Category Archives: Guest Authors

Postings, short stories, and promotions for Authors

VBT – The One Apart

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About the Book

Title: The One Apart
Author: Justine Avery
Genre: Paranormal

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Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he’s lived before.

Tres is about to be born… with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.

He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he’s too afraid to ask: why am I?

In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.

Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.

Author Bio

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Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.

www.JustineAvery.com

Twitter: @Justine_Avery

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JustineAvery

Book buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B7RDWY

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Excerpt

The One Apart by Justine Avery – Excerpt 

Tres felt his body abruptly drop around him with overbearing weight, encapsulating him once again.

The mental images, the overpowering memories, finally faded. Only an ominous stillness remained.

Every cell within him began to twitch, infusing with energy—even as he felt immobile. Every joint, tendon, and bone ached under the pressure of being alive.

A deep sadness engulfed him. He pondered possible reasons. And, just as quickly, he was distracted by the presence of his own simple thoughts.

Thoughts. He realized his own thinking.

This mind—certain of its own newness—desired to explore, feel, do, be. Tres opened his eyes—tried to open his eyes. He found his eyelids fused shut.

He opened his mouth. Thick, warm syrup seeped inside his swallow. Intense fear washed over him, even as he knew exactly where—and how—he was.

Oh, no.

Tres was aware, more aware than any had ever been. In this moment, he knew everything—and yet, nothing.

He was beginning again.

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Book Blast – Li Bai’s Shadow

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Title: Li Bai’s Shadow
Author: Lee J. Mavin
Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: ASJ Publishing

It appears I have undoubtedly been mysteriously transported to a young child’s bedroom, her name is Caitlin and she is of course very fond of my poetry. However despite this unusual occurrence I miss my homelands, dreadfully. This dry and scorching hot city, that she calls Sydney is beyond any distance I can comprehend, but I have always been a traveler, so I am contempt with the path I have stumbled upon. Her mother has faded into the shadow, so I must guide her, keep her safe and share a glass or two of good wine. It is rather odd that her father behaves like I don’t exist, it is at the very least disrespectful, doesn’t he know who I am? Why I am none other than the world’s greatest poet to have ever lived, Li Bai and my words have been etched in history and sang throughout the ages with the guzzling of wine. Yes indeed, I have informed and educated the girl on the most important pleasures of the world, to drink wine whenever one desires to, though she is still a youngling, it is rather amusing to watch her chant my poems in a drunken stupor. Together we will drink and recite my old rhymes and perhaps not long after I will figure out how to get home.

Available from Amazon, Kindle and other online retailers.

Author Bio

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Lee J Mavin is the author of The Students Sold Us Secrets volumes One and Two (He’s working on volume three now) and The Intergalactic Custody Battle. He holds the annual Students Told Us Secrets short story competition for ages 12-18 and he has also taught Japanese, Chinese fiction, ESL and creative writing from primary to territory levels. He lives in Sydney with his wife Grace, who has been married to for ten years and his two children Declan and Charlotte. He previously lived in Shizuoka, Japan and Shanghai where he discovered the poet Li Bai and also taught English. Since then he has completed his Masters in Creative Writing and continues to teach ESL in Sydney to adults from all corners of the globe. Lee J Mavin enjoys reading horror, fantasy, science fiction and poetry. He normally selects books by new authors he hasn’t heard of, regularly in these genres as he believes in supporting indie authors all over the world. When he is not busy discovering the next Stephen King he often dwells over lines of ancient Chinese poetry and debates post-game NBA statistical analysis. He tries not to spend too much time online and reads and writes between ESL lessons whenever he can. Strangely enough, he is also a pretty inexperienced driver, having just got his license to drive a few years ago. Though he doesn’t let the monotonous Sydney traffic frustrate him too much and is always thinking about a new plotline and a new character.

Links:

Facebook.
Goodreads

VBT – EVOLVED

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Evolved
by Archer Miller

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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:

Humanity has spread to the far reaches of space with The Golden Door, a planetary colonization monopoly, selling off every desirable and not so desirable planet to desperate settlers.

Each new world comes with new challenges, and to meet that challenge the children are evolving.

When Pieter, and other gifted children like him, become the target of government research they must fight not only for their lives but the future of their kind.

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NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.

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EXCERPT

Pieter’s eyes opened, but it was an exercise in futility. There was nothing but darkness for him to see. He knew he was awake because of the lancing pain running down his back and across his chest; the cover on his head was stifling and smelled of sweat and blood. He was upright in some sort of chair but he was unable to move. The back of the chair was straight and hard, and he was bound to it with his arms pinned behind his back. He struggled to breathe. His chest was stretched as his shoulders pressed into the chair behind him. A cry of pain rose in his throat, but he clamped his mouth tight to hold it prisoner.

As he gasped for air and strained to ease the pain in his chest and back, a voice from beyond the pain alerted him to another presence.

“Suka is awake.”

“Good. I want this suka blyad to remember this.”

With no way of knowing or seeing its approach a hand struck his face, slamming the back of his head against the hard chair. He could stop the scream, but not the tears that rained from his eyes.

“Little boy want to play,” the voice taunted him.

Something hard crashed into his stomach, forcing the air from his lungs. He tried to breathe, but was unable. What do they want from me?

A second fist slammed into the side of his face, whipping his head to the right.

“Don’t kill him,” the first voice warned.

“I won’t. But he’ll wish I had.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Archer Miller emerged from the East Texas hill country and set his sights on finding the life of which few of his contemporaries dreamed. In 1974, he migrated to Boulder, Colorado to enroll at the Naropa Institute – now known as the Naropa University, a tiny Liberal Arts college founded by the renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and lineage holder, the Ven. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987). Rinpoche was enormously influential in spreading the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to the West.

Archer earned a degree in herbs and creative writing. He was a four-year Letterman on the Varsity Competitive Meditation Team.

After graduating in 1978, he took a year off to hike the Jack Kerouac literary trail. He became a top freelance gun-for-hire with dozens of ad agencies across the south and southwest. As a way to deal with the proliferation of Disco, he took up Zen Archery.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/archermiller

https://www.amazon.com/Evolved-Archer-Miller/dp/1943212058

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

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

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

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Interview With …

Thanks for being here Archer. Tell us about you as a person.

Well, besides archery and writing my passions include gardening and cooking, specifically baking. I love making bread. It is such a zen exercise. When I was younger I also flew. I still have my pilots license.

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

Oh my gosh, that’s a tough one. If I have to narrow it down to just one I suppose I would choose Socrates. He was the father of education and is often revered and the first teacher. More to the point he created what is still known as the Socratic method of learning. He taught his students to think for themselves and to seek the truth by questioning everything. He said we should always ask why?

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Evolved began as an idea. When man spreads out among the stars will the same rules of adaptation still apply. Science has shown how organisms change in response to their surroundings. They also change through the active selection process imposed by man. What will happen to man if we move to new worlds. It has also been speculated that the evolution of man has not been a a long slow progression but that there have been sudden changes in the human genome. From Australopithecus to Homo habilis to Homo Erectus to Neanderthal to Homo Sapiens. These leaps have occurred with regularity and appear to be triggered by changes in the Earth’s environment. Suppose man has reached the tipping point for another leap just the diaspora takes place. This is where we meet Pieter Varushkin and seven other Evolved children. This is where the story begins.

What is your writing process? 

I find it easier to do most of my writing late at night. After everyone else has gone to bed. I like the quiet. It makes it easier to hear the voices in my head.

Tell us about your main character:

Pieter Varushkin is a fifteen-year-old living on a cold, rocky, heavy gravity world known as The Steppes. The planet was settled by Russian immigrants looking for a taste of freedom and a chance to live on an unspoiled world. The Steppes was sold to them by The Golden Door Corporation who hold a monopoly of colonization of new worlds. Pieter is an Evolved. He possesses the ability to manipulate gravity. But he is otherwise a normal teen aged boy until he is takes in the middle of the night on his fifteenth birthday.

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

I’ve had my eye on a young actor named Aaron Fors. I think he wold make an excellent Pieter. He is tall, athletic and blessed with good looks in spades.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently working in the second book in this series. I’m anticipating at least three or four books covering a couple of generations.

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

Be prepared to work your ass off. There is no magic pill or short cut to becoming successful. It take hard work and determination to make a go of it.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

I’m glad you asked. There is a book called Progeny by C.L, Fors. Yes same name as the actor. Yes they are related. It’s an amazing first offering by a very talented writer. Progeny takes place approximately three hundred years in our future. In am effort to reverse population growth and to cleanse the genome of defects, conception and procreation is strictly controlled by by a ruthless governing counsel. Now an attempt will be made to colonize Mars following many years of teraforming. A carefully selected group of volunteers is offered reproductive freedom as an incentive to leave their lives on Earth for a chance to settle a new world. It is well written and I must say it is an amazingly good read.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I was blessed with an insatiable curiosity and a desire to learn what’s next. Besides that I’m a pretty good cook.

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

Hmm, I suppose the ability to read and control thoughts. Someone with this power could solve a lot of our current problems and could do so from behind the veil of secrecy.

List 5 things on your bucket list.

  1. Travel to the country of my ancestors, Ireland.
  2. Fly a P- 51 Mustang
  3. Settle on some acreage in the Pacific Northwest
  4. See my work made into a movie
  5. Have the chance to sit down face to face and talk with some of my favorite writers

Any final thoughts?

Yes. Always question. Ask why. Seek the truth in whatever form it takes, And as Robert Browning said, “Ah but man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”

 

VBT – Framed

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About the Book

Title: Framed – A Black Swann Investigation
Author: Wayne Kerr
Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Toronto’s newest homicide detective, Reggie Swann, seemed to have it all: great career, handsome husband and plans to start a family, until she was framed for murder…

A cop has very few friends in prison.  After surviving ten brutal years behind bars, Reggie’s conviction is finally overturned thanks to her tenacious mother, a new forensic test and a very clever lawyer. She quickly discovers that getting her old life back won’t be as easy as she hoped. To many, she was still as the media had dubbed her: ‘Black Swann – murderer and cop-gone-bad’. The Toronto Police Department still considers her to be a suspect, Reggie’s husband has remarried and the real killer is still on the loose.

Before Reggie can return to Toronto and solve the crime that ruined her life, she reluctantly agrees to investigate a murder in her home town of Penticton, only to discover the two cases which are separated by ten years and five provinces might somehow be connected. Will anyone believe the wild theories of the disgraced detective?

The real murderer does. He framed her once, this time Reggie Swann must die!

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Author Bio

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Canadian author, Wayne Kerr, was born and raised in the small town of Biggar, Saskatchewan (New York is big, but this is Biggar).  He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, thirty-nine years ago and has lived happily ever since.  They resided in the United States for the past twenty years, but recently returned to Canada and now call the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia home.  The writer honed his story-telling skills while keeping his five younger siblings and later his daughter entertained during long cold winters.  When not reading or writing thrillers, Wayne is probably hiking, biking or playing tennis.

For more information on the author and his books please visit: waynekerrnovels.com or follow him on twitter: @waynekerrnovels

Links

website: waynekerrnovels.com

twitter: @waynkerrnovels

Amazon :https://goo.gl/qQonNw

 

Framed Excerpt

A job offer

“What do you think?” Erika asked, as I closed the binder.

“I don’t like your chances,” I told her truthfully. I glanced at the binder. The evidence was overwhelming. On the other hand, either the investigation hadn’t been very thorough or the Penticton PD hadn’t released all the files to the defense. If I had to guess, I’d pick the former. In a way, I couldn’t blame them. The public fight, the blood, the murder weapon and the boat all pointed directly at the husband. I mean, come on, who else would it be? They were certain they had their man. They most likely did.

“However,” I continued, offering a nugget of hope to the attorney, “if this had been my case I’d have had the entire Connelly neighborhood canvassed, as well as the marina. Someone might have noticed a stranger in the area, or at the very least, spotted a boat that size going out or returning after the body dump.”

“Alleged body dump,” Erika said. “It has been a week and they haven’t recovered a body.”

“It is a pretty big lake, perfect for hiding one,” I reminded her, certain that poor Amy was securely anchored somewhere on the bottom of Lake Okanagan. I’d done my due diligence for CAJE. The evidence was conclusive, in my opinion. Now I could focus on solving my own case and getting my old life back. I knew it wasn’t realistic, but I’d had this little fantasy play out in my mind over and over. I’d loved being Reggie McFarlane, extraordinary homicide detective and perfect wife. I imagined perp-walking the real killer into my old precinct. Then the Chief of Police offered me my old job and my ex-husband begged me to come home. We’d live happily ever after in our cute little townhouse. In my mind, I could still picture the furniture we’d picked out together. The curtains… Oh, and the lamps that I’d found in that little secondhand shop on 4th Avenue…

“Will you help me?” Erika asked, pulling me reluctantly back to the present.

“How?” Reality returned without mercy, as it usually did. I still had no idea who really killed Dr. Applegate or why they framed me for it, and the townhouse would be a little crowded these days, considering my ex had two kids with his new wife.

“I need an investigator,” she said.

“I don’t know of anybody here in town,” I answered. “Have you tried Kelowna?”

“I mean you,” she said. “I want you to investigate the Amy Connelly disappearance for us.”

“Me?” I laughed. “You don’t want me. I think he’s guilty.”

“You used to be a homicide detective, didn’t you?”

“Well, yes.”

“I brought in a PI from Vancouver,” she told me. “He didn’t turn up anything useful.”

“Maybe there’s nothing to find,” I said.

“I need someone who will continue looking where the police left off,” Erika said, ignoring my statement.

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in town,” I told her, which was the truth. If I’d had any money, I would already be back in Toronto investigating my own case. Then I chuckled. “Besides I don’t like private investigators.”

“It pays $500 per day, plus expenses.”

I stopped laughing. “When do I start?”

 

VBT – Blood Awakening

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Title: Blood Awakening (The Immortal Sleepers)
Author: Miranda Nichols
Genre: Paranormal / Fantasy Romance

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A war has been brewing in the shadows.

Kaelyn Hamblin never felt particularly extraordinary, growing up in a strong Irish household in the heart of Boston for most of her young life. Her humdrum routine remained markedly unchanged for longer than she cared to remember; until that day. The day when a beautiful stranger drifted into her hole-in-the-wall bookshop and changed her life forever.

Tyrian knew from the moment he locked eyes on her that she was the one. His one. The singular being within all of time and space that was made for him and him alone. His world  was not one of niceties and pretty things; bringing her into it would be dangerous. But he would protect her. He had to. After all, it was foretold.

Worlds collide, marking the beginning of the end to an age long battle warring between the forces of darkness and light in the universe. The fate of all rests on the shoulders of a lone druid and her band of human hunters to quell the rising tide of evil threatening to overtake everything and plunge the connected realms into eternal darkness.

 

Author Bio

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Miranda Nichols is an up and coming author in the paranormal romance genre. She’s a full-time student working towards her degree in creative writing. When she isn’t studying or helping the alternative fuel industry, you can find her on https://www.fictionpress.com/ or curled up with a steamy romance novel. She’s a loyal friend who’s not afraid to tell it like it is. Like the smell of fresh popcorn, her fantasy romances tempt you and keep you coming back for more.

 

Links

https://www.mirandanicholsauthor.com/
https://www.facebook.com/author.mirandanichols/
https://twitter.com/mnichols_author
https://www.metamorphosisliteraryagency.com/

 

 

VBT – CREATING PLACES

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Creating Places
by Randy Ellefson

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GENRE:   Non-fiction

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BLURB

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

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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

front cover

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.

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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?”

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