Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bookwright: Book One of the Vanir Trilogy by George R. Dasher Book Feature - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


BookwrightTitle: Bookwright
Author: George R. Dasher
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Kindle/Paperback/Hardcover

 With his ship crippled and his crew dead, Jarl Hawkins fights for survival in space as his dying spaceship, the Cassiopeia, drifts out of control. But there is nothing he can do, and his own death is certain. Oddly enough, rescue comes in the form of an old wizard named Kvasir, who offers Jarl his chance at a new life on Vanir, a planet unlike anything Jarl has ever encountered. There, the King fights his rivals for control of his kingdom, wild nomads roam the northern Ghost Plains, wizards and witches use magic, and an all-powerful church viciously suppresses independent thought through prison, torture, and fire. Once on Vanir, Jarl befriends the Kettlewand Rangers and is drawn into a war that he doesn’t truly understand. Separated from Kvasir, he patrols with the Rangers, witnesses the murder of a Ghost Raider, and travels to Tyr, the capital city, to locate Kvasir or another wizard. But he instead finds himself on the wrong side of the Church, and his modern weapons are taken from him and he is imprisoned for being a sorcerer. Once inside the prison, however, he finds a friend and protector, a samurai-like warrior. After a pardon from the king himself, Jarl and his new friend returns to Tyr and makes a startling—and dangerous—discovery: a translated Vanir bible. Determined to break the church’s hold on the citizens, Jarl begins to print the bible, infuriating the church leaders. His time on Vanir becomes even more dangerous, and it is only with the King’s protection that he and his printing company can survive. But Kvasir is still missing, and without the help of the old wizard, Jarl is powerless to make his way back into space.

To Purchase Bookwright

George R. Dasher has worked as an EMT, paramedic, and a coal and oil-and-gas geologist. Now an environmental geologist, he oversees the remediation of contaminated groundwater sites in West Virginia. His hobbies include diving, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, and caving. He is the editor of a state-wide caving newsletter and the author of eight books on caving. He lives in West Virginia  

George is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins April 27 and ends on May 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 17.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Principium: The Stone Prophecy Series by Alexandra Lamarre Book Feature - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Principium Title: Principium: The Stone Prophecy Series
Author: Alexandra Lamarre
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Kindle

 Ever since her mother’s death twelve years ago, fourteen-year-old Kiarra Johnson wonders if she is a good witch or if she is doomed to a lifetime of evil. Her life is anything but mundane as she lives in a rented room in her father’s home in the village of Kiamika, a magical society hidden from mortals who would persecute them for their gifts. For many years, Kiarra has lived across the lake from Kasy Sheridan, a girl who has led a life vastly different from her own. They both have been accepted to attend the magical Hollow Institute for Gifted Young Women. During this time, their lives become intertwined as they study magical theory and learn rituals that will change their view of magic and give them insight into the mystery of dying familiars. Kiarra wonders if she will be able to uphold her mother’s legacy of helping to save the world. She and her friends are faced with that challenge when they encounter the evil Feuer, a vampire-demon hybrid. What chance do these teens, with just one year of magical training, have against creatures who are more than three hundred years old?

To Purchase Principium

Alexandra Lamarre earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Carleton University with a double minor in French and history. She began writing this book when she was thirteen years old, using inspiration from both her high school and college experiences. Lamarre lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her three roommates.  

Alexandra is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins April 20 and ends on May 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guest blog from Kelley Grant, author of Desert Rising

Desert Rising Book Banner

DesertRisingEBK HIResTitle: Desert Rising
Author: Kelley Grant
Publisher: Harper Voyage Impulse
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Kindle

  "It frightens me, knowing the One has called up two such strong individuals. It means that there are troubled times in our future, and you must prepare yourselves."

 The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One's four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective - one that just might be considered heresy...

 Sulis's twin Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he's willing to risk anything to get her people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped. An astonishing debut, Kelley Grant brings to life a powerful new epic fantasy tale of determination and self-discovery.

For More Information

  • Desert Rising is available at Amazon.
 I’m often asked how do you get inspired? How does a fantasy writer find all that crazy imaginary stuff to put down on paper? And – how do you deal with writer’s block? I can’t respond for any writer but myself because every brain, every imagination is different.
But for me, both answers are a type of focused daydream. That’s right, the thing teachers and parents told you to stop doing. Daydreaming and staring off into space are the most important things I can do to avoid writer’s block. I don’t even really get writer’s block – it just means that I haven’t taken enough time to imagine the scenes that need to be written and run them through in my moving picture mind in detail before sitting down to write. I am a visual person, so I need to run the “moving picture” of my scenes through my imagination before writing them down.
 Today I was feeling “blocked” so I did what works best for me. I went for a walk by myself. My shaggy black pooch Sherlock gazed at his leash, then me, reproachfully, but I closed the door on him and left so I could unfocus and dream.
And here is where being a yoga teacher and learning meditation has aided me in writing. As I was walking to our local park, my brain started rummaging through the rubbish bin. Yoga teaching problems, class reunions, bills, all started running though my mind, with the accompanying imaginary conversations. I have had billions of conversation with people that never actually occurred in real life. And I have won all of them. Unlike meditation, where the goal is to completely quiet the mind – I used the same principles of breath and redirection to make my thoughts focused, one-pointed.
“Did you call Mom? Did you pay the bills?” my brain moaned.
            I whispered back “Sulis, in the desert. Let’s go there right now.”
"Classes, should I do yoga workshops?" it whimpered.
"What's the Crone doing these days?" I asked it.

They call that constant chatter of voices in the brain “monkey-mind” in Buddhism - the way the mind jumps from subject to subject. Training the monkey to hold still is the goal of classical yoga and meditation. Gently guiding it again and again to where you need it to go is an achievement.
On this day, it took about a mile. Right about the time I usually circle back, I had a huge revelation that will set up the third novel. So I kept walking. And then another, so I turned another block.  I’m certain the people I passed thought I was nuts as I whispered to myself and gestured. 
 “Sulis isn’t going to like that,” I shook my head, and turned towards home. It was time to write, to at least get this cascade of imaginings down in a few memory jostling paragraphs before they disappeared completely.

And that’s it. No magic really. Just a constant juxtaposition of unfocused gaze turning to focused typing, of the spaciness it takes to create turning to the focus needed to actually get it all down.

Kelley Grant  Kelley Grant grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country. Her best friends were the books she read, stories she created and the forest and fields that inspired her. She and her husband live on a wooded hilltop and are owned by five cats, a dog and numerous uninvited critters. Besides writing, Kelley teaches yoga and meditation, sings kirtan with her husband, and designs brochures and media.

  For More Information Visit Kelley at her website
  • Kelley and Harper Voyage Impulse are  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

    Terms & Conditions:
    • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
    • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
    • This giveaway begins April 13 and ends on April 30.
    • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, May 4.
    • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
    Good luck everyone!


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Interview with Gaylon Kent, author of The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody Book Banner

The Diary of a Nobody From earning a living to getting the dog to poop to running for the United States Senate, The Diary of a Nobody chronicles the life of Sparrow, a funny, average man passing an average life. In addition to Sparrow, you’ll meet The Wife, the cat, the dog, his friend Bonser and his rug rat Matt and Brian, Sparrow’s co-worker at the Doily Delivery Company.

 The Diary of a Nobody is a real-time novel, updated daily at It begins in October, 2013 and was inspired by a 19th century British novel of the same name. Gaylon Kent, 49, is an American writer. In addition to The Diary of a Nobody, Gaylon has written the novel The Regular Guys and Backstairs at the Monte Carlo: A Vegas Memoir. He also writes the columns The Daily Dose and The Bottom Ten. All of Gaylon’s work is available exclusively at

What was the inspiration for The Diary of a Nobody?
A 19th century British book of the same name. It was written by two brothers and the main character was an average British bloke passing an average life. It found very compelling and saw no reason why a 21st century version would not be equaling compelling.
The diary started in the fall of 2013 and is updated daily at The first year is also available in both hard cover and paperback.
Why did you think a diary about an average person would be compelling today?
There is so much that is funny and relevant and sometimes poignant in everyday life. Sometimes us humans can get caught up in the doings of famous people and tend to think only things that make you famous are worthwhile, when nothing is further from the truth.
For my money, that is what you pay us writers to do: find the good and the funny and the worthwhile in the human experience. The Diary of a Nobody does a funny, entertaining job of that.
Any writers you feel do that particularly well?
Louis L’Amour has always done that very well. His insights into the human experience are a treasure.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Oh there are a variety of accomplishments that please me.
One is finding a good wife. I married rather late and am pleased I did because good women only marry good men, so I must not be a complete reprobate.
Two, I put a lot of work into being a high school sports official, and I’ve been blessed with a rewarding career. I’ve worked more than my share of major division championship games over the years. It’s always nice to see hard work rewarded.
Three, I am proud of what I write. Every word you read comes from the heart.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
Growing up had a profound impact on what I’ve become, both as a person and a writer.
I had a pretty boring two-parent, middle class childhood in Los Angeles. Both Mom and Dad told me, fairly often, I could be whatever I wanted in this life and I saw no reason not to believe them. They never told me to stop daydreaming or to stop doing the silly, make believe things kids do. For example, the imaginary friend some kids have was always treated as a family member, which may explain why a Beanie Baby squirrel named Rabies and an Al Einstein finger puppet are on my desk and have regular conversations with me.
So my creative side was never stunted. It was allowed to blossom and flourish.
Also, at both school and where I played ball we were told that all of us had talents, that every one of us could do something well. I had 13 years of Lutheran schooling and we were told these were God’s gifts to us and we must get the most out of them.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I did not begin writing seriously until my mid-20’s, when I wrote an awful novel called Sam Rider, Private Detective. I was pursuing a career as a radio announcer at the time, and later I found myself laid off and took a job as a newspaper reported at a small paper in California.
This was good. The pressures of a deadline and of writing every day was just what I needed, and I highly recommend a tour in the journalism racket for all young writers. Its benefits were enormous.
After that I never stopped writing. I’ve always written for myself because Thoreau teaches if we write for ourselves we are always assured of an audience, and my career has evolved from there.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was an interest planted in me at birth. What’s almost interesting, however, is growing up I wanted to be a radio announcer. Pretty bad, too. I pursued that when I got out of the navy but I wasn’t very good so I didn’t get too far.
Being an avid reader helped, too. I’ve been reading since I was five and reading good writing helped develop the desire to create good books of my own.
When did you first know you could be a writer? 
In high school there were two instances. I edited the school paper and, of course, wrote my share of stories and I found writing to be fun. It was never drudgery and I always looked forward to my next article.
Also, for an English class we had to review a play. I was too lazy to actually go and see a play, so I made something. Fortunately, I went to a private high school and did not live near either the school or the teacher or my classmates, and this was well before the Internet, so it would’ve taken a lot of work to verify my reviews.
I made it all up and got a B+ for something that should’ve been real but was complete fiction.
So I’ve always known. We all have our talents. I can’t change the oil in your car, but I can entertain you with a good book.
What inspires you to write and why?
Getting up every morning. As I like to say, every person you meet is a character, and every encounter is a plot.
This is literally true. Whether it’s someone you know well or someone you see passing on the street that you will never see again, a reader might be surprised at where inspiration comes from.
A writer must be open to whatever nature and circumstance put in front of them, because experience is what we draw on when saying what needs to be said. A writer who is not open to nature and circumstance is not doing him or his readers any good and for my money isn’t even writing, but merely typing.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I enjoy writing diaries. Besides The Diary of a Nobody, my book Backstairs at the Monte Carlo: A Vegas Memoir, is a diary of my time as a security officer working graveyard, of all things, at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
The difference, of course, is The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. Backstairs is a memoir.
Otherwise, I enjoy writing novels, and I enjoy writing my columns The Daily Dose and The Bottom Ten.
I didn’t have to go searching for what genre fit me best, either. My instincts have always told me what I should be writing.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My missing brother.
I was a radio announcer in a small California town in my 20’s. My brother was in the Marines and already showing the signs of the problems that would take his life years later and one day my Mom called saying he hadn’t been heard from for several days. Myself and a buddy went looking for him.
My first novel, Sam Rider, Private Detective was the result.
Sam Rider, Private Detective wasn’t very good, though I thought it was at the time. The last time I mustered the courage to read it, several years ago when I was moving, I remember thinking, “Boy, this is lousy”.
By the by, Sam Rider would later be an FBI agent in my novel The Regular Guys.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
Outside of the people and experiences that have made me who I am, writers I like tend to influence me. Gore Vidal, Rex Stout, Henry David Thoreau, WEB Griffin, and Garrison Keillor. There are others, of course.
This is especially true because I am completely self-educated beyond high school.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Actually doing it. Writing a novel is such an investment of time and effort that a lot of things once important are less important. A supportive s spouse is key here, because if a spouse is always whining about wanting to go do things a writer is not going to accomplish too much.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
The biggest lesson is to win the fight to say what you feel needs to be said. There are so many obstacles to this, especially if you are dependent on writing to earn your living, because it is easy to say this to earn your fee when you’d rather be saying that.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
I will write till the day I die. I am working hard to ensure others hear my voice, but if not, that’s OK, too.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
Yes, but it I can’t put it into words except to say it is very distinctive and very Gaylon. It is the product of years of work.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
I am funny and I don’t think I waste words. I think I do a good job of making every word count. You do not want to waste your readers’ time.
A reader once said I name characters well. This is funny because an appropriate name usually presents itself immediately. It’s rare when I have to think a lot about what to name a character.
Can you give us an example?
Sure. In a book I’ve written but have yet to publish called Swords in the Narthex, there is a character named Brad Wyler. This name took three-four days to come up with. I wanted something simple yet distinctive, something all-American. His original name was Matt Alexander, a name I was prepared to go with until Brad Wyler popped up.
The main character in Diary is named Sparrow. Where did that come from?
In Backstairs at the Monte Carlo: A Vegas Memoir there is a character named X-Ray because all characters in the book go by either a last name or a nickname. X-Ray’s name is Sparrow. The character is not otherwise based on Sparrow at all, but the name felt right from the start.
Sparrow does not seem to have a first name. Why?
I haven’t found one necessary. Part of it is also because the original Sparrow only went by that name. He never used his first name.
There is precedent for this. In The Regular Guys Lenny and Larry do not have last names because they were never necessary.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Personally? I am a funny guy and have a great deal of patience.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
Don’t tell anyone, but I can be the greatest procrastinator in human history.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
This will vary from time to time, frankly. There are several I value equally highly.
This is one of them:
He forged fiercely a path for his truth, until at last kings, popes and emperors catered to him, thrones trembled before him and half the world listened to catch his every word.
This is from Will Durant, writing about Voltaire. Thrones may or may not tremble before me, but I write every day hoping half the world will one day catch my every word.
There can be no other goal for a writer, frankly. Any writer who does not believe with all his heart every person on this planet must read his work is not writing, he’s typing.

 In past lives Gaylon has been, among other things, a radio announcer and a newspaper reporter, as well as working security at the Monte Carlo and Venetian/Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas and working a Brinks armored truck. Gaylon was the Colorado Libertarian Party’s nominee for United States Senate in 2014, finishing third in a six-person race with a bit more than 52,000 votes. He is a two-time graduate of the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires and is an accomplished high school sports official. Gaylon served on an old diesel submarine, the USS Blueback, in the Navy and still like his grandfather, Gaylon C Kent, commands his American Legion post. Gaylon and his wife Marian live in Hayden, Colorado. He is originally from Los Angeles. He enjoys a wine pairing from time to time and is known to not wash his coffee mug.

  For More Information
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His New Jam and His Work of Art by Shannyn Schroeder Cover Reveal!

shannyn schroder double cover reveal

HisNewJamTitle: His New Jam
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Publisher: Lyrical Press

 Sydney Peters can’t wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she’s blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one. Hunter is fascinated by Sydney’s distant allure. He might be a ladies’ man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?


HisWorkOfArt3  His New Jam is available for pre-order at Apple,  Amazon, B&NKobo and Google Play

Title: His Work of Art
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Publisher: Lyrical Press

 Reese Carter is definitely not your average college girl. She’d prefer to spend Saturday nights playing Hero’s Crusade than attending a wild frat party on campus. When she bands together with Adam, fellow comic enthusiast and illustrator, it appears that Reese has formed a dream team sure to propel her writing into the comic hall of fame. Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She’s sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can’t see why she’d choose DC over Marvel. He’s thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But. this relationship is strictly professional. Or so he tells himself. When the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned; they never expected to develop a steamy romantic sub-plot of their own…


Shannyn Schroeder  His Work of Art  is available for pre-order at Apple,  AmazonB&NKobo and Google Play    

Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids. Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood. After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?” So she did. That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012. She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world. Shannyn is represented by Frances Black and Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel.

  For More Information
  Visit Shannyn’s website.
Connect with Shannyn on Twitter , Goodreads and Facebook 
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Sacred Relationships Psychology for the Soul by Dr. Kate Pola Brooks Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon GC!

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Sacred Relationships Title: Sacred Relationships
Author: Dr. Kate Pola Brooks
Publisher: Xlibris
Genre: Psychology/Relationship
Format: Kindle/Paperback/Hardcover

 Everything You Want To Understand About Relationships “Sacred Relationships: Psychology for the Soul”, is designed to define the inter-relatedness of everything and everyone. It gives clarity to the functioning of the mind, the psyche and the heart. “Sacred Relationships” defines the patterns of our thinking, understanding, ‘knowing’ and loving capacities. This book clears up misunderstandings and misinterpretations around our connection to this world, our Selves, and others, within the Universal Patterns.” “The conceptual understanding of why we are here and what we are meant to be doing, assists the reader to reformat reactions into responses, fellow companions into loved ones and our relationship with our true Self into illumination.”

To Purchase Sacred Relationships


Dr. Kate Pola Brooks is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins April 27 and ends on May 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 17.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Guest Post from Elle Emtage, author of Gray Skies

Title: Gray Skies
Author: Elle Emtage
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 170
Genre: Romance
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 Dunstan’s dashing good looks, thriving business and exotic lifestyle made him one of the world’s most sought after bachelors; but none of this seemed to quell Dunstan’s desire for Destiny. As their courtship evolves their romance is woven from a tapestry of classical beauty and romantic places in the orange light of the Tuscan sun. To Destiny, her life once filled with endless days of meetings and long nights alone is now full of life and love in a whirlwind romance. In the midst of their developing relationship however, tragedy rips them apart and she discovers a thread in time which links their existence to an unbelievable possibility. This possibility threatens their very existence, but Dunstan, fueled by his love, will stop at nothing until he reclaims what he has lost. A fantasy romance novel, Gray Skies demonstrates how true love can even overcome obstacles set by the universe.


Guest Post – Gray Skies

As I’ve gone through life’s celebrations and challenges I’ve come to the undeniable realization – Writing is in my DNA. My adventures are colored in verse and rhyme, my thoughts are painted on a canvas of imagination and experiences born in day and night dreams. I see events in words.
My writing is tempered by my emotions. If I’m not in a good place then I can’t write – which is ironic because writing takes me to that ‘good place’. Very often I have to push myself to a chair to calm the thoughts exploding in my head by putting them in print. Each and every time as soon as my fingers touch the keyboard or finger the leaf of my journal (yes I actually prefer a good old pen and paper) my initial hesitation disappears as if there was never a cause for concern. So what happens when I can’t write? I write!
Writing is therapeutic for me. It soothes. It calms. It provides the passageway into the recesses of imagination where life is exciting, adventurous, predictably unpredictable, passionate, thrilling – I guess all the things that real life (for me anyway) isn’t. Not that I’m unhappy with who I am – I’m just overwhelmingly happy that I have an avenue that allows me to escape into a fantastic reality without the use of any vices – a win-win for me I think.
I’ve been asked on many occasions – “Why have you decided to publish at this stage in your life? And why a romance novel? That seems so unlike you!” And I had to sit back and really ask myself the same question but with a twist – why on earth did I take so long to bring a dream birthed in me from early childhood to fruition? What did I use to validate me turning away from the path that made sense? I came up with a host of reasons:
1.       There are so many writers out there – competing on the global arena will be tough…
2.       Agents aren’t going to sign unknown writers, far less will big publishing houses…(and from the Caribbean?)
3.       How can I make a living, achieve the ‘things in life’ on peanuts?
4.       Can people really get immersed in my style of writing?
5.       Do people even really believe in real romance or true love anymore?
…And the list went on and on….until I came to one important realization – if I didn’t live my dream, or at least try at it, how would I know how successful I could have been? And what is the measure of success? For me – it was turning the pages of my very first novel and realizing that everything that I feared – whether real or not – that the look on someone’s face when they get lost in the characters and their lives made it all worth it.   And dare I say? This is enough….

And so the birth of Dunstan and Destiny and their fantastic tale of their lives and love. Gray Skies Gray Skies is a wonderful page turner, centered on the characters Dunstan Moab and Destiny Tallum. Dunstan's dashing good looks, thriving business and exotic lifestyle made him one of the worlds most sought after bachelors; but none of this seemed to matter to quell Dunstan's desire for Destiny. Gray Skies is weaved from a tapestry of classical beauty and romantic places in the orange light of the Tuscan sun. To Destiny, her life once filled with endless days of meetings and long nights alone is now full of life and love in a whirlwind romance. 

In the midst of their developing relationship, however, tragedy rips them apart and she discovers a thread in time which links their existence to an unbelievable possibility. This possibility threatens their very existence, but Dunstan fueled by his love, will stop at nothing until he reclaims what he has lost. A fantasy romance novel, Gray Skies demonstrates how true love can even overcome obstacles set by the universe.

Elle Emtage is a business professional and has been published in several media houses. Elle’s passion for writing has transformed throughout the years and she is sharing her love of romance and intrigue through the début of this novel. Elle and her family consider themselves fortunate to live on the beautiful island of Barbados.
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Interview with Alan Joshua, author of The SHIVA Syndrome

Title: The Shiva Syndrom
Author: Alan Joshua
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Kindle

 A secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol'sk erupts, annihilating thousands and leaving a monstrous, one-mile deep crater in its wake. Beau Walker, parapsychologist and reluctant empath, is coerced into joining a research team, code-named SHIVA, to investigate the enigmatic event. Walker must fight his way past political and military deceptions and a host of deadly adversaries to unlock the riddle of the SHIVA syndrome. Will he have the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to defy the dangers he faces…or will they destroy him before he can come to a new, challenging understanding of the nature of reality?

To Purchase The SHIVA Syndrome

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What is your favorite quality about yourself?

Actually, I have two. But they’re also my least favorite qualities: curiosity and intuition. Curiosity insists on answers; intuition informs me that there is an answer to be found, then signals me if it is the correct answer. When I’m able to cast light on some mystery, it is very rewarding. When I am urged to find an answer and am unable to do so, it becomes very frustrating.

Here is an example of when curiosity and intuition work well. Years ago, I tested an adolescent. His test scores told me something about him. My intuition, however, urged that there was more, beyond the test results. I requested that he be given a CT scan. A few days later, the staff psychiatrist (who referred him for the CT) came into my office, looking bewildered. He said the scan showed calcium growths inside the boy’s skull, pressing on his brain. “How could you know?” he asked. “Just a hunch,” I answered. He shook his head and left my office.

How long have you been writing?

Most of my life, but with no intention of publishing. Since the mid-Eighties, I’ve written and published a variety of psychological articles and book, test, and film reviews.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

Presumably, my writing ability was assured when my first article on consciousness and creativity was published in the Journal of Creative Behavior. There is a tangible quality I felt when I first saw my name in print. It changed my reality and validated interest in my work.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

In the nonfiction area, I’ve been heavily influenced by many notable psychologists and psychiatrists, too many to go into detail. Carl Jung and Stanley Krippner have been two of the strongest influences. In fiction, as a science fiction fan, the greatest influences have been Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, and Phillip Dick.

While working on The Shiva Syndrome, I depended heavily on mental imagery to guide me in story development. I was surprised to discover that the characters had taken on a life of their own and seemed to be guiding the direction of the story and their own actions. So, in addition to the writers who influenced me, I would have to add the characters I create, and how they influence the story.

What made you want to be a writer?

In a sense, I’ve always written in one form or another. When I began to write articles on psychology, if one was published and generated excitement, this was very satisfying.

Writing fiction, however, is even more rewarding. It’s a sharing of your pleasure, enthusiasm, and interest over your story and characters that is especially gratifying when readers understand and can relate to the ideas, images, and storylines. One beta reader became so personally involved that she reacted strongly to different characters in the book as if they were real.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

The Shiva Syndrome was one of three possible titles. Typically, it helps to have a working title as you develop the manuscript. Once the manuscript is completed and has been read (seemingly) endless times, there is a certain “pull” that draws you towards the most meaningful title.

Are there any current books that have grasped your interest?

My reading varies depending upon my mood. Because I am a clinical psychologist, there are times when I feel the need for factual or theoretical information. At other times when I would like to enter another reality created by an author, it may be horror, science fiction, or mythology, again depending on my mood. Most recently, I read Dean Koontz’s Watchers. I was motivated by an interest in looking at his style, as well as the subject matter.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

One of the greatest struggles, from the beginning to the end of the writing was in finding ways to translate abstract, complex concepts into forms that could be understood by readers. When you use terms like “mythic consciousness,” or “collective unconscious,” there are many instances when words fail.

Another challenge impacted the evolution of the book. Having an art background, I tend to have strong imagery associated with storytelling. I elected to try my hand at a screenplay first. After partially completing it, an acquaintance suggested that I send it to an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. He reacted very quickly, and sent me an exciting email telling me how interested he was in the story. However, as I moved ahead on the screenplay – learning while I wrote – I realized that the partially finished product was already four times the length of the average script. At that point, I saw no other alternative than to turn it into a novel.

This led to another set of catastrophic circumstances. When the manuscript was complete, agents and publishing houses – although intrigued by the story – would take it no further. It was far too long for a debut author. As in the case of other publishers, Champagne Book Group suggested that I split the story into two books. After this was done, I found that the fabric of the story had been torn and lost momentum and evolution, both in plot and character development, that was found in the complete manuscript. Fortunately, Champagne held a conference over this issue and agreed that it should move forward as a complete story.

Did learn anything while writing your book? If so, what was it?

Oh, indeed I did. I learned a great deal about the dark underbelly of publishing: agents and publishing houses.

More importantly, as I became more deeply engaged in the substance of the book, I saw ways of interpreting reality that had not occurred to me at other times. Through intense contemplation (or absorption), creative processes are engaged leading to illuminations and inner growth for the author as well as the reader–hopefully.

Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative, you can talk about your first job, something that inspires you, anything fun that might grab the reader’s attention.

1. My first college degree was in Fine Arts; I majored in sculpture and design. Through my exposure to art and creativity, the instructors trained the students how to perceive and interpret. This was before I knew that I would move into psychology and the tools that I learned in art school were applied during psychological interviews and the interpretation of test results.
2. Although I had long-standing interest in paranormal phenomena, only personal experience makes it “real.” When I was in an early phase of research for my doctoral dissertation, I needed to acquire ten books written about, or by “psychic” or “spiritual” healers. While working in Center City, I meditated on the direction I should take when I went out for my walk. The name “Robins” appeared as a faint mental image. Although I could have shrugged it off, I decided to head towards a bookstore by that name. Although I hadn’t been in the store for many months, on that day they had tables lining the center of the store, books for sale from someone’s estate. Almost immediately I found a book that I knew a friend would want for their birthday. Then, I saw the word “healing” on a cover and discovered a valuable book for my research. As I tossed aside other books in search, I found a total of six out of ten books that I needed. This was a highly significant and improbable event that lent even more credence to the reality of the paranormal.
3. I was invited to a séance at the home of a distinguished Philadelphian with a magnificent collection of antique furniture, some of which had been handed down in his family for generations. The “psychic” or medium informed the owner that one desk had a hidden drawer. Although he expressed his doubts, he examined the desk following her instructions and found the drawer she described. His shocked look of pleasure gave evidence that he had no idea that such a drawer existed.

Tell us a little bit about the cover art. Who designed it? What made you choose that particular image/artwork? 

In fact This is the second cover. The first was designed by another writer who produced covers as a side job. Trisha Fitzgerald designed the cover that is on the publication. She is an artist who works with Champagne Book Group. When I first saw Trisha’s art, I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. Although it was beautifully done, it seemed to lack something. I used Photoshop to increase the contrast and to “burn” certain areas. When the changes were made. It was a wonderfully dramatic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva, perched in a strand of DNA with a background of organic chemistry symbols. From the feedback that I’ve received, it seems to have a magnetic draw to it.

The Shiva syndrome, his debut fiction novel, is a science fiction/paranormal mystery and thriller. Always curious about the unknowns of human experience, he is fascinated with creativity and paranormal abilities. This led to his involvement with Psychology and research into Parapsychology. He has explored paranormal abilities using hypnosis and in-depth interviewing of a wide range of practitioners. Among his prized possessions are a shriveled, mummified banana (a product of one healer’s biopsychokinesis) and a small, curled Austrian teaspoon produced by a German healer while six people sat around him. (see )

The Shiva Syndrome incorporates his knowledge of Parapsychology and experiences with healers, intuitives, “psychic” sensitives, etc. Unsurprisingly, he is a science fiction fan and has been influenced by such writers as Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, and the extraordinary genius of Phillip Dick. As an avid Star Trek fan, he is fond of contradicting Gene Roddenberry, believing that human consciousness and its potentials are “the final frontier.” If you have questions for me, I would be glad to answer them–time permitting. I’d like to hear from you if you’ve had any paranormal experiences.

  For More Information Visit Alan at his website  
As a native Philadelphian, Alan Joshua (pen name) has the appropriate fondness for soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. He is married, has two grown children, and lives in the suburbs. He is currently a practicing Clinical Psychologist with a background in Forensic Psychology. His diverse background includes working in a State penitentiary and mental institution, a sleep laboratory, and a pain management center. Joshua has published many nonfiction journal articles.
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Prophase: A Present Tale by M. Street Book Feature!

Title: Prophase: A Present Tale
Author: M. Street
Publisher: Mitchel Street
Pages: 334
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Kindle

Become swept away into a world of light just beyond our perception.

Piper Walker, a high school senior, has seen her share of hard times. At a young age, she lost her mother to breast cancer shortly after her brother Charlie was born. Raising her baby brother under the wrathful eye of an abusive and alcoholic father, she relies heavily on her small, but tight core of friends. Lisa, her best friend from kindergarten, and Chris, her longtime boyfriend, help to keep her above water. Along with her friends, Piper’s elderly neighbor, Ester, and her lynx point Siamese cat, Jazz, become the extended family she never had.

Even before her mom died, Piper always felt different. She was opposite of her popular best buddy Lisa, and didn’t enjoy doing what most other teenage girls liked to do. She wasn’t much for fixing up and thought hanging out was boring. Music and nature were her muses. Piper grew up next to a forest with countless paths, one of which led to the high school; the others to myriad of seasonal wonders. Piper spent countless hours in the woods exploring and finding solace in the trees, wild flowers, and every kind of animal. Although somewhat shy and insecure of her voice, Piper was lead vocals and a passionate bass player for a garage band called ‘The Coat Tails’ that consisted of Lisa, Chris, and their close friend Josh. Having never sounded better, they were sure to win the senior talent show.

After a Spring Fling dance, a near-death experience prematurely rebirths Piper to her destiny, for not even she knows who she really is. Her identity has remained buried deep for her protection. She awakens to a dimension where light laden with emotions emits from everything around her. Overnight, Piper and her world are transformed into something radically different. What she thought was real was only the beginning, a thin veneer to actual reality. Universal truths are turned upside down. She wakes to a magical world with an ancient history and kingdoms of races. Life becomes way more beautiful, complex, and breathtaking than she ever imagined.

A menagerie of supernatural and metallic gleaming mythical characters come to assist Piper to take her first steps in her new world and keep her safe. The realm of brilliant auras, feelings, and endless color surround her creating a language she doesn’t understand. She begins a long journey to discovering and mastering her powers and senses that defy fantasy. Riding gravity waves, casting spells, and leaping to exotic locations become her new curriculum.

However, amongst the Eden lies a fatal danger. For centuries, a tyrannical rule has suppressed and strangled the enchanted world she is now part of. A most brilliant Guardian, named Eli, and his council, the Arbitri, have become the only voice. Evolution has stopped. Only Piper has the power to bring about change.

Amongst the unspeakable beauty, unknown danger, and the desire to find out who she really is, Piper stumbles upon an unexplainable, first-time love that becomes the only thing that she can cling to in her stormy and unexpected life. From the first time his voice dances on her ear drums, she is taken by something wonderfully unreal.

Piper now must juggle her two worlds – and disguise her increasing abilities and morphing appearance while attempting to be the slightly nerdy teenager everyone knows. This story captivates the imagination with the beauty of nature and the celebration of love, life, and light – and the power of one girl.

For More Information

  • Prophase is available at Amazon
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
    M. Street is an avid storyteller with an innate passion for fiction writing. He was raised in rural Wisconsin near the shores of Lake Michigan across from a small forest that became his second home. As an adult, M. Street has lived on the East Coast in Boston, on the West Coast in San Jose, and now resides South, in the great city of Austin, TX. A love for nature, art, spirituality, and science has been his foundation. He has been fortunate to have been adopted by cats, dogs, birds, frogs, turtles, and Monarch butterflies. His professional background is rooted in Engineering having earned a graduate degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is technically published (under a different name). He is currently creating Metaphase and Anaphase/Telophase, the follow on to Interphase/Prophase, part of the Mitosis series. For More Information
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In His Corner, Baked Fresh, Second Chances, A Taste of Sauvignon and Men Like This Book Feature!

Contemporary Romance 1 Kensington

In His Corner by Vina ArnoTitle: In His Corner
Author: Vina Arno
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle

Work Out

 No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild work-out…

Knock Out

 Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stitches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…

For More Information

  • In His Corner is available at Amazon.
cindyfazzi1 Cindy Fazzi was born and raised in the Philippines. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her two decades of experience as a news reporter, writer, and editor includes working for the Associated Press. Her first romance novella, In His Corner, written under the pen name Vina Arno, was published by Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing. It’s scheduled for release on April 14, 2015. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review. She’s the author of a series of four nonfiction children’s books about the Philippines, Peru, Pakistan, and Ireland, published in 2005 by the Rosen Publishing Group. The books were part of a series called A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Countries of the World. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Ateneo de Manila University and a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University. She lives in picturesque Utah with her husband, Vincent, and their daughter, Nina.

  For More Information
  Visit Vina’s website.
  Connect with Vina on Facebook

Baked Fresh by Annabeth AlbertTitle: Baked Fresh
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle

 From its famous coffee to the mouthwatering fare at its cafés, restaurants, and bakeries, Portland, Oregon, has a lot to whet the appetite, including the hard-working men who serve it all up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations… Vic Degrassi is a baker on the rise, and it’s all thanks to his rare ability to make—and keep—his New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight, giving up smoking, or graduating from culinary school, Vic goes after what he wants—and gets it. This year? He wants Robin Dawson, the sweet-hearted hottie who volunteers with him at the local homeless shelter. When he learns that Robin is suddenly single after being unceremoniously dumped, Vic is more than happy to offer a shoulder to cry on—or at least a fresh-baked pastry to bite into. But it’s been a long time since Vic’s gone on a date, and he’s nervous about risking his friendship with Robin. So when their flirtation turns into a steamy night together, Vic and Robin have to figure out if they’re friends with benefits or lovers in the making, and if Robin is ready for something more than just a rebound. There’s only one way to find out: turn up the heat…  

For More Information

Baked Fresh is available at Amazon.

Annabeth AlbertAnnabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

  For More Information
  Visit Annabeth’s website.

Second Chance by Stacy FinzTitle: Second Chances
Author: Stacy Finz
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle

 Nugget, California, is a spot-in-the-road that's easy to miss. But this little mountain town knows how to give the struggling and discouraged many paths back to happiness—and love…

Reporter Harlee Roberts is used to finding the story, not living it. Unfortunately, losing her dream job and glittering city life means she needs a serious rewrite. Downtime at her parents' cabin in Nugget is a break she could really use. But the less her rugged woodworker neighbor has to say to her, the more Harlee’s natural curiosity is piqued, and the more she wants exclusive access—to his heart…

Nugget's open spaces and mountain quiet are the perfect refuge for Colin Burke. All he wants is solitude, to mind his own business—and for Harlee to mind hers. Still, her live-wire personality and take-no-prisoners commitment to those she cares about are a temptation pulling him way too close. Is their connection strong enough to survive his secrets—and risk a future together?

For More Information

Second Chances is available at Amazon.

Stacy Finz Stacy Finz is an award-winning journalist. After more than seventeen years covering notorious serial killers, naked-tractor-driving farmers, fanatical foodies, aging rock stars and weird Western towns for the San Francisco Chronicle, she figured she finally had enough material to launch a career writing fiction. In 2012 she won the Daphne du Maurier Award for unpublished single-title mystery/suspense. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband.

For More Information
Visit Stacy's website
Connect with Stacy on Twitter and Facebook  

A Taste of Sauvignon by Heather HeyfordTitle: A Taste of Sauvignon
Author: Heather Heyford
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle

Join Heather Heyford as she returns to Napa for a third taste in her series following three wine heiresses, each as vibrant and unique as the grapes for which they were named…

Sauvignon St. Pierre has always been fiercely ambitious. She easily could’ve cashed in on her family’s fortune, but instead, she struck out on her own, breezed through law school, and landed a job at a small firm in Napa. Savvy’s life is as tidy and straightforward as her sizable collection of little black dresses, and she likes it that way—but every now and then, she can’t help but long for her first sip of love…

After a chance encounter with Esteban Morales, the caliente son of Papa St. Pierre’s long-time rival, something inside Savvy wakes up. It could be that Esteban’s interest in cultivating lavender appeals to her passion for perfumery. But there’s something else about the charming but down-to-earth farmer that she simply can’t resist. They both know their families are an unlikely pairing, but together, Savvy and Esteban just may be the ideal varietals for a perfect blend…

For More Information

A Taste of Sauvignon is available at Amazon.

Heather HeyfordBorn in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. (“Ya’ll want some scones?”) While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City. The first book in her Napa Wine Heiresses Series from Kensington Publishing, A Taste of Chardonnay, is now available in print and ebook on Amazon and B&N!

For More Information
  Visit Heather's website
  Connect with Heather on Facebook

Men Like ThisTitle: Men Like This
Author: Roxanne Smith
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle

Can she trust a man who pretends for a living?

 Horror author Quinn Buzzly knows all about the dark side, but when she meets actor Jack Decker, she’s moved to explore something completely different—at least on paper. With his sexy good looks, intriguing manner, and charming Irish-tinged English accent, Jack is the perfect model for her next hero. Quinn decides to spend one year in London writing a historical romance inspired by him. Until real life butts in…

 Jack’s jealous ex-fiancée sparks a media storm when she accuses him and Quinn of having an affair. But Jack knows how to play this game. At his insistence, Quinn agrees to go along with the faux romance until the chatter subsides. Then they’ll stage a quiet breakup and go their separate ways. Yet Jack is a shameless—and irresistibly convincing—flirt, and Quinn has to remind herself it’s an act. Or is it? If Jack means business, he’ll have to find the words to convince a wordsmith that their love is the real thing…  

For More Information

Men Like This is available at Amazon.  

Men Like This, is my debut novel, the first story in a series of three I've decided to call Long Shot Romance--long odds and stubborn hearts make love a thing to fight for. I've always loved characters who surprise me and make me laugh, with just a tad of the dramatic tossed in, and I hope that's something I've been able to do for my readers. So much of what inspires me comes from the unexpected; the fork in the road you might trip over. Life takes funny turns and there's not much you can do but hang on.

Most of us pick up a pen with the understanding that the odds are against us. It's a dream. I decided in my early twenties to take writing seriously and try. With trying came falling flat on my face more times than I can count, but there's always something to be gained from effort, and I took that and ran with it like I was a wide receiver gunning for the end zone at the bottom of the fourth on Superbowl Sunday. Lots of revising, rewriting, and tears between then and now, and a whole stack of friends and family at my back.

I'm a mom and wife before I'm an author, which is just as well. You can't leave the little people behind once you've ascended to greatness. Remember where you came from. My kids are my two favorite people. They're weird and hilarious. They're at that age where they're forming into something unique and apart from everyone else. They're developing self. It's probably one of the most rewarding things I've experienced as a parent so far, right up there with teaching them bathroom independence. A teen parent twice over, I've done just as much growing as they have in the last decade, and I've done it with the perfect partner--married 11 years and still arguing over who gets to drive the hypothetical Corvette.

For More Information

Visit Roxanne's website
Connect with Roxanne on Facebook and Twitter
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