Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WRAITH by Gwenan Hains

WRAITH
by Gwenan Hains

Sixteen years ago, Kira Chiklak’s mother promised her a miracle on Christmas morning. Instead, she woke to the news her brother was gone forever. The Alaskan pilot’s dreams have always told her the future but have never revealed the secrets of her past.

Now Kira’s dreams are warning her another child in Amarok is in danger of meeting the same fate as her brother. As Kira races to save Annie Michaels’ life she comes to believe her past and Annie’s future are inextricably linked.

The last thing Hunter Jackson expects to do during Spring Break is unravel a mystery. When Kira asks for his assistance, he can’t refuse her request. But can he help her protect Annie when his own heart is at risk?

EXCERPT
Sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out if I hadn’t. If I’d kept my nose buried in that menu in search of a dish Icouldn’t pronounce. But I didn’t. I looked up and saw Annie hanging onto the banister as she descended the stairs that led to the Michaels’ apartment. She clung to the hand of a girl I guessed was her babysitter as the two of them made their way across the room toward the kitchen. Annie wore a pink fleece footie sleeper and her auburn hair hung loose around her face. I think that’s what pushed me over the edge. She looked so damn innocent. I pushed my chair back from the table and grabbed the wolf hat out of my jacket pocket.

Hunter’s eyes darkened. “What are you doing?”

“Be right back.”

“Kira, don’t.”

“I have to. I’m sorry.”

Before I could stop myself, I stood up and set off after Annie and the babysitter. They were waiting outside the kitchen doors. Annie was staring at the doors as if she were waiting for her mom to breeze through them, like she always did. The babysitter’s eyes flitted across the restaurant, looking for people she recognized. Then she turned back toward Annie and smiled down at her.

Liv appeared just as I reached Annie and the sitter. Her eyes locked onto mine and even Annie could read the warning there. Stay away from my child.

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
WRAITH is a fantastic little paranormal story full of suspense and with an adorable helping of romance. Kira’s POV is engaging and easy to read. She’s a little quirky, which made her instantly relatable for me. Her love of flying is evident, and her struggle to understand her gift feels real.

Kira and Hunter’s relationship is all kinds of wonderful. It’s clear Hunter cares about Kira and wants to protect her, and it’s refreshing that he doesn’t fulfill that desire in a bad-boy alpha way. At one point, Kira makes a reference to Hunter being kind of a playboy, but I didn’t get that from his character at all. He’s a nice guy, and the transition of his and Kira’s relationship from friends to more felt completely natural.

The mystery is very well done. The hints from when Kira’s brother disappeared years ago carry forward into the current situation with Annie. And the current situation left me with questions, which made me glad to see WRAITH has a sequel. I want to know more about Hunter’s connections to the wolves and more about how the bad guys aren’t the bad guys.

The only thing about WRAITH that bugged me was the opening. The first chapter felt like a lot of backstory, and as a result, it wasn’t until chapter 2 that I felt invested in the story. Otherwise, this was a great little read, and I would definitely read more from Hains.

ABOUT GWENAN

Gwenan Haines lives in New England with her daughter and a Siberian husky born on Halloween. She’s been hooked on suspense ever since her mom read her an old Nancy Drew mystery when she was five years old. She also loves romance and fantasy. Her paranormal novella, WRAITH, and novel, SHIFT, the first two installments in the SHADOW WORLD series, are under contract with Wild Rose Press's fantasy line. When she’s not plotting her newest mystery, she teaches community college and writes lots of poetry.

Find her online:

-Blog
-Amazon Author Page
-Facebook

GIVEAWAY

Gwenan Haines will be awarding $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A IS FOR AUTHOR by Shayla McBride

A IS FOR AUTHOR
by Shayla McBride

Want to write a book of your own? A is for Author can jump-start you on the path to success. Friendly and candid, and a touch curmudgeonly, Shayla gives you the basics on 333-plus must-know subjects that many how-to-write books overlook. Industry jargon is clarified, technique explained, branding and promotion examined, and sex (sort of) illuminated. Easy to read, A is for Author is not only an essential for the new writer, but the perfect holiday gift.

EXCERPT

ADJECTIVES & ADVERBS
# Amelia desperately, agonizingly wanted to leave the untidy, moldy, cluttered, gloomy cellar. But the heavy, solid, thick trap door had slammed shut with a horrifying, terrible, surprising, ear-splitting crash. #

Almost universally, early writers rely on adjectives and adverbs to convey meaning. A work that’s one-third adjectives is unreadable to most people. How to see your adjectives in “real time”? Highlight every modifying word; they’re italicized here. You should have, on a page, only a few spots. If you have a rash, or blocks of the dread highlight, you’re relying too heavily on these words to make the reader understand and to make your writing colorful.

The example above was a tell, not a show. It's an overview instead of an inside glimpse. Here's one fix:

# Amelia screamed as the trap door slammed down, plunging the cellar into darkness. Fingers trembling, she fumbled in her pocket, brought out her cell phone, and switched on the light. It was worse than she'd feared. The place was a filthy trap. Who even knew she was down here? She blinked back tears. #

One adjective: filthy. Active verbs: screamed, slammed, plunging, trembling, fumbled, trapped. Point of view: close. This isn't reporting, this is genre fiction narration(!). See what you can do with the first example. Just take a piece of paper and work out your own solution.

How to fix the adjective blight? Just be aware you’re doing it. Use more active, carefully-chosen verbs and nouns. If it still seems tame, put back in maybe one modifier (see above). Quickly, you'll become aware of how often you're depending on adjectives and adverbs. This is good. It’s a step toward more direct, vibrant writing.

♥ Readers are smart and savvy. You don’t need to inundate them with detail or beat them over the head with what you meant for them to get it.

~Buy A IS FOR AUTHOR on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

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

Artist Chuck Close is quoted as saying, roughly, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and do the work.”. Upon reflection, the idea that many new writers have that inspiration will drive them to success is one of their major stumbling blocks. Writing genre fiction is a hard gig. It’s work, and it’s a craft, and there are processes and techniques to be mastered. There’s jargon to decipher, nuances to learn, and beliefs to abandon. First belief? I can write reports and holiday family letters, so I can write genre fiction. At first, I too thought inspiration would suffice. Took me quite a while to give up that idea. In the end, it doesn’t boil down to your inspiration as much as the reader’s satisfied journey with your carefully-created characters. Which is a craft to be learned. A is for Author covers 333-plus topics that writers will want to know, that’ll speed their development into competent, successful writers.

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

Research some more. This is such a fast-paced world, with so much information streaming at us, it’s difficult to stay current. A is for Author is designed to help newer writers understand techniques of writing, from plotting and world-building to publishing. It gives them basic knowledge they otherwise have to scrounge up one bit at a time.

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

I think this is really cool. The country of origin for books is shown by the first three digits of the bar code. In all cases, regardless of physical origin of book, the code is 978, which is for the country of Bookland. So, as writers, we are all citizens of Bookland. Too bad we don’t have a passport. I wonder what color the cover would be? I’m thinking a lush raspberry, in velvet. Maybe a little gold trim. Sparkles, even. I love sparkles. Forget the practical, plasticized covers, in this fantasy the velvet never wears and the sparkles always shine!

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

Any of them, even the bad ones (provided they’re chained to the floor). The one thing writers should consider is how approachable their characters ought to be. I cover a lot of aspects of creating solid, believable characters in A is for Author.

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

We’ll assume bystanders will not come to my rescue. We’ll assume reason will not work. We speak different languages, maybe, or he’s higher than a weather satellite on some weird drug. Direct action appears the sole thing that can resolve the situation. Either kick him in the balls (I’m short, too) or tell my alpha hero, standing next to me, to tear off his head.

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

Horror. Maybe I’m too easily bored. Maybe I hate to be scared (giggles…I giggle a lot with horror, its just so far-fetched). Maybe I’m just too susceptible to suggestion. I’m not big on King-style horror. I can suspend reality for just so long, then I need a semblance of normal. On the other hand, a little appropriate gore or some psychological tension has never turned me off . Stephen King? No. Lee Child? Nicci French? Yes!

ABOUT SHAYLA

Think of the worst photo you’ve ever had taken. End-of-binge candid, strawpile hair, baggy eyes even Photoshop couldn’t erase, an Autumn shirt and you’re absolutely a Spring. Multiply that by ten. That’s how much the camera likes Shayla. So...no photo.

I’m a native of New York. Now I live in Florida, on the edge of Irma’s path. We’re fine, thanks, although Princess CooCoo refused to come inside while canines were in emergency residence. Before Florida, I lived in Maryland and Morocco. Two years in southern Morocco, in a small town near the Atlantic coast where I was a Peace Corps volunteer, convinced me we can all get along, but we have to try a lot harder than we are now. The previous twenty years in Annapolis, MD convinced me that “Crabtown” is the best, prettiest, funnest state capitol in the US.

At the end of Peace Corps, the idea was I’d move to Paris and become an expat. It was all about the food, of course. And the wine. But my kids are in Florida...so here I am drinking French wine while hurricanes roar instead of drinking it while sitting in a café on the Champs Elysées.

But I wouldn’t be a writer if I’d gone to France, and A is for Author would never have been written. Think of all the new writers who would’ve suffered without that book! And don’t forget the ever-enduring hero Carl Tanner, Key West’s Jake Baron and Margo Hollander, and hilltown Italy’s Marco McCabe and Laura Walter (and all the others) who would never have seen the light of day. Or the black and white of your e-reader or paperback. So it’s all to the good. But...I sure do miss a decent baguette...

I write, on average, seven hours a weekday. Obviously I have no time for housework; fine by me. I do have time for gardening, cooking, painting (house and fabric), my kids and friends, the Florida Symphony, and my fave, travel. I love exploring third world countries, especially their food and music. Street food: yum! Any ancient ruin is on my to-do list, as is any colonial town regardless of age. One of my favorites? Trinidad, Cuba (founded 1514). I do have a photo of Trinidad, and of a delicious garbanzo-ham-chorizo dish I had there. Find it on my website.

Thanks for visiting...Shayla

Find her online:

-website
-Facebook
-Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

Shayla McBride will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DARK CHILD by Miriam Newman

DARK CHILD
by Mariam Newman

Born at a royal banquet for King Conor MacNessa of Ulster, Deirdre is predicted by Conor’s own druid to be blessed and cursed with a beauty that will make kingdoms contest over her. He names her “Deirdre of the Sorrows” and urges the king to slay her. But Conor, unwilling to murder a babe, takes her under his protection only to fall prey to the curse when she is nearly grown. Captivated by her youth and beauty, the aging king will go to any extreme to possess her.

EXCERPT
Once inside, the king and his guests found beef and mutton and pork…fowl and venison and fine, firm pink salmon borne on ice across the sea from Alba where ice was often to be found. Curds and whey they had, and all else that a dairy might supply. There were breads and cakes, pies and pasties of every sort and great quantities of wine, honey mead and ale both light and dark. Yet so deep went Conor’s unease that he had no appetite for them. Singers, dancers and musicians both foreign and native performed, male and female alike, but the crash and roar of the storm drowned out the sounds of their merry-making. Men marked that never had such a storm visited Ulster. Irishmen all they were and accustomed to the rains and gales of their island, but even Conor agreed it seemed no natural storm and that he, too, had a feeling of doom.

“Nonsense,” Felim insisted stoutly as the king merely nibbled at his food, for he saw all his plans dashed to destruction and the favor he wished of Conor turned to stone. “’Tis but a storm!”

Hardly had the words left the storyteller’s mouth than a terrifying scream split the air, a sound to raise the bristle hair on a hound’s back.

“’Tis only my wife, who labors,” Felim insisted, but the king took not a bite further of his food and sat with a pale and ashen face.

“’Bring her here,” Conor ordered, “that I may see if that is the scream of any mortal woman, for I much doubt it.”

And so the unfortunate woman was required to present herself to the king.

“Tell me true,” Conor demanded, “was it you who screamed?”

Felim’s haggard and trembling wife, fearing for her life, nonetheless shook her head, for she knew her maidservants would give her away if she lied to the great king.

“Nay, my lord,” she replied. “’Tis the child that screamed from inside my womb.”

“This is a thing I have never known!” Conor exclaimed, while beside him his druid Catha stood abruptly to lay a hand upon the mother’s belly, his expression dire.

“’Tis the scream of a girl child,” he predicted, “and her name will be Deirdre, the call of alarm, for she will bring war.”

~Buy DARK CHILD:

-Amazon
-B&N

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT MIRIAM
Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at miriamnewman.com.

Find her online:

-website
-Facebook
-Twitter

GIVEAWAY

Miriam will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

FIRE by Sam Rook

FIRE
by Sam Rook

The thrilling conclusion to the Knights of Av’lor trilogy!

Trapped on Av’lor and left for dead by her betrayer, Kathryn’s unrelenting determination is the only thing that might overcome the invading Zahkrinon army.

With the portal destroyed and the Zahkrinon army fast approaching, Kathryn and Lanclor have no choice but to focus on the survival of the Knighthood before they can consider rescuing Rachel. Unexpected events threaten their victory and the combined Av’lorian and Earth forces struggle to survive as their numbers dwindle.

They find the Zahkrinon are more dangerous than they had ever imagined.

EXCERPT
“I know this news is hard to hear, but I wanted you to hear it from me,” Alextor continued. “I will do everything in my power to find a way back for you to return to your homeworld. However, the most pressing matter at hand is the approaching army. We must focus on the approaching hoard of Zahkrinon and dark elves before we can delve into—”

Kathryn abruptly rose from her chair and left the room. Most of the servants scrambled out of her way and faded back into the background, except for one small form who followed Kathryn from the room. Hal shook his head. The servant probably thought she could help the Hero of the Last Battle in some way. Hal turned his attention back to Lord Alextor, determined to listen to what his commanding officer had to say.

“I know not all of you will agree, but I believe—”

Nidira threw herself at her brother’s side and intercepted the knife meant for Lord Alextor’s heart. All around the table, the bare-footed servants randomly attacked the members of the meeting. Blood splashed across the table, a startling contrast against the white slices of bread. Hal jumped to his feet and looked behind him just as a servant prepared to attack.

~Buy FIRE:

-Amazon
-Kobo
-B&N
-Smashwords ~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT SAM
Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

Find Sam at her website

GIVEAWAY

Sam will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

BROKEN ROOTS by Michelle Diana Lowe

BROKEN ROOTS
by Michelle Diana Lowe

sixteen-year-old Teisha Cole moves from London to Florida with her family. Uprooted from the place she loves, she now lives in a broken home full of secrets and lies.

After Teisha's grandmother dies, her fractured family is replanted in rural England, where a kingpin and his clan are laying in wait. What follows is a dangerous game that brings their house to its knees, as the family's wealth begins to disappear.

When her father develops a mysterious illness, Teisha turns detective to unravel the truth. Escaping onto the streets and stumbling into the foster care system may be her only hope of survival.

EXCERPT
My heart is a black, lifeless box sitting inside me. I have no feelings, no emotions, no soul. It is the 15th of November; a cold Monday evening that rattles our bones. The time is 10 o’clock precisely. I am back with Mother after being forced to sleep at an emergency foster carer’s home for thirty nights. Social services deemed it safe for me to return home, for now. Seeing that Mum has been cleared of criminal charges following the cocoa-lacing allegations and hypnosis scandal, and Dad has been institutionalised, she is classed as fit to care for me again, at least in the short-term. Believe it or not, I wished social services had let me stay with the big brash foster lady for longer. They made the wrong call by returning me to Mother. I am not safe here, like they think I am. In fact, I am in grave danger. My life hangs precariously in the balance. Mum and I are under attack, in the middle of a bloodless war. We have been living this way for two days and two nights. Our freedom, liberty and right to speak have been forcibly removed. We live in silence. We live in fear. Travers has occupied the house with others. We are under house arrest, confined to the ground floor, forced to sleep, eat and live downstairs. What goes on upstairs is only Travers’ business. He and his men have swarmed the house like deadly bees, taking it over.

~Buy BROKEN ROOTS:

-Amazon US
-Amazon UK

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
There is no shortage of drama in BROKEN ROOTS. From page one to the very end, Teisha’s life is one storm after another as her world falls apart. Every time I thought things would get better, something else went horribly wrong. At the beginning, I was very invested in this poor girl’s story.

Unfortunately, the sheer volume of terrible things got to me after a short time. I started to wonder if there was anything good that would happen to Teisha. I kept reading, becoming more and more distanced as Teisha seemed only to watch and yell about her life being ruined. I kept wanting her to take charge to fix things. When she finally showed some initiative, things picked up. My interest was renewed, but didn’t last as long as I’d hoped. Teisha soon fell back into the familiar trap of being consumed by how bad things were and doing nothing to change them.

BROKEN ROOTS was a good portrayal of a character who was too overwhelmed to take action. However, the overwhelmed just went on too long for me. Teisha’s bad attitude about everything and her continuing tendency to blame everything on fate or some other invisible force kept me from really connecting with her. At some point, I started to wonder if it would be revealed Teisha was an unreliable protagonist who’d misunderstood something somewhere or suffered from mental illness with delusions, thus bringing the book to a very different and interesting conclusion. Alas, I was disappointed on this front, as well.

All in all, I wanted to like BROKEN ROOTS more than I did. There was so much going on that could have been handled a little differently to bring out the story more. This tale of a teenage girl trying to find her place in a family more messed up than a toddler’s room after playtime left me feeling disconnected. Teisha’s parents were such interesting characters. I wanted more of their issues, but I only got to see those problems through the lens of a young girl who seemed to complain too much about how life was unfair and how she deserved better. Teisha left me wanting as a protagonist and narrator, which ultimately made it difficult for me to get lost in the story.

ABOUT MICHELLE

Born in the early 1980s, I grew up relatively poor, within inner-city London. As a kid, I always had a love of words and stories. I was a lonely and somewhat friendless child, but surrounded myself with books for comfort. The local library and classic novels were my best friends, my escapism from a world that did not quite understand me. In spite of my loneliness and humble beginnings, I felt I had a greater purpose in life. God had made me unique and different for a reason.

Being severely bullied at primary school and experiencing family problems aged nine, I dug deep, and found that, tapping into my passion for words and writing, really helped to repair my soul and aided the healing process. Barely ten years old and a voracious reader – reading Judy Blume novels such as – Deenie, Blubber, Tiger Eyes and Are You There God It's Me Margaret?, I decided to pen my very first novel, which was around 30,000 words in length. The deep satisfaction I had when finishing it, told me that I needed, not just wanted, to be a writer. I was born to be one. Inside me, I knew I had important messages to give the world, through the power of the written word. Making this dream of becoming a published author a reality, then became my long-term goal.

In my late teens and early 20s, I studied English Literature with Philosophy at Roehampton University. Whilst doing my Bachelor of Arts degree, I felt inspired by bestselling novelists, Toni Morrison and Zadie Smith. I absorbed and was mesmerised by, their stories and experiences. As my writing style developed, the positive influences of Toni and Zadie, helped infuse culture and society into my creative work.

After graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with Philosophy, I started working as a Children's Centre Administrator in East London, where I support families by signposting and referring them to key services.

It was in January 2015 that my first career break came. I was signed by US Publisher UrbanEdge for my debut novel UnShatter Me. In April 2016 I submitted my second novel Broken Roots to Creativia Publishing and I was signed by this publisher.

Broken Roots is my most successful novel to date. Not only has it been nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award 2017 in the category of contemporary fiction, but it was also named one of the Best Indie Books of 2016 on Read Free.ly's list. On numerous occasions, Broken Roots has been on 4 Amazon bestseller lists across three different territories, the UK, US and Canada. Furthermore, the Italian translation edition of Broken Roots is now out on Amazon. The Spanish, French and Portuguese editions will be on sale soon.

As an author with urban foundations, I feel I have a commitment to bring more diversity into all my books and into the publishing industry. In my writing, I also have a desire to raise awareness of young mental health, teenagers in foster care and help make a difference in people's lives.

When I am not writing, I love to unwind and relax by watching period dramas and blockbuster movies. I also enjoy reading books in a variety of genres.

You can visit my website for further information about me and my books:

You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

GIVEAWAY

Michelle Diana Lowe will be awarding one physical book copy of Broken Roots to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (UK, Europe, US and Canada only).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 15, 2017

LOVESICK GODS by Amanda Meuwissen

LOVESICK GODS
by Amanda Meuwissen

The elements touch everyone on Earth—Fire, Water, even Light—but every so often someone becomes more attuned to their elemental leaning and develops true power. When an evil Elemental known as Thanatos arrived in Olympus City, it saw the rise of its first hero—Zeus. But the death toll caused by defeating Thanatos changed Zeus, who by day is young detective Danny Grant.

It’s been six months since Thanatos terrorized the city at the start of Lovesick Gods. Danny should be used to his duty behind the mask, but the recent past haunts him. His girlfriend left him, he snaps at the barest provocation, his life feels empty—he needs an outlet, any outlet to pull him out of his depression.

Enter notorious thief Malcolm Cho, the Ice Elemental Prometheus. There was a time when Danny welcomed a fight with Cho, filled with colorful banter and casual flirtations that were a relief compared to Thanatos. Even as a criminal, Cho had recognized the threat Thanatos posed and promised to help Danny stop him, but the day Danny needed Cho, he never showed. Cho was the reason so many people died that day—including Danny’s mother.

Danny decides to teach the man a lesson and fan the fire of their attraction into something more. At worst, he’ll get some no-strings-attached sex out of the deal and finally blow off steam; at best, he’ll get Cho to fall in love with him and then break his heart to spite him. Danny doesn’t expect to fall for Cho in the process, and he certainly can’t predict the much darker threat on the horizon.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT
“I’m just making some weekly...check-ins.”

As amusement lit up Danny’s face, his mouth dropped open. “Oh my god, you are a mob boss.”

Jerking Danny by the sleeve of his trench coat, even though no other passersby were close enough to have overheard, Mal snapped, “Please, Detective. Be louder.”

“Wait,” Danny glanced around them, “how much of this neighborhood is yours? Here…down to Haven…your apartment building…” He spun in a slow circle as he listed everything off and painted a mental picture in his mind of the area. His eyes were wide when he turned back to Mal.

It wasn’t that big of a radius. “Danny…”

Stuffing his hands into his pockets again, Danny regarded Mal like he had everything figured out. “So what do you charge these people if that’s the tip,” he nodded at the bulgogi.

Mal debated for all of ten seconds whether or not he should paint a harsher picture to keep Danny in line or tell him the truth. The heist was a week from Monday. Mal couldn’t afford to alienate his nemesis now, and he honestly wasn’t sure if he wanted to. But in the long run, everything hinged on Danny believing Mal would stick to their deal, which he had every intention of honoring—as long as it continued to suit his aims.

Even if Danny was being a little shit.

“They give me things because they choose to,” Mal said, indicating the general store, then looking around at the other obvious shops and places of business in the neighborhood. “If you want to call me a mob boss, fine. I do offer protection, but I never ask for anything in return. Things…happened when I first moved in. It wasn’t overnight. Some of them have kept the police off my back. They think they owe me. They don’t. But if it keeps a positive relationship going, I won’t prevent it from continuing.”

Scanning down Mal’s body from head to toe, it was like Danny expected nothing less than for all of that to have been a lie. “They don’t owe you,” he repeated, no censor to his skepticism.

Mal shaped his face into as honest of an expression as he could—or at least as honest as he ever got. “I don’t work that way. Not unless I have to.”

“If someone challenges you, you mean.”

“If they’re someone like the Dunkirks or Mendozas, yes.”

“Or me?” Danny’s face went neutral too, and Mal wasn’t quite sure he could read it.

Frowning, he leaned into Danny's space. “No one ever owes me like that.”

Danny’s stoicism fell with a wave of embarrassment as his hands came out of his pockets and he reached for the back of his neck. “I didn’t mean for…”

The sex. No, Danny wouldn’t think of what they were doing as an exchange of services. But truth was, sleeping together meant they could use their new arrangement as a weapon against each other.

~Buy LOVESICK GODS on Amazon. Only 99c during the tour.

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT AMANDA

Amanda Meuwissen has been writing and posting online for many years, including maintaining the website and blog for the software company Outsell. She is an avid writer and consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games, and is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their two cats.

Find her online:

-website
-Tumblr
-Goodreads
-Facebook
-Twitter

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 8, 2017

EVOLVED by Archer Miller

EVOLVED
by Archer Miller

Humanity has spread to the far reaches of space with The Golden Door, a planetary colonization monopoly, selling off every desirable and not so desirable planet to desperate settlers.

Each new world comes with new challenges, and to meet that challenge the children are evolving.

When Pieter, and other gifted children like him, become the target of government research they must fight not only for their lives but the future of their kind.

EXCERPT
Pieter’s eyes opened, but it was an exercise in futility. There was nothing but darkness for him to see. He knew he was awake because of the lancing pain running down his back and across his chest; the cover on his head was stifling and smelled of sweat and blood. He was upright in some sort of chair but he was unable to move. The back of the chair was straight and hard, and he was bound to it with his arms pinned behind his back. He struggled to breathe. His chest was stretched as his shoulders pressed into the chair behind him. A cry of pain rose in his throat, but he clamped his mouth tight to hold it prisoner.

As he gasped for air and strained to ease the pain in his chest and back, a voice from beyond the pain alerted him to another presence.

“Suka is awake.”

“Good. I want this suka blyad to remember this.”

With no way of knowing or seeing its approach a hand struck his face, slamming the back of his head against the hard chair. He could stop the scream, but not the tears that rained from his eyes.

“Little boy want to play,” the voice taunted him.

Something hard crashed into his stomach, forcing the air from his lungs. He tried to breathe, but was unable. What do they want from me?

A second fist slammed into the side of his face, whipping his head to the right.

“Don’t kill him,” the first voice warned.

“I won’t. But he’ll wish I had.”

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

I credit my mother and her love of reading. I learned to read early and as soon as she could she introduced me to Edgar Rice Burrows' John Carter of Mars. When I was 9 and home sick from school she gave me a book called Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I was still in high school when I found two more writers who inspired me, JRR Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey. These are the writers I claim in my DNA.

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

Go hiking in the wilderness with Nika and Sasha.

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

In Russia they celebrate birthdays much the same as we do with one surprising exception. Instead of spanking the celebrant the custom is to pull the ears. This becomes a major event in the life of my hero, Pieter Varushkin.

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

Loki, no question. He's a big happy-go-lucky Viking, who may be a good father and husband, but he also loves to party.

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

Wack him on top of his head with my tankard. If that doesn't work I'll try to drink him under the table.

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

Romance. I have friends who are romance writers and I have a deep respect for what they do, but it's just not in my DNA. (See Question 1)

ABOUT ARCHER

Archer Miller emerged from the East Texas hill country and set his sights on finding the life of which few of his contemporaries dreamed. In 1974, he migrated to Boulder, Colorado to enroll at the Naropa Institute – now known as the Naropa University, a tiny Liberal Arts college founded by the renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and lineage holder, the Ven. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987). Rinpoche was enormously influential in spreading the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to the West.

Archer earned a degree in herbs and creative writing. He was a four-year Letterman on the Varsity Competitive Meditation Team.

After graduating in 1978, he took a year off to hike the Jack Kerouac literary trail. He became a top freelance gun-for-hire with dozens of ad agencies across the south and southwest. As a way to deal with the proliferation of Disco, he took up Zen Archery.

-Find him online

GIVEAWAY

Archer Miller will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway