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VBT ~ DARK COMMUNION

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Dark Communion
by CJ Perry

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GENRE: epic fantasy

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BLURB:

The minotaurs have kept Ayla and Deetra’s people in chains for 200 years. With nothing left to live for, and a death sentence in her womb, Ayla trades her soul for a chance to break the curse which holds her people in slavery. Armed only with her faith, she and Deetra start a revolution, and bring about the return of the Goddess of Darkness.

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BOOK EXCERPT

The woman’s lips curved up in a smile but no lines formed in her cheeks. She looked like a living statue, and not one bit like her mother.

“Who are you?” Ayla asked.

The stranger leaned over Ayla, resting her palms on the altar. Her voice took on a hollow yet resonant quality. Her breath suffused the air with a heady fragrance like scented oils.

“I am the dark corner that hides those in need. The eternal ruler of the Abyss.”

“You’re a God?”

“I was once their Queen.”

“Am I dead?”

The Goddess kissed Ayla on the forehead with cold lips. “You are at His doorstep.”

“Where’s my mom?”

“The dead cannot hear your pleas. I have come in her stead, my child.”

Ayla never believed in the Gods. And if they did exist, she wanted nothing to do with any who would leave their people in chains.

“I’m not your child.”

The woman grabbed Ayla under the jaw, fingers digging into her cheeks. Her icy eyes remained impassive but her voice lowered threateningly.

“You are the daughter of Steelhorn, the grandson of Tor, who is my son. I am not just your mother, but the mother of every woman born from a breeding cabin.” The Night Goddess let go of Ayla’s jaw. The closest brazier’s flame shone blue in the Her black tresses. “I have waded through the River of Dreams to answer your call, and this is how you thank me?”

“I’m dreaming?” Ayla asked.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

My deep and abiding love of fantasy began when I was six when I first saw the 1981 film Dragonslayer on VHS with my father. He loved fantasy movies too, but didn’t have the courage to be a dork about it like I did. That movie was a gateway drug that led me straight to the hard stuff – CS Lewis. I was far too young for such potency but by the time I was ten I had read the whole series. That’s when I found my first Dungeons and Dragons group. When I started playing, my friends and I used pre-made campaign settings and published adventures, but I quickly grew restless with their limitations and trite story lines. I needed my own persistent world: something adaptable to my whim and that no one else owned.

Back in my day, there was no internet, so I took out every book about castles and medieval history from the school library and read them in Math class (I’m still terrible at math as a result). I came up with an entire world and brand new history. I read books on cartography and hand drew maps of my new world. I created a cosmology, a hierarchy of gods, and the tenets of their religions. I read the Dungeon Master’s guide a dozen times, and every fantasy novel I could get my hands on.

Then, one day, I sat down and told my friends, “Hey guys, wanna try my story instead?”
Even 15 years after the original D&D campaigns ended, former players tell me that they share our incredible stories with their children. I’m honored to say that most of those players still have their original character sheets 16-20 years later, and a couple have even named their children after them.

Now, I’m 39 years old and a loving father of 2 girls, and I still play those games on occasion. My passion has evolved into putting those ideas and amazing stories on paper for the whole world to enjoy. My first novel took me and co-author DC Fergerson 10 years to write and topped out at 180,000 words. Being too long and too complex, I finally ended the project and took its lessons to heart.

I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.

I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer’s Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson’s Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning.

Many, many years later, I am in the final edit and proofreading stage of Dark Communion, the first installment of the Shadowalker Chronicles. My role as a father of two girls heavily influenced the characters I’d known for over 20 years, shaping them into women that my own daughters could respect. My characters took on a depth and quality that brings them off the page and into the minds of readers, because they have become all too real. I was privileged enough to work on two careers at the same time to accomplish this feat – a fun-loving and involved stay-at-home dad, and a full time writer.

Links:
https://artofthearcane.wordpress.com/
http://www.cjperry.net/
https://twitter.com/DarkCommunion
https://www.facebook.com/DarkCommunion/

Amazon pre-purchase link:
https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Communion-Preview-Godswar-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01L2T0LU6/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

CJ Perry will be awarding a $10 and a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 or $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/09/vbt-dark-communion-by-cj-pery.html

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CJ, Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
My answer might be a bit controversial for some people. See, Im bipolar, but Im not supposed to say that. The politically correct wat to say it is, “I have bipolar disorder.” Person-first language is really stressed by people in mental health and teaching. (My wife is a special education teacher) They say no one should be defined by their disorder. In my case: I disagree.

Im defined by my bipolar. For the past 25 years, it has shaped everything about me either directly or indirectly. It gives or inflicts strengths and weaknesses that I would not have if I were “normal.” It forced me to weave my personal growth and even my thoughts around those twisty obstacles like depression, mania, impulsivity, hypersexuality (yeah, I said it), and wanderlust. I can get so depressed that it is detectible in the Cortisol levels in my blood and is labeled “Psychotic Depression.” I can get so manic that that I don’t sleep for days and then move my whole family to another state. (Yes, that really happened) Today, Im manic. Expect long answers. 🙂

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Funny, I’ve never really thought about it. Maybe George Lucas? So I could beat him senseless? Kidding. (Or am I?) Ummm… Tyler Durden. I mean – Brad Pitt. I’d just make him wear the red jacket and hit golf balls at windows with me in the toxic waste part of town.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
That’s a long story, but I suppose one I better get used to telling. Not that I mind, I love the story of how it happened as much as the book itself. Truth is (like it’s a confession or something), I started telling the story about 25 years ago, as a part of the backstory of the villain for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I ran. One day, someone asked why the evil army was attacking. In my early teens, character motivations wasn’t something I considered much, especially not the villains. I mean – who cares? They’re villains. But, my players wanted to know, so I had to come up with a rational explanation.

“The Northern Empire was enslaved for hundreds of years, the crown knew, but did nothing.”
“Why didn’t the crown do something to help their fellow humans?”
“Because the North was enslaved by minotaurs.”
“Oh. Good reason.”

That was it, for more than twenty years. That was the whole story of Dark Communion and my upcoming sequel. But once the campaign finally ended (and in epic fashion) my brother-in-law and I sat down to write the first book of The Paradox Chronicles – what would ultimately end up being designated as the future third series.

It was a disaster. We spent more years than I care to admit trying to edit a 180,000-word monstrosity full of cliché’s and long-winded exposition. The plot was too complex, and the amount of history needed to understand it’s consequences was enormous; about 6 books worth. We finally scrapped the project and went our separate ways.

I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.

I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer’s Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson’s Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning. Dark Communion, the first installment of the Godswar Chronicles, is that beginning.

What is your writing process?
I have some tangible evidence of that old campaign left; character sheets, maps, a few timelines, and the players who played those characters are on Facebook. That’s where I start. I look over those things, and reminisce with those people for ideas and to fix missing pieces. This same campaign was played DOZENS of times by different people (with me as a DM), and it was different each time, so I take my favorite parts of each version to use in the Godswar Chronicles (Of Which Dark Communion is Book 1).

Then, I sit down and outline. First, I outline a 3 act structure. Then, I do a Dwight Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer style Scene/Sequel outline. Once that is done, and the story feels right, I start writing. I don’t always stick to the outline perfectly, so I edit it as I go.

Funny you should suggest music though (and Metallica – HUGE Metallica fan), because Hozier basically inspired a lot of this book with the song “Take Me To Church.” I know it’s a far cry from Frayed Ends of Sanity, but I try to find songs that fit the vibe of what Im writing, and draw inspiration from a new take on the lyrics when I get stuck. I know Take Me To Church is a statement directed at the Catholic church, condemning it’s treatment of gays, but I heard another story in that haunting and soulful song – parts of my story and my characters feelings. I also liked 30 Seconds to Mars’ Hurricane, and Breaking Benjamin’s Give Me a Sign while working on the book. I actually have a youtube playlist (aww, my sad lonely youtube channel) dedicated to both book 1 and 2. My wife now hates every song on them. lol

Tell us about your main character:
Ayla grew up a slave from birth in a land ruled by minotaurs. Her mother died when Ayla was only 13 which threw her into a deep depression. As she faces the same fate as her mother four years later, she’s given up on life. That’s when she meets the Night Goddess, when she is at her lowest point, dying in her sleep. The Night Goddess tells her the story of why her people are slaves, and that she is pregnant with a minotaur child that will kill her in childbirth – the same way her mother died.
The Goddess offers Ayla a choice, a meaningless death, or a faithful and heroic one. Ayla chooses the latter. From that point on, she’s pretty uncomplicated. With her faith in her Goddess comes the ability to heal wounds, command people with her Mother’s voice, and inspire bravery. She never hesitates, she moves straight ahead, tackling obstacles with her faith and an outrage that won’t ever die.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Alexandra Daddario. I think she’s a good actress, and has Ayla’s piercing wintery eyes. Alexandra strikes me as the kind of girl that could paralyze someone with those eyes given the proper motivation. She has a bit of a smolder to her, and something dark beneath the surface… I don’t know, maybe Im overthinking it. I just think she would make an amazing Ayla.

What are you working on next?
Book 2 of The Godswar Chronicles. I have the Prologue and 1st chapter done, but Im still in the outlining phase and trying to decide on one of two titles. “The Dark Queen’s Wizard” or “Exorcism of Light.” There will be a preview of it (The Prologue and possibly the first chapter) in the Kickstarter Limited Edition paperbacks and hard covers for Dark Communion.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cjperry/215863491?token=8a0cb18e

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Im just starting to get the word out, so I don’t know much yet. It may be a bit controversial, but I will say that if you are a new author (like me) with no platform (like me) and only 1 book (like me) then you might want to consider making your book Kindle Unlimited eligible. Also, pick a good promotion company for a blog tour that won’t cost you a fortune, like Goddess Fish Promotions.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
The Soulforge. Margaret Weis is a genius, and a master at her craft. With so much Dragonlance out there, Soulforge is the beginning – same as Dark Communion is for me.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Bipolar Mania. Not kidding. Some people do drugs to feel high and stay up for days at a time. I have Bipolar mania.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Teleportation. Life would just be easier if I didn’t have to do anything to go anywhere.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

In no particular order:

  1. See my daughters get married.
  2. Have grandkids.
  3. Finish books 2 and 3 of the Godswar Chronicles.
  4. Write the next 2 series (already roughly outlined)
  5. Have a bestselling series

 

 

VBT ~ Recall

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Recall
by David McCaleb

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GENRE: Contemporary Thriller

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BLURB:

Meet Red Harmon, a special ops veteran who learns he never left the call of duty . . .

To a trio of muggers, Red looks like just another suburban dad. But when they demand his wallet at knifepoint, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, two muggers are dead, the third severely injured, and Red doesn’t remember a thing. Once an elite member of the Det, a secret forces outfit whose existence is beyond classified, Red thought his active service was over.

But his memory is coming back—and a lethal killing machine is returning to duty . . .

Facing an unthinkable nuclear threat, a volatile international power play, and a personal attack against his family, Red has no choice. He must rejoin his old team, infiltrate the enemy camp, and complete the biggest mission of his life . . .

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EXCERPT

Tony “Red” Harmon yawned as he rubbed burning, fatigued eyes with a palm. His cuff slipped back from his watch. 9:47 P.M. Too late for the family to be out. Nick dragged his feet on concrete, cheeks puffy, hand gripping Red’s index finger. So tired he didn’t even ask for a treat as they walked out of Walmart, past the candy machines. He looked up, snot glistening under a pink nose. Red winked at him, surprised yet again how his son looked like he’d cloned his mother’s eyes.

The shopping cart was full of things they needed, but didn’t want. School supplies and vegetables. A wheel with a flat spot clacked a steady cadence as Red pushed it under a rush of warm air blowing from above, into the January chill outside. How’d he always end up with the broken ones? He pushed with one hand, straining his wrist to keep the thing straight, pulling Nick with the other. He stepped slowly, careful not to slip on the frozen pavement. Just ahead, little Penny held Jackson’s hand so tight his fingers were turning blue. Her head was high. She was obviously pleased Dad thought she was mature enough to guide her younger brother through the perils of the parking lot.

Hope his fingers don’t go numb, Red thought.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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David McCaleb was raised on a rural farm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He attended Valley Forge Military College, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, and served his country as a finance officer. He also founded a bullet manufacturing operation, patented his own invention, and established several businesses. He returned to the Eastern Shore where he currently resides with his wife and two children. Though he enjoys drawing, painting, and any project involving the work of hands, his chosen tool is the pen.

Recall is the first novel in the Red Ops series. Please visit David McCaleb on Facebook or at www.davidmccaleb.com.

Buy the book:
https://www.amazon.com/s/?field-keywords=9781601838629
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/recall/id1088652661?mt=11
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/recall-4

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

David will be awarding a digital copy of Recall to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/08/blurb-blitz-recall-by-david-mccaleb.html

VBT ~ THE GRASS SWEEPER GOD

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The Grass Sweeper God
by Doug Howery

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GENRE: Historical Fiction

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BLURB:

Sixteen-year-old Smiley Hanlon is a young woman tethered to a young man’s body.  In the 1950’s Appalachia coal fields of Solitude, Virginia, Smiley is placed in the “Mentally Retarded Class” because he is effeminate and wears a blouse and saddle shoes to school.

Smiley is backed by his best friend, Lee Moore who protects Smiley from a father and many townspeople who hate him.  Smiley has dreams of becoming an entertainer.  Raised by his aunt in a juke joint, as a child Smiley sings and dances on the Formica bar top into the wee hours.  Chosen as the female lead, Dorothy, in a new town production called Dorothy of Oz Coal Camp, his dream is being realized.  The triumph of the play and his dream is sabotaged by his father and classmate bullies culminating in a tragic and horrific moment that changes both Smiley and Lee, forever.

Smiley and Lee flee to NYC.  They learn that prejudice is prejudice whether in the coal fields of Virginia or on the streets of NYC. Smiley suffers at the hands of his real mother who is a religious zealot.  She tries to change who Smiley is because he is a boil on the body of Christ. Lee suffers at the hands of psychologists who practice Aversion Therapy-electric shock treatment to cure his homosexuality.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Both Smiley and Lee become forces of change as do countless others.  In 1969, Smiley Hanlon and his friend, Lee emerge as leaders of a gay revolution, the historical Stonewall Riots.  The riots are vicious but the real battle will be won or lost on another continent: Solitude, Virginia.

The Grass Sweeper God is a force of nature that flows through all things…straightens out that which is bent…which is sick…
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BOOK EXCERPT

This godforsaken place was the backwoods of Appalachia coal mining country.  And being sixteen meant a cultured age of about ten or twelve, really.   Especially if you were retarded and rode the short bus.  This meant riding a school bus designated specifically as the retarded kids’ bus, but it also meant boarding normal kids alongside retards at each bus stop.  The only real specificity:  If you were trapped inside the wrong body—if you were a young man who wanted to be a young woman—you were the bull’s eye in the kids’ cross-hairs because you were the biggest, retarded mongoloid excrement of ‘em all, really.   Excrement being too proper of a word:  Specifically you got the ‘cultured’ and ‘godforsaken’ shit kicked outtaya every school day by retards and rednecks.   Proper language left this place along with any civility once branded as a retarded freak, really.  Indifference to proper language and civility ruled the day, and brutality beat the night.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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DOUG HOWERY has been writing both fiction and essays since 1990. His essays and familial stories have appeared in The Blue Ridge Lambda Press.

In many of his stories, as in “The Grass Sweeper God,” Mr. Howery’s true lode, his font of inspiration is in the passion and suffering he has experienced.

Author, Doug Howery penned the novel with insight into his own struggle for sexual identity and personal tragedy. His mother committed suicide in 1982, blaming her two sons’ sexual identity in a letter and declaring herself a martyr for intolerance and social bigotry. She referred to her own sons as “Gutter Rats that Could Rot in Hell” and represents the hate and mistrust that have plagued society.

Suspense author, Maggie Grace, with the North Carolina Writers’ Network writes about her cohort Mr. Howery: “What I like is the riskiness, the cutting edge of the narrative voice we hear. The moments when he lapses into descriptions of the moon, of the horse, etc. are true poetry that offers some relief from the coarseness of the story, and he places them well. He has an ear for the rhythm of the story, a natural sense of when to end–hangs fire with a new way of looking at someone or something, turning the entire chapter on its ear. I like the way he makes it impossible for the reader to stop reading at the end of the chapter.”

Mr. Howery lives in Virginia with his partner of 34 years where he is at work on his next novel.

Links:

Buy @ Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Grass-Sweeper-God-Doug-Howery-ebook/dp/B00JMVE036?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Twitter:
https://www.twitter.com/dhowery1

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8087260.Doug_Howery

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Grass-Sweeper-God/1475772659315049#!/pages/The-Grass-Sweeper-God/1475772659315049

Book Website:
http://www.dhowery-book.com

Book Video Trailer:
https://youtu.be/Bz6bNcZ6p4E

Linkedin:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-howery-90bb975a

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Doug Howery will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon GC and an autographed copy of the book to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please note geographical restrictions apply. United States only for the physical prize.

Enter to win a $25 GC and an autographed book – a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/07/vbt-grass-sweeper-god-by-doug-howery.html

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Doug, thanks for being my guest. Tell us about you. 
What makes me who I am?: Being true to myself. I draw on past experiences, negative and positive. One must learn from one’s mistakes and grow. My day job is a biological farmer. I grow microorganisms to treat waste.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would hang out with Truman Capote. Because, I would love to have him as a writing mentor.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The storyline follows an Appalachian coal mining family who must come to terms with two sons’ sexual identity (gay). While the nation must come to terms with societal sexual identity change on a historic paradigm—The NYC Gay Stonewall Riots of 1969.

What is your writing process?
I have no process. When I feel creative, I write. I work full time and schedule my writing around that schedule. I like solitude when writing.

Tell us about your main character: 
My main character is transgender while struggling in the coal camp town of Solitude, Virginia in the 1950s. He is brutalized on a daily basis because he is effeminate. He will not bow to the “normalcy” that surrounds him. Through all the trials and tribulations, she (Permelia Corn alas Smiley Hanlon) becomes a leader of the NYC Stonewall Gay Riots of 1969.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Jessica Lange because she could bring a main character (Lettie) to real life.

What are you working on next?
I am in the process of adapting my novel into screenplay.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Learn social media. You have to spend money to market the work. But learn to spend wisely. Unless you’re a media expert, there will be gains and losses. It is hard to get to #1 on Amazon. You have to learn the arithmetic as to how Amazon rates books in the que. I suggest hiring a specialist at first. It was complicated for me. And then getting it to stay @ #1 is impossible for me. I’m still learning.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
The Color Purple

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Gardening

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Reading peoples’ minds because then I would understand “motive.” Writing is a lot to do with ‘motive.’

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • To be more positive
  • Not to fear
  • Pay it forward
  • Write my screenplay
  • Learn something new everyday

Any final thoughts?
Just write.

VBT ~ Clementina

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Clementina
by Simon Cann

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GENRE: Crime Thriller

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BLURB:

Leathan Wilkey has been hired to babysit Clementina, a seventeen-year-old whose rich daddy is going through a messy divorce and is over-compensating.

Leathan soon tires of her spending habits, her selfie obsession, and her social media preoccupation as his ward drags him from shop to boutique to jeweler, approaching each with the self-possession that comes from a lifetime of getting her own way and never once having to worry about money.

But when Clementina snaps her fingers and her boyfriend doesn’t come running, something is up. He doesn’t appear because he’s been murdered.

When Leathan investigates, he finds that the boyfriend has no background and met Clementina through a connection made by daddy’s business partner.

Daddy’s business partner who has been slowly and progressively putting daddy in a vice, grabbing more of the business, and who is now menacing Clementina directly to manipulate daddy.

Clementina

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BOOK EXCERPT

Clementina was clearly offended.

Offended by my apparently uncouth utterance. Offended that I was not paying due reverence. Offended that I was thinking money, when I should be appreciating the art. Offended in the way that only a seventeen-year-old can be offended.

She was able simultaneously to be both a child and a world-weary adult. Neither of whom was accepting of my situation; both of whom were deeply saddened by my obvious circumstances.

She was saddened that I could live in a world like this.

Some people are saddened about famine in Africa. Some are saddened about wars or religious fundamentalists imposing their unyielding doctrines on populations, killing and mutilating children and innocent adults. Clementina was saddened and offended—on my behalf—that the world of jewelry and the exquisite pleasure of fine gems set in delicate pieces of lovingly shaped precious metal had been withheld from me.

She knew—as only one who had been indoctrinated into the secret society knew—that if I had been exposed to the world of bijouterie, then I would appreciate the treat that was waiting for me.

What she didn’t know was that I hated being patronized by seventeen-year-olds. Even if their father was paying me. Not that her father and I had actually done anything as tedious as agreeing a fee.

Or meeting.

Or talking. Even on the phone.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Simon Cann is the author of the Boniface, Montbretia Armstrong, and Leathan Wilkey series of books.
In addition to his fiction, Simon has written a range of music-related and business-related books, and has also worked as a ghostwriter.
Before turning full-time to writing, Simon spent nearly two decades as a management consultant, where his clients included aeronautical, pharmaceutical, defense, financial services, chemical, entertainment, and broadcasting companies.
He lives in London.

Website: http://simoncann.com

The book will be free on Amazon from Monday 25 July to Friday 29 July (inclusive).

B/N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/clementina-simon-cann/1123925440

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Clementina-Leathan-Wilkey-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01FZJEDW6/ref=sr_1_6

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/simonpcann

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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

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Simon Cann: interview 13

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
The ability to influence people to buy my books.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
My shaky understanding of the rules of grammar.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
I don’t start with a feature—I start with what the person wants. I look to what drives the individual. Looks, relationships, jobs, social station are all secondary to whatever drives a character.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Without hesitation: a plotter. And quite a detailed plotter…

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?
Paris is always colder than I expect.

VBT ~ FRIEND OF THE DEVIL

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Friend of the Devil
by Mark Spivak

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

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BOOK EXCERPT

He stepped down from the womb of the 727 onto the stubby metal stairway and descended slowly onto the asphalt of the old Palm Beach Airport, like a child sticking a toe into a hot bath.

The first thing he noticed was the light. By the time he reached the tarmac, it hurt his eyes. It was opaque and shining, milky white and brilliant.

As his feet touched the bottom, a coffee-colored hand plucked the bag from his grasp.

“Mr. Fox?” The teeth were almost as bright as the light reflecting against the pavement.

“Guilty.”

“Welcome to Palm Beach. West Palm, to be precise.” The voice was cool and melodious, with a Jamaican lilt. “We gladly cross the river to welcome our distinguished guests and ferry them to the other shore.” He extended his hand toward the terminal, smiling broadly. “Come, sir. Your chariot awaits.”

The woman stood next to the limousine, sticking out of the asphalt like an exotic tree. She wore a black leather jacket, and a short, black leather skirt, cut on the bias to give her a schoolgirl look. She was smirking.

She has gorgeous skin, was his first thought, smooth enough to lick. Then there was her hair: jet black, cropped short, spiked liberally with mousse, standing straight up as if from an electrical charge. I am so beautiful that I can mutilate my hair and you will still crave me, she seemed to say. I can masquerade as Elvis Costello and you will still crawl across the runway to worship me.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on http://www.palmbeachillustrated.com. He is the holder of the Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.
Website: http://www.markspivakbooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/friend-of-the-devil-mark-spivak/1123858106?

https://www.amazon.com/Friend-Devil-Mark-Spivak/dp/1626944520/ref

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Mark will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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

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

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/06/blurb-blitz-friend-of-devil-by-mark.html

VBT ~ SPECIAL LEVELS OF EARTHLY HELL

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Special Levels of Earthly Hell
by Merry Freer

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GENRE: Horror, Supernatural

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BLURB:

Drew Collins experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an evil energy he calls “The Beast” repeatedly enters his bedroom at night and takes possession of his wife’s body.

What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.

Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has invaded his wife’s family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his belief that the world is a rational place and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.

Author’s Note to the Reader: Sadly, the most frightening and brutal events in this book are factual. The story is loosely based on one family’s experience with multiple tragedies, some of them “ripped from the headlines.” It is also an excruciatingly factual account of one man’s experience with a loved one who is possessed by a demonic presence. However, it transcends genre and is as much a tale of romance, of cultural barriers, of abuse, and of family drama, as it is of demonic possession.The link between the introduction of an evil spirit and the heartbreaking misfortunes that are visited on the family is left for the reader to decide.

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BOOK EXCERPT

It was 3:00am, though Drew didn’t notice the time. He was startled into a state of complete consciousness by a feeling of intense dread and fear. Had he been sleeping? Had the feeling returned because he let go – drifted off and let down his guard? Terror ripped through him when he sensed a malevolent force above him. Slowly, he opened his eyes. Even in the pitch darkness of the room, he could see that a dark silhouette straddled him, standing upright, and as he recognized the form, he knew, with a lightning fast certainty he didn’t yet understand, that it only appeared to be his Adriana, her body inhabited by the evil force, her spirit squeezed from her helpless body and now possessed by whatever energy had terrorized them. He brought his eyes to meet those of the adversary that stood above him, silently begging to find recognition, but its black, dead eyes rolled back in their sockets and he realized instantly, as though by telepathy, that it intended to attack him…to fall on him! The form became completely rigid, falling straight forward like a stone slab toward his prone body, with no regard to how it might land. He let out a scream of primal fear that came from the depths of his being. Some kind of demonic beast was hurtling toward him and, throwing up his arms and hands to protect himself from its fall, he instinctively pushed at the foreign creature and threw it from his body, his hands burning with the contact. The creature’s head took the force of the fall, cracking into the heavy nightstand beside the bed.

Sitting up in the bed, shaking, perspiration dripping from his pores, he reached for the lamp on the nightstand and reluctantly turned the switch, terrified of what he might find, knowing he had no choice.

On the floor beside the table lay Adriana, his wife, in a fetal position, holding the back of her head, crying and confused. Drew climbed from the bed, taking her in his arms.

“What happened to me?” she whimpered, still rubbing the growing bump on her head.

“You don’t remember anything?” Drew whispered, carrying her limp body back to the bed.

“I think I hurt my head,” she said.

“You climbed over me to turn on the light and you fell,” Drew lied.

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell: The Story of One Family’s Chilling Struggle with Demonic Possession” was inspired by actual events that were experienced by her nuclear and extended families, tearing relationships apart and making national news headlines. This book comes on the heels of her first book, a memoir named “Doctor, Doctor.” While “Doctor, Doctor” is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.

Her controversial memoir, “Doctor, Doctor,” topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a “Best Books of 2014” award from “Suspense Magazine.”

Visit her Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/mfreerauthor

https://www.amazon.com/Special-Levels-Earthly-Hell-Possession-ebook/dp/B010YBFKH2/

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

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Merry will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/06/virtual-book-tour-special-levels-of.html

Book Blast ~ THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES

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THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES
by Farah Oomerbhoy

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GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy

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BLURB:

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms–including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

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BOOK EXCERPT

For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I found myself standing at the mouth of a small cave situated on a hill and overlooking a quiet, moonlit valley. On my left, a dark forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, treetops glistening silver in the light of the full moon. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.

Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.

Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?

I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.

A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gone were the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.

“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.

“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”

I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.

I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.

But then what?

Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.

I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.

“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.

But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.

I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?

“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.

He didn’t bother to answer.

“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.

“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.

Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.

Who the hell was she?

Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.

I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

Connect with Farah:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Farah-Oomerbhoy/e/B01152TFAC/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FarahOomerbhoy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FarahOomerbhoyAuthor
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/3/+FarahOomerbhoyAuthor
Instagram: http://instagram.com/farahoomerbhoyauthor
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/FarahOomerbhoy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25781691-the-last-of-the-firedrakes
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/FarahOomerbhoy
Tumblr: http://farahoomerbhoy.tumblr.com/

Purchase The Last of the Firedrakes: (Currently on sale for $0.99)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01131UDHE
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-of-the-firedrakes-farah-oomerbhoy/1122237810?ean=2940152166156
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1016733299
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-last-of-the-firedrakes
Smashwords : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/557373

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway.

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

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

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

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/07/book-blast-last-of-firedrakes-by-farah.html

Book Blast ~ VICTORIAN SCOUNDREL

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Victorian Scoundrel
by Stephanie Burkhart

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BLURB:

It’s 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Edmund of Wales, back to 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain’s Great Exhibition.

Alice soon finds herself over her head in trouble. Edmund is determined to help Prince Albert build a dirigible and the prime minister appears intent in preventing her from stopping Edmund. Alice knows it’s too early for the massive flying machine to take to the air. Complicating matters is the passionate Grayson Kentfield, Earl of Swinton. Alice can’t stop her pulse from pounding when she’s near him.

Can Alice give her heart to a man from the past while working to stop Edmund from changing history?

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BOOK EXCERPT

Tired and thirsty, she finally made it to the courtyard. Edmund was nowhere to be found. She should have expected it, really. No doubt he was in the palace filling their great-grandfather’s head with forward-thinking ideas. She crossed her arms, staring at the steps. Several carriages waited nearby. No one in their right mind would let her into the palace looking like she did — like she had just stepped out of the gutter.

“Excuse me, who are you?”

Alice spun around to find herself face-to-face with two gentlemen who stood near one of the waiting carriages. One gentleman was older, Alice guessed in his fifties, one younger. The older gentleman stared at her like she truly was a guttersnipe, but the younger one — he was tall, with chiseled cheeks and sensitive hazel eyes. His broad chest filled his suit well and he measured her with a cool, appraising look that hinted at… appreciation. An uncomfortable feeling washed over her. Never had a man’s stare made her feel so… warm.

“Well?” asked the older gentleman.

Alice straightened her posture with her usual royal dignity and took off her glasses as she always did when she introduced herself. “I am Her Royal Highness, Princess Alice of York.”

The men looked at each other, at her, then back at themselves. She wasn’t sure if they were befuddled, confused, or wanted to laugh. Finally, the older gentleman spoke. “Princess Alice is seven years old.”

Alice bit the inside of her lip, realizing she had totally forgotten where she was due to the younger gentleman’s attention. She slid her glasses back on. “Simply call me Alice — Alice Windsor.”

“And you may call me Prime Minister.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She’s also an assistant den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.

FIND HER ON THE WEB AT:

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee

PINTEREST:
http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/
BUY LINKS FOR VICTORIAN SCOUNDREL:

AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316808713&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1104099940?ean=2940012813824&itm=1&usri=victorian%2bscoundrel

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookonevictorianscoundrel-571272-141.html

PUBLISHER’S BUY LINK:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-183/Stephanie-Burkhart-Victorian-Scoundrel/Detail.bok

KOBO:
http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Windsor-Diaries-Book-One/book-QYpbdTFmHEm64JwO_p9T1w/page1.html?s=-6Oq9Moeg0STYnHLUVccWQ&r=7

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

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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

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

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/06/book-blast-victorian-scoundral-by.html