Blog Archives

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours
By Dorothy Thompson, CEO & Founder of Pump Up Your Book

By now, most authors know what virtual book tours are or at least have heard of them.  They’re that wonderful marketing tool that should be a must have in every new book’s campaign.  With each new book I write, I’m making a game plan before the book is even published and a virtual book tour is the first promotional venue on that list. While most of us know what they are, there are still a few new authors who might have heard of them but have no idea what they involve.  I give you my top 10 things you need to know about virtual book tours so that you will know what to expect.

  1. Virtual book tours are the BEST way to get the MOST online exposure for your book.
    Not only are you presenting your book and yourself to thousands of people, all of your interviews, guest posts and reviews are archived which means months down the road, you’re still selling your book because of that one tour.
  2. Virtual book tours ARE a lot of work.
    Not only are you searching for the perfect blogs to host you, you are acting as the middle man between you and the blogger unless you are using a paid service such as Pump Up Your Book who will do all the work for you.  Even if you do sign up with Pump Up Your Book, there is still lots of work to do completing assignments – filling out interviews and writing guest posts unless you choose an all review tour.  Even though it requires a little bit of your time to fill out interviews and write guest posts, it’s well worth it.
  3. You will learn more about your book than you ever did.
    I had an author tell me that through the interviews and guest posts she had to complete, she never learned so much about her book which caught her off guard.  Now when she is interviewed on radio shows and makes television appearances, she is better prepared.
  4. Virtual book tours will build up your author platform.
    No matter if you’re a fiction author or a nonfiction author, virtual book tours will build up your author platform using your key search words.
  5. Your reviews are guaranteed.
    Offline publicists while they mean well do it all wrong.  They query a book blogger, make arrangements to send the book, then that’s where it stops.  The review is not a guaranteed thing.  The reviewer can post the review anytime they see fit.  With virtual book tours, your review is guaranteed on a certain date unless the reviewer jumps ship which rarely happens.  I had an author tell me she signed up with an offline publicist who sent out many books and only one or two reviewers actually came through for them.  That was money loss for the author.  Books don’t come cheap these days so coming up with a date you and the reviewer can agree upon
    guarantees that review will be a given thing.
  6. Many reviewers now take ebooks which save you money.
    Thank goodness someone was smart enough to invent a device that automatically loads a book in a few seconds (no waiting to go to the book store anymore my friend) and makes it fun to read. When Amazon lowered their price of the Kindle, sales soared and book lovers started talking about getting one.  What that means is that
    it opened up a wonderful way to get these books to the book reviewers quickly and less expensively.  Have you noticed how much books are and how much it takes to ship them?  Not saying all reviewers will take ebooks, but as time goes on, most will have an e-reader and, as a matter of fact, will prefer an ebook.
  7. More website hits, more blog hits, more Twitter hits and more Facebook Fan Page hits.
    All authors should have a website or blog and accounts at Twitter and Facebook.  No matter if you think they’re all a waste of time.  A virtual book tour will definitely give you more hits at all places as long as your links are in your bio.
  8. Going on a virtual book tour raises your Alexa rankings.
    What is Alexa? Alexa measures how well you are doing in the search engines.  By going on a virtual book tour, and including interviews and guest posts during that tour, your website and blog links are included in every bio (or should be!).  Those are incoming links which Alexa uses to measure your ranking.  The more your website or blog link shows up on other sites, the more valuable your site is to them and thus, your rankings soar.
  9. You will learn how to sell your book through media exposure.
    Not all authors take advantage of their interviews and guest posts by gearing them toward their audience, thus luring them to their book and/or website/blog. I’ve had many authors on tour and the ones who really take the time to make their interviews and guest posts effective selling tools are the ones who profit the most. The key thing here is to make your audience curious.  One liners in the case of interviews may not cut it.  Of course there are only so many ways you can answer “What’s your book about?” but take your time and get your audience’s curiosity peaked so that they do make your way over to your website or your book’s buying link.
  10. Virtual book tours teach you how to connect well with others.
    There is no better way to learn how to network.  All these wonderful book bloggers who agree to host you are your new friends in your extended network and they will be there for you the next time you have a book to promote (unless they completely hated it of course).  You’ll also learn how to use the social networks effectively as you study how to get people over to your stops by persuasive wording.  Remember to talk to your audience, not at them.

There you have it.  10 reasons I feel you need to know about virtual book tours in a nutshell.  If you have a tour coordinator as opposed to setting one up yourself, she will walk you through it so that it will be a fun experience for all.  Your book will thank you for it.

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an award-winning public relations company specializing in online book
publicity.  You can visit her website at www.PumpUpYourBook.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pumpupyourbook and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pumpupyourbook.

Interview With… Bluette Matthey

Black Forest Reckoning Book Banner

Today folks I am chatting to Bluette Matthey. Bluette was a guest on my blog back in July.

Bluette, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you. 
I often think I was born in the wrong era. My sense of adventure is such that I think I should have been an explorer or adventuress, except that I require my creature comforts, good food, and computer access. I do love to travel and experience cultures, cuisines, origins, etc. That sense of wonder at turning a corner (figuratively or literally) and beholding something totally new and unique strikes a deep chord and gives a definite buzz.

Bluette Matthey

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My three entitled cats demand it! The continuity of creating and problem-solving my way through life always acts as an early-morning stimulant.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend a day with English actor David Suchet, AKA Hercule Poirot. He did such an exquisite job of bringing Christie’s Belgian detective to life; he inspires me.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I chose the Black Forest area of Germany as the setting for book three. The area has a definite mystique with its lore and traditions, and the food is rich and delectable. The history and culture of the area offer a plethora of jumping off points of interest. I was drawn to the various conquests of the region, the historical religious tensions, the Nazi occupation, the phenomena of the Stolpersteine Stones, and the sophistication of Baden-Baden as a casino and spa destination.

In Black Forest Reckoning, Hardy and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron who owns the schloss has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in Black Forest Reckoning.

blackforesFrontB-3

 

Tell us your writing process.
First, I choose the location and do some research to get a feel for the history, culture, food, myths, lore, etc. of the area. This usually leads to the main plot and a series of subplots, as well as the characters. It is an evolving process; nothing is static.

Each book is heavily researched so that the reader gets a real feel for the locale’s history, culture, and cuisine. My travel mysteries are a painless way to experience the intricacies of a geographic area.

What tips can you share with aspiring & upcoming authors?
If you want to write, don’t give up. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Start in your comfort zone, and then press outward.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since third grade, so it wasn’t when I realized I wanted to be a writer … I have been for so long. However, my decision to write travel mysteries was a result of seeing Whitehaven Mansions, the London home of Hercule Poirot, while on a London Walk two years ago. Always an Agatha fan, and lover of mysteries and travel, I thought, “Travel mysteries … I can do that…”

Tell us about your main character:
Hardy Durkin owns and is the main guide for a hiking outfitter company specializing in off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe. He has a background in analysis and decryption from time spent in the US military, and excelled in the pentathlon at college and military levels. He is not super-hero quality, but much more real and just slightly larger than life. I didn’t want him to overshadow the story line. Hardy has a nose for intrigue, and solved the mystery of his father’s murder in my first book, Corsican Justice.

What are you working on next?
My current project, Dalmatian Traffick, finds Hardy working outside the box of travel outfitting when he heads to the Balkans on a surveillance assignment for the French Foreign Legion under the guise of sailing the Adriatic for some R & R. In Corsican Justice Hardy worked with a French Foreign Legion officer who recognized his many talents and consequently enlists his help for a project in the Balkans. The mission becomes a rescue operation when Hardy is joined by Colonel Alain Clotiers to find and save a fellow Legionnaire who has gone missing. Hardy becomes entangled in the dark world of sex trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal arms sales while trying to find the killer of a Roma beauty in Dalmatian Traffick.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m a fairly good detective, in my own right.

Who are your favorite authors?
The classics: Dame Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Rex Stout, Arthur Conan Doyle, Simenon. I also like some of the more contemporary authors like James Lee Burke, Alexander McCall, and Stieg Larsson.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Travel!

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
My goal is to write my way through the alphabet. So far I’ve done ‘A’ with Abruzzo Intrigue, ‘C’ with Corsican Justice, and ‘B’ with Black Forest Reckoning. ‘D’ will be Dalmatian Traffick, and I think ‘E’ takes place in the Engadine Valley, in Switzerland. Or possibly, Estonia.

Where can people find you on the web?
bluettematthey.com 
blueshutterpublishing.com
bluette matthey facebook 
Twitter@HardyDurkin.

Any final thoughts?
Live outside your box; take a trip somewhere!

Book Tour – Black Forest Reckoning

Black-Forest-Reckoning-Banner

Title: Black Forest Reckoning
Author: Bluette Matthey
Publisher: Blue Shutter Publishing
Pages: 299
Genre: Travel Mystery

Outfitter Hardy Durkin and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron, who owns the schloss, has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in ‘The Black Forest Reckoning’.

Black-Forest-Reckoning

About The Author

Bluette-Matthey

Bluette Matthey is a third generation Swiss American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience. She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery with her to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe. Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the “15 days in Europe” itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as the London Walks, in well-known areas. She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, faithful dog, and band of loving cats.

You can visit Bluette’s website at www.bluettematthey.com

For More Information

Connect with Bluette on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit Bluette at her website

 

Dressed to Kill Virtual Book Tour

Dressed to Kill Book Banner

Title: Dressed to Kill
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Kindle

Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…

Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn’t acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor’s conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill’s main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late.

Dressed to Kill

amazon
BN
kobo-150x150
google-play-150x150

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lynn CahoonI love happy endings. My stories are all about life in small town America and building the family that you deserve. You know, the people who love you unconditionally – even when you’re less than perfect.

Personal stuff? I’m a seven-year breast cancer survivor. I’m married to my own hero who shaved his shoulder length hair when I lost mine during chemo. I’m the proud mom of a computer engineer (although I don’t know what that means.) And I have four fur babies.

I’m an active member of MORWA, my local RWA chapter.

My debut was THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER released June 4th, 2012 from Crimson Romance. Cowboys aren’t easy to love—but they sure are easy on the eyes. I bet you’ve felt the same way my heroine Lizzie has, at least once or twice. Since that time, THE BULL RIDER’S MANAGER, came to your favorite digital store. If flying was hell, waiting to fly was purgatory. Both are available in print as well as digital. And the long awaited bull rider story is finally out and available. Check out THE BULL RIDER’S KEEPER!

For those of you who like a little magic in your stories — The Council Series starts with A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL. A rogue hunter, a clueless witch and a mission to save an unknowing world. The second book, RETURN OF THE FAE, continues Parris and Ty’s adventures, and is a 2014 RONE finalist.

2013 brought MARRIAGE NOT INCLUDED, a organic farmer’s daughter meets corporate seed executive. Set in Idaho, this story takes me home.

2014 sees more big news – e-Kensington released The Tourist Trap Series – with GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER kicking the fun off in April. MISSION TO MURDER arrived July 31st, and a third book, IF THE SHOE KILLS, November 10th. Set in a small coastal California town, I love these who dun it’s with a touch of romance.

Summer of 2015 – DRESSED TO KILL and KILLER RUN will be arriving.

I’ve come a long way from the little girl on the school bus who used to cut out pictures from Teen Beat to illustrate my tales of love and loss. And yet, not so far.

So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, and let’s chat about writing, love, life, and the pesky things that get in the way of our goals and dreams.

I’m glad you found me.

Visit Lynn’s website. Connect with Lynn on Twitter and Facebook.

An Oath Broken, Only Marriage Will Do and Valentine Virtual Book Tour

An Oath Broken Only Marriage Valentine Banner

 

An Oath Broken
Title: An Oath Broken
Author: Diana Cosby
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle

An arranged marriage to a Scot? Unacceptable!

Lady Sarra Bellacote would sooner marry a boar than a countryman of the bloodthirsty brutes who killed her parents. And yet, despite—or perhaps because of—her valuable holdings, she is being dragged to Scotland to be wed against her will. To complicate the desperate situation, the knight hired to do the dragging is dark, wild, irresistible. And he, too, is intolerably Scottish.

Giric Armstrong, Earl of Terrick, takes no pleasure in escorting a feisty English lass to her betrothed. But he needs the coin to rebuild his castle, and his tenants need to eat. Yet the trip will not be the simple matter he imagined. For Lady Sarra isn’t the only one determined to see her engagement fail. Men with darker motives want to stop the wedding—even if they must kill the bride in the process.

Now, in close quarters with this beautiful English heiress, Terrick must fight his mounting desire, and somehow keep Sarra alive long enough to lose her forever to another man…

“Plenty of action…loads of treachery. Fans of medieval Scotland will enjoy.” —Library Journal

“Cosby gives you it all—passion, danger, lush history and a touch of magic. Excellent reading.” —New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell on His Conquest

“Diana Cosby is superbly talented.” —Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

An Oath Broken is available for pre-order at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and GooglePlay.

About The Author

Diana Cosby

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Her award-winning books are translated in five languages.  Diana has appeared at Lady Jane’s Salon, in NYC, and in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happily Ever After,” MSN.com, and in Texoma Living Magazine.

After retiring as a Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.

Her years of living in Europe inspired Diana to write in the medieval time frame.  After watching the movie Braveheart and with her passion for writing complex plots, the idea for the MacGruder brothers series was born.

With the release of her 1st book in her new Scottish medieval The Oath trilogy, An Oath Taken, which hit bestseller lists in Canada and the United Kingdom, she’s now preparing for the release of the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series on February 24th, and the last two books in The Oath trilogy, An Oath Broken – 22 June, and, An Oath Sworn – 23 December, 2015!

Diana has many passions in life, but one that resonates in her life is that of giving. She firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life.  Some of the charities she supports are listed below:

The National Trust for Scotland, which acts asguardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures.

Habitat For Humanity, which gives a deserving family more than a home, but a foundation upon which to build their dreams.

Semper Fi Fund, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help with immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Homes For Our Troops, assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families through various venues to aid them in building a home that allows them live a more independent life.

The Navy SEAL Foundation, provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

For More Information Visit Diana’s website. Connect with Diana on Facebook.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Only Marriage Will Do

Title: Only Marriage Will Do
Author: Jenna Jaxon
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle

The House of Pleasure, #2

Happily-ever-afters don’t always begin at “I do.”

When the man of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the villain claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love. But is she free to marry him? Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero to escort her to her family estate in far off Northern England—hoping that along the way she can win his love—and his hand…

Captivated by Juliet’s sweetness and beauty, Captain Amiable Dawson can’t help but be spellbound by the promise of a life with her. But the spell breaks when questions arise about her marital status. Soon the upstanding Amiable is unsure if he is indeed married to Juliet. And when his rival absconds with her, Amiable must choose between the law of the land and his heart’s desire to rescue Juliet once more…

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Only Marriage Will Do is available for pre-order at  AmazonB&N, Kobo and GooglePlay.

About The Author

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She is currently finishing revisions to her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.

Only Marriage Will Do, second book in her Georgian House of Pleasure series is with the editor. Her medieval trilogy, Time Enough to Love, is being published by Rising Phoenix Publications. Book 1, Betrothal is currently available. Book 2, Betrayal, will be available later this fall.

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

For More Information Visit Jenna’s website. Connect with Jenna on Twitter and Facebook.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Valentine

Title: Valentine
Author: Heather Grothaus
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle

Introducing the Brotherhood of Fallen Angels—an epic new series set in the medieval Holy Land, where four heroic Crusaders find themselves caught in the crosshairs of revenge, devotion—and love…

He’s a man of passion and principle. But would he kill for his convictions? That’s the question that has Valentine Alesander fighting for his innocence. He’s been accused, along with three other Brothers, of orchestrating the horrific siege at the Christian fortification of Chastellet. Could this fatefully-named Crusader be a lover, a fighter, and a traitor? One woman from his past is about to find out.  

Gorgeous, free-spirited Lady Mary Beckham has escaped her guardians in England to travel across the world—and find the notorious Valentine. Years ago, she was promised to him…and now she wants out of their marriage contract. Mary wants to wed another and requires Valentine’s blessing—until she discovers they share a tempestuous attraction. But with a vengeful band of sworn enemies at Valentine’s heels, is desire worth the risk of losing…everything?

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Valentine is available for pre-order at AmazonB&N,  Kobo and GooglePlay.

About The Author

Heather GrothausHeather Grothaus has published eight medieval romances since 2006, which have been translated into several foreign languages. She fell in love with historical romance after reading a Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel when she was far too young to be doing so, and has never looked back, building a reputation for crafting twisting adventures, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and heart-wrenching emotion. When she’s not writing, she spends her time homeschooling her children, gardening, listening to music, reading, and watching Sherlock. She lives on a small farm in Kentucky with her family.

For More Information Visit Heather’s website. Connect with Heather on Goodreads and Twitter.

A Crying Shame, The Uninvited and Them Book Tour

William Johnstone ACS, TU and Them Banner

AUTHOR BIO

William W. Johnstone was born in Southern Missouri, the youngest of four children. Raised with strong moral and family values by his minister father, and well-tutored by his school teacher mother, Bill quit school when he was fifteen. He was kicked out of the French Foreign Legion for being under age and joined the carnival. But still valuing his education, he returned home to finish his high school education in 1957.

He went on to work as a deputy sheriff, did a hitch in the army, and began a career in radio broadcasting, where he worked daily on his verbal and storytelling skills for the next sixteen years on the air. Much of his knowledge of the early frontier began from listening to family experiences told to him by his Grandparents.

His love of animals is displayed in many of his books as well as finding several Huskies and Malamutes roaming freely around his home. As an avid gun and knife collector, hours of research are devoted to the types of weapons commonly used during the eras of his writings.

One little known fact, is his love for music … from “rockabilly to classical”. Bill has written and recorded several songs which may be released for his fans in the future.

He started writing in 1970, but it wasn’t until late 1979 when The Devil’s Kiss was published that William W. Johnstone became a full-time writer. Since that time he has written over two hundred books in a variety of genres including action, suspense, western, science fiction, and horror. Two of his books, Eagle Down and Dagger, were written under the pen name of William Mason.

To the true William W. Johnstone reader, he is a best-selling author admired for the great diversity in his writing talents. Though most known for his western adventures, Johnstone was also a visionary writer. His prophetic stories within his Ashes Series, Code Name Series, and his science fiction books, predicting the Gulf War and the political climate we live in today, was ahead of its time when it was written.

William Johnstone

For More Information

Visit William’s website.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Crying Shame

Title: A Crying Shame
Author: William Johnstone
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Format: Kindle

Each night they emerged from the murky depths of the swamp to claim another victim—a lovely, innocent, fertile female who would be carried off in huge hairy arms and plunged into a nightmare world of terror. Her screams would echo in the darkness. Her face would contort in the throes of horror and pain. But once taken, each became a mother of an unholy child, a link in the chain of madness and evil, a spawn to carry on the devil’s name!

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION:
A Crying Shame is available for pre-order at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Google Play

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The UninvitedTitle: The Uninvited
Author: William Johnstone
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Format: Kindle

It was like any other spring day in the quiet, peaceful community of Lapeer Parish, Louisiana. But for Sheriff Vic Ransonet it was the beginning of a nightmare. People were disappearing without a trace. Animals were being eaten right down to the bone. Lush fertile fields of crops were being stripped bare. But the sheriff knew the evil that lurked in the barns, sheds, and homes of the sleepy parish. He had seen the creatures with his own eyes. He had heard the clicking of their jaws, the signal that they were on the move to feed their ravenous appetites. And if he couldn’t stop them, then every man, woman, and child would die, and Lapeer Parish would be wiped off the map.

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION
The Uninvited is available for pre-order at Amazon, B&N, and Google Play.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ThemTitle: Them
Author: William Johnstone
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Format: Kindle

Jake Silver was a teenage misfit, a misunderstood genius who’d been cruelly tormented by his own sadistic father and others in his little Louisiana hometown. Jake was the perfect disciple for Them. They’d come from another world; disembodied begins who understood Jake’s need for revenge. . .They would offer Jake the power to finally take it. . .All they wanted in return was his help in bringing others of their kind to Jake’s world. It begins so slowly, so innocently, even Jake didn’t see the danger. . .until it was too late to realize that he had helped unleash a devastating power in the universe–and opened a gateway for a horrific struggle between mere human beings and. . . Them

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION
Them is available for pre-order at Amazon, B&N, and Google Play.

Book Tour ~ The Color of Clouds by J.C. Whyte

colorcloudsbanner

About the Book
Title: The Color of Clouds
Author: J.C. Whyte
Genre: Sci-Fi / Paranormal Mystery / Thriller

Pedro’s on a mission. But not your everyday, run-of-the-mill type mission. Because Pedro is dead.
That’s right. Dead.

Spirit guide Pedro normally busies himself with conveying messages from departed loved ones through a psychic named Gwen. But when he encounters a recently deceased teenager, the boy’s anguish just about breaks Pedro’s heart. So the spirit guide decides to try and help this boy. Yet meddling in the affairs of the living is a troublesome business, as Pedro soon discovers.

Nevertheless, he convinces Gwen to take an ocean voyage, and that’s when the trouble begins. Within days of leaving port, two passengers on the cruise ship fall into a mysterious coma. Gwen seeks Pedro’s help to restore these passengers, but natural as well as unnatural obstacles keep getting in the way. And by the time the ship docks in Honolulu, the still-living are flat out scrambling for their lives!

A playful blend of science fiction and the paranormal, The Color of Clouds offers a glimpse into the unseen world while taking the reader on an extraordinary ride. The adventure includes danger, mystery, humor, sweet romance and even a dash of thriller.

But the clouds are not what you think.

The Color of Clouds2-2

 

Author Bio

J.C. Whyte discovered her love for writing while still in elementary school, creating children’s stories. But as an adult, J.C. had to face the harsh reality that such writing seldom pays the bills. So she earned degrees in both Journalism and Communications, and then turned to Public Relations, where for ten years she focused her creative energies into feature writing.

After marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J. C. entered law school. While there, she became a columnist for the school newsletter and later, one of her humorous articles was even published in The National Jurist.

Graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she has returned to where her life’s calling began, beginning in 2013 with publication of her children’s book Karmack and now in 2015 with her first novel for adults, The Color of Clouds.

J.C. Whyte

 

Links

Goodreads page
MuseItUp Publishing page
Amazon page
Barnes & Noble page:

Book Excerpt

There was an element of danger in these dives, especially because of the predatory sharks in the area. Yet it was unlikely a shark would attack the divers. Tiger and Galapagos sharks were the most aggressive, but even they preferred fish, turtles, and seals to humans. So although he felt pretty confident, Drew still kept one eye on Carly.
But as the six divers began their survey, a strange light lit up one end of the reef, diffusing illumination as if a floodlight were shining upon it. This light was also inching closer and closer to the divers. When it was near enough to touch, Drew stuck his arm into the light and instantly the arm disappeared inside it. Frightened, he quickly withdrew his limb. Yet now the arm felt dead as it dangled at his side, refusing to respond to commands.
Carly was too busy taking measurements to notice. But the light kept moving. And before Drew could act, it fully engulfed his wife. She instantly collapsed, dropped from the reef and started to drift into deeper water. He charged after her, kicking harder than he knew he could. But with dogged determination and a single full-functioning arm, he managed to bring Carly’s limp body to the water’s surface.
Drew was now in a full-blown panic. Reaching the boat, he shouted for help; the others quickly pulled Carly on board.
“What happened?” asked one of the crewmen.
“I…I don’t know. Some mysterious light…” Drew coughed and gulped some air. “It passed over her, and she…” He shook his head in disbelief.
“Still breathing,” noted another crewman as he removed her mouthpiece from around her neck and pulled off her oxygen tank.
When Drew lifted Carly’s mask with his good hand, he was stunned to see her blank-looking eyes staring wide open at him.

Interview

Jacquie, thank for being my guest today. Tell our followers about you.
I discovered a love for writing while still in elementary school, when I would compose and read stories to my siblings and cousins. But as an adult, I had to face the fact that such writing seldom pays the bills. So I earned degrees in Journalism and Communications, and then turned to Public Relations, where for ten years I focused my creative energies into feature writing.

After marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), I entered law school. While there, I became a columnist for the school newsletter and later, one of my humorous articles was published in The National Jurist.

But after graduating and passing the Bar, I realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made my heart sing. So now, as a grandma, I have returned to my writing roots with publication of my children’s book Karmack (2013) and my first novel for adults, The Color of Clouds (March, 2015).

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That’s simple: adventure! From an early age, I have viewed my life as one long adventure, whether real or otherwise (mostly otherwise, I think — LOL).  I love new experiences, especially when they involve travel. That’s why my book The Color of Clouds features an adventure centered around travel.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably someone fun like Melissa McCarthy or Ellen DeGeneres. I love people who make me laugh and aren’t afraid to be a little silly.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
My husband is a scientist who’s been talking about so-called ‘dark matter’ for years. He even has his own theory about what it is. I just incorporated his theory into my own interpretation of what lies beyond the visible world. Then I stirred in some adventure, mixed in a murder mystery, added a pinch of humor, and finished with a sprinkling of light romance. And viola! The concoction I named The Color of Clouds.

Tell us your writing process.
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. I can’t work from an outline because it’s just no fun. I get an idea and run with it, letting it evolve in its own way and in its own time. That’s the adventure of writing for me.

Do you have any advice on what has and has not worked for you that you can share with other authors?
What hasn’t worked is buying ads in online magazines. I find bloggers’ reviews to be the most beneficial, along with giveaways and small ads on Goodreads.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was eleven, my 6th grade teacher gave the class an assignment to write a poem about a sport. I knew my classmates would mostly choose a popular sport like baseball or football, so I decided to be different and write about golf. And to my complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she encouraged me to keep writing.

Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. Well, this was absolutely horrifying to me! I wanted to enjoy my summer, not spend it reading! You see, back then I was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience (in my day, kids didn’t have all the fun books to choose from like they do today). But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told my mother I could write 26 stories instead. That was a very special gift to me. Although I didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), I submitted one which made my 7th grade teacher laugh out loud in class. And I got an “A” on my summer reading assignment. I owe so much to that wise and wonderful teacher who truly let me play to my strengths.

Tell us about your main character:
In his prior life, Pedro was an Italian immigrant’s son living in a New York City tenement at the start of the twentieth century. But in my story, Pedro is currently a dead spirit guide who communicates telepathically through a psychic named Gwen. Both Pedro and Gwen like helping people; that’s why together they attempt to ease the pain of those who’ve lost loved ones under very unhappy circumstances. Yet Pedro goes a bit too far in trying to help a particularly sad soul,  and that’s what sparks the paranormal adventure in The Color of Clouds.

What are you working on next?
Nothing at the moment. I’m too busy traveling and promoting my books.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wouldn’t call it extraordinary but I can play the piano. Unfortunately, no. My only talent has been writing. I can’t even garden – all my plants just up and die on me. Sniff!  No wait – I’m pretty good at amateur photography (at least I think so!).

Who are your favorite authors?
Off the top of my head: Ken Follett, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Dennis LeHane. Yeah, they have absolutely nothing in common; I just enjoy their writing styles.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Did I mention how much I like to travel? And when I’m not traveling, I’m planning for travel, which to me is almost as much fun as the trip itself.

My husband and I just got back from a safari in South Africa. Last year, we went to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. And I’ve just started to plan an Australia/New Zealand cruise for next year. Yep, we’re doing the old Bucket List!

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Frankly, I don’t have any. My two books – Karmack and The Color of Clouds – were both born out of inspiration combined with true life experiences. I find my best approach is to wait until new inspiration strikes. When I try to force the process, it just doesn’t work for me.

Thanks for being here today Jacquie. 🙂

Book Tour ~ Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl by Tracy Fobes

stowawaybanner

About The Book
Title: Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl
Author: Tracy Fobes
Genre: Horror/Thriller

Set on stormy seas during the early nineteenth century, Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl features a unique plot revolving around a classic adventure that quickly becomes supernatural horror.

In Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl, Kit Cabot is being groomed to take over his family’s shipping fortune in 1808 Boston, Massachusetts.  While Kit yearns for the approval of his father, he finds the day-to-day operations of the family business incredibly boring.

Determined to do something more with his life, and attracted to the seafaring life of his uncle, Kit decides to stowaway on his uncle’s ship.  But instead of being swept up in the life of adventure and romance he always imagined, Kit finds himself subjected to harsh 1800’s maritime conditions and another stowaway with a sinister mission of its own.

Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl combines high sea adventure with dark horror, and paints a world filled with both mundane and otherworldly dangers.  It builds a claustrophobic sense of supernatural terror as Kit and his friends are forced to deal with the dangers of nature and an unknown horror possessing the ship.

640-03256885 © Masterfile Royalty Free Model Release: Yes Property Release: No Studio shot of young man with hands around glowing crystal ball

Kirkus Review

Horror Palace Review

Author Bio

Pennsylvania author Tracy Fobes is an award-winning writer of ten novels in the categories of romance, paranormal, and horror. Prior to deciding that a literary career was her passion, Tracy gained a BS in Computer Science (minor in mathematics) from the University of Scranton and followed that path working as a computer systems analyst for the Fortune-500 conglomerate Johnson & Johnson. She now devotes herself to writing novels.

As she states, “The inspiration for a new story comes from many places: art, music, old movies, books, newspapers. Occasionally, when I’m listening to a song or looking at a painting, I feel an intuitive jolt, an unexpected click. An idea about that painting or song sets my creative impulses to bubbling. I can always tell when I’m on the right track because excitement grabs hold of me and the skin at the back of my neck tightens. The ideas that give me some sort of visceral reaction are the ones that usually end up as my stories. Stories about women and men who come together to love have always been my favorites.”

AUTHOR PHOTO - Tracy Fobes

Links

About the Book
Amazon 
B&N
iTunes
Kobo Books
Google Play

Giveaway
Win a paperback copy of “Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EXCERPT

Kit reached the Red Lion Inn right behind Mr. Whyte. The two men pushed through the front door together and then stopped abruptly.
The Red Lion was one of the better inns in town, with a low wooden ceiling, whitewashed plaster walls gone gray with smoke, roughhewn wooden benches, and a bar with barstools along one side. It was busy that night, filled with working men and sailors who caroused in every corner, drinking from earthenware mugs and slinging around pitchers offering everything from whiskey, to ale, to mead.
Kit squinted at the sailors closest to him, trying to find his uncle, but the light from the candles and lanterns got caught in the smoke floating above the floor, turning it into a haze that seemed to obscure everything and everyone–not unlike the fog outside. He quickly realized, however, that he didn’t need to see his uncle, he only had to follow the sound of his uncle’s bellow. Although laughter and conversation filled the room, they weren’t loud enough to drown out the sound of John’s strident voice.
“Aye, that’s right, get her over here!”
Sailors had formed a ring around the table at which his uncle sat. Some of the men were laughing, but one sailor—a native of the West Indies with close-cropped brown hair and light, coffee-colored skin—had a deep frown etched into his face.
His leg throbbing, Kit pushed through the sailors with Mr. Whyte at his side, and stopped dead. He drew in a shocked breath.
His uncle had plates and mugs tumbled around him, as if he’d eaten enough for five men. He appeared to be roaring drunk. A few of his teeth had fallen out, and his face appeared even thinner than it had two weeks ago. But it was the look in his John’s eyes that made Kit’s internal temperature plummet: they were dark and bloodshot, and filled with a strange malevolence.
“Get on this table, girl,” John roared. “I aim to relieve you of years’ worth of future trouble.”
A few of the sailors bellowed with laughter. The West Indies man, however, tensed and looked toward something in the corner. Kit followed the direction of his gaze, and stilled too. A young, dark-haired serving girl with a lacy cap atop her head huddled against the wall. She wore a prim gray uniform and her abdomen appeared distended in an unmistakable way. Trembling, with her arms hugged around her belly, she had tears streaming down her face.
Mr. Whyte elbowed him in the ribs. “Look at the table behind the captain’s.”
Kit glanced at the table behind his uncle’s and his stomach rolled sickeningly. A bloody dissected calf carcass lay spread out upon its surface, along with several sharp, wicked-looking knives. The calf’s spine had been meticulously exposed and its entrails placed in a neat pile on a nearby bench. Some of the entrails had been gnawed upon.
Struggling to regain a neutral expression, he refocused on his uncle, who was tossing down a mug of ale and still hadn’t noticed him in the throng of sailors. “Uncle John…”
John slammed his mug down on the table. He looked up to see who had spoken, and when he saw Kit, the harshness in his face drained away. “Kit, what are you doing here?”
Kit exchanged an anxious glance with Mr. Whyte. “Mr. Whyte and I are bringing you back to the Apollyon. The ship sails at dawn. Your men need you on deck.”
“The hell you are. I’ve got more work to do tonight.” John extended a blue-veined hand toward the entrails. For one nauseating moment, Kit thought his uncle planned to pick them up and eat them; but then he saw John clutch the red pearl, which sat near the carcass. John brought it close to his face and stared at it.
Kit could see the pearl’s swirling reddish-black fluid reflected in his uncle’s eyes. “What work, Uncle?”
John’s attitude suddenly shifted from confrontational to quiet. He placed the pearl next to the entrails once again and frowned. With one bloody hand, he picked up a coin pouch and shook it. Coins jingled together. His frown deepening, he held the pouch toward the serving girl. “The girl is my work.”
Her lips forming the word no over and over again, the girl shook her head wildly from side to side and pressed her back up against the wall.
Kit took a panicked step forward. “You can’t tumble her. She’s heavy with child.”
John dropped the coin pouch on the table. “Who said I want to tumble her?”
The circle of sailors around John suddenly became hushed.
His mind awhirl with disbelief and revulsion, Kit stared at his uncle.
John shrugged and refused to meet Kit’s gaze. “It wants to know.”
“It?”
His uncle swiveled his head to gaze at the pearl, and remained that way for several seconds, like a rat frozen by a snake’s stare. Again, Kit noticed the swirl of reddish-black fluid reflected in his eyes. “What does it want to know?”
“Propagate,” his uncle replied, his lips hardly moving.
“Pr…propagate?”
“But the girl won’t oblige us.”
“Then we should let her leave, Uncle,” Kit said evenly.
John seemed to snap out of his reverie, and finally looked at Kit. Kit saw the shame in his eyes, along with tears and something else–some raging desire his uncle seemed powerless to control. Just as quickly, though, his uncle’s gaze shifted away.
“Aye, go,” John barked to the girl. “You’re useless if you’re going to argue with me.”
Her bosom heaving, the girl pushed herself out of the corner and hurried away, pausing long enough to give Kit a tremulous smile.
Once she was out of sight, his uncle scowled at the sailors around him. “What kind of crew are you? Don’t you see your captain’s cup is empty? Fill it up!”
Several sailors stepped forward, and one tilted a pitcher to pour amber liquid into John’s mug. John smiled with drunken satisfaction, revealing once again that mouth full of rampant decay, and Kit couldn’t stop himself from recoiling.
John nodded. “Aye, Kit. My teeth are rotting in my head. ‘Tis a wonder I can still eat.” He paused to gesture wildly at his crew. “Bring me oranges, you damned scurvy dogs.”
“You don’t have scurvy, Uncle.”
John shrugged, then picked up his mug and drank its contents down in a single gulp. “Go home, Kit. Before you get hurt.”
The sailor with the pitcher stepped forward to refill his cup, and the next time John looked Kit’s way, his gaze passed over Kit, as though he didn’t exist.
Kit backed away, through the ring of sailors around his uncle and then against the wall, which he pressed against to steady himself. Then he collapsed onto a nearby bench. Mr. Whyte and the West Indies man broke away from the crowd, too, and moved to stand next to Kit.
“You saved that lassie’s life,” Mr. Whyte breathed.
Kit passed a hand over his face, rubbing it in the process. He felt drained. Exhausted.
“This is Bede Bramwell,” the quartermaster continued, gesturing toward the West Indies man. “The captain hired him as the ship’s cook some years back.”
Kit shook hands with Bede. “Good to meet you, Mr. Bramwell.”
“You too, Mr. Cabot.”
A sudden, unintelligible shout from John drew their attention. Kit could see his uncle was becoming louder and more quarrelsome by the moment.
Bede gazed at John with wide eyes, then turned away, his face tense. “What do we do now?”
“We wait until he passes out,” Kit said, “and then we carry him back to the ship.”
“Aye, laddie,” the quartermaster agreed.
John interrupted them with another lusty bellow. Kit heard the strangeness in his uncle’s voice, that malicious, evil edge, and sagged. This problem seemed to be getting bigger by the moment. “What do you two think is behind his breakdown?”
“It must be the orb,” Mr. Whyte said, his voice low.
“It looks like a red pearl.”
“Indeed it does.”
Kit quirked his eyebrows. “What in God’s name is it?”
“I don’t know.” The quartermaster took a seat next to Kit. “The captain changed the day he found the thing, though. So somehow, it’s involved.”
Bede also took a seat on the bench. “In the West Indies, we call it Sasabonsam.”
Kit swiveled to regard Bede closely. “What’s a sasabonsam?”
“It’s an evil spirit. It sucks the life out of you, and takes your soul.”
“Bede is the son of an Obeah man,” Mr. Whyte interjected. “He knows about these things.”
“An Obeah man?”
“A priest of sorts,” Bede clarified.
Kit’s lips twisted. “Really? A priest, you say? Well, he needs a lot more than a priest.”
“You’re right. He needs you,” the quartermaster agreed. “If you care at all for him, you’ll come with us when we sail tomorrow morning.”
“Why does he need me?” Kit asked. “What am I going to do to help?”
“You’re the only one he listens to. The only one he really cares about. If you tell him to do something, he’ll do it.” Mr. Whyte’s gaze pleaded with Kit. “With you on board, he might actually agree to get the doctoring he needs.”
“My father needs me at the warehouse.”
In the corner of the room, John tossed back a mighty sip of whiskey, then collapsed onto the table with a sigh. His eyes closed tight, he started snoring.
Mr. Whyte nodded toward John. “Right now, he needs you more.”
“Are you saying I should stow away on board the Apollyon?”
“Aye…and I know it’s a lot to ask,” Mr. Whyte confirmed.
Kit swallowed. Hard. The idea of stowing away was both terrifying and exhilarating. He wasn’t sure he had the courage to do it. And yet, if he didn’t, what would happen to his uncle? He debated with himself a moment or two more, and then he nodded toward John, his heart beating wildly in his chest. “Let’s get him on board.”
Mr. Whyte let out a gusty sigh. “Thank you, laddie.”
The three men grabbed hold of John’s unconscious body and hauled him out from the circle of sailors surrounding him. Kit paused long enough to pick up the red pearl and throw it in a refuse heap. Then the three men carried John, who remained unconscious and smelled like a butcher shop, out and into the thick wall of fog blanketing the night.