Tuesday, September 26, 2017

TEMPTATION TRIALS by B. Truly

TEMPTATION TRIALS II
by B. Truly

Lust Is the Epitome of Damnation

Lust, one of the seven deadly sins, was sweeping through the nation like wildfire. In its true essence, lust was leading mankind down the path to damnation. In this dystopian society, Cali and Stefani had to comply by the Regime’s strict rule of arranged marriage. But Eminence, the world dictator, doesn’t play fair.

Against all odds, they both decide to put their relationships through the ultimate test on The Temptation Trials—a reality TV show where every temptation of the flesh was set before them.

As participants on the show, they soon learn that losing may cost them more than the men they love. Cali’s torn, unsure of what her future holds with Cade. Stefani worries whether her relationship with Tobias can be salvaged.

Love can be blind. The betrayal they face from the Trials burden them. Will love be their redemption, or will it destroy them?

A million questions torment their minds.

Can you love two people at once? If a person is chosen for you, can those feelings be real?

Cali and Stefani must overcome heartbreak and pull together with their loved ones before it’s too late. The abominable truth is unveiled, which sends them on a journey that will jeopardize their lives.

The will of the weak is his for the taking. Can love save their souls?

EXCERPT
Glazed, cryptic eyes pierced through me, reminding me of a strung-out junky. His face seemed vaguely familiar, right down to his golden curls. Just couldn’t put my finger on where I’d seen him before. An eerie thrill rippled my spine. The way he was staring creeped me out. I quickly skirted past him, only to have Blondie clasp my arm. Okay, now I was officially freaked.

“Let go of me!” I seethed.

“The time has come,” he blurted.

“What are you talking about?”

“The decision is made … binding.”

This dude was clearly psycho. He spoke in riddles, none of which I understood. “You’ve got me confused with someone else.”

“No, you’re the one.”

My purse, where I normally kept my Taser, was nowhere to be found. He’d better be glad or I’d light his ass up. This whole scene was turning more bizarre by the second. I couldn’t figure out where I was. My surroundings were dim and heat began to consume me. Blondie leaned closer to me. Being nearer, I got a better look at his dilated eyes. His pupils were diamond-shaped, not the usual round. His grip tightened.

“Asshole. Take your hands off me!”

“You’re chosen, and you’re coming with me.”

Though I struggled against him, it didn’t do any damn good. Bright light blazed up ahead, mixed with smoldering heat. I soon realized the light and scalding warmth was coming from giant flames. Doubling my efforts, I fought harder, to no avail. Blondie’s face became a blur, and darkness encompassed me—the scalding heat grew stronger. Time seemed to stand still—my mind swirled in a haze. The only thought that became clear, which seemed to chisel into my mind, was that I had to make the right choice.

~Buy TEMPTATION TRIALS on Amazon

ABOUT B. TRULY
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old and is grateful to have accomplished this dream. She has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of action and sci-fi. She writes New Adult and Adult, Romance. Sci-fi, Dystopian, and Paranormal genres.

B. Truly likes to explore different elements of sci-fi romance, and create various realms of reality. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.

B. Truly has three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.

Find her online:

-Twitter
-Facebook
-Goodreads
-YouTube

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

$15 Amazon/BN GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 25, 2017

KEEPERS OF THE STONE by Andrew Anzur Clement

KEEPERS OF THE STONE
by Andrew Anzur Clement

Book 1: THE OUTCASTS

In a far corner of the British Empire, a mysterious girl gallops away on a horse, fleeing for her life. Malka has sacrificed everything to protect an all-powerful stone from falling into the hands of the malevolent Urumi. The last in a Sect of thieves, the girl is a trained killer. But will her lethal skills be enough to defeat the Shadow Warriors and their superhuman abilities? 


The fate of the stone may depend on Stas, a courageous youth born into exile from a country that is not on any map. Nell, his friend since childhood, has been caught up in the Dark Order's evil designs. The young outcasts must confront demons, real and imagined, with the help of mystical new allies. Their journey will take them to distant lands and change their lives forever.



Book 2: EXILE

Stranded on the American frontier, Malka must stop at nothing to safeguard the all-powerful stone. She has come under the protection of a snarky felinoid – a shape-shifting girl who traces her lineage back to the court of Vlad Dracula. They must rescue with Henry, the American orphan whose thirst for knowledge could help decipher the clues to the next
leg of their journey – if the Urumi don’t kill them first.
 


Alone in yet another strange land, Stas mourns the unthinkable loss of his friend, Nell. Cryptic messages offer new hope. But the Dark Order has devised another strategy to outwit the band of misfits. Plans are betrayed and alliances are formed as history points to the final objective of their quest.

Book 3: HOMECOMING

Stas and his companions have made their way to the partitioned homeland he has never visited. He dares to hope that Nell may be alive. The doomed princess Bozhena vows revenge on the Shadow Warriors, who have enlisted Malka’s most bitter enemy in their latest plot to control the powerful stone.


With the help of a streetwise gypsy girl, the unlikely travelers must outwit the Urumi and deliver the stone to its final destination. All they have to do is put aside the differences that threaten to tear them apart. The secrets of the past hold the key to the history of the future.

EXCERPT FROM THE OUTCASTS
"The firearms,” Malka whispered. “We still have them from the bank.”

“Do you even know how to fire a gun?”

The Thag shook her head.

The felinoid harrumphed. “Figures.” Then she began thinking out loud.

“So, we’re low on ammunition. Only six shots per gun, assuming they’re completely loaded. Okay. They’re in the open. We can use the wagon as cover. Target what shots we have. I’m not very good at aiming, but maybe if Mister Bunny Burglar over there takes….”

She stopped. Looking behind her, to the empty space off to the right side of the wagon’s seating area.

“Where is Henry?”

Malka and Liza looked around. Both of them spotted their erstwhile captive at the same moment.

“Ugh! He’s in front of the wagon running away with one of the cages,” Liza said, as if the situation needed any clarification. “I told you we should have killed that little….”

The gunfire ceased abruptly, replaced in short order with the quick screams of men and horses. Then silence. The escaping youth was forgotten for the moment. Liza quickly poked her head just over the stack of cages.

“Oh, no! Oh, please, no!” For the first time since Malka had known the felinoid, she seemed more genuinely worried than annoyed at their situation; she knew what Liza had seen.

“The Urumi,” she confirmed in a quiet voice. “All three of them. And they’re moving towards us.”

Malka untied the sash from around her waist and inserted the brass knob into one of its ends. She listened for one of the dark forms, as it approached her side of the wagon.

~Buy THE OUTCASTS:

-Amazon US
-Amazon UK
-Ibooks
-Kobo
-B&N

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

I've enjoyed reading ever since I was a young kid. I was busy discovering books like Richard Adams' Watership Down,' James Michener's 'Poland' and -- my favorite -- Henryk Sienkiewicz's 'In Desert and Wilderness' when most others were playing video games. Despite this, I never considered writing fiction of my own.

That changed when I moved to Coventry, England for an academic mobility. This was my first time living in a somewhat small town. I didn't know anyone. There wasn't much to do there. I found myself sitting in an apartment and working all the time. To put it simply: It sucked. And I was going to have to survive an entire year there.

Having that much time alone, however, does give one time for reflection; inspiration strikes when you least expect it. One day, I found myself reflecting upon the characters from my favorite novel, while standing in front of the statue of a woman on a horse in Coventry's main square. In a flash of clarity, I saw the story that I knew I had to tell. Drafting commenced that night. My characters often speak to me while I'm writing; its kind of like the adult version of having imaginary friends. Once you take the cork off you can't stop; I'm currently writing Voyages of Fortune, the sequel trilogy to Keepers of the Stone.

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

I'd attend a gathering of the Invisible Circus. It's an other-dimensional realm, which exists out of our own space-time and can be accessed from various points around the world. The Circus can manifest in different forms -- anything from a South Asian jungle clearing, to an opulent western theater. It is controlled by the Urumi -- an ancient Order which basically consists of the Devil's indentured servants. They treat the Circus as a sort of forum for all those who practice mystical arts. The idea is that something might be revealed that will aid the Order (or, by necessity, others) in its designs. Often, the conjurings performed there lead to insights about the future or the past. I wonder what might be revealed there next....

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

Six years ago, I was studying in Budapest. My international trade professor recounted an experience in which she'd gotten a phone call begging her to come to one of her client's banks immediately. Upon arrival, she found that due to a mistake in the paperwork, a trade finance term which required goods be offloaded into the buyer's bank itself had been used. Consequentially, a truck driver from then-Yugoslavia had pulled up and dutifully offloaded an entire payload of live rabbits directly into the bank. The entire building was overrun with the animals!

In real life, the buyer was found and the rabbits eventually forwarded to his farm. But, in Keepers, my characters take this knowledge, a wagonload full of bunnies, and use it to their full advantage in the American West. Originally though, their actions were based on a real-life SNAFU that occurred in Cold War Hungary.

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

I'm going to have to go with Stas on this one. Above, I've alluded that Keepers of the Stone takes part of its backstory from 'In Desert and Wilderness,' a classical Polish novel written in 1910. You by no means need to have read it in order to understand or enjoy Keepers. But, Stas is one of the characters that carries over from the original work. In it, Stas -- a fourteen-year-old who's grown up in exile from his country -- accomplishes many great feats in the African wilderness. He never wavers from being forthright, courageous and exceedingly proud of his national heritage and who that makes him -- or, at least, who he thinks it does. We get a sense of all this in Keepers of the Stone as we encounter him two years later. Stas is going through harder times that have led him to begin questioning the veracity of his own belonging. Events thrust him onto an internal journey, in which he must confront and struggle to redefine his own personhood while enduring impossible loss.

As someone who has moved around so much since leaving his own country, there are times when I, too, feel as if I am from nowhere; I found that I came to identity with Stas's character in many ways, while writing. I think we'd have a lot to talk about if we sat down for a chat. Come to think of it, Stas actually does just this with a certain person in book three. It is my favorite chapter in the entire trilogy.

(Side note: I considered answering this question with Malka -- the main character in the 'A' story. But, then I remembered that inviting her out for drinks would be a very, very dangerous idea. Because, well, you'll see....)

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

Umm... Context, please? I mean, who is this dwarf, what did I (allegedly) do to him, and why is he so pissed about it? What kind of duel even is it? Am I likely to win? And, seeing as I can't help but notice that we've descended to the level of duel challenging here, how emboozened are we all, anyway?

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

I'm two things that may at first seem incongruous: self -professed anti-romantic, and a rabid opera fan. The outcome of this is that, while I foremost enjoy the music, I also come to the opera house to snark at the plots. Developments in them are often elaborated more from raw emotion, meant for dramatic effect, rather than for making 'plot sense' I am not a romance author; when I set out to write Keepers of the Stone, I wanted to tell a larger than life story. But, one that was not based only in romantic interest. In fact, with one notable exception, most of the characters' motivations take their rationales from social science and psychological theories such as the 'primary group'. Rather than romantic devotion, which I often find to be gag-inducing in most instances, and thus find exceedingly difficult to write.

At the same time, I'd never say never. In fact, there is a more romantic plotline in the sequel to Keepers, Voyages of Fortune. It's true that the scenes related to the characters more 'relationship oriented' feelings have been harder to draft. Yet, I actually think it works well; this romantic plotline serves to advance a larger story of deceit and intrigue that spans centuries. And the other characters are there all the way, to snark at or use the pitfalls, to which their contemporaries' romantic interests logically lead.

ABOUT ANDREW

Andrew Anzur Clement departed his native Los Angeles at the age of nineteen, with a curiosity for far-off lands. He quickly discovered an insatiable wonderlust that has led him to live, work and study in many fascinating places around the globe. Now in his late-twenties the unabashed opera fan is based in Europe. He continues to travel and read widely, finding new inspiration in the places he discovers. In his ‘other’ life Andrew is an academic researcher, focusing on nationalism and identity formation. He enjoys including insights from his research in his books and the characters he inhabits.

Find him online:
-Facebook
-Twitter
-Goodreads
-Blog
-Amazon Author Page

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LOCKDOWN by Samie Sands

LOCKDOWN
by Samie Sands

Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…

With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.

When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…

The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.

That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…

Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?

She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…

Breaking out of the Lockdown…

EXCERPT
As the kettle boils, I idly glance out of the window. I stop in my tracks and move to get a closer look. There’s a lone, dishevelled woman walking past the wall. She’s in a seriously bad way—her clothes are all torn and bloody, her hair is matted with grime, and she has a massive gushing gash on her leg. Something dreadful has happened to her, that much is clear. The awful possibilities race through my mind, sending me into a tailspin.

I bang on the window to let her know I’m there and cry out for someone to call an ambulance. I’m desperate to do something to help her, but she doesn’t even acknowledge me. It’s as if she’s crazy, comatose, like she’s sleepwalking or something. Maybe the loss of blood has sent her into a state of delirium.

Not knowing what other option I have, I turn to race outside. I can’t just stand here and leave her to die of her injuries. I’d never be able to forgive myself! But just as I’m about to rush out of the room, a feeling of unease spreads over me and stops me dead on the spot. I flick my gaze back out to the road and a cold chill comes over me. Now she’s looking this way and I can see her face fully. Her jaw has disconnected and is hanging down from her face and in her hand is a severed human arm.

~Buy LOCKDOWN:

-Amazon US
-Amazon UK
-Boxset US
-Boxset UK

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

I didn’t start writing Lockdown with the idea of getting it published, at first I wrote it just for me, so I wrote the book that I wanted to read. Most of the zombie apocalypse books that I’ve read in the past feature very capable main characters. It made me wonder what would happen with an ordinary person trying to survive, someone without any particular talents to help her live through such horror. Leah is a normal, girl next door type without any skills to survive. Sometimes she's flawed and she doesn’t always make the right choice, but that makes her more realistic.

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

I don’t think I’d much like to be placed bang smack in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, I’m not sure that I’d be able to survive either! I would try my best to be smart though, to not make the same mistakes that my characters do. The most important things to ensure is supplies and shelter, so that would be the first port of call.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

I did a lot more research for the second book in the series, Forgotten, because one of the characters is a scientist trying to solve the problem of the virus. I had to do a lot of in depth research into some very interesting biology then!

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

If I could spend time with anyone from the book it would be Leah’s best friend, Michelle. She’s fun loving, confident, and she has better instincts than Leah.

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

I would accept bravely, although I would be trembling inside. Hopefully I would have a good weapon to fight with or I wouldn’t stand a chance.

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

I would like to write fantasy but I’m not sure that I could. The worlds are so in depth, so different to our own, it would take a lot of remembering every tiny detail because I always find when an author forgets something, it ruins it for the reader.

ABOUT SAMIE

Samie Sands is the author of the AM13 Outbreak series – Lockdown, Forgotten, and Extinct. She’s also had a number of short stories published in very successful short story anthologies.

~Find her online:

-website
-Facebook
-Twitter
-Instagram
-Goodreads
-Wattpad
-Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

Samie Sands will be awarding a $10 Amazon or BN GC to one winner, and three additional winners will each receive a print copy of a book in the series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 15, 2017

DARK GENIUS by H. Peter Alesso

DARK GENIUS
by H. Peter Alesso

To the insatiably curious—science is the greatest adventure. So, when scientists at CERN announced the discovery of the ‘God’ particle in 2012, all the world wondered, “How did they find it?”

A decade later, despite his past academic failures and egregious family circumstance, Andrew Lawrence embarked on a journey of discovery, competing against rival scientists to be the first to solve the greatest unsolved mystery of the universe—dark matter—and win the ultimate prize; the Nobel.

Emma Franklin, a PhD candidate at Harvard, developed software for detecting particle reactions using a quantum computer. To the amazement and excitement of the scientific community, her work revealed two possible bumps in the energy curve that were not predicted by any established theory.

At MIT, Lawrence created a model that predicted the scattering processes of a dark matter supersymmetry particle. Though his early work was disparaged, he improved his theory and found that it predicted the data Emma had discovered. Their professional collaboration deepened into a personal relationship, but when critical data was stolen, Emma found evidence that incriminated Lawrence. Though she withheld the impeaching material from the authorities, she felt she could no longer trust him.

Despite their troubled partnership, and notwithstanding the complexities of nature, Lawrence and Emma persevered against the egos, jealousy, and envy of rivals, on their exhilarating quest to find the ‘Holy Grail’ of physics

EXCERPT
I thought all was lost—now I have a second chance.

With a profound sense of relief, Andrew Lawrence slide his tablet into his shoulder holster and walked briskly along the Boston sidewalk. His past academic failures and egregious family circumstances were behind him. He was ready for a fresh start.

Tall, slender, and dark-haired, he listened to the clicking and clacking of shuffling shoes on the pavement as students jostled alongside him. The hint of autumn from the cool morning air brought a frenzy of activity to the sprawling campuses of both MIT and Harvard which nurtured a flourishing rivalry among their ambitious students. He could feel the undercurrent of tension for the start of the fall term.

By the time he crossed Longfellow Bridge, his adrenaline was pumping. He noticed several eight-man sculls already rowing down the Charles River, their school colors plainly visible. Squinting his eyes against the glare, he could make out the MIT and Harvard boats vying for the lead, stroke by stroke.

Striding across the rambling campus, his lips concealed a secret smile as he contemplated a revolutionary solution to a problem he had been daydreaming about. When he swung around a corner, he ran smack-dab into a young woman. Her armload of books, papers, and assorted technology flew into the air and scattered across the walkway.

“Sor . . . sorry.”

“You should be,” the woman said, her face screwed into a tight scowl. “Your head was in the clouds.”

Lawrence opened his mouth, but before he could speak, she pointed down and said, “See what you’ve done?”

She stooped and frantically tried to corral her absconding belongings.

“Let me help,” said Lawrence, grasping some loose papers about to blow away.

Spying her tablet on the grass, she exclaimed, “Oh no! All my work.”

Carefully, she picked up the device and turned it on, tapping her fingers impatiently until the screen lit up. She heaved a sigh and looked Lawrence directly in the eyes. “You’re lucky. Sooo . . . lucky.”

Lawrence mumbled another apology and helped her pick up the last few books.

As she struggled to reorganize her treasures, Lawrence brushed a strand of hair away from his eyes and for the first time cast an appraising glance at the young woman.

She was attractive.

It wasn’t that she was a striking beauty—though her smooth white skin, olive green eyes, and classic profile complemented the hazelnut hair that cascaded over her shoulders. Nor was her carriage especially eye-catching, though she displayed an appealing youthful vitality. No, what seemed most appealing was her confident determined poise, as if she possessed a special hidden talent.

“You really should use a backpack.”

“The lining ripped,” she retorted.

Seeing the logos on her tablet’s screen, Lawrence asked, “Harvard? Math?”

“I can tell by your tone that you’re MIT,” she said, her eyes flashing.

Lawrence grinned, “Physics.” As an afterthought, he asked, “What are you doing on this campus?”

“Well, Mr. Physics, that’s none of your concern.”

Something in the way she said it, caused him to laugh.

They faced each other in a stand-off for a long moment—saying nothing.

Then the young woman heaved a sigh, gathered her possessions to her chest, and brushed past him.

Lawrence watched her figure disappear into the crowd.

Damn. I didn’t get her name.

As he turned to leave, something shiny on the ground caught his eye. It was a flash drive.

Picking it up, he spun around and called, “Wait!”

But she was gone.

He looked at the memory stick, thinking . . .

I’ll have to crack her password, if I’m going to see her again.

Buy DARK GENIUS at Amazon

ABOUT H. PETER

As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of ten books.

Find him online:

-Email: h.alessocomcast.net
-website
-Goodreads
-Twitter
-Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SHE'S LIKE A RAINBOW by Eileen Colucci

SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW
by Eileen Colucci

“The summer I turned ten, my life took a fairy tale turn.”

So begins Reema Ben Ghazi’s tale set in Morocco. Reema awakes one morning to find her skin has changed from whipped cream to dark chocolate. From then on, every few years she undergoes another metamorphosis, her color changing successively to red, yellow and ultimately brown. What is the cause of this strange condition and is there a cure? Does the legend of the White Buffalo have anything to do with it? As Reema struggles to find answers to these questions, she confronts the reactions of the people around her, including her strict and unsympathetic mother, Lalla Jamila; her timid younger sister, Zakia; and her two best friends, Batoul and Khalil. At the same time, she must deal with the trials of adolescence even as her friendship with Khalil turns to first love. One day, in her search for answers, Reema discovers a shocking secret – she may have been adopted at birth. As a result, Reema embarks on a quest to find her birth mother that takes her from twentieth-century Rabat to post-9/11 New York.

Reema’s humanity shines through her story, reminding us of all we have in common regardless of our particular cultural heritage. SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW, which will appeal to teens as well as adults, raises intriguing questions about identity and ethnicity.

EXCERPT
The summer I turned ten, my life took a fairy tale turn. Perhaps I should begin my narrative with: “Once upon a time there was a very pale, whipped cream-colored girl who woke up one morning to find she had turned dark chocolate.”

It wasn’t quite that sudden actually. It wasn’t like what happens in that Franz Kafka story, Metamorphosis, where poor Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to find he has turned into a bug. It wasn’t that yucky and gross really, at least not in the beginning. No, mine was a much subtler transformation, a gradual darkening of the skin much like what happens when you spend hours in the sun every day for an entire summer; except that my “tan” was a dark brown and did not fade.

We usually spent our summer vacations in the South. Mother’s younger sister, Soumiya, and her husband, Anis, owned a big farm near Agadir, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Mother had mentioned taking us to the Costa del Sol that summer. By 1985, Spain was already becoming the preferred vacation spot of the Moroccan bourgeoisie of which Mother so aspired to be a part. She certainly had enough money to take us there. The small fortune that Father had left her when he died must have doubled or tripled by then. In addition to renting out several apartments, Mother ran a small but trendy clothing boutique in Rabat.

In the end though, despite having the means to travel abroad, Mother declared that it was better to spend time “in the countryside.” That meant in our own country, and so we found ourselves once again on the plane from Rabat to Agadir and then on the hot and winding road to the farm. I have often wondered if we had gone to Spain that summer whether my life might have taken a different turn. But I don’t really think so. I believe some things are destined or “written” as we say in Morocco; that our fate, like the color of our skin, is non-negotiable.

Uncle Anis picked us up at the airport in his big new Mercedes, purchased from an emigrant worker visiting for the month of July. As we left the city and climbed into the mountains, the scenery changed from chalky white to reddish brown to green. The tufts of sun-baked grass and mile after mile of all kinds of cactuses gave way to olive groves and argan trees. We passed a few boys selling argan oil on the side of the road, but there was no need to stop. My auntie, Tatie Soumiya, lived near the local cooperative and had a ready supply of oil as well as the skin-smoothing soap made from the same trees.

We did stop when we came to the Palm grove. Already tired and sticky from the journey, Zakia, my seven-year-old sister, and I insisted we sit on the white rocks a few minutes, dabbling our feet in the river. Uncle Anis offered us some fruit he’d brought along, small, bright yellow bananas called plantains.

But, even though we were hungry, Mother said, “Don’t eat anything until we get to the farm. You know what happens if you do.”

So, we splashed the cool water at each other and admired the little oasis, surrounded by evergreens and spiky palms and the beautiful mountains, while our stomachs growled. Back on the road, we were reminded why Mother was right about not eating. As we climbed into the mountains, the road became more and more twisty and the drop down into the river gorge more impressive.

“It’s too scary. I can’t look,” cried Zakia, covering her face with her hands.

“You’re such a baby,” I said. Just to bother her, I rolled down the window and stuck my head out. The tires of the car seemed only inches from the edge of the cliff; so close that I felt a little dizzy.

“Close it right now,” Mother said. “You’re letting in all the dust from the road.”

“Sorry, the air conditioning isn’t working right,” Uncle Anis apologized. “I have to take it into the shop next week.”

He switched on the fan, but it did not help much and I ended up closing my eyes like Zakia and hoping we would get there soon.

~Buy SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW:

-Amazon Kindle
-Amazon Paperback
-B&N

MISSION STATEMENT
It is my hope that SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW will promote peace and understanding among people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. My aim is to stimulate discussion on everything we have in common as human beings regardless of our particular heritage. We are all connected.

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

I can remember writing stories and poems as far back as elementary school. I wrote two books, WANTED and THE PLAY TREE HAS TO GO. Part of the assignment for WANTED was to create a “real” book with a cover and binding. That made it all the more exciting.

My mom had already instilled in me a love of reading. She read to me and took me to the library often. She encouraged me in my writing too. Mom had a friend, Esphyr Slobodkina, who wrote children’s books. When I was about seven or eight, Mrs. Slobodkina gave me three books (with a note and signature inside each): THE CLOCK, MOVING DAY FOR THE MIDDLEMANS, and THE LONG ISLAND DUCKLINGS. I read those books over and over again and marveled at the fact my mom knew the author. By the time I was nine, I knew I wanted to be a writer just like my mom’s friend.

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

I would go and have tea with Lalla Mumtaz. She is my favorite character in the book and was the most fun to write. She comes from the deep south of Morocco and has a rich cultural heritage. The quintessential Moroccan grandma, Lalla Mumtaz knows more stories than anyone. Who doesn’t love a storyteller?

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

There is a traditional Moroccan folk dance performed by people from southern Morocco and by one of the characters in the novel. At its climax, the dancer falls into a trance. I had seen the dance performed on television once or twice but I didn’t know the story behind it or even its name. I did some research and learned it is called the “guedra.” It is named after the drums, which are really clay jars covered in goat skin, that accompany the dance. It is a very sensual dance, starting out slow and ending in a frenzy. The purpose of the dance, which originated in Goulimine, is to bestow a blessing on friends or the community. Some believe that the guedra can attract a mate from many miles away, simply with the rhythmic drum playing.

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

It would be fun to go out for pizza with Reema. Her favorite restaurant is an Italian one and she loves pizza just like I do. Reema doesn’t drink alcohol so she would order a coke probably but I would have a glass of red wine. I wonder what it would be like to be face-to-face with the main character of my novel. I can’t help thinking of the movie STRANGER THAN FICTION where the writer (played by Emma Thompson) gets a call from the main character of her novel (played by Will Ferrell) who asks to meet with her. She is totally flummoxed. I wonder if Reema would have questions for me like in that movie and would want to know why certain things happen to her. In any event it’s an intriguing question!

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

I would choose to “fight” with words. I’m a firm believer in, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I might throw some Kahlil Gibran at him like, “Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.” I think if one of us was going to turn and run after that it would be him.

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

I could never write Horror. I don’t read Horror except for a few things of Stephen King’s where I skimmed through or flat out skipped certain parts. (I do like some of King’s work, don’t get me wrong). It’s not just that Horror gives me nightmares. It terrifies me in the same way that contemplating riding a roller coaster does. I don’t think I would be good at writing this genre. I’d scare myself silly before I got very far. That doesn’t mean I can’t write terrifying or anxiety inducing scenes. In my first novel, THE STRINGS OF THE LUTE, there is a whole chapter in which a small boy wanders off with a stranger as his mother searches frantically for him. But that is different. There is no “twisted” aspect to the story. I don’t read or write stuff that is “twisted.”

Thanks so much for hosting me!
I love interacting with readers and invite everyone to contact me through my website or through my Goodreads blog. I hope you enjoy SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

ABOUT EILEEN

A native New Yorker, Eileen Colucci has been living in Rabat with her Moroccan husband for the past thirty-plus years. She is a former teacher and recently retired after twenty-eight years as a translator with the U.S. Embassy, Rabat. Her articles and short stories have appeared in various publications and ezines including Fodor's Morocco, Parents' Press, The New Dominion and Expat Women. SHE'S LIKE A RAINBOW, which was recently published, is her second novel.

Colucci holds a BA in French and English from the University at Albany and an MA in Education from Framingham State University.

When not writing, Colucci enjoys practicing yoga, taking long walks and playing with her chocolate Labrador Retriever, Phoebo. Now that she and her husband have four grandchildren, they spend as much time as possible in Virginia with their two sons and their families.

Find her online:

-website
-Goodreads

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

Eileen Colucci will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

THE CHRONICLES OF ALCINIA by Miriam Newman

THE CHRONICLES OF ALCINIA
by Miriam Newman

Available for the first time as an e-book bundle, the award-winning historical fantasy series The Chronicles of Alcinia weaves a tale of war, history, passion and romance. In Book I, The King’s Daughter, Tarabenthia of Alcinia should grow to inherit her father’s throne by the rocky cliffs of the sea. When invaders seize her land, what will she sacrifice in the name of love? In Book II, Heart of the Earth, the Northern Prince who has always wanted Tia saves her life. But will the price of his protection be too high? And finally in Book III, Ice Maiden, readers who wondered about the fate of Tia’s oldest son have their answer. Sometimes heart-wrenching, always powerful, this is a tale of heroes and the women who loved them.

EXCERPT
I was the King's daughter once, so many years ago that sometimes now it is hard to remember. Before the tide of time carried away so many things, so many people, it was worth something to be the daughter of a King.

Our little island nation of Alcinia was not rich, except for tin mines honeycombing the south. It wasn't even hospitable. Summer was a brief affair and fall was only a short time of muted colors on the northernmost coast where my father sat his throne at the ancient Keep of Landsfel. Winter was the killing time and spring was hardly better, with frosts that could last into Fifth- Month. But from the south, where men cut thatch in a pattern like the bones of fish, to the north where rock roses spilled down cliffs to the sea, it was my own.

One thinks such things will never change, yet all things do.

~Buy THE CHRONICLES OF ALCINIA:

-Amazon
-B&N

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

I am sure much of it was due to my mother’s early influence, reading me poetry, myths and legends well beyond what a child would normally hear. It challenged me. I wanted to be like the people who wrote those poems and stories.

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

See as much of the land as possible. I have seen it in imagination. To see it in reality would be awesome beyond my dreams.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

I learned a great deal of the history of Roman Britain and, with it, many of the customs of ancient Rome. One thing I learned was that Roman soldiers were not permitted to marry until their term of service was ended. That would have completely ruined my plot line!

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

Lejo from The King’s Daughter. He was definitely a young rascal with the proverbial heart of gold at the beginning of the book, and still up for a good time by the end of it.

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

Buy him a drink instead.

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

Mystery. I really don’t enjoy it, for some reason. I love political or military twists and turns, but not finding out who done it. In history, you always know who did it! I find a certain reassurance in that.

ABOUT MIRIAM
Beginning a prize-winning career in poetry, Miriam carried her love of the written word into seventeen novels to date. Her offerings range from contemporary and historical fantasy to science fiction and historical fiction, always with a romantic flavoring. Her original novel The King’s Daughter—now part of The Chronicles of Alcinia—was written in Ireland, her second home. When in the U.S., she resides on a small horse farm in Pennsylvania with a collection of rescue animals.

Find her online:

-website
-blog
-Facebook
-Twitter

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 21, 2017

BETRAYER by Leslie D. Soule

BETRAYER
by Leslie D. Soule

With five crystals to destroy, in order to rob the dark lord Malegaunt of his power, Ash Kensington's path is set. She begins a quest with the talking cat, Greymalkin, and her wyvern, Slick. But when she meets up with the handsome dragon slayer, Draeon, her senses overwhelm her, and she becomes distracted. Will she be able to destroy the crystals in time to challenge Malegaunt?

EXCERPT
Ash wasn’t so sure, and her breath caught in her throat. I feel like this is some dreadful portent. Still, she dusted off her cloak, throwing it over her arm. I’ll have to find a spot for it to dry when we get back to the house. She fixed her chestnut hair up into a ponytail and followed Greymalkin over a carpet of snow, brushing snowflakes away from her pale face as she continued on. Things had been tense lately at the house in the deep woods and, though neither Will nor Terces had said anything directly, Ash recognized the strange signs: the knowing glances they gave each other, Will’s frantic writing sessions, and Terces’s new interest in the fighting arts. Terces had been a jester his whole life, so there was no reason on earth why he’d need to fight anyone. What in the world was going on? Ash knew that they were up to something. Why wouldn’t they tell her what it was? If they were planning something, she wanted to help. The sense of not knowing was killing her. Still, she wasn’t going to bring it up at dinner. Surely Will and Terces would tell her eventually…right?

~Buy BETRAYER:

-Melange Books
-Amazon

~Watch the book video

~Buy the first two books in the series:

Book 1: FALLENWOOD

-Melange Books
-Amazon

Book 2: FORGETTING FALLENWOOD

-Melange Books
-Amazon

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

Well, I’ve always written stories, I just haven’t always shared them with others. What inspired me was that I wanted to start sharing some of the thoughts that came to me, and to create Fallenwood as a world that others could enjoy, rather than just keeping it to myself. I feel like I’ve always been a writer, not so much became one.

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

I’d hang out with the mermaids and mermen. They don’t appear in the books thus far, but they’re going to be in book 4, which I’m working on right now.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

You can turn an existing shed-type building into a workable horse stable, if it’s big enough.

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

I’d love to go and hang out with Greymalkin, the talking cat, but we couldn’t go for drinks and pizza, of course, unless he’d transformed into his human form.

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

Offer to buy him a drink instead. I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with a dwarf. I always like to imagine what I’d be like, in Middle-Earth and I think I’d be a rebel elf, who hangs out with the elves during the day, and secretly sneaks out to party with the dwarves at night.

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

Well, I would have said murder mystery, but my friend Tom has had this idea for a voodoo killer novel, and we’re working on it. I’m actually really liking how it’s turning out.

ABOUT LESLIE

Leslie D. Soule is a fantasy/sci-fi author from Sacramento, CA. She has an M.A. in English from National University, and is currently working on the final book of her fantasy series, The Fallenwood Chronicles.

Find her online:

-website
-Twitter
-Facebook

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway