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VBT – Amanda911

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Amanda911
by Mark Schreiber

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GENRE: YA (crossover)

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BLURB:

“Sixteen-year-old Iowa schoolgirl Amanda Dizon may be the nation’s most unremarkable teenager, until she falls down a well and finds herself instantaneously transformed from irrelevant to influencer. Mark Schreiber’s sly, rollicking masterpiece, Amanda911, follows Amanda’s escapades and sends up the craven, fame-obsessed virtual culture of today’s adolescents. As insightful as Dickens and as innovative as Heller, Schreiber is the definitive satirist of the social media generation.”—Jacob M. Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House

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EXCERPT

Falling down a well was both the best and worst thing that ever happened to my granddaughter.

She was a Disney princess to me, but a comic sidekick to her classmates, who’d never been
kissed by a boy—or I suppose by a girl—been asked to a dance, or chosen for any role in a school production that did not conceal her face.

Most people under twenty probably don’t know what a well is.

Haven’t seen one. Probably think it’s just something you say when you need to buy time, like like, or when someone asks you how you’re feeling, although I guess these days everyone says good or OK, or nothing at all, opting for an emoji instead. Do kids even talk anymore, in the crowded loneliness of their bedrooms? Did Amanda even scream when she fell down the well? Or did she just send a screaming emoji?

So, when millions of kids all over the globe saw the headline, they shared via social media:

Girl Plummets Down Well

More than plenty had to Google well to comprehend its meaning.

I’m sure she got at least half a million hits just from image searches that returned a picture of an oil rig in the North Sea. Geez, her international peer group must have thought, or words or emojis to that effect. A girl has fallen thousands of feet smack into a tidal wave. I hope she’s more Kate than Leonardo.

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Author Pic

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mark Schreiber was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960, graduated high school at age fifteen and began writing novels full-time. Princes in Exile, which explores a prodigy’s struggle to accept his own mortality at a summer camp for kids with cancer, was published in 1984 and made into a feature film in 1991. It has been published in ten countries, received two awards in Europe and was shortlisted for the Austria Prize. Carnelian, a fantasy, was published by Facet in Belgium. Starcrossed, a rebuttal to Romeo and Juliet, was published by Flux and translated into French and Turkish. His illustrated science book, How to Build an Elephant, was published as an Apple app by Swag Soft. He has written over forty books and received two State of Ohio Individual Writer Fellowships. For the last seven years he has been a digital nomad, living on four continents. He currently resides in Costa Rica.

Website: Amanda911.com

TikTok: @Amanda911
Instagram: @Amanda911
Twitter: @Markschreiber07

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Schreiber

Buy links:

https://pleasureboatstudio.com/product/amanda911/

https://books.google.com/books/about/Amanda911.html?id=Lzx3zgEACAAJ

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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

VBT – Reluctant Groom Anthology

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

He’s older, wiser, and always gets what he wants. This wedding is happening … whether the groom likes it or not.

Our seven hand-picked stories feature young reluctant grooms and the older men determined to claim them. These forced marriages may start out frigid, but our authors will prove that love can conquer all.

Evernight’s Reluctant Groom anthology stories are sure to deliver passion that is off the charts, scorching hot sex, and sigh-worthy happy ever afters.

Worth the Risk by Allyson Young

Sins of the Father Hannah Morse

Room With a View by James Cox

Making It Real by Marie Medina

Protecting Chauncey by Cooper McKenzie

October Surprise L.J. Longo

Not So Sham Wedding by Megan Slayer

Read an Excerpt

#1 ©MeganSlayer, All Rights Reserved

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Hudson Granger said. “I have to do what?” He’d misheard the declaration from his assistant.

“Lucas?”

“Get married.” Lucas Cole held the tablet and looked up at him.

“You can stay in your position with Granger Stores and will be given your inheritance if you get married before the end of the month. It’s one of the stipulations in your father’s will. Every child must be married before the end of January. It’s already January twenty-eighth.”

“Or I can’t inherit that money and keep my position as the head of Granger Stores?” Hudson pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m the only child who isn’t married.”

“Correct.” Lucas sighed and swiped his finger over the screen.

“Apparently, your sisters don’t get their money until you’re married.

They’ve got incentive to get you coupled up.”

“Crap.” He swayed before settling on the edge of his desk.

“They want the cash. Lia needs money for her second honeymoon, Cassie wants to put her kids through private school, and Desiree needs an infusion of money to her design studio.”

“Yes, yes, and yes.” Lucas paled. His blue eyes widened.

“They’re on the way up here. Looks like Cassie was in the lobby with a brunette woman. She’s trying to fix you up, I bet.”

“I’m gay.”

“I know that, and so do your sisters.” Lucas placed the tablet on Hudson’s desk. “What do you want to do? This is your life, and it should be your decision.”

About the Author:

Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm

Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj

Website http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm

Blog https://wendizwaduk.wordpress.com/

Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/wendizwaduk.meganslayer/

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Wendi-Zwaduk/e/B003KA589U/

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/wendi-zwaduk

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/wendizwaduk/

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer

Buy links:

https://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Groom-Allyson-Young-ebook/dp/B095FZH9R8

https://www.evernightpublishing.com/reluctant-groom/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reluctant-groom-allyson-young/1139525905

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1085150

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/reluctant-groom-1

Megan Slayer will be awarding a prize pack with a necklace made by the author to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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SONG OF THE KING’S HEART TRILOGY

TourBanner_The-Song-of-the-King's-Heart-Trilogy-animated (1)

Blood and Chaos – Book 2
by Nicole Sallak Anderson

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GENRE: Historical Fantasy

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BLURB:

The second chapter of Lord Ankhwenefer’s story is one of love, betrayal, and death. The world needs to know this forgotten king’s tale so that the ghosts of the past may finally rest.

Prince Ankhmakis has left his beloved Natasa for war and treacherous obstacles block his path to becoming Egypt’s last native king. He is the warrior that the men revere, and his orders are followed without question. He is strong and powerful with Natasa on his side, and the fear that breeds in those around him is more dangerous to Ankhmakis than the swords of the Greeks.

Natasa has risen higher in the mystic arts than any priestess before her—and she is in more peril because of it. All she desires is to assist her lover, Ankhmakis, in his quest to take back Egypt from the Macedonians once and for all, but his jealous queen, his plotting brother, and the truest evil in the world want nothing more than to be rid of her.

Natasa and Ankhmakis fight not only against the Greeks but also those at court who will do anything to see them both dead. Together, Ankhmakis would become a great general and Natasa the mystic healer who saves him. Apart, they may not survive.

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EXCERPT

The prince of Behdet gazed across the Nile River at the city of Panopolis, its bonfires flickering like beacons in the dark night. A hot wind caressed his sunburnt face. He turned to see his enemy’s army spread out before him, torchlights zigzagging across an island downriver like ants on honey, protecting their city with their mighty arsenal of archers ships. He wanted control of the island, needed it, if he were ever to return home to his lover’s arms.

“This war is taking too long,” he hissed under his breath.

“My lord,” Min, his personal guard, answered. “It has been a year. It took our greatest ancestor, Pharaoh Amhose I, nineteen years to banish the Hyksos filth from our lands. Prior to his victory, his father and grandfather also battled for independence. Their line of kings fought for over thirty years to take Egypt unto back unto native hands. Our war is young. Be patient.”

Ankhmakis turned to his friend and captain, his lips curled. “I don’t want this to take three generations, Min. I will not leave this task to my heirs. I will march upon Alexandria and kill Ptolemy IV with my own hands. We should at least be to Memphis by now. Instead we’re in Panopolis, held back by their army. For the second time, the Inundation is at our backs. If we don’t hurry, we’ll be trapped here when the river floods. Such a failure can’t happen again.”

Cover_Blood and Chaos

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorImage_NicoleA

Nicole Sallak Anderson is Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist, speaker, and blogger, focusing on the intersection of technology and consciousness. Her essays range from AI and Zen to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting (https://medium.com/@NSallakAnderson/pretty-birds-in-pretty-cages-could-the-nuclear-family-be-the-reason-were-all-miserable-46126d573263) — featured as a top twenty story on Medium. In addition, her work on Universal Basic Income has been included on 2020 presidential candidate, Andrew Yang’s, website: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/.

Her latest project, The Song of the King’s Heart Trilogy, is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic Empire. The first two installments, Origins and Blood and Chaos, are available on Amazon. The last novel in the series, Civilization’s End, will be released October 2021. You can keep up with all her latest writing on her website nicolesallakanderson.com or by following @NSallakAnderson on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NSallakAnderson/) , Twitter (https://twitter.com/NSallakAnderson), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nsallakanderson/) and Medium (https://nsallakanderson.medium.com/). Feel free to contact her, she almost always answers to any query or comment!

The books will be on sale for $0.99

Amazon Buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Nicole+Sallak+Anderson&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

A randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC.

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

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Interview

What would we find under your bed?
At the moment, nothing, because I don’t own very much since a wildfire burned my home and all the belongings I had. However, I used to store baskets full of shoes under my bed. I have a thing for shoes.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
When my husband was caught in traffic in a town one hundred miles away that was being consumed by wildfire while simultaneously receiving a notification that my neighborhood was on fire. The worst moment of my life as well as the scariest. My husband made it home safely, my neighborhood though, is gone.

Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes. If so what? I use music in two ways. I create a playlist in Spotify for every book I write and listen to that constantly while driving or cleaning the home. This gets me in the mood of the setting and my characters. But I can’t write while music with words is playing, so I have a few instrumental YouTube channels I follow, like Epic Music World, that I play in the background when I need to go deeper into a scene.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to find an agent to represent my memoir about surviving wildfire.

How long did it take you to write this book?
I wrote the first draft of all three novels for the trilogy in nine months, literally downloading the whole story. Then I spent a year breaking it up into three books and polishing them to pitch to publishers.

Spotlight – The ‘Real’ American Diet

The Real American Diet banner

About the Author

Kevin C. Alston

Born & raised in the small town of Mullins, SC, by God-fearing parents who instilled religion into his life at an early age, he’s had an insatiable appetite for knowledge since birth. God blessed him with a keen, analytical mind, & an almost feverish desire to help others. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, married to the love of his life, with five wonderful kids, & a deep passion that still burns within him to help the less fortunate, through whatever means necessary. The correlation between what we eat & the epidemic-like rise in diseases of today has the author on an impassioned mission to get to the bottom of what he thinks is a big conspiracy by our government & Big Business.

His latest book is The ‘Real’ American Diet.

Website Link: http://diet4america.wix.com/real ,

https://youtu.be/sQ8LOeFoj68

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/kcasrkev1

Facebook Link: http://facebook.com/kcasrkev

 

About the Book:

Title: THE ‘REAL’ AMERICAN DIET
Author: Kevin Alston
Publisher: Xlibris Publishing
Pages: 48
Genre: Memoir/Nonfiction

The Real American Diet

BOOK BLURB:

This book is a culmination of the author’s life, but mainly the past 10 years, where personal tragedies have led him to discover more about the correlation with food, nutrition & the diseases of today, & how it affects us all.

This program is an experiment of sorts, with the author using himself as the guinea pig, with positive results having been discovered, & hopefully, in time, even bigger positive results yet to come.

Between our government & Big Business, we, the people, are already involved in an experiment. It’s like a big laboratory. With all of the harmful toxins that are allowed in our air, food, & water, diseases are at epidemic-like levels, & the author, for one, would like to know if there is more to this than is being told to us. It speaks volumes when other nations refuse to accept grains & meats from us, or at least it does to the author.

Most of the ailments we suffer from today emanate from our guts, & our poor diets keep the sickness-wheels turning, costing each of us millions of dollars, a whole lot of heartache, pain, & suffering. It’s time to make a change, & that change started with the author’s experiment on himself.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Real-American-Diet-Kevin-Alston-ebook/dp/B0794MPWWD/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+%27Real%27+American+Diet+kevin+alston&qid=1552343215&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell

Book Excerpt:

Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

IF YOU’VE BEEN dieting forever with very mixed results, then you’ve finally come to the right place. These lifestyle changes that I am recommending will be like no diet that you have ever attempted, so if you combine what I’m about to teach you with the proven methods that Dr. Joel Fuhrman teaches you in his books—Eat to Live is the best one to start off with—you will be well on your way to attaining your goal of losing the dreaded weight that you have been desperately seeking to get rid of for so long.

Book Trailer

https://youtu.be/sQ8LOeFoj68

VBT – MAMMA’S MOON

Tour Banner_MammasMoon

Mamma’s Moon

by Jerome Mark Antil

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GENRE: Literary Fiction

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BLURB:

A bond that can only happen on a dance floor happened in a cafe off Frenchman Street among four unlikely characters: a man who was about to die; his friend, an illiterate Cajun French yardman; and two of the most successful women in New Orleans.

Aging Captain Gabriel Jordan, retired, was given two months to live, three months before he met “Peck”–Boudreau Clemont Finch–a groundskeeper on the back lawn of his hospice on Bayou Carencro, Louisiana. It was at the hospice that Gabe told Peck his dream of seeing the Newport Jazz Festival before he died. They became friends, and Peck offered to help grant his wish by taking him there.

And they began their journey.

It quickly became a journey with complications and setbacks. They saved each other many times, but they were in turn saved by two extraordinary women: Sasha (Michelle Lissette), a real estate agent in New Orleans’s posh Garden District, and her best friend, Lily Cup (Lily Cup Lorelei Tarleton), a criminal attorney.

Less than a year before the events in Mamma’s Moon, Gabe and Peck wandered into Charlie’s Blue Note, a small jazz bar in a side alley just off Frenchman Street, where the music was live and mellow and the dancing warm and sensual.

Here they encountered Sasha and Lily Cup, and amid the music, the dancing, the food, the flirting, and the cigar smoke, the four formed an unusual and lasting friendship that would see them each through a series of crises, disappointments, life-threatening situations, and moments of great joy and satisfaction.

BookCover_Mammas Moon

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EXCERPT

Did you murder the kid, Gabe?” Lily Cup asked. The aging army captain, veteran of Korea and Vietnam, lowered his newspaper just enough to see over the entertainment page.

Close the door, honey, AC’s on,” Gabe said.

In a tight, black skirt with a tailored matching waistcoat and white Nike walking shoes, she leaned and propped a black leather briefcase against the wall by the door. She stood like an exasperated tomboy, adjusting and refastening the diamond brooch on her lapel.

I heard you’ve been walking with a cane, dancing man.  What’s that all about? You’ve never carried a cane. You jazz dance for hours a couple of nights a week and Sasha tells me you started carrying one everywhere you go when you don’t need one. It’s smelling pretty premeditated to me, Gabe. What’s up with the cane thing?”

Does Sasha know about this morning?”

I haven’t told her anything. She’d have a canary.”

Gabe lifted the paper again to read.

I need to know if it was murder,” Lily Cup said.

I don’t want to talk about it,” Gabe said.

He closed the paper, folded it in half, and in half again. Dropping it on the arm of the chair, he stood and left the room.

Define murder,” he said from the kitchen.

She tossed a handbag and white driving gloves onto the other chair, lifted Chanel sunglasses to the top of her head.

Gee, I’ll have to think on this one. Hmmm…Oh, I know. How about the police have a cane with blood on it and there’s a dead man.”

It’s a walking stick. My cane is over by the door.”

Well now it’s a goddamned murder weapon. They checked for prints, and yours are the only prints on it, and their guess is the lab will say the blood has his DNA.”

Gabe came out with a coffee urn in one hand and his finger and thumb through two empty cup handles. He held the cups out for her to take one.

No more,” Gabe said.

You’re rather nonchalant for the spot you’re in. Why’d you clam up on me like that at the precinct? It didn’t set well with any of them. The DA entered a charge of second-degree murder. The police chief put out a warrant for you from lunch at Brennan’s.”

He held the empty cups closer to her.

Just made it. Chicory and cinnamon.”

If you had television you’d have seen it—‘Daylight killing on St. Charles Avenue.’ It’s all over the news, freaking out the DA and the Visitors Bureau. No telling how many videos from streetcars going by will wind up on You Tube.”

That’s enough,” Gabe said.

People can live with violence after dark. That’s expected in any city, but when it’s in broad daylight, forget it. The DA pushed for an early docket with a magistrate and it’s Tulane and Broad for you at nine a.m. tomorrow.”

What’s Tulane and Broad?”

Magistrate Court. Congratulations, Gabe, you made the big time. You have to appear before a magistrate to hear the second-degree murder charge against you.”

She took an empty cup in one hand, pinched his arm with the other.

Look me in the eye and swear it wasn’t murder,” Lily Cup said.

This some kind of technique they teach at Harvard Law, Miss Tarleton?”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPicture

JEROME MARK ANTIL writes in several genres. He has been called a “greatest generation’s Mark Twain,” a “write what you know Ernest Hemingway,” and “a sensitive Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.” It’s been said his work reads like a Norman Rockwell painting. Among his writing accomplishments, several titles in his The Pompey Hollow Book Club historical fiction series about growing up in the shadows of WWII have been honored. An ‘Authors and Writers’ Book of the Year Award and ‘Writer of the Year’ at Syracuse University for The Pompey Hollow Book Club novel; Hemingway, Three Angels, and Me, won SILVER in the UK as second-best novel.

Foreword’s Book of the Year Finalist for The Book of Charlie – historical fiction and The Long Stem is in the Lobby – nonfiction humor. Library Journal selected Hemingway, Three Angels and Me for best reads during Black History Month.

Before picking up the pen, Antil spent his professional career writing and marketing for the business world. In this role, he lectured at universities – Cornell, St. Edward’s, and Southern Methodist. His inspirations have been John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway.

Website: http://jeromemarkantil.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012149166797

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jerome-Mark-Antil/e/B0046C4AOK

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Jerome Mark Antil 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 Rafflcopter giveaway

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Tell us about you as a person. 
I’m 6 foot 10 inches. My feet haven’t been in bed in sixty years. I’m a devotee to literacy – have sponsored writing contests for more than 20,000 school students. I’ve donated cases of books to VA Hospitals in every state, thousands of books to schools. My boyhood home is now a county park (Delphi Falls) in upstate New York…just 79 miles from Elmira where Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn and 7 miles from Cazenovia where L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In college I sold compositions. I would get $3 for an A; $2 for a B; $1 for a C. No charge for a D or F. I quit college and a full basketball scholarship to write and this adventure is in my non fiction biography The Long Stem Is In The Lobby. (Foreword Book of the Year Finalist – Non-Fiction Humor)

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Living – Ron Howard; Dead – Ernest Hemingway.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Two unlikely friends in New Orleans face issues. Old Gabe, a black retired army captain, jazz aficionado and dancer finds himself charged with murder. Young Peck has earned his GED and the love of his life wants to meet his mother. Problem is, he ran from the swamps and bayous and an abusive childhood when he was nine and has decided to try to go find his mother, at least his roots.

What is your writing process?
I get up at 6AM, I make coffee for me and my lovely wife muse and then I go to my studio and type words until around 1PM. If I’m writing about New Orleans, I will play some jazz – mostly Joe Williams. I walk away with a couple thousand words a day – a part of a path to an ending I outlined before I started the book.

Tell us about your main character.
Peckerwood Finch – KIRKUS says he’s a Cajun French Forrest Gump. He was illiterate – just earned his GED – ran away from abusive home at 9 – earned his keep selling fish and turtles to restaurants, sharpening blades and mowing lawns. He’s now 25.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Samuel L. Jackson, he can dance. Scott Eastwood, he’s a young Peck

What are you working on next?
TALL JERRY – Legend One of The Delphi Falls Trilogy. My Pompey Hollow Book Club series takes on Harry Potter…aiming over the heads of Potterheads targeting the Boomers.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Keep writing. Create a website and blog constantly.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Cannery Row, John Steinbeck. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote. Movable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m a great cook. I’m a great researcher. I can remember crawling on the floor in diapers.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Convince the young that reading can give them great confidence and peace of mind – take them anywhere.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Write every day.
  • Go to Paris.
  • Write a Broadway play.
  • Pulitzer.
  • Nobel.

Where can readers find you on the web?

www.jeromemarkantil.com

Any final thoughts?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlMC-gBVcis

VBT – DISCUSSION OF A DECENT DREAM

TourBannerFS_Discussion of a Decent Dream

Discussion of a Decent Dream

by E. Curtis

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GENRE: Dark Fantasy

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BLURB:

In the fall of 1789, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, a dense, persistent fog enshrouds the village of Ingleton. Shadowed spirits hide in the mist and bedevil the townsfolk, heralding a tragedy that has befallen one of their own.

Edmond continues to search for Alexandra, his fiancée, who disappeared the same night that the mist set upon their town. Presumed dead by all others, he visits Alexandra’s empty grave, desperate for any hint of what has become of her. Weary from the sleepless nights on his quest, no longer able to stay awake, Edmond falls into a dream before her headstone and there obtains clues from Alexandra as to her whereabouts.

Haunted all the while by a malevolent spirit, Edmond follows the trail that Alexandra left for him and enters the underworld, only to learn that he has been there before, and in fact, quite often. But more, he discovers how he is to blame for Alexandra’s disappearance.

A dark literary novel rich in imagery, Discussion of a Decent Dream unearths the consequences of a child’s decision to surrender his heart in exchange for unholy power and transcendent knowledge.

Discussion of a Decent Dream is a Finalist in Britain’s Wishing Self Book Awards in the Adult category.

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Cover_Discussion of a Decent Dream

EXCERPT

We ignored the portent that crept into the countryside the day she disappeared. But in the weeks that followed, with no answers as to what had befallen her, with no assurance that she still lived, we came to understand, and most saw the worst in the blanket of mist that stopped time and shut us out from the rest of the world.

I had just turned twenty-one the summer of 1789 when Alexandra went missing. And after all our fruitless searching, in need of some direction, I snuck, under the cover of night, into the yard where her parents had laid their sorrow to rest. Falling to my knees before the stone of her empty grave I spoke with reverence, not for the hallowed ground, but for the call that brought me, as though somehow she could hear me.

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links

E. Curtis draws on personal experiences of the otherworldly for his writing. Through dreams, visions, and waking encounters, his exposure to darkness has motivated him to detail what he has come to know of the preternatural. While a few short pieces have been published on an online literary magazine, Discussion of a Decent Dream is his first novel.

Website: http://discussthedream.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ECurtisBooks/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/discussthedream

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/discussthedream/

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Buy link: www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07BTHW1SY/

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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

Book Blast – MIMADAMOS

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chadi Ghaith will be awarding a copy of Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice, (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lebanese author Chadi B. Ghaith brings beliefs that were held in secrecy for a thousand years to awareness in Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice (Fifthscience Inc., July 5, 2017). Ghaith’s book revolves around an ancient triangle of the most significant characters on earth, paralleled by three of the most significant forces in life, and their combined story in space and time. Journey through this fable and explore the ideas that have mystified mankind for centuries: good and evil, heaven and hell, the beginning and end of the world.

Did the ending precede the beginning? Are we only here on earth to comprehend its machinations? Is there room for choice to shape our destiny in the wake of fate and its brutal logic? Mimadamos is a unique, philosophically-rich fantasy which journeys through the depths of conflict and harmony that we understand as the spirit. It decodes the magic of the most ancient scripts known to man, the symbolic fall from Eden and the long anticipated armageddon, revealing a logic so unique that it brings history to its conclusive end.

Read an Excerpt

As the door closed each night, dimming the light from the hall to a narrow beam, Destiny’s heart would flutter a staccato beat. She would clutch the blankets, drawing them up to her ears and nose, and shiver. Eventually the hour grew late, her wide eyes grew heavy, and her sister’s regular, slow breathing lulled her into slumber as well.

Her mother’s smiling face greeted her dream self, leading her on a path through the garden to the small pond where fish glided beneath the ripples. “See the fish?” her mother said.

“Look at the gold one! Do you want to touch it, Destiny?”

A much younger Destiny leaned across the edge of the pond toward the fish. She touched the cool water.

“Do you want to hold the fish?”

The creature swam nearer; Destiny scooped the fish from below with one hand, a trick her father had taught her. She laughed as the fish flopped, mouth gaping, slippery in her pudgy child hands.

“Kill it,” Mother said.

Destiny frowned and looked to see whether Mother was serious.

“Squeeze it until it dies in your hands. It has not the rights of life that you and I have. It is just a fish. Don’t be stupid, girl.”

Destiny shook her head, the fish wiggling free to fall with a plop into the pond. As she stared at her mother, the woman’s features melted into those of a woman Destiny didn’t know.

The strange woman sneered at Destiny, her face melting again and growing dark with hair, the teeth elongating and yellowing. The eyes glowed red, and the person grew larger than her father.

Destiny screamed, paralyzed.

Her sister kicked her under the covers, startling her from the nightmare. Destiny’s heart raced, her body drenched in sweat.

“Wake up,” her sister grumbled, turning over to face the other way.

About the Author: CHADI B. GHAITH has spent many years introducing an ancient mind science called Fifthscience to the public; Mimadamos is his first attempt at translating the magic of Fifthscience into a modern narrative. He is a native of Lebanon; however, he acquired his high school and university levels in Texas. Ghaith studied Arts and Film at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He now lives in Beirut with his wife and three children.

Website: https://www.mimadamos.com/.

Facebook: https://facebook.com/chadighaith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mimadamos

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mimadamos-Choice-Chadi-B-Ghaith-ebook/dp/B073SFYFQQ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1

Chadi Ghaith will be awarding a copy of Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice, (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight – The Old Man’s Request

The Old Man's Request banner

About the Author

Joab Stieglitz

Joab Stieglitz was born and raised in the Warren, New Jersey. He is an Application Consultant for a software company. He has also worked as a software trainer, a network engineer, a project manager, and a technical writer over his 30 year career. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Joab is an avid tabletop RPG player and game master of horror, espionage, fantasy, and science fiction genres, including Savage Worlds (Mars, Deadlands, Agents of Oblivion, Apocalypse Prevention Inc, Herald: Tesla and Lovecraft, Thrilling Tales, and others), Call of Cthulhu, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Pathfinder.

Joab channeled his role-playing experiences in the Utgarda Series, which are pulp adventure novels with Lovecraftian influences set in the 1920’s.

Website Address: http://joabstieglitz.com

Twitter Address: @joabstieglitz

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/rantingsofawanderingmind

About the Book:

Title: THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST
Author: Joab Stieglitz
Publisher: Rantings of a Wandering Mind
Pages: 117
Genre: Historical Suspense

The Old Man's Request

BOOK BLURB:

An Innocent Favor for a Dying Old Friend…

Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world. Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students, now a trustee of Reister University enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned.

Russian anthropologist Anna Rykov, doctor Harry Lamb, and Father Sean O’Malley are all indebted the ailing trustee for their positions. Together, they pursue the knowledge and resources needed to perform the ritual.

Hampered by the old man’s greedy son, the wizened director of the university library, and a private investigator with a troubled past, can they perform the ritual and banish the entity?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

June 18, 1929

Final papers in hand, Anna emerged from the Edison science building and made her way toward Olson Street to catch the trolley to the house she was renting on the other side of the river. She was petite, with dark bobbed hair, and smooth pale skin, and wore a fashionable blue, knee-length skirted suit, white blouse, and a loose, black necktie which flapped gently in the breezes blowing eastward off the slow-moving Woolley River.

It was another typically beautiful day, warm and dry, in Wellersburg. About halfway across the quad, she spied Father O’Malley approaching hurriedly. “Hello. Father,” she said with a smile, her Russian accent revealing her origins. “Is it not a fine day?” O’Malley, a tall, slender man with short, curly brown hair, usually had a warm, engaging smile, but today his expression was grim.

“Jason Longborough is in the hospital again,” O’Malley said. “It doesn’t look good, and he’s asked to speak to you with some urgency.” Anna was concerned and a little surprised. The ailing trustee of the university had been her champion in the faculty selection committee last summer, but she had neither seen nor spoken with him since that time. He was directly responsible for her appointment to fill Dr. McMahon’s chair for three years while he and his team were on their expedition to Australia. Longborough was also instrumental in Father O’Malley’s appointment to the Ancient History department to fill similar vacancies during the Egyptian expedition, which was to occur concurrently.

“Of course,” Anna replied without hesitation, “I will just drop off these papers in office.”

“He may not hold out that long. Please come with me now. It may be your only opportunity.” With that, the priest took the pile of exam papers from her and led the way toward the Reister University Hospital.

Anna was born Tatyana Trevena, the sole daughter of poor Russian immigrants. In exchange for passage to Brooklyn, the sixteen-year-old was married to the much older, exiled Fyodor Rykov shortly after their arrival in America in 1912. Rykov was an old world man. He treated his young wife as his property and she lived in submission to him until he died of a heart attack two years later.

Tatyana inherited a modest fortune. Wanting to be more American, and having the means to do so, she adopted the name Anna and attended Columbia University, where she studied Anthropology. She completed her degree in three years and went on to pursue a doctorate. In 1924, she did field research for the Russian archaeologist Aleksey Sergeyevich Uvarov in Gnyozdovo, a part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, the site of a ring of 10th century Viking settlements.

Upon returning to the United States in 1926, Dr. Anna Rykov, expert in the Varangians, or Russian Vikings, found that there was little interest in a female professor, especially one of Russian descent, who had done field work in the Soviet Union and could have potentially been a Bolshevik. When Jason Longborough reached out to her with a temporary position at Reister University filling in for tenured staff while they were on a three-year expedition, she gladly took the offer.

There were many new instructors at Reister. Among them, Anna met Harry Lamb and Sean O’Malley. Dr. Lamb had just completed his residency at Reister University Hospital and was teaching Basic Anatomy to first year medical students. Father O’Malley was well-versed in Middle and Far Eastern history and served as an Ancient History instructor. Anna, Harry, and Sean were all new to the area, and the three quickly became friends exploring their new home together.

She was enjoying the small college-town life in Wellersburg and its uncrowded streets. The people of Wellersburg were courteous and friendly, even to a Russian immigrant, on account of the more cosmopolitan influences of the university. She enjoyed the peace and tranquility of a small town where everyone knew everyone, and no one locked their doors.

The hospital room was small and dark, illuminated by a lone window on the far side of the room. Jason Longborough lay in his bed. The withered old trustee was frail beneath his shock of gray hairs. He had looked much stronger when Anna had seen him last. Now his yellow complexion and paper-like skin clearly indicated his infirmity. Dr. Harold Lamb stood over the patient, taking his pulse. Lamb was taller than average and muscular, with broad shoulders and short, black hair neatly parted on the right. He wore a blue, pinstriped suit and a yellow tie under his lab coat. The doctor smiled slightly when the two entered the room. Longborough was alerted to their presence by the closing of the door.

“It was good of you to come,” the patient said with some effort. “My time draws to an end soon, and there is a grave matter from my past that must be addressed.” Some strength returned to his voice. “I fear I have become too feeble to attempt it myself, and wish to enlist your services in this matter.” He sighed heavily.

“How can I be of service to you, sir?” Anna asked. While she was indebted to Longborough for her position at the university, she was hardly acquainted with the man. What could a businessman like Longborough need of an archaeologist?

“Sit. I have a story to tell you.” He gestured to two chairs by the side of the bed.

“I’ll be back to check on you later,” Dr. Lamb said as he started for the door. Suddenly, with uncharacteristic dexterity, the ailing trustee reached out and grasped his wrist.

“I wish you to aid me as well, Doctor.” His gaze was fixed on Lamb’s eyes. The physician left the room, and a moment later brought a chair in from the hall.

“I can spare a few minutes, but then I must complete my rounds.”

“This is not a long story.” The trustee cleared his throat and Anna poured a glass of water for him. He took a few sips from it, and then cleared his throat again. “Back in the spring of ‘71, when I was a freshman here at Reister, I came upon an interesting upperclassman named Brent Hanke, an amateur occultist.” He coughed painfully.

“Five of us formed a group to explore the secrets of the unknown. We called it ‘the Cabal.’ It was quite innocuous at first, but after a while other students became disturbed by our activities, and so we bought an old farmhouse in Stuckley for some privacy.” He coughed again and took another drink of water.

“It was at the farmhouse that things grew out of hand. Brent Hanke’s family was in shipping, and as a result, he was able to obtain rare and unique items from the Old World. He used these trinkets to keep us interested. Among these was a small gold box of Russian origin,” he indicated a length of about eight inches with his bent fingers, “that contained a piece of amber. According to a ritual he found in an ancient tome, this amber could be used to contact a powerful oracle. Being precocious lads, we set out to cast the spell at the farm and seek our fortunes.”

Longborough’s subsequent coughing fit caused the onlookers to jump, and Dr. Lamb went to call a nurse, but the old man recovered quickly and motioned for them all to sit again. After a few fairly deep breaths and another drink of water, he continued his tale.

“It was clear that night in March of 1871. I remember the full moon illuminating the living room of the farmhouse so brightly that Brent was worried that there might be too much light. Still we continued, lighting the fire in the fireplace as well as several candles, and drawing a pentagram in chalk on the floor. In the center, Brent placed the amber. As designated observer, I sat in a corner and wrote down the events of the evening in my journal. The others sat in a circle and recited the incantation while Brent threw some foul-smelling powder into the fire.”

“This continued for nearly two hours. Finally, something happened. A plume of smoke arose from the amber and it began to melt. Then it came!” Longborough began to hyperventilate. Dr. Lamb sprang to the bedside and adjusted his position, putting the patient’s head back to open his throat. After a moment of coughing and wheezing, Longborough recovered.

“It was insubstantial.” The trustee’s voice was still agitated. “Barely perceptible in the moonlight, but it was there. And it made a horrible growling sound. Brent threw some of the powder on the creature, and all chaos broke out. Most of us were paralyzed by the sight. John Dalton, however, rose to his feet and stepped forward to embrace the entity. The creature grasped his head in its indescribable appendages and twisted it with a terrible snap. Then it threw the head back to land in Homer Cunningham’s lap. Homer’s face turned white and he began making that chirping sound.” Longborough stared off into space for a moment.

“Roger Furlong apparently doomed us all,” he continued after a pause. “He destroyed part of the pentagram. Free from the bonds of its confines, the creature burst from the house with the force of a hurricane and was gone.” He stopped to catch his breath. “Nevertheless, Hanke believed there was still hope. The spell bound the creature to the house, so it would have to return, and the many glyphs and warding symbols Hanke had previously carved into its structure allowed the creature to only inhabit the attic.”

“Mr. Longborough,” Doctor Lamb said with skepticism, “this kind of superstitious fantasy is probably what caused your condition in the first place. You were probably enjoying the effects of some hallucinogenic drugs this Hanke character threw into the fire.”

“John Dalton was found decapitated the next morning.” The aged and frail patient bore down on Lamb with a look of rage. “We staged an accident with a carriage and said he was run over. The authorities believed us, and they took Homer Cunningham to the Old Oak Sanitarium. He was never released. Brett said that if the spell is cast again in reverse, the creature could be destroyed, or at least sent back to where it came from . That is what I want you to do.”

“Still,” Dr. Lamb continued, “you can’t expect us to believe that reciting some ancient poetry will lay a ghost to rest?”

Anna was divided. The story was completely unbelievable, especially by a scientist such as herself, but how could she deny the request of a dying man?

“You want us to cast this spell?” Father O’Malley asked indignantly.

“Yes,” Longborough said, his features calm and sharp, “I do.”

“By all that is holy, that is the worst kind of sacrilege.” But Sean O’Malley was not a typical parish priest. He was a Professor of Ancient History specializing in the Dark Ages. His training had been under the tutelage of Father Christophé, the exorcist from Martinique regarded as the Church’s leading “expert” on the activities various “nameless cults.” O’Malley was more than prepared to accept Satan’s intervention in the sorry affairs of this once gullible youth. The sly smile from his lips surprised his two colleagues. Finally, he said, “But I accept your request.”

“Are you crazy?” Lamb exclaimed. “This delusion has gone far enough. It’s nearly killed this man. Father, I think we should let this matter, and this patient, rest.” He rose and started off to return his chair to the hall.

“What difference does it make?” Anna asked in earnest. “Mr. Longborough believes that there is threat to all in Stuckley. If it is just a fantasy, then all that will come of it is the easing of his conscience for the unfortunate incident with his friends.”

“Then you’ll help me?” the old man inquired of Anna with hope in his eyes.

“Yes, sir,” she said, holding his hands in hers. “I owe it to you for all you have done for me.” He smiled.

Rykov and O’Malley cast questioning glances at Dr. Lamb. He looked at them incredulously, and then back at Longborough, who returned his gaze with a pitiable look. After a moment, he sighed and said, “O.K., I’m in. But nothing is going to happen. You’ll see.”

“You don’t understand,” the patient started. “You must believe in the innate power in all of us. You must tap into that power to perform the ritual. Only if you are committed will the spell be successful. If you fail, the creature will be released from the house! The little remaining power I can still muster won’t be able to keep it there much longer. Whenever I let my guard down, it got out and killed someone.” He started to gasp and wheeze. Immediately, Dr. Lamb burst from the room to get assistance.

Longborough indicated the drawer of the nightstand beside Rykov and she picked up a locked metal box from it. Then he removed a key from around his neck and handed it to her. “Take these,” he said with the last of his breath, “it is all the help I can give you.” With that, his breathing became erratic. Moments later, Lamb returned with some orderlies and a nurse and ushered the pair from the room.

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

Why Defining Your Setting is Important

A lot of would-be writers set out to write a specific story: a fantasy with wizards and dragons, a spy thriller with a megalomaniac villain out to conquer the world, a vampire and werewolf love story, etc. These are all fine ideas, but where they take place is just as important as the characters and the plot.

Just as you want three-dimensional heroes and villains, a well-developed setting is imperative for your story to come to life. Locations are more than an address. They are sights and sounds, past and current events, the physical and emotional sensations that are evoked. All these aspects add to the reader’s immersion into the environment.

For example

The agent’s’ eyes were stung by the smoke as they descended. The remote darkness was broken by the flames of the nearby village that had been their destination. The sounds of machinery announced the passage of the column of troop carriers, the smell of exhaust filling the air as they carried the villagers away.

This scene implies a lot of things that the author needs to know and bring out in the narrative. Where does the story take place? When? Is this Nazi occupied France, post apocalypse Colorado, or Alpha Centuri Prime? Are the agents parachuting, in an aircraft, or falling from orbit in drop pods?

Filling out the details of the environment allows you to add “reality” to your story by making the reader part of the scene rather than just an observer. When the reader experiences sensations in addition to the characters’ thoughts and actions, and a clear understanding of things such as the environment, the weather, and the social and political situation will make a scene come alive.

In my books, I have selected a very specific time and place: immediate pre-Depression New York. Through this lens I can present attitudes, experiences, personalities, and perspectives that are unique. My heroine, Dr. Anna Rykov, is a woman, a Russian immigrant, and a professional. These qualities present specific challenges to her in 1929.

The choice of genre is the first step. An even bigger decision is the setting. An author needs to understand the environment in which the story takes place to present a complete picture to the reade

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