Timber Manor Redux w/ F.E. Feeley Jr + Giveaway

January 9, 2017

 Timber Manor Redux with F.E. Feeley Jr

 

Hey,

My name is F.E. Feeley Jr and I am the author of several books with DSP including Objects in the Rearview Mirror, Still Waters, Contact (with various other authors) and the book we are talking about today, The Haunting of Timber Manor.

But I already read that one.

I know. And I thank you. I thank you for reading it, possibly reviewing it, and I also want to apologize.

But, why?

Okay, here’s the thing. I didn’t like it. I mean, I liked it well enough but I wasn’t wild about it. And that was my fault. Once the book released I began, as every author does even though they say they don’t, I started reading the reviews. And while most of them were great, some of them – a lot of them – brought up some seriously important issues over dialogue and pacing. So, after I wrote Objects the following year and Still Waters the year after that, as my craft began to mature – uh, how do I say this –

Once I stopped sounding like a dumb ass who didn’t know what he was doing and was in way over his head with this whole writer/ editor stuff we have to do…. once it sunk in that I had to like – help edit the work – then I begged DSP to let me go back and tighten it up.

And they – graciously – agreed.

I remember writing this big long email about how much I had grown as an author, how much my voice had matured, how much I would really love to go back and fix this and described – in detail – how much this would benefit the company  -Elizabeth, much like Beatrice in Dante’s Inferno – looked upon my poor humble *snicker* self and gave me her blessing.

And here we are.

And boy, it wasn’t easy either. First off, I had someone help me outside of the DSP editorial staff. And then I was like – aww, yeah, see don’t sweat this, this is going to be easy. You all probably only need to go through this once more and we’ll be good to go.

Psssh – my ass. Three (much needed) edits later and someone who saw a huge time gap in the plot – and we arrived to the finish product.

I could beg off and feign ignorance – which I have in the past – over this book but it’s a pilot book in a series and that would should be the best or at least, on par, with the other two. I didn’t plan on it being a series. I had no idea that Memoirs of the Human Wraiths would take me down this lone path with two other standalone books – I didn’t know jack shit about what I was doing.

But that’s life, right?

I just felt like the readers deserved better. I feel like the company deserved better. And I deserved better.

You can expect some storyline alteration. A little bit of clarification. A little bit more maturity wise when it comes to the characters. Cleaner and more realistic dialogue and a tighter story.

To those of you who loved the story – who five stared it etc. thank you and thank you for sticking with me over the years even though I’m probably not the easiest person to live with, so to speak. Thank you for the positive feedback and the encouragement.

And to those of you who didn’t like it – this is really for you. I listened. I wasn’t able to address it directly with this novel in the beginning – but I did in the later works, so I appreciate what you said and hope that you’ll maybe give it another shot. If not – I totally understand.

Why do you write scary stories?

I’m seriously sitting here having a self-motivated interview. LOL *My other half looks like Katie Couric* I do this bullshit all the time. I have these whole scenes just go on in my head where there is this dialogue exchange sometimes with fictional characters – duh – or real life people while I’m going on about my day.

Anyway.

I believe in ghosts. I do. I believe in life after death, I’m not sure if the religious have it done 100 percent on what happens but I do believe in an afterlife so to speak. And as a kid – my head was always wandering around those places to the point where my mother worried about me being so macabre. I wasn’t a goth kid or really into the occult, I just felt like there was something there. Like I could almost sense it. In this new Gilded Age where we find ourselves there’s been this huge uptick in paranormal interest. Each channel on t.v. I swear – has some kind of ghost hunting related show.

Well, which one do you watch?

Me? I used to watch Ghost Hunters but quit after that handsome dark haired guy – Grant, I think his name was – left. I was totally crushing on him. I tried Ghost Adventures but Zach is so alpha persona that it turns me off. Like all those dudes grunt and yell so much I half expect a porno to break out at any moment. Plus, the first ever show – he got the shit scared out of him so bad he ran screaming out of the building. Like, now I feel like it’s all compensating for that. I know I probably pissed someone off saying that but I have this dialogue from that show going on in my head. Here’s an example:

“Dude, something just grabbed me.”

“Where?!”

“Right here. Right here on my big muscle trainer ass. Point that camera right there,” he says as he leans over and he palms his right butt cheek. “Riiiiiight there. I hope it was a lady ghost.”

And I imagine some real ghost leaning against the wall talking to his buddy, “Dude, did you touch his ass?”

“Nope. But I think a porno is about to break out.”

Like, for real. That show is like what happens when Ghost Hunters met Abercrombie and Fitch.

But like the freakiest one I found lately – is Dead Files with Amy Allen and Steve could-you-be any-fucking-cuter-if-you-tried Di Schiavi. And it’s sort of funny – and freaky at the same time – but there was one episode of The Dead Files that may have come right out of this book. Not the wolves, or the romance, but the haunting and what the haunting was doing to a woman living in that particular house AND what the ‘entity’ looked like.

It startled me. I looked over to my husband and he looked at me, “Is that one of your books?”

I nodded.

So, from that point forward my obsessive nature allowed me to buy all 9 seasons and binge watch them. It’s really freaky and makes me wonder if I don’t know more than I know. If that makes sense.

Okay, then. Would you like to do a giveaway?

Yes. I would. And to do that, I would like people to answer a question.

Okay.

What’s the scariest/ spookiest thing that ever happened to you? It could be a dream, it could be thought, it could be something you saw or a story someone told you. Or, do you believe in ghosts? Answer that question and you’ll get a book of your choice, from my backlist.

Where can readers find you?

Hahahaha. Do you really want to? Is this such a good idea? Okay. I do have a blog that I write stuff on. And before I give it to you, I am going to be honest with you. I am honest with you. I write a lot of poetry. Some of it bad, some of it good, I write about things that cross my mind. Things I feel deeply about. Sometimes it can be nice, sometimes I can be abrasive, but I struggle always to be honest. So – you know – just going in I am not trying to blow smoke up your ass hoping you buy all my books. That’s just not me.  My blog is my place to vent, to scream into the void. So – you’re more than welcome to come and scream with me. The more the merrier.

 

https://soulfultroubadourdotcom.wordpress.com/

 

I should probably create a facebook page with my name huh? I’ll get on that. Look for it. It’ll be there.

We can scream there, too.

Or whisper, if whispering is your thing.

Or if you want me to scream something for you because you’ve never done it before…or, if you need a place to scream and want to try it out before you go scream in other places just to be sure…I’m totally here to support you.

Okay, I’m done. Thanks inner Katie Couric and DSP for having me today. I’m going to go back to being just one person again. Have a good day!

 

Check out The Haunting of Timber Manor today!

 

The Haunting of Timber Manor by F.E. Feeley Jr

Blurb:

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father had seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s curiosity and need for family compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows to protect the young man who has captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

 

About F.E. Feeley Jr:

F.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit. In the midst of chaos, he sought refuge in the written word. Through books, he was transported to far of places and while his body was trapped in a concrete world, his mind soared. He loved young adult novels such as R.L. Stein and Christopher Pike, but soon found his appetite whetted by the likes of Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz.
As an adult, F.E. lives in the Deep South, married to his wonderful husband, John. Together they are accompanied by their five-year-old German Shepherd, Kaiser. They spend time cooking, talking, and reading, drinking wine, and watching the sun set together from their patio. John is supportive and is always encouraging F.E. to keep on writing. So, as long as there is love, and as long as there is wine, hopefully there will be words.
Website: soulfultroubadourdotcom.wordpress.com

A Visit to the Soldati Realm w/ Charlie Cochet

November 24, 2016

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Hello, all! Thank you for joining me here at the Dreamspinner Press blog as we continue to celebrate the release of The Soldati Prince, the first book in the Soldati Hearts series. The Soldati Prince was originally a short story published last year in the fabulous Charmed & Dangerous Anthology from JCP Books. Since then I had planned to return to the Soldati world, expand on the story, and continue the series. The second edition is more than twice as long with even more story, plot, romance, and action! I had so much fun delving back in, and the second book in the series is already with my publisher, and I can’t wait to get started on the third book. This world has been so much fun to write.

Although we start out in the human world, the majority of our story takes place in the Soldati Realm, a kingdom inhabited by different types of magical shifters, but ruled by the Soldati. Just who are the Soldati? They’re a powerful race of tiger shifter warriors who wield great magic. They possess what’s called “the Soldati soul” which manifests itself as a blinding white light when released from within. This white light has the power to vanquish dark magic, and kill demons. The Soldati have been hunting and destroying demons since the beginning. It’s what they have always done, and what they always do: protect the world, and humans from the demons out to harvest souls. It’s not a pretty job, but the Soldati take pride in what they do, and what they do is crucial to continuation of the human race, even if the human race has no idea the Soldati exist. With the help of the Soldati Eye, a mysterious orb that sees all and knows all, the Soldati use portals to enter the human world, going wherever the Eye sends them to stop the vile creatures.

The Soldati prince is more than a prince or intended mate for the Soldati king. It’s a position of power, honor, and privilege, meant to bring the king and his kingdom greatness. Which is why Khalon King is a little miffed when he discovers his prince is a human. Riley may not have been born a Soldati, but he’s about to prove that what’s in his heart is just as great.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters, Demons
Series: Soldati Hearts
Length: Novella, 97 pages
Published: Nov 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634775809

One moment, Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next, he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger-shifter he would rather strangle.

Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world, where he belongs. On their journey, they might discover why the goddess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.

First Edition short story published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015. Second Edition has been re-edited and extended to novella length with new content.

ADD TO GOODREADS

READ CHAPTER ONE

PURCHASE LINKS

DREAMSPINNER PRESS :: AMAZON :: ARe :: BARNES & NOBLE

OUT NOW!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlie Cochet by Madison Parker

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Nov 21st – The Novel Approach
Nov 22nd – Joyfully Jay
Nov 23rd – Man2Mantastic
Nov 24th – Dreamspinner Press Blog
Nov 25th – Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

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Check out the Soldati Hearts inspiration board on Pinterest.

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Building Thalazar: the norrgel by E E Montgomery + Giveaway

October 3, 2016

Building Thalazar

Welcome to release day for Warrior Pledge. It’s a fantasy story set on a world I created piece by piece when I needed a place for my Mafdeti to live.

When I was first planning the world for Warrior Pledge, I made a list of the types of things a world would contain. There would be land and oceans, mountains and valleys, rivers, swamps and plains, jungles and deserts. The climate would change depending on where on the world you were. I decided that, like Earth, Thalazar would have cold poles and a hot equator. That made a lot of things quite easy. I had native peoples and invaders, although only one of each. Then I thought about the animals, insects and birds and tried to decide how many of each I would need to make the world at once recognisable yet different to Earth.

I made pages and pages of notes of different animals that a farming community would need to have, like cows and sheep, possibly dogs, cats, hens, bees, flies, wasps, worms. Then I got stuck on what to call them. Everything I came up with sounded made up and ridiculous, so I backtracked. I started asking myself different questions.

How important were these creatures were to the story? Yes, Rim came from a farming valley, but he wasn’t a farmer. He was the leader so his interactions with animals would be different. Then I took it a step further and decided that Rim wasn’t the main character anyway, so it didn’t matter how he interacted with farm animals.

So what animal/bird/insect on Thalazar was unique to the planet and was also important to the story? It had to be a native to the planet and had to impact on every living thing. The original inhabitants of the planet would be wary of it but also comfortable in its existence. It would be wide ranging and a threat to everything it came across. I decided it was a bird.

Have you looked closely at straw-necked ibis? They’re freaky. They have hard beady eyes and thready feathers around their necks like they’ve been dragged backwards through a wormhole. They could easily be descendents of some alien invader from the past. That’s where my thoughts for the norrgel originally began. The norrgel look a little like an ibis and a cormorant have mated with a penny whistle and a gothic haberdashery shop. These are my original sketches of the norrgel with behavioural annotations. They changed a little during the course of writing the book, but not a lot.

You might notice on my notes that the trailing threads have fine hairs that secrete a poison. That was my next inquiry.

When I was a child my mother told me a story about a young man she nursed. He had tetanus and the slightest sound set off the most violent spasms in his body. The muscular spasms were so strong they broke bones. He used to scream with the pain but the noise of the screaming only made the spasms worse. It was vicious. It was also perfect for my norrgel.

The norrgel hunt in flocks. When they sight prey they dive, one after the other, and whip the threads trailing from their wings and tails against their target. The whipping raises welts where the skin thins and allows the tiny hairs left behind to penetrate. The skin splits and the poison rushes in. The effect of the poison is immediate, the muscles go into spasm. The pain is excruciating, not just because of the spasming muscles but because the combination of the spasms and the poison liquefies the muscles, bones, sinews and tendons.

Everything dissolves.

While they’re still alive.

The poison works its way inwards so things like the brain, heart and lungs are impacted last. The victim is aware of what’s happening every step of the way. It’s brutal and horrifying. Anyone who experiences the thrash of norrgel threads is dead within two hours. Anyone who sees a death by norrgel is changed forever.

The Mafdeti and the Imperials live under a norrgel sky. Their lives are lived around norrgel breeding season, when the birds are more active, and sunlight—norrgel hunt during daylight hours. They have norrgel watch set every day and hides to retreat to when the cry of ‘wings up’ is heard. The hides are large enough to shelter small flocks of farm animals. Once the hunting flock passes over, they emerge to continue their work.

The norrgel have one natural predator but they haven’t been seen for a thousand years. The people of Thalazar have stopped wishing for their return. Their lives now include daily watchfulness and regular deaths by norrgel.

Now we get to the fun part. Think back to my description of the straw-necked ibis. I’d love to hear about an animal/bird/insect you look at and think ‘that’s an alien’. I’ll pick two as winners who will have a choice of any ebook from my backlist.

 

Check out Warrior Pledge today!

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Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
ARe

Blurb

When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out.

Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior.

Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love, and fight for the one man who can make him whole.

Author Bio

E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.

Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

You can contact E E Montgomery at eemontgomery11@gmail.com; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ewynelaine.montgomery; on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1; or at her web site: http://www.eemontgomery.com/ and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/blog.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… with M.A. Church – Post + Giveaway

September 26, 2016

Mirror Mirror

I’m willing to bet if we checked Remi’s closet, he’d have a T-shirt with that on it lol. Another T-shirt he has says: Be careful when you follow the masses…. Sometimes the M is silent.  Remi is connoisseur of snarky T-shirts. It’s one of the things he’s well-known for. He likes to make a statement. ;)

Remi Shirt Saying

Hello everyone! My name is M.A. Church, but most people call me Michelle. Or just ‘M’. I’ve dropped by to talk about the next book in the Fur, Fangs, and Felines series, It Takes Two to Tango. It releases September 26th. This book centers on Remi and his mate, Marshell. Out of all the betas in the West Falls Clowder, Remi would’ve been the one perfectly fine with a mate who was human. But is that who his goddess gives him?

Of course not.

*Grin* That’d be too simple. Instead, she gives Remi a mate who’s not only dominant than him, but who’s also just as toppy. Marshell is a Vetala, a snakelike nonshifting paranormal who must have blood to survive. But unlike vampires, the Vetala are very much alive. The Vetala’s eyes, when aroused or threatened, changed to an eerie blue with a black, vertical iris. They also have fangs, but they’re not like the fangs you’d see with vampires. Marshell’s are different… more gnarly.

Then there’s the venom Marshell can use to paralyze his victim as he feeds. The venom can be used for other things too. *Grin* Can y’all guess where I’m going with that? The pair dance around each other while they try to figure out how to make a mating work, thus the title. Then Marshell is attacked. *Whew*

Oh, if that isn’t enough, there’s a twist at the very end when Aidric meets his mate.

Out of all the characters in this series, Marshell may possibly be my favorite. He’s a tough guy, and often feared because of what he is. If threatened, he’ll kill with no regret. But under that tough exterior…. Oh, who am I kidding? He’s still tough guy, but his loved ones are the most important people in his life. He’ll do anything for them.

This series is based on racism, but it’s viewed through the lens of speciesism. The werecats, especially the elders in the clowder, are resistant to accepting anyone who isn’t like them. They’re not particularly fond of humans either, as Kirk can tell you. Then there’s the issue of how women are viewed… think 1920s, and there you go.

The West Falls Clowder is undergoing change, and it certainly hasn’t been painless. *Grin* And I’m not through with them yet. I’m working on Aidric’s book now, then after that will be the Brier’s. That’ll be the last one in this series.

I’m doing a giveaway to celebrate the release of Tango. As I mentioned, Remi has a wardrobe full of snarky T-shirts dedicated to funny sayings. In order to enter the giveaway, tell me one of your favorite sayings that you’d like to see on a T-shirt. A winner will be chosen and that person will get to pick one of my backlist of books.

~M

Check out It Takes Two to Tango today!

It Takes Two to Tango

Blurb:

Can two very different men find the love they need to survive?

Remi Ginn’s an easygoing werecat with a love of snarky T-shirts. He would be perfectly happy with a human mate. Is that what the goddess Bast gives him? Of course not. Instead she gifts him with Marshell, a Vetala, a snakelike nonshifter who drinks blood to survive. A man who’s just as toppy as Remi—and even more powerful than the West Falls Clowder’s Alpha and heir apparent.

While Remi is deciding whether he can handle the fates’ choice, hunters attack Marshell. Afterward, in an explosion of passion, Remi and Marshell mate and Remi declares Marshell his. Now they have to figure out how to make their relationship work as they dance around each other.

The clowder is in turmoil, and Remi’s acceptance of Marshell rocks the very foundation of the insular group. The consequences will be far-reaching. And if that isn’t problem enough, the situation with the hunters is far from resolved… as proved by the appearance of an Alpha werewolf.

 

About M.A. Church:

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a fulltime job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it! When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children. She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Twitter: @nomoretears00
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Church/173797619379487
Decadent Delights: http://machurch00.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Church/e/B007A8JA4C

 

Depth of Return: Home with M. Raiya – Post + Giveaway

September 13, 2016

Depth of Return- Home

Hi, I’m M. Raiya, and I want to thank the folks at DSP for hosting me on their blog today. This is the last stop on my Depth of Return blog tour. Depth of Return is an urban fantasy novel set in northern Vermont, where I live. It’s the second book in the Another Healing universe. The main characters of the first novel make an appearance, but Depth of Return’s characters are new and the novel stands alone. The two main characters, North and Alan, are a witch/demon pair, predestined before they were born to make magic together. I’m really excited to be here — this feels a bit like my home base. So I thought I’d talk about home today, since it’s really important to both main characters in Depth of Return.

North’s home is a cabin on an island in the middle of a pond in Vermont. It provides the safety and privacy he craves, as well as the seclusion his coven of witches and demons needs. North’s coven is one of several in the area, and each one has a specialty. One is made up of mostly healers (that’s the one James and Ambient from Another Healing have joined for obvious reasons.) There is another coven of people who call themselves “Enforcers.” They’re the ones who get called when a witch or demon has trouble with another witch or demon, which happens too frequently.

In this excerpt, North describes his coven to Alan, who is about to become part of it.

 

“What is your coven’s theme?”

“‘Our’ coven,” I corrected. “At least as long as you want it to be. We’re… I don’t know. It’s a little hard to explain. We all have strong academic backgrounds, especially in history. We’re a bit philosophical. Magical theorists, if that makes sense. We focus on the ‘whys’ just as much as the ‘hows.’ Practically speaking, what we do is what you saw us do tonight. We link to each other and to the stars, raise power, and then release it into the world to do what it will.”

Alan stopped slicing the tomato on his cutting board and stared at me.

I shrugged. “The other covens think we’re a little impractical and out there. I grant you that our coven was originally formed back in the sixties, and Arnold just lost his beard and long hair a little while ago. We don’t fix problems. We try to prevent them. Hence it’s a little difficult to prove that we accomplish anything at all. No one ever comments on a war that was prevented, because no one knows about it. Easier to sing songs about the heroes. And we’re fine with that.” I shrugged. “And maybe they’re right. Maybe we aren’t accomplishing anything.”

“No way.” Alan shook his head. “I might not know much yet, but I can feel shit, and you guys… we… sent up a trainload of power. I’ll bet if we stopped, those other covens would suddenly have their hands full with people who needed healing or had to be enforced. Without so much peace raining down on them, people would be even crazier.”

“Well, it’s what we do, for whatever it’s worth. They say we’re just throwing away our power. What they don’t understand is how much we get back from doing it. But covens pretty much keep to themselves, anyway. I couldn’t even tell you how many there are around the world. I guess it used to be a form of protection, not to know. Now it’s a habit.”

 

North describes the members of his coven as “A mismatched collection of misfits.” One of the DSP editors I worked with called them, “North’s quirky coven,” and I thought that was both perfect and very funny. They are quirky, for sure, and I had way too much fun writing about them.

Alan has never really had a home until he meets North. He fits right into the quirky coven. He was abandoned by his parents and raised by an aunt until she got tired of it. He lived in a series of foster homes until high school, and then he couch surfed amongst his friends. Despite all that, Alan grows up to be a really nice, decent guy. But when he finds out he’s a demon, it all becomes too much and his past catches up to him. North’s island becomes a sanctuary.

Home is very important to me, too. I’m incredibly lucky to have two of them — the house my husband and I had built on a dirt road up in the mountains, and a camp on Lake Champlain that has been in my family for four generations. For the last three years, my husband and I pack up our cat and move in for the summer. Our camp is on the top of a thirty foot cliff overlooking three miles of open water with the Adirondack Mountains in the background. We live here from mid May to the first of October, weather allowing. Followers of my social media know that I spam people endlessly with photos of sunsets, but I can’t help it; they are absolutely magical here.

Since it’s August as I’m writing this, and I’m at camp, I just took a few photos of the space where I do my writing and the view over my shoulder. I love this place with all my heart — my father designed it and all the relatives worked together to built it, and it has so many windows that you feel like you’re outside even when you’re inside. And lots and lots of good memories. I can completely identify with North and Alan about how much they love their cabin on the island.

M. Raiya Writing Space

I would love to hear about special places for you in the comments below. Or feel free to ask me anything. Anyone who comments in the next 72 hours will be entered into a drawing for a free book from my backlist at Dreamspinner.

Thanks so much for reading!

Check out Depth of Return today!

Depth of Return

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

Blurb:

Betrayed and left for dead by his lover, North has retreated to a secluded island to nurture his coven of witches and their demon partners. His group uses the magic of starlight to bring as much peace to the world as they can. It’s enough. North has no desire to look for love again.

When an accident on a carpentry job reveals that he is a demon, Alan Holsen is sent to North for training. Alan possesses a rare healing ability—one he might be able to use to close the old wounds in North’s heart. While North teaches Alan magic, Alan teaches North to love again, and they both struggle with the leftover resonance of their haunted pasts.

Just when they dare to relax, North’s old enemy returns—and sets his sights on Alan. To save him, North must enlist the aid of neighboring covens, and he learns he isn’t as alone as he thought. But in the end, only North’s love for Alan and the power of the stars have any chance of saving them.

 

About M. Raiya:

M. Raiya knew she was a writer since second grade when her teacher kept her in for recess because “Somebody had better teach you about semicolons!” She started her first fantasy trilogy in fifth grade. She majored in writing in college, got her master’s degree in English, published some literary fiction, and fortunately emerged from all that with her imagination unscathed.

She is a native Vermonter and often needs four-wheel drive to reach her home on a dirt road in the mountains. Her other passions are birdwatching, nature photography, and swimming. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks with a big lens and a pair of binoculars, often standing motionless for hours waiting for the right lighting for the perfect shot, or climbing into places not meant to be climbed into for the right angle. Or she might be found in the nearby lake in the summer or a handy swimming pool in the winter, since she will turn into a mermaid if she doesn’t submerge at least once a day.

She is married and has two almost grown daughters, a cat who demands to lie between her and her computer whenever she dares to sit down, and a day job working with high school kids with special needs who frequently tell her that she is completely crazy, which she’s always known and definitely would not want to change.

Blog: http://mraiya.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mraiya.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/raiya_m
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4190439.M_Raiya

Wild Retaliation: A Story Itching to Be Told with Ethan Stone

September 7, 2016

A story itching to be told

Thank for joining me on the Wild Retaliation blog tour. Today I’m going to share a little background on how the story came about.

Wild Retaliation is the first book in a series I’ve titled Seaside Shifters and features the town sheriff John Dakota who is a bear shifter. The town also has a number of different other species of shifters.

The story was originally going to be co-written with another author and good friend of mine—Lynley Wayne. While the co-writing didn’t work out because of our different schedules I held onto a few of the characters I’d created as well as a few of the ideas we’d come up with.

I’d wanted to write a character whose basic description would fit for both his human and animal form. In John’s case it was ginger bear. In his shifted form he’s a cinnamon bear while in his human form he’s a bear (in the gay male term) with red hair. Lynley’s character was going to be a silver fox in both forms. Our plot revolved around a rogue shifter and I’d come up with a past for John that had to do with a series of murders.

The setting of Seaside, Oregon, a real town, came about because I wanted to set the story somewhere small. With a population of around six thousand people Seaside is relatively small but is a large tourist community. The tourism is what led me to think of the town as a place not just for regular people to visit but also for shifters. In my series Seaside is a haven for shifters to either live or visit in piece.

After Lynley and I chose not to work together the ideas we’d worked on stuck around in my head. Basically, Sheriff Dakota would not leave me alone. I knew I had to write his story or I’d never have peace. And as time went on the plot began to form in my head. The rogue shifter was still a part of the plot but not in the way she and I had intended.

What are your favorite kind of shifter stories? Is there a type of animal that you think would make a good shifter story?

Check out Wild Retaliation today!

Wild Retaliation

Blurb:

Chief of Police John Dakota is in a world of trouble. His peaceful town of Seaside, Oregon, has been rocked by a wave of unsolved murders. The bloody deaths are eerily reminiscent of ones that occurred in Seaside years ago. Back then John worked hard to make sure the truth about the killer was never revealed. Now he’s afraid the past is coming back to haunt him.

Trevor English, the nosy reporter who occasionally shares John’s bed, is demanding information about the crimes. He also wants more of John’s affections. But John can’t afford to give in to either demand without risking the revelation of Seaside’s biggest secret: the town is a haven for shifters, and John is one of them.

To solve the crime—and prevent more victims—John must delve into the past. Many members of Seaside’s shifter community are involved, but it’s becoming harder and harder to tell which residents can be trusted. Even John’s family isn’t above suspicion. The body count is rising, and it looks like John is the killer’s next target.

 

About Ethan Stone:

Ethan Stone is an out-and-proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life—the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad as he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather three times over. A way-too-young grandfather.
Ethan recently returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mountain Dew and beef jerky addictions.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ethan.stone.54
Twitter: @ethanjstone
Google +: plus.google.com/u/0/+EthanStone92
Ello: @ethanstone92
Website: www.ethanjstone.com
E-mail: ethanstone.nv@gmail.com

All Sorts of Stories with Kelly Jensen – Post + Giveaway

July 27, 2016

All Sorts of Stories

Liquorice Allsorts are one of my favourite candies. I adore the combination of flavours and textures. Strong aniseed layered with fruit and coconut; chewy liquorice and soft gelatine. My reading tastes are similar. I read widely, across most genres. I will follow space opera with contemporary romance, then pick up a supernatural thriller, follow that with some epic fantasy, read something kinky, then settle in with a lush historical. So it comes as no surprise that as a writer, I also like to cross genres and mix things up.

Allsorts1

My first published book was a post-apocalyptic love story with aliens. I kinda knew at the time it wouldn’t be a bestseller—that it would be too weird for most folks. But I loved writing it! I followed that one up with a story about, um, kinky robots. Then some more science fiction romance (the Chaos Station series co-written with Jenn Burke). Next up was contemporary romance—and even there, I had to mix it up. I wrote about a forty-five year old, then a pair of college students. Then an established couple.

Last week saw the release of my first story featuring a questioning character—Marc, a twenty-something accountant who has been so focused on his career, he’s found it easy to ignore the fact women just don’t do it for him. Then he meets Henry and it’s as if the sun has peeked between the clouds. It’s revelation time and Counting Fence Posts presents him with a chance to form a new plan. The story is told from Henry’s point of view, because I like to look at some characters a little sideways. Also, Henry’s perspective is as important as Marc’s—as their relationship will be made up of not one, but two people.

Writing Henry and Marc gave me a chance to talk about sexuality, which is something I don’t often do in my stories. Happily, most of my LGBT characters live in worlds (and neighbourhoods) where their sexuality is nothing but their own business. It would be naïve and perhaps neglectful for me to assume every character exists in such a state of bliss. The most important aspect of writing Counting Fence Posts for me, however, was staying true to my characters. To present their thoughts, feelings and questions. To explore their anxieties, as if they were real people, while keeping in mind that everyone is a different allsort. Our layers and flavours unique.

Today sees the release of my first paranormal tale, Best in Show. This one was so much fun to write, and a completely new field for me. I’d long wanted to write a story about a cat who was actually an alien in disguise. When I saw the Dreamspinner Press call for stories about unusual shifters, my cat character locked himself up in an animal shelter and said, “Write me out of this situation.” So I created a mystery writer who didn’t really want a pet, but ended up with one anyway.

For all my varied reading tastes, I don’t often pick up dark, angst-ridden stories. When I read paranormal, I look for books that take a lighter view. I also really enjoy writing humour. So Best in Show is paranormal “lite”. There are shifters and magic, but essentially, it’s the story of how fun-loving prankster Mac sweeps into the life of lonely mystery writer Julian and shakes things up. Mac plays the part of the sun peeking through clouds, because I love stories like that—where one character shows the other a new way of seeing things. Doing things. Mac has his own issues, of course. He’s human—mostly. But for Julian, he’s that absolutely necessary ray of sunshine.

I have plans to continue both of these stories, which means I’ll be writing a little more questioning and a lot more magic and mayhem. Then I might write Indiana Jones in space, or the post-apocalyptic Christmas love story with magic I’ve been fiddling with. Or maybe another contemporary. Or the dragon shifter book I almost have plotted.

I’d love to hear about your reading choices. Do you mix it up, or stick to a couple of favourite genres? Comment below for a chance to win a title from my Dreamspinner Press backlist.

(Follow the rest of my tour for character interviews, behind the book posts, playlists, excerpts and another giveaway.)

 

CountingFencePosts_postcard_front_DSP

Check out Counting Fence Posts!

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight…maybe…and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat…and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.

 

BestInShow_postcard_front_DSP

Check out Best in Show!

Solitary mystery writer Julian Wilkes doesn’t want a pet, but his sister persuades him to visit Lingwood Animal Rescue, where he is immediately taken with a large ginger tabby cat. Before he can settle into the joys of cat ownership, however, he discovers something very unusual about his new companion.

Macavity Birch is cursed. By day he is a large tabby cat. At night he can be himself—a human male with ginger hair and oddly yellow eyes. He didn’t mean to end up in the animal rescue, but he never meant any harm when playing the prank that resulted in his curse, either. Happily, Julian adopts him. But while exploring his host’s home, he discovers the diary of a long-dead relative.

Unfortunately, not all of Mac’s ancestors are dead and buried. His great-great-great-grandmother is very much alive, and she’s a powerful witch who doesn’t take kindly to the sharing of family secrets. When Mac reveals himself to Julian in order to save him from bigger trouble, he achieves just the opposite, plunging Julian deeper into a magical mystery with him.

 

Bio

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. A lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Acceptance: The Playlist with Grace R. Duncan – Post + Giveaway

July 8, 2016

Welcome to the Acceptance release blog tour! Thank you to Dreamspinner Press for the space on the blog today and thanks for stopping by!

Acceptance- The Playlist

One of the main characters in Acceptance is Quincy Archer, a jaguar shifter, information broker, and artist. He’s also a self-proclaimed otaku, the Japanese term for someone with obsessive interests, usually used toward Americans with regard to anime and manga or even just Japanese culture. Now, most of the time, “otaku” is used in a somewhat derogatory way and Quincy is a bit self-deprecating when he uses it. I have since heard it start being less derogatory to give way for an even more deprecating term, however, I’m not entirely sure how long that’s been the case or how much that’s caught on.

Quincy’s biggest interest is anime and he spends a lot of time watching many, many different series. Part of the playlist I had for Acceptance includes a number of themes and other songs from these series. Now, I have my own favorites when it comes to anime—I’m not nearly the anime geek Quincy is, but I actually do volunteer work to help run an anime con—and of course some of those made it onto the list.

By far, my favorite (though I can’t say exactly why) is “D-Technolife” by UVERworld. You see that video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_YNsMkGjA

Despite that being my favorite theme song, Bleach isn’t actually my favorite anime. That honor goes to Naruto. While it wasn’t my first (that was InuYasha), it was the one that sucked me in for the long haul more than any other.  One of my favorite themes for Naruto is this one from Joe Inuoe, “Closer”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cp0WgkgDbQ

There are a few others from Naruto that I love, and you can see the YouTube playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz7oGWHL9LPLrUOcnysxPQbUGMybL6uKi  Unfortunately, Sony Japan has blocked many of the opening themes (especially the Ghost in the Shell themes), so there aren’t as many from the playlist on that list as I would like.

The full anime portion of the Acceptance playlist is here (so you can possibly find them elsewhere) :

From Appleseed:
Akufen – The Dragonfly Who Thought He Was a Mockingbird (5:38)
Boom Boom Satellites – Bump Over Hills (3:26)

From Bleach:
D-Tecnolife – Uverworld (3:53)
Orange Range – ~Asterisk (4:59)
Ikimono Gakari – Hanabi (4:27)

From Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence:
Kenji Kawai – Attack The Wakabayashi (3:31)

From Ghost in the Shell – Standalone Complex:
Yoko Kanno – Inner Universe (2:14)
Yoko Kanno – Run Rabbit Junk (4:32)
Yoko Kanno – Stamina Rose (2:51)

From Bubblegum Crisis:
Hashimoto Maiko (Vision) – Never The End (4:57)
Hashimoto Maiko (Vision) – Say, Yes! (6:10)

From Naruto:
Ikimono Gakari – Blue Bird (3:38)
Inoue Joe – Closer (3:28)
Nobody Knows – Heroes Come Back (4:33)
Tushiro Masuda – Neji’s Theme (2:06)
FLOW – GO! (Fighting Dreamers) (4:12)

From Cowboy Bebop:
Mai Yamane with SEATBELTS – The Real Folk Blues (6:16)

From Kingdom Hearts (not anime, but definitely Japanese influence):
Utada Hikaru – Simple And Clean (5:02)

Thanks again to DsP for the space today! I hope you enjoy the music! Be sure to enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win some awesome prizes and make sure to follow the entire tour for lots of entries.

 

Follow the tour here: http://www.grace-duncan.com/acceptance-blog-tour

Blurb: Dr. Miles Grant acknowledges that his destined mate could be either gender even though his bisexuality cost him his family and his pack. Luckily he found the Forbes Pack, who happily accept him just as he is. What he never counted on was finding his mate in Pittsburgh or for his mate to be another species entirely—a cat!

Quincy Archer isn’t just any jaguar shifter. He is the heir to the leadership of his pride. Destined mates are nothing but legend to the nearly extinct and generally solitary jaguars, and Quincy certainly never expected to find one for himself, much less a male… or a wolf.

However, finding each other and coming to terms with their species is the least of their worries. Quincy is expected to select a proper female mate, father a cub, and take his place as heir to the pride. Except Quincy refuses, having no interest in women or leadership and knowing he isn’t right for it. But his father will stop at nothing—not even attempting to kill Miles—to get his way. Quincy and Miles must overcome many obstacles to stay together as the destined mates they’re meant to be.

 

Dreamspinner Press – eBook & Paperback
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/acceptance/id1126559228?mt=11
Amz: https://www.amazon.com/Acceptance-Forbes-Mates-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01H8325Q8
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/acceptance-grace-r-duncan/1123943161?ean=9781634774055
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/acceptance-19
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-acceptance-2060133-341.html

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grace Bio Pic.jpg

 

About Grace:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

The Paranaturalist: Truth in Shadow w/ Ki Brightly

June 29, 2016

Ki Brightly joins us today to chat about new book The Paranaturalist and all things existential!

The Paranaturalist Blog Tour

Hello! This is Ki Brightly taking over a small corner of the Dreamspinner Press blog today.

My most recent novel, The Paranaturalist, was released on June 27th. This book fought me in various ways and took me longer than usual to write. Part of the reason it took so long to write is that the research I did while in the grip of the story seriously freaked me out and sent me into a quasi-existential crisis.

You know, all good things.

My—now—friend Patricia Coleman is a medium, paranormal investigator, and film maker. I asked around amongst my friends to see if anyone knew a person who was into ghost hunting and, luckily, they didn’t disappoint. I met up with Patricia because she, once upon a time, lived in the apartment below a good friend of mine. At first I thought I would just go interview her, ask her a few questions about techniques and cameras because, really, that was all I was looking for. I wanted technical accuracy in my books. You know, what kind of cameras do paranormal investigators (she immediately shot down my use of ghost chasers with a lot of enthusiasm) use? What sorts of tools and instruments?

Well…I got a whole lot more than I ever thought I would by talking to her. I went back to talk to Patricia a few times in her studio and a couple of times at her home. Patricia, Trish to people who know her well, is one of those people who is larger than life and entirely generous. Shocking blue eyes and bright blond hair, into her forties with Hollywood perfect make up, and blowing bubblegum smoke from an electronic cigarette, she’s a one-woman storm, bursting with energy.

The first real thing she ever said to me, while drilling me in place with those eyes of hers was, “So, what do you want to know?” I was deeply uncomfortable, felt weird about talking to someone about all the strange things I’ve thought about mostly on my own. She cocked an eyebrow, blew some more smoke, and proceeded to fill my brain with more interesting facts and fictions than I’ve ever experienced outside of a college classroom. And that’s what she is, a professor of the strange.

At the time when I first interviewed her, her studio was located in the Erie Art Works building, a hundred fifty years old if it’s a day. The quickest way to get anyone to “believe” in the paranormal, not that I really needed any convincing, is to let them experience it, so she took me around the building recording me, hoping to find EVPs—electronic voice phenomena. Basically, she was hoping to pick up the ghosts on audio. She asked me where I thought I felt weird things in the building. I laughed and joked my way through the building with her and was entirely shocked when we reviewed the footage.

One EVP in particular floored me. I’m at a corner of a hallway and I stop, turn to her and say something along the lines of “I feel someone right here.” And very low on the voice track, so low you have to turn up the volume almost until it hurts you ears I definitely heard a “Hi.” There were other things on the track that night, including a very disturbing EVP of a woman saying “help me” over and over again.

That, I guess, is what started the existential crisis I talked about at the beginning of this post. I don’t honestly like to think too much about it. Patricia insists that ghosts, disembodied entities, are everywhere, even the most mundane places like the grocery store. I sort of believe her. But why are they there?

Why are some people apparently stuck? And how much would that suck?

That shaped the direction The Paranaturalist took, to a large degree, because I met with her well before the ending was even a twinkle in my eye. Every time I visit her we manage to talk about something that sets the hairs on my arms on end and leaves me shaken up in my head for a day or two, but some people are just like that. Some people live their entire lives swimming in the big questions, and they stir the rest of us around every once in a while.

We really need people like that to keep the rest of us from getting too boring.

The Paranaturalist is about two men finding their way through the big questions of life, all that weird stuff that the rest of us relegate to the corners of our mind. Joe’s looking to find his true self, where and who he belongs with, and has been looking for years. Owen wants to find some direction for his life. He needs to have a purpose. Hungers for it. Doesn’t everyone? If they’re lucky, they’ll both navigate their way out of the darkness with each other.

excerptpicforTheParanaturalist

Here’s an excerpt from The Paranaturalist. This is from Owen’s perspective.

 

“God. That really happened to you?” I nod, and he lets out a shaky breath.

“I… I… um… I don’t want to do this anymore,” he says, breath hitching.

“Too bad. It’s your gift.”

“Curse.”

“Only if you’re stupid about it. You’re able to do something not many people
can,” I point out as I shuffle half a step forward. Any closer and we’ll be the same
person. I know what I want to do right now. I don’t rub myself all over him like a
horny high-school kid, but it’s a near miss. The taste of him earlier wasn’t enough.

“What is that? Be a puppet?” He turns his head to let out a cough, and I hold
my own breath, only letting it go with relief when he clears his throat, going silent
again. I rest my hands on his shoulders and squeeze. He doesn’t seem upset to have
me between him and the rest of the dark basement. Happiness close to pride swells
in me, along with the insistence I do more than stare like a moron at lips that only
ever really look approachable when they’re smiling.

“No, be their voice. Help them. Other people can’t see them, let alone help
them.” A tidal wave of approval crashes around inside me from Otto. Good. Maybe
I’ve fulfilled whatever obligation he thinks I have.

“Then why do some of them want to hurt me?” I knead my fingers into his
tight shoulders and his lips tilt up at the corners.

“Death doesn’t change bastards into saints. And sometimes even good
people don’t want help. Some spirits aren’t even human. That piece of shit you
just chased out sure isn’t. They’re something else. Some good, some bad.” I shrug,
losing myself in thought. I’ve seen a lot over the years. Mostly bad, but I don’t
want to say it out loud. People don’t generally call me for help with nice hauntings.
There’s a question he’s not asking written in the tightness around his eyes. Oh,
how badly it can all go when you ignore your gifts.

***

If you would like to be entered into a drawing to win a paperback copy of The Paranaturalist, please tell me your stories of encounters with the ghostly and strange in the comments below! Winner will be announced at midnight, June 29th, 2016. (U.S. Entrants only, please.)

Paranaturalist_postcard_front_DSP

Check out The Paranaturalist today!

Dreamspinner Press E-Book
Dreamspinner Press Paperback
Amazon

Blurb:

As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.

When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and Owen realizes he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is reacclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.

About Ki Brightly:

Ki grew up in small town nowhere pretending that meteor showers were aliens invading, turning wildflowers into magic potions, and reading more than was probably healthy. Ki had one amazing best friend, one endlessly out of grasp “true love”, and a personal vendetta against normalcy.

Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet…

Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.

Social Media

Blog: www.brightlybooks.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kibrightly
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kibrightly
Tumblr: http://kibrightly.tumblr.com/

Liv Olteano chats about new book A King and a Prawn + Giveaway

June 20, 2016

Bert’s guide to winning hearts

In A King and a Pawn, the love interest – Will Sims – doesn’t come alone into the life of the main character – Bert. In fact, Will comes with six kids of various ages.

Aside from escorting the Sims family out of fey territory, Will’s first real interaction with them is inviting them over for dinner. It may or may not have something to do with the fact that he’s a bit of a foodie and a good cook. But his solution to start winning over the kids and Will is to feed them one pretty awesome and entirely tasty meal:

 

There were going to be six of us, including kids. A two- or three-course meal wouldn’t do. I wanted it to be more of a family dinner kind of feel, rather than a reception. They’d almost certainly had enough protocol to last them a lifetime already.

So I decided to go with pork-and-beef mix lasagna topped off with plenty of raw eggs to make it nice, crusty, and brown like a pie. It wasn’t too pretentious, was easy to make, delicious to eat, and was filling but left room for dessert. When eating with kids, you had to have dessert—at least, that was how it had been with Alf. The little guy always loved tasty treats without being too picky about the name or even the looks of things. That was key to getting a kid to eat your cooking: you had to earn their trust, make them feel sure whatever you gave them tasted awesome. And I’d gotten pretty good at that. And at guessing what someone liked.

So for dessert I went big: tangerine- and dark cherries-covered cheesecake, and what my mom liked to call basket cake—tiny dough baskets you baked set over some tea cups so they’d keep the tiny basket shape, then filled with all kinds of sliced fruit, sweet and bitter, and covered with a dusting of sugar. You set the basket cakes back in the oven for about half an hour until the fruit baked enough to get all mushy and juicy, but not entirely flopped into submission. When the basket cakes cooled off, they went into the fridge so the fruity goodness would be all the better. When served, you could top it off either with a spoonful of whipped cream or with a spoonful of ice cream, preferably flavored so it would complement the fruits you used. So sweet fruits in the baskets, bitter-flavored ice cream, perhaps lemon or even mint. Of course you’d ask each guest what they wanted, so it was best to have a few options ready. Because I’d already fed them ice cream, and I didn’t want to be so obviously spoiling them to win them over, I went with the whipped cream version tonight.

By the time I had the table arranged, my dining room smelled quite heavenly. I had sweetened fruit tea cooled off and ready to go, plus some red wine because we deserved a glass or two after the kind of day we had.

 

His efforts pay out too, as he learns during and after dinner:

 

I found out new and interesting things about fey during this dinner. For one, they seemed to have healthier appetites than I thought. Everyone went for seconds, and some of the kids went for thirds, actually, though smaller portions.

When I brought out the fruit baskets and topped each off with a fresh spoonful of whipped cream, Sarah and Hector clapped excitedly. Susannah and Jeremy contained their enthusiasm better, but I did see joy glowing in their eyes. And Will had, I think, five of those baskets between his second and third glass of wine.

 

Now that you’ve read that, are you feeling hungry, lol? I know I am.

When I wrote the scene, I had in mind the idea of family dinners as a way to connect/reconnect/maintain close ties. There’s a sense of communion when we share a meal with someone, even if it’s someone we’ve just met; and if they were the ones to cook it too, the strength of that newly forged bond is intensified. (Particularly for me, lol. I usually don’t cook. If you cook for me, I’m really impressed. I mean, more so if the food is actually tasty, haha. But even if it’s not some culinary feat, I’m going to be impressed. :D ).

In Bert’s case, it’s considerably more intense due to the fact that fey can sense the feelings of the cook as he prepared that food. So in a sense, cooking for the Sims family is a way for Bert to not only share food, but a bit of his heart in the process.

Did you woo someone by manifesting your culinary prowess, hehe?

KingAndAPawn[A]_postcard_front_DSP

Check out A King and a Prawn today!

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Blurb:

Bert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….

When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.

Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.

 

About Liv Olteano:

Voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional. Lover of diversity and quirky character, spamificating the world.

Be afraid, be very afraid. :D

Links:
Website:  http://liv.liviaolteano.com/
Blog:  http://blog.liviaolteano.com/
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Goodreads profile:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6952513.Liv_Olteano

 

 

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