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.


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:


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!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Excerpt from paranormal romance Hell's Bounty by Kayden Claremont

Today we’re getting a little glimpse into the paranormal romance novel, Hell’s Bounty by Kayden Claremont.

Kayden is doing a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. During the tour, she will be awarding a $25 Amazon 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 her other tour stops, and the Review Only tour stops, and enter there, too!

Blurb about Hell’s Bounty:
Raven Hart, a succubus bounty hunter for Hell, is on a hunt. With her query in sight, she hits a brick wall, or rather the very hard chest of a giant sexy man. She might have lost the prize for now, but she's a winner when the hottie wants to get physical.

Marcus Dionysius, a Nephilim working for Heaven, has one mission—to prevent Hell’s beauty from stealing souls meant for the higher plane. But he soon realizes he’s met his sexual match. She’s naughty enough to tempt his senses, but her innocence means he can’t walk away when she needs him most.

Working together to discover who’s snatching souls from Heaven, they realize the true danger is falling in love.

Excerpt from Hell’s Bounty:
Raven looked over at him. “Marcus, this is the coroner, Doctor Hill. Doc, this is my new partner, Detective Marcus Dionysius.”

Marcus extended his hand to the doctor, but he just paced back and forth, ignoring the proffered handshake. “Oh, my dear, you shouldn’t see this.”

“Doc, I’m a detective. There isn’t much I haven’t seen.” Raven’s no-nonsense tone had no effect on the doctor. “No, dear, not this time.” He took her by the elbow and led her a few feet away from the body. Shaking his head, he continued, “This time it’s too personal. You don’t need to see this.” He pointed at the body on the ground. “It’s Stephen, my dear.”

Marcus watched shock flash across her face for a moment before she got control again. She wasn’t expecting to see her late partner. She hadn’t done this, but that didn’t clear her of the other attacks.

The captain was sleazy. Everyone in heaven and hell knew it. And everyone thought that because Raven worked so closely with him, she was part of his plan. Marcus hoped the sexy succubus wasn’t connected with hell’s mess. He moved closer to the body.

Doctor Hill glanced at him and stopped talking.

Clearing his throat, Marcus said softly to Raven, “I’ll handle this if you’re not up to it. The captain can assign another detective to work the case with me.”

Raven looked up at him, anger flaring in her eyes as she answered, “What do you think I am? Some fragile female who can’t do her job?”

Author bio and links:
Kayden loves sexy, well-crafted stories of lust and love. Her sensuous style drives the characters in lustful romps.

Her paranormal erotic novella, Hell’s Bounty is published by The Wild Rose Press.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Toronto, Sisters in Crime Toronto Executive, Romance Writers of America, and Toronto Romance Writers.

When she’s not at her day job she’s crafting more tales of love or spending time with her husband and children.

Visit her at: Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Email her at: KaydenClaremont@bell.net 

Buy links:

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Interview with paranormal novelest Dean C. Moore

Paranormal author Dean C. Moore is here today as we feature his new novel, Blood Brothers.

While Dean does a virtual tour through Goddess Fish Promotions, he'll be awarding a lucky winner a $20 Amazon gift card. 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! 

Welcome, Dean. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises. 

I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.

My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work. I'm currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance. When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.

Please tell us about your current release.
Blood Brothers is a paranormal fantasy about fraternal twins with extraordinary powers. They’re taken by a secretive government department as infants and raised separately with the intent of keeping them from knowing of one another’s existence. Trained to be assassins, it isn’t long before their abilities graduate from making them exemplary at their jobs to making them something the government can no longer control. They are subsequently scheduled for cancellation and given their final assignment: take out one another. Not only does that not work out, they team up to go against the people trying to bring them down.

Heading the department tasked with eliminating the brothers is none other than their own father, who turns out to be several magnitudes of power beyond either of the boys. Even together, they’re no match for him. But they have an ace up their sleeves they don’t know about. Drawn to the same kind of women, they discover that their wives are sorceresses only now coming into power. But is the menagerie enough to take down dear old dad?

One reviewer said it best: “The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain. Think Disney's Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.”

What inspired you to write this book?
I would write not only Blood Brothers, but several other titles before consciously realizing that what I write isn’t fantasy so much as paranormal fantasy (at times blended with sci-fi). I would have thought my range was greater than that, but I guess not, lol. As with Nietzsche, I’m fascinated with the man into superman idea. And I’m constantly on the lookout for dark situations that put my heroes under the kind of pressures that would destroy baser mortals. There I will find the rare few individuals who manage to rewire their minds post their traumas to emerge as something more than what they were before, usually with any number of psychic and paranormal abilities.

My novels and my characters thus tend to take one of two paths to self-transcendence. In the case of my sci-fi, it’s usually some type of cyberpunk upgrade. Or the characters may in fact be robots determined to better themselves. But with my fantasies, such as Blood Brothers, the path from the human to the superhuman is different. Here I borrow more on ancient Tibetan scrolls, Zen wisdoms, Buddhist philosophy, the teachings of saints and sages alike, and studies done on Shaolin monks, to name some influences. I look at studies into peak performance among star athletes and mentalists and I stir in a little imagination and extrapolation to look at what’s ahead for us as we evolve individually and collectively into something more than human.

For some people, paranormal fantasy means stories about shapeshifters, werewolves and vampires. You’ll find these in my books also, but always coming from this private place, from the same nagging question, how can each of us—not just our fantasy escape characters—do this? So my books, if you read between the lines, are primers for turning each of us into something a good deal more extraordinary. No one book has all the answers. After all, I have to entice you to keep reading. And I have to keep the stories fun and fast-moving, as opposed to pedagogic, which means lightly sprinkling the technical details of how you too can follow a path into the mystical and magical.

Excerpt from Blood Brothers:
Just beyond the perimeter of the military encampment, Clay and Jared soared in with the F-14, still moving relatively slowly under the influence of Clay's telekinesis, the jet’s fuel long spent.

They observed the drama with the dragons breathing fire on the soldiers and having it deflected by the force field.

And then they watched as Rydell took out the two-headed dragons one after the other with blasts from his eyes, boring basketball-size holes through each of their hearts.

The beasts emitted agonizing cries as they fell. The first to land, the one with the more pointy snouts, managed to penetrate the shield with her heads as she landed on top of it. With her dying breaths, the fiery boluses she emitted took out a healthy allotment of soldiers already panicked and fleeing beneath the energy dome. Then, with her body limp and arched to accommodate the shield, she slid off.

As the second dragon crashed, it flicked its tail, penetrating the shield, and slicing any number of running soldiers in two, before the shield pushed it back out, resuming its perfect spherical shape.

The last of the second dragon’s heads hammered the ground moments after.

Jared took over the F-14, firing up the afterburners. “We're outta here.”

“And the defenseless women we're arriving like knights in shining armor to save?”

“We'll say a prayer.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
One of the ones I’m working on now, Odd Man Out, is a darkly funny tale about a FBI profiler who hunts serial killers by day, but is a serial killer himself by night. Fans of the Dexter TV series will feel right at home here. Though ostensibly a high-tech thriller, as always with my writing, paranormal elements lurk just beneath the surface. Part of the fun with this series is watching the FBI profiler cum serial killer mentoring his protégé on how to take his game to the next level. Sharing best practices includes divulging some of his meditative curriculum, and other mind-enhancing disciplines for being all he can be. His ability to stay ahead of the best and brightest the various world agencies have had to throw at him over the years, after call, can’t be explained entirely by simply being smarter than they are.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I had a palm reader look at my right palm once and say, “Hmm, you’re very fickle.” She promptly handed my arm back to me and turned forward in the car seat. We were driving someplace at the time. I hated her for that. I thought, “The audacity of the woman!” But she’d clearly hit a nerve. Some years later I decided for myself, “Dean, you’ll never be able to be one thing for the rest of your life unless that one thing allows you to be everything else.” Through my writing I can be a lawyer, a doctor, a spy, a mad scientist, a health nut, and the hundred and one other things I would like to have been in real life—if only I weren’t so fickle. Better yet, I can enjoy superhuman abilities that only people who live in fantasies much of their waking life can ever hope to enjoy.

The above realizations came to me during my college years at Cal Berkeley. It was an age of revelations, all in all. I’ll save the rest of the shattering insights into myself and my world made back then for next time.

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 do write full time. You would think that without the distractions of a day job that it would all be downhill skiing as far as resistance to getting my daily allotment of pages written. You’d be wrong. It requires years of discipline and technique to keep the pipes open and flowing, to circumvent writer’s block, to know how to balance the writing with the editing and the researching of the next book, and with some semblance of a social life that keeps you from becoming a peculiar form of recluse. All of which explains why I started writing late in life (when I was younger I had none of those things going for me.)

And then there are the health issues surrounding such a sedentary life. I constantly have to interrupt my writing to do my twenty-minute exercise breaks if I expect to keep my mind sharp and in the “zone” of peak performance. And then there’s the issue of what to do about those hundred and one errands I’ve been putting off, just so I can write, all screaming for my attention. Unfortunately, I’m not British royalty who can afford to hire out for every little thing. That means when the faucet is leaking, I have to fix it. When the car needs a tune up, it strangely won’t drive itself to the shop and take care of this on its own. (Ask me why I also write sci-fi, if not to ensure that cars of the future do just this. And houses clean themselves, and yard work gets done by robo-lawn mowers, which I hear they actually have, I just can’t afford one. Please buy my books so I can, and so I can feed this strange, insatiable addiction that really does want to gobble up the rest of my life, and which I’d be happy to let do just that, if only life didn’t have a mind of its own.)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m into power drinks. I’m constantly seeking out new exotic ingredients to throw into the blender before hitting “purée.” Spirulina. Chlorella. Acai berries. Noni. You name the superfood, I’ve tried it separately or in combination. Then there are the herbal supplements for mind enhancement, better memory, better focus, faster mental processing—I’m a huge fan of lecithin on that score. I think it’s a post-40 thing. You hit that age and you’re told your heart beats less, sending less blood to your brain. Did I mention the yoga and the part where I stand on my head for some of the day to compensate? Writing is mind-work. Being told your mind is heading south—not encouraging. I jog. I do tai chi.

I remember when I was younger I had this dear friend in his 40s, and I thought, “God, what a hypochondriac.” He’d run from his Sufi dancing and Whirling Dervishes class to his Chinese medicine and acupuncture class. Spirulina wasn’t good enough for him. (This was before superfoods was even a big thing). He wanted Klamath lake algae (something about targeting the brain better than Spirulina.) He played Mozart the livelong day because it helped with secretion of hormones that aided peak performance. And he flew to Findhorn, a New Age community in Scotland, to find out how they grew tomatoes the size of watermelons for his organic garden. I used to laugh and make fun of him (in a loving, chiding way.) Then somewhere along the line I became him. Though I do take the same time out that I did with him to laugh at myself. After all, it’s only fair.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut. I was humble enough back then to realize, “Dean, you’re not rocket scientist material. But getting out of the space capsule, going over and introducing yourself to the alien, that’s very you.” As it turns out, they have standards for being an astronaut. Go figure. One of which I think requires not being at all claustrophobic for those long journeys to never never land. Scratch that idea. Writing, however, has no such limitations. And rather than wait for a space program that would never get me where I wanted in my lifetime, I opted for the more audacious scheme of dreaming up entirely alien worlds all for myself. Some of these worlds fit far more solidly within the fantasy paradigm, as with Blood Brothers. Others are more get out the phaser, and require more of a Star Trek Into Darkness approach. But wherever I go with my mind, you can bet I’ll be able to do things there I could never do back on Earth. Not even if I could be anything I wanted.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
There’s definitely a “Dean heavy” and a “Dean light.” “Dean light” includes my shorter works like Blood Brothers, Escape From the Future, The Warlock’s Friend, and Love on the Run that are just unmitigated fun, and shameless escapes from reality. “Dean heavy” includes my big, fat books, the epics, like The Hundred Year Clones and Renaissance 2.0 franchises which are a return to the days of heady sci-fi. They’re part psychological thrillers, and they delve into ethical and other thorny dilemmas facing societies that rely increasingly on more and more technology, until even people have to become upgraded, that is to say, part machine or part computer, just to keep up. Or they must find some paranormal pathway to self-transcendence if they have any chance of staying atop the food chain.

But with “Dean light” and “Dean heavy” both, the underlying question remains, how do we get from here to there? How do we survive the shift in global consciousness that insists if we are to survive into the future we must find a way to be transcendent? There are many ways to be transcendent. For some of these paths, fantasy stories work best, for others, sci-fi, and for some, a hybrid version of the two. But if you’re experiencing what Alvin Toffler termed Future Shock, and what another writer has more recently coined Present Shock to indicate just how pressured we’re all feeling to hang in there, as the demands of the workplace and of survival continue to ratchet up, then you may find some help by way of my novels. Just keep in mind, all that helpfulness is disguised in the subtext. After all, God forbid it get in the way of the fun of telling a good story.


Thank you, Dean!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Excerpt from The Book Blogger Platform by Barb Drozdowich

Let's start the week off with an introduction to Barb Drozdowich's book The Book Blogger Platform, part of the Building Blocks to Author Success Series.

During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Barb will be giving away a $20 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 her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Blurb about The Book Blogger Platform:
Book Blogging - One of the Best Hobbies in the World!

Join thousands of book bloggers in expressing their joy of reading!

Are you a book blogger or do you want to be one? Are you having trouble handling the technical details of blogging? The Book Blogger Platform can be a "user manual" for your blog! A book written by a book blogger for book bloggers and that answers all your questions!

The Book Blogger Platform covers topics such as:

1.         What a book blogger blog needs to contain
2.         A step by step guide to manipulating images and videos
3.         A description of all the common features hosted by book bloggers
4.         A description of the social media aspect to a book blogger platform
5.         Being Social - the social aspect of book blogging

 If you are tired of always asking other bloggers questions

Let The Book Blogger Platform guide you painlessly. Over 80 color graphics lead you step by step through some of the more difficult technical issues that bloggers face.

Pick up a copy today and approach blogging with confidence!

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Book Blogger Platform:
Just as all book bloggers are different, their approach to book blogging is also different. Some book bloggers consider themselves primarily book reviewers. Some book bloggers consider themselves primarily promoters of books. Some book bloggers will only post about a book they have read. Some book bloggers will post about any book that belongs to a genre that fits the profile of their blog.

Book bloggers who consider themselves primarily book reviewers make their reviews the main focus of their blog. They often take their self-imposed “job” of reviewing books very seriously. They put hours of work into reading a book and then creating the right combination of words to best describe their thoughts and impressions. It’s a labor of love.

Many book bloggers, such as myself, consider themselves primarily promoters of books. I began my blog posting reviews of books I’d read, and I worked hard to grow my blog’s audience. I am very proud of my blog and the work that goes into it. However, I have a full-time job and a family. I don’t have enough reading hours to review one book a day, so I fill my blog’s days with a mixture of reviews and promotions. I don’t post more than once a day, but I use the platform I have built to promote as many books and authors as I can that fit within my reading taste.

As I mentioned above, some book bloggers will only post about books they have read. They feel that posting about a book is a recommendation of that book and they don’t want to recommend a book they haven’t read.

Have I read all the books that are promoted on my blog? No. I fit into the other camp of book bloggers. I see promoting books, whether through blog tours, reviews, or other promotions, as simply sharing information. I leave it up to my readers to decide whether to read the book or not.

Another area in which people hold strong feelings centers on whether or not to post negative reviews. One camp feels that all book bloggers who review books need to post negative reviews. They feel that having an assortment of positive and negative reviews creates balance. It allows readers to read about what the blogger likes and doesn’t like and why. It is often said that reviewers who only post positive reviews risk having their honesty questioned.

I am of the camp that doesn’t bother to finish a book if I am not enjoying it. I feel no need to talk about a book I didn’t like. I have boxes and boxes of books to be read. My Nook (e-reader) is full of little gems waiting for my attention. Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t soldier on, I move on. I do, however, make it clear in my review policy that I only talk about books that I enjoyed reading.

This topic will come up again later; you do need to give some thought to your philosophy on book blogging. Are you going to only post reviews? Are you only going to promote books you have read? This isn’t necessarily something that will be decided on at the beginning and that you can never change. Many book bloggers change their views as time progresses.

Accompanying your philosophy of blogging is your view of how much of a platform you are going to have. I started my blog to express my thoughts about the books I’d read. It never really occurred to me that other people would read what I had read, let alone comment on it or share it with friends!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a book blog to share your thoughts with friends—old friends as well as new. If, however, you actively seek out blog tour posts and post promotions of author’s books, you should also be actively growing your book blogger platform. If someone is paying to post on your blog via a blog tour, you should be able to share this information with as many people as possible.

Everyone starts out as a baby blogger. Everyone has a different view of what they want their blog to be. There is no right or wrong answer. Every blog should be a reflection of its owner and its owner’s tastes.

I hope to use this book to describe the Book Blogger Platform in its entirety. I hope to give you a lot to think about. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and my blogs every day. My contact links will be listed at the end of this book. I love answering questions and chatting about books!

Author bio and links:
Social Media and Wordpress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught at Universities and Colleges, trained technical personnel in the banking industry and, most recently, used her expertise to help dozens of authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books.

Bakerview Consulting (Business Site) 

Barb Drozdowich (Author Site) 

Sugarbeat’s Books (Book Blog) 

Facebook (Author blog) 

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