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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Remember The Maelstrom by Josh Sinason



Conan Crushes Cynical Storytelling
Josh Sinason

I wrote a story where nothing happens.  I knew that going on but I thought it worked anyway.  It worked the first time with A Linger In The Echo a story I wrote that takes place entirely inside someone’s head…maybe.  But when I turned in the first draft of Remember The Maelstrom I got an immediate email back telling me that nothing happens in this story.  I disagreed but I looked at it objectively and made some changes for the better but I fought for my original ending a bit.  But as I kept arguing for it I realized I was committing what I always said ws the cardinal sin of science fiction.  I was writing a cynical story.

It wasn’t overtly cynical but the undercurrent was there as everything faded to black.  So I made some changes for the better.  I’ve always been against cynical storytelling, particularly in science fiction and fantasy where we are open to a world of possibilities.  So I looked at it objectively and realized what I was really trying to say wasn’t cynical. I speaking to the infinite possibilities of love set against the entire unkown of unexplored space.  I just needed a little push in another direction, a small change, it’s really only a paragraph or two in the entire story but it makes it so much better.    

Mainstream science fiction has had an inferiority complex.  Stemming from a time when people dismissed science fiction as being “just for kids” so you see a lot of writers compensate by being overtly dark and gritty, it’s how we get things like the Game of Thrones, but some of the worst offenders conflate dark and gritty with cynical.  Most of the time it’s the one with the bad Frank Frazetta imitation crossed with a bad heavy metal band album cover on the front.  You know the one with the girls in the metal pasties and sprays of blood everywhere that just screams “We’re not for kids anymore.”

In an effort to show they’re “mature” they’ve confused dark with cynical and worst of all, they’re being cynical for the sake of being cynical.   You can be dark, you can be grim, but if you’re doing it from a place that’s bitter it’s like reading a story written by a jaded teenager in a high school writing class.

To me, the ultimate example of a writer being dark and gritty without being cynical is Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories.  Howard created a world with some of the most gruesome barbaric images in all of fiction, a world where enemies are crucified and people bite the heads off of ravens to survive, and our hero makes no apologies as he stands in the middle of it, sometimes even doing the crucifying.  

The larger story of Conan is that of an explorer, someone who is too smart and too curious to be content with being just a nomad looking from plunder to pillage. (The movies are way more Kull than Conan) The world Conan inhabits is a world in which good and evil are very real, very black and white, and anybody who wants power has to choose a side but Conan doesn’t see that in a negative.

Conan doesn’t choose a side outright; he rejects authority when thrust upon him either way but will always do the right thing.  But to him, since the world has both tangible good and tangible evil it means the world is one-hundred percent equitable.  He’s unwavering in his belief that everything should be balanced.  The good people get their reward and the bad guys get what’s coming to them, by his hand or by someone else’s, he really doesn’t care.   Whether it's raiding a temple to retrieve a jewel from a demon wizard’s cave only to give that jewel to a beggar when he finds out the princess is lying to him or leaving an enemy to be crucified like he did to Conan earlier in the story, Conan's sense of justice borders on the obsessive but it's never without merit in the story. 

When Conan eventually becomes a king it’s not a upbeat moment.  It’s a tragic end to a life as an explorer and adventurer.  The man who set out to leave his world is thrust back into it based on his own sense of duty and justice.  But it’s still never presented as a cynical end.  Conan never lets go of the notion that the world is equitable even if it’s forced him to be the hand that guides it.

One of the later stories involved Conan fighting a gorilla who thinks he’s a wizard.  Read that sentence again because yes, it’s that awesome.  But the story is more than an un-apologetically silly story about a man fighting a gorilla…in a cape…that thinks it’s a wizard. (c’mon, that’s cool)  It’s a story about Conan returning to his roots and finding a balance of justice and meaning of life against something like him.  Someone fighting against a world that made him into something he never meant to be and his primal sense of nature which, like Conan, is in the end peaceful.

Lots of fantasy and sci-fi authors have been inspired by Conan.  But they also lose sight of what made those stories special.  They look at those Frank Frazetta paintings and think that fans want guys with swords covered in blood and hanging out with wenches in metal swimwear.  It misses the point, they miss the sense of adventure, the character with an outlook that’s unapologetically simple, and they miss the brazen sense of fun. 

Remember The Maelstrom
Josh Sinason

Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Publisher: TWB Press

Number of pages: 40
Word Count: 10,000

Book Description:

A botched investigation into the past triggers a domino effect, thrusting T.I. Agent Amanda West into a race to get home to the man she loves in a future that may no longer exist. 



Available at Amazon    Smashwords     TWB Press

Excerpt:

“Let’s go, rookie.” I set my blaster on stun. “I want to be home in time for dinner.”
Corporal Winger nodded and drew his gun.
I noticed his hand shake. That should have been my first cue something was wrong. He clutched his gun so tense his knuckles turned white. This was his first op, and it already went way far south way too soon. This was just supposed to be a routine run: bring back a fugitive who had bolted through an unauthorized time portal. We were the closest ship to it. He was just one guy, but he had a gun. Who would have thought things could’ve gone so wrong?
I kissed the scar on my right hand before we chased him through Central Park in the year 2014. It was a silly ritual, but when I found myself far from home, I started to get superstitious. On cold nights, when time, space, and a universe kept me away, I’d look at that scar and think about Parker.
Winger was a hair faster than me catching up with our time jumper. Maybe if I’d been there a second or two sooner I could have stopped him, but I arrived just in time to watch him aim his gun. I was just within view when our jumper pulled in a hostage, a little girl, something that would’ve made any experienced agent hold his fire.
Winger was just reacting on instinct.  He didn’t pull back in time, and the guy held the kid in front of him. The scene played out in slow motion. Maybe Winger thought he could make a head-shot on the perp, or maybe he just fired in the heat of the moment; we were both tired. All I knew was, as the girl and our jumper fell to the ground, the look of horror on Winger’s face didn’t last long.
I’d never seen a person fade from existence before, not until that moment. The theory, according to Temporal Investigations, was that one dies before actually disappearing completely. Sheer shock and horror was the killer, like falling off a tall building. But Winger looked me in the eyes the entire time, silently pleading for help as he faded right in front of me. I reached out to grab his hand, but it vanished, and that’s when I noticed my scar begin to ghost.
I didn’t know who that little girl was. Maybe she had invented something that made the Galactic Conferences possible, or maybe she was the grandmother of the grandmother of someone who assigned cores in the Academy, and because she no longer existed in the future, Parker and I may have ended up in different course plans. Or maybe she did something at just the right moment, a move in one direction or another, a decade from now, and things just fell into place for us. It was impossible to tell what could happen without her influence, but I feared something was wrong. I could have lost Parker already without even knowing it.
When I saw that scar on my hand ghost, I knew it was a sign that the time stream was starting to realign. We were briefed on ghosting at the Academy. They told us to run; they said always run back to the ship, flat out as fast as we could. But we all knew the truth. We couldn’t outrun a time realignment. It would be like outrunning the hand of the universe.
The moment I saw that scar flicker, I took off in a dead sprint back to the ship and leaped into the captain’s chair. As the controls came on around me I felt the hum of the hyperspace time bubble curling around the ship like a warm blanket. Then, when I tried to catch my breath, I felt a hot sting in my gut. Our jumper had managed to get off a shot, and as luck would have it, his blaster charge went straight through Winger’s ghosting body and hit me in the stomach. I did my best to breathe slowly, but each inhale felt like razor blades slicing through my chest. I winced and put pressure on the singed and bloody wound then throttled up the engines.
“Well today just sucked, didn’t it.” I looked at the picture of Parker I kept on my dashboard. We had our pictures taken when we were assigned to The Bartlett. Knowing this meant I hadn’t forgotten about him...at least not yet. Then I looked to make sure the hyperspace time bubble had restored the scar on my hand. Yes. I gave it another kiss for luck. Just lifting my arm sent shooting pains through my stomach, but I figured I needed a fair amount of luck right about then, so the pain was worth the effort.
“Just make it home for dinner.” I clutched the steering yoke tightly. “Just one more trip.” I forced a breath. “Let me see that everything is all right with Parker. Then let whatever changes I’ve made to the future do what they will to me.”
“Some time cop I turned out to be.”
I slammed on the thrusters hard and gunned the engine boosters through the time jump, but the inertia field didn’t have time to boot up, so I felt my ribs crack as my chest slammed against the crash belt and the back of my head bounced off the top of my chair.
I screamed in pain.
In flight school I had experienced what happened without an inertia field. Senior cadets would watch Parker and I train in the flight deck sim. We’d shoot to hyperspace without any problems. But every once in a while the cadets would program in an inertia field glitch just to see how we’d respond to the stress, at least that’s what they told the instructors. It was really a rite of passage made worse by the fact that the simulator didn’t have crash belts, so the only way to go was flying backwards. If it wasn’t for the crash helmets, our brains would’ve splattered against the cold metal exit door.
“Stupid prank,” I said, spitting blood. I was bleeding internally. The scar on my hand ghosted again. The time bubble was weakening already, so I started going over my past, wondering just how much of it I would forget.
I decide to listen to my personal logs and make sure everything was just as I remembered. Hopefully that last ghosting wasn’t a sign that I was too late. The computer accessed my files, starting with my first week studying for the Academy mid-terms.
I remembered that day by the lake on the Academy grounds, fresh in my mind no matter what time jump I was in. The lake was clear blue enough that I could see the incoming spaceships reflected in the surface. I had sat there so often over that first month I could tell how low the ships were flying by the ripples their wakes made in the water.
I sat near a tree, hoping to keep my mind on my introductory engineering midterm studies. Sometimes the Academy felt like a monster looking to swallow cadets whole, but out there, under the shuttles flying by and the transport ships jumping to hyperspace like little daylight shooting stars, the Academy grounds felt peaceful. That day the transports lit up the clouds like purple and red lightning. I listened to the low rumble of the shuttles as I skipped a rock across the water. Then I cracked open a book.


About the Author:

Josh Sinason grew up in DeKalb, Illinois, and has been featured in the Two With Water reading series and at DIY-Film.com.

In addition he has won the Creativity in Media award for his work on www.stairwellblog.com  

His work has been recently featured in Burroughs Publishing Lunchbox Romance Line and Eternal Press’ young adult fiction line.


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8094737.Josh_Sinason/blog

March 2 Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt

March 2 Spotlight
Hywela Lyn

March 3 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

March 3 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!  http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com

March 4 Spotlight
Books and Tales:

March 4 Spotlight
Fang-tastic Books

March 5 Spotlight
Sapphyria's Book Reviews

March 6 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books

March 6 Character Interview
Eclipse Reviews

March 9 Interview
Author Karen Swart

March 9 Guest Blog
Roxanne’s Realm


Spotlight on Enchanter’s Echo by Anise Rae








Enchanter’s Echo                   
Mayflower Mages
Book Two
Anise Rae

Genre: Paranormal romance

Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical

Date of Publication: February 17, 2015        

ISBN: 9781616505394
ASIN: B00PP2ZX8M

Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 99,685

Book Description:

Aurora Firenze lives a quiet life hiding in a junkyard. Her repair shop is the last hope for gadgets and gizmos before they get tossed onto the trash towers. Fortunately, Aurora can fix almost anything, including mages, though repairing people with metal enchantments is highly illegal.

Edmund Rallis, heir to the Rallis senate seat, has spent months hunting down his errant enchantress. He’ll play every game he knows to win her back and entice her to share the secrets she hides. But he’s inadvertently put her on the frontlines of a new game, one with an opponent who’s determined to destroy Rallis Territory and drive the Republic toward war. If the new enemy isn’t stopped in time, Edmund will lose his enchantress again—and this time there won’t be another chance.

Available at   Amazon    BN    Kobo   iTunes


Excerpt:
The keep-out spell awoke at her approach. The enchanted mesh of vines and branches that blocked the entrance to Rallis Territory’s forbidden forest vibrated in welcome as its creator returned. Aurora Firenze cast her vibes along the perimeter of her spell, testing and prodding. Its strength resonated back. It was as strong as it had been six months ago when she’d created it and hid her secrets within the forest’s depths. She let go of a relieved breath, but it didn’t cure her tension.
Her nerves were strung tight, as if she’d spent hours placating customers in her repair shop. But the day had been quiet. She’d even made decent progress—fixing a curling iron with a too-hot heating spell and a stapler that had a bad habit of chasing the boss around the conference table. Yet a restlessness itched at her skin with an unpleasant persistence. She’d closed up early and headed out for the short walk to the forest. Within its heart, she’d find the peace to wash away this unease.
She sent another stream of vibes into the keep-out spell. A discreet doorway formed. With a quick glance around the barren field and the junkyard behind her, she stepped beneath her illegal spell.
As she brushed against the branches, a faint thump sounded at her feet—the soft crash of a pinecone or a weak branch falling to the ground. A normal forest noise. She flinched anyway. Her glitter puffed around her in an anxious cloud as her mage energy escaped her control. It was the fifth time today. Enchantresses did not make good criminals. She should probably let the other three in existence know, in case they were considering lives of crime. Those blasted sparkly clouds would blow their covers wide open.
She lifted her foot to continue into the small forest that was tucked inside the territory’s capital city, but stopped. A proper lawbreaker should investigate mysterious noises outside her lair. She turned and scanned the ground for the culprit. A gold coin glinted in the crisp weeds. That wasn’t normal. She reached to pick it up, scanning the field and the junkyard beyond with a twitchy gaze. Empty. She was alone.
Behind her, the forest shuttered closed, nearly catching her in its fortress wall. She jumped forward with a surprised lurch at the swat of vines and twigs. A basic rule of illegal enchantments: get out of the way or risk being incorporated into the spell.
Ignoring the sting of the swat, she stared at the coin. It was tarnished at the edges, a used-up charm. See-me-not was embossed on its golden surface. She jerked her head up. A man stood ten paces away. He was tall, broad...beyond familiar.
“Edmund,” she whispered. A shiver tiptoed across her shoulders like kisses, soft lips that hid a sharp bite. Her nerves stretched thinner yet, trapped in a battle between memories of lovers’ frolics and the promise of a dark fate that had just materialized from thin air.
Behind her, the forest’s trees rustled with the wind, a warning to retreat, one she dare not heed. Not until she knew why he’d finally come searching for her. She hadn’t thought he’d ever come back.
He prowled forward. “Hello, princess.” Though his words might have held some affection, nothing of the lover she’d once known appeared in his countenance. He lifted his left hand to reveal a glowing ball of mage vibes in his palm. His blue eyes reflected the tiny flashes of energy, and his power snapped in the air like a miniature electrical storm. The heir to the most powerful territory in the Republic had quite a steam of anger built up.
Dark hair waved across his forehead, and little curls peeked out at the edges of his neck. Though the wind buffeted and pushed at Aurora, winter’s boldness didn’t dare touch Edmund, not his hair, nor his dark gray suit or scarlet tie.
The hard slope of his nose matched the sharp lines of his jaw and cheekbones. When he smiled, he was deadly handsome. At the moment, he was simply deadly.
“Aurora.” He cast her name through the air and a piece of her soul tumbled away, as if it might dash toward him and cling like a forlorn, discarded lover. But he hadn’t discarded her....
“You stand accused of melding earthen metals to human flesh with an enchantment.”
Her heart thumped once, hard and loud, and then took off with a sprint, drenching her veins from head to toe with lightning sharp fright.
Goddess, he’d found out. How?
Even as she thought it, he revealed the answer. The glow faded from his ball of energy to reveal a small metal sphere. Her racing heart shriveled at the sight, pulling the rest of her organs with it, as if they thought to hide, seeking a chance to slip past this disaster unnoticed and, perhaps, survive. She shifted her feet on the ground, unable to resist the fear pumping through her core. Run, her gut whispered. She couldn’t afford to listen... not with the evidence sitting in his hand.
The sphere was heavier than it looked. She knew that. After all, she’d made it...and thought it long gone. He closed his fingers around it, capturing her fate within his fist.
“How’d you get that?” Her fast words shot out, hustling forward before fear, creeping up her legs with tingles and pricks, stole her voice.
“You ought to be down on your knees thanking me for confiscating it.” His voice was sharp and cutting. He sounded like a stranger, his jokes and teasing wit long gone.
“What did you do? Sneak into the junkyard and pluck his eye from his skull? Has it been hiding under your pillow for six months?” Not at all where she’d thought it was. Betrayal jolted through her. “Hardly actions befitting the heir of the mighty Rallis realm.” Her voice wavered.
“You have no idea what I’ve done.”



About the Author:

Anise Rae has been reading romance novels since she first discovered her grandmother’s stash of books hidden away in a cabinet. Learning that she wasn’t the only one dreaming about love and magic was a turning point in her life. She started her own stash of books and wrote a few too.

A native of Ohio, Anise long ago moved south, armed with boxes of romance novels and degrees in chemistry and library science. Creating chemistry on the page between two lovers proved to be a lot more fun than working with test tubes in a lab or searching patent databases. She refocused on writing.

Her stories revolve around heroines who dare to stand up to society’s expectations and be true to themselves and heroes with plenty of savvy to fall in love with such brave women.

Anise lives in Atlanta with her two children and a fluffy dog that has an amazing ability to find dirty socks.

For information on future releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter at www.aniserae.com




Author photo by www.surianiphoto.com

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Monday, March 2, 2015

10 Things A Fallen Angel Needs to Know to Survive in NYC with Yelena Casale and Tina Moss





10 Things A Fallen Angel Needs to Know to Survive in NYC
By: Yelena Casale and Tina Moss

1. Where to find the best pizza. It's vital for sustenance and happiness. Recommendations include Artichoke Pizza in Manhattan, DiFarra’s and L&B in Brooklyn.

2. How to use the subway system. First, it's a train system, not a sandwich shop. Second, it can take you anywhere in NYC as long as you get used to the crowds, the dirt, and the inevitable rail rat.

3. The nature of flea markets and antique shops. Magical places where you can literally find anything. Needed information to take your girl shopping on a weekend. Recommendation: Chelsea Antique Center.

4. The important male bonding rituals. A boxing match at Madison Square Garden to blend in with human males and see how humans fight. Or go to the Thomas Casale Dojo in Brooklyn to actually learn how to fight the way humans do.

5. Where to find the local hospitals. Welcome to our world, big boy! Complete with human frailties, like physical pain, slower reflexes, and the occasional klutzy accident. The ER takes ten hours, but it is your friend.

6. Why New Yorkers are so angry. They're not. They're busy and don't have time for nonsense. Everyone is rushing everywhere at all times. Choose your questions for them carefully and make it quick.

7. Why Central Park is truly special. New Yorkers are surrounded by concrete and steel 90% of the day. The oasis in the city is our respite.

8. It's the City, not Manhattan. Nothing will peg you faster than a tourist as this distinction. Technically, NYC consists of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. But, it is always the City.

9. How to manage a city apartment. Carefully, and without drawing unnecessary remarks to its size. Do you like being told your small? Didn't think so.

10. Why it's the greatest city on earth. It's noisy, smelly, dirty, and crowded. It'll make you hard. It'll chew you up and spit you out. But, as the saying goes, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. And New Yorkers wouldn't have it any other way.







A Touch of Darkness
Key Series
Book One
Yelena Casale and Tina Moss

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Publisher: City Owl Press
Date of Publication:  3/2/2015

ISBN: 978-0-9862516-0-3
ASIN: B00QJKUAUU

Number of pages: 295
Word Count: 75k

Cover Artist: Tina Moss

Book Description:

Cassie Durrett dreams of the darkness. And lives the nightmare. She's working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she ...well, whenever.

So, when mystery man, Gabe, walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when his predictions start to come true, she'll need his help to beat back the darkness-spawned creatures invading her reality.

Pretty soon Gabe has her running half way across the country in search of answers. As a bond grows between them, Cassie worries not about losing her mind to the paranormal madness, nor her life to hellish monsters. Rather her deepest fear is surrendering her heart to a powerful man fallen from grace.

FIRST PLACE in 2014 Readers' Crown Award for urban fantasy.

FIRST PLACE in Central Florida RWA's Touch of Magic
contest for paranormal romance.

Available at   



BN    Kobo    iBooks
Excerpt:

Cassie moaned as the remnants of the attack wore off. She opened her eyes to stare into her dream man’s gaze. Oh, just great. I need to dream about him again? Her body already tingled with pleasure at the familiar vision. A trench coat molded to his tall frame. Across his chest, droplets of water clung to a black shirt, then dripped down to run over his dark jeans and heavy boots. Gabe. The name came to her. How do I know his name’s Gabe? Reality flooded back with a vengeance, the whole encounter snapping into focus as if the picture emerged from a snowy TV. What she didn’t recall was what happened after and why this man was now here, in her apartment.
Her gaze darted around the room, looking for something to use as a weapon. Bookcases lined the far wall with plenty of thick books inside, but she’d never make it past him to reach the shelves. A tiny statue of a marble angel stood on top of the old TV just a foot out of her reach. Next to the TV sat an opaque yellow vase with a couple of long-stemmed white calla lilies. Neither the statue nor the vase, she decided, would be adequate for the job. When she couldn’t find a satisfactory weapon, she opened her mouth to yell.
Before she could utter a sound, Gabe moved so fast she saw him in nothing more than a blur. His hand covered her mouth and he breathed into her ear. “You fainted. I had to get you home, off the street. Please don’t scream. I mean you no harm. I promise.” As if to punctuate his last words, he took his hand away.
Cassie suppressed the rising terror as she considered the situation and chose anger instead. She narrowed her eyes and curled her hands into fists.
“How did you find out where I live if I was unconscious?” she said, her body tensing in the fight or flight response.
“Your wallet. I went through it.”
“Oh...” Her hands remained fisted.
“You’re a strong woman, but you shouldn’t direct your anger at me.” He went to touch her shoulder, but she flinched away. “Look,” he said. “There’s something we need to talk about. But first tell me, how long have you had these headaches, this pain?”
“How do you know about them?” Her voice raised an octave higher.
“I just know. I also know what they mean. Do you?” He seemed eager to hear the answer.
“I’ve had these episodes forever,” Cassie said, unsure why she answered him. “They’ve been getting worse lately.” Her head titled to the side. “Are you a doctor or something?”
“And have you ever felt any other feelings or sensations during or after the headaches?” Gabe went on, ignoring her last question.
“Yes...Maybe...But how on earth would you know?”
“Tell me more,” Gabe insisted, his voice flowing smooth like water.
She pressed her lips together and shook her head. “Enough. I’m not telling you anymore until you tell me what the hell is going on, who you are and what you want from me.”
Cassie heard him whisper under his breath, “Easy...” It seemed more instructions to himself than to her. She ignored it and waited for his answer.
“Cassie, I know everything I’m going to say will sound crazy to you, but you’ve got to listen to me. Haven’t you ever wondered at all the weird things happening to you over the years, at the feeling you get with the headaches, the energy?” She was about to interrupt but he raised his hand to silence her and continued, “This is not going to be easy for you to understand but...there’s more to you than you think.”
And I thought I was crazy. Cassie started to tremble. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well...you’re not exactly...technically...you’re not...” He struggled with whatever he was trying to get out.
“Just say it.”
Gabe locked his gaze with hers. She didn’t look away. She couldn’t.
“You’re not completely human.”

  


About the Authors:


Yelena Casale is an award-winning author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she moved to New York at thirteen. Being very curious, she has been a devoted reader and writer since childhood. As a 2nd degree black belt and instructor in Shotokan karate, an avid traveler, and history and art enthusiast, she weaves universal themes with martial arts philosophies into her stories. She lives with her amazing, supportive husband and the best Siamese cats. In her spare time, she reads, paints, watches cool shows on TV and tries to get more sleep.





Tina Moss is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and New Adult novels.  She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5'1" Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.

Website: www.tinamoss.com




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Friday, February 27, 2015

The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader


The Story Behind the Story

Hello, my name is Nadia Nader and my debut novel The Enchanted Rose is a paranormal story set in the fictional town of Misty Hills. The book starts with Vivian having to move to the mysterious town due to her mother’s sudden death. She’s distraught as she’s sent to the small town she’s never heard of to live with two aunts she didn’t know existed.

The seeds for The Enchanted Rose were planted during a family gathering several years ago. My parents and I were visiting our relatives. It was a small family gathering composed of my aunt, uncle, and two cousins. There was also a girl there, one that I had never met before. However my parents seemed to know her very well. They kept asking her detailed questions about her life. The more knowledge they showed about her life, the more curious I became about how they knew her. After we were done with lunch, I pulled aside my cousin and asked her who the girl was. With a surprised look at me, she replied, “My sister.”

I was shocked. How could I not have known of the existence of her sister? My world shifted slightly off its axis and rearranged itself. I began asking myself, “What else don’t I know?”

When telling my friends the story, we bounced ideas around asking each other what would be the strangest thing you could find out that would change the way you viewed your world. What event would have you questioning your life?

I knew then that I wanted to write a story about that and explore the emotional aspects of your whole life turning upside down and having to question every truth you’ve ever known. I liked the idea of Vivian having to return to a town her mother ran away from and discovering family secrets. Especially when those secrets turn out to be paranormal in nature.


 Writing The Enchanted Rose was a wonderful experience and I am currently working on the second book in the series. Vivian has had an interesting start to life in Misty Hills but she has more secrets to uncover. Life is going to be a little rocky for her in the next couple of months but I know she can handle it!


The Enchanted Rose
Misty Hills
Book One
Nadia Nader

Genre: YA Paranormal

ASIN: B00S99Y4I8

Number of pages: 135
Word Count:  Roughly 45,000

Cover Artist: Consuelo Parra

Book Description:

When Vivian’s mother dies in a tragic accident, Vivian’s world is turned upside down. Her life, as she knows it, is over. A new life, full of her mother’s secrets, begins…

Sent away by her father to live with two eccentric aunts on the mysterious Tremaine Estate, Vivian comes to learn that a powerful curse lurks over her family – one that only she may have the power to break. With each day she spends in Misty Hills, Vivian uncovers more unsettling discoveries about the town, her reclusive family, and herself.

Can Vivian let go of every truth she’s ever believed and discover who she really is, before the dark secrets hidden within the supernatural town threaten to consume her and those she loves?


Available at   Amazon   and   Kobo

Excerpt 2:

A couple of pots were bubbling atop the stove emitting delicious smells. My mouth watered, and I realized how long it had been since I'd had a home-cooked meal. My father and I had lived on ready-made meals since mother’s passing. I briefly wondered how my father would manage without me there to make sure he ate. I blinked back the tears that threatened to spill over.
“Have a seat at the table.” My aunt gestured to a cozy table along the wall. Two places had been set. With an efficient stride and swoop, she took a seat. “I’ve made beef stew with vegetables and rice.”
“It smells delicious.” Despite the lump in my throat and rock in my stomach, I salivated.
With a serving spoon, Aunt Agnes scooped rice onto my plate and added a healthy helping of stew alongside it. She did the same for her plate and then sat watching me as I raised a spoon to my mouth.
I took a bite and reveled in the taste. She smiled at my blissful reaction. The smile softened her face, making her appear kinder.
“This is amazing.”
“Thank you.” The smile disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared. Her face clouded over again. “We take turns cooking here. Beatrice actually made that. Of the three of us, she’s the better cook.”
“I can cook too, if you like. I used to cook for my parents sometimes. Mom taught me some family recipes.”
Aunt Agnes studied me for a few seconds. “That would be nice. It’s good to give Beatrice a break from time to time.”
We ate the rest of our meal in silence. The beef stew filled my stomach and warmth spread across my body. In the cozy atmosphere of the kitchen, with pots bubbling across the countertop, I almost felt content for the first time that week. Before I could enjoy it for too long, my aunt spoke.
“You won’t be expected to go to school tomorrow. I’ve told them that you’ll start on Friday, so no reason to go and mix them up.” She frowned at me. “I don’t normally encourage slothfulness, but I supposed you could take the day to recover from your travels. If you’d like, you can explore the grounds. You can also go down to town if you wish.”
I nodded gratefully.
“Is there anything you would like to ask me?” Aunt Agnes peered at me down her thin nose.
“Yes.” I hesitated, not sure it was the right time to ask. Then I decided to take the plunge and pose the question that had been bothering me since I'd found out I was being sent to live with them. “Why didn’t my mother ever mention she had sisters?”
If I hadn’t been intent on observing her reaction, I would have missed the fleeting expression of anger and grief that crossed her face. But I was watching closely.
That expression disappeared quickly, and she looked back at me in disapproval, her face becoming more pinched looking. Her lips thinned to a white line until they almost disappeared. The silence went on long enough for it to become awkward. Soon, all I could hear was the loud ticking of the grandfather clock.
When I thought I couldn’t bear the tension any longer, my aunt finally spoke. “Your mother never mentioned us because she was desperate to break free. Mentioning us would have made her escape futile.” She looked at me with an intensity that made me lightheaded. “As it is, you are back with us, so she never managed to truly escape.”

About the Author:

Nadia Nader lives in Kuwait with her family. 

You can contact Nadia on her blog http://www.nadianader.com




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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Thomas Briar



Hi there. My name is Thomas Briar and I write erotic romance stories. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to stop by and visit with me. I really appreciate it.
To date, I've garnered eleven publishing contracts with three different publishers and have published seven books. And I'm certain that doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment to most people, but to me, it's almost unbelievable. You see, in the beginning I didn't have any contacts in the publishing industry, no credentials of any note, and almost no hope of ever getting in. That's the honest truth.
However, despite the obstacles standing in my way, I refused to give up. And it boggles my mind at how times have changed for me over the last few years. Perhaps my writing has improved some also? Ahem…okay, I'll reluctantly admit that I know it has.
But then, that should be one of the goals in writing books, isn't it? For me it is. I want to keep getting better and better at this amazing job.
Anyway, my reason for actually being here today is not to babble about myself until the end of this post. Instead, I'm supposed to be trying to intrigue you into wanting to read one of my books. So let's get started in earnest, shall we?
Back on August 26, 2014, I published my sixth book, an M/F contemporary erotic romance short story of almost five thousand words titled A Lost Love Returns. It's about a young woman reconnecting with the former love of her life. You see, three years ago Jake abandoned Clarissa without giving any explanation. As the backstory goes, he'd received a mysterious phone call in the middle of the night, got really agitated before leaving their apartment, and didn't ever come back. Even worse, Jake never once contacted Clarissa to tell her where he went, what he was doing, or if he was alive and well. Now he's brazenly returned to their favorite sidewalk café in Key West, Florida.
Off the top of my head, that sounds like an unforgivable kind of offense. But, of course, in slanting the information I've provided thus far I've conveniently left out the part about how he abandoned Clarissa to protect her and how he's come back to keep a promise he'd once made to her. Now, your next thoughts are probably, 'Protect her from what?' and 'What did he promise her?'
Well, I really wish I could tell you in this post. But I just can't do it in good conscience. I mean, intrigue is the point of my being here isn't it? I'm pretty sure I stated a few paragraphs ago that it is.
So, if I've managed to pique your curiosity in A Lost Love Returns, then I encourage you to read the back cover blurb and excerpt or simply click on one of the buy links for more information. Also, if you feel inclined, please check out my website to peruse all the books I've published and to find out about the upcoming books I have releasing in 2015.
Thanks again for stopping by and visiting with me!



A Lost Love Returns
Thomas Briar

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Publisher: MuseItHOT Publishing

Date of Publication: August 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77127-572-9

Number of pages: 22
Word Count: 4793 words

Cover Artist: Celairen

Book Trailer: None

Book Description:

Three years after her boyfriend's mysterious disappearance, Clarissa has finally recovered enough to move on with her life. She's graduated from college, found a good job, and is engaged to someone else now. She is happy once again.

So why has Jake, her long lost first love, suddenly turned back up in Key West, Florida at their favorite sidewalk café? Where had he been and what had he been doing during his absence?

But most important of all, what could he possibly want from her after all this time?

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

Clarissa looked up from her espresso to suffer a shock of disbelief. She blinked several times, thinking her eyes must be deceiving her.  It couldn't be him. It just couldn't be.
Yet, there he sat three tables away from her—the lost love of her life—having returned to Key West and their favorite sidewalk café from…? She honestly couldn’t say because she didn't know where he'd disappeared to or the reason behind his sudden abandonment of her three years ago.
She trembled in the warm morning air as a plethora of emotions assaulted her beleaguered mind in quick succession: anxiety, intrigue, longing, regret, anguish, love, sorrow, and finally…indignation.
With every passing second that she resisted the tremendous urge to get up from her seat and walk over to make her presence known, the more equilibrium she regained. She could not, would not, go to him. At twenty-five years of age, with more life experience than most women her age, she knew all about the virtues of having patience.
To help sustain her resolve, she looked up at the clear blue sky, the other patrons enjoying their morning coffee, a lone car coming down the street, the group of retirees huffing along the sidewalk for exercise, everywhere except at him.
When she couldn't take the suspense any longer, her gaze returned to her former lover. He remained sitting there all alone, head tilted down as he texted on his cellphone.  He looked pretty much the same as she remembered.
In fact, he still parted his dark, wavy hair on the left side, although it was now cut short. He was very tan and his clean shaven, angular face still matched his lean muscular body perfectly. The board shorts, T-shirt, and sneakers he wore lent an impression of youthful vitality. Yeah, his early thirties looked really good on him.
In comparison, she hadn't changed much either, although she now colored her curly blond hair a soft light brown. She'd also grown it out to mid-way her back but still kept it cut around her oval face. She thought this hairdo best suited her voluptuous, hourglass figure. And the pants suit with heels she wore today fit her better than the tank tops, cut-off shorts, and flip-flops ever had.
As she continued staring at him and obsessing over his reappearance, she couldn’t help remembering how safe she'd felt within his strong embrace…how lucky she'd believed she had been at finally having met a man to share her whole heart with…how well their bodies had fit together…and lastly, of how much soul-connecting lovemaking they'd indulged in. What had gone so wrong for him to abandon her without an explanation? And why had he suddenly turned up again?
Under her patient gaze, it became inevitable that he would eventually look up and see her. The moment it happened, his blue eyes widened, his face went slack, and then he mouthed her name in silent recognition. She only stared back at his stunned expression, trying her best to hide her own inner turmoil.
He promptly got up and came over. In a deeply masculine voice, he said, "Hello, Clarissa. I was hoping I'd run into you here. May I sit with you?"
She stared up into his pale blue eyes, melting a little on inside. But still, she somehow held onto enough of her composure to say, "I don't know, Jake. You'll probably disappear on me if I turn my back for a second. So maybe you shouldn't."
"I have a very good explanation for my disappearance." He pulled out the patio chair across from her and sat without permission.
"Men always do, don't they?" She'd looked across the street at an elderly couple walking along holding hands. An old scar burst open inside her heart. She'd once envisioned Jake and her growing old together.
"I went away because—"
"Don't care to hear it." She cut him off, wanting to hurt him like he'd hurt her. She kept looking at the old couple while absently twisting her coffee cup around and around. "Besides, I'm getting along just fine without you. In fact, have you heard the news? I'm getting married in three weeks."
"Yeah, I read about it in the paper a few weeks ago."
"So you get the paper delivered to wherever you've been." She smiled at the old woman giggling at something the old man had said. Underneath the terrible pain searing her heart, she added, "And I saw you with a cellphone. You were texting, I believe. So you're obvious up to date with the modern technology of our times."
"I read the local paper online. And yes, I have a cellphone. I get it—you think I should have already contacted you."
"Yes, I do."
"I always thought I'd get back to you and Key West sooner."
"Oh yeah?" She shrugged her shoulders, keeping her gaze on the old couple. "I thought that too, right up until I decided you were either dead, or wasn't ever coming back."
"I almost did die, several times," he stated. Then, in exasperation, "Won't you at least look at me? I can explain what happened."
"Why should I let you? As I remember it, you received a mysterious phone call in the middle of the night, and then you got really agitated before leaving without a word of explanation."
"I—"
"Not your turn to talk, Jake!" Clarissa cut him off again, still refusing to look at him. "I think it's time we play a little game of who-knows-what. I'll start it off. You can jump in whenever I ask a question."



About the Author:

Edgy and provocative in his writings, Thomas Briar strives to exalt the virtues of love and lust in every erotic story he creates. To date, he's garnered eleven publishing contracts with three different publishers and has seven published books in the marketplace.

When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, spending time with his wife, taking long walks, and people watching. Yeah, he's always wondering what makes people do the things they do. He knows it's usually something hidden in plain sight. He just has to figure out what it is, much like the motivations of the characters in his stories.


Amazon Author Page

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