Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview with YA dark fiction/urban fantasy author Nicky Peacock

With one week to go before Halloween, I’d like to introduce you to YA horror/urban fantasy writer Nicky Peacock. She's visiting with us from ‘across the pond’ to tell us a bit about Bad Blood – Battle of the Undead #1 and her personal and writing life.

Let her know you stopped by with a ‘hi’ in the comments below!

Welcome, Nicky. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. 

Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?

Writing was really a natural progression. Right now I’m obsessed with writing: a YA Urban Fantasy novel, a Paranormal Romance novella series, and several short horror stories! So I’m currently living in a functional fiction coma – and loving it!


Please tell us about your current release.
Bad Blood is a YA horror/ urban fantasy that features vampires VS zombies – it’s a kind of True Blood meets the Walking Dead for teen and adult readers.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love both vampire and zombie fiction and actually looked round for a book which had them fighting against one another, I couldn’t find anything so decided to write it myself.


Excerpt from Bad Blood:
We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty-six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.

“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.

“Maybe you should grow a pair.”

“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.

“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”

“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”

“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”

“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”

Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”

I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.

“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.

“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

(Published by Evernight Teen http://www.evernightteen.com/)


What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently work on Bad Timing, which is the next in the Battle of the Undead series and also I’m working on an adult historical urban fantasy based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale (I know that sounds a bit crazy, but sometimes crazy works, or at least I hope it does!)

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still not even sure I do. Like most published authors I still have to hold down a full time job – it’s only the top ten percent of authors that get to write for a living – so I guess it’ll be when I’m in that 10%.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Well, I have an office-based job so have my weekends and nights free to write. It’s hard work, and you have to give up certain parts of a normal social life to accommodate it. But it’s worth it. I go to the gym a lot too – I actually find a good work-out can really simulate your mind as well as your body – so I can get a lot of scene plotting and dialogue done while on the treadmill.

I also run a local writer’s group which meet every two weeks. This has been a massive inspiration for me – as the organizer I kind of have to lead from the front to encourage other writers to follow their dreams.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write like I am putting together a movie – I don’t write scenes in order. I think that by writing them out of order you get to write the scenes you are most excited about, rather than have to trudge through to get to them – trudgery (not a word, but should be) makes writing seem like too much work. By writing what you are excited about at the time, you get to continue that feeling about your work and hopefully it translates to the reader.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I did want to be an author. Although I wanted to be slightly richer than I am now! Maybe a movie deal under my belt…

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love talking to readers and value everyone’s opinion, so if you’d like to get in touch with me you can leave me a comment on my blog.

Thank you for having me and Happy almost Halloween to everyone!


Bad Blood buy links: Amazon UK       Amazon US      Evernight Teen


Thanks so much for talking to us, Nicky! Happy writing!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview with literary fiction author Benjamin W. DeHaven

Today’s special guest is literary fiction writer Benjamin W.DeHaven, and we’re focused on his new book Confessions of a Self-Help Writer.

During his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Benjamin will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to one lucky winner plus FIVE signed hard copies (US only) of his novel to even more winners. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Bio:
A Graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Benjamin DeHaven keeps his heart in Chicago and his soul in New Orleans. He holds a MBA from Tulane and a film degree from Columbia. Once ejected from a community college for arguing Frost cried out for acceptance in Birches, he has since written screenplays, traded futures in Madrid, and was Editor in Chief of the Nola Shopper Newspaper, a free art newspaper and the 2nd largest monthly paper in the New Orleans, MSA. He also has a "shout out" in a Jay "Z" Song.

DeHaven, who currently resides in Las Vegas began his writing career with Stone United, a Chicago based Film Company, which works primarily in independent film. As an unknown fiction writer, he feels the best description of himself is a sarcastic one and is as follows:

Benjamin W. DeHaven was born on a pool table after a Waylon Jennings' concert in 1977. His personal success is outweighed only by his stunning good looks and adherence to unwritten moral guidelines. He has been described as a thinking man's Tucker Max as well as an idiot's Hunter S. Thompson. His goal is to die from an unwavering commitment to be more like Hemingway.

He and Michael Enzo were friends

Blurb about Confessions of a Self-Help Writer:
A ghost, a philanthropist, a con man, a devout Catholic, a gigolo, a savior, an heir, a common man, and an addict are just some of the words used to describe Michael Enzo, who some sources credit with ghost-writing more than 108 self-help books on behalf of celebrities, politicians and business leaders. After failing to make what he considered to be a positive impact on society he began to destroy those closest to him including Benjamin DeHaven, the author of this book, and former collaborator. Defrauding an industry for almost 20 years by exploiting people's insecurities and profiting from them, more than likely these friends contributed more to the field of self-help, while profiting from it, than they will ever know. Believing they could only understand people's problems by suffering along with them, they lived on the razor's edge. If you've ever picked up a tell-all biography of a celebrity or a title from the self-help section at the bookstore, certainly you would question the source. This is an inside look at the mind of Michael Enzo and it is the author's hope that people will start helping themselves again after reading it. Discover what turns someone from preaching salvation towards seeking its destruction. You won't believe this could be true.


Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
No. About 3 years ago I quit a dream job to come home and help my mom who suffers with Lupus. I took another job running a mechanical company, but roughly 2 years ago, my doctor accidently sent a letter to the employer saying I had Narcolepsy, which was a disability. It was a disaster, because the employer assumed I was going to sue him for something and he reacted by forcing me out and screwing up my insurance. I had just finished a trial about the character in my book, Michael Enzo. And was immediately thrown into another with the Department of Labor suing my employer. So 2 years ago was at a pretty low point, but it was also the time I was writing the most. Plus 2 years ago, Confessions was just an idea.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Sure, lots-I wrote a screen play about Solipsism and for a while toyed with the idea that I was the only thing and everything thing else was a creation of my mind. Other than Descartes, it’s the only philosophical theory than cannot be proven or disproven to satisfaction.

Do you have any phobias?
I’m definitely a germaphobe.

Ever broken any bones?
I broke my ankle playing basketball in high school. Which was a blessing because I had a lot of time to read and get into theater

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
I compulsively clean and throw out everything I own.

What is your favorite quote and why?
Do I have to pick just one? –My favorite motivation is probably “If” by Kipling, and “The Courage of Conviction” by Rita Mae Brown. I read them over and over again when I need strength.

"It is not only the leader of men, statesman, philosopher, or poet, that owes this bounden duty to mankind. Every rustic who delivers in the village alehouse his slow, infrequent sentences, may help to kill or keep alive the fatal superstitions which clog his race. Every hard-worked wife of an artisan may transmit to her children beliefs which shall knit society together, or rend it in pieces. No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe."
—W. K. Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Some of my favorite quotes are from the Confessions of a Self-Help Writer project:
“Beware of people who say “I love you” without hesitation. They’ve had a lot of practice saying it.” (confessions of a Self-Help Writer)
There are signs everywhere. The secret is reading them
It’s good to ask questions that make people uncomfortable
Your reality can be as beautiful as you imagine it.
Escape is impossible without knowledge.
It’s easy to sell people with a glimmer of hope.
Self-destruction is inevitable because existence is a full-time job. #confessionsofaselfhelpwriter
When you bargain with yourself, you always lose

Links
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Buy Links:


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Interview with new adult author Trae Stratton

Hello Readers!

Today I’d like to introduce you to debut novelist Trae Stratton. He’s telling us a bit about his novel, To Have and To Hold, and his writing and personal life.

Please say ‘hi’ to Trae in the comments so he knows you stopped by!

Bio:
Trae was born and raised in Queens, N.Y. After 20 years with the NYPD he retired to fill an urgent vacancy at home: Mr. Mom. He has always enjoyed writing and continues to outwit the forces of nature and temptation to make time at the keyboard. His debut novel, To Have and To Hold, is a charming reminder that life could indeed be fun before cell phones and that happy endings do exist in the real world if you’re brave enough to believe in them.

Welcome, Trae. Please tell us about your current release.
To Have and To Hold is a New Adult/Family Saga set in the suburbs of New York City during the 1980s-90s. The plot is anchored to the wedding of Colin MacLann and what happens at his house as his family and friends get ready for the ceremony. Using that point of view turns the bride’s identity into an enticing mystery. 

Readers can try to figure out which of Colin’s five loves eventually wears the veil with clues they glean from poignant coming of age flashbacks that tell his story, or just enjoy the ride. We also get hints from the bride herself during some first person vignettes that show how she winds up marrying Colin. The big reveal comes in the final chapter when the bride walks into the church. 

At the heart of the book is a deeper question: Fate has a soulmate for all of us, but what happens if we screw that up with bad decisions? Life isn’t that simple, so I try to make sure it isn’t obvious who Colin’s soulmate is actually supposed to be. Does Colin get his act together in time to meet her at the altar or does destiny send him someone else? That’s also for you, as the reader to decide.

What inspired you to write this book?
The last chapter came to me first. It’s so momentous when a bride walks into a church, and I thought how great it would be if I could magnify that with one of those spine tingling moments like you get at the end of “Officer and a Gentleman” when Richard Gere walks into the factory and sweeps up Debra Winger. As the story evolved from there I became inspired by how the people that intersect our lives for any length of time so often mirror what we think of ourselves and our mindset for the future. How fate can come full circle or shatter because of the decisions we all make on a daily basis, and because of that, happily ever after is not an end result, it’s a fluid state that requires nurturing and maintenance.

Excerpt from To Have and To Hold:
This excerpt comes from the beginning of the book and foreshadows how the flashbacks will tell their stories- the bride’s life came into focus quite suddenly during one illuminating night, while Colin needed to learn many difficult lessons over the course of his life that taught him to be his own man, and ultimately what those experiences meant as they fell in love.

Just two years ago, marrying Colin seemed so outlandishly impossible. We had known each other for so
long, but in so many ways, knew each other so little.
            Funny how quickly things can fall into place once you figure out who you are.
            For Colin that’s been a long journey. For me, most of it came together in one eye-opening, magical night.
            I pick up his picture again and look at him.
            I always say I had to find myself.
            He always says he had to create himself.
            We’ve drunk a lot of wine long into the night talking about the difference.
            Here we are now though, one of those first day of the rest of your life days—Hell, I’m going to have a
whole new name after today!
            I wonder what he’s doing right now. If he’s thinking about this stuff too. I guess he is.
            What did mom say last night?
            I’ve written my book and he’s written his. Today we start writing our story, so it’s only natural to
remember the highlights of the one you’ve just finished…


What exciting story are you working on next?
I was all set to churn out a psychological thriller, but instead I’ve decided to a write something for my little girl. She’s three, and I want her to have something dedicated to her waiting on the shelf for when she’s old enough to read it. So now my pages are filling up with magic and unicorns, secret bloodlines and dangerous creatures that live on the edge of twilight, and with border crossings between the realms of faerie and the world we know- all the things that live and breathe in YA fiction. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m having a lot of fun working on it!

When did you consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I joined the staff of SPRING 3100 at the NYPD and started seeing my work published on a regular basis. But as a self-published novelist it was the realization that people I would never meet were suddenly paying real money for my book or taking it out of the library and reading it. Having a book out there is still very new to me, and maybe it’s not the same for writers of mass market publications, but watching as my book crossed the border from friends and family to readers everywhere was really quite a thrill that made me feel like a writer and not just someone who likes to write.

Do you write full time?
I wish I could, but Mr. Mom is a full-time gig right now. As a result, most of my writing gets done after everyone else has gone to bed. It can be very frustrating, so a big key for me is to use the spare moments in my day preparing for my next writing block by knocking out any promoting, editing or research at hand. Then when I have available solitude I can just sit down and write without distraction.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Using unique fonts for each story. It helps me shift back into the right voice and mindset for whatever I’m working on much quicker. Right now it’s a Unicorn story and I’m using Harrington. Just seeing how much cooler and atmospheric words like Unicorn look in Harrington gets me right back into the story. When you have limited time periods to work with stuff like that is important. You do anything and everything to get the words flowing again as fast as you can and changing fonts works for me.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
As an adult I can look back and say archaeologist or paleontologist, but as a kid I didn’t know what those words really meant. I just loved dinosaurs.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes. I love hearing from you through my contact page or Goodreads. The arguments for why Colin made a good choice or bad choice, how you figured out who was under the veil, suggestions about who should get married next or why such and such character is a jerk, and what the casting would be if To Have and To Hold became a movie and so on are so much fun to read. 

They really are. I don’t get too many of those, so along with interviews like this, hearing from a reader affords me the opportunity to write back and say thanks for reading in a meaningful way.

Links:

Thanks so much, Trae! This has been fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Excerpt from new adult novel Good Faith by Liz Crowe


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. We have the spotlight shining on the new adult novel, Good Faith, by Liz Crowe

During her tour, Liz will be awarding several prizes, which include:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all Liz's Tri-Destiny titles
FIRST PRIZE: $50 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: full ebook set of STEWART REALTY SERIES up to Good Faith (8 books in all including the prequel House Rules)

To be entered for a chance to win one of these gifts, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!


Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and “coming of age.”

Enjoy an excerpt from Good Faith:

That morning his father had roused him from a sound sleep. He’d blinked, confused, by the angle of the sunlight. He rarely slept much past eight since he usually had some sort of training or the other.

“Let’s go son. Time for lunch.”

Brandis had dragged himself up, his limbs feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds each. His brain buzzed with a strange sort of energy, his typical state, and not at all welcome considering it normally didn’t hit him until later in the day. The conversation his father began as soon as they were seated at their usual diner did not help.

“So, listen, Brandis. These girls…Katie’s friends from college….”

Brandis sipped his ice water, waiting for his father to finish the thought. His heart pounded, and his face flushed hot with embarrassment.

Jack sighed, as if exasperated that Brandis didn’t pick up the thread on his own, leaving him to carry on with the awkwardness about to ensue. Then he leveled his gaze, his face open, not angry or judgmental. “I think that you may be in for some…I mean, they’re…shit.”

“If you are gonna tell me where babies come from again,” Brandis said, after deciding to ease his father’s obvious distress. He cocked an eyebrow and half a smile. Jack seemed to relax somewhat as Brandis continued. “Don’t bother. I already know.”

He flashed his brightest smile up at the middle-aged woman who stood at their table, coffee pot in hand. She blinked rapidly at him, and at that precise moment, Brandis got his first flash of…something…about his power. Up until now he’d merely been “Brandis the trouble maker, the causer of strife.” Suddenly, he felt strong, amazingly so, stronger than even the man sitting across from him, a taller, older version of himself. His body tingled all over, as he tested the smile out again on the woman, making her slop some coffee out onto the table. His father frowned, but then chuckled as the woman walked away after they gave their orders.

“Son,” he said, leaning back and cradling the coffee mug to his chest. “Your adventure has only just begun.”

“Huh?” Brandis picked up his cup but didn’t drink any. He hated coffee, but had ordered it in a burst of need to be more like Jack. As he sipped the bitter stuff, he was transported back years before when he and his dad would spend every single Saturday morning together, eating breakfast at this very diner. He had adored the man, he remembered distinctly. His chest hurt at the simplicity of their relationship then. He looked away from Jack’s deep blue, knowing gaze.

The subject changed of its own accord, and Brandis let it. Although part of him wanted to ask for advice, a much bigger part would not allow the words past his lips.

They ate, discussing the upcoming football season and Brandis’ part in it. The recruiting company Jack had contracted last year to video his every move would start up with the first game. He’d made varsity again, technically as backup quarterback to a senior boy. Brandis didn’t see this as a setback and had every intention of starting under center by the second or third game.

Finally, when they pushed their empty plates back and sat looking at each other, Brandis felt more comfortable in his father’s presence than he had been in a long time. Jack said, “I am pretty sure at least one of those girls sleeping in the basement is determined to change the status of your virginity for you probably as soon as tonight.”

Brandis choked on the last sip of lukewarm coffee. His face burned, and his body tingled again. “I’m…it’s…uh….” He clutched the napkin in his lap unable to meet his father’s eyes.

“No need to say anything. Let’s just say your mother is an astute reader of female intent. While I was busy admiring your sister’s friend’s ass, she apparently read the girl’s mind or something.” Brandis’ face flushed even hotter.

He resisted the urge to protest, to proclaim his innocence of such things. Because he wanted it back—those mornings between them, father and son, man and boy, not this awkward, man and almost-man bullshit. Because while the thought of one of his sister’s college friends popping his cherry remained a pleasant fantasy, it also made him feel older than he wanted to be right then.

“So, I bought a box of condoms this morning,” Jack went on. “Put some downstairs in the side table drawer and the rest in your room. Use them please.” He sipped the last of his coffee, looked as if he were about to get up, then leaned forward, touching Brandis’ wrist. “Have fun. Don’t be an asshole to women. Let every experience teach you…something. Because you are nothing as a man if you don’t learn from every woman you…love.” Jack looked out the window onto the nearly empty parking lot. Then he turned back, tightened his grip on his son’s arm. “God, you are so…young.” His face fell a moment, then he perked up again, his eyes twinkling. “Okay, so, your mother told me to tell you not to let them corrupt you. But all I’m gonna say is this: always wear protection, no matter what, no matter how much you don’t want to. And don’t let your mom catch you in the act. I’ll handle her otherwise.”

Then he let go, stood and smiled, draping a friendly arm around Brandis’ shoulders as they exited the restaurant.

“You really didn’t tell me you were admiring Katie’s friend’s ass, did you, Dad?”

“No, son. I most certainly did not. You obviously misheard me.” Jack winked as he stood by the passenger’s side of his classic Corvette convertible and tossed the keys to Brandis. “Remember what I told you. Don’t ride my clutch.”

About the Author:
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasssion.com
www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans
www.twitter.com/beerwencha2
www.a2beerwench.com
www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Excerpt for YA paranormal novel Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood

The YA paranormal novel Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood is the focus today.

During his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Shea will be awarding a $25 PayPal, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble gift card to a lucky winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Blurb about Vanished from Dust:
A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.

HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.
Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.
Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

 “I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.


Excerpt from Vanished from Dust:
“Where’s Katie?” Kyle asked. “Tell me.”

The sparkling view into another world, his world, reminded Eric of when he used to swim underwater on his back in the public pool. At moments, the portal was still providing a clear picture. At other times, it was blurry. Was it his concentration that brought the image into focus? He took a deep breath and tried to calm his mind.

Katie was now playing with red blush and laughing about something only third grade girls would find funny. Her side of the portal looked nearly identical to the world Eric and Kyle were in. He noticed subtle differences like blue versus leafy-green towels next to the sink. But, otherwise it was the same.

Eric touched the mirror, sending a shockwave of ripples as if he’d just tossed a stone into a still lake. A tingle of electricity passed through his hand and up his arm. He pulled his finger back sharply as the tingle became more intense.

“What are you doing?” Kyle asked.

This time, Eric put his entire hand on this mirror. A much larger ripple spread, blurring the image. His hand felt like it was asleep. He closed his eyes again, trying to calm his mind. The inside of his head felt like a violent ocean near the eye of a hurricane with monster waves that surged against the shore.

Katie, Eric said in his mind, can you hear me?

In the portal, Katie picked up the eye shadow and leaned in closer to apply it. She looked like a clown with all the make-up she had already smeared across her face.

Eric focused all his mental energy: Katie!

She dropped the eye shadow and looked directly at him, but it wasn’t like before. They locked eyes for a moment, and then she screamed and ran out of the room. Amanda looked bewildered and turned to watch her leave. She looked back into the mirror. Her jaw dropped. She ran.

Eric pulled his hand from the mirror and backed away.

The circle was shrinking. The image of Porky Pig saying, ‘That’s all folks,’ at the end of a Looney Tunes’ cartoon flashed through Eric’s mind.

A few seconds later all he could see was the blue dot. When he blinked it vanished.


Author bio and links:
Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He's an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Excerpt from paranormal romance Violca's Dragon by Lailani Love

I have another dragon on the blog this week! Today we’re learning a bit about Leilani Love’s paranormal romance Violca’s Dragon.

During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Leilani will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to TWO randomly drawn winners and a Swag Giveaway to FOUR OTHER randomly drawn winners. To be entered to win one of these prizes, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!



Blurb about Violca’s Dragon:
Violca knows life can change instantly. Her parents died suddenly, leaving her to raise four younger sisters and keep them safe ~ even from the golden-eyed stranger.

Chase knows the Grey sisters possibly hold the key to his fate. He is determined to get close, protect them and bring them to his Dragon King.

What Violca doesn't know is that once a dragon decides he wants something, there is no stopping him from getting it.


Excerpt from Violca’s Dragon:
Chase stays behind her as she walks on a path that leads away from the cabin, heading near the direction of the river. He knows Violca is aware of him and smiles to himself, knowing she is not turning around because she is trying to ignore him.

When she stumbles, he reacts quickly and is at her side, his arms around her before she can fall. She squirms, pushing away from him, almost falling with the effort.

Once he is sure she’s okay he carefully releases her. Standing in front of her, he looks her over and when she finally looks up at him, he notices that her violet eyes are darker as she looks at him angrily. “I didn’t ask you for your help,” she snaps.

Chase knows that smiling at her right now will not help him, nor will telling her she looks beautiful when she’s angry. Watching her breasts rising up and down as she breathes, her violet eyes sparkling with anger and the straight line of her lips, he fights the urge to kiss her. “You didn’t, but that doesn’t mean I want to see you hurt.”

She glares at him. “Why are you here? What do you want with me?”


Author bio and links:
Leilani Love is a proud mother of two very active boys. A military wife, she loves getting to meet new people wherever they move. She loves to read books crossing many genres. Her love affair with dragons started when she was young and one day dreams of having her own dragon and black panther.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interview with memoirist Kathleen Pooler

Today’s special interview is with non-fiction author Kathleen Pooler. She’s talking about her new book, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse

Welcome, Kathleen. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a writer and a retired family nurse practitioner working on a memoir about the power of hope through faith in God. Hope Matters. I believe we are all enriched when we share our stories.

Please tell us about your current release.
Nothing can rescue her until she decides to rescue herself.
Kathy loses touch with the faith she was brought up with as she attempts to find her way in the world, leaving her stable roots for adventure and romance. Despite a spiritual prophecy, self-defeating detours take her through a series of heartbreaking events.
When her second husband Dan's verbal abuse escalates, Kathy finally realizes she must escape before she and her children become a statistic.
How does a young woman from a stable, loving family make so many wise choices when it comes to career, but so many poor choices when it comes to love? Her life and the lives of her two children hinge on her choices and the answers she finds.
Join Kathleen Pooler on her roller-coaster ride of self-discovery, from shame and guilt to inner strength, in her tears-to-triumph story.

What inspired you to write this book?
I lived with guilt and shame for many years when I looked at the choices I had made that impacted not only my life but the lives of my two children. Years later, when I looked around and realized the joyful life I was living, I decided I had to tell my story to share my hope with others--it is possible to climb out of the abyss of poor decisions and go on to live a meaningful, peaceful life.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir About Faith (working title). In Ever Faithful to His Lead, I finally find my voice and freedom from emotional abuse. And it’s a good thing because I was yet to face my greatest challenge—the simultaneous battles of a cancer diagnosis and a young son’s downward spiral into substance abuse. It will be a story about how my faith, the source of my hope, was strengthened through my trials.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have enjoyed writing since I was about eight years old and wrote plays to perform in front of Nan, my Italian grandmother, and her lady friends. After years of journaling, I decided to take a writing course in 1999 but it wasn’t until I attended a Writer’s Digest Editorial Intensive weekend in Cincinnati in 2009 that I started calling myself a writer. We were told, “you are a writer if you write.” At the time,it seemed like such a revelation. I claimed it as my own from that point.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I retired from a forty-four year nursing career in August of 2011 and reinvented myself as a writer. Transition is a better word than retirement because I do work every day on my writing which includes maintaining a blog, commenting on other blogs, social media and working on writing projects. I work at least five out of seven days from 9-5pm in my office on my projects. I tend to work best in the morning but I’ve been known to stay up late or even get up in the middle of the night when the muse strikes. In a nutshell, I write because I cannot NOT write.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Ways to connect with me and learn more, include:

Thanks, Kathleen!