Featured Author · Spotlight Interview

Featured Author: Konn Lavery

Wednesday Spotlight


Genre: Weird Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Reveal Books
Publication Date: July 15, 2016
Pages: 228
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About the Book

WARNING: DO NOT CONSUME

If you’re reading this, then you did not take the above warning seriously. In that case, you’re probably as stupid as me. I’m Logan, by the way. I didn’t pay attention to any warning signs either. Being an unemployed deadbeat in Edmonton with no family and getting dumped by your girlfriend for her best friend can wear a guy down. All I had was my cokehead buddy, Skip, to cheer me up.

Surprisingly, my precautionary tale was not caused by either Skip or the drugs. Let’s just say a drunken make-out session with a pale girl by a dumpster, who was supposedly pronounced dead earlier in the evening, can leave you mentally jumbled up. A good motivator to figure this scenario out is having robed cultists stalk you, asking where the girl is.

Is this an ill twist of fate? Did I bring this on myself? Is there a reason behind my misfortune? Is the moral to not make out with spooky girls behind dumpsters? Hell if I know…

Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Konn Lavery, I was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Raised as a vegetarian by trekies (Star Trek fans), I was home schooled until reaching High School where I chose to go to Jasper Place High School so I could make some friends and get ‘the real high school’ experience. It wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.

Following graduation, I quickly learned retail sucked and I went on to learn web development and graphic design from Guru Digital Arts College (now known as Edmonton Digital Arts College) since multimedia was my highest marks in high school. Using this knowledge, I now work as an independent graphic designer and web developer. These skills also transition into my writing where I create the novel covers, build my web presence among other marketing materials.

What inspired you to write?

Writing has been a huge part of my life from a very early age. Originally I wrote background stories to strategy board games that I made up at the age of eight. The back stories kept growing and eventually I started writing, a lot.

The inspiration to those board games as a kid, and for my writing today, comes from movies and video games (specifically RPGs). These two sources of media were my primary enjoyment while growing up and I wanted to share the same awe factor that they gave me as a kid.

I dabbled in video games and animation to try and share stories but found myself getting stuck in technicalities of the medium and was unable to express the stories in a comprehendible manner. I shifted from learning to produce those forms of entertainment and dove fully into writing. To this day I have found it to be the best method to portray the stories I want to share with people.

What inspired your novel?

For my latest novel, Seed Me, it has been inspired by a number of various sources such as my experience with bed bugs which started my research into symbiotic relationships amongst creatures. Bed bugs are a horrible experience and it genially made me uncomfortable. So I thought basing a story on hostile symbiotic relations (amensalism) would be an exciting idea.

I was also inspired by Edmonton’s rich river valley and my love for the horror genre, which is where my fascination with cults comes in.

What is the genre?

On a large scale, Seed Me is a horror genre. Specifically, it can be narrowed down to weird fiction, a term coined by H.P. Lovecraft. His writing was an inspiration to this novel. His style specializes in having horror elements while keeping the frights and gore shrouded in mystery, letting the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks.

What draws you to this genre?

I’ve watched horror movies growing up and love them for their dark, creepy (and sometimes cheesy) vibes. They also make me laugh, not sure if that is a good thing…

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

The story and characters went through MANY revisions. Originally in 2012, the plot was something entirely different with a freelance blogger wanting to solve a mystery of a girl’s death in the river valley for a big story on his site. This plot was shelved as I couldn’t see any conclusion to it. I participated in NaNoWriMo back in 2014 where I approached the same concept but with a new plot.

After NaNoWriMo, I gave the first draft a very critical review and decided to scrap over half of the manuscript. I rewrote the second half and revisited various characters’ motives and backgrounds while doing research at the City of Edmonton Archives and searching on Google.

What inspired your protagonist?

Logan, the protagonist was pieced together from myself and my brother. The fun thing with Seed Me is it is a first person narrative, so you get to hear the internal monologue of his mind. I was in a very different place than I am today when writing Seed Me so my own thoughts did meld into his behaviour. He also pulls a lot from my brother with his worldly views.

What inspired your antagonist?

The antagonist went through many variations. With Seed Me, there was no one primary antagonist, rather various pieces that formed the overall opposing force (that is where the cult and amensalism comes in). For this book, I originally wanted it to be a creature feature – this is where the bed bug inspiration came in – which had a lot of slash and gore. All of this was drastically cut out after the first manuscript, it came across way too cliché and was boring. After researching about amensalism and studying Edmonton’s history I refined the monster and the cult to what they are in the final piece.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The first and last chapters. As stereotypical as that is, it is the truth. The meat of the book was straightforward to do because the premise had been set. It was the initial opening scene into the book that was a challenge because there had to be a hook to have the reader continue on but I couldn’t give too much away.

The ending was also a challenge for similar reasons, I didn’t want to reveal everything to the reader because then it would be over. It’s like the man behind the curtain concept, the mystery would be taken away and would lose all wonder to it. Both the beginning and end had to have the right balance of just enough information and not enough to keep the reader guessing and wanting more.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?

Logan’s internal rambles. A lot of them were removed in the final version but I kept the relative ones in the story. Again, Logan pulled a lot from my state of mind during writing this book and these parts were more like a diary to me.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

I am a part time author, working to the dream of being full time. For income, I work as an independent graphic designer and web developer in Edmonton. My portfolio is under Reveal Design (revealdesign.ca). Before that, I taught at a digital arts college and worked as operations and marketing for a home warranty company.

What are you currently reading?

My current book that I am reading is Looking In Seeing Out – Consciousness and Cosmos by Menas Kafatos and Thalia Katafou. I don’t often read fictional books, I tend to gravitate to non-fiction for their subject matter.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?

Clive Barker is my favourite author, a major inspiration to writing. Todd Mcfarlane and Chuck Palahniuk as well.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

These aren’t in any particular order, but my top five would be: Flight of the Eagle by J. Krishnamurti, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, Tales Tall and True by Alberta Education, Graphic Design Basics by Amy E. Arntson and The Satanic Bible by LaVey, Anton Szandor.

What are your future projects, if any?

I have quite a few projected projects. More on this to come in early 2017. A hint is I am going back to finish my dark fantasy series, Mental Damnation.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

My website has all of the information they need to get in contact with me and grab my books. It can be found at konnlavery.com. I am also fairly active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Keep pushing forward. That doesn’t mean you have to write every day, some people do not work well writing every day or simply do not have the time to invest in doing so. However, make sure you always keep doing something to improve your writing.

Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts

Deceptive Cadence Audiobook Tour

Genre: Suspense
Author: Kathryn Guare
Narrator: Wayne Farrell
Length: 11 hours and 19 minutes
Publisher: Kathryn Guare
Publication Date: March 11, 2016
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About the Book

Meet Conor McBride. He’s even more interesting than the trouble he gets into. A talented Irish musician reluctantly reinvents himself, disappearing into an undercover identity to search for the man who ruined his career: his own brother. On a journey from the west of Ireland to the tumultuous city of Mumbai, Conor McBride’s only goal is to redeem the brother who betrayed him. But he’s becoming a virtuoso of a different kind in a dangerous game where the rules keep changing–and where the allies he trusted to help him may be the people he should fear the most.

Audio Excerpt
 https://chirb.it/52PFfp
Where to Buy

Audible | Amazon

About the Author


Kathryn Guare lives in the Vermont town where she grew up, part of the third generation of her family to call the tiny capital city of Montpelier home. She spent ten years as an executive with a global health membership and advocacy organization, worked as a tour coordinator in a travel agency, and has traveled extensively in Europe and India. She has a passion for Classical music, all things Celtic, and loves exploring ethnic foods and diverse cultures. Her first novel, Deceptive Cadence was awarded the Audiobook Gold Medal in the Readers Favorite Awards.

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About the Narrator

Internationally acclaimed voice actor Wayne Farrell began his professional career at The National Theatre of Ireland, where he met the legendary Irish seanachai Eamon Kelly and became fascinated with the art of storytelling. Using skills learned during this time, Farrell has worked extensively in both documentary and audiobook narration and is widely admired for the rich clarity and versatility of his voice. His credits include award-winning authors such as Donal Ryan, whose debut novel The Spinning Heart won The Guardian’s First Book Award as well as Irish Book of the Year; and New York Times and USA Today bestsellers such as Morgan Rice, author of the fantasy epic The Sorcerer’s Ring.

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Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts

Omega’s Choice Book Tour & Giveaway


Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publishing: Boroughs Publishing
Publication Date: May 25, 2017
Pages: 183
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About the Book

In a realm of elves, ogres and white witches, where danger is ever-present, Princess Helena Lichtenberg lost her parents at a young age. Raised by her uncle and aunt, Helena values family above all else. Now, as decreed by tradition, it is time to select a mate.

HER ALPHA

Enormous, scarred and scary, Black Ridge Wolf Pack leader Aldric Forst has never drawn the eye of any Omega. Why would he? But, on this, the night of what he swears is his last selection celebration, everything is different. One of those most beautiful, magical and powerful women, the niece of the king and queen themselves, wants him. And Aldric has never wanted anything more in return. No force—no matter how dark, no matter how powerful—will take Helena from him.

Excerpt

Princess Helena took that moment to turn toward him again. Instantly, his heart raced, his palms became sweaty, and a nervous excitement rolled around in his stomach, which he wasn’t entirely sure he liked. After all, he was a feared warrior, people looked to him for guidance and strength, and now he felt like he was going to pass out because a gorgeous woman was smiling at him with such joy.

As Amalia spoke to Helena, the princess’s small omega stone on her forehead glowed, and it was impossible to miss the waves of happiness coming from her.

“Looks like the princess is happy you agreed to dance with her, brother.” Godric looked about ready to burst with excitement. “Should I call home and have the rest of our party get on the road?”

“No, not yet, Godric. Let’s see how the evening goes first. Then we can call in reinforcements.” Aldric didn’t want to get ahead of himself. He refused to be let down again. “What do you think Lady Amalia meant by she’d waited years?”

“I have no idea, but I do know the only way you’re going to find out is by asking the princess herself. Ready to waltz, brother?”

“At least all mother’s lessons are about to come in handy. What if she expects our normal life to be like this?” Aldric panicked.

“Okay, now you’re just looking for problems that aren’t even here yet. Get out there and sweep that princess off her feet with the alpha you are. Wait until I tell Cassandra she was right yet again.” Godric had a look of absolute glee at the prospect of making that call back to the pack.

“Yeah, well, if Cassandra was right about this, brother, then she also predicted that I would have to fight for my omega.”

Godric turned to face Aldric and all humor fled from his expression. “If we have to fight for your omega, then it’ll damn well be one we win, I can assure you of that. If this night goes well, I’ll be calling in more warriors as well. They will be here before the sun rises.” Both Theron and Tofa nodded in agreement, even if Theron continued to tap away on his tablet.

“We shall see, Godric. Let’s hope I don’t step on her foot. Then it may be the royal guard we need to fight.” Aldric laughed as he, Godric, Theron, and Tofa stood and made their way across the ballroom to stand in front of King Leonidas, Queen Alexandra, and Princess Helena.

Princess Helena was simply stunning; her emerald green eyes beamed with happiness as he approached. Aldric had never felt this level of immediate attraction before in his lifetime. Helena’s curly blonde hair was pulled away from her face, showcasing her royal tattoo and tiny vines twisting down her slender neck to her collarbone. Her smile lit up everyone and everything around her and her green eyes shone with happiness.

Aldric, Godric, Theron, and Tofa stood before the king and queen, bowing respectfully and waiting for King Leonidas to speak. The entire time, Aldric hoped like hell he didn’t screw this up.

The room had grown strangely quiet.

Where to Buy 

Boroughs Publishing | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

 Lilli Carlisle lives outside Toronto, Canada. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter, Toronto Romance Writers. Lilli is a mother of two wonderful girls, wife to an amazing man and servant to the pets in her life. She writes both contemporary and paranormal romance and believes love should be celebrated and shared. After all, everybody needs a little romance, excitement, intrigue and passion in their lives. Lilli loves to hear from readers, you can find her here: Facebook | Twitter

 

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Book Tour Wednesday · Cover Reveal

Demon’s Blood Cover Reveal

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
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About the Book

Australian teenage demon hunter Tina Storm has been banned from using her lightning vanquish. To earn it back, she has to infiltrate a coven of witches suspected of using illegal blood magic to control people’s minds. Resident witch hottie Lachlan’s sudden interest in her can’t be coincidence – can it? After all, he’s pretty popular with the other girls in the coven – especially Chelsea, who’s decided Tina is evil for stealing her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, Tina has to juggle her end of year exams, her demon hunting, and her family as her relationship with Chinese shapeshifting demon Ten deepens. She’s also being hunted by an ancient vampire for the death of the vampire’s offspring. Can Tina solve the blood magic mystery, settle the vampire with a grudge, and soothe her romantic relationships without the help of her powers? How much can one teenage demon hunter take?

Tina Storm: Demon Hunter (the prequel) on Goodreads

Tina Storm: Demon Hunter is FREE on Smashwords!

About the Author

 Indie author since 2011 and resolute defender of the Oxford comma, Lissa was born and raised in Australia and writes stories with a distinct feminist slant for readers disillusioned with femininity in traditional commercial literature

Lissa is the author of LIES FOR A LIVING, part 1 of the CHAOS OF STARS serial, and books THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, TINA STORM: DEMON HUNTER, DEMON’S BLOOD, and THE ARCHIVE OF LOST DREAMS. Lissa is also the Episode Interactive author of NO ANGEL, GUARDIAN TRIALS, and THOSE LEFT BEHIND for Pocket Gems.

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Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts · Giveaway · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

M-Theory Stories Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Fiction, Fable
Publication Date: May 16, 2015
Pages: 180
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Time is creation and there is life in many worlds. Our universe is born from an infinite quantum environment retaining its connection to other potential universes. Through observation (what you see is what you get), it is possible to travel to other times in many worlds. This book is about that vision, transformation, and crossover; the persistence of mind (M), and the role and nature of God. It is a metaphysical, philosophical, and theological adventure

“A book of reveals: reading it you follow Jack Rabbit and Gray Squirrel into worlds more curious than Alice’s, and way more empowering. The energizing pair are more pixie wise than Father Brown, and more always-a-jump-ahead than Alan Watts. Hey, Jack’s a rabbit! and friend Gray’s a natural nut-buster.

If you’re of a certain age you’ll recognize Jack as Uncle Wiggly’s postmodern nephew. Grand as that gentleman was, Jack’s got him beat, because this book is kid brother to the author’s more “grown up” (Very Serious) Deconstructing Zen and other works. Come one, come all, to his playground.

Discover grim(m) Funbuster and earnest Professor caught in their endless loop. And why Deconstructor pities those thinking the purpose is philosophical, literary, or political agenda. Go through the tunnel to find the ballpark’s secret diamond and elegant dance, and listen to Lady Bluebird. Learn what the gym tells about your wheel of body-mind. The Woman on the bike gets it! She so well shows Jack and Gray how it’s done that you, too, may fall for her.

Cobra’s right to say “be careful what you look for, that’s what you’ll find,” but there’s no missing the most Flower since Little Prince. Along the way, you’ll meet relatives and neighbors, and get more out of Margarita than Jimmy Buffet ever has. You’ll meet Shiva and Punchinello, Higgs and the Ferryman. In the oak grove of a different forest, you may hear Elie Wiesel’s Rebbe, the one who knows “only the story” and that “this must suffice.”

Dell’s fable more than suffices: it’s invitation and jolly romping journey to the other shore. Just don’t rush it, as I did first time through. (Gorging on rich nourishment yields indigestion.) Take it easy, one bite at a time. It won’t ever wear out, and you’ll be in great company.” -Amazon Reviewer, Stephen M. Johnson

Jack and Gray went inside [the museum]. “Where are the mummies?” they inquired.

“Over there in the Egyptian Hall,” pointed the guard.

“These long boxes with faces are weird,” observed Gray. “Where are the bodies?”

“Shriveled and gone,” answered a guard. “There’s only a few left around the world, but people flock to view them.”

“Why?” asked Gray.

“Because they don’t understand.”

“What’s that odd shaped eye near the face?”

“The wedjet eye.”

“Isn’t it looking the wrong way?”

“No, the wedjet eye looks into the corners of the world. That’s why it stares parallel to forward and backward. It sees through time.”

“Making life and death meaningless,” deduced Jack…

 

Where to Buy

Amazon

 

William C. Dell is Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Montclair State University, New Jersey. His published works include metaphysics, poetry, inter-disciplinary studies, and literary criticism.

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$15 Amazon gift card

 

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Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts · Giveaway · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Perfect Odds Book Tour & Giveaway



Genre: 
New Adult, Romance
Publisher: Kat Henry Doran
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Pages: 737
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Six best selling and award winning authors bring you six Sweet to Sensual stories. [Savings of more than 75% if books are purchased separately].

Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino!

With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart than a hand of poker at La Bonne Chance. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef–when it comes to love, the stakes are high.

Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance… Ready to roll the dice?

All In For Love

PERFECT ODDS by LaShanta Charles
Heartbroken and alone, event planner, Callista Brenner believes the only thing she needs in her life is a plan to get her back on track. And to stay away from the devastatingly handsome, Jayce Gilmore, who promises to be exactly what she needs. When her “plan” backfires and threatens her very existence, what will she do to secure her future?

A GHOST TO DIE FOR by Keta Diablo
Unlike Violet, her psychic sister, Rooney Fontaine doesn’t believe in ghosts. Until one shows up in her hotel room begging for help. Headlines in the local newspaper said the man jumped from his seventh story balcony, but Rooney’s truth compass is screaming something far more sinister.

RAISING KANE by Kat Henry Doran
She’s Raisin’ Kane, committed to reporting the truth. He’s Kieran Pollack, master at spinning the facts in favor of the criminal justice system and those who serve it. Truth or fiction: both could bring them to their knees.

AN INN DECENT PROPOSAL by Sharon Buchbiner
Jim Rawlings takes the biggest chance of his life—bidding at auction for a once-grand inn. Genie King attends the hotel auction, never expecting another LBC employee to bid at the sale—much less the guy she had a major crush on in high school. Working together means Jim must share long-hidden secrets. Will Genie reject the man with a past? Or will she love the man he’s become?

FOR MONEY OR LOVE by Margo Hoornstra
He’s a mega-millionaire who covets wealth
She’s a computer genius who covets life
Their money or a life together, which will they choose?

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME by M.J. Schiller
She’s a dealer on a losing streak with love.
He’s a cop who will go all in to save her from the mob.
Can she take a chance on him when this could be her final wager?

Part of the All in For Love Box Set!

Callista Brenner refuses to let go of her past. She had her entire life figured out…except, maybe that was only in her mind. Being stood up for her own wedding should be a clue. Regardless, she’s determined to fix this. She just needs a plan and if there’s one thing she’s good at, it’s planning. Her accolades as one of Georgia’s top premiere event planners if proof of that. It doesn’t matter that she’s a whirlwind of clumsy chaos. All she has to do is stay away from the gorgeously irritating Jayce Gilmore and her wedding will be back on track. That’s exactly what she wants. Right? She loves her fiancé. She wants to marry him and start a family. He’s her everything. Or is he?

Jayce Gilmore has somehow let himself be bamboozled. One minute he was enjoying his quiet existence in his home in the outskirts of Victory, NY and the next he was facing his best friend’s wife and promising to be the best man at their wedding, which he also agreed to host at his resort & casino, La Bonne Chance. The introvert in him is questioning his sanity. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his partner has decided he’s taking a three-month hiatus, leaving the business solely in Jayce’s hands. Just when he’s ready to curl into a ball and refuse to leave his room, a chance encounter at an airport has him realizing some things are worth venturing out of your comfort zone for.

Neither of them could have guessed that Callista’s past would decide it wants to be her future and will stop at nothing to make that a reality. Could she accept that maybe her carefully laid plans weren’t as careful as she thought? Will Jayce be able to show her that he’s worth a chance and, together, their oddities can be perfect?

Cali

I nibble on my thumbnail as I watch the other travelers, clad in the makings of a summer vacation t-shirts and shorts, moving to and fro. Hot pink backpacks and black rolling cases bob and weave in a sea of commuters. Our flight is on the second call of now boarding all passengers and Cameron has yet to show up or answer my calls. Scanning the crowd, I search for his clean-cut, freshly shaved face, but come up empty. He’s still not here. A roiling ball of dread settles into the pit of my stomach. Something must have happened to him. It’s the only explanation I can think of that would lead to him not being here.

A toddler wobbles past me, blonde pigtails bouncing as plump legs struggling to support the carefree attempt to run, and stepping aside, I smile down at her as she chants “uh-oh.” How freaking cute is that? I bet she gets into all sorts of shenanigans. A woman, with identical blonde curls and green eyes, rushes after her and scoops her up before giggling ensues. She plants a smacking kiss on the child’s chubby cheeks before pointing and encouraging the child to say “da-da.” A smiling man with unnaturally white teeth approaches with his arms stretched out and the child squeals and squirms as she nearly jumps from the woman’s arms. You can’t witness such a scene and not smile. Two more years and that’ll be me with my own family—number three on my list of priorities. My phone vibrates, startling me out of staring at the trio. Relief envelops me like a warm blanket when I see the picture of Cameron on the screen.

“Where are you? They’re boarding everyone now. I’ll go ahead and let them know we’ll make it,” I answer, my phone cradled between my shoulder and ear.

“I’m not coming,” he says.

I pause in making my way to the attendant station. Surely, I heard him wrong.

“Hang on a sec, let me ask them how long we have before they can no longer wait. If you’re here already it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll need to hurry. Like, sprint through the airport or maybe get one of those guys on the carts to give you a ride somehow.”

The attendant flashes a smile at me and holds her hand out for my boarding pass. Her two front teeth are chipped and it makes me think of the time Cameron chipped his tooth while playing basketball last year. He got it fixed immediately, so I wonder why she’s chosen to leave hers like that. I move to give her the passes, but hear Cameron speaking again.

“Cali, you’re not listening. I’m not there. I’m not coming either.”

Pulling my boarding pass away from the chipped tooth attendant, I force a smile and step away for privacy. “What are you talking about, Cameron? I’m here waiting for you.” As if he doesn’t know that. He helped me load our luggage into the car before I left this morning. Is this some sick joke he’s pulling right now?

“Didn’t you hear me, Cali? I said I’m not coming,” Cameron repeats, his voice harsh and grating.

I stare numbly at the ‘now boarding’ screen above the attendant. I heard him the first two times. It makes as much sense now as it did then—none.

“I don’t understand. You can’t not come, we’re getting married. I can see if they’ll schedule us for a different flight. I’m sure it’s not too late. We’re getting there early enough one day won’t really matter,” I tell him.

He lets out an exasperated sigh. He’s annoyed? We’re four weeks away from our wedding and I’m at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, sans fiancé. I woke up at some ungodly hour, battled an hour and a half of bumper to bumper traffic to get here and get us both checked in two hours early, lugged all our suitcases—overweight, I might add—only for him to call when it’s time to board the flight to New York and tell me he’s not coming. Yet, he’s the one who’s annoyed?

“I don’t know what else to say, Cali. I’m trying to do right by you here. We both knew this wouldn’t end well. This was a mistake. A huge mistake and you’re only making it harder. I can’t do this right now. For once, let something go.”

I don’t even know how to respond to that. A mistake? What part of this is the mistake? One of the biggest occasions in my life—number one on the list—is a huge mistake for him? Try as I might, I can no longer speak. ‘We’ didn’t know this wouldn’t end in anything but a marriage. ‘Do right by me?’ How is standing me up for our wedding doing right by me? I didn’t ask to marry myself. I didn’t insist on us having a short engagement or me moving in with him.

I watch as the attendant lifts a phone to her mouth and smiles. A few seconds later I hear her disembodied voice over the PA system.

“This serves as a final boarding call for Delta Flight 1762 with service to Buffalo New York. All ticketed and confirmed passengers should report to Gate C23 for immediate departure.”

“Look, I can hear them in the background. You shouldn’t be at the airport alone. Go back to your parents’ place and we’ll talk more about this later. I have to get back to work,” Cameron says.

My parents’ place? He’s kicking me out? And why is he at work? We’re supposed to be leaving. Like, right now! I open my mouth to speak, not entirely sure what I’ll say, but I’m cut off by someone roughly bumping my shoulder. Silently, I watch as my phone crashes to the ground and bounces once before landing, screen up. It didn’t shatter, but the screen is dark. Cameron probably thinks I hung up on him. It’s much less than he deserves at this point.

“Sorry, didn’t see you there.”

Story of my freaking life. Destined to fade into the background where no one sees me. Number two on the list—stand out more. This guy’s apology definitely didn’t sound sincere. I look up to see a startling shade of blue staring down at me. Cold. I don’t like it. Blue is my favorite color, but I like warm blues. Blues that make you think of a tropical oasis. Definitely not blue like this stranger’s eyes. This shade of blue makes me anxious and . . . sad? Scared? Why the hell am I thinking about shades of blue when my life has just ended? Stupid stranger not looking where he’s going. He’s a jerk, like all men in the universe.

“I’ll get it,” he declares, grabbing my phone from the floor.

Before I can tell him to leave me alone, I hear the attendant speaking again.

“Ms. Brenner?” she pauses and looks expectantly at the bearded man standing next to me.

“Gilmore,” he supplies as he takes a step away from her.

We both turn to give her our attention, although I really don’t want to. I want to stand here and wallow in my misery. I want to reach out and pull this guy’s thick beard, cause him a little pain so I don’t suffer alone. What the hell does Cameron mean by ‘I can’t do this right now’? Was I just . . . dumped? Is Cameron breaking up with me or does he just not want to marry me? Is there really a difference at this point in our relationship? Can we really stay together if he basically rescinds his proposal?

I’m a cliché of epic proportions. I want the fairytale wedding with a princess gown and a horse-drawn carriage. I want a wedding that will resemble a forest at dusk with stars twinkling in the sky and a sensual melody playing in the background. I stop my train of thoughts when the attendant speaks again.

“We need you to board now if this is your flight. We really need to close the gate now.”

“Our apologies for being late,” Mr. Gilmore grumbles before turning to me and gesturing toward the gate. “After you.”

I’m slightly pleased his apology to her seemed even less sincere. There was also much more annoyance in his voice. I think. Plus, I wasn’t even late. I was very much so on time. I was where I was supposed to be and checked in like I should have. Just . . . not with whom I’m supposed to be with. Tears well in my eyes fall quicker than I can blink them away. The attendant clears her throat nervously and a horrified look crosses Mr. Gilmore’s face.

“Ma’am, we really need to close the gate now,” chipped tooth says.

I’m not only crying, but I’ve given them no response this entire time and I’m holding up the flight. Cameron and I were supposed to be going on this trip to New York as a vacation—and pseudo-honeymoon since it came before the ceremony, and end it with our wedding. Except now, he’s not here and he’s not coming.

“Allergies,” I lie with a forced smile. I hand over my boarding pass and soon enough, I’m on my way to La Bonne Chance Casino Resort, solo.

Where to Buy

Amazon

 LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She’s a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they’re extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??

Connect with Lashanta

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I’ll offer a $15 AGC and an ebook and paperback copy of my novel Heart of A Savage

 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

 

 

Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts · Giveaway · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Crimson Footprints Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Razor’s Edge
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Pages: 451
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On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through her neighborhood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief.

Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her mother killed her father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge, her fast-growing love for Tak. And had he never made love to her in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But loves a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone.

Tak understands this for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss: his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had—and away from him.

“So, what does my little architectural scholar think of the Atlanta skyline?” Tak asked as he took a sip of sweet tea.

Deena lowered her gaze. It was the right question, a distraction from the jitters she felt from being hundreds of miles away from home with a man who made her wake up in desperation.

She shrugged. “Oh, I don’t know. There’s a lot of modern and postmodern stuff here, but that’s not surprising. Atlanta’s a southern city, but it’s a hybrid one. In a time when much of the south rejected what they saw as an encroachment on an old way of life, Atlanta was going through a transformation, if you will. They wanted to be seen as a progressive city, a sort of beacon of the ‘New South’. You know how some of the best architecture reflects the values of the people around it? Well, Atlanta’s no exception. You can see the rejection of antebellum roots and—”

Deena paused, her cheeks coloring. “I’m so sorry. Before this is over you’ll wish you asked some other girl to come with you.”

Silence followed. Her words implied more than she’d intended about their reasons for being there, implied more than the careful friendship they’d maintained to that point.

A slight smile played across Tak’s lips. “Don’t be silly, Dee.” He watched her as she shifted, before apparently deciding she’d squirmed enough. “You’re a genius. My otosan must love talking to you.”

Deena shrugged. “It’s a big firm. I don’t really spend time with your father.”

Tak laughed. “You do. You just think you don’t.”

“Now what in the world does that mean?”

“My dad’s a brilliant man whose whole life is wrapped up in that firm. He hired you because he saw something. While you were his intern, he studied you, figured out what you were made of, and decided that he liked it. In other words, he was spending time with you even if you weren’t spending time with him.”

Before Deena could respond, the waitress returned with their food. Pecan waffles and scrambled eggs, biscuits and country gravy and two unidentifiable piles on saucer plates were placed before them.

“What in the hell is this?” Deena said, lifting the edge of a saucer for inspection. Her nose crinkled at the mass.

“It’s hash browns. Try it.”

Tak grabbed a bottle of syrup and went to work on his waffles.

“Hash browns where?”

Tak grinned. “Hash browns there.” He jabbed at the mass with his syrup-covered fork. “There’s also onions, ham, cheese, chili and tomatoes.” He pointed at each item with the utensil before returning to the slicing of his waffles. “And it’s all quite good.”

She looked at the red and yellow goo that covered the potatoes in distrust. She didn’t want to think of how many calories might be in that little saucered dish, with its fried potatoes and ooze of cheese. She didn’t want to think of what her ass would look like in a swimsuit after a bite of that stuff.

“Come on, Dee. Open up already.”

Tak stuck his fork into his mouth to clean it before taking a stab at her hash browns. He came away with a thick wad, and trained it towards her mouth. “Just a little now.”

With a hand beneath her chin, he guided the gooey hash into her mouth. An explosion of flavor slipped between her waiting lips, and with it the fork that had once been in his mouth. She blushed.

“Uh oh,” Tak said as he caught chili with his thumb. Quickly, he returned the finger to her mouth, her lips parting to accept it. He gasped loud enough to draw the eye. Their gazes connected, locking for too long. Staring, neither speaking, breathing as the seconds passed until he receded. Wide-eyed, Deena cleared her throat and looked away, red-faced and stiff. Tak stared, a sober, blinking astonishment on his face. Both finished their meals in silence.

Where to Buy

Amazon


Shewanda Pugh’s a tomboy who’s been writing romance since an inappropriate age. While she’s been shortlisted for a few awards and snagged a bestsellers list or two, there’s nothing she enjoys more than hearing from her readers.

In another life, she earned a BA from Alabama A&M University and an MA in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Though a hardcore native of Boston, MA, she now lives in Miami, FL, where she sulks in the sunshine, guzzles coffee, and puzzles over her next novel.

Connect with Shewanda

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Swag Pack with book, bookmarks and cosmetics

 

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Bewitching Book Tours · Book Tour · Excerpts · Giveaway

Closer Than Yesterday Book Tour

 
Genre: 
Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: April 21, 2017
Pages: 210
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About the Book

Samantha Patrick’s cousin Sarah has lived with an abusive husband for thirty years. After a brutal attack, she finally finds the courage to leave. Sarah goes to Land’s End looking for safety and comfort with her family on this small, idyllic island but the horror is not over yet. Someone is stalking Sarah. Is it the abusive husband or someone else? Will Land’s End be the place where Sarah finds new life, or it will be where it ends?

Excerpt

Prologue
Johnson City, TN April 25, 2016

Leslie Jennings carefully folded the last of her husband’s shirts and zipped up the suitcase.  She picked it up, struggling as she did.  Leslie was only 5’2, and very slim.  The suitcase was almost as big as she.  Leslie managed to get it to the floor, where she raised the handle and rolled it to the top of the stairs.  Now she had to get it downstairs without making too much noise.  Carter would accuse her of trying to destroy his Louis Vuitton luggage.   After ten minutes of pulling the luggage down one stair at a time, Leslie finally rolled it to the front door.  She ran quickly back upstairs and grabbed his garment bag.  She had already packed this and she hurried back downstairs.

She was waiting by the luggage when Carter came downstairs, his briefcase hanging from his shoulder.  He was dressed in a sharp gray suit, white dress shirt, and patterned gray tie.  Leslie studied him while he glanced through his phone.   Carter was of average height, with graying brown hair and eyes.  He had sharp features and rarely smiled.  His only pleasure was making a sale.  He owned a real estate company and it was very successful.  They had been married for thirty years and they had no children.

Carter didn’t like kids, so they didn’t have any. He glanced up from his phone and gave Leslie the once-over.  She was wearing her scrubs, ready to go to work at the hospital after she dropped Carter off at the airport.  She worked the seven p.m. to seven a.m. shift when he was gone on business trips.  He thought if she worked at night, she wouldn’t be out doing anything else. She didn’t know why it mattered if she was seeing anyone or not.

He was not the affectionate type and most of the time he acted like he hated Leslie. It wasn’t an issue anyway, Leslie didn’t go anywhere outside of work and her grandmother’s house. The only people she talked to were her co-workers and her grandmother Jody.  Carter didn’t allow her to socialize with anyone other than someone he approved, and he didn’t approve of anyone. “Looks like you’re ready to go.  Is this all my stuff?”

Carter waved his hand over the luggage. Leslie nodded.  “Yes, that’s it.  I packed everything you had on the list.” Carter picked up his garment bag and gestured for Leslie to get his suitcase.  She picked it up and carried it to the car waiting right outside the door in their driveway that curved around the front of the house.  She couldn’t roll it; Carter would get upset.  She managed to get it in the trunk of his Mercedes.   He got in the driver’s side and Leslie in the passenger side.  Silently they drove out of the subdivision.

Carter finally spoke when they had gotten to the highway. “Tell me your schedule,” he commanded. “After I drop you off, I’m going home to get my car.  I’ll put yours in the garage.  Then, I’m going to Jody’s to fix her supper, then I’m off to work.  I work the night shift.  I get off at seven a.m.  I’ll go back to Jody’s and fix her breakfast, then home for a few hours of sleep.  Then I’ll get up and complete the to-do list that you made.”

Carter nodded in satisfaction.  “Very good.  I approve.” Leslie stared out the window.  How she would love to hit him right in his arrogant face.

Well, that was all going to change tonight.  When she finally made it to work tonight, she was going to leave her cell there.  Carter had a tracking app on it.  She had already spoken to her supervisor and he had promised that he would help Leslie in any way that he could.

Leslie was going to get on a Greyhound bus tonight and start her journey away from Carter.  She had been saving money for months, a little at a time and squirreling it away at Jody’s.  She would go get the money and see Jody one more time. After that, she was going to leave her car at the bus terminal and take the bus to Memphis, rest, get on another bus to New Orleans, and slowly make her way around the southeast coast to a little island town in North Carolina called Land’s End.

Leslie had heard Jody talk about the little town for years.  Leslie’s first cousin, Samantha, lived there with her husband, Andy, who was also the sheriff of the town.  Samantha had never contacted Jody, but through the internet, Leslie had been able to track them down for Jody. Even though she knew where they were, Jody wouldn’t contact her.  She was waiting for Samantha to come to her. She knew what Samantha had been through, and Jody didn’t want to bring back sad memories to Samantha until she was ready.  Leslie thought it was a good a place as any to start over.  Maybe she and Samantha could become friends. Carter didn’t know about Samantha.  Jody had quite a bit of money and owned a large historical home.

Carter thought that Leslie was going to inherit all of it.  He didn’t mind if Leslie took care of Jody, in fact, he insisted that she go there before and after work.  If he knew that there was someone else to split the inheritance with, he would be very angry with Leslie, even though it wasn’t her fault. Leslie was tired of being the recipient of his anger.  When they first married, she wasn’t aware of his violent temper or that he was a control freak.  She thought that the reason he watched her every move and told her what to wear, who to be friends with, etc., was because he cared about her.

Her parents had died when Leslie was ten. Her grandmother had taken her in and raised her.  Leslie loved Jody, but she had missed her parents, especially her father terribly. That was one of the things that had attracted her to Carter.  He was several years older than she was.  He owned his own business, home and he was very settled and mature for a man in his early thirties.

The first time she did something he didn’t approve of they had been married for a year. He had backhanded her and bruised her cheek so badly that she had to wear pancake makeup for over a week.  It took her while to figure out what set him off, but over the years she had managed to get into his routine and kept herself from getting hurt.

They were getting close to the airport and Carter started droning out instructions to her.  She could recite what he was telling her in her sleep; but she answered him in the way he liked for her to respond. No sense in getting him upset.  It was so close for time for her to leave; she could deal with him for a few more minutes. He pulled up in front of the doors in the unloading zone.  Leslie got out and waited for him to open the trunk.  She handed him his garment bag, then pulled his suitcase out.  He took the handle from her. “I’ve got it from here.  Get my car home and put away.  I will see you in a week.”

Without any further words, he went inside the terminal and Leslie got in to drive his car home. He had always told her that he would kill her if she left.  When she had celebrated her 55th birthday in January, Leslie had known that this year was the year she had to leave.  Living like this was killing her, and she deserved a chance for happiness sometime in her life.

Where to Buy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

 
S.W. Frontz is the author of the Land’s End Series, which includes: When the Morning Comes, Don’t Look Back, and Closer Than Yesterday.  S.W. is a native of Charlotte, NC but was raised in East Tennessee, where she still resides with her husband, Rusty, of 21 years, and their furbaby, Mandy.

S.W. has been an avid reader since a child.  Her favorite genres are mystery, suspense, and Southern humor.  Favorite authors include John Sanford, Erica Spindler, Karen Robards, Lee Childs, James Lee Burke, and Fannie Flagg.

S.W plans on continuing the Land’s End Series, at least for a few more books.  Book four is in the first draft stage.

S.W. is a nominee for the 2017 Top Female Author and a member of the Southeastern Writer’s Association.

Connect with S.W.

Facebook Author Page | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Pinterest | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon

Tour Giveaway

5 signed paperback copies of Closer Than Yesterday – 1 $10 amazon gift card will be hidden in one of those five copies (US only) and maybe another surprise or two.

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Milk Teeth: Stories with Bite by Lizella Prescott

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Publisher: Hungry Lizard Press
Publication Date: June 7, 2017
Pages: 58
Format: ePub
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2

A sorceress gets married and forgets her powers. A prince fears true love’s kiss. A little mermaid is hungry for something a little strange. A swamp witch takes a messy stand. All of these stories are new takes on classic tales, meandering down unlit paths only fit for monsters, fools, and the brave.

At 58 pages, this collection of 12 bite-sized tales can be consumed in a single sitting. Or read one story each night at bedtime, while you sip a cup of herbal tea.

 

1

5 Stars

my-review

I received this eBook from Book Review 22 in exchange for an honest review. 

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I absolutely love retellings of fairy tales. Whether they’re full-length retellings or short and … sweet retellings.

The tales in this short book were all familiar tales that we grew up on. Some that have become simple with Disney but others remain in the pages of the more complex Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales. Either way, they’re familiar. However, they’re not the tales you grew up with. Ms. Prescott gives the Brother’s Grimm a run for their money with her tales of witches planting milk teeth for the future to the Frog Prince who may actually fear True Loves Kiss and a Little Mermaid with interesting tastes. Familiar tales with new twists and incredible imagery!

What I really enjoyed was some of the tales had a more modern spin on them and faced some of the concepts that modern society faces. But at the same time, some stayed within the realms of fantasy.

Definitely try out this book if you are seeking a short read or like the synopsis said, spread it out each night and enjoy the tales.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US

3


Lizella writes a dark and tasty blend of fantasy, suspense, and experimental short fiction. She’s also partial to epic poetry, Greek mythology, and anything Dystopian. You can read her work here.

When she’s not dreaming up new ways to torture fairy princesses, Lizella writes business journalism under a different pseudonym and tries to keep up with one husband, two kids, and four large dogs.

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Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Giveaway

Fear Inducer Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Ellie Douglas
Publication Date: March 15, 2017
Pages: 382
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They believed their phobias were just nightmares…

They believed Dr. Felix Bloom would cure them.

They were…SO WRONG!

Doctor Felix Bloom is a brilliant psychiatrist and pharmacologist who has done a lot of good for humanity. But, he has a dark side as a serial killer of some of his patients using their phobias against them. How he gets his patients to kill themselves in some bizarre fashions satiating his greed for death and mayhem you will have to discover. But, nonetheless, if you love horror, you will love Dr. Bloom’s methods and madness. Yes, he is as composed as they come, but maybe more evil than most. He’s charming, considerate with his secretary, Joanna, and his best friend, a doctor. But, beneath the elegant exterior rages the thirst for blood as a serial killer.

Without going into the gory details or the method of Dr. Bloom, his patient’s deaths are spectacularly staged (and gory) and witnessed by the good doctor. The author does a great job telling why Dr. Bloom is a serial killer and it may make you feel some empathy for the man. But, that is a whole chapter worth exploring on your own. I was pleasantly surprised at the intricate detail of the mind of Dr. Bloom. He’s smart. Incredibly smart. The book is definitely worth your time. It has everything a chilling horror novel should have. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the author’s other book about a serial killer named Toxic Desire, which features a female serial killer. Who’s more evil? Dr. Bloom by far. Why? I won’t spoil the novel for you. Fear Inducer is more malevolent while Toxic Desire is erotically-charged. Also, look for the subtly in Doctor Bloom over the novel. He has a lot of secrets worth discovering. Excellent book and a welcome addition to my bookshelf.
P.S. – I forgot something. There are loads if images in the book at the front of each chapter based on the fear the patient has. Really cool visuals to put you in the mood for what you are about to read.” -from Amazon reviewer Cameron Rowe.

Where to Buy
Amazon


I’m Ellie Douglas, and like you, I love horror, everything about horror, the goriest and most gruesome of horrors is the ultimate. I can’t get enough. So much so that I write horror. That need to be graphic, and explicit with my horror scenes makes me stand out. I give what I want to read to others, so now they can enjoy a true horror story.

I’m not all about just being graphic, I also build characters that the readers will love and or hate, so they can feel pulled right inside of the story that they are reading. It gives me so much enjoyment when I hear remarks like, ‘You made me want to puke,’ ‘I have nightmares every damned night –thanks,’ and ‘Quentin Tarantino and Steven King made a baby, YOU!’ when I hear comments like that, I know then I’ve succeeded, that also pushes me into writing more and becoming even better.

I’m fun loving, generous and very mysterious. I enjoy spending time with my family, and have four children to keep the horror writing alive. I enjoy helping others and volunteer my services to help Autistic children, I love cosplay and the chance to dress up as a monster, zombie or some other gritty character is fun, oh so much fun.

I love summer, and well…I hate winter. I live in New Zealand and feel often too far away from all the cool stuff going on in the world. I love helping people all the time. I’ve got my hands dipped in a few things, I write books, but I also make professional book covers for other authors, I also create adult coloring books and I have a gambling app that I designed on the apple store 🙂 I’ve always got a project going, be it writing or creating, that is who I am and I love it 🙂

My ultimate aim is to give back, paying it forward, to constantly better myself and give the audience amazing stories. Let me scare you…

Connect with Ellie
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$10 Amazon

 

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