Blog Archives

Toru: Wayfarer Returns

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Toru: Wayfarer Returns
by Stephanie R. Sorensen

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GENRE: Historical Steampunk Fiction

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BLURB:

A nation encircled by enemies

A noblewoman with everything to lose

A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.

In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.

Tōru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Tōru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.

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EXCERPT:

“Omae wa dare da? Who are you? Whose ship is that? Why are you here?”

They forced Tōru to his knees.

He bowed down to the sand and spoke in the rough unhewn Japanese of a fisherman.

“Noble sirs, I am Tōru, of the village Iwamatsu, some days’ travel north of here. I was fishing with my father. A terrible storm destroyed our boat and cast us all into the sea. My father gave me a piece of wreckage to cling to as everything sank.”

Tōru struggled a moment, the words and flow of his native language catching on his lips after more than two years without a soul to speak with in Japanese. The memory of the storm and his last memory of his father that night rose up before him.

He steadied himself as the men listened intently, their swords never wavering from his throat, nor their gaze from his face.

He chose his next words carefully.

“That night was the last I saw my father. I was picked up by an American ship and taken to America.”

He bowed down to the sand again, easing between the blades.

“This night I am returning, to look after my mother. She has no other child to care for her, and no husband to feed her. The Americans brought me home, so I might do my duty by my mother and my people. I beg you, forgive me any crimes I may have committed by landing on your lord’s shore, and allow me please to return to my home.”

As he looked up into their eyes, he saw they would permit no such thing.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.

Recognition for “Toru: Wayfarer Returns”
— Finalist, Fantasy category, 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
— Bronze Medal Award, Multicultural Fiction category, 2016 eLit Book Awards

LINKS:

Author website http://stephaniersorensen.com/
Author Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011148014463
Publisher website http://palantirpress.com/
Publisher Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Sassa-Margot/100010457895534
Publisher Twitter https://twitter.com/SassaMargot
Sell sheet PDF http://palantirpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Toru-Sell-Sheet.pdf
Kirkus review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/stephanie-r-sorensen/toru/
Historical Novel Society review https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/toru-wayfarer-returns-sakura-steam-series-book-1/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toru-stephanie-r-sorensen/1123110310?ean=9780996932318

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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

VBT ~ THE LAST TEN POUNDS

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The Last Ten Pounds: One Woman’s Journey to Love (by shedding Fear, Anger, Hatred…and Everything In-Between)
by Lina Sage

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GENRE: Memoir

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BLURB:

Shortly after I was born, my family left Vietnam’s strict Communist regime by escaping on a tiny fishing boat in the middle of the night.

Luckily, Canada accepted us as refugees and we were excited for a new beginning. However, any hopes of a brighter future vanished before an abusive alcoholic father who’s repeated physical violence against my mom left me screaming for any stability. Sexual, physical and emotional abuse clouded my childhood years leaving me so damaged that it changed who I was meant to grow up to be.

In my early twenties, I bought a house and converted it into a full blown marijuana grow op.

Soon after, I entered into the world of elite call girls and became one of the most sought after girls in my agency. By my late twenties, I was on top of the world and the proud owner of a multi-million-dollar luxury day spa.

Just when I thought I had it all, I made the ultimate mistake that ended in me losing everything and hitting rock bottom.

I was spiritually broken and in desperate need of healing. I had no choice but to reconcile with my past. This decision brought me down a miraculous journey that opened me up to consciousness and enabled me to exist in the space I do today; that of uninhibited peace.

The Last 10 Pounds: One Woman’s Journey to Love (by shedding Fear, Anger, Hatred…and Everything In-Between) is my personal journey and a testament that it is possible to heal and transform. To be the person you were born to be.
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BOOK EXCERPT

“Uncle Quinn… please stop. Please stop Uncle Quinn! Stop it you’re hurting me!” I wailed loudly.

“Shhh… I’m just playing with you,” he replied with a sly look on his face, as he continued to grope me with both hands.

This had happened many times before, the constant touching and fondling of my private parts every time Uncle Quinn saw me. See the thing is, I didn’t make it easy for him because of my feisty nature. Usually I would be able to run away before he could really get a hold of me and on the times that I couldn’t get away, his inappropriateness would only last a few minutes until I would squirm so hard that he would finally release me from his grasp.

But today was different and I felt it immediately. His huge hand pinned down both my tiny wrists and with his other hand he proceeded to maliciously rip off my summer jumpsuit. His weight crushed my petite frame to the floor so much so that I couldn’t move. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t create enough wiggle space to escape his 6’2 lanky stature. With his free hand he pushed his fingers inside me with such ferocity that a loud scream escaped my mouth before I could even discern what was happening.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lina Sage is a writer, speaker, producer and entrepreneur. She is the creator and founder of Chic Spirituality; a movement whose philosophy is to live your life with heightened awareness by surrounding yourself with things you deem beautiful. Lina believes balance of mind, body and soul, is the key to unlocking all things beautiful. Therefore, she enjoys physical activity to maintain a strong body and meditation to calm the mind. But she especially cherishes time spent with her beloved husband and dog because they are what brings her soul the greatest joy. Lina also likes to surround herself with great food and exotic travels around the world.

Social Media Links:

website: www.linasage.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/chicsage
instagram: www.instagram.com/chicsage/?hl=en

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Lina 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

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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

Book Blast – PRODIGAL SON

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Prodigal Son (Sister Christian, 4)
by Lisa Beth Darling

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GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

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BLURB:

In the final installment of the Sister Christian Series, the Court has demanded a hearing regarding Hannah’s capacity. Hannah and Nick are falling deeper and deeper in love. Looking forward to a bright future together they begin planning their life together. A shadowy stranger from the past has set his sights on Hannah and her 3.5 million dollar trust fund. Is he really Rick MacNeill, the son Hannah thought died in the terrible fire at Saint Anne’s? Is he someone sinister? The last of the family secrets come to light in this roller coaster ride of suspense, love, betrayal, and faith.

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BOOK EXCERPT

Walking up the front walk to the small house, Mason slid his key into the outer door, “A date with Spaulding, what’s next? You gonna let him and Jackson fight over you after school?” Once inside he threw his keys on the desk and then started sorting through the mail. “What the–? Geez, I hate junk mail.” He threw an envelope with the E*Trade logo on it into the trash still thinking of how his sister may be on the verge of having a better romantic life than he’d had in decades.

“Oh, no,” Hannah dove for it as though he’d tossed it into flames. “This . . .this. . .isn’t garbage.” She stuttered picking it up and dusting it off to hold out to him.

“I don’t have an E*Trade account.” Mason countered. “Of course it’s garbage.”

“Well, now, don’t be so hasty.”

“Hasty? What?” Hannah took him by the arm and led him over to the couch where she sat him down. “What’s going on, Hannah?”

Hannah was nervous and she didn’t quite know how to explain but she did her best. “I wanted to do something nice for you, to thank you for all you’ve done for me. So, well, here.” She handed him the envelope. “Open it.”

With somewhat of a sinking feeling Mason opened the envelope to find the check. “What the hell is this? Where did you get this money?”

“Don’t be angry.” Hannah got up and retrieved the motorcycle magazines she’d brought him while he was in the hospital from the desk. “I know you want a new bike and that’s exactly enough money for the one you picked out.” She gave him the magazines.

“You’re buying me. . .a motorcycle?” Mason was so stunned he found it very difficult to get the words from his head to his throat. “Are you serious?”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of 30 years, Roy and is mother to their two daughters. She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books. When she’s not writing she likes to garden and is an avid movie buff.

Author web links:

Website: http://www.lisabethdarling.com
Blog: http://lbdarling.wordpress.com
Twitter: @lb_darling
Facebook: http://facebook.com/lbdarling
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1577311.Lisa_Beth_Darling

Purchase Links:

Kindle/Amazon (paperbacks available on Amazon)
https://www.amazon.com/Prodigal-Son-Sister-Christian-Book-ebook/dp/B01HSD5NTE/ref=asap_bc#nav-subnav

Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prodigal-son-lisa-beth-darling/1124249452

iBooks
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lisa-beth-darling/id411650358?mt=11

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisadarling

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Lisa will be awarding a digital copy of Prodigal Son to 3 randomly drawn winners 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/book-blast-prodigal-son-by-lisa-beth.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

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheGrassSweeperGod

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

FS_TourBanner_Clementina

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:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_Clementina

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

BBT_FriendOfTheDevil_Banner copy

Friend of the Devil
by Mark Spivak

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GENRE: Thriller

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MediaKit_BookCover_FriendOfTheDevil

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:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FriendOfTheDevil

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