Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book excerpt for How Sweet the Sound by Vanessa Miller


Vanessa is offering 2 ARCs of How Sweet It Is (#HSTS). Enter via the form below. (Open to US only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Title: How Sweet the Sound
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (March 4, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1426749287
ISBN-13: 978-1426749285
Genre: Historical Gospel Fiction


About The Book

Shar Gracey wants nothing more than to sing the Lord’s praises, so she jumps at the chance to join a traveling choir led by the father of black gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey. Better yet, the opportunity will give her money to pay for her ailing mother’s medical care.

While on tour she falls under the tutelage of gospel great Mahalia Jackson—and falls for the handsome but not-so-great Nicoli James, whose desires for Shar are fueled by his own greed. Shar would do anything for Nicoli—and he knows it—so when his life is threatened after a night of gambling, Shar agrees to help pay Nicoli’s debt, only to have her faith and dreams shattered.

Reeling from the betrayal, Shar loses her voice and she believes that she will never sing again. She has no place to run except back home to her seriously ill mother—and the man she left behind, who would move heaven and earth to make Shar’s pain go away. Even if it means he has to let her go . . . again.

About The Author

Vanessa Miller of Dayton, Ohio, is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her stage productions include: Get You Some Business, Don’t Turn Your Back on God, and Can’t You Hear Them Crying. Vanessa is currently in the process of turning the novels in the Rain Series into stage productions.

Vanessa has been writing since she was a young child. When she wasn’t writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels, reading great books consumed her free time. However, it wasn’t until she committed her life to the Lord in 1994 that she realized all gifts and anointing come from God. She then set out to write redemption stories that glorify God.

To date, Vanessa has completed the Rain and Storm Series. She is currently working on the Forsaken series, Second Chance at Love series and a single title, Long Time Coming. Vanessa believes that each book will touch readers across the country in a special way. It is, after all, her God-given destiny to write and produce plays and novels that bring deliverance to God’s people. These books have received rave reviews, winning Best Christian Fiction Awards and topping numerous Bestseller’s lists.

Social Links:

Buy Links:

Hosted by Write Now Literary www.wnlbooktours.com


Tour page: http://wnlbooktours.com/vanessa-miller-how-sweet-the-sound/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Special interview with mystery author P.M. Carlson

Today's feature is with mystery author P.M. Carlson. We're featuring Audition for Murder: Maggie Ryan, 1967, but also talking about a few other books.

P.M. is going to be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner's choice) to a lucky commenter. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Blurb for Audition for Murder (Maggie Ryan, 1967):
Actors Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, where they take on the roles of Claudius and Ophelia, two of the professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents begin to follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America
.
About Audition for Murder:
"It's a triple pleasure, a sophisticated theatre story, a knowing campus tale and a topnotch suspenseful mystery, with excellent characterizations and honest plotting." -- Judith Crist
"An extremely well-written tale, with a plotline that offers a jolt per page." -- CF, Booklist
"Very literate, sprinkled with surprises and offering that rarity of rarities -- fully fleshed out characters." -- Bob Ellison, Los Angeles Daily News

Excerpt from Audition for Murder:
New York City, late 1960s. Actress Lisette O’Connor suggests to actor husband Nick O’Connor that getting out of the city will help her fight her depression and drug addiction:
 
Nick asked, “Will you want me to go with you?”
 
“Yes. Oh, yes!” Her glance was frightened.
 
It was awkward. His role in this musical was the best he’d had yet. He wouldn’t get reviewed, of course, this late in the run, but people in the business would hear about it. And it was obviously going to keep on running for quite a while, with a small but steady income. Money. Just like being a real person. Most importantly, of course, it was stage work. Nick did TV spots eagerly for the money-- hell, he waited tables for the money-- but TV had very little to do with his reasons for being an actor. Every night now, though, as he stepped through the little curtain made of streamers and began the opening song, he felt that intense communion with the audience, a sense almost of priesthood, as his voice and body communicated the fleeting yet eternal emotions of the play. Nick the witch doctor. Quitting when he had this fulfillment was unthinkable.
 
But Lisette knew all that. She would not ask him to give it up lightly.
 
“I had sort of an idea,” she said.
 
“Oh?”
 
“God, my head hurts.”
 
They sat down on their mismatched flea-market chairs and she ate a bite or two, the fine skin between her brows furrowed. Nick squeezed lemon juice onto his fish and waited.
 
“It’s something George was talking about yesterday,” she said. “There’s this college upstate. They’re doing some sort of special Hamlet and they’re hiring professional leads.”
 
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
Three more Maggie Ryan mysteries are planned for release soon. Murder in the Dog Days examines the stateside aftermath of the Vietnam war, Murder Misread takes Maggie back to her alma mater to solve the murder of a popular professor, and Bad Blood finds her at home in her Brooklyn brownstone helping a troubled teenaged girl and her mischievous cat.

 
Which Star Trek or Star Wars character are you most like?
I’m old enough to identify with Obi-Wan Kenobi, someone who’s long been fighting for a better civilization. His battles were more dramatic, maybe, than my work in the struggle for voting rights for minorities, reproductive rights for women, a free press, help for victims of domestic violence or child abuse, support for veterans of our wars, equal pay for equal work. Obi-Wan and I know that we won some battles but that counterforces are trying to undo our hard work, and we’re ready to fight again if needed. Maybe someday I too will find a Luke Skywalker and a Princess Leia to help in the next round of the struggle.
 
Fun fact: the first Star Wars release is important in one of the Maggie Ryan books (1977).
 
What other countries have you lived in? Are any of them reflected in the Maggie books?
Until I was ten, I lived in Guatemala, and I remain fascinated with that small, beautiful country and the indigenous Maya people who make up most of its population. In the Maggie Ryan series, my interest came out most clearly in Murder Is Academic, where a major character has recently returned from doing linguistic field work there and yearns to return.
           
Later, when my boys were small, we spent a year in Paris. I enjoyed the city, the food, the history, and learning to cope with family life in a different country with a language I was still learning. When I thought about the experiences my detective Maggie Ryan might have had, a year as an exchange student in France seemed like something she would have chosen, and her experience there helped form her character.
 
The Maggie books take place about forty years ago. How was the situation different for a woman like Maggie?
Maggie and I were in grad school when feminism was taking up causes like equality in the workplace and reproductive control. We were realizing that our parent’s view that women should be nurses (but not doctors), grade school teachers (but not professors), artists (but not scientists), housecleaners (but not cops), etc. was way too narrow for the range of abilities women have. We were realizing that to compete in business or in the professions or in service jobs, we needed to be treated equally by employers and by banks who gave loans for housing and businesses. Child care was an issue because, although men were expected to get someone else to take care of their children so they could focus on their careers; women were blamed if someone else took care of their kids. These problems are far from solved, but at least now some universities are succeeding in educating women surgeons and engineers and astrophysicists, some men are stepping up to be more involved in raising their daughters and sons, and there are some anti-discrimination laws in place.

Can you tell us something new about Rehearsal for Murder?
In order to write a mystery about a new play, I had to write the damn play! A tough job, I find–– eventually I got my husband to help with the rhymes. But it was fun to take Queen Victoria’s entire life and serve it up in short song lyrics.

Author Information:
P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.



2-minute video chat (Audition for Murder):(Personal comments on the background of Audition for Murder)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Book excerpt for Almost a Bride by Sarah Mayberry



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sarah will be awarding a digital copy of Almost a Bride to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Tara Buck has always been the good sister, level-headed by comparison to Scarlett, her flaky, impulsive twin. But when Tara learns her fiancé has been cheating on her with one of his school students, the orderly world she’s created for herself suddenly feels as if it’s falling apart. For years she chose the safe option, but from now on she’s going to live a little, stretch her wings…be a little daring. And if that means acting on the long-suppressed feelings she’s always had for Reid Dalton, then so be it!

Reid has wanted Tara from the moment he met her, but she’s always been out of bounds. Not only is she his patrol partner at the Bozeman PD, she’s also engaged. But then her relationship blows up, and Reid finds himself battling his own instinct to stake his claim with the finest, hottest woman he’s ever known.

Even if anything did happen between them, it would only ever be temporary - Reid’s a born wanderer, while Tara’s roots run deep in Marietta. So even if things are good between them, it seems their romance is destined to be short and sweet...

Tara’s twin sister, Scarlett, also has a Spring Brides story: look out for Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey. Details from montanabornbooks.com


Now enjoy an excerpt:

Reid Dalton pumped gas into his GMC pickup, one ear tuned to the conversation going on between his friends inside the truck. Grant was giving Brett a hard time for missing an easy layup during the basketball game they’d just finished, and Brett was serving it straight back at him with both barrels.

Reid grinned to himself, feeling pleasantly tired after an hour of charging up and down the court, trouncing the Bozeman Fire Department team. The informal competition between the police department and the firefighters had become a regular thing over the past few months. Reid wasn’t sure which part of their weekly matchups he enjoyed the most—the rapid-fire pace of the game itself, or the inevitable shit giving and taking that occurred afterward.

“You want to know my opinion?” he asked as the pump clicked off, signaling the tank was full.

“Not particularly,” Brett said, which earned him a guffaw from Grant.

“You both need to lift your games. Drink less beer, run a few more miles,” Reid said.

Grant made a rude noise, while Brett gave him a one-fingered salute. Reid was still laughing as he headed into the gas station to pay the cashier.

Then he saw the couple exiting the motel next door to the Gas-And-Go Mart and his step faltered.

The girl he didn’t recognize, but she was young and blonde and clinging to her man as though her very life depended on it. Reid watched as Simon Garfield said something before kissing her in a way that left no doubt whatsoever as to the nature of their relationship.

Damn.

Just... damn.

Tara would be devastated.

For a moment he was frozen as he absorbed all the implications of what he’d just witnessed. Tara had been planning the wedding for the past few months and as her patrol partner, there was precious little Reid wasn’t privy to. Like the fact that Tara and Simon planned on having the reception at Le Petit Chateau in Bozeman, and that Tara was limiting her attendants to just her twin, Scarlett, and that today she had an appointment at Marietta’s one and only bridal salon to pick out her wedding dress...

Belatedly he glanced back at the car, hoping the other guys hadn’t seen, but they were both frowning, staring out the windshield at the sordid little drama unfolding in the parking lot next door. There wasn’t a doubt in Reid’s mind that they recognized Tara’s fiancé. They’d all attended the engagement party Tara and Simon held back in February.

Reid mouthed a four-letter word.

What a nightmare.


Sarah Mayberry is the award-winning, best selling author of more than 30 novels. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. Sarah picked up a love of romance novels from both her grandmothers and has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and Literature. It took her ten years and multiple attempts before her first book was accepted. During that time, Sarah worked in magazine publishing and the television industry, contributing to the internationally known Australian serial drama “Neighbours” and co-creating teen drama series “Karaoke High”. Sarah currently splits her time between writing for television and writing novels.

She lives in Melbourne by the bay with her husband and a small, furry Cavoodle called Max. When she isn’t writing, she loves reading, cooking, going to the movies and buying shoes.

www.sarahmayberry.com

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Tule Publishing


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Interview with mythological fiction author Jennifer Lohr

Baltic Mist - A Timeless Saga is Jen Lohr's newest creation. Jen is here today to tell us about this new cultural heritage, legends, and mythological novel.

Jennifer will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.

Bio:
It all began when she came across Egil’s Saga, written in the mid11th century, chronicling the life of Egil Skallagrimsson. The history surrounding the Viking awakened within Jen an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of the Norse culture. A story was soon born, seen through the eyes of a young woman named Helga, originating from a character in Egil's Saga.
Baltic Mist begins on a farm Norway, and takes the reader through the epic adventures of Helga's enchanting life. Beginning in Book One, her tale falls against the backdrop of Scandinavia's conversion to Christianity. The saga continues in Books two and three to a finale that no one, even Helga herself, could have ever imagined!
A must read!
Welcome, Jen. Please tell us about your current release.
Baltic Mist is a series of three books following the life of a young girl during the Christian conversion. She lives on a farm in Viking-age Norway. After an encounter with Egil Skallagrimsson (an actual Viking, from the famed Egil’s Saga) Helga, our heroine, undergoes some very significant changes guiding her on a path to fulfill her destiny. The reader joins her as she experiences loss, love, death, and relationships during the tumultuous time in Scandinavian history.

What inspired you to write this book?
A long-time history buff, I am fascinated by ancient cultures. I came across Egil’s Saga and there was mention of a young girl who has a life-altering experience, and then the reader hears nothing else of her. I saw a blank canvass and decided to write about her, and what may have happened to her – what she may have been ‘all about.’


Excerpt:
(from Chapter 8 – Frideberg’s Daughter)

There was already a Thing taking place, deciding whether or not to make a marital union official. The idea of it brought me back to the day Helgi mentioned it to Hendrik not too long before, as we all stood in the hall of my home. How I missed father, Helgi and the farm.
Now, these two rival clans were settling their pasts, calling a truce. I stood in the distance, over-hearing a random word here and there. Then I noticed the name of the man who was to marry the young woman.
“…Stormi Bjornsson,” My eyes could not help themselves as they intently looked to see the man who was being referred to. To my surprise, there he stood – the same man who had approached me the previous day near the market. With his confident glare, he embodied warrior strength. I could see the sword he held at his side and the signature name engraved near the handle - it was a famed Ulfberht sword, brandished by only the wealthiest of warriors. Its blade was known to be most resilient and best of its kind.
Indeed, I was not surprised Stormi owned such a prized possession, as he was example to all things larger than life. Others admired him as well, and his smile was one that could win over the grittiest of demeanors. He truly looked as a bear: strong, respected and magnificent.
I forced my eyes to look away from him, as I likely could have for the remainder of the day. I was quickly distracted when a man spit on the ground and spoke up angrily at the idea of unity.
“I would not wife my mangiest bitch to their fattest swine, let alone my sister, here…even if it meant we would be clans who find ‘peace’! They are filthy, the Bjornssons!” One spoke up with harsh words. I chuckled, since there was irony in the moment: This man now accused Stormi and his kin to be less refined, when the crowd here held witness to his ill meaning declaration. As another spoke to him, I learned of his name.
“Resist speaking these ill words, Muerich – leave it!” I could surmise it was his father who urged him under his breath, in hopes no one would hear.
“Ha! I must ask, then Muerich. How filthy would I be standing a hand’s distance to you with my blade at your throat? Do you think I have dirt in my fingernails?” Shouting a question was a man likely to be Stormi’s brother. From the whispers in the crowd around me, I learned his name was ‘Geir.’ He, Stormi and the rest of these men were well-known Swede Vikings and warriors.
No one said a word, and tension grew thick in the field we all now awkwardly stood in.
“I would most enjoy …” Geir smiled as he continued his threat, “giving you such an opportunity to investigate the extent of my filth… ” He fearlessly tuned out the glares from the men in Muerich’s crowd. Boldly, Geir fixated the promising smirk at him.
“Let us see, Geir!” a random voice provoked.
“Yes! Come at us and we can seek the answer for you!” another man called out.
“No – this is the union we seek, here, today!” Reasoned an uncle of Stormi and Geir.
Suddenly, Muerich pulled his sword and charged at Geir. Stormi raised his Ulfberht, waiting the perfect moment to strike it down, and as brutally as he could.



What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently completing books Two and Three in the series (Book Two will be released later this year) and I have a few more projects on the table, which are not Viking-related – I can tell you both take place during the 19th century in Western America. Once I complete those two stories, I will be focusing back on the ancient Scandinavians, once again. My head is just buzzing with tales!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was in grade school was the first time I decided writing came easily for me. I was very comfortable with my outlet.

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 commit to my writing the same way I do to my life, because all of my stories are a piece of me – I give it my all. But, with that said, there is a balance with the other pieces of my life – like my children, family, and home. I’m a stay-at-home mom of four children (all of which are under the age of 10)…so we’re a pretty busy house! Depending upon the day, I commit 4-6 hours of writing when completing a project.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if you could call it a ‘quirk’ but more like a habit: I usually need music to set the ‘mood.’ Almost like an actor / actress getting into character. It just opens the floodgates of creativity, for me.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My first ambition was to work at Burger King so I’d be able to provide my father with an endless amount of free Whopper sandwiches!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d like to thank you very much for this opportunity – I enjoy answering questions about one of my passions. This experience has been wonderful, even interviews such as this – thank you!

Social media links:

Buy links:


Monday, April 14, 2014

Interview with YA fantasy author Kristen Taber

Today's guest is young adult fantasy author Kristen Taber. She's talking about her Aerenden Series, which currently has the first 3 of the planned 5 novels: The Child ReturnsThe Gildonae Alliance, and The Zeiihbu Master.
Kristen will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour as Grand Prize and an audiobook will be issued to 10 runner-up commenters. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too!

Bio:
Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

Welcome, Kristen. Please tell us about your current release.
The Zeiihbu Master, released March 24, 2014, is the third book in the Ærenden series. In the first two books, Meaghan must learn how to survive in a war-torn kingdom on a world far different than the one she considered her home. Although she learns how to become a leader and a soldier, she has trouble understanding her true strength. In The Zeiihbu Master that begins to change. On a suicide mission to rescue a powerful Spellmaster from her enemy, and with the prophecy of her death hanging over her head, she knows every moment could be her last. Yet she steps out of her protector’s shadow and begins shaping her own future, determined to protect those she loves even if the cost is her life.

What inspired you to write this book?
I conceived the idea for the series in high school, a long time ago. It’s changed a lot since then, but the theme of the series has always been the same. In a typically male-centered genre, I wanted to create a strong female character who could serve as a good role model for young women. But instead of creating a character who already knows how to fight or wield a sword, I wanted to write about a typical teenage girl from a suburban family, someone who could represent my own sister, niece or daughter. This way, I could also show how strong we can all become when facing adversity. Meaghan isn’t just a character women and girls wish they could be; she’s a character they could actually be if they wanted.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the last two books in the Ærenden series, though I can’t really say much without giving away any spoilers. I will tell you that the Ærenden people are not as innocent in their war against Garon as they’d like everyone to believe. The truth will come to the surface and with it, our main characters will have to make hard decisions. But not all of the storyline will be dark. Like in real life, joyous moments will keep hope alive. Love will blossom in unexpected places. Beloved couples will welcome new family members of the crying sort. And Earth will make another appearance. I promise readers will enjoy plenty of surprises.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been a runner for seven years. I’ve run in biting cold weather, in snow storms, in the beginning stages of hurricanes, and on cruise vacations. I’ve run at midnight because I felt I had to and I’ve even run instead of sleeping when deprived of both. But I never considered myself a runner until I attempted my first half-marathon in February. When the pure (and crazy) thought “Oh, it’s not bad; it’s only five more miles” floated through my head, I realized I could no longer deny my identity as a runner.

I honestly haven’t reached that moment as a writer yet. I’ve been creating stories since I was five. I’ve just published my third book. I’ve received good reviews and fan mail from people all over the world. But every time I pick up a Stephen King book, I can’t fathom how anyone could be considered a writer next to someone like him, least of all me. I suppose I’ll have my pure/crazy thought moment with writing someday, as I did for running, but for now I’m just a storyteller who likes sharing the tales that occupy my head.

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 wish I did, but no. I write whenever I can between taking care of a one-year-old, working as an Executive Admin and training for races. “Whenever” is typically nights and weekends a few times a month (as my saintly husband’s schedule allows), during naps (as the baby allows), and driving or running (this is when I map out plots or sort out “puzzle pieces”). It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I bought stick-on white board material and attached it to the wall in my office so I could write out character traits, future plots for upcoming books, themes that have to be closed out—pretty much everything I need to remember as I’m writing the Ærenden series. I color code notes and connect them all with numbers and arrows. It’s old school, but it works. I’m so attached to this process that I actually bought a blue tarp specifically to transport the sticky paper when I moved. I had to carefully peel the board off my old office wall, roll it up, and reattach it on my new wall without rubbing off the ink. Somehow I managed to make the move with minimal damage.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’m sure it’s hard to believe, but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I remember telling my mother that when I was in first grade and often entertained my friends with stories, assigning each of them character names and dialogue. In hindsight, I can see why they called me bossy, but it served me well.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
A few years ago I had a serious scare that might qualify as a near-death experience. That moment catalyzed me to start writing again and to take a chance on publishing my work. As cliché as it sounds, life really is so short. Don’t wait for a scare to do what you love. Don’t allow excuses to get in your way. Find time for what matters and enjoy every moment of your life being the person you want to be. 


Buy Links for Book 1: Amazon | BN

Buy Links for Book 2: Amazon | BN



Friday, April 11, 2014

Book excerpt for YA fantasy The House of Chalice by T.T. Escurel


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $20 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of AURONIA, and an autographed copy of THE HOUSE OF CHALICE. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Vartan is lost. His fiancé has just run off with his mortal enemy and now his mother, the Queen of the House of Rose, has disappeared. Venturing into a land with no magic, no army and no fiancé, will he be able to survive?

Lia is in trouble. Clashpeak has a new king who requires a bride, one who has eyes for the young baker’s daughter. During a violent coup, Lia seizes her chance to escape. With every soldier in the kingdom looking for her, nowhere is safe.

An ancient curse lingers in the air, still working its magic. Madness has seized the blood of the royals of the House of Chalice. A battle for power, the likes of nothing Auronia has ever seen, is about to begin…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Cries of alarm race through the camp as the order to fight goes out. Serena approaches, leading her snow-white mare. She is decked out in leather battle gear with a white fur mantle. A silver dagger hangs from one hip with a swirling purple jewel in the hilt. On the other hip, a rapier.

“You aren’t seriously considering riding to war, Serena,” I growl.

“You couldn’t stop me if you wanted to, Vartan,” she counters, mounting up. “This is my army. I will ride with my men.”

“This is no army, as you stated earlier. These are simple farmers going up against trained soldiers. Without magic, there is little chance we will survive this,” I say, stepping up on my horse.

“My love,” she says, moving her mare to stand beside me, “That is precisely why I must ride with you.” She runs her hand down the fur at her shoulders. “When you ride with me, magic rides with you.”

I frown. “I don’t understand.”

“Feel,” she says, grabbing my hand and running it down the soft fur. I feel a buzz, but I am not really sure if it is from the fur or from the girl. “It is the pelt of an ancient fox, laced with magic older and more powerful than even that of the fairies.”

“Where did you find it?” I ask.

“I killed the fox,” she says, urging her horse forward.

About the Author:
Science Fiction/Fantasy writer in Southern California where the sun shines, the waves roll in and the roads become a backdrop for an apocalypse movie every time the word "precipitation" is mentioned.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up on a sailboat. That did something odd to my imagination, I think. There is a certain type of surreal serenity that comes with living aboard a boat. That undercurrent seems to run through all my books, even though most of my characters have far more conventional backgrounds. Growing up on a boat helped teach me a stable world evolves not from your environment as much as from your perspective. My books are full of strange worlds and even stranger people, but all my main characters seem to have that grip on reality despite being dropped in the heart of chaos.

Blog | Amazon Author Page
iTunes | Barnes and Noble
Smashwords | Amazon buy link 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book excerpt for When Ice Melts by AlTonya Washington

This book blast tour includes a giveaway. The author is giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card, one signed autograph copy, and one e-book copy of When Ice Melts.



Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Al Tonya Washington (January 3, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0989145557
ISBN-13: 978-0989145558
Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Women Fiction
Age group: Adult 18+

About The Book

Icia Graham’s love affair with Rakim Transou had the makings of a fairy tale romance with the happily ever after ending, until the night of Rakim’s college graduation party. For Icia, it was the night her life was forever changed. So desperate to escape the horrific memories she’d suddenly been saddled with, Icia left school and the man she loved. The years passed and; in that time, both Rakim and Icia reached goals that carried them to the heights of success. For Rakim it was a powerful advertising agency that brought him a respected and revered name in the business. Icia’s accomplishment was a bit darker, but no less revered and she had no desire to revisit the past and be tortured by thoughts of love lost with the only man she’d ever wanted. A series of events however, would bring Icia right back to where she swore she’d never return. Once more Rakim Transou was back in her life and she was simultaneously overjoyed and distraught. How could she start anew with the man who still meant everything to her, when there were so many secrets between them? When the need for vengeance on those; who were still very much a part of Rakim’s life, still raged so viciously inside her?

About The Author

AlTonya Washington has been a published romance novelist for 10 years. In 2013, her Harlequin Kimani novel "His Texas Touch" won the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Series Romance of 2012. In addition to being an author, AlTonya also works as a college Reference Librarian. Writing as T. Onyx, AlTonya released her latest erotica "Ravenous: Ruler of Perfection II" in 2013.

Her newest title with Harlequin Kimani is "Provocative Passion" nominated for an AMB Ovation Award for Outstanding Interracial Romance and the sequel to the January 2013 release "Provocative Territory". In November she will release "A Lover's Debt", the 17th title in the Ramsey Tesano saga.

Buy Links

Social Links:
Email: altonya@lovealtonya.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/altonyaw 

Tour Hosted by WNL Book Tour www.wnlbooktours.com


EXCERPT:
Houston, Texas~

"Here you go, Val," Rakim Transou was saying to his assistant as he signed the last of the three contracts on his desk. "I don't have time, man," he grumbled to his Vice President.
Charles 'Cory" Henderson shook his head at his boss and best friend, before perching his lean body on the edge of the desk. "You need to think about this, Kimm."
"Is that it, Valerie?" Rakim sighed, pleased to see his mound of work slowly dissolving.
Val scanned the documents and smiled. "That's it," she sang and headed out of the office.
"Kimm, what's the point of owning this place if you're not gonna have fun runnin' it?" Cory asked, once Val was gone.
Rakim ran both hands over his soft, close-cut hair. "The last thing I need to do is waste my day looking at pictures."
"Of models," Cory pointed out, smiling devilishly. "Do you know how stress-relieving that can be?"
Rakim groaned. "Here we go," he said, leaning back in his leather swivel chair. "You know I get tired of you telling me how sad my life is. If I hadn't been focused on business all these years, you wouldn't be working for one of the most successful ad agencies in the country."
Cory nodded, familiar with the speech. He cleared his throat and braced his hands on top of the polished cherry wood desk. "And given that you own one of the most successful agencies in the country, why can't you have some fun?"
Rakim leaned forward to pin Cory with his deep, obsidian stare. "I don't want one of the most successful agencies. I want the most successful agency, period."
Cory slapped a hand against his bald head. "Man, thinking like that'll never get you a steady woman."
"I can live with that," Rakim easily replied, focusing his attention on the appointment book lying open on the desk.
"I give up," Cory mumbled and walked out of the plush, twentieth floor office.
Alone, Rakim allowed the facade to fade. He massaged the bridge of his nose, then opened the bottom desk drawer and pulled a tattered envelope from the back. The expression was fixed, intense on his handsome, dark-chocolate face. His midnight gaze was riveted on the contents of the note he knew by heart.

Rakim,
I'm so sorry I couldn’t be there today. Something's happened and I have to leave. I'll be changing schools. Don't try to find me. My parents won't tell you anything. I hate doing this to you, but I can't see you again.  I just can't. I do love you-so much. It's really better like this. I love you, but if you hate me now, I understand.  Coco.

            As usual, once Rakim finished reading the letter, he pressed the page to his nose. He swore he could still smell her perfume clinging to it.
The relationship they shared had been so right. She was everything to him and he trusted her with his life. When he walked into his bedroom the afternoon of the graduation, his entire world changed. He found the note lying in the center of the bed. Icia Graham had taken anything else that would have reminded him of her-including all the pictures. The brief letter provided no answers. It was most effective; however, in helping him lose his temper. Rakim grunted as he remembered the way he demolished the house. Cory and Fred had been so spooked by his mood that they left him alone for a week.
Just then, Cory's earlier comments filtered his mind. He had completely buried himself in work after Icia left. He took the job he'd been offered in Richmond and worked there while obtaining his Masters degree. Afterwards, he went back home to Houston and put everything he had into building his company. Now, The Transou Agency was respected by its competitors and clients alike.

Of course, Rakim acknowledged that his private life may have suffered. Not that there weren't women. There had been several. Unfortunately, he only had to be in the relationship for a matter of months, before he began to compare his companion to Icia. Not even that flaw could keep the women away, though. Rakim Transou's good looks seem to intensify with age. He stood well over six feet and had been blessed with a flawless deep chocolate complexion and the type of lean, muscular frame that flattered everything he wore. The thick, curly afro he used to sport had been trimmed to a close-cut fade. The style only enhanced his pitch, deep-set eyes and sleek brows. His wide mouth was made more enticing by the set of double dimples which appeared whenever he spoke or smiled.

a Rafflecopter giveaway