And I always love to hear what they think on Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/dlieberwriting.

Any final thoughts?

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Exiled-Otherkin-D-Lieber/dp/1612969534

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-exiled-otherkin-d-lieber/1127108556?ean=9781612969534

VBT – Too True to be Good

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Too True to be Good

by Mary E. Thompson

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GENRE:  Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

His life was good…

Zach Bennett was content to go to work, hang out with his family and friends, and entertain a woman once in a while. As his family found love all around him, he was content to stay single. Unattached. Happy.

Besides, he had enough to worry about with a new chef breathing down his neck for his job.

She faced the truth every day…

Gianna Brooks always wanted to work with people. She saw enough growing up to know kids need all the help they can get. They deserved to be safe. Loved. Happy.

Which is why she’s determined to get her new client into a forever home.

But the truth isn’t always good…

The last thing Zach needs is a little girl showing up on his doorstep claiming she’s his. Her social worker hot on her heels, and demanding a place to stay, definitely doesn’t make it any better. Especially with Gianna’s curvy body and bedroom eyes, and his daughter’s sad sweetness, making him consider keeping both of them.

Gianna knows she should run. Zach knows he should send them away. But neither of them can resist the pull toward the other.

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EXCERPT

Zach pulled in a deep breath and sunk into the couch. Summer was curled up next to him, her little knees digging into his hip. He couldn’t believe it had only been a few days since she appeared. It was starting to feel like she’d been there forever.

Gianna padded into the room. Her hair was tied up, out of her face. He ached to tug it out of the ponytail it was in and run his hands through it, but instead he just smiled.

“She’s asleep already?” Gianna asked with a laugh.

Zach nodded. “Yeah. She had a busy day.”

“Your family has been wonderful with her.”

Zach grinned. His mom took to Summer like she’d always been a part of the family.

“They all love kids.”

“That’s obvious. Summer will be lucky to stay here.”

The thought of Summer staying still scared him, but he had to admit, he was getting used to it. She was a little presence in his life that would keep him on his toes. He was starting to get a true picture of who she was. He liked her. Maybe even loved her.

Was it possible?

Falling in love with a woman was impossible for Zach to imagine, even when Gianna settled on his other side, smelling irresistible from her shower. Lust, yeah. But love? Zach didn’t know love like he felt for Summer before. He never wanted to let her go. He felt like everything was right with her pressed against his side.

Then Gianna asked, “What are you going to do if she’s not yours?”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn’t need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book.

When Mary’s not reading, she’s playing with her two kids or living out her own real life romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it’s paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there’s no chocolate in the house. Unless there’s wine. Then everything is okay.

Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she’s the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah, she thinks she’s crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.

Author Links

Website – http://maryethompson.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/authormaryethompson

Twitter – http://twitter.com/authormet

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/maryethompson

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-e-thompson

Amazon Author Page – http://amazon.com/author/maryethompson

Book Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074VDYHK2/

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/too-true-to-be-good

iBooks – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/too-true-to-be-good/id1272226740?mt=11

B&N – http://barnesandnoble.com/s/2940158590726/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – Stairway to Paradise

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About the Author

 Nadia Natali

Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook. 

Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.

DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.

Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book

 Stairway to Paradise

Title: STAIRWAY TO PARADISE: GROWING UP GERSHWIN
Author: Nadia Natali
Publisher: RareBird Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir

BOOK BLURB:

Growing up as Frankie Gershwin’s daughter, the sister of George and Ira Gershwin, was quite a challenge. I didn’t have the perspective to realize that so much unhappiness in a family was out of the ordinary. But I knew something was off. My mother was often depressed and my father was tyrannical and scary, one never knew when he would blow up. I learned early on that I had to be the cheery one, the one to fix the problems. Both sides of my family were famous; the Gershwin side and my father who invented color film. But even though there was more than enough recognition, money and parties I understood that wasn’t what made people happy.

As a young adult adrift and depressed I broke from that unsatisfactory life by marrying Enrico Natali, a photographer, deeply immersed in his own questions about life. We moved into the wilderness away from what we considered as the dysfunction of society. That’s when we discovered that life had other kinds of challenges: flood, fire, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. We lived in a teepee for more than four years while building a house. Curiously my mother never commented on my life choice. She must have realized on some level that her own life was less than satisfactory.

Enrico had developed a serious meditation practice that had become a kind of ground for him. As for me I danced. Understanding the somatic, the inner body experience, became my way to shift the inner story.

We raised and homeschooled our three children. I taught them to read, Enrico taught them math. The kids ran free, happy, always engaged, making things, and discovering. We were so sure we were doing the right thing. However, we didn’t have a clue how they would make the transition to the so-called ‘real world’. The children thrived until they became teenagers. They then wanted out. Everything fell apart for them and for Enrico and me. Our lives were turned upside down, our paradise lost. There was tragedy: our son lost his life while attempting to cross our river during a fierce storm. Later I was further challenged by advanced breast cancer.

It was during these times that I delved deeply into the somatic recesses of myself. I began to find my own voice, a long learning process. I emerged with a profound trust in my own authority. It became clear that everyone has to find his or her way through layers of inauthenticity, where a deep knowing can develop. And I came to see that is the best anyone can offer to the world.

Enrico and I still live in the wilds of the Lost Padres National Forest, a paradise with many steps going up and down, a life I would not change.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

 

Book Excerpt

We’d caravanned in separate vehicles, hauling all that we could carry in and on top of our cars, in addition to a foldout trailer hitched to Enrico’s Toyota jeep. At the end of a long, winding two-lane road that followed Matilija Creek, a brown metal gate barred our way. Beyond the gate lay the Los Padres National Forest, wilderness, and a mile farther up a dirt road through the canyon, our property. We had to wait for a key to open the lock, a key that a forest ranger was going to hand over—the key to our new life. I gazed toward the jagged and intimidating mountains that leaned over the canyon. Inhaling the sweet smell of the dry chaparral, I couldn’t help but compare it to the lush, green landscape of my childhood home in Connecticut. This is going to be a very different life, I thought. My privileged upbringing seemed the polar opposite of this place, and maybe that was what attracted me to it. Observing the struggles of my family and seeing that money and fame had failed to bring happiness, I’d learned I needed to find my own path. I had not fully formulated my goal, but it was something unique and original, and I had to find it on my own.

Behind the Scenes of Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin

This memoir is about my bumpy journey toward truth and authenticity with the hope that those of you who read it can glean some value.

You may believe fame and wealth bring happiness. That was not my experience.

My mother, sister of George and Ira Gershwin, and my father who invented color film were the primary models in my childhood. Growing up with such talent as I did, you learn early on that it distorts values.

I unwittingly set my brilliant father up as an authority figure, even though he was terrifying and unpredictable. And because the family dynamic was unhealthy I didn’t know whom to trust or even that trust was possible, especially in myself. Later as a young woman I turned away from my background and looked to teachers and professionals for the truth. It took some time for me to realize that their expertise could only take me so far.

After one false start and then another I found a caring partner, Enrico, whom I initially turned to, believing he could impart a way for me to find my own direction and answers, as he seemed to have found for himself. What was so radical to learn was how and where to look. What I learned was going to sensations in the body rather than the thinking mind was where the key to change and transformation lay.

We married and moved out to the wilderness where we faced floods, fire, rattle snakes, mountain lions and bears. In the years it took to build a house we lived in a teepee. We tried to create our own paradise where we raised and homeschooled three children.

Our life turned upside down when the kids became teenagers. Paradise crashed and my relationship with Enrico deteriorated. The grown children struggled to find a place in the outside world. We faced tragedy and I, cancer. This was when my hard earned ability to experience the somatic (inner experience as sensation) helped regulate me and provide me with a chance to find authenticity and authority, as well as a more mature relationship with Enrico. I was able to use this inner working as a way to help others, which I call DanceMedicine, a healing through movement.

We are still living in the wilderness and offer workshops and retreats to anyone who is interested.

Release Day Book Blast – Devil’s Gamble

BookBlast_TourBanner_DevilsGamble copy

Devil’s Gamble- BOOK 2, Tarnished Billionaires Series
by Michele Arris

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance (steamy)

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BLURB

Sienna Keller saw how men used her mother, and from an early age she swore she’d never allow it to happen to her. So when she meets smooth-talking billionaire Gavin Crane, who uses his connections to help her art career, she resolves to keep things strictly professional—no matter how gorgeous he is.

Gavin might be the son of the head of the Kavanagh organized crime family, but he wants no part of that life. It’s important to him to prove to Sienna that he’s a good guy. But when she winds up in the hospital with a gunshot wound, he is driven to exact revenge. His father agrees to provide security to watch over her as well as find the man who shot her, but at a cost—Gavin must come back into the family business.

As Sienna begins to let her guard down around Gavin, seeing the kind, caring man he’s always wanted her to see, his secrets begin to pile up. Has she done the one thing she vowed never to do—trusted her heart to the wrong man?

BookCover_DEVILS GAMBLE COVER

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EXCERPT

“You have your room keycard?”

She pulled it from her black leather clutch purse. He took it from her, and with a quick swipe at the lock, opened, and stood just inside the room with his back braced flush against the door, giving her a wide area to pass without them making contact.

Just then her cell phone rang. She took it from her purse to view the display and quickly connected. “Hey. Hold on a moment.” Pressing the phone at her chest, she looked at Gavin, whose attention was laser focused on the phone in her hand. “I have to take this.”

“I’ll see you in the morning,” he said with little inflection as he reached to his right and set the keycard on the entry table, then his steady stare held hers briefly. “Sleep well.” He stepped out. The door closed quietly behind him.

Sienna waited for the resounding clank of the door across the hall before she let go a breath, and her pulse managed to calm. Wow. She’d expected he’d ask to come inside. A small part of her, that perverse side of her, wanted him to, only so she could turn him away. Turning down his invitation wouldn’t have been just because she felt he was a player or a pain in the ass on occasion, it was something else, some kind of deeply embedded feeling that her mind fought against.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_DevilsGambler

Award winning author, Michele Arris, writes steamy contemporary romance.
Michele is always plotting out her characters’ next move. Even when she’s not seated in front of her laptop writing about strong-willed, professional heroines and the complex heroes who strive to have them, she’s plotting scenes in her head.

“I love to write story where my characters are guaranteed their Happily Ever After.”
In her spare time, Michele enjoys reading all types of romance genres. She loves paranormal romance as well as historical romances, enjoys watching period classics (Little Dorrit, The Buccaneers, and Persuasion to name a few), actually looks forward to working out, is a holistic enthusiast/vitamin junkie, and spending time with family and friends – simply enjoying life.

LINKS

WEBSITE: www.michelearris.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Michele-Arris-Author

TWITTER: @ArrisMichele

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2yGFpaA
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2fRe25X
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xBfv8a
BAM: http://bit.ly/2wWspeG
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2xKIM1Z
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2frfTxG

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

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

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Promo – A-C-T Like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like a Parent

actlikeakidbanner

About the Book

Title: A-C-T Like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like a Parent
Author: Katherine Shears and C.S. Whitehurst
Genre: Nonfiction self-help

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Just for kicks, have you ever wondered what your parents really want from you in life? Is it you, or do your parents want you to have no real fun? On any given day, do you want to make your parents proud of you and still do what makes you feel really happy within yourself? Of course you do! But the real question has always been, and still is…how? How can we actually get this done?

Well, with A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, a.k.a “the child-part consoler”, you will get past common misunderstandings by learning how to truly talk, hear, and listen to your parents, guardians or caregivers instead of feeling like you have to run to friends to find some sense of acceptance, understanding, and real connection.

In this book, chock-full of questions and answers gotten directly from the source, you’ll learn what your parents, guardians or caregivers really expect of you—and maybe you’ll even find out how to explain to them what you really expect from them! Not that this book could ever replace a parent, because it can not. But when it comes to openly communicating certain key ideas, this book comes really close.

This tell-all guide contains lots of enlightening explanations and helpful answers to many common kid questions like:

  • What do my parents really want from me?
  • Why do my parents do what they do and say what they say?
  • What do I really need to know about my parents’ parenting skills?
  • How can I keep my parents happy with me?
  • How can I help my parents to help me?
  • How can I get what I want from my parents every time?

A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is an intro to the secret knowledge of adults which is a set of informations that is mainly covered in the book entitled Surrogate Re-Parenting: A.K.A. Get Your Mind Right, and even more thoroughly covered in the book The Secret Knowledge Of Adults. While this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is intended for kids 10 and up, the info in this book is beneficial and useful to the intelligent kid parts in all of us. Yes, this means you too.

The information in this book will help you and yours to start to see your parents, not as the enemy, but as the caring human beings they really are, and take the first step toward family unity, understanding, growth, success, and happiness! Both you and your parents really deserve this, and with this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, you and your parents can actually achieve this.

Author Bios

katherine

Katherine Shears is a mom, graduate of Strayer University, and an executive consultant, who is dedicated to bettering the social function and overall visibility of all she encounters. She is a deep thinker with an open mind who stays on the cutting edge of learning, having read over one hundred self-help titles and counting.

c s white

C. S. Whitehurst is a psychology-based UX/UI designer/tester, computer programmer, IT Project Manager, and self-help enthusiast, who is a student of science, philosophy, life, and NYU. As a native of New York, having been exposed to social diversity, he has been coached by life to respond to the issues plaguing inner-city youth.

 

Links

http://www.katherineshears.com/

http://www.cswhitehurst.com/

https://www.amazon.com/C-T-Like-Kid-T-H-I-N-K-Parent/dp/1547102888

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