Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Noble Magic by Joni Parker

- blog tours, book promotions

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The author will be awarding a print copy of “Noble Magic” to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Genre: Fantasy

 

About Noble Magic

Lady Alexin (Alex) battles a band of mortal wizards known as the Octagon, discovers the mysteries of the five legendary diamond eggs, and finally comes into her true powers gifted to her by her conquests and the gifts of her Titan ancestors. Tasked with the seemingly impossible, Alex must find a way to restore the entry points to Seaward Isle or see its inhabitants face certain destruction as the grid holding Eledon together threatens to fall apart.

 

Noble Magic Book Excerpt

Chapter 4:

Noble MagicOff the coast of southern France, a luxurious yacht, at least eighty feet long with large windows and open spaces for sunbathing, rocked gently on the sea. In the lounge, four men sat on a leather sofa, watching the television monitor mounted on the wall with a view of Nemesis in the Elfin chamber. As he delivered his ultimatum to the Elves, the men cheered and shook their fists at the screen. When he ended his threats and the large fireball occurred, they burst into applause. The screen went black.

 

A few moments later, Nemesis entered the room through a black curtain to a standing ovation. He bowed, then pulled up his jeans and slicked his stringy hair away from his face. “I think they got the message. Ecstasy, get this stuff off my face.”

 

Ecstasy clapped loudly and beamed with pride. “Of course, my darling. Sit down. I knew you could do it.” Ecstasy was a man dressed as a woman and threw his arms around Nemesis’ neck and planted a wet kiss on his lips. As he backed away, he waved his wand. “Abracadabra presto change-o! I just love doing your make-up. I love everything about you.”

 

Nemesis’ nose shrunk in size and his color returned to tan. His ugliness was diminished, but didn’t go away. “All right, already. Stop it! Now get a message off to the Dynasty Sisters. They need go in first and get the wand.”

 

Ecstasy closed his eyes and waved his hands over the crystal ball. He mumbled a spell under his breath and peered inside. He leaned back with a sigh. “Oh dear! The girls have gone on a meditation retreat to mourn their grandfather Shinjan and can’t be disturbed for the next month.”

 

“What? Why didn’t you tell me about this? We did this for them. I told you to keep in touch with them.”

 

“I asked them yesterday and they said they were going to be here. I’m sorry.” Tears filled his eyes. “They lied to me…again.”

 

“Damn it! Don’t cry.” Nemesis rubbed his forehead. “All right. Someone else will go. Who wants to go in first?”

 

Silence.

 

Guest Post by Joni Parker

Here’s a short story:

A Baseball Dream

I woke up this morning dreaming of baseball. No, I’m not a player, but my older brother, Eric, loves the game. Everything he has is covered with baseball logos from his notebook for school to his T-shirts. His goal is to play short stop on the Arizona Diamondbacks, but first, his team needs to win today’s game to qualify for the Little League World Series. I’m excited for him, but I have this thing about my dream. It wasn’t that they won or lost, but I got hit on my left eye with a foul ball. It was so vivid that I had to tell my dad about it.

 

“Don’t worry about it,” he told me. “It’s just a dream.”

 

We left early to get to the ball park in plenty of time. We’d never been to this field before—it was across town. As soon as we got there, my brother ran off to join his teammates and my dad picked out our seats on the bleachers running parallel to the first base line. As I sat down, I felt like I had been here before, but I knew I hadn’t. It was in my dream.

 

With popcorn in one hand and soda can in the other, I watched the first batter on our team come to the plate. His name was Reggie and my brother called him ‘Sandwich,’ for obvious reasons. He struck out and we sighed in unison. ‘Top Cat’ Tom was next and he got a base hit. We cheered as if he’d hit a home run. Then Eric stepped up to the plate. He swung and missed the first pitch, but connected with the second. The sharp ting of the aluminum bat drove us to our feet as we watched the ball rise in the air and curve foul over the first base line. The fence should have caught it, but the ball took on a life of its own, rising higher over the fence and veering directly for me. I watched mesmerized by it—it was coming for me the same way it had in my dream. Was this real?

 

Just before the ball hit my face, my dad reached over and deflected it—the ball glanced off my left cheek and skittered away, but it still hurt and I cried. If it hadn’t been deflected, it would have hit my left eye. Just like my dream.

 

Through my tears, I said, “Dad, my dream came true…just like I told you.”

 

“It’s just a coincidence,” he said as he checked the redness on my face. “Hold the soda can against your cheek. It’ll keep the swelling down. You’ll be okay.” He hugged me with one arm around my shoulder. “Why didn’t you catch it?”

 

“I didn’t catch it in my dream either. Sorry, Dad.”

 

About Joni Parker

author Joni ParkerJoni currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, but she was born in Chicago, lived in Japan, graduated high school in Phoenix, and got married in New Jersey. Not only was she married to a career Navy sailor, but she also completed 22 years of active duty service herself. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, an MBA, and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences (MMAS) from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

 

After her husband passed away, she returned to the work in the Department of Homeland Security until she discovered her love of writing. She retired again and has written two series, “The Seaward Isle Saga,” a three-book series, and “The Chronicles of Eledon” with “Spell Breaker,” “The Blue Witch,” “Gossamer,” and “Noble Magic.”

 

 

Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParkerJoni

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoniParker

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0747SFZLG/ref=pe_820620_248963730_em_1p_0_ti

 

The author will be awarding a print copy of “Noble Magic” to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

 

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Trust with Hearts ‒ Behind the Scenes

- writing tips

Trust With Hearts by Kelli A WilkinsBy Kelli A. Wilkins

www.KelliWilkins.com

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my latest contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts.

 

Readers are always curious about how books “happen” ‒ how do they start out as a random idea and become an actual book, filled with great characters, drama, and sizzling love scenes? The answers vary, and each novel comes to me in a different way.

 

How did Trust with Hearts come about? Is the sexy and sultry Curtis based on a particular country music celebrity? Here’s the scoop…

 

The idea for Trust with Hearts came to me before a country music concert. I was sitting in the front row before the show started, when all of a sudden the whole plot and all the characters jumped into my head. Naturally, I started scribbling down notes (on the back of an envelope, of all things!) before the house lights went down.

 

Although inspired by real-life, the character of Curtis isn’t based on that one particular country music superstar – rather, he’s a blend of three or four cowboy-hat-wearing singer/songwriters. Elements of the “inspirational” singer are there, but I used my imagination to fill in background details and invented whatever else I needed to make the story work.

 

Trust with Hearts is a bit different from my other romances in that it has a more “traditional” romance novel feel – but still contains plenty of heat. Although Sherrie and Curtis are attracted to each other, they’re total strangers and are hesitant about getting involved in a relationship. They’ve both been unlucky in love, and aren’t sure if giving their hearts away is even worth the time or trouble.

 

The book gives them the whole summer to get to know each other. Readers peek into their troubled pasts and follow along as Curtis and Sherrie heal their hearts, love, and learn to trust again.

 

The subplot of the book – Sherrie’s devotion to save Kitty Corner – was crucial because I wanted to give her a purpose, something to build her self-esteem. Sherrie’s cat adoption project lets her help unfortunate cats who need rescuing and good homes. It parallels how Dave takes Sherrie in (aka “rescues” her) and gives her a second chance at a new life.

 

And, on a more personal note, giving Sherrie the “job” of helping cats allowed me to make a social/personal statement. I’m a cat person and I’ve written three cat care books. I always advocate adopting pets (of all kinds) from shelters and giving them a real home. (Would you want to live out the rest of your life in a wire cage?)

 

Back on topic: Knowing how I often write sequels, a reader asked if there will be another book following up Trust with Hearts. Will Dave get his own story?

 

I do have an idea for a sequel in mind. What if Curtis’s cousin Jen suddenly had to move in with Dave? Hmm… I already have a plot brewing in the back of my mind, so if readers would like to see a follow-up story, let me know!

 

And here’s a little-known fact: Once upon a time, Trust with Hearts had an entirely different ending. Curtis and Sherrie were driving back to Dave’s house when they got into a car accident. The Ventura was demolished, Sherrie was thrown clear, but she had to go back into the burning car and rescue Curtis. I opted to delete the “car wreck” chapter after several people told me it felt too “tacked on” and was depressing. This version of the story has a new epilogue, and readers can see that Sherrie and Curtis are certainly living happily-ever-after.

 

I’m glad to say that the book has received some great reviews:

 

Trust with Hearts is a must read. You will laugh, cry, and in the end, you will totally fall in love with the story. It is character rich, and full of drama along with some sizzling scenes to spice it up. The relationship with her characters helps us see that Curtis and Sherrie may not make it, but then, as the drama unfolds, and she shows us their hearts, we realize there just may be more there than meets the eye. This book will remain on my favorites shelf for a long while, and it is a definitely recommended read from this reviewer.” – Rose, Reviewer, Romance at Heart.com

 

 

4.5 stars! Trust with Hearts is beautifully written. You struggle with Sherrie as she tries to regain her footing, and Curtis’s charm is intoxicating as it flows off the pages. I am always thrilled when I get the chance to discover a new-to-me author who I can’t wait to read more from.” – Emily, Reviewer, SingleTitles.com

 

Here’s the book summary and an exclusive excerpt:

 

 TRUST WITH HEARTS

After a bitter breakup, Sherrie Parker seeks refuge at her cousin Dave’s house in rural West Virginia. Early one morning, she runs into Dave’s other houseguest, a singer named Curtis Taylor. The last thing Sherrie wants is to share living quarters with a country music crooner – even if he is sexy, in a cowboy sort of way.

Thrown together by circumstances, Sherrie and Curtis get off to a rocky start, but soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. Unable to fight their growing attraction, they give in to their desires and start a sizzling summer romance.

Everything is perfect between them until Sherrie discovers that Curtis is keeping secrets from her – and his biggest secret of all will change everything. Can their newfound love survive, or will destiny keep them apart forever?

 

An exclusive excerpt:

 

As she made her way down the hall, she saw Curtis standing in the living room near the sofa. He had dimmed the lights and lit a few vanilla-scented candles. She approached him slowly, unsure of what to say.

He extended his hand. “How about another dance, darlin’?”

Her heart thundered as she slipped her hand into his. “There’s no music.”

“Wait…” Curtis reached behind her and clicked the CD player’s remote control. An upbeat guitar solo filled the room.

As Curtis settled her to his chest, she melted against him and inhaled his cologne. After a minute, she decided to open up. “I’m a bit nervous.”

“There’s no need to be. Nothin’ will happen here that you don’t want to.”

“It’s not that. I want to, but…” She looked down. “It’s been a while, and I’m not very—”

He squeezed her closer. “Shh, move to the music. Don’t worry about a thing.”

Curtis swayed her around in time with the song. This song wasn’t as sad and lamenting as most of the other country music he had. “Whose CD is this?”

“Mine.”

“I know that. I mean, who’s singing? I like this song.”

He nudged her with the brim of his hat. “Your favorite superstar, CJ.”

“It figures.” She laughed. “I guess I’m starting to like him.”

“You don’t know how happy that makes me,” Curtis said, nuzzling her neck.

The song ended, and she stayed snuggled in Curtis’s arms.

“Another dance? I’ve got lots of music.”

“Sure.” She rested her head against his shoulder as the next song started. It was a slow, haunting tale of lonesome nights.

Curtis caressed her back in time to the song and she cuddled closer. Little by little, her nervousness was fading and being replaced with a smoldering passion.

He kissed her as the song ended. She stroked his chest as their tongues entwined and hungered for more. She was vaguely aware of the songs changing as they were lost in each other. This was nice, but she wanted him to tear off her clothes and ravage her.

“I want you so bad,” she whispered, then turned away. “I can’t believe I said that.”

“It’s okay. I like a vocal girl. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you want… and like. It turns me on,” he said, as he brushed her hair to one side and sucked on her neck, making her moan. He glided his hands up her ribs and cupped her breasts through her shirt. She swayed as he pinched her nipples with his thumbs.

“Now don’t you faint on me.” He took off his hat and settled it on her head, then danced her backward until she was leaning against the wall outside the bedroom. “See if you can hold up this wall while I do sinful things to you.”

She listened to the music as Curtis unbuttoned her blouse. Her skin tingled as he parted the material. She opened her eyes and dared a peek at him. He was staring at her chest.

“You are so beautiful,” he whispered, then kissed the top of each breast.

“Should I take this off?” she asked, reaching for her bra strap.

“No, no. I’ll take care of everything. Tonight’s your night, Sher.”

 

Order your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Trust-Hearts-Kelli-Wilkins-ebook/dp/B074422FHY

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1262138470

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trust-with-hearts-kelli-a-wilkins/1029121857;jsessionid=B34CBCAE108E078A185537FBAFB08F9A.prodny_store01-atgap04?ean=2940154716670

Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/a7e88b32-d5a0-43b6-b0d8-6e1e42b317b7

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/354309578/Trust-with-Hearts

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/trust-with-hearts

24Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=2316172

 

I hope you’ll check it out. Trust with Hearts was a lot of fun to write and blends a sultry romance with heartwarming drama.

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

 

Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.

Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

 

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=61801

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Intimate Journeys by SS Hampton Sr

- blog tours, book promotions

Intimate Journey tour banner

 

GENRE: Erotic Sci-Fi Fantasy Romance

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

 

Intimate Journeys Book Description

The most intimate journeys, though they are polar opposites, involve the unparalleled pleasures of sex and the inevitable unknown of death. Both are an experience unlike anything else: one is sought by everyone, while the other is avoided by everyone – for as long as they can. Sometimes these polar opposites complement each other.

 

Intimate Journeys Book Excerpt

“The Whisper of Ereshkigal,” Intimate Journeys

 

intimate journeys book coverWith closed eyes the tall, bald, square-faced man reveled in the warmth of the setting sun and enjoyed the gentle caress of the breeze that rustled the leafy fronds of the surrounding date palms. He inhaled the heady aroma of perfumed flowers and listened to the buzz of bees flitting from flower to flower. From far below, like the shimmer of the desert heat, rose the music of drums, pipes, lutes, and lyres, the sweet voices of young women singing, and the muted roar of the crowds.

 

“Alulim,” a throaty, seductive voice whispered with the softness of the sun-warmed wind. “I have accepted your sacrifices for many years.”

 

The kneeling man dressed in a leather kilt decorated with hanks of sheep wool, opened his eyes and gazed upon a dusky-skinned woman with bright obsidian eyes, and long raven-black hair that fluttered in the soothing breeze. She wore a shoulder collar of gold, blue lapis lazuli, and red carnelian, and leaf shaped earrings of gold dangled from her ears. She wore a long sleeveless dress of colored wool, and was barefoot.

 

She smiled and held a black and red-henna decorated hand out to him. “Take my hand,” she said with a crooked little smile. “Come with me at last. Enjoy my love.”

 

Thin clouds on which the setting sun cast shades of orange, white, red and yellow floated across the twilight sky behind her. The life-giving sea sparkled in the distance as did the waters of the marshes that reached from the sea up to the surrounding fields…

 

Author Bio

Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a published author, photographer and photojournalist. He retired in 2013 from the Nevada Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army, and the Army Individual Ready Reserve (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War). He enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom, with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

 

He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a multi-media exhibit. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

 

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.

 

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. He has been studying at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with in a double major in Art and English. He recently returned from spending a cold, rainy Spring 2017 semester studying at a university in southwestern France in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains.

 

After 16 years of desert in the American Southwest, and Southwest Asia, he still misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters.

Hampton can be found at:

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sharing-rachel-ss-hampton-sr/1120349766?ean=2940046334791

 

Dark Opus Press

https://www.createspace.com/3685965

 

Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing

http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/dansemacabre/dansemacabre.html

 

Melange Books

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sshampton/index.html

 

MuseItUp Publishing

https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museitup/mainstream/better-than-a-rabbit-s-foot-detail

 

Amazon.com Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/SS-Hampton-Sr/e/B00BJ9EVKQ

 

Amazon.com. UK Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/SS-Hampton-Sr/e/B00BJ9EVKQ

 

Goodreads Author Page

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888342.S_S_Hampton_Sr_

 

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

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Book Spotlight & Excerpt: Saved by H.L. Anderson

- blog tours, book promotions

saved banner

 

Genre: Romantic Thriller

Saved Book Description

Theresa Kent is a wife, mom, and hardworking nurse living in rural Colorado. Life is good until her increasingly despondent, unemployed husband suddenly snaps—his vicious attack leaves Theresa fighting for her life as she tries to escape the insane version of the man she loves.

 

Ryan Tucker appears to have it all, except he’s been merely existing, not living, for the the last three years. His emotions get a much needed jump start when he rescues Theresa from the torment her life has become in just a matter of days. Ryan feels an instant and fierce desire to protect this stranger that fell into his life.

 

Hanging over their heads is the knowledge that Theresa’s husband is still out there, hunting for her.

 

Can two broken souls be repaired, or will the demons of the past and present come between the repressed love that grows between them?

 

Saved Book Excerpt

Saved book coverTheresa sat forward, the seatbelt tugging at her collarbone. She smiled as she stared at the crooked, brown, furry trunks that split into thick branches—a melon-sized clump of green reaching for the sky atop each branch. “I’ve killed a cactus before. More than one, actually.”

 

“Ah. Did the cactus do something to deserve an early demise? Or, are you just a silent psychopathic killer of cacti?”

 

She cringed a little at his choice of words, but hid it with a small chuckle. “Neither. I’m just really bad at keeping plants alive. My thumb is not only decisively not green—it’s necrotic. I have necrotic thumb syndrome when it comes to plants.”

 

“Hmm. I see. So, how, exactly, do you go about killing a cactus?”

 

“Well, there are several ways actually. Too much water. Not enough sunlight. And, surprisingly, not enough water. Apparently, you can’t just ignore one and hope it sucks up enough moisture from the air to survive.”

 

“Okay. Necrotic thumb noted. There will be no gifts of living plants from me in your future. How do you fare with the plastic versions?”

 

She snorted at the fake seriousness in his voice. Turning to him, she wrinkled her brow to match his tone. “I can’t guarantee the safety of even synthetic greenery in the care of my black and decaying thumb.”

 

Mouth twitching, he narrowed his eyes and placed a finger alongside his jaw, nodding. “I see. This is more serious than I thought. Dead flowers and chocolate will have to suffice, I suppose.”

 

She laughed, then turned serious, laying her hand on his arm where it rested between them. “Or, we could just say that saving my life and taking care of me when you really didn’t have to is enough of a gift to last an entire lifetime and then some.”

 

Author Bio

Holli Anderson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing—which has nothing to do with writing, except maybe by adding some pretty descriptive injury and vomit scenes to her books. She discovered her joy of writing during a very trying period in her life when escaping into make-believe saved her. She enjoys reading any book she gets her hands on, but has a particular love for anything fantasy.

Along with her husband, Steve, and their four sons, she lives in Grantsville, Utah—the same small town in which she grew up.

Links

Website:  www.holli-anderson.com

 

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/Author-Holli-Anderson-338395009614151/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HaAuthor

 

Instagram: anderson.holli

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The Once Upon A Princess Duet Blog Tour 11/6 – 11/20

- blog tours, book promotions

the once upon a princess duet blog tour banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blog tour for Once Upon A Princess is from November 6th – November 20th.

Visit the tour stops and enter to win a $25.00 Gift Card.

November 6th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

November 8th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

November 9th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Nesie’s Place

November 10th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

November 12th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

November 13th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily

November 15th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog

November 17th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

November 18th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Indy Book Fairy

November 20th: Book Review @ Nesie’s Place

 

The Once Upon A Princess Duet Book Description

In these two short and sexy “fairy tale” novellas, two princesses find that love with a shifter hero is not without complications – but there is always a happily-ever-after.

No cliff-hangers. Each story is complete. Mature readers only.

Includes both “Once Upon A Princess” novellas

 

“Heart of Stone”
In the ruins of a country destroyed by a curse. Princess Leesa goes looking for a way to help her people. Desperate to find an item of value to trade for supplies, she trespasses into an abandoned palace.

There, she finds more than she bargained for when she encounters a lonely Gargoyle who offers to provide her with everything she needs, for a price.
If she’s willing to pay it, she may find the love she’s been looking for. Or she may lose it, forever.

 

“Beauty & the Faun”
Kayla, a poor young woman runs away when her rich uncle and aunt arrange her marriage to a shifter prince from another land. Her uncle needs gold to settle his debts and the king is offering a great reward if he can obtain a willing bride for his son.

But Kayla’s plans to hide in the Great Forest hit a snag when two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a very sexy faun shifter who is ready to teach Kayla a thing or two about life and love.

Buy on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076VXJD6W

Other online booksellers: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2odkO

 

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Four Days with Jack — What Will People Think?

- writing tips

by Kelli Wilkins

Four Days with JackHi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my gay romance, Four Days with Jack. In this contemporary novella, best friends David and Jack embark on a sexual relationship. David has always loved Jack and has fantasized about being his lover, but he lacked the courage to admit his feelings—until now.

 

Four Days with Jack is one of the few books I wrote without an outline. I think not having a pre-planned structure let the characters write their own story (so to speak), and took the book in new directions.

 

At first, I didn’t know what the story would be. All I had was a basic plot (straight guy comes out to his gay best friend), a title, and one pivotal scene that takes place in a bathroom. (For those of you who have read the book, you know which scene I’m talking about – but I won’t give it away here.)

 

From there, I let my imagination wander and came up with the resort, the rest of the plot, and the unusual cast of characters that Jack and David encounter. As I wrote, David quickly revealed a major conflict—inner turmoil. Over four days, David and Jack learn a lot about themselves, each other, and what sacrifices they’ll make to stay together.

 

David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He’s afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him? If so, how will his life change?

 

These aren’t the typical types of questions that my straight characters have to face in their romances. And this line of thinking really got me wondering about what it’s like for people to come out in real life. Will they be shunned by friends and family? Should they tell anyone? Live a lie? Move to a new state? What if they live in a state that’s more conservative and not gay-friendly? What will their coworkers think? Is their preference really anybody’s business?

 

I picked up on this theme of “What will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”

 

As I was writing this story, I considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it.

 

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters and story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.

 

Or maybe not. One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank). As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobic ass who says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and he treats his own wife like crap.

 

So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show that not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that help band David and Jack together during a crisis moment. Is Frank an over-the-top stereotype? No, I don’t think so, because he’s a compilation of a few real people I’ve encountered.

 

Even in this day and age, some people are offended by gay romances and consider them “icky” or immoral. (Yes, I was actually told by a book reviewer that gay romances are icky!) My philosophy is pretty simple when it comes to that: it’s a free country, so read whatever you want —but don’t expect me to censor what I write because you have a problem with it.

 

This re-release is a bit different from the original version. I’ve given the story an overhaul and made a lot of changes. New scenes were added, others were completely revised, and a few were deleted. I was happy to make one significant change to this edition: when the book was originally published by Amber Quill Press, gay marriage wasn’t recognized. I’m pleased to report that I’ve included a line where “same-sex couples are getting married all over the country.”

 

Now more than ever, I’m just as proud of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after with whatever partner they choose.

 

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life.

 

Here’s the book summary and a mild excerpt:

 

Four Days with Jack

 

When David invited his best friend on vacation, he never expected them to fall in love…

 

Spending four days in a tropical paradise with Jack is a dream come true. For years, David has lived a lie and denied his romantic feelings for Jack. Now that they’re together in an isolated Caribbean resort, he finally admits what he really wants—to be Jack’s lover.

Jack has been in love with David for years and is encouraged by his desire to explore a sexual relationship. He’s more than willing to introduce David to the life he has always fantasized about. Their sizzling nighttime encounters confirm David’s long-hidden cravings, but what will happen when they leave the resort?

Will David come out and start a new life with Jack? Or will he go back to his old ways and risk losing the best friend he ever had?

 

The excerpt:

Jack finished brushing his teeth and studied his reflection in the mirror. He looked happy for a change, and for once, he felt content. How many years had he waited, prayed, for this night? He’d been hopelessly in love with David forever. Now they were together. But why? What had prompted David to make the leap?

Obviously breaking up with Allison had played a part in his sudden “conversion,” but what would happen when they got home? Would David come out to his parents and everyone else? Or keep living a lie?

He flicked off the bathroom light and went into the bedroom. David’s steady breathing told him he was asleep. It was no wonder that he was exhausted. They’d had a long day—flying in from Philly, sitting in the sun, drinking… and now this. He smiled. And they still had two more nights in their island paradise.

He walked to the veranda, slid the screen door open, and stepped outside. The night air was a bit chilly, yet the cool breeze felt refreshing. He gazed toward the ocean. A quarter moon reflected off the water. In the distance, he heard calypso music and people laughing. That was an interesting thing about the resort; although hundreds, maybe thousands of people were around, it felt like they were alone.

You have to tell him about Andre. It’s only fair.

He leaned against the railing and sighed. Eventually David would ask him how he could toss aside his live-in boyfriend of two years. He was too morally straight not to question if this was considered cheating.

Ironically, he had been dating Andre exactly as long as David had been with Allison. But Andre had kicked him out a week before David and Allison called it quits.

Despite what happened, part of him still loved Andre. But Andre had only been interested in getting hard and getting off. There was no romance between them, just whatever it took to come. David was different. When he was with him, it wasn’t about sex. They had a connection. They belonged together.

And besides, he couldn’t go back to Andre, not after what he did. It was one thing to have an argument and move out, but when the person you loved hit you—

“What are you doing?”

David’s sleepy-sounding voice broke him from his thoughts, and he cleared his throat. “Watching the water,” he said, then reentered the room. Thinking about the situation with Andre depressed him. Right now, he felt like curling up with David and telling him everything—but he didn’t want to burden him.

“Should I get a wake-up call?”

“Nah, let’s sleep in.” He stripped, then pulled the sheets back and climbed into bed. Instinctively, they rolled onto their sides and kissed.

“Thank you for tonight,” David said, nestling close. “What can I do for you?”

“Hold me, and don’t let go.”

 

Order your copy of Four Days with Jack here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FTMWHL

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/four-days-with-jack-kelli-a-wilkins/1109557509;jsessionid=1D70C74A962E0DE7D2F5CD770AAE14DD.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=2940154705599#productInfoTabs

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1243886678

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/four-days-with-jack-1

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/350128475/Four-Days-with-Jack

Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/fa9ee1d1-3b1c-4e9c-b8ce-138ac7f472eb

24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=2275200

 

I hope you’ll check it out. I fell in love with the characters, and I hope readers will too. It’s got a good blend of humor, drama, and plenty of sizzling love scenes that will heat up your summer!

Happy Reading,

Kelli

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

 

Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.

Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

 

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=61801

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New Releases: Once Upon A Princess Shifter Paranormal Fairy Tales

- book promotions, Paranormal Romance

Once Upon A Princess: Beauty and the Faun

beauty and the faun cover

In this short and sexy “fairy tale” paranormal romance novella, a princess finds that love with a shifter hero is not without complications – but there is always a happily-ever-after.

 

One complete novella. No cliffhangers. Mature readers only.

Kayla, a poor young woman runs away when her rich uncle and aunt arrange her marriage to a shifter prince from another land. Her uncle needs gold to settle his debts and the king is offering a great reward if he can obtain a willing bride for his son.

 

But Kayla’s plans to hide in the Great Forest hit a snag when two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a very sexy faun shifter who is ready to teach Kayla a thing or two about life and love.

Buy on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076VXNWHB

 

 

 

The Once Upon A Princess Duet

once upon a princess duetTwo Paranormal Fairy Tales

In these two sexy paranormal romance “fairy tales,” two princesses find that love with a shifter hero is not without complications – but there is always a happily-ever-after.

 

Includes the two complete Once Upon A Princess short novellas.

 

“Heart of Stone”
In the ruins of a country destroyed by a curse. Princess Leesa goes looking for a way to help her people. Desperate to find an item of value to trade for supplies, she trespasses into an abandoned palace.

 

There, she finds more than she bargained for when she encounters a lonely Gargoyle who offers to provide her with everything she needs, for a price.

 

If she’s willing to pay it, she may find the love she’s been looking for. Or she may lose it, forever.

 

“Beauty & the Faun”
Kayla, a poor young woman runs away when her rich uncle and aunt arrange her marriage to a shifter prince from another land. Her uncle needs gold to settle his debts and the king is offering a great reward if he can obtain a willing bride for his son.

 

But Kayla’s plans to hide in the Great Forest hit a snag when two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a very sexy faun shifter who is ready to teach Kayla a thing or two about life and love.

 

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076VXJD6W

Buy on all other online booksellers: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2odkO

 

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Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Of The Divine by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

- blog tours, book promotions

Of the Divine banner

 

GENRE:  Fantasy

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes will be awarding a limited edition print copy of the book *U.S. only* to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Of the Divine Description

Henna is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Order of Napthol, and her runes ’s runes tell her that the future of Kavet is balanced on the edge of the knife. The treaties between Kavet and the dragon-like race known as the Osei have become intolerable. The time has come for the royal house to magically challenge Osei dominion. Prince Verte, Henna’ lover, is to serve as the nexus for the powerful but dangerous spell, with Naples–an untested young sorcerer from the Order of Napthol–a volatile but critical support to its creation.

 

Amid these plans, Dahlia Indathrone’s arrival in the city shouldn’t matter. She has no magic and no royal lineage, and yet, Henna immediately knows Dahlia is important. She just can’t see why.

 

As their lives intertwine, the four will learn that they are pawns in a larger game, one played by the forces of the Abyss and of the Numen—the infernal and the divine.

 

A game no mortal can ever hope to win.

 

Interview with Author Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Of the Divine book coverHow would I describe a perfect hero?

This question jumped out at me because of the use of the word “perfect.” Of course I think I know what it’s supposed to mean (I would guess, “How would you describe the hero you would most like to read about?” or, “What kind of hero makes the best book?”) but that wasn’t the question asked.

 

A perfect hero is someone who always does the right thing for the right reasons. They consider which actions will benefit the world the most, but aren’t heartlessly utilitarian; they recognize the smaller hardships as well. They listen well, communicate well, ask for help when necessary, take or give credit when appropriate.

 

If they must charge, they charge only what is appropriate for their services and what a community or individual can afford. They are polite to all, unless rudeness is truly called for and necessary. They are confident but not arrogant. I could go on, but I think one thing is clear: the perfect hero is dreadfully dull to read about.

 

I like my heroes gritty. They struggle. Sometimes they’re selfish, or petty, or overly proud, or self-conscious. They are real people with real strengths and weaknesses. They come from a culture with all its richness, beauty, and limitations and biases. They have disabilities (but the story isn’t about “overcoming” or “curing” those disabilities– they simply exist). They exist in a world where they get to be complex and make mistakes (that said, they aren’t so disgustingly prejudiced and misogynist that my flesh crawls reading about them–that’s not a character flaw that appeals to me).

 

In short, the heroes I enjoy reading about are Roland of Gilead of the Dark Tower series (the books, not the awful movie), or Peter Quill of Guardians of the Galaxy— not Superman. In Lord of the Rings, it was Gollum I loved at the end, not Frodo.

 

What’s your favorite song on your playlist?

These days, “my playlist” contains songs from Moana, Frozen and Trolls, with a couple highlights of Jewish children’s music (“Bim Bam,” “Alef Bet,” etc.). That’s what I’m allowed to listen to in the car or when my daughter is up without her strongly objecting. On the other hand, if nothing else repetition and familiarity (and possibly Stockholm Syndrome) has made me appreciate these songs more and more.

 

Currently, my favorite from the list is “”Get Back Up Again” from Trolls. If you haven’t watched the movie, it’s a power-song, a “I will accomplish this difficult task no matter what setbacks I face!” song… during which the main character is literally repeatedly eaten. At the end she’s poisoned and wrapped up in a spider web, but after the other character revives her she pops up with the line, “get back up again!” It’s surreal and disturbing and I love it because it reminds me of all the ridiculousness of life and how sometimes you’ve got to just keep trucking no matter how rough things seem.

 

Of course, given an opportunity I also like to write with music on, so most of my books also have playlists. Most of the Mancer Trilogy was written and/or revised to the sound of Dar Williams’ two albums, “Better Self” and “Promised Land.” Many of the songs from these albums were written in protest of the Iraq war and other post-9/11 policies, which is the real-life context that first inspired the Mancer trilogy. Other songs, like “Teen for God” or “Two Sides of the River” speak to me about the power of belief, and how belief changes or can be found or lost or missed. My favorite of the list, however, is probably “Buzzer.” It makes some good points about society as well, like most of Williams’ work, but mostly I’m a huge psychology nerd so I love that an artist used the Milgram experiment as the basis of a song.

 

Do you have a favorite scene? If so, what was it?

 

I do have a favorite scene, and it’s my favorite because I’m a horrible, evil person. I can’t tell you about it because it’s a spoiler, but as you read Mancer 2, the moment when you start yelling at me in your head (or out loud, if you’re a really active reader)– reach out to me on Twitter and ask if that’s it. Every time I give a copy of Mancer 2 to a friend or a beta reader, I anxiously await their phone call or email or text message yelling at me.

#SorryNotSorry

 

Any challenges in writing this book?

 

Several, but I’ll mention two here.

From an obvious plotting standpoint, Mancer 2: Of the Divine takes place 70 years before Mancer 1… which was also already published before I finished editing Mancer 2. I always knew I meant the prequel to be the second in the series, because it makes sense in terms of how the major plot is unveiled, but how it sits meant I needed to be careful with my consistency. I also needed to constantly weigh what readers knew from Mancer 1, and how that would affect certain reveals, versus what new readers (or readers returning after time between books) didn’t know and wouldn’t notice.

 

For example, Dahlia Indanthrone is one of the four narrators of Book 2. In the first draft, her name was dropped as a Big Reveal, because readers should know from Mancer 1 that Winsor Indanthrone is President in modern day Kavet. Readers were meant to wonder how she goes from when we meet her to her descendant holding such a position of power. What actually happened was that people went, “Why did it take so long to get her name?” or “That name sounds kind of familiar but I can’t place it.” I eventually had to accept that I couldn’t treat this as a major reveal because most readers wouldn’t recognize its importance. So, it’s there, but if you don’t make the connection until you read Mancer 3 and someone points it out, it doesn’t hurt the story at all.

 

All that was trivial compared to certain questions of inclusion. Of the Divine is set in the capital city of Kavet, a major port city that sees a great variety of people, but my first draft (written quickly before all my world-building was done) was very homogeneous and white. The book also deals with religious conflicts and sexuality, also issues that need to be addressed with care. As a gay, Jewish woman, there are some aspects I can address from my own experience, but there are also experiences beyond my own (namely: I’m a white woman from mostly-white suburbia, and having non-white friends does not make me an expert in how to handle race in fiction).

 

I ended up working with a couple sensitivity readers to address issues I never would have realized were issues on my own, things I’m tempted to describe as “little things” because they seem little to me but which are apparently very important to certain readers. For example, I’m personally more than a little obsessed with food. When I go to write a description, I tend to use a lot of food-descriptors, unless I consciously stop myself (someone once told me my character Adjila from Persistence of Memory sounded like a fancy latte from Starbucks because of the description I used for him). What I didn’t know until a sensitivity reader pointed it out is that these kinds of descriptions are disproportionately used for POC, and thus are offensive, and can be triggering.

 

My immediate response when my sensitivity reader told me this was, much to my shame now, predictable: What’s the big deal? Oh, I don’t mean it that way. I describe everything that way. I’m glad that reader gave feedback in a way that I didn’t need to respond immediately, so I had time to process and consider and realize: It’s not a big deal to me because I’m white. I don’t get to decide if it’s a big deal to someone else. I had time to get my privilege under control so I didn’t say something defensive and obnoxious, but could instead say, “Thank you for pointing this out.”

 

So I started researching ways to do better, instead, and started practicing two mantras in my head for when I’m writing and getting beta-reading feedback: If it’s not my experience, I don’t get to judge whether or not it’s important, and, Try not to be an insensitive jerk, Amelia.

 

Wow, I apparently had a lot to say on that topic!

 

One way or another, I hope you enjoy the Mancer Trilogy. I’ve enjoyed writing it, and learned a lot through it. Thanks for being here today and thanks for reading!

 

 

Of the Divine Excerpt

The pride of Osei abruptly turned and dove. Serpentine bodies large enough to lift ships from the sea plummeted. They changed shape so close to the ground that the wind from their wings smacked the plaza like a hand, rattling or knocking over the light carts and tables the early morning merchants set up to display their wares. Henna squinted her eyes against the grit that smacked her face as the Osei landed with enough force to shatter their bodies had they been human.

 

People in the plaza scattered, scrambling away to hide in the shelter of surrounding buildings, but Henna couldn’t make her muscles move as the Osei queen looked around speculatively.

 

The creature had skin like liquid silver and eyes like barbed steel. As she crossed the plaza directly toward Henna’s frozen form, Henna recognized her. She was the only Osei queen who ever left her own territory to visit another Osei House.

 

The Queen of the First House, the Royal House of the Osei, was standing in the Kavet marketplace.

 

Henna felt all the blood drain from her face. Maybe farther. Was she bleeding onto the cobbles? Into the core of the earth?

 

“You know us,” the queen said. “That is convenient. You will inform the rulers of this land that we require their immediate presence.”

 

 

About the Author

 

author photo Of the DivineAmelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults.

 

She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha’ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Atwater-Rhodes

http://www.atwaterrhodes.com/

https://twitter.com/AtwaterRhodes

https://www.facebook.com/DenOfShadows/?ref=br_rs

Buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Mancer-Book-Two-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01N2JHW9X

 

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes will be awarding a limited edition print copy of the book *U.S. only* to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Spotlight & Excerpt: The Matriarch Matrix by Maxime Trencavel

- book promotions, book spotlight

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Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.

 

It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices… 

 

The past foretells her future…

 

What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…

 

Twelve thousand years ago…

 

She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”

 

Heirs to destiny…

 

By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.

 

The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.

 

The Matriarch Matrix Book Excerpt

matriarch matrix book coverChapter 2

I talk all night long with a dream image. About the tales of my pain; Thus my sleeplessness comes from these tales.

—Amir Khusraw, thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet 9620 BCE

 

Northern shores of the Black Sea

 

The woods. The low-hanging fog. Or to these three hunters, the low-hanging cloud that makes finding their prey just that much more difficult. In the fog, they effectively only have ears to listen for their prey. In contrast, their prey has eyes, ears, noses, and animal ESP, which pierce through the fog, and so do those who hunt them.

 

It is Orzu’s birthday. Born on the seventh day of the sixth moon, he has seen seventeen cycles of the sun. In a few more sun cycles, it will be time for him to find a wife. His grandfather, Parcza, has taken him and his sister Illyana into the woods so Orzu can master the art of providing meat for his family. Parcza doubts whether Orzu will ever become a good provider for a new family, for Orzu has yet to kill during the hunt, any hunt.

 

Illyana, on the other hand, is a natural-born hunter. But Parcza knows that the young men of the village will not be selecting Illyana based on her hunting skills, for she has become a very handsome young woman, at fifteen cycles of the sun. Two sun cycles ago, her breast buds began to blossom and she begrudgingly had to alter her clothing to accommodate these changes, asking why she needed to dress differently than Orzu.

 

Orzu has taken point, softly and slowly moving forward in the dense undergrowth of the forest. They have gone farther north than normal as the lands near their village seem depleted of game. He peers back at Parcza to see if he is doing well in his grandfather’s eyes. Parcza has been a surrogate father for Orzu and his sister. Six sun cycles ago, the Reindeer People, the giants of the north, took their father as a slave; they took their mother and their grandmother, Parcza’s wife, too, for unspeakable reasons. Thus, Parcza has done his best to mother them as well as father them.

 

A shuffle of a leaf, and Orzu stops, holding his hand up. He moves his bow up and draws the arrow shaft back, just as Parcza coached him this morning. His arrow has a normal stone head for smaller game. He and his sister have a few special arrows for larger game, with a very shiny black stone that is extra hard and sharp. Parcza found these on the Reindeer People’s arrows and spears after they massacred a nearby village, and he kept a collection for their use. Parcza is holding a spear in case they are the hunted, as these woods have two types of animals—the ones much smaller than they, which can be killed by arrows, and the ones larger and sometimes hungrier than they, which may or may not be deterred by even their spears.

 

Orzu scours the forest for the source of the leaf sound, and he sighs in relief. It’s a rabbit. Unlikely to jump at them and rip their limbs off. He aims along the arrow shaft as he watches the rabbit nibble some leaves and wiggle its nose. Orzu finds it cute. He’d rather have it around the house than dead with an arrow through it. I cannot kill this animal, he thinks. It is not right.

 

Whoosh. His trance is broken as Illyana’s arrow splits apart the head holding the cute wiggling nose.

 

 

Author Bio

maximeMaxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime’s debut novel was written and edited in different locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in South America, and on the two coasts of the United States.

 

 

 

 

Links

tailofthebird.com
https://www.facebook.com/MaximeTrencavel/
https://www.instagram.com/maximetrencavel/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17168784.Maxime_Trencavel
https://www.amazon.com/Maxime-Trencavel/

Get “The Matriarch Matrix” on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Matriarch-Matrix-Maxime-Trencavel-ebook/dp/B075R2DD4Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506588760&sr=8-1&keywords=maxime+trencavel

 

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Book Spotlight: The Goblin King, Part 1 by A.E. Blair

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Genre: LGBT Romance / dark fantasy

 

About The Goblin King

Jasper Woodworth expects the summer of 1963 to be filled with thunderstorms and the comfort of his childhood home. He’s prepared for the attention of his doting mother, for dazzling parties, for whispered rumors of Briarford’s townspeople.

Everything changes upon meeting his mother’s new tenant: the mysterious and ethereal Harlan Winters. Harlan is entitled. He speaks in riddles, and he uses half-truths like bait on a fishing wire. What’s worse? He won’t explain himself, or his intentions, or his hypnotic interested in Jasper.

Overwhelmed by suspicion and a strange attraction, Jasper’s dreams take a turn for the unusual. He dreams of hands roaming his body. He dreams of Harlan’s warm, golden skin and those unearthly opalescent eyes.

Enabled by Harlan, Jasper finds himself tumbling down a steep cliff, rolling in his obsession and lust as they twist into something new, something he doesn’t understand. The only way to gather the answers he seeks is to confront Harlan directly, but how does one trap a supernatural entity?

 

The Goblin King Book Excerpt

The Goblin King book coverThe courtyard is vast, far larger than the garden in my back yard. Several yards away in every direction, a tall brick wall stretches, adorned at the top ornaments of white plaster. The sun sits high in the sky, casting down bright white rays onto the scene before me.

 

Birds chirp in the distance. Not the hoarse cawing of seagulls nor the shrill squawks of crows. Sparrows, maybe. Something high-pitched but pleasant. Almost a song. The wind carries the melody around me, and I close my eyes, my head tilting back. Around me, I hear the rustling of leaves, and I can see their lush greens and vivid colors winding around every structure, towering above me.

 

Sweat drips down the back of my neck, sticks my hair to the skin. To my left, there’s a fountain. It’s familiar – almost. Not quite. I follow the cracks in the plaster around the statue’s body, confident, as though they’re roads and I know where they lead. The cracks end at the statue’s headless neck, the plaster sheer, as though it had always been this way. As though it had never been broken. Water flows from the neck, clear, and my eyes follow it back down the statue’s body. It slips against the statue, turns white, then clear, then the sun hits it and colors explode from the water, every part of the spectrum, a cauldron of iridescent rainbow by the time it pools at the bottom, at the statue’s feet.

 

The clang of metal. Two cymbals crashing. My head jerks to the source of the sound, and who should be there to greet me but Mr. Winters?

 

His eyes are dark this time. I peer into them, expecting to see that strange, shimmering paleness, the same which curses the fountain’s water. He watches me, his eyes glued to me, and I take a step back. I try to. I try to lift my leg, but it’s rooted to the cobblestone beneath me.

 

Mr. Winters watches me, and I watch him. To his credit, he can take what he gives.

 

In his hands, a strange instrument rests. A wide circle, hollow, with a smaller, circular metal piece in the center. He beats it against the palm of his hand, his eyes unblinking. His shirt, white linin, lies open against his chest.

 

Beneath the hot sun, his skin shimmers, tan becoming pure gold.

 

I open my mouth to speak, but I can’t conjure the sound. My vocal cords don’t come into contact; there’s nothing but the air moving through my windpipe. My hand claps to my throat and I pin my eyes back on Mr. Winters, my mouth hanging open.

 

Mr. Winter’s mouth spreads into a smirk.

 

“Drink,” he says, and he follows it with a beat of his instrument.

 

I frown. I glare. I stand my ground. Mr. Winters nods to the fountain, keeping perfect time with his music.

 

“Drink,” he says again, and I cast my gaze back to the fountain. The water bubbles from the statue’s neck, and I watch it as it flows down its body. The pearly substance at the bottom becomes enchanting, mesmerizing, hypnotizing.

 

Without thinking, I reach down, and I let my fingers play in the iridescent water.

 

I confess myself quite the bachelor, so I can’t attest to personal experience, but those who shy away from marriage, from love unconditional… I’m afraid they’re shying away from eternity,” he says, and between his pretentious proclamations at the dinner table and vague threats, I never knew Harlan Winters to be a poet.

 

I have to recover.

 

I bite, “You won’t live forever, then,” and I throw it like a weapon toward him. If he wants to be a bachelor, perhaps he has to pay the price.

 

“Jasper!” Maman scolds. Harlan only laughs. He looks away, but my eyes stay on him.

 

“No, I suppose he’s right,” he considers, his head nodding from side to side as he considers it. A lock of silver hair falls into his eyes. “I’d be foolish to include myself in that.”

 

I want to be satisfied, but his words carry a melancholy that isn’t lost on me, that settles heavy over my shoulders. Harlan turns to me and smiles.

 

“Will you live forever, Jasper?”

 

I spit steel into my voice as I answer, “That’s impossible.”

 

The intensity of my defense is apparent, an elephant forcing its way through the walls, leaving nothing but rubble and carnage behind, but somehow, I can’t stop the fury. I’ve come for dinner, at his request. Do I truly deserve this conversation? And so early in the meal?

 

Harlan takes it in stride. He says, “I hope you aren’t destroying your chances.”

 

I take a breath to calm myself, and I reach for the bottle of wine. I take my time pouring myself a glass.

 

“I haven’t the slightest idea what forever feels like,” I tell him, focusing on the way the wine flows from the bottle like a waterfall. “I can’t miss something when I don’t know what it is.”

 

“Look up,” is Harlan’s response.

 

My glass full, I set the bottle back upright, and I cast my gaze toward the ceiling. I frown. There’s nothing there but wooden rafters. Harlan laughs.

 

“Not like that,” he says. “Not quite.” He crosses his arms across the table, settling in, mischief and folly on his face. I find myself leaning in, my neck craning toward him as he says, “I speak of the stars. When you see them, pinpricks of light against that vast darkness, never-ending – that’s the closest thing to eternity that humans can imagine.”

 

He lifts his glass and takes a drink of wine, his smile secretive, knowing. Jocelyn studies her menu, and I sit, transfixed by the man across the table. I want to pull more from him, more words, an explanation, but he stays quiet.

 

Author Bio

A.E. Blair is currently setting her keyboard alight with typing speeds in Orlando, Florida, but she’s been writing ever since she could hold a crayon upright on construction paper. Inspired by 80s fantasy movies and anime, she’s often dreamed of spiriting herself away to another world – and becoming supernatural royalty certainly wouldn’t hurt.

 

While A. E. is no stranger to writing, having gotten her start with fanfiction, The Goblin King: Part I is her first novel, and is expected to span six parts. In her spare time, A. E. likes to dabble in screenwriting, playwriting, and acting.

 

Links

Mailing list: http://tinyletter.com/aeblair

Twitter: http://twitter.com/zombiejosette

Buy the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0762CFCVT

 

 

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