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VBT – The Long Lost

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About the Author

 Tom Nixon

Tom Nixon is an author and entrepreneur with writing credits to his name that span artistic genres. He has written multiple novels, two screenplays, several short stories, a children’s story, and has five music albums in his catalogue, for which he wrote both music and lyrics. He discovered his passion for writing and reading at an early age, going on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Michigan. He resides in Michigan with his wife and children, along with a couple of the canine variety.

His latest book is the suspense novel, The Long Lost.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

 The Long Lost

Title: THE LONG LOST
Author: Tom Nixon
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 418
Genre: Suspense

BOOK BLURB:

The sudden and strange disappearance of Joel Thomas brings together his ex-wife and best friend in a search for answers. As Mary and Jason seek out the truth, their quest consistently turns up more questions than clues. In another time, the story of a long-time group of college friends plays out across 30 years of history, revealing the highs and lows of a group that vowed to maintain their friendship until death. Is the answer to Joel’s mysterious departure found in a simple note sent to Mary, or is it locked somewhere back in time? Told in alternating voices and timelines, Nixon’s The Long Lost tells a story of both intrigue and suspense — along with sentimentality and introspection — as he examines the painful discoveries realized when childhood friends grow up…and grow apart.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

EVERYBODY knows someone like Joel Thomas.

I once heard someone describe him as the man who was friendly with everyone…but friends with no one. Which isn’t exactly true. It’s not that he was particularly at odds with any one person, or even that he was standoffish. It’s just that, when it came to having meaningful, deep friendships or relationships, there was nobody you could point to and say, “Those two are very close.”

But yet, there he was. Joel was at every party…every night out…every group outing. He seemed to like sports, the arts, movies, TV, pop culture. He knew a little bit about everything, so he always seemed to fit in, no matter what the occasion. But you were hard-pressed to say why, if asked.

Joel was married for a little more than 16 years to Mary, a woman he met in college during his study abroad program. They never had kids, but they did acquire the obligatory dog and 2,500-square-foot ranch in the suburbs. It was a normal life, if unspectacular. But that was Joel. Normal, sure. But unspectacular. A man that was seemingly liked by all…but loved by nobody in particular.

It would be a shock, then, when Joel suddenly disappeared.

I got the call around 7:30 that night. Mary seemed put off, but not frantic. I can’t tell you why I remember her demeanor in that way, only that it seemed significant at the time. Was I expecting the reaction an actress might have on a bad primetime cop show? I don’t know. Then again, Mary was Joel’s mirror image in some ways, so a subdued (though, certainly distraught) state of mind wasn’t entirely out of character. Still, it just seemed…different. Different than what I’d suspect, but I wasn’t sure if it was meaningfully different, or just different.

And I can’t claim to have been in the proper state of mind to be a judge of such things. Not that night. It’s a strange thing when you get “the call.” Or, in the movies, it’s the knock on the door. If you’ve never been so unfortunate, you’ll know when it happens. I’ll never forget watching my dad get the call when grandpa died. I’d never seen my old man cry before. It was jarring. It was a shock, to be sure…but grandpa was 84, and with a history of heart problems.

There’s a part of you that expects it…one that has been waiting for such a call. There’s another part of you in paralyzing shock. And there’s this weird part of you that starts immediately and reflexively having the sort of reaction others might expect you to have. Like you’re the one on the TV show. Call it, macabre exhilaration? This is happening. It’s horrible. But it’s excitement, in a sick sort of way. All of those parts of you begin an instant quarrel inside of you for supremacy, and it’s not until several hours, days or weeks later that reality sets in, and you hate yourself for feeling anything other than grief.

“Jason? Hi, it’s Mary. Sorry for calling so late.” A long, pregnant pause. “It’s Joel.”

Shit. Those words rang out like a shotgun in the open prairie air. It’s Joel. Whatever came next, I knew it wasn’t good. I immediately hunched down into a chair at the kitchen table. I’m not sure if I said anything, let out a self-defeated groan, or just waited in stunned silence for Mary to continue.

“It’s Joel. He’s not answering.”

“Not answering what?” I asked, now grasping to a lifeline of hope. Maybe I got ahead of myself with needless worry.

“Anything,” Mary responded, immediately sucking the wind out of my hopeful sails. “The phone, texts, the door. Normally I wouldn’t worry. We sometimes go weeks — maybe months — without talking. In fact, we usually do.”

“So what’s the worry?”

Mary paused. I could tell there was a “next part” that she didn’t want to get to. But she gave in. “It’s not normal.”

“What’s not?” I pressed.

“To get something in the mail.”

“What something? Something in the mail? From who? What was it?”

Another long pause.

“From Joel.”

“Mary, what are you saying? What the hell happened? Spit it out.”

Mary started slowly and softly, building both pace and volume as she continued. “I’ve been trying to get ahold of Joel for a few days. We got a strange tax thing in the mail, and it didn’t seem to make any sense, so I scanned it over to Joel last week. Followed up with a phone call. No answer. Then the texts. Nothing.”

“Yeah…” I needed her to get to the point.

“So I stopped by a couple days ago. No answer at his place. His car was there, though. I kinda poked around a bit, peeked in some windows…nothing. So I called the office. They said he’s on vacation. So I started to calm down…didn’t think much of it.”

“There ya go,” I reassured her. “He’s probably just out of the country or something. No cell service, ignoring emails and stuff.”

“That’s what I thought,” she continued. “Then I got this in the mail.”

“What?”

“A note. In a box. Like a cardboard shipping box. It looked more like a parcel at first, with no return address. But it was light…like a letter, you know? I opened the box, and there was just this note in there.”

“Yeah?”

“Jason. It was Joel’s handwriting.”

“So? What did it say?”

And now, the longest, most silent, pause.

“Mary, what did the letter say? Read it to me.”

“Read it to you?”

“Yes! Read it to me!”

“No need to read it…I have it memorized…it was only two words.”

“Mary, what the hell did the letter say?”

A shorter pause. A softer voice. A slower pace. Finally, Mary got to the point.

“Tell Jason.”

 

 

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VBT – Black and White

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About the Book

Title: Black and White

Author: Ben Burgess Jr

Genre: Contemporary

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When the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?

Author Bio

Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award-winning novels “Monster,” “Wounded,” “Love and Happiness,” ” Daddy’s Girl,” and the new novel “Black and White.” He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in and to never give up on their dreams. His novels “Monster” and “Wounded” are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management and an MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughters Jaelynn and Jaclyn and he is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.

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Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Burgess-Jr./e/B00BCKZPHK/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website: http://www.benburgessjr.com/

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VBT – Ariella’s Escape

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About the Book

Title: Ariella’s Escape

Author: Carolee Croft

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

Author Bio

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the west coast of Canada.

Connect with Carolee:

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Links

Amazon US

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Book Excerpt

It was strangely reassuring to know that he was not Chaldean, judging from his sun-bronzed skin, fine eyebrows and long brown hair, a shade so dark it was nearly black. And his eyes… like two pieces of a summer sky. She had always been a fool for a blue-eyed man. Judging by his elegant speech, very likely, he came from a noble lineage but was held here as a hostage to ensure peace with another kingdom.

“Then what is it, my lady?”

He sat down beside her on the bed, the scent of some innocent field flower with something more heady and musk-like tempting her to get closer to his bronzed body. She tried to discern his age… late twenties perhaps. His forehead was unlined, but there was something about him that made him appear older, a world-weariness perhaps behind his charming and carefree disposition.

There had been one or two times when she had bedded a man after less conversation than this, but this was strange territory with too many possible complications, and she could not afford to indulge herself on a whim. There was also his status to consider. As a slave, he was obviously not free in his choices, and she could sympathise with that. Ariella knew she would loathe being ordered to “entertain” guests in this manner were she in his place.

“Do my looks please you?” she asked tentatively.

“Yes,” he replied, a slight hoarseness in his voice.

His eyes scorched her, and she had to look away.

“It’s just that… I do not wish you to do this merely out of a sense of duty…” she said softly, “that is… if you did not want to…”

“My lady, I want to,” he said.

VBT: The Adventures of Fawn – When The Last Snowflake Falls

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Book Genre: Literary Fiction and Poetry
Publisher: Screamin’ Skull Press
Release Date: Already out –
Amazon links to Tony and Nicole –
Book Description:
Junkyard Lucy is a collection of stories by underground writer Tony Nesca. Stylistically alternating between Nesca’s unique free-flow style, full of that incredible, rhythmic prose that only he can do, and street-tough, short declarative sentences, the writing shows incredible range. The themes are varied and widespread – from love, sex, music, death, old age, rebellious youth and everything in-between, Junkyard Lucy is a subversive celebration of being alive, a romantic, sexually charged discourse on life, alive, unfettered and free.
Excerpt One:
And I’m walking through the devil infested streets, and all I see are lights greasy and wanting, and all I see is violence and blood-red intentions, and all I see are the generals feasting on flesh, and there was an old friend of mine standing at a street corner with back against telephone pole just watching the cars go by and the lights from the liquor store red and blue and purple and orange and yellow and it’s metal-to-metal striking that note just right and the midnight crazies looking to fuck someone up, but we stop and talk and we’re not afraid and we’re not unhappy and we’re even bored kinda feeling the end of something,
“I’m just bored with all of this” I say,
He nods and smiles sadly and I wave goodbye and I see all the street-junkies hobbling along with their toothless grins and their one-note thinking, and I see the young girls with sad smiles holding on to nothing at all the predators never far, and I think of losing her suddenly and that tragic afternoon under the sun, sometimes a nice car pulls up to the liquor store and the well-groomed move forward their intentions and true meaning as rotten as everybody else’s and the bank accounts ring like a bell as their fucked-up night-world is about to begin, I think of the 1920’s and Dixieland jazz and Billy Holiday and sipping on cold gin at a Parisian café while Picasso strolls by screaming something wild and crazy, and the young victims died in back alleys then as they do now and as long as people are involved, the shit flows, and I need all your love, baby, all of it day and night…
But I see something else now, I see a movie theater with light bulbs shining on the edge of the billboard full of smiling ideas, and I see a late-night pizza joint with small line-up of guys and gals laughing into the darkness, and I see a middle-aged couple kissing in front of a closed record store and I think of good friends and screaming good times and I’m talking about the light-filled moments everywhere all around –
– and it’s day-time now and I am by a river beams of golden light coming through trees and green all around wooded path leading me into that cool-sunshine shiver and I don’t hesitate, I don’t hesitate to smile and to laugh and to feel alright, and the river ripples in the wind bright-diamond-flickers on its surface, opposite bank showing a few apartment buildings sprouting out from the ever-present green of the ever-present trees, a young woman jogs by thighs jiggling in the hot morning shadow, old man walks slowly leaning on cane smiling lovely and new his youth bubbling just under the surface, and we all wanna get along don’t we, between closed teeth she swears again, between lips parted he smokes and says goodbye, and the college students continue with their misguided learnings, and the proletarians can all kiss my ass, and the rejected rejects triumph once again, and above the skyscrapers the superheroes continue their homo-erotic wrestling, I shake god’s hand and give him a wink, he winks back and smiles and scratches his ass, all my love to you I say, and mine to you he says, then he cranks the electric guitar and starts playing some rock and roll, and all across the universe and beyond and through the back-alley love affairs and the switchblade mornings,
the inside of my mind screams happy thoughts –
________________________________________


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Author Bio: Tony Nesca was born in Torino, Italy in 1965 and moved to Canada at the age of three. He was raised in Winnipeg but relocated back to Italy several times until finally settling in Winnipeg in 1980. He taught himself how to play guitar and formed an original rock band playing the local bars for several years. At the age of twenty-seven he traded his guitar for a Commodore 64 and started writing seriously. He has published six chapbooks of stories and poems (which he used to sell straight out of his knapsack at local dives and bookstores), six novels, four books of poetry and stories and has been an active contributor to the underground lit scene for twelve years, being published in innumerable magazines both online and in print.



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Author Bio: Nicole I. Nesca was born in Ohio. She developed a love of music, painting and writing early on and continued that love throughout her adult life. While living in Canada, she completed her first three works of poetry and prose collected in the anthology piece, KAMIKAZE WHITE NOISE., and her latest release of poems, Diamond Scarred Alley. She has been published in several E-Zines and has been a part of two anthologies.



 
 

VBT – Violated by Carolyn Arnold

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Violated
by Carolyn Arnold

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GENRE: Police Procedural, Thriller

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BLURB:

Sometimes the past should stay there…

The murder is one of the most heinous Brandon Fisher has ever seen, but that’s not why it has his and his colleagues’ attention. The FBI’s interested because the prime suspect is one of their own, Paige Dawson.

But Paige didn’t go to Valencia, California to kill anyone. She had set out on “vacation”—her new lover in tow—only to confront the man who had raped her friend twenty-some years ago. While the hands of the law are tied, she wants him to face the fact that he destroyed a young woman’s life and know that, as an FBI agent, she’ll be watching his every move. But instead of accomplishing her goal, she wound up in the back of a police cruiser.

Now Paige must face off with a hard-nosed detective determined to stick a murder charge to a fed. But with the trained eyes of the FBI on the case, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the evidence lends itself to a serial killing, not an isolated incident. And as long as the local authorities are focused on Paige, the real murderer is still out there, possibly waiting to strike again…

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BOOK EXCERPT

MONDAY, AUGUST 24TH, 11:10 PM PACIFIC TIME
CANYON COUNTRY, CALIFORNIA

THE MARK WAS IN HIS FORTIES, had no kids, and worked a white-collar job. Average height, average looks. Nothing was truly memorable about him except for his uncommon first name, and that was only because it belonged to a character from a popular eighties movie.

Ferris Hall.

She had followed him to some honky-tonk in Canyon Country, an unsavory location at any time of day, but factor in the late hour and it was even worse. But Ferris had chosen this dive as his hunting ground. Women were easier to lure in with a little chemical persuasion, and that was easy to pass off around here.

He entered the bar with head held high, his back straight, the tease of a smirk on his lips—the end of the evening a foregone conclusion in his mind. He was sipping on his first bourbon, though he was acting as if he was on his third by slurring his words and talking loudly. He’d even thrown a sway into his swagger. Somehow he always managed to make his eyes look bloodshot, too, furthering the charade. And the women would come. And the women would fall for his tricks.

Tonight, she’d be that woman, but she’d be his last. He had to learn there was a price to pay for his actions.

She was sitting down the bar from him. Occasionally, he’d pass her a look—the predatory kind that made her blood boil. She smiled at him, doing her best to convey carnal hunger with her gaze, smearing on a seductive curve to her lips. She dipped her finger into her manhattan and sucked on it—the cherry juice sweet, the whiskey bitter.

Ferris was off his stool and sidling up her to within three seconds.

The ruse worked every time. It also helped that she exploited what nature had given her—a slender frame and shapely legs. High heels accentuated her well-defined calf muscles, and men stared when she walked into a room. When she paired even higher stilettos with a short skirt and crossed her legs, men’s mouths tended to fall open. She utilized all these virtues tonight.
She flashed another sultry smile, and he lifted his glass toward her before tilting his own back and draining it. He set it back on the bar and knocked on it to get the bartender’s attention.

“I’ll have another on the rocks and—” he rolled his head toward her “—get the lady whatever she’d like.”

Time to feign innocence and flattery.

She waved a dismissive hand in his direction. “I really shouldn’t.”

She saw the quick look he gave her glass before meeting her eyes again. “Nonsense. Please, it would be my treat.”

If she stripped his voice of its candy-coated tone, his words were pushy and controlling.

“Well”—she angled her glass, showing how little of her drink she had left—“only if you’re sure.”
If she had actually been given a chance to prove her acting skills, she could be living in a sprawling mansion by now.

“Absolutely. What will it be?” Ferris asked, a grin teasing his lips as he tugged down on his left earlobe. It wasn’t hard for her to figure out what was going on. Ferris was asking for something “special” to be added to her drink—the “special” being some kind of date-rape drug.

She lifted her glass to the bartender. “Another manhattan.”

“Coming right up.” The tender left to make their drinks, and she watched him, taking the time to calm her heartbeat and flow of adrenaline.

“I like a woman who can handle her whiskey.” Ferris was looking quite comfortable beside her now. He was fully facing her, his left elbow perched on the counter, and he wasn’t discreet about his drifting gaze, which gravitated to her thighs.

“What can I say? I’m a little whiskey girl.” The words from the country song rolled off her tongue, cinching her gut, but she had to do what was necessary to pull him in.

“Toby Keith,” he said.

“Pardon?”

“Toby Keith.” He pointed to a speaker on the ceiling. “The singer who sings that one.”

“Ah, yes.” And here, she thought she was doing well by knowing it was even a country song. She smiled at him again. He truly thought of himself as a woman’s man.

Pathetic.

“Have I seen you here before?” he asked.

She dipped her head.

“I knew it. I never forget a beautiful face. So what’s your name?”

“Names really aren’t important, are they, baby?” She extended her hand, her long, narrow fingers bowing before him in feminine elegance.

“Oh, she’s mysterious. I like it.” He kissed the back of her hand, and she was proud of herself for not rolling her eyes.

The bartender returned and placed their drinks in front of them. “Here you go.”

From her observations, Ferris seemed to keep a running tab here. Rape now, pay later?

Oh, and Ferris would pay…

“You never told me your name,” she said, falling into her role.

“Oh, I can tell you mine, but you can’t—”

“Uh-huh.” She sucked on the tip of her finger again.

“Ferris.” He still held onto her other hand, and she pulled it back shyly.

“Are you from around here?” she asked, resorting to the necessity of small talk.

“I just fly in from time to time for business.”

“Ah.” She’d have to call upon her acting skills for this performance. She knew he lived less than three miles away from this place. “What business?”

He tapped his jacket pockets, then slid a hand inside one. “How embarrassing. I don’t have any cards with me. Besides, I don’t really want to bore you. Why don’t we talk about you?” He leaned toward her and lifted his rocks glass. “To a fun night.”

“To one we won’t remember.”

They toasted, and he took a long pull of the amber liquid. She pressed her own glass to her lips and pretended to take a sip.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and beagle. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website – http://carolynarnold.net/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a $25 through Paypal to a randomly drawn winner during the tour.

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/2016/04/vbt-violated-by-carolyn-arnold.html

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Interview With…

Carolyn, Tell us about you.
My tastes vary greatly in a number of areas. I love country music, but also enjoy rock, alternative, some rap. I love dining in a fine restaurant but also enjoy grabbing a beer and veggie burger at a pub.

I hate wearing a dress or skirt and it would be a rare sighting to ever catch me in one. And don’t get me started about nylons!

I do not get along with the clock, although I get along with deadlines.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?Jack Canfield because he’s been such an inspiration to me.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Really it’s about how the past can have power of us if we let it. If we allow ourselves to obsess over past choices, it can really hold us back from our full potential. And in the case of the book, doing so could prove dangerous in other ways, as well.

What is your writing process?
I prefer silence when I write but sometimes I’ll put music on to immerse myself into a scene even more. This has resulted in a wide range of musical accompaniment from classical to classic rock.

My writing process is also very organic, meaning I go with the flow. It’s like I’m watching a movie play out in my mind and I’m recording what’s taking place. Outlining has a way of killing my creativity.

Tell us about your main character
FBI Special Agent Brandon Fisher, early thirties, is the newest member of Jack Harper’s team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit. A stereotypical redhead, his temper sits close to the surface, and dealing with Jack’s need for perfection requires that Brandon use every ounce of self-control not to lash out. Sometimes he doesn’t succeed, and he often takes out his aggression on a punching bag. His athleticism attracts the women—and often gets him into trouble.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
While I often think about my books being turned into movies, I haven’t gone so far as to peg certain actors or actresses for different roles.

What are you working on next?
I’m in the editing phases for a release in my Detective Madison Knight series coming out in September. I’m also writing another novella for my McKinley Mystery series set for October release.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start a blog and share excerpts there, start building a mailing list, join Wattpad (I’ve heard some have had success there), get a Twitter account, start a Facebook page.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Let’s go with Violated as it’s my latest release. Oh, you were referring to someone else’s? Well, right now I’m reading Daniel Palmer’s Stolen. I typically only read books once.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Yes. Being me.  I’ve got that down.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
To function perfectly on no sleep. I’d get even more accomplished and be able to give back more to the world.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Hitting #1 on The New York Times bestselling list.
  • Being a guest on the Ellen Degeneres show.
  • Speaking at 1-3 writing conferences a year.
  • Going to Europe.
    Going to Australia.

Any final thoughts?
This book might be crime fiction, but it touches on a current issue and it affects more people than we might realize. I can’t disclose too much without giving away information on the killer so people will have to read the book.

I can say this book also carries a couple deeper messages.

One, the importance of living in the now without obsessing over the past. It shows what can happen when we give the past power over us.

Two, we all have the right to make choices without judgement from society, but unfortunately humans can be quick to judge. Violated is about being true to ourselves in spite of society’s approval or disapproval.

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the clouds are not what you think.

The Color of Clouds2-2

 

Author Bio

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

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

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

J.C. Whyte

 

Links

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

Book Excerpt

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

Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for being here today Jacquie. 🙂

Book Release – Rise of the Nephilim: Fire and Blood

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About the Book

cov2-nephTitle: Rise of the Nephilim: Fire and Blood

Author: N.J. Paige

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Science-Fiction

“Soon they will all be dead. And it will be because I have failed them.”

Before she was Nephilim, a progeny of the Fallen, she was just a girl from Brewster, New York.
A freak of nature.
The strange.
The different.
The other.
But then she received the calling to find her true home and take her rightful place in the subterranean world of Babylon.
There she would learn that she was the last hope for the survival of Humanity. And she would be forced to choose between the world where she found nothing but pain and rejection, and the world where she was accepted and revered.

Author Bio

N. J. Paige lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Her favorite motto is “Life is but a journey best taken one step at a time.” And she enjoys hiking in her local forest, where she gets inspiration from Tree-Sprites and other woodland creatures.

Links

Twitter: @nj_paige

Website: http://www.njpaige.weebly.com

Amazon.com: Rise of The Nephilim: Fire And Blood eBook: N. J. Paige: Kindle Store

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