Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Excerpt from fantasy novel A Dark Tyranny by C.M. Pendleton

Fantasy novel A Dark Tyranny by C.M. Pendleton is featured today.

While C.M. does a virtual book tour, he will be awarding a $10 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.

A little bit about the author:
C. M. Pendleton is the author of the epic fantasy series Of Darkness and the Light. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science and attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and four children.

Blurb about A Dark Tyranny:
A Dark Tyranny chronicles the onset of the savage invasion of Altaris. Wolven beasts and gorgons ravage the four realms of man. Rumors of an ancient and greater evil lay in their wake. The rule of kings is at an end. The hierarchy of class and heritage are no more, as families are torn apart and lives are forever changed. A small few find their fates intertwined, as they fight for survival and for those they love.

An exiled commander is thrust back into a world he longed to forget.

A lone Nighteye finds his curse lifted and his true image restored.

A young noblewoman struggles to escape a gorgon caravan.

A former slave befriends an ancient and majestic creature.

The afflicted brother of a traitorous king discovers a secret that could cost him his life.

A Dark Tyranny is a thrilling epic that brings readers into a vivid world full of magic, adventure, and treachery. Discover the world of Ehlür and experience the beginning of a gripping saga.

Excerpt from A Dark Tyranny:
“We were able to get three wagons. Jon believes that he can get another wagon. That will give us four, a half dead horse, and three old cows. It will be a slow journey, at best,” said Cal Mossy, as he approached. He wore a large cloak that barely fit over his bulky frame. His faded boots were muddy. A simple forester axe was strapped to his back.

Ellison nodded and continued to study the lake.

“We will announce our presence wherever we go … slow and loud. I've walked through the crowd. Some of them are very frail … others are already sick,” said Cal.

“Where else do they have to go? There is no medicine or a healing table in Timball … not anymore,” replied Ellison.

Ellison turned and began to walk towards the growing caravan.

“What's troubling you, Ellison?” asked Cal.

“The world is falling apart. We will move from one danger likely to only find another. We are like fish jumping from a boiling pot … only to land on the plate,” said Ellison.

“Do you no longer agree to go north?” asked Cal.

“There is nothing here. It doesn't matter where we go … just that we go. North is as best an option as any,” replied Ellison.

“Each person here comes on their own. We are strength in numbers … but no one was forced. No one's fate is in your hands,” said Cal.

“No … but it should have been,” Ellison spoke, almost to himself.

“You would have done better … been better … but this is a different time. We live out what we're given” said Cal.


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Monday, March 30, 2015

Interview with paranormal/psychic author Cara Carnes

Welcome to Monday! Today I’m talking with paranormal author Cara Carnes about her new book, A Shadow’s Embrace.

During her virtual book tour, Cara will be awarding a lucky winner with a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. 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.

Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13.

In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves travelling, photography and reading.

More information about Cara can be found at www.caracarnes.com.

Welcome, Cara. Please tell us about your current release.
Indigo Shadows is a series I’ve contemplated for a while. A Shadow’s Embrace was the first logical book to roll out to introduce the world and the complicated dynamics within it.

Years ago psychics were segregated from society, labeled with levels and imprisoned within testing facilities by a covert government organization run by General Conver. The highest level of psychics, Elites, broke free and formed a covert organization known as the Shadow Elite Operatives, or SEO. Now that they’ve managed to free all psychics from testing facilities and expose the black ops work of Conver’s men to the world, they continue to battle to protect all psychics. The hero of the first book (A Shadow’s Embrace) is an SEO operative named Dagan, who’s able to mentally manipulate people.

But they can only do so much, which is where the Indigo Order comes in. The heroine formed the underground group in order to help feed, clothe and educate the psychic children displaced by General Conver. The homeless kids live in street packs in Chicago and trust no one outside of their tightly knit groups. Devyn, or Indy, as she’s known has managed to infiltrate their groups and gain their trust because she’s like them—a misunderstood psychic struggling to make a life for herself.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Indigo Shadows series takes what I love most about cover operatives style books and combines it with the psychic phenomena I was intrigued by within a world where things aren’t all hearts and flowers. It’s a gritty, grueling world for the psychics who are finally free from General Conver’s testing facilities, yet unable to have a “normal” life because of their abilities. No one wants to contend with their existence or the threat their presence presents, yet they continue to fight to protect humanity and their kind.

Excerpt from A Shadow’s Embrace:
Devyn focused, suckling on the metadata drifting in the atmosphere. Ah, she’d missed the city. The morsels of data streamed into her. Her synapses hummed, sated by the calming presence of her third eye’s power. For the first time in a week, she was whole again now that she was back in the bustling psychic sector of Chicago. Leaving the city and her team a week ago had been a difficult decision, but the right one. Her powers had become more focused without the residual white noise of bustling Chicago’s technological strain vying for her attention.
Now the same technology she’d shunned the past few days would save her. She accessed traffic and bank cameras—anything and everything that allowed eyes-on access to the enemy that was herding her into a proverbial cage. There were too many of them. No exit strategy existed.
A strong arm encircled her waist, crushing her against a brick-like torso before she could react. Pain pierced her mind, radiating from her temples. Startled by the psychic intrusion, she writhed in her captor’s embrace and threw up what telepathic walls she could.
The bastard shattered each defensive layer she created. Hot breath fanned across her cheek when he lifted her up off her feet and planted a huge hand over her mouth. Dangling like a doll, she punched the meaty arms holding her captive.
“Enough.” The harsh psychic hammer pounded her into submission. She stilled, unable to maneuver past the thick mental fog he created. “I need you to be quiet if you want to live.”
That voice. Dagan. This was the contact she’d slipped info to at the SEO.
She clamped his wrist and pressed hard, but he maintained his hold. The proximity to one of the most lethal people in existence skittered apprehensive pangs along her spine. She’d chanced returning to Chicago because of him, but how had he known she’d be here?

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently finishing up Redemption’s Forgiveness, which is the second book in The Rending series. It’s a paranormal dystopian world that I’ve been having a lot of fun with.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when I got my first contract with Loose Id for A Warrior’s Paradise was the first time I really went “Wow. This is happening. I wrote a book. And it’s going to be sold to strangers for money.”

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?
Having insomnia helps…LOL. By day I do accounting work, which I think lends itself well to my day. At work I’m focusing on analyzing and number crunching with one side of my brain. By the time I get home, I’m ready to exercise the other sections of my mind. I try and work a couple of hours when I first wake up every morning on something writerly. I think this helps frame my mindset to make the writing the most important thing every day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m addicted to sticky notes. Big time. I have every size and color possible and use them compulsively while plotting my worlds even though I have mounds of software to do it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
LOL…it changed daily. I used to want to be a pirate. Then a princess. Then Jon Bon Jovi’s wife (and of course I’d be a way more popular rock star than him). I finally settled on something writerly when I was about 12.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d love to hear what you think about A Shadow’s Embrace when you get a chance to check it out. And thank you all for having me here.


Thanks, Cara!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Interview with historical thriller author K. Williams

We’re ending the week with an interview with historical thriller author K. Williams about the novel OP-DEC: Operation Deceit.

K. Williams will be awarding a grand prize of a paperback of OP-DEC: Operation Deceit (US only) to one randomly drawn winner and a digital copy of the book to 10 randomly drawn winners. 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.

Born in Saratoga Springs, New York, K.Williams embarked on a now twenty year career in writing. After a childhood, which consisted of voracious reading and hours of film watching, it was a natural progression to study and produce art.

K attended Morrisville State College, majoring in the Biological Sciences, and then continued with English and Historical studies at the University at Albany, home of the New York State Writer’s Institute, gaining her Bachelor’s Degree. While attending UA, K interned with the 13th Moon Feminist Literary Magazine, bridging her interests in social movements and art. At the same time, K’s first book project, Blue Honor, was underway. Blue Honor originated as a creative final project and independent study, regarding the civil war, which places fictional characters into a non-fictional realm, to display the social realities of the time. Topics include gender limitations, racial disparities, and the trauma of war. Now, Blue is both a full-length novel and an adapted spec. To see some of her favorite causes, click here.

Following Blue, K worked on the screen spec 8 Days in Ireland and also the spec for the first incarnation of The Trailokya Trilogy, then called Faith Fallen. After publishing Blue, K produced her second novel OP-DEC:Operation Deceit, to rave reviews by Kirkus Indie, NY Indie and Midwest Book Review.

Currently, K has completed the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program for Film Studies and Screenwriting at Empire State College (SUNY), and is the 2013-2014 recipient of the Foner Fellowship in Arts and Social Justice. K continues to write and is preparing to release her new series The Trailokya Trilogy, a work that deals with topics in Domestic Violence and crosses the controversial waters of organized religion and secularism. A sequel to OP-DEC is in the research phase, while the adaptation is being shopped to interested film companies.

Excerpts of these and more writings can be found here.

Welcome, K. Please tell us about your current release.
OP-DEC is my second historical novel and stands out as my favorite in my catalog thus far (I have six books (three yet unpublished but written, including the sequel to OP)). Most spy thrillers take place in either modern times or the iconic 1950s, post war. Instead, I wanted to show the harrowing exploits of a class of military personnel who have the biggest impact on how operations turn out – the intelligence class. The game of secrets is necessary and important part of any conflict, and it quite possibly is the reason that the German forces were unsuccessful in sustaining their domination of Europe. They didn’t value intelligence as much as the Allied forces and research shows a structure mired in suspicion that could have benefitted from greater trust. Thankfully, that did not come to pass.

What inspired you to write this book?
My love of the time period has been a long one. I have memories of watching documentaries with my father. Being awed that my grandfather had served in the Merchant Marine (lying to join) and heartbroken that he lost a brother during the course of the war. There is something about the generation that pulled us through the conflict and liberated Europe that seems absent from subsequent generations and whatever that is, it is inspiring. I wish I could put my finger on it exactly. That respect and interest culminated in a very comical, bizarre and auspicious dream one night that gave rise to the narrative.

Excerpt from OP-DEC:
“Carsten stood with his pistol pressed to the temple of her attacker’s head. The expression on his face rivaled her father’s usual mien. He spoke in measured German and the man backed up. Carsten’s gaze flicked to her and he murmured gentle assurances. The hate was clear in his eyes, but his concern had taken away its energy.

Claire’s attacker put his hands up and lowered onto his knees before Carsten’s pistol. Claire pushed along the wall wanting to be as far from the horrible man as possible. Carsten reached his hand out to her, keeping his gun and eyes on the man who’d sought to violate her. Carsten pulled her to him, and she buried her face against his shoulder.

“Hauptmann,” Kohl’s voice called, trying to deescalate the situation.

He stood over the only other surviving perpetrator, who knelt with his hands clasped behind his head and sniveling.

Carsten spoke again. Then his gun reported. Multiple times.

They stood for several moments in the silence that followed. Claire wept quietly against Carsten’s shoulder not looking at the scene. She knew he’d shot the remaining men.

Soon, other soldiers and passerby crowded the entrance.

“You cause me so much trouble, Fräulein,” Carsten’s voice came.

The soldiers coming into the alley looked confused by the three dead soldiers at the feet of the suited men. Kohl stepped forward, attempting to explain, holding his hands up and his pistol dangling from his thumb harmless. It did little good. The gathered soldiers dragged them back to the command tents at the port to answer for the crime.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m polishing up OP-GHO: Operation Ghost, which will be the sequel to OP-DEC. I will be releasing the first installment of a trilogy I finished early last year in April: The Trailokya Trilogy, Book 1: The Shadow Soul. After that—maybe a sequel to Blue Honor, my first novel, perhaps something else historical or maybe I will continue with the fantasy world of my trilogy. I haven’t yet decided.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Reflecting back I think it was the moment that a professor of mine said: “If you write—then you are a writer. That is all it takes to be a writer. So write. The other stuff will come.” Or some such mix of those words. Professor Jill Hanifan, University at Albany English Professor…she was an inspiration. One of my poems that I shared with her while I was secretary of the graduate program there (well after graduation from the English Bachelor program), she said it reminded her of Charlotte Bronte. Professor Hanifan is a poet, and that was a lofty compliment!

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 write full time and I work another job full time. I know! I write when the mood takes me or not (this could be into the wee hours of the morning when I have to be up early for work the next day). If my mood is sour, I haven’t been writing—life happens. I support my art by working as a secretary for a college. It provides me time to focus on other things so the work can ruminate, listen and experience so that I’m not quarantined from life and have things to write about later. If I were able to write full time, I am afraid that being a recluse would be the norm. I’m a total introvert and love being so for most hours of the day (with my dog). Cutting off completely however, that might turn out to be more of a nightmare than a dream come true. That said, I do prefer more time alone than with others (unless they’re dogs).

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Post it notes. Scrap paper plotting. Lying down to go to bed and popping back up to write a note on a scrap of paper in the dark and finding it legible in the morning. Or—maybe it’s that my dreams churn out some pretty amazing story lines.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An actor, probably. I wanted to pretend to be someone else and go on adventures. I didn’t really want to be anyone other than myself, so maybe all that pretend play was just me really wanting to go on those epic adventures I saw in the movies, or read in my books. I was comfortable with who I was—I just wanted to do interesting things, exciting things.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for taking the time to read about me and my work. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my answers and will seek to learn more. Thank you to Lisa Haselton for the opportunity to share.


Thank you, K! Happy writing.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Special excerpt from fantasy novel Fire Above by C. H. MacLean

Today’s special feature is the fantasy novel, Fire Above, by C. H. MacLean.

During his virtual book tour, C. H. will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) 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.

A bit about the author:
To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You'll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.'s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She's just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren't respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.'s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn't leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I'm not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.'s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it's not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or...” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five pets, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

Blurb about the novel:
I love her so much, I'd risk anything.

She and I don't have names. We're just slaves, after all. But our hearts don't care, and we're lucky, we have a chance at a scrap of happiness in our terrible lives. My father is the Queen's pet.

But when my love discovers the lords' newest atrocity, she lashes out, does the unthinkable, and attacks one of them. Her courage is heroic, but now they have stuffed her in prison, getting ready to slaughter her.

With nothing to lose, I dare to dream of a life far from the lords. I fight for our freedom, and escape to the woods with my love. We can do no less than free all of our people in the effort.

Our flight through the woods is only the start of our journey. The lords’ flaming attacks, their deception, the loss of so many of my people—I don't know if I will survive, or if I even want to. But for my love, I will do almost anything, even battle the fire above.

Excerpt from Fire Above:
My father opened the small door and his eyes lit up for a brief second. He must be alone. We were still in the hall, though, so I said, “I live to serve.”

“I live to serve,” he said, moving aside and ushering me in.

His office always looked the same. Fireballs hovering in the corners cast flickering but bright light around the small room. Baskets of tally sticks lined the room in an order only he understood, stacks of the thin sheets of metal the lords used to hold language on the one table in the room. No chair or decoration. Looking like a storage closet, this room saw most of the information about the empire.

Inside, my father relaxed a hair. He gave me a half-smile and put one hand on my shoulder. “Where were you?” he said in low tones. “They need a runner to go to the far southeast village.”

“The lords wanted to collect a package from oldest brother's house,” I said. “They Called his youngest.”

“Already?” he said, his eyes falling. All three of my grandsons, I heard him think. I thought I had more time. He thought about telling me something else, something serious. Once again I considered telling him I could hear his thoughts, so he might as well just talk to me. Once again, I rejected the idea. My ability was close to magic, and everyone knew only lords could use magic. I loved my father, but didn't know how he would react.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interview with romantic suspense author Morgan K. Wyatt

Today I have an interview with romantic suspense author Morgan K. Wyatt. She’s chatting about writing, and in particular, her new novel Suspicious Circumstances: Love or Deception.

During her virtual book tour, Morgan will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) 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.

Morgan K Wyatt, raised on a steady diet of superheroes, believed she could fly at a very young age. After using trees, barn lofts, sliding boards, and even a second story window as launch pads, she found her flying skills were limited to fast and downward. By the age of nine, her dreams to be a superhero needed some modifications, which caused her to turn to writing and horseback riding as alternatives to flying.

At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.

Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write fulltime, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.

Welcome, Morgan. Please tell us about your current release.
Love or Deception is a romantic suspense. Amy is convinced love isn’t part of her life. Her job in a top-secret chemical warfare project doesn’t leave her time for socialization. A delicious twist of fate has her bumping into her future husband at a conference. A whirlwind courtship and a beach wedding leaves Amy deliriously happy. Her only issue is her husband and memory both go missing at the same time. The worst part is no one can remember ever meeting her husband.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wondered what would be the worst thing that could happen to a woman who never expected to fall in love, but did.

Excerpt from Love or Deception:
Pushing off the bed, he stood and walked toward her, placing both hands on her shoulders. “You have no clue how beautiful you are. I find your intelligence incredibly alluring, but I think Dirk was interested in you because you were the only female in the building who wasn’t panting after him.”

He called her beautiful again. Not the most effusive compliment she’d ever received, but then she hadn’t received many. All her compliments dealt with her work as opposed to her appearance. Theron didn’t employ models for their research. The chemicals used in the labs, along with safety features, made flowing hair, skirts, and even cosmetics undesirable. Of course, the skirts were more about the searches. No woman wanted to have the guard pushing the metal wand underneath her skirt during the twice-daily searches, even if in many ways, they were just drones for the company.

“That might have been true. I can’t recall why I went out with him. I do remember him to be lacking in intellect.”

Ryan’s lips twisted up in a smirk. “Yeah, that’s what all the women want in a guy. I am not totally sure if they care if he can talk.”

His hands still rested on her shoulders. It wasn’t uncomfortable. She considered it reassuring, but puzzling. Her memory might be lacking in many aspects, but she was sure they were not this touchy feely with each other. Ryan’s anxiety showed in the way he held his shoulders. Odd that she’d known that, but they’d been working together almost a third of her life. “What is it? There is something you want to say, and it’s troubling you.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Several things are in process. I have a non-fiction dating book, which will be out soon. I’m also 75% done with a cozy mystery that I’m writing with my husband called The Painted Lady Inn Mystery Series.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably in junior high, when I had a poem published. Guess that made me more of a poet.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Currently, I substitute teach, but try to write a 1000 words before work. I edit after work. Whenever we drive somewhere as a couple, I take my computer and work in the car as my husband drives.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I do my best work in bed, with headphones on, and the curtains drawn. It cuts out distractions.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to fly like Superman and write, but I settled for just writing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I have several public appearances coming up in April at the Jeffersonville, IN Author Faire, Zionsville, IN Author Faire, & Midwest Authors (Indianapolis). I love meeting readers.


Thanks, Morgan!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Interview with fantasy author Alexander Fernandez

Today I have an interview with fantasy author Alexander Fernandez. He’s doing a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for his newest novel, Tears for a World.

During his tour, he’ll be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) 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.

Alexander Fernandez was born in Santa Monica, CA and grew up in Rancho Cucamonga. Currently serving over 20 years in the United States Air Force, he lives with his wife Helem in Rocklin, CA.

Alex has been writing fantasy stories since early childhood for both school and for pleasure. He hopes to make a lasting emotional impact in his readers. He thrives in the exhilaration of creating memorable characters and adventures that become a part of the reader’s life.

Welcome, Alexander. Please tell us about your current release.
Hello Lisa, I really appreciate the time you took to host Tears for a World on your site. I’d also like to thank Goddess Fish Promotions for their support. The story is a fantasy involving sorcery and a mysterious, scorned religious power. There is plenty of drama and action involving one-on-one fights, battles between armies, and a budding romance. Some themes from the novel reflect our daily lives, such as practicing faith or not, or believing if a deity exists at all. In this story, 16 year-old Marisylia Malludar must not only find faith that a goddess exists, but she must also decide if the deity is good or evil. She alone has the capability to release the goddess from prison.

What inspired you to write this book?
My incessant (and sometimes annoying) imagination and need to create were a large part of my inspiration. As a child, I had always written short stories with different genres. However, as I grew older I had always dreamed of writing a full length fantasy novel. That motivation came from Lloyd Alexander, award-winning author of the Chronicles of Prydain.

Excerpt from Tears for a World:
Marisylia nodded, then reached out and touched his shoulder. “Thank you for watching over me, Krahn. You haven’t stopped doing that since the explosion. All those days I wrapped myself in seclusion, but I do realize how much you’ve been here for me.”

Krahn turned toward her on the bench. Unexpected heat rose in Marisylia’s cheeks as their eyes met. Her hand still rested on his shoulder. His arm moved as if to touch her leg, but his hand ended up on his knee. “You’re very welcome,” he said. “But I’m just doing my job, Mari. Security has been my life for many years. With Milick in Three Fingers, I can return to Lenth knowing you are safe.”

Disappointment pressed Marisylia like a weight, pinning her to the bench. Is that what he had been doing all this time, merely performing his job? Did he not care about their effort at a relationship that began in Lenth? Apparently he wanted to return home. She then felt a bit naïve as the warmth returned to her cheeks. Of course Krahn was doing his job, that’s what he had been hired to do. And truthfully, their short time together in the city didn’t warrant a full loving commitment, as if they had been a couple for years.

Still, after everything they had experienced together, she hoped Krahn had developed more affection for her. She certainly had grown to appreciate him, and found his company reassuring.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Writing is funny, because I get excited whether I’m creating one sentence or five pages! Tears for a World is the first book in the Lonely World Trilogy, so right now I am working on the second book in the series, Tears for Love. The cover designer, Angela Rogers, is currently putting together the art and I am going over some edits. There is no release date yet, but hopefully early summer.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I remember when my 5th grade teacher chose to read my cave-exploring adventure story in front of the whole class. I was mortified! However, I felt happy that he liked it as well as the other students. Then in 6th grade, I had déjà vu when the teacher read my monster-fighting Halloween story in front of the class. I felt mortified again, but that happiness returned knowing that some people actually enjoyed my writing. After that was when I took writing more seriously. 

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?
Military life and a hectic work schedule make writing difficult. I tend to write in small spurts, and finishing projects takes a long time. However, I always make an effort to have fresh ideas and scenes in my head, even while at work or driving. That way, when I do get to sit down, the writing comes easy and I never struggle with writer’s block or anything like that. The story is always there; I just don’t have the liberty to write for long stretches of time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
This is kind of embarrassing, but when I really get into a scene, I actually get out of the chair and act it out. I envision myself in the scene, I move around and gesture. It truly helps to capture the moment. I feel the character’s emotion and picture the surroundings. I then hop back into the chair and the writing comes easy.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be a policeman or firefighter. In high school, I joined the police and fire department Explorers Program where you go to the station and they teach classes or you go on ride-alongs. However, I was a puny kid and am still small as an adult. I had trouble doing some of the activities, such as holding up the jaws-of-life while trying to cut open a car door. I also got queasy learning some of the paramedic stuff. Reality set in and I ended up joining the Air Force as a satellite communications technician.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Keep reading, and pass on your passion to children. Books are such amazing pieces of art. They spur imagination and bring us to places we dream about. In this technology-driven world of smartphones and computer games, I hope many children out there still want to pick up a book and read about Frodo and Sam, Nancy Drew, and my favorite Taran Wanderer.


Thanks, Alexander.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Excerpt for romantic suspense novel The North Country Confessional by Craig C. Charles

Today is the kick-off for the virtual book tour of the romantic suspense mystery novel The North Country Confessional by Craig C. Charles.

During his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Craig will be awarding a $15 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.

Welcome, Craig. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a native New Englander. I grew up in the sleepy shoreline community of Madison, CT. After graduating from high school in the late 80's, I headed out West and spent a wonderful six years living in, exploring, and getting lost in the deserts of Arizona. After earning my B.S. from Arizona State University, I headed back East trying to find my path in life.

I found myself trying out MANY different careers. I learned the art of audio engineering and worked at a major recording studio in Manhattan for a while. I learned the nuances of fine wine from a wonderful South African man and sold libations in his high-end store. I sold power transmission equipment as a manufacturer's rep in the Northeast. Next I ventured into the publishing world when I signed on with Yankee Magazine working in their Community Partners Program. It was here at Yankee's headquarters in Dublin, NH that I fell in love with the art of writing and beauty of the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. I met tremendous people and embarked on my own quest to write an engaging mystery novel set in New England. However, I couldn't ignore the internal pull I felt to work with young people. I went back to school and earn a Masters of Education degree and embarked on a career as a special education teacher working primarily with autistic children. This has been my main profession for the past 14 years as I continued to write and work towards mastering the craft of writing. I love the creative process of writing and editing.

In short, I'm a lifelong learner who continues to absorb all I can about the world around me.

Here’s a bit about the novel:
Family roots, teachings, and tradition permeate Darby Weeks’s existence despite a two decades old decision to walk away from a life of privilege. They have given him the courage to survive under impossible conditions, but the most challenging of them all comes from an unexpected place: his return home. As heinous crimes peppered with riddles begin to plague the North Country, Darby's reappearance back home sparks an old rivalry between two families, releasing an evil to wreck vengeance upon everything around them. Darby's proposal of a truce between them not only fails to appease the rival family’s thirst for retribution; it fuels it. And the town of Bretton Woods lies between the two when old passions ignite and set forth new determinations to win an old struggle.

Reunited with an old flame and guided by a pompous blowhard, Darby sets out on a journey to learn the truth about his family’s past and their ancient blood feud with a ruthless industrialist. Darby’s quest leads him all over New England, from the rare books library at Dartmouth College to Author’s Ridge - the final resting place of the literary greats Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Emerson. Darby discovers family he’s never known and an insidious danger lurking in the arms of a rekindled love.

Excerpt from The North Country Confessional:


Emily Baines glanced down at the streets of Midtown Manhattan from her corner office at Tither Publishing and fiddled with the single gray strand of Tahitian pearls that clung around her neck. Rush hour had already paralyzed the streets of the city as throngs of humanity struggled to reach their insignificant evening destinations. Worker ants, she told to herself.
She had stayed late, disrupting her normal evening routine of pilates and a massage as she awaited confirmation that the assignment was complete. Her cell phone buzzed, announcing the receipt of the message. A smile blossomed on her face as she read the expected news. The object of her attention had paid the fee just like so many other political malfeasance, celebrities, and religious buskers that Tither had squeezed over the years, avoiding what would have been a very messy and very public scandal. Dirt was her business and business was never better. She verified the $20,000,000 transfer had been processed.
Sitting down, Emily congratulated herself as she poured another glass of Perrier-Jouët and marveled at how far she had come: building Tither Publishing into a media giant with no equal. She rarely thought about the past, but the picture and associated story on the front page of the New York Times stopped her cold in her tracks, causing unfamiliar pangs of nostalgia.
“Darby S. Weeks,” she said slowly while biting her bottom lip and caressing her pearls. She paced her expansive office for a minute, looking at the picture as memories invaded her mind. Throwing the paper on her desk, she hastily buzzed her personal assistant.
“Olivia, I’m going home to Bretton Woods for a little vacation. Make the necessary arrangements. I want to be in the North Country by tomorrow.”
Ready or not, here I come, war hero.


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