Monday, January 21, 2019

IMMORTAL GIRL5 by Griffin Stark

IMMORTAL GIRL5
by Griffin Stark

The year is 1095, Normandy, France. Five year old Skylar runs away into the woods to escape nuns who are convinced her inexplicable seizures are the work of satan. She survives after being adopted by wolves, when two mysterious strangers appear and reveal Skylar’s destiny to her. Skylar is the first of the Immortal Girls, destined to save humanity from itself.

Immortal Girl5 (January 22, 2019) follows Skylar, Rachel, Caitlin, Beth, and Bethany, five immortal sisters who, over the course of a thousand years, attempt to learn the purpose of their own existence while hunting down the worst criminals this world has ever seen. They’ve faced the likes of Jack the Ripper and the Nazis, but as a new enemy arises to threaten the sisters’ survival they’ll soon learn that immortality doesn’t mean forever.

EXCERPT
“Wait! Now look, please, just let me explain!” he begged her, while shielding himself from the next imminent attack. Even if he’d had the desire to fight back—which he certainly did not—Luke wasn’t sure how easy it would be. After all, she’d survived more than a thousand years from what he’d been told. For being that old, this girl looked beyond amazing, with her blonde hair that fell into curls at the ends, angelic looks, and a flawless, pale complexion that held two stormy blue eyes of unusual intensity. Skylar seemed to accept Luke’s sincerity, at least for the moment, and slowly put her fist down by her side.

~Buy IMMORTAL GIRL5 at Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT GRIFFIN

GRIFFIN STARK is an American author who proudly lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Even as a young child, Griffin had an active imagination. As an author of young adult fiction, he has harnessed his creativity to tell memorable stories filled with important life lessons.

Griffin served as a combat medic in The United States Air Force and later founded THE SHEEPDOG MOVEMENT to join in the fight against bullying of teens worldwide.

Visit immortalgirl5.com to learn more about Griffin and his YA fantasy novel, Immortal Girl5.

Watch the Immortal Girl5 book trailer -here

GIVEAWAY

Griffin Stark will be awarding a copy of the book (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 17, 2019

THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER'S JOURNEY by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds & Janet Schrader-Post

THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY
by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds & Janet Schrader-Post

Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.

From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.

EXCERPT
Most writing classes for Young Adult fiction and Middle Grade tell you the duty of your book’s opening is to hook your reader and to catch the interest of an agent. The truth is, that’s only one of the purposes of your opening. Too often we forget that, as Frank Herbert said in Dune, “A beginning is a very delicate time.”

When writing for young adults, you should know where you’re going, just as when you write adult fiction. Plot construction for stories with universal themes is the same in any genre. There is a plan, a plot, a diagram you can follow to create a satisfying read. Just as with painting, every artist who uses the same subject will create a different and unique work of art. So, using a basic outline to be sure you write a story that resonates to the inner psyche of readers is not a bad idea.

Some may argue that modern stories can’t demonstrate enough diversity when trying to fit the entire world into a single format such as The Hero’s Journey, but iconic success stories like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter stories and more don’t seem to mind. They’re hardly the same stories, are they? Do they seem like boring knockoffs to you? Millions of fans and dollars later...they are still growing their fan base. Lucas even spoke of Star Wars and the incorporation of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and appeared in his Bill Moyer’s series.

~Buy THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY (only 99c during the tour):

-Amazon
-B&N

~Follow the rest of the tour

~And check out the book trailer

GUEST POST
What are your favorite and least favorite YA tropes?

This is the Wikipedia definition of trope. I had to look it up to make sure I answered the question correctly.

A literary trope is the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.

I’m going to roll with the last part, the recurring literary or rhetorical device, motif and or cliché.

The current trend of using first person present tense makes me crazy. I think this can almost be called a trope. It sounds like a rough first draft. It’s extremely difficult to write correctly and rarely seen written correctly. I love writing in first person for short pieces or middle grade because you can connect so well with your characters. But for longer works with more complex characters, and more of them, I prefer third person past because you can be in several heads not just the one.

I don’t think I have a favorite motif. I love work that has humor in it. I like writing middle grade because for some reason, middle school kids and the problems they face, provide more room for humor. High-school kids are in pain, they’re suffering and there isn’t as much room for humor, though if you use creative characters and situations, you can find some.

I really love Science Fiction. I like reading it and writing it. I love interacting with animals in my books. Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and I just wrote our first book in a fantasy series with dystopian overtones. We used dragons and I do love my dragons.

I’m not a fan of mushy romance in young adult fiction. I don’t think kids in high school have a clue about love. It’s a common topic in many Young Adult books. Girls are always forming a crush on one boy or another, but I believe most of it passes. They change their minds like they change their clothes. Boys entering puberty are lost in clouds of testosterone. They are only learning what love is and probably won’t discover true love until later in life. This is just my opinion and not necessarily fact.

The first Young Adult books I ever read were written in the sixties by Andre Norton and Walter Farley. I was a kid and I learned to love Science Fiction and the use of animals in fiction. I have a serious problem with some of the ways horses are used in fiction. If you’re going to put them in your book, please know what you’re talking about. Very few people own or ride stallions, almost no one. In Elizabeth’s and my most recent collaboration, Annabelle and the Jackal, there are mules and horses and none of them are stallions. Writers should know what horses can realistically do, because they can’t run all day, aren’t loving and kind, and only do one thing voluntarily and that’s eat. I’ve worked with them my whole life. I love horses, but I know them. And if you misuse them in your fiction, there are people out there who will know.

ABOUT JANET & ELIZABETH

Daughter of a Colonel, Janet Schrader-Post lived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”

Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.

Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds knows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs.

A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.

~Wise Words Publishing, an Affiliate of Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC

We are a small press, a traditional publishing company bringing you the best in E-books, print and audio books to feed your body, mind and spirit. Our cutting-edge fiction includes old favorites and edgy speculative fiction for today's eclectic readers. Our stories will grab your attention and take you on a fast, exciting ride that will leave you breathless. WW, our affiliate, publishes select literature under our Cosmos Imprint and nonfiction titles under our Ivy Tower Imprint.

Founded in 2009, in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Our company motto of "excellence in creative entertainment and learning, " informs our artwork, manuscript selection, editing and publishing.

GIVEAWAY

The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FUTURE COMES FROM BEHIND by STK Chan

FUTURE COMES FROM BEHIND
by STK Chan

Fighting what we've become.
An ancient dimension of dark echoes from the past.

Lisa and her family barely manage to escape an invasion from the Rebel army in their home of Malta. Shortly after this episode, she discovers Exo, the ancient dimension she cannot understand until her late 20s. Exo is made of memories of the past; it brings forth all the strong echoes we leave behind. Lisa desperately wants to resolve the conflicts of this inner world peacefully, but quickly learns she must fight the shadows in people's hearts, materialized through battle re-enactments, warfare and emotional turmoil.

EXCERPT
Soon the windows revealed smaller buildings and less crowded streets. The train grew emptier too. Lisa heard the monotonous hum of the wheels more clearly; it slowed her heartbeat down to a peaceful pace. In a flash, as she had done many times before, she crossed into what she believed to be a dreaming state of mind.

A dense forest surrounded her. It was cold, and patches of snow covered the ground.

It feels so real… But I wanted a nice view of wild, untamed mountains. And a waterfall. And why can’t I better control the season or the clothes I’m wearing? Lisa wondered, shivering a little. There! She finally spotted an exit from the curtain of trees.

Below, a large lake covered with floating sheets of ice lay at her feet. She was indeed on a mountain. The fresh air was freezing, but she breathed it in eagerly, ignoring the abundant vapors of her warm breath.

What could this resemble? Canada? Alaska? Lisa had learned that, by focusing very deeply with closed eyes, she could sometimes change her clothing or some of the details around her.

This time, only a long scarf appeared on her shoulders after she opened her eyes. “Not enough,” she said, shivering, but proceeded to walk along the cliff regardless. Minutes later, she stopped to take a better look into the distance. A boat? I don’t want to come across any other people this time...Ah, it’s just a log. She could not stand the cold any longer, so she thought about getting back.

Greg raised an eyebrow when he noticed her repeated blinking.

“Your lucid dreams again?”

Lisa nodded in confession.

“Where did you go this time?”

“Far…far from these many babylons.”

“Just another reason why we are a perfect match.” He smiled.

“They are so real. And they feel so long, though they really last just a fraction of a second.”

“Do you meet any people in there?”

“Yes, but I avoid them. It scares me to death how intense and unpredictable they are. Last week I met a tribe in Africa and before that I was in the middle of a medieval city.”

“Lucky you,” said Greg. “It’s a strange yet blissful anomaly, to escape reality like that.”

~Buy FUTURE COMES FROM BEHIND, only 99c during the tour

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
This book had a lot of interesting elements. Time travel, shamans, a protagonist who travels to outer space—there was no shortage of remarkable things happening here.

I want to say this wowed me and that I was drawn in to the many time periods and concepts traversed in this book. Rather, I am walking away feeling confused and like there was something in this story that stayed just outside my reach. Lisa, our main character, found herself able to enter a sort of dream state after a traumatic event in her childhood. In her late twenties, she learns this dream state is the result of her shaman status and that she can stop evils from different time periods in Earth’s timeline. This leads to many action scenes and many discussions on inner truth vs. external understanding. It was all very fascinating but felt inaccessible to those who aren’t already well-versed in advanced shamanistic teachings.

Away from Lisa’s shaman world (called Exo), she leads a physical life that I felt didn’t really meld with the shaman side until the very very end. She is a scientist in real life, and again, the science felt like it was beyond the average person’s understanding.

There are many, many characters, and the POV jumps between them at will. This made following the story tough. Even more, it made connecting with the characters difficult. Most of the story seemed to be Lisa, but even so, she never felt fully fleshed out. Getting little glimpses into the thought processes of so many others left me feeling like I’d been introduced to too many people at a party.

Overall, I think this book has a lot to offer but not necessarily for everyone. I spent most of my time confused. When I wasn’t confused, there were some truly visionary things happening, and the book gives some fantastic commentary on different time periods. Perhaps I needed to be in a different mindset to fully understand this. Nevertheless, I think those who want a book they can read over time and really ponder would enjoy this.

ABOUT STK

A fan of nourishing SF&F fiction. Seeker of essential truths in historical non-fiction. Exploring life for almost half a century. Delivering action and matters of the inner self. "Chan has license to be more philosophical and issue-oriented, and on the whole he blends together different genres well." (John Staughton, SPR)

Find him online:

-website
-Goodreads
-Amazon

GIVEAWAY

STK Chan will be awarding $20 to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 10, 2019

THE PROPHETIC MAYAN QUEEN by Leonide Martin

THE PROPHETIC MAYAN QUEEN
by Leonide Martin

She was born to serve the Goddess Ix Chel. But K'inuuw Mat is destined to continue the Palenque (Lakam Ha) dynasty by marriage to Tiwol, fourth son of famous ruler Pakal. Trained in prophetic arts, she uses scrying to foresee the face of the man with whom she will bear the dynastic heir—but it is not her husband's image. She is shocked upon arriving at Palenque to recognize that face as her husband's older brother, Kan Bahlam. They are immediately attracted, sharing deep interest in astronomy. Though she resists, the magnetic force of their attraction propels them into forbidden embraces, until Kan Bahlam designs a bold plan that would solve his inability to produce a son—if he can gain his brother's cooperation.

Set in the splendor of Lakam Ha's artistic and scientific zenith, royal family conflicts and ambitions play out in a tapestry of brilliant Mayan accomplishments in calendars, astronomy, architecture, arts, and secret language codes that will astound people centuries later. As K'inuuw Mat contends with explosive emotions, she must answer the Goddess' mandate to preserve Mayan culture for future generations. Her passion with Kan Bahlam leads to a pale daughter and bold son who carry this out as their civilization begins the decline and eventual collapse her prophetic vision foresees.

One great cycle rolls into the next . . .

Contemporary Mexican archeologist Francesca and her partner Charlie, a British linguist, venture into Chiapas jungles to a remote Maya village, seeking to unravel her grandmother's secrets. The hostile village shaman holds the key, but refuses to share with outsiders the scandal that leads to foreign blood and ancient Palenque lineages. Only by re-claiming her own shamanic heritage can Francesca learn the truth of who she is, and bring her dynasty into the present.

EXCERPT
Eyes closed, K’inuuw Mat breathed again on the stone and said her own prayer inwardly: Ix Chel, guide my vision, open my inner sight. All is done in your service.

Extending her arm over the bowl, she gently slipped the stone into the water and watched as it settled to the bottom. Rings of ripples spread quickly across the water’s surface, rebounded from the rim and crossed each other, creating a tiny jumble that soon dissipated. When the surface was again smooth, K’inuuw Mat stared fixedly at it, clearing her mind of all thoughts. She watched and waited for an image to appear. Her task was to read in the scrying water the image of the animal that the acolyte Olal held in mind.

At first the water only reflected clouds passing above and a corner of one building. Trying not to blink, K’inuuw Mat kept staring and intensified her focus.

Animal of the jungle, animal of the fields, animal of the plains, whoever you are, come to me now, she called mentally.

Slowly, tantalizing shapes began forming on the water’s surface. She could not make out a distinct feature that might reveal which animal was starting to appear. Breathing in deeply, she closed both eyes and intensified her intention. On the exhalation, she expanded her awareness and opened herself to receive.

Both eyelids flew up and she fixed her gaze upon the water. There, almost as clearly as if she was seeing it on a jungle path, was the face of a gray fox. Its dark nose quivered, sniffing for a scent; its sharp eyes with pale brows stared at her below large cupped ears. The image remained for a brief time on the surface, and then dissolved.

“A gray fox!” she exclaimed.

Olal, the acolyte holding the animal image in mind smiled and clapped her hands together.

“It is so!” she said. “You have seen truly.”

~Buy THE PROPHETIC MAYAN QUEEN on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

AN INTERVIEW WITH LEONIDE
-What inspired you to become a writer?

Being a writer just showed up as part of my nature. Sure, I was inspired by great authors I read during childhood, such as Thomas Costain and James Michener. I read constantly, historical fiction and the classics were favorites. I started writing stories as a pre-teen and kept on writing, one form or another. After a career writing non-fiction articles and textbooks, I took the plunge into historical fiction, with a large element of mysticism and paranormal happenings.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

Though I'd certainly like to be at a ceremony followed by feasting and dancing, I think the most fascinating thing would be a visit to the Underworld. The ancient Mayas were a mystical people who believed all dimensions constantly interacted—the Underworld, Middleworld, and Upperworld. They took shamanic journeys to seek information or help from deities, or to remove curses placed by shamans. The Underworld was the domain of the Death Lords, all fearful and nasty. It was a watery, slimy, underground place with huge snakes and other monsters and demons. Writing scenes taking place in the Underworld really gave free rein to my imagination, and got some characters into tight spots where all their wits were needed to survive. It's not all pure imagination; the Mayas left writings and legends about Underworld happenings and I drew from these to craft scenes.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

My protagonist, K'inuuw Mat, might reveal her forbidden yearning for her brother-in-law, Kan Bahlam. She had an arranged marriage with his youngest brother, but from the outset there was powerful, magnetic attraction to Kan Bahlam. From a scrying she did before they met, she saw his face as the man with whom she would produce the heir to continue the dynasty. She also had visions revealing that she had intertwined destiny with him in preserving Mayan culture for the future. But she did love her husband, didn't want to hurt him, and felt duty-bound to resist the attraction.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

The ancient Mayas actually did have alcoholic drinks, I guess every culture does. They fermented bark of the Balche tree with honey, making a strong alcoholic drink. I think the most fun would be drinking Balche with Ab'uk, a "two-spirit" noble courtier. "Two-spirits" were people who identified as the opposite sex, often cross-dressing and seeking same sex partners. They were readily accepted in Mayan society and considered specially favored by the Gods. Ab'uk was once the lover of Kan Bahlam, who had gargantuan appetites and was quite the womanizer too. Ab'uk hung out with women courtiers in chambers of queens and elite noble ladies, doing weaving and artwork along with the women. He was a gossip and great source of palace and court intrigue. I'd learn lots about secret happenings in Palenque from Ab'uk including the scoop on K'inuuw Mat and Kan Bahlam.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

Dwarfs were "liminal" beings to the Mayas, valued as court jesters. Most rulers kept dwarfs around the court, and accepted more lip from them than anyone else. They were seen as magical and having special powers for spells. If a dwarf challenged me in a place of public drinking (usually an open plaza during a feast or ceremony), I'd quickly apologize for offending him/ her and ask what I could do to make amends. You don't want to be in the bad graces of a Mayan dwarf (called Aluxes in Mayan language).

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Many a sage has advised "never say never." The genre I believe is hardest to write is mystery. I'm a great admirer of talented mystery writers such as Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Peters. Putting a plot together that keeps readers guessing, while offering several plausible villains, seems to require a lot of careful thinking and planning. Now that I've finished my historical fiction-paranormal-fantasy series about Mayan queens, with this new book about K'inuuw Mat, the fourth and final queen, I'm considering what next. And wouldn't you know, the idea of writing mysteries based on Mayan archeological puzzles has percolated up! I'm speculating about 1920s newly liberated young women exploring the world, getting involved in Maya lands with tomb robbers and black marketers selling ancient artifacts . . . sleuthing with local detectives who just happen to be handsome part-Mayans themselves . . . you get the idea. If I can pull it off.

ABOUT LEONIDE

Leonide (Lennie) Martin: Retired California State University professor, former Family Nurse Practitioner, Author and Maya researcher, Research Member Maya Exploration Center.

My books bring ancient Maya culture and civilization to life in stories about both actual historical Mayans and fictional characters. I've studied Maya archeology, anthropology, and history from the scientific and indigenous viewpoints. While living for five years in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, I apprenticed with Maya Elder Hunbatz Men, becoming a Solar Initiate and Maya Fire Women in the Itzá Maya tradition. I've studied with other indigenous teachers in Guatemala, including Maya Priestess-Daykeeper Aum Rak Sapper and Maya elder Tata Pedro. The ancient Mayas created the most highly advanced civilization in the Western hemisphere, and my work is dedicated to their wisdom, spirituality, scientific, and cultural accomplishments through compelling historical novels.

My interest in ancient Mayan women led to writing the Mayan Queens' series called Mists of Palenque. This 4-book series tells the stories of powerful women who shaped the destinies of their people as rulers themselves, or wives of rulers. These remarkable Mayan women are unknown to most people. Using extensive research and field study, I aspire to depict ancient Palenque authentically and make these amazing Mayan Queens accessible to a wide readership.

My writing has won awards from Writer's Digest for short fiction, and The Visionary Mayan Queen: Yohl Ik'nal of Palenque (Mists of Palenque Series Book 1) received the Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Self-Published eBook award in 2015. The Controversial Mayan Queen: Sak K'uk of Palenque (Book 2) published in 2015. The Mayan Red Queen: Tz'aakb'u Ahau of Palenque (Book 3) received a Silver Medal in Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards for 2016. The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'inuuw Mat of Palenque (Book 4) is the final in the series, published in November 2018.

I live with my husband David Gortner and two white cats in Oregon's Willamette Valley wine country, where I enjoy gardening, hiking, and wine tasting.

For more information about my writing and the Mayas, visit:

-website
-blog
-Facebook
-Twitter
-Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY

Leonide Martin will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

PRESENTING THE MARRIAGE OF KELLI ANNE AND GERRI DENEMER by PD Alleva

PRESENTING THE MARRIAGE OF KELLI ANNE AND GERRI DENEMER
by PD Alleva

The Denemer's had it all: Fame, fortune, family, and the American Dream. But tough times have landed on their doorstep— Gerri's acting career is mired in controversy, financial decline is strangling the family bond, and his marriage to Kelli Anne is on the rocks. He'd rather die than face another catastrophe, something the Devil is more than eager to assist. On the night Gerri attempts to end his suffering, his plan is thwarted by a voice in his smart TV, pulling him into a dimension where past, present, and future collide, and the fate of the human race hangs in the balance. But Gerri is not alone. The Devil's minions are nipping at his heels and Kelli is right behind them, determined to save her family and put right what has gone wrong. Will they be successful? Is the bond between husband and wife strong enough to defeat evil? Will they prevent World War III or will evil's plan triumph? Presenting the Marriage of Kelli Anne and Gerri Denemer: A Horror Story, is a tour de force thriller of dark fiction, romance, and horror in an epic battle between good and evil.

EXCERPT
She was reluctant to climb those stairs. The thin stairway to the third floor, dark and gloomy, held inside it an ascent to a new life.

Kelli Anne had a feeling in her gut.

Your world’s about to change.

Her breath was heavy and constricted. She pursed her lips to force the air down into her lungs.

Whatever was beyond that door, she did not know.

Perhaps I want no part in it.

In her mind, she saw goblins and devils jumping up and down inside that room, in some devilish parade of victory. A sinister face, thin, long with a goatee and dark, black eyes, stood prominent in her mind.

She stood at the bottom of the stairs, unmoving.

Something in the air coming from the top of the stairs, simply frightening and unknown, dark and contemptuous, wanted nothing of her presence

Where is your husband, Mrs. Denemer?

She ascended, the air turning thick, like struggling through a vat of jelly. She pushed through it, climbing the staircase and pushing forward. Her jaw quivering, her hand on the doorknob.

It was locked.

Only, she’d removed the lock a few days ago, when concern over Gerri’s wellbeing had pushed her to take dire precautions.

She tried again.

Locked.

She coughed through the thick air, now like billowing smoke in her throat.

~Buy PRESENTING THE MARRIAGE OF KELLI ANNE AND GERRI DENEMER on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

GUEST POST
Did you find it easy, difficult, or so-so combining horror and romance?

Easy, although of course any story comes with its difficulties. Without revealing too much about the story, the most difficult aspect I had trouble with was the reason why Gerri would commit suicide because it had to reflect an aspect within his relationship with Kelli. What else would spiral a human being down a path of darkness, hate and horror more than the loss of love. The loss of everything they’ve come to know and depend on.

Personally speaking, the line between dark and light is very thin. Walking on that line, we can teeter between love and hate and if we are not careful we can fall into the darkness. But what has history shown us? Great stories are able to blend the dark and the light but all if not most find a way to stay within the light, more than usually through the love of another. These are age old, universal themes. In order to be delivered into the light we face our darkest challenges and our strongest fears.

Its so easy to succumb to fear and so much easier to give in than to face that fear head on. But it’s through the darkness that we ultimately find the light. Love lights the way. I consider horror and love themes to be interlinked. Yes, I could have made this a true horror story, where fear wins and the horror continues, but to me that would not reflect the story I see on a daily basis. It is unity, collaboration, strength of heart and character that drive us to seek higher ground and win internal battles. Courage is facing the truth behind your own fears. Facing the truth and accepting what is and what was with a hope of what can be. Any great love story requires the extreme on the other hand and vice versa. As in life, trials and tribulations are combatted together and sometimes we need the love of another to show us the love we have within.

Also, to keep in line with the universal theme of the series, I required a romance, a love story within the series. Also, as in life, sometimes the good guys win and sometimes the bad guys win. Future installments may not be so inspiring. But then again, maybe they will.

ABOUT PD

P.D. Alleva is an author, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist specializing in trauma, addiction and mental health. He is the author of several books, including fiction novels, Indifference and A Billion Tiny Moments In Time…, Seriously Twisted; These Gods of Darkness (Poetry), Let Your Soul Evolve (1st and 2nd ed), and Spiritual Growth Therapy: Philosophy, Practices and Mindfulness Workbook (non-fiction). He has developed behavioral protocols for addiction and mental health and teaches mindfulness, Buddhist meditations and manifestation techniques to his patients as a means and alternative to using pharmaceuticals. He is currently in private practice with his wife, Lisa. He lives with his wife and children in Boca Raton, Florida.

Find him online:

-Instagram
-Twitter
-Facebook

GIVEAWAY

PD Alleva will be awarding a $75 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 4, 2019

FINAL NOTICE by Van Fleisher

FINAL NOTICE
by Van Fleisher

The year is the very near future. A brilliant young doctor and mathematician, Vijay Patel, has invented a new health/sport watch that monitors blood chemistry so accurately, it can actually predict when someone will die – within 10, 20, or 30 days. The intention of this “Final Notice,” as it is called, is to allow people to get their affairs in order and reach out to loved ones before it’s too late. But when those notified have easy access to a gun, the result is sometimes lethal for more than just the watch-owner.

These are the stories of several people who receive their Final Notice and their very different reactions ... including a desire to get revenge with impunity. They range from an 89-year-old resident in a retirement home to a U.S. Senator...from a benevolent widow to a crass tycoon to a noted climate change scientist.

But in this fresh, fast-paced page-turner, their stories are all set against the all-too-recognizable backdrop of a guns-gone-wild America, and the relentless push by the NRA and their surrogate politicians to make guns even easier to acquire.

There is plenty of dark humor and political satire in FINAL NOTICE, as well as touching scenes and outright suspense. So expect to laugh out loud, dry some tears, and bite your nails (not necessarily in that order).

EXCERPT
And sure enough, in 1.24 seconds, Trudi had 1,620,000 results. “Here it is. California law protects us if we shoot a burglar in our home. Still, it wouldn’t help if we didn’t hear them until they burst into the room. I can’t see either one of us having the presence of mind to reach for the gun, roll out of bed and blast away. What are you smiling at?”

“At the image of you doing just that!”

“Hey. I’ve been watching Angelina Jolie and I think I can manage the moves.”

~Buy FINAL NOTICE on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT VAN

“After 21 years with an airline, and 30 years in management consulting, I retired and found that my phone didn’t ring and the only emails I got were asking for money. So, since I was at my computer, I decided to write a novel.”

This is only half the story. (Van is notoriously modest.) The author was Director of International Marketing with TWA, and an International Management Consultant – taking him behind the closed doors of boardrooms and executive offices around the world. He knows how business works, which gives the slightly “sci-fi” premise of Final Notice a realistic feel. Moreover, his two careers led him to live abroad for much of his life. After growing up in New Jersey and Florida, where he never thought much further than the length of a football field, and going to college in New Mexico, he wound up living in England, Scotland and France, travelling frequently to the Middle East and Asia. He even spent a year living in India. And his first-hand experience with – and respect for – other cultures is apparent in this book.

“Final Notice is meant to highlight, my concerns with America’s handling of three important issues: gun control (not anti-gun), ageism and the importance of immigration. The book won’t fix these issues, but there are a number of great organizations with even greater people working on our behalf to right these wrongs. Proceeds from sales of Final Notice will help support those efforts.”

Find him online:

-website
-Facebook
-Twitter

GIVEAWAY

Van Fleisher will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 3, 2019

BLACK WALTZ by Yoshiyuki Ly

BLACK WALTZ
by Yoshiyuki Ly

As a Black Waltz—a magical ballet dancer—Stella Azrith appears to all as a composed, no-nonsense sorceress of notable talent. Yet she is deeply dependent on her muse for far more than most artists, complicating her relationships. Nyte Lysander is a suave, emotional cellist who once struggled in her obsession to stay in Stella’s world. She and Stella find one another again after a tumultuous breakup, needing the other for reasons warped beyond the norm. Black Waltz is a sprawling urban fantasy romance set 350 years after The Scorpion’s Empress and 100 years after Venus and Lysander, concluding the trilogy. Can be read as a standalone.

Searching for acceptance, Stella and Nyte learn to understand each other anew, strained only by disagreements past and unspoken. Nyte’s living situation in the crime-ridden district of Maleficus in the city of Eden pushes her and Stella to pursue better artistic opportunities elsewhere. As they toy with the idea of exploring a power play relationship, they learn about a greater evil that threatens the Azrith and Lysander families. The true enemy twists on its head through whirling rainstorms, driving Stella and Nyte to prove who and what they stand for.

There can be no waltz for three.

EXCERPT
I had to stop myself from pulling Nyte inside with me.

“So…” she trailed off. “Stella…what do you wanna do—” Nyte gestured between us; “—about this?”

And yet I had to be honest with her.

“I miss you,” I admitted.

“You do…?”

I reached up, wrapping my arms about Nyte’s lean shoulders. I palmed the space between her shoulder blades with one hand; the back of her head with the other, trailing my nails through her short hair. The smoothness of her slicked back locks was such a lovely contrast to the precise, trimmed strands of her fade along the sides.

Nyte moved into me as she held my waist. She let me cradle her head in my hand, backward, as she breathed along my ear. I heard her comfort. I listened to the way she lost herself in my hold. I felt the slight tremble of her body against mine. Nyte tried to control herself, now that she had fallen past her pride.

As much as I loved this, I couldn’t linger here. Conflicting forces worked to confuse me. I wanted Nyte. I wanted her.

But I couldn’t live in both worlds: here, in this undeniable closeness with her, and there, onstage, or practicing, or simply in my room, fantasizing about all the ways I knew how to express myself with dance. The one thing that drove me, that moved me, was my muse, as the one flame that burned endlessly within me.

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
This is an epic love story with a capital E. Stella is a fiercely independent woman who still wants to be coddled. Nyte is as devoted as devoted can be. And the romantic tension doesn’t stop there. Stella has another love, and there are so many secondary couples. Heads up, they all seem to be f/f couples with plenty of tension. The secrets and alliances and even the drama are off the scales.

I discovered after I took this for review that it was third in a series but that it could be read as a stand-alone. Even so, I feel that reading the first books would have provided some much-needed answers. There’s so much going on in this book, which I think is both it’s greatest strength and biggest weakness.

First, strengths. If you’re looking for a book to fall into and get lost in, this is the book. The many relationships are a tangled web in their own rights. Not all are romantic either. There is jealousy and lust, sure, but there’s also political strife and familial drama. The setting, too, is exquisite. From the bad section of town to palaces, this book goes everywhere, and it’s all described so well.

On the flip side, there were many things that left me confused. Some of these may have been resolved if I’d read the first two books, but if this truly can be read as a stand-alone, at least some of these should have been explained. Stella’s second love is her muse, which is thought to be an entity only inside her mind and heart. Come to find out, her muse actually has a physical existence, but this person, who is their own person, is also part of Stella somehow. I wasn’t exactly sure how that worked and tried not to think too much about it, especially after they started being intimate. Also, the character descriptions suggest diversity, with varying skin tones and cultural references, but all the names (both characters and places) seem to be Greek. There are angels and devils that wage a battle of some kind. All the main couples are two women. Some are married, but some have husbands and some wives. I wasn’t sure what the defining factor was for that. I got the impression that these characters lived multiple lives but as themselves, and they loved different people in those past lives. I had so many questions while reading this. Some of them were wonder, and some were confusion. As a result, my head spun in both good and bad ways.

One thing that I really had a tough time with was Stella’s character. She’s one of the POV characters, arguably the one with the most headspace time. I wanted to like her, but I found that it was very difficult to do so. In the beginning, we see her a few years ago. She’s younger and seems like a kind of shy but confident person. The Stella in the present, though, is hard and unforgiving. She’s calculating and even cruel in the way she treats Nyte. Perhaps there was more about this in the previous books, but as far as I could tell, Stella grew to hate Nyte because Nyte loved her and Stella didn’t want her to. Stella’s first love is her dance. She’s a Black Waltz (but there is also a song called Black Waltz?), and her dancing is magic. It’s her first love. Her second is herself (both her own self and the person that’s part of her but not part of her). Stella does some awful things in the name of love. It was nearly impossible for me to rationalize her behavior or forgive her for how she treated people, not just Nyte.

Truly, this book feels bigger than itself. There’s just so much. It is the kind of book I feel I could read over and over while learning new things about it every time. At the same time, I feel like reading it again would also introduce more questions without answers. If you like your romance to read a little like epic fantasy, this is the book to read. It is definitely only for adults. There are some intense sex scenes and a lot of erotic thoughts from the characters. There’s also adult language. If you don’t mind any of that, this is worth a read.

ABOUT YOSHIYUKI
Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. Her pen name represents her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that reflects in her work. She is a writer and a gamer, primarily inspired by thought-provoking, well-written video games such as the Shin Megami Tensei, NieR, and Drakengard franchises.

Find her online:

-Goodreads
-LiveJournal
-Twitter
-Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY

Yoshiyuki Ly will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway