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SOUP: THE FUTURE IS PAST AND PRESENT

TourBanner_SOUP The Future Is Past and Present

SOUP The Future Is Past and Present

by Travis Haugen

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GENRE: Adventure/Mystery

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BLURB:

Scott Yonge exploded onto the national consciousness at the 2001 Garrett Awards and quickly rose to legendary status on the wings of his music and his whirlwind romance with independent film actress Michelle Zoe. What should have been a perfect life was interrupted by an ultra-right wing militant group called the American Freedom Force and its leader, Colonel Randall, who forces Scott to choose between his life and that of his son. After his heroic sacrifice, his family is left to pick up the pieces and forge ahead to a future in the vacuum he left behind.

Now, in 2021, his son Hedley inherits music for himself, becoming a star in his own right as technology gives new life to the medium. Scott’s daughter, affectionately known as Soup, throws herself into unravelling the mysteries of her family’s history. Michelle commits herself to keeping them all together and trying to make sense of life without the one she loves. Through it all, the AFF looms in the shadows, threatening to resurrect the pain they have just begun to overcome.

BookCover_Soup
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EXCERPT

August 25, 1967

The weekly outing had become something of a ritual for them. Friday nights, after supper, they would head out to the country with their hearts pumping and the radio blaring, riding on a wave of blinding optimism. They’d drive for hours, most times talking and laughing about nothing at all. Other times they’d settle into a comfortable silence, speaking without speaking.

They’d been silent for some time when the boy was drawn in by a pretty song on the radio. She was lost in it too, absorbed as though in a trance. The boy looked to his mother. She looked back with warm sadness in her eyes. He felt her love wrap around him as she smiled. She was about to say something when the crunch came. The boy could almost hear the sound of her silent scream as her head snapped to the side at an impossible angle. That’s all there was. He never got to hear what she wanted to say.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Pic

Travis was born and raised in the prairies of Saskatchewan, lived in Calgary for over 25 years and presently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Travis Haugen has spent forty years of his life touring on the road as a musician and has spent hundreds of hours in recording studios. Travis spends much of his time writing songs, writing stories, playing music and spending valuable time with his family and close group of friends.

Links:

http://www.travishaugen.com

https://www.facebook.com/travishaugenauthor

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqaM4LNQNrpOckyStlBj7yA

Where Soup Is Sold:

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000048943105/Travis-Haugen-Soup

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1525529293/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539905477&sr=8-1&keywords=soup+travis+haugen

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/soup-15

www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soup-travis-haugen/1129764065?ean=2940161773833

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/soup/id1439628462?mt=11

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781525529306&c=books

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/soup-the-future-is-past/9781525529290-item.html?ikwid=soup+by+travis+h&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

Travis Haugen will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

All the things that I do, stem from music. I work as a computer consultant during the day. I got into computers through music. When the first digital audio work stations came out, I had to learn to run them on my own. The computer stores were not interested, there was no money in it for them, so I spent many an hour in the early days figuring the darn machines out. From there it led to what I do for a day time job. I am also an avid postal history collector. I specialize in the 1870-1897 Canadian Small Queen (Victoria) issue. My work with computers mingled with my love of collecting. I have conducted philatelic internet auctions for Bow City Philatelics since 1989. Another aspect of my life that defines me, is that I do not drive. I had eye operations in 1980 that left me clinically blind at the time. As a result, I took to a bicycle for my means of transportation. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I ride 365 days a year, rain, snow or shine, and the benefits to my health, physical and mental, are invaluable.

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

Without question, Albert Einstein! I think he has the best mind of the past century. To think that he came up with the theory of relativity in his spare time, while working as a clerk, is rather astounding. But beyond that, his love of humanity, and his search for peaceful means to bring us all a better life define him as a great human being. He was a kind, gentle, humble man, with a great intellect, and was a hell of a violinist to boot!

What’s the story behind your latest book?

SOUP is the third book in the One Song series, and the first to be published. I spent 40 years of my life as a professional musician, touring Canada and the United States. Those were great times. I wanted to share those times with people, so I took those experiences and wrapped them around a fictional character named Scott Yonge, then wrapped Scott Yonge around a story of mystery, suspense, intrigue, family drama, romance, and a touch of comedy.

SOUP is the continuing story of the second generation of the Yonge family.

What is your writing process?

I do most of my writing while riding my bike back and forth to work. Be it music or prose, the inspiration hits me while doing other things especially riding. My mind relaxes and allows the inspiration to create the song or the story in the background while I float through the air on my bike. Later when I get home, I sit down to the computer for the prose, or a guitar or piano for the music and lay down what came to me throughout the day.

Tell us about your main character.

The story revolves around Scott Yonge. Scott was a Canadian Prairie boy who lost his father to alcohol, lost his mother in a car crash at the age of 10, and hit the road at the age of 14 when his only remaining relative died. He remained on the road, for many years before ending up at the 2001 Garrett Awards in Los Angeles. That night changed his life as well as the life of those around him and the woman who would become his future wife, independent actress Michelle Zoe, who was a presenter at the awards that night.

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

When I think of Michael J Fox in his roll from Back To The Future, I see the sensitivity, the positive approach to life and his sense of comedy portrayed in that movie as the qualities I would like to see in the actor who plays Scott Yonge.

What are you working on next?

Candy and I are working on the edit of Hedley, the second book in the series, and the next one to be released. We are also working on the music and the prose for the fourth book in the series, so stay tuned!

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

My advice is to work, and work, and work, and don’t stop working when the book is finished. You need to work equally as hard or harder to get the book out there. That is as important as the book itself. Candy made me realize that the book does no good sitting on a shelf in a dusty box in your basement.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The Book OF JOY by The Deli Lama and Desmond Tutu.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I can wiggle my ears, and of course, I can sing, and play a variety of instruments.

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

I think the power of positive thinking is the greatest power of all, and you don’t have to be a super hero to possess it. It is a trait, one that can be learned.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. I want to go on a river cruise down the Rhyne, or the Mississippi with Candy and her parents
  2. Retire from my full-time consulting job
  3. Move to Edmonton, so Candy and I can work closer together on the One Song Series
  4. Watch Candy’s dogs Carl and Murphy grow to a ripe old age
  5. Watch the entire Grey’s Anatomy Series

Any final thoughts?

This quote from Thomas S Monson says it all:

The Past is behind, learn from it

The Future is ahead, prepare for it

The Present is here. Live it

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VBT – THE MOMENT BETWEEN

Tour Banner The Moment Between

THE MOMENT BETWEEN
by Gareth Frank

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GENRE: Psychological Thriller

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BLURB

After four years of mourning, Doctor Hackett Metzger is determined to stop letting his wife’s death control his life. He is finally beginning to live again, but his recovery leads to an unexpected fight for his own survival and startling revelations about what happens to all of us in The Moment Between.

Hackett, a brilliant neurologist, is a skeptic. He doesn’t believe he will one day be reunited with Jean, or dwell with God in heaven. What he does believe is that he should have seen the warning signs of her heart attack; he should have saved her. He also cannot accept the possibility that his clinical study of near death experiences could prove the existence of a conscious afterlife. When Hackett falls for the mother of a patient, grief finally begins to fade. But he has no idea his new love is hiding her dangerous past. Will Hackett’s damaged spirit endure another heartbreak?

BookCover_The Moment Between

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EXCERPT

In those first months, he tortured himself with the notion that Jean’s voice had been real. He was sure that she had been present while he tried to save her. He prayed that she lived on in death, hoped that even as he failed, she had a soft landing on the other side. Her voice became his torture.

And so he understood death as he never had before. He understood grieving and pain. He understood what it meant to miss someone and to know that he would never see that person again. He understood loneliness. Most of all he understood the foolish and painful illusion that life might somehow continue. There was no voice. Jean had not talked to him from beyond. He had tortured himself from within. She was dead. He had learned to accept that cold hard reality. Anger had settled into the dark hole that was his memory of that day, poisoning his spirit. For weeks he stayed home from work, for months the blackness held him captive, until slowly he emerged into the world once more. His sanity hinged on his acceptance that Jean’s voice had been an illusion. Death was just death.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Gareth Frank is a former union organizer and administrator. He received a Master’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin and later studied at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The Moment Between is his first published novel. His short stories have been published in various journals and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as the Silver Pen Write Well Award.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GarethFrankAuthor
https://www.amazon.com/Moment-Between-Gareth-J-Frank/dp/1732294208

Author Photo_TheMomentBetween

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Gareth Frank will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gareth, tell us about you as a person. 
Some people live life on automatic pilot. They do what comes easy. I like creating new chapters in life and becoming proficient at new things. That’s one of the big reasons I became a writer. When I retired seven years ago, my entire portfolio of creative fiction could be held in a child’s notebook. I knew how much work it was to write a novel, but I also knew that if I challenged myself I could do it. That’s a lesson I learned early in my career as a union organizer and administrator. When I was in my late twenties, I sat in one meeting after another watching people duck new or challenging assignments. Being a little nervous, that’s what I, too, did at first. I quickly learned that gets you nowhere. I decided that I would volunteer as much as I could, especially if it was something new. It has proven to be an invaluable approach to both work and life in general.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I have always been fascinated by Albert Einstein, for both his intellect and humanity. I have even included a little popular physics in my psychological thriller, The Moment Between. But, it wouldn’t be him. I would be lost if he talked physics, and I think he might be a little boring in person. I’d take another physicist, Richard Feynman. He was brilliant, but also a hoot. He absolutely loved music, played practical jokes on stiff shirts in the academic world, and even liked to think through his theories while sipping orange juice in a strip club. Read his books, especially Surely Your Joking, Mr. Feynman.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Steven King once said: “(The writer’s) job isn’t to find ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
For me, the idea for my novel showed up in the mail. I received a Christmas card that mentioned the death of a friend’s brother and alluded to his wife being the murderer. A very strange Christmas card, indeed. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I called my friend and asked what had happened, I found out that, as they say, fact was stranger than fiction. I used the woman in question to create one of my characters. Some people think I created a monster. The truth is, real monsters are often real people. That was the genesis of my storyline.
The theme of my book grew out of my fascination with near-death experiences, and what they tell us about the conscious mind. Polling has shown that about 70 percent of Americans believe in some sort of afterlife. We all struggle between two competing natures, the logical and the spiritual. Where we lie between those two points largely defines who were are. That dualism lies at the heart of my book.
The Moment Between is a psychological thriller that brings death to life.

What is your writing process?
I know it’s bad for my posture, but I grab my laptop, get comfortable on my couch and write. Like Albert Einstein who often sat in his bathtub lost in thought hour after hour, I can hang out on the couch writing all day.

Tell us about your main character.
After four years, Doctor Hackett Metzger is a neurologist still recovering from his wife’s death. He is a likeable, brilliant doctor and also a bit of an awkward nerd. His attempts to find romance and companionship are comical at best. He is also a skeptic with respect to the afterlife. For him, death is too painful. To hold out false hope might break him. Even though he considers near-death experiences to be little more than hallucinations, he is talked into supporting a medical study of people who suffer cardiac arrests and are resuscitated. At the same time, he is charmed by a woman with a dangerous past.

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

What are you working on next?
The working title of my next novel is Torn Skin. The name is taken from a song written by Jonny Pirpal, a punk rockin, freight train hoppin loner who attained rock and roll fame in the nineties, only to lose everything in a single day. Syeira, a mystic who quite literally saves lives by being in the right place at the right time, has also become a loner though for very different reasons. They meet as Jonny’s past is catching up with him.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
I read a quote from an Indian businessman. I have no idea why he was being quoted about writing, but his words stuck in my head. “Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, then for a few close friends, then for money.”

I have no idea why he thought prostitution was something you do with a few close friends, or why he thought writer’s write for money. The truth is, one million books are published in America each year, so getting the word out is hard. The most important word in a writer’s vocabulary has to be perseverance. First create a buzz among friends, family, coworkers and other acquaintances, then look for every opportunity to spread out. Who knows when the big break could come.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
It’s a toss-up. The Cemetery Keeper’s Wife, by Maryann McFadden or Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wrote a novel. That should count. 🙂

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
The ability to make people laugh. Laughter can cure depression, make other illnesses just a little more bearable, lead to a happy marriage and make every day a little better. It’s a lot better than shooting fire from your fingertips.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • See Petra (Jordan).
  • Take a bike tour in Spain.
  • Star in one of my son’s movies (Joseph Frank, writer and director of Sweaty Betty).
  • Stick around this world for a long time watching my grandchildren grow up.
  • SELL MORE BOOKS!

Where can readers find you on the web?
Facebook – @garethfrankauthor

VBT – SONG OF THE BORICUA

TourBanner_Song of the Boricua

Song of the Boricua
by Olivia Castillo

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GENRE: Fiction

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BLURB:

Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.
Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.
Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.

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BookCover_SongOfTheBoricua

Excerpt:

Elena
Bayamón, Puerto Rico, May 1937
During those late-night hours, the old fort was deserted, with the exception of a few amorous couples who embraced in dark corners, not caring if they were seen. From the top of El Morro, she would stare out in awe at the vast, black, beautiful sea, waves breaking along the rocks, stars bright above her.

The melody of the coquí kept her company and she promised herself and God that someday she would finish school. The spirit of her grandmother’s Taino ancestors filled her and she felt at peace, knowing that her grandmother was watching over her. One balmy night as she was coming back from one of these walks, she was startled by a low whistle behind her.

Regretting that she had ignored her mother’s warnings about being out so late, she swiftly removed her shoe to use as a weapon. She spun around to see who the culprit was and what she saw left her speechless.

An older, sophisticated man smiled at her, white teeth flashing in the dim Spanish streetlamp.
He was impeccably groomed, from his black brillian-tine hair and thin, polished mustache down to his shiny black patent-leather shoes. He was dressed in a white suit, with a white fedora cocked down over one eye.

She stood there, dumbfounded. Her experience with men had been limited to her father and a handful of childhood crushes. The man looked her up and down like a cat ready to eat a canary.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_SongOfTheBoricua

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson’s College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

Author website and blog: www.oliviacastillo.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/songoftheboricua/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/oliviacauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oliviacauthor/
Buy on Amazon now:  https://amzn.to/2P63Wh9

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

Olivia Castillo will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview With …. Olivia Castillo

Tell us about you as a person. 

I use to teach Zumba until I injured both Achilles tendons.

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

I probably would have hung out with Maya Angelou. I love her life experience, her sense of humor, and wisdom.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

My latest book I am writing is the sequel to Song  of the Boricua. I go further into the next generations life and the curse.

What is your writing process?

I like to write late at night when everyone is asleep and I do a lot of research in between writing, as well as listen to music of the time period I am in.

Tell us about your main character.

There are four main characters, all women. Elena is loyal and studious. Maria is passionate and headstrong. Josephina is sweet and optimistic. Isabella is sensitive and lost.

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

I would want strong Spanish actresses and the only person that comes to mind now is Penelope Cruz. If not a Spanish actress, Lily James.

What are you working on next?

As I mentioned before, it is the sequel to Song of the Boricua.

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

Take the plunge and do it.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

My favorite book is Jane Eyre.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I like to oil paint.

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

I would like the ability to time travel because I love history.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. See the Aurora Borealis or the Aurora Australis
  2. Visit Africa
  3. Go to Morocco and ride a camel
  4. Visit Santorini
  5. Live in Europe for three months

Thank you for being my guest today Olivia.

VBT – Ivy Vines, Visions

Ivy Vines Visions banner

About the Author

Judy Serrano

Judy Serrano holds a Master of Arts in English from Texas A&M University-, Commerce. She is the owner of Make Cents Editing Service, and was an adjunct professor at a local college. Currently she teaches high school English and is a freelance writer for certain on-line publications. Judy also writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series, The Linked Seriesand Ivy Vines, Visions.

Although originally form New York, Judy resides in Texas with her husband, four boys, two dogs and now five cats. She sings and plays guitar when she has time and enjoys singing with her very musical family in church when she is able.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book

Title: IVY VINES, VISIONS
Author: Judy Serrano
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 267
Genre: Paranormal Romance

BOOK BLURB:

Moving to Sedona was the only way Ivy could think of to start over. She would meet her high school sweetheart and work on making things right between them. Her psychic abilities were gradually becoming a curse and she needed a new start. Little does she know that when she applies for a waitressing job at a local, upscale French bistro, she will come in contact with the dark and mysterious Eli Dubois. What she doesn’t realize is she has just walked into the middle of the Vortex Murders, which involve a great deal of paranormal activity. Elijah’s army of seers are being murdered, one by one, which seems to be magnifying Ivy’s special abilities. 

Eli’s best friend, Jake, arrives on the scene and reveals the secret that changes everything. With nowhere to turn, Ivy leans on the two men who offer her solace. And who is the old woman in the shroud? Is she a vision, a dream, or is she real? Only time will tell.

Ivy Vines Visions

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:

My heart was beating almost out of my chest as I drove to the restaurant to see Simone. I checked my rear view mirror often; just to be sure I wasn’t followed. I parked the car and ran as fast as my legs would carry me to the front door. I felt like I was burdened with cement weights around my ankles as I forced my body to keep moving forward. Trying to catch my breath was futile when Eduardo met me at the entrance. I was in no mood for his pretentious smile and flippant tone, but still he would not let me pass.

“I need to see Simone,” I told him, barely able to form the words due to the lack of air in my lungs.

“Will that be one for lunch or two?” he asked me. I almost punched him.

“Two,” I answered, regaining my composure. “Simone is off in a few minutes. She’ll have lunch with me, I’m sure.”

“Very well then,” he answered. He slowly took out two menus and sat me at a table by the window.

“Thank you,” I managed. “Please tell Simone I’m here.” He made an unfavorable face at me and walked away. I looked out the window and began to recapture a normal breathing pattern. I noticed an old woman walking by the creek. She had her head covered by a black scarf and she was wearing what looked like a black cloak over her body. It was warm out, being early September, and that’s why her clothing caught my attention. She took off the scarf and looked at me. When our eyes touched, I could feel my blood pressure rise. My face got warm. Long grey curls cascaded down, past her shoulders and her expression got very grave. Her nose looked like a misshapen staircase and she had a mole on the left side of her face along her jaw line. She pointed her finger at me, slowly straightening it out as far as it could go and I felt a surge of fear strike through my body. I stood up quickly, pushing my chair back with the backs of my knees and felt a hand on my shoulder. I let out a shriek, that was certainly noticeable and when I turned, it was Simone’s hand on my shoulder.

“Ivy, what is it?” she asked. “The last time I heard you scream like that…” I dismissed her, mid-sentence, knowing exactly what she was going to say. Since that day. The day we don’t dare talk about or even remember if we can help it. I turned my attention back to the creek but the old woman was gone.

I could feel her.

“It’s nothing I told her. Are you done with your shift yet?”

“Yes, I’m done,” she answered. “Eduardo is making me change my clothes first. So, sit tight and I’ll be right back.”

I sat back down and looked out the window again. A breeze blew open one of the side windows unexpectedly and I almost fell out of my chair. I could hear a faint humming. It was all too familiar. There was still no old woman, but I knew she was there.

She was watching me somehow.

Simone finally came back and sat beside me. “What’s going on, Ivy? I haven’t seen you this unraveled in a very long time. It’s a little disconcerting to say the least.”

“He’s after me,” I told her. “He knows I’m here.”

“Who knows you’re here? Ivy, you’re not making any sense.”

“Lucifer,” I whispered, leaning into her so that no one else would hear me. “He thinks I know.”

“He thinks you know what?” she asked, looking at me as though I had gone mad.

“When Jesus is coming. He thinks I know.”

“Do you?” she asked. “Do you know?”

A hiss filled the air in the room as the wind picked up and gushed through the open window. I drew a breath but I dared not answer.

She was listening.

INTERVIEW WITH…

Judy, thanks for being my guest. Tell us about you as a person.
That is an interesting question. When people look at me, they see a Christian mommy who brought up four wonderful boys and has a happy, wonderful marriage, all of which are true. However, when I was young, I was a bit of a thrill seeker. I used rock-climb without ropes (much to my father’s dismay), drive cross country with not much more than a guitar and a dream, and play music with strangers at campfires. No regrets.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why
William Butler Yeats. He is my favorite poet. I would love to hear his story, and find out how he ended up being such a prolific poet. He and I share an interesting fact. He suffered from dyslexia as do I. It is interesting to me that we would both become writers.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Ivy Vines, Visions takes place in Sedona Arizona. I used to live there. The New Age Movement was fascinating to me. I picked up on a little bit of that and developed it into my novel.

What is your writing process?
The first thing I do is check my social media. Then, I re-read the last chapter that I wrote so that I can remember where I left off. Sometimes I listen to classical music when I write, but in general it doesn’t matter what is going on in the background. I have been known to write while carrying on a conversation with my children.

Tell us about your main character:
My main character is a strong, independent woman. She is vulnerable yet courageous. She has trouble choosing the men in her life though…

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I would want Julianne Hough to play Ivy. She is beautiful, strong, and determined, just like my Ivy Vines.

What are you working on next?
Funny you should ask. I just finished grad school a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to throw myself back into the game. I have a book that I started two years ago about the mafia. Although I already have The Easter’s Lilly Series, which is about the Mexican Mafia, this one is a new book with its own personality.  I am excited to finish the final edit.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Social media is the way to go. I have sold quite a few books from Facebook and Twitter. Make friends and connections, and work together.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
All my books are in my Kindle with few exceptions. I think my favorite book of all time is The MacKade Brothers by Nora Roberts. The book is steamy, romantic and quite tasteful.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
As a matter of fact, I sing and play guitar. I enjoy playing country and Christian music.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
After giving this question probably a little too much thought, I think I would like to be able to teleport. I work very far away from my house, and I hate to drive. I think that would make my life so much easier.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Audition for The Voice
  2. Visit Italy
  3. Visit France
  4. Write a best seller
  5. Own a lake house

Where can readers find you on the web?

www.JudySerrano.com

Amazon.com

Barnesandnoble.com

iTunes

Any final thoughts?

Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with you today. I am blessed to be able to write and live my dream. My advice to anyone who thinks that their dreams are unattainable is to always go for it. Just remember that often the backup plan becomes the plan, so reach for the stars always, and push forward. My favorite quote is by Robert Browning- “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for.”

Thanks Judy 🙂

VBT – THE EXILED OTHERKIN

TourBanner_TheExiledOtherkin

The Exiled Otherkin

by D. Lieber

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GENRE: Fantasy Romance

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BLURB

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.

BookCover_TheExiledOtherkin

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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

AuthorPHoto_TheExiledOtherkin

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

Getting to know – Carolyn LaRoche

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband and their two sons.
She’s been known to lug her laptop to the baseball fields and keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down the next big story idea in the wee hours of the night.
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Daisies in the Outfield
After his professional baseball career crashed and burned, Jamie escaped to the scenic coastal town of Falmouth for a fresh start. With a new career that fit his personality, Jamie lived life on his terms. His terms were simple—fight fires for the adrenaline rush, coaching MLB hopefuls for the love of the game, and spending his nights with one of the many pretty faces that crossed his path. Plenty of women passed through his life but none had tempted him to settle down.
Until a feisty brunette changed all that. Too bad the sexy paramedic had no interest in Jamie or spending the night with him. She carried an attitude as thick as her New York accent and he wanted to coax a smile on her face.Mandy was running from something and Jamie couldn’t help but be intrigued
Can a sexy little wager convince a confirmed bachelor and a woman running from her past to take a chance on love?
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Dandelion Wishes
When a terrible injury ended his pro career, Grant knew nothing would ever take the place of his one and only love—baseball. Fighting fires didn’t hold the same kind of excitement as catching a ninety mile an hour fast ball at Fenway Park but he loved every minute of it. Especially when he met the sassy, sexy as hell paramedic that’s as complicated as a three-alarm fire.
Callie had already lived through her fair share of serious. At twenty-eight, her current plans for the future included having a good time and enjoying the MLB hopefuls that showed up on the Cape every May to play in the summer baseball league. College boys were fun but didn’t hold half the appeal as the sexy firefighter that kept showing up when she least expected it.
He wanted her and she wanted absolutely none of it. Or, so she thought. Grant could not only set her body on fire with just a look but with only a few kisses she started to forget that serious was off the table for her life. After hiding so much for so long, can she open her heart up and trust that Grant’s in it for more than just the chase?
Goodreads Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Barnes & Noble iTunes

Tell us about you
I’m a proud wife to the bravest man I know and mother to two amazing boys. I love cheering on my kiddos at baseball games, teaching high school science and trying new recipes I find on Facebook.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock? Okay so maybe that’s not exactly what you meant… We only have one life to live and I am not going to spend mine sleeping it away. There’s so much to see and do in this world.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to step back in time and spend a day with Robin Williams. He was such a gifted man. His ability to tap into the exact emotion of any given situation went beyond pure talent.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I love baseball, I love Cape Cod and hot firefighters make for good heroes. Combining the three seemed like a really good idea for a sexy, funny romance.

Tell us your writing process
I am a total seat of my pants writer. My process is nearly non-existent. Once I start work on a story, I write it until its done, do a couple read-throughs and send it off to my beta readers. From there, edits and prep for publication. I don’t have a specific snack or music I like to listen to or anything like that.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Network and get comfortable with social media. The internet can be an author’s best friend if it’s used properly. Also, something my husband says to me frequently—make sure you are writing because you love writing. Let the rest fall into place.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not really sure. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. The idea to publish my work just sort of evolved over time and a series of unexpected decisions.

Tell us about your main character:
Jamie is a former MLB player with a slightly messy past. After his baseball career comes to an end, he discovers a new love in firefighting. He’s a ladies man with no interest in ever settling down until he meets Mandy.

What are you working on next?
I’m about halfway through the third book in this Cape Cod series. I’ve also begun work on a humorous cop drama.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Does raising two teen boys count?

Who are your favorite authors?
I love Janet Evanovich. Her characters are so imperfectly real. I am also a big fan of Jill Shalvis. Her romances have a lot of humor and relatable characters.

What do you like to do with your free time?
I’m a beach girl. I love the ocean, the sand, the smell of the air. I dabble a little in crochet but I am not very good at it and I love to try new recipes.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I have always wanted to write a story based on the many letters my father wrote to my mother while he was fighting in the Vietnam War. I think that might be next big project.

Where can people find you on the web? 
Twitter: @CarolynLaRoche
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynLaRoche

Any final thoughts?
Don’t be afraid to try out new authors. In the last three years my indie horizons have been broadened tremendously. I’ve discovered amazing writers I’d have never known existed if I’d stuck with only the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

An Excerpt from Daisies in the Outfield
“Come on, Sally, when’s dinner gonna be served?” All the guys had a girl name for their night on kitchen duty. Jamie’s was Sally. Grant had been harassing him big time and it was getting way beyond annoying. Every time the door to the house opened, he held his breath hoping Mandy would walk in.
“You’ll get your food when it’s ready,” he snapped, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
“Touchy today, aren’t we. Is it your time of the month, Sally?”
“Go to hell.” Jamie stirred the sauce then poured the five pounds of pasta into the oversized colander to drain it.
“Damn, man. You need to get laid something serious.”
“You might not understand this, but there is more to life than getting laid and getting drunk.”
“Tell that to my liver and my dick. They are pretty feisty little guys and they want what they want when they want it.”
“You really need a life, Grant.”
“I have a great life. A job I like, a twenty four hour grocery store across the street and
plenty of pretty ladies around town with a thing for firefighters.”
“Why don’t you and your dick go tell the guys grub’s on. I need to step outside for some air.”
“Thinking about my parts got you all hot and bothered, does it?” Grant left the kitchen laughing and Jamie stepped out the back door to the little grassy area behind the fire station. Stretching, he let the cool ocean breeze that always accompanied nightfall, wash over him. The smell of sand and salt assaulted his senses. It was a heady combination on a warm summer night. Even better if he had a certain woman in his arms watching the waves crash in over their toes.
“Hey,” a voice called out quietly from the dimness of dusk. A very familiar voice. A voice that made his heart jump around wildly in his chest. Mandy.
He turned around and saw her standing at the corner of the building, peering at him with an amused look on her face. Suddenly feeling a little shy, he replied, “Hey, yourself,” instead of striding over and taking her in his arms like he had ached to do all day long. Mandy giggled and twisted her hands in front of her.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I came here to meet a guy named Jamie but it looks like I’ve found Betty Crocker instead.”
Oh, shit. The apron!
“You got a problem with a man in an apron?” He grinned and she laughed again, shaking her head.
“No. I don’t suppose I do.”
“Good.” This time he did close the distance between them but he didn’t touch her. She shivered a little and he hoped it was because of his proximity and not the evening breeze. “It’s a house joke. The guy on kitchen duty has to wear one—the frillier, the better—and he gets a girl name. Hazing at its best, I suppose.”
“What’s yours?”
“My what?” It was getting hard to think when all he could focus on was her lips and how badly he wanted to taste them.
Mandy ran a finger lightly up his arm until she reached the place where the full length apron started up around his neck and hooked her finger there. “Your girl name. What is it?”
“Sally.”
“Hmmm…I’ve always had this secret fantasy of kissing a girl named Sally. Ever since I heard the song Mustang Sally.”
“You have? Maybe we should do something about that.”
“Maybe we should.” Mandy was more
relaxed than he had seen her over the last few days, flirting with her words and ravaging him with her eyes. He sure liked this side of her.
Jamie bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Mandy wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned back slightly and murmured, “Oh, Sally. You have the most amazing—eyes.” She ran her tongue over her lips, never once looking him the eyes.
“So do you,” he replied focused only on those now slightly dampened lips. The space between them disappeared as she took his mouth with a passion he wouldn’t have thought her capable of. Worried one of the guys might walk outside and see them, he carried her into a stand of pine trees on the side of the building, never once breaking their contact. She let a tiny little moan escape as she ended the kiss.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.” She sounded embarrassed.
“I never want you to not do that if you have the urge. Did that even make sense?” He chuckled huskily against her throat as he placed tiny little kisses across the neck line of her top. The thin, silky material was erotic, caressing his chin and cheek as he explored the bare skin of her shoulder with his tongue.
“Yes. It made sense.” She pulled his mouth back up to hers. “I feel like doing it again.”
Jamie dropped to his knees, setting Mandy gently onto the ground. He sat in the cushion of the pine needles and pulled her onto his lap. “Then by all means—”
The second kiss was better than the first as his tongue sought hers. She was as fervent as he was in her desire to get as close as possible. If he weren’t in uniform, twenty feet from ten other guys, he would have given into her every demand. As it was, they were about to go to a place he wouldn’t return from without an ice cold shower so he pulled back reluctantly.
“Did I miss something?” he whispered against her ear.
“No. Why?”
“This morning I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again. I mean, there was something—”
“I know. I’m sorry. I was having some doubts but then I talked to Callie and worked a few things out.”
“I like when you talk to Callie.” He grinned and pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, behind her ear. “Can you talk to her more often? Preferably on a day when I am not on duty?”
Mandy laughed. “I think that can be arranged.”
“Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “Not anymore.”
There was no mistaking the meaning in her words. “Yeah, me either. Unfortunately, I have to get back inside. The captain can be a bit of a ball-buster.”
Mandy moved to stand but Jamie pulled her back in, crushing his lips to hers in one last hard kiss. He wanted to remember the feel of her lips all night long. She snaked her arms around his neck and murmured, “I know exactly what you mean.”
His hands slid up her back slowly, slipping under the hem of her top and finding the soft skin of her lower back. A groan rumbled through his chest. Frustration mounted and that ice cold shower was definitely about to become reality.
“I should go,” she whispered. “I don’t want you to get in trouble on my account. I’m thinking you are going to need those balls your captain will want to bust in the near future.”
He groaned again, this time in sweet agony over the image her words had conjured in his mind. They walked out of the stand of trees hand in hand, Jamie cursing his need to be employed.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t want to get in the way.”
“You are never in my way.”
He loved the way all her skin, not just her face, changed colors when she was embarrassed. Half the time he said stuff like that just to make her blush.
“See you for the game tomorrow night?” he asked, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her in for one last kiss.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, Coach.” She batted her eyelashes exaggeratedly and gave him a sugary sweet smile.
“Good. I’ll make sure one of my uniforms is clean just for you.”
“You can but you’ll be wasting your time.” Mandy stepped away and gave a little wave. “I never lose a bet. Enjoy the rest of your shift.”
He watched as she walked away, stopping just before she turned the corner and blew him a little kiss.
What the hell was all that?
That was a side to Mandy, he hadn’t expected. All her temperature changes over the past few days hadn’t prepared him for what had just gone down.
The door opened behind him. “Where the hell’d you get off to, man? I was about to call in search and rescue.”
“Nowhere. I’ve been out here the whole time.”
“You’ve got dirt on your knees.”
“I dropped something.”
“And found it by rolling around under the trees?” Grant reached up and pulled a pine needle out of Jamie’s hair.
“I guess so.”
“You look like a freak in that apron.”
“Mandy likes it.”
Grant’s eyes widened as he scanned the area. “She’s here?”
“Was. I invited her for dinner.”
“Well, why didn’t you all come inside then?”
Jamie turned and grinned at his friend. “Because she skipped the meal and filled up on desert.”
“You dog! You didn’t—?”
“No! Not that. I would have but you know, work and all.”
“Always getting in the way of the good stuff,” Grant grumbled as they returned to the kitchen. “If I could get paid for having sex, I would.”
“You can. But, you can also get arrested for it.”
“I meant legally, you ass hat! Maybe I’ll become a porn star.” He gyrated his hips exaggeratedly, making Jamie laugh.
Jamie pulled off his apron and tossed it to Grant. “Sorry, dude. You better stick with fighting fires. You’re on cleanup. I need a shower.”
A very, very cold shower.

Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.

Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.

Social Media Links: Twitter& Instagram: @cherylwlow Website: cheryllow.com

In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.

Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. From the tea to the pastries, everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses. And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.

From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he’ll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

A deliciously decadent debut that will make you reconsider the world within which we live – because how different are we than Low’s drugged-up citizens of the upper crust?” — Sara Dobie Bauer, author of the Bite Somebody series

Grab your copy now World Weaver Press Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo Goodreads

“Vaun took another deep drag off the cigarette one of his new friends, Gabby, had offered him. She and the man sitting beside her pretended quite comically to be from the High. The prince did not ruin the show by telling them that he knew everyone in the High, to some degree. The quality of their vanity charms indicated they were not, not to mention the state of their clothing. Being rude was only fashionable if one’s victim was up to the challenge and could strike back. Besides, Vaun never discouraged people who tried so hard to amuse him.

The prince exhaled black smoke. It was thick and dramatic, but his skin didn’t hum the way it usually did after a deep breath of dust. In fact, the tingle was more of an agitation, making him shift in his seat and flick his cigarette more angrily than usual. Ash fluttered through the air. How much tea did he have to drink for a decent buzz? He all but dropped his cup back on its chipped saucer in disgust. “I shouldn’t have come,” he muttered.

“You’re leaving?” Gabby’s smile faltered. Her fingers clenched around her teacup. She wore fingerless, black lace gloves like his sister did on occasion and Vaun noticed that her skirts and bodice were also in dark colors with hints of lace sewn in wherever possible, some obviously added as an afterthought and not even matching the lace elsewhere. It would have been easier to try to imitate the High fashion of Belholn but Gabby had aimed even higher, for the princess herself.

“Yes. I’m sure I have a date somewhere.” Some part of him enjoyed the distress of the people around him at the possibility of his departure. It made him want to leave even more.

“Wait!” Gabby grabbed at the man beside her, whose name Vaun had forgotten a while ago, and tugged at the sleeve of his obviously repaired jacket. “Show him,” she whispered urgently.

Vaun took another draw of his disappointing cigarette. The best part about going to a teahouse or club in the thick of the Main was how the people tried so desperately to impress him. The people in the High knew him too well to try so hard. They feared his mockery even more than they desired his attention. But this group had spent the better part of the last hour trying to wow him with their trinkets and knowledge of the High. It was all nonsense read from the paper and mostly outdated. “I truly doubt you have anything to show me that I have not seen.”

The man reached into his jacket a little uncomfortably and took out a small mason jar. Others giggled, recognizing it, but Vaun only blinked at first. Its glass belly was full but not with anything liquid or solid. Light, captured and pulsing, swirled inside the jar. Vaun felt it as much as he saw it. He heard it like a whisper against his senses and found himself leaning forward to see it more clearly: a soul. Vaun had seen them before, but they weren’t common. So uncommon, in fact, that he was surprised they hadn’t led with this in their attempt to impress him. He supposed they might have been afraid he’d take it. Soul capturing was an old craft that most considered barbaric now.

His gaze turned up from the jar to the man holding it. “Who is it?” The soul was a beautiful captive, but the person walking around without it was the real prize—the puppet, someone that could be made to do anything.

“I couldn’t say.” The man smiled. “He wouldn’t be much of a spy if I did.”

Q&A With….

Cheryl, thanks for stopping by my blog today. Tell our readers about you
I was born and raised in California but moved to Sweden when I was twenty-three. I now have dual citizenship and somehow ended up moving so far north that I’m actually in the Arctic Circle. I love cafes and sugary treats and that love has forced me to spend a lot of time at the gym.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The desperate hope that there will be a box of cookies waiting for me and all my books will magically be edited.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why
Gail Carriger. Because there would be tea and probably some sort of pastry involved and I just image she’d be a delight to talk to.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Vanity in Dust is a product of obsessive imagining. It’s pure fantasy born from daydreams. A world driven by magic, where it’s become their drug of choice and inevitably clouded their minds. Once I laid the groundwork for the world, I built it by wondering in my daily life, how would this work in the Realm? Which inevitably led to them turning a library into a café where they can whisper their secrets and pretend to read books—most without words.

Tell us your writing process
I’m an outliner. I fell into it a while back. I obsess over a story for a while, building a list of ideas and scenes and then when I’m ready, I flesh that out into a full outline. Then I pick a month and write on a word-count-a-day schedule. It really works for me and I love doing it.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Twitter and Instagram are your friends and finding a community of other writers and readers can be really helpful and supportive. There’s a lot to be learned from other authors successes and mistakes.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
There wasn’t a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always been in my own world and writing happened even before I was ready to be an author.

Tell us about your main character:
Vaun Dray Fen is a prince in a city where that means everything and nothing. He has more power than almost anyone around him, but comes to realize that’s not saying much because his mother rules over every choice they make. He’s spoiled and light-hearted and indulgent but finds out he might be capable of more than playing his mother’s jester.

What are you working on next?
The second book in the Crowns and Ash series has been turned in to my amazing editor. It’s going to be a five book series so that should keep me pretty busy for a while.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Cookies! I am really good at baking cookies. Cake, not so much.

Who are your favorite authors?
Genevieve Cogman and Gail Carriger come to mind first. Amazing world builders with stories that are both exciting and hilarious. I also love Emily Gee, Tanith Lee, and Christopher Rice.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Between the books I want to write and the books I want to read, my free time is well and truly filled.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Detox in Letters is the second book of the Crowns and Ash series and we’re hoping to have that out next year.

Where can people find you on the web? 

Website – http://cheryllow.com/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/cherylwlow

Any final thoughts?

Questions are fun! And now I want cookies.

Facebook Page COTC

Hey folks!

Just a quick one today. We finally got a new page up on Facebook for Creatives On The Couch 🙂

Do us a favor and stop by and like our new page and share with your mates 😉

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