Author Interview: Karen J. Hicks


About the Author:

Karen J. Hicks is retired and lives in Henderson, Nevada. She recently published her second novel, The Coming Woman, based on the life of the infamous feminist Victoria C. Woodhull, who was the first woman to run for U.S. President. Her first book was a self-help book titled The Tao of a Uncluttered Life. Karen served as in-house editor for author Steve Allen and has written several screenplays, as well as poetry, short stories, and essays. To learn more, go to http://www.karenjhicks.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22921576-the-coming-woman

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Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I’m more of a seat of the pants writer.  I get an idea for a story and sit at the computer and dash out a brief synopsis or short story of it.  Then I start adding details – various “scenes” that expand on the idea.   I think using scenes comes from my days of writing scripts.  THE COMING WOMAN was actually written as a script first, as is the novel I am currently working on.

Once I get scenes visualized, I print them out and then arrange them in an order that seems coherent.

When I start putting them all together on the computer, I visualize myself as the reader and what I want to read next – what questions I need answers too, etc. – so the scenes get moved around even more, as well as some added and some deleted.  I print out a first draft and then the real process of writing begins: the editing!

THE COMING WOMAN was a bit different, however, because history provided the sequence of events. The biggest problem I had with this book was that there was so much material I really had to pick and choose carefully to keep the book focused.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Because my first book was a non-fiction self-help book, there were no characters and with the second book being historical, the characters’ actions were already a part of history.  But in the book I am currently working on – a romantic novel – they have certainly had a say a time or two on how they want to react.  I feel more like I am channeling them than creating them.

What is your favourite food?

I love sushi, but I also crave a good steak every so often.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I’m definitely a morning person.  Being raised on a dairy farm probably set that pattern.   Living in Vegas, the summers get pretty hot so I get up before dawn to walk.   I like to write in the mornings as it is so quiet and my mind is refreshed from the night’s sleep.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I’m actually not a big traveler.  My son was married in the south of France (Nice) so that was an incredible experience to go there, but I’ve never wanted to see the world.  I love being an armchair traveler, though, and learning about other countries and cultures.  I prefer to drive to more local areas and visit national parks and nature rather than cities.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Not so far.

Do you listen to music while writing?

I listen mostly to ocean and rainforest environmental sounds and Native American flute when writing, although I occasionally add such artists as Enigma, Vangelis, Enya, Ottmar Liebert, R. Carlos Nakai, and Cusco.  A lot of times I just like the quiet though.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

THE COMING WOMAN is based on the life of the infamous 19th century feminist, Victoria C. Woodhull.  Victoria was the first woman to run for President (1872), before women could even vote.  She was also the first woman to enter the male-dominated halls of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she petitioned for woman’s suffrage.  A popular orator, she and her sister and side-kick, Tennessee Celeste (Tennie C.) were also the first women stockbrokers on Wall Street and the first women to run a mainstream newspaper.   Victoria’s nemesis is the famous Brooklyn preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, whose hypocrisy she saw as epitomizing the hypocrisy of society during what Mark Twain called The Gilded Age.  When his secret affairs are exposed by Victoria, it causes life-changing consequences to not only the individuals involved but society as well.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

You just have to be brave and persistent and what you write will find its intended audience.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I would have been braver and more persistent earlier in my life.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My high school English teacher had the biggest impact on me.  Rather than follow the usual lesson plans, one semester she had us each write a novella, each week including the words from our spelling/vocabulary lists.  She would read parts aloud in class and mine was frequently shared with high praise from her.  Since I was a small child, I had enjoyed making up stories, but her praise made me realize I would like to someday use what talent I had in my career.  I kept in touch with Mrs. Carlson until her passing at age 96 earlier this year and she has continued to push and inspire me to pursue this dream.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

No one else can tell the story like you so listen to yourself and remove any naysayers from your life. And just do it.

What are three words that describe you?

Loyal.   Organized.  Approachable.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

I have so many.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a writer I didn’t like.  Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb amazes me with how versatile she is in her writing.  Shel Silverstein was a genius.  My friend Kinky Friedman’s mystery books entertain and enlighten.

***

The Coming Woman, by Karen J. Hicks, is a novel based on the life of feminist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for U.S. President. Victoria Woodhull had the courage to enter the political arena before women had won the battle to vote. This is a timely, relevant, and compelling look at one of the women who paved the way for women like Hillary Clinton to claim their place on the national stage and in our history books.

Running for President wasn’t Victoria’s only first as a woman. She was also the first to own a successful Wall Street firm, the first to publish a successful national newspaper, and the first to head the two-million-member Spiritualist Association.

She was the first woman to enter the Senate Judiciary Committee chambers to petition for woman's suffrage, her argument changing the entire focus of the suffragist movement by pointing out that the 14th and 15th Amendments already gave women the vote.

In her campaign for the Presidency, Victoria Woodhull boldly addressed many of the issues we still face today: equal pay for equal work; freedom in love; corporate greed and political corruption fueled by powerful lobbyists; and the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, to name only a few. Her outspoken and common-sense ideas may shed a new perspective on the parallel conundrums of today’s world.

This bold, beautiful, and sexually progressive woman dared to take on society and religion. To make an example of the hypocrisy in what Mark Twain dubbed The Gilded Age, she exposed the extramarital affairs of the most popular religious figure of the day (Henry Ward Beecher). This led to her persecution and imprisonment and the longest, most infamous trial of the 19th century. But it did not stop her fight for equality.

Victoria’s epic story, set in the late 1800s, comes to life in a modern, fictional style, while staying true to the actual words and views of the many well-known characters.

The Coming Woman was published by Sartoris Literary Group in August 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical

Praise for The Coming Woman:

"If you have a heart, if you have a soul, Karen Hicks' The Coming Woman will make you fall in love with Victoria Woodhull." - Kinky Friedman, author & Governor of the Heart of Texas

"What kind of confidence would it take for a woman to buck the old boy's club of politics in 1872? More than 140 years pre-Hillary, there was Victoria Woodhull. This book takes you back with a breathtaking, present-tense bird's eye view into a time when women's liberation was primarily confined to one woman's very capable, independent mind. I couldn't put it down." - Ruth Buzzi, Golden Globe Award winner and Television Hall of Fame inductee

"The Coming Woman is a great read and a long overdue biography written beautifully by Ms. Hicks. Victoria Woodhull comes alive in each and every paragraph; a vital strength and spirit in Woodhull propels her to run for president of the United States when women weren’t even allowed to vote! What a woman, what a book! An inspiring must read for every woman and any adventurous men! Thank you, Ms. Hicks for finally telling her colorful story." - Jennifer Lee Pryor, author of Tarnished Angel: A Memoir and President, Indigo, Inc.

Author Interview: Vampires in Paradise by Sandra Hill




About the Author: 

Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.

She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

https://www.sandrahill.net/

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHillAuthor

Join the author’s mailing list

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/177305.Sandra_Hill

***

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I used to be more structured in planning a book, but I’ve become more of a seat of the pants writer.  IOW, I know the basics of my plot and where I have to end up, but there are lots of surprises along the way.  Much like a driver who knows his destination but can only see as far as his headlights at any one time.  Scary, huh?

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Sometimes they take me in directions I hadn’t planned, like Karl Mortensen rescuing an abused woman in CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA.  I hadn’t even thought about writing a story for Karl, a Vietnam War vet turned Viking vampire angel.  And VAMPIRE IN PARADISE…well, without giving away the ending, let’s just say I hadn’t planned Izzie’s “miracle.”

What is your favourite food?

Oh, there are so many.  Good bread with butter.  Pasta.  I don’t crave sweets, but seasonal favorites like white chocolate fudge covered Oreos are sinfully tempting.  ’m very big on homemade soups these days, or even restaurant ones, like Panera’s broccoli cheddar, or chicken corn chowder.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely morning.  Sometimes I even get up at 4 a.m. and write until eight or nine.  My most creative times!

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Warm weather places, except I’d like to travel the Norse fjords.  I like my creature comforts.  Nice hotel and pool or beach.  No camping outdoors, unless I absolutely have to.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Definitely.  The Norselands in my Viking books.  Saxon England.  I had fun with Byzantium in THE NORSE KING’S DAUGHTER.  And of course, I love my Cajun Louisiana bayous, although that might not count as distant.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Never.  Noise distracts me.  In fact, I sometimes put on earphones and play my High Focus CD which is pretty much white noise.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

 I have two latest releases:  The novella CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA and VAMPIRE IN PARADISE.  Plus, they just reissued an updated version of LOVE ME TENDER.

CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA:

For the first time ever, the Viking Vampire Angels are celebrating a traditional Christmas in the creepy castle in Transylvania, Pennsylvania. The tree has been decorated, gifts have been wrapped and stockings have been hung. And that’s mistletoe, not cobwebs. hanging from the ceiling…really!

The icing on the vampire Christmas cookie comes when vangel Karl Mortensen rescues Faith Larson, a battered young waitress, from her abusive boyfriend and hides her in the castle amidst the Christmas chaos. But what Karl thought was a frail young teenager is actually a very tempting woman. And she thinks his fangs are sexy!  But a strange “Christmas visitor” at the castle and demon vampires up to their old tricks could threaten the budding romance between Karl and Faith. It’s an impossible match: a human and a vangel, but Christmas is a time for magic. Karl and Faith don’t stand a chance…

VAMPIRE IN PARADISE:

 It’s been centuries since the Norseman Sigurd Sigurdsson was turned into a Vangel—a Viking Vampire Angel—as punishment for his sin of envy, but he’s still getting the hang of having fangs that get in the way when seducing women. Slaying demon vampires known as Lucipires and using his healing gifts as a cancer research doctor, Sigurd is sent to Florida’s Grand Keys Island as a resident physician . . . where he encounters a sinfully beautiful woman. The only hope Marisa Lopez has of curing her five-year-old daughter is a pricey experimental procedure. When she meets the good-looking doctor, Marisa is speechless. Then Sigurd tells her he believes he can help her daughter. Could this too-hot-to-resist Viking doctor be an angel of some sort sent to bring a miracle for her daughter? Or is he just a vampire bent on breaking Marisa’s heart?

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

It’s hard work.  I’ve heard some writers talk about their muses and the words just flowing.  That rarely happens for me.  I keep a placard above my computer with the famous Nora Roberts’ quote which, paraphrased, says:  “You can always fix a bad page, You can’t fix a blank page.”  Wise words!

Is there anything you would do differently?

I would have started earlier, or at least taken it more seriously at an earlier age.  I’ve always been an avid reader and writer.  My background is in newspaper journalism.  But I was thinking about writing novels long before I had the nerve to actually start.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Just good books.  Every time I read a really good book, you know the kind, the ones that keep you reading long into the night, I sigh and think, “This is what I want to do.”

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Take it seriously.  Write a little every day, even if it’s only a sentence.  If possible join a writers’ group, even if only online, and a critique group, if one is available.  Read what you would like to write and take notes on what you like and don’t like.

What are three words that describe you?

Intelligent.  Caring.  Funny.,

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

Oh, that is an impossible question.  My tastes have changed over the years.  In romance, I like all the old traditional historical romance writers, including Maggie Osborne, Jude Devereaux, Laveryle Spencer, etc.  Today, I read Mary Balogh, Rachel Gibson, Kristin Higgins, etc.  In mainstream, I like Anne Rivers Siddon, Rosamunde Pilcher, Maeve Binchy, Jan Karon.


List of previous books if any:
VIKING SERIES I: THE RELUCTANT VIKING, THE OUTLAW VIKING, THE TARNISHED LADY, THE BEWITCHED VIKING, THE BLUE VIKING, MY FAIR VIKING (aka THE VIKING’S CAPTIVE), A TALE OF TWO VIKINGS, VIKIGN IN LOVE, THE VIKING TAKES A KNIGHT, THE NORSE KING’S DAUGHTER, THE PIRATE BRIDE.

VIKING SERIES II:  THE LAST VIKING, TRULY MADLY VIKING, THE VERY VIRILE VIKING, WET AND WILD, HOT AND HEAVY, DOWN AND DIRTY, ROUGH AND READY, VIKING UNCHAINED, VIKING HEAT, DARK VIKING.

DEADLY ANGELS:  KISS OF PRIDE, KISS OF SURRENDER, KISS OF TEMPTATION, KISS OF WRATH, VAMPIRE IN PARADISE.

CAJUN BOOKS: THE LOVE POTION, TALL DARK AND CAJUN, THE CAJUN COWBOY, THE RED-HOT CAJUN, PINK JINX, PEARL JINX, WILD JINX, SO INTO YOU, SNOW ON THE BAYOU.

CREOLE BOOKS: FRANKLY, MY DEAR, SWEETER SAVAGE LOVE.
OTHERS: DESPERADO, LOVE ME TENDER, numerous novellas.

***


Vampire in Paradise
Deadly Angels Series
Book 5
Sandra Hill
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Avon/Harper Collins
Date of Publication: 11/25/2014
ISBN: 9780062210487
Number of pages: 352

Book Description:

It’s been centuries since the Norseman Sigurd Sigurdsson was turned into a Vangel-a Viking Vampire Angel-as punishment for his sin of envy, but he’s still getting the hang of having fangs that get in the way when seducing women. Slaying demon vampires known as Lucipires and using his healing gifts as a cancer research doctor, Sigurd is sent to Florida’s Grand Keys Island as a resident physician where he encounters the most sinfully beautiful woman.

The only hope Marisa Lopez has of curing her five-year-old daughter of is a pricey experimental procedure. When she meets the good-looking doctor, Marisa is speechless. Then Sigurd tells her he believes he can help her daughter. Could this too-hot-to resist Viking doctor be an angel of some sort sent to bring a miracle for her daughter? Or is he just a vampire bent on breaking Marisa’s heart?

Available at Amazon | BN | Avon Romance

Add it to Your Goodreads List

***

Giveaway:

Tour giveaway

5 Print copies of  Vampire in Paradise by Sandra Hill open to US/Canada Shipping

5 e-copies of Vampire in Paradise by Sandra Hill open worldwide

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Guest Post: The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy





One of the most fun aspects of writing my Twelve Kingdoms series has been creating the mythology around it. Maybe channeling the mythology would be a more accurate way of saying that.

I knew from the beginning that these three books would be about the three princesses, daughters of the High King, each more beautiful than the last. What emerged as I wrote was a mythological backbone to this world of three goddesses. Each princess embodies aspects of the goddess she looks to. While the theme is present in the first book, The Mark of the Tala, the heroine of that book, my middle Princess Andromeda, looks to Moranu. As the goddess of the moon and the night, the shadows and shapeshifters, she is arguably the least structurally formal of the three. She’s a more a goddess of the individual journey and of transformation  - almost Taoist in a way.

In The Tears of the Rose, however, the story of the youngest and most beautiful Princess Amelia, the role of Glorianna and her Temple plays a prominent part of the story. Amelia or Ami has been lauded as Glorianna’s avatar since her birth and Glorianna’s temple is the official church of the Twelve Kingdoms. Part of Ami’s character growth is learning to separate the flattery and lies of others – and the deceptions of the church – from what is real.

Not always easy to do.

If you’re interested in reading one of the stories of Glorianna, I have an excerpt posted here.


Thanks to Books and Tales for hosting me today!

***

The Tears of the Rose
The Twelve Kingdoms
Book Two
Jeffe Kennedy
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Kensington 
Release Date: November 25, 2014

Book Description:

Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king.

The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

Available at Amazon

Available in ebook and paperback 


***

Excerpt:

Night fell, heavy clouds obscuring the sky so no moonlight or starlight lit our way. We climbed the foothills in a single file, my steed in the center of the lineup with its nose in the tail of the horse Marin rode. The White Monk followed directly behind me, soldiers sandwiching us between. Below in the valley, the lights of Ordnung shone through the darkness, a beacon of civilization. Despite the warm cloak I’d been given, I shivered with the longing to be tucked inside my suite of rooms there.

So many things had been decided for me, like the cloak and what clothes I’d wear. I supposed they normally were, as my ladies and maids took care of me and packed for excursions. But they knew to include what I liked and would probably want. If I’d realized I’d be bundled along, I would have found a way to bring the doll pieces too. Instead they were in one of my trunks, bound for Windroven without me. Stupid oversight. How was I to find the missing head without the matching body?

I fretted over the error. This wasn’t the mission I’d had in mind at all. Somehow it had become entirely what Erich wanted and nothing of mine. Still, I wouldn’t fail.

Unless I fell out of the saddle first.

Hopefully we’d camp soon. Maybe after we climbed this trail.

We topped the hill, but my hopes were dashed when we re-formed into a loose knot, the soldiers making a circle around us. The disappointment brought all my discomforts crashing in. I was cold and tired and I thought my legs might fall off. I might have whimpered a little, because the White Monk, who never strayed far from me, on the pretense that he planned to defend me, rode close enough that our knees bumped.

“Problem, Princess?” he asked. Always with that mocking tone in his voice, though he kept his voice low, as we’d been instructed.

“I’m fine,” I replied tightly, clenching my jaw so my teeth wouldn’t chatter. I would not complain. I would not complain.

“You’ll likely have to tell Graves that you need to rest. He’s used to this kind of thing and to being with other soldiers who are, too. Not pampered royalty who never ride except for pleasure.”

“I’m not complaining.”

“No, you aren’t.” He sounded reflective, maybe even puzzled. “You’re not being stubborn, are you?”

I laughed, trying to make it sound lighthearted and merry, which is hard to do quietly, much less when you’re ready to scream from pain. “While being stubborn might be counted among my many character flaws, I believe no one has ever accused me of being stubborn for the right reasons.”

“Have you ever ridden astride before?”

“I know how.” His silence accused me of prevaricating. I blew out a breath. “But I rarely ever did. I always rode sidesaddle because”—I felt so frivolous—“it looked nicer.”

Above the quiet snow crunching of the horse’s hooves, I heard a scraping sound and realized the White Monk scratched his bristled chin. “This is the first day of at least three or maybe even four—and that’s on the way in. If you ride beyond your ability to recover, then we’ll have to wait for you to do so. Might add another day or three, with everyone waiting on you.”

“I’ll be fine,” I repeated. “I can do this.”

“I didn’t expect grit from you,” he finally said, after a long, thoughtful silence. It may have been the first thing he’d ever said to me that wasn’t couched as a taunt. Then he kicked his horse into a trot, becoming one of the many shadows around me. I stewed, knowing he’d gone to tell Graves that the fragile princess couldn’t handle the mission—on the first day.

After a few minutes, he returned. “We can’t stop here—it’s not secure yet—but there’s a cabin ahead. Can you make it maybe another hour?”

“Of course. I didn’t ask to stop.”

He laughed a little, under his breath. “Glorianna save us all if you do become Queen.”

Praise for The Twelve Kingdoms

“Well-written and swooningly romantic.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Will captivate you from beginning to end with a richly detailed fantasy world.” —RT Book Reviews

***

About the Author:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns;  the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Foreword Literary.

http://www.jeffekennedy.com/

http://www.jeffekennedy.com/category/blog/

https://www.facebook.com/jeffe.kennedy

https://twitter.com/jeffekennedy

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Hunters by Aoife Marie Sheridan





Hunters 
Book One
Aoife Marie Sheridan
Genre: Paranormal, Romance 
ISBN: 9781495430725
Word Count: 62,000
Cover Artist: Airicka’s Mystical  Creations

Book Description: 

Abigail is nineteen, her job she hunts demons.

Her life so far has been tough, having witnessed her family’s death and her mother’s suicide she’s taken in by a priest, who believes her when she says she sees ghosts. Father Peter trains her as a demon hunter with three other members, one being Daniel, who isn’t what he seems.

But when a possession goes wrong, and ghosts start to attack Abigail, the tight rope she had on her emotions soon starts to loosen.

Abigail draws the unwanted attention of the Vatican, and she finds out a lot more then she was willing to learn.

Knowledge is power, but for Abigail it’s her undoing, and the only thing keeping her together is Daniel.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/7KT2Xy6hh7k

Available at Amazon


***

Excerpt:

The sound of laughter made me stop. As the demon over took the girl’s face completely, my heart rate elevated. Zee, quick to act, lit two candles, knowing what was to come as the light bulb brightened, casting a blinding light in the room before it burnt itself out with a hiss, and small shards of glass flew across the room. I covered my face, protecting it from the onslaught of the flying glass. Small cuts across my hands stung and warm blood slid slowly across my fingers. I took my hands away, ignoring the pain. The flames from the small candles that Zee had lit danced across the room but gave little light. Not being able to see fully, always made a possession more frightening, no matter how many times I did it, it never got easier.

“A-b-i-g-a-i-l.” the demon hissed inside the girl, slowly stretching my name, but I heard it. My body responded, causing me to stumble back, never before had a demon or spirit spoke my name. I stood paralyzed.

“Abigail,” This time it was Zee who called my name and I could hear the warning in his voice. I needed to continue. I sucked in a deep breath, and wiped the blood from my hands onto my jeans, I started the prayer again, saying it faster, and louder, my voice trembled slightly. I felt shook up after hearing that thing say my name. The demon inside the girl roared to life and squirmed with a voracity that shook the bed savagely. The bed’s thin, wooden legs slammed into the carpet, the noise drowning out my words, but I didn’t stop, I couldn’t stop for fear of what might happen. I continued, as a few pictures fell from the walls, their frames snapping with the impact and the glass shattering across our feet. The curtains billowed now from an unseen wind, the bed continued to move rapidly, and the large wardrobe shook violently. Its doors swinging open and closed, the sharp bang lifting my heart every time. Zee stood protecting the candles from the breeze that raced through the room, carrying the foul stench of an unwashed body. I spoke louder closing my eyes, forcing myself to stay focused, even against the activity in the room. I clung to the cross. As my grip tightened, it caused my cuts to bleed, coating my hand once again with blood. I could feel the cross slipping, and soon my hand was empty. The slamming of the wardrobe doors was getting faster and louder, the bed hit the floor harder, the wood snapping against the strain, small splinters of wood breaking free, and scattering across the floor.

Then everything ceased, silence fell upon the room, my breathing moved in and out of my nostrils, sounding so loud in the dead silence.

“Dad?” The one word was filled with fear and confusion, and had come from the young girl; her voice broke through my numbness and fear.

I moved towards her slowly, looking at her face, she looked normal again; pale yet terrified, but normal. I smiled the best I could at her confused face, hoping to give her comfort. She met my eyes with big blue ones of her own, ones she must have inherited from her mother as her father had those muddy brown eyes. She was only about sixteen so young and pregnant; a ray of freckles covered her nose and cheeks.

“Hi, my name is Abigail, your dad called us, you were sick.” I said

She looked around the room for her father, I gave Zee a nod to go get him, and he hesitated, looking at the girl for a moment.

“It’s fine, Zee, she’s okay.” I assured him.

***

About the Author: 

Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon's books, given to by her grandmother her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn't) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison study one of her favourite books has been read and re-read countless times.

Aoife's first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works.

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

Website: www.aoifemariesheridan.com

Blog: https://aoifesheri.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aoifesheri

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551996.Aoife_Marie_Sheridan

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AoifeMarieSheridan

***

Tour giveaway 

3 ebook copies of  Hunters #1

1- 10 euro amazon gift card  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Blitz Winter Wolf by R.J. Blain

Winter Wolf by R.J. Blain
Urban Fantasy / Thriller / Supernatural Suspense
Date Published: November 24, 2014

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The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…



EXCERPT


I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.

This time, I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.

For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.

Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.

I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.

No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.

I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges.

Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.

In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.

Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.

She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.

Nothing happened.

Perfect.

I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.






About the Author
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.



Favorite Books & Series

In no particular order:

Anne McCaffrey's Pern
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files
Brandon Sanderson's Elantris
Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series
Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time


Author Links


Buy Links



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Release Day Spotlight & Giveaway: The Prophet's Guild by Kristen Reed





The Prophets’ Guild
The Alazne Series 
Book Two
Kristen Reed
Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: November 20, 2014
Number of pages: 198 
Word Count: 56,800 
Cover Artist: Kristen Reed

Book Description:

"The year after molten sand becomes silver glass the following will come to pass: The fire shall give its life’s blood to water, and the wind will rise to claim Hesta’s daughter.” 

When a member of The Prophets’ Guild is driven mad by his own divine vision, he travels to Hesta to deliver his final prophecy to the recently-crowned Fire Queen, Alazne, and that act changes the course of her life and the landscape of Faerie forever.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Fa5ZlBiyRuQ

Available at Amazon 

***

Excerpt:

After meeting with my Lords’ Council over breakfast and consuming a light dinner, I sat in the throne room as I regularly did and listened to the plights of my people. For the rest of the afternoon, I handed out advice and presented solutions as needed to the men and women who came before me. When I revived the old Hestian tradition of opening the great hall to my subjects, I expected to resolve quarrels of great magnitude involving large quantities of money and property, but I quickly learned that some of my people were so obstinate that they were unable to solve even the smallest disputes locally. In the space of two and a half grueling hours, I laid three conflicts centered on betrothals to rest and resolved six disagreements that involved livestock and property. Once those men and women filed out of the great hall, my herald addressed the last remaining fey in attendance.

“Kneel before the throne and state your concerns to the queen,” he directed.

An elderly Hestian man with closely cropped, gray-peppered carmine hair stepped forward and knelt before my throne as he had been commanded. He made the sign of the star to honor the four gods and their fey children, touched his head to the ground, and placed his outstretched arms flat on the pulsating floor tiles. While the first motion was customary amongst my people, the more submissive gesticulation piqued my interest since most male subjects simply bowed or kneeled in my presence based on their rank and our familiarity. However, as much as I wanted to indulge my curiosity about the man’s unusual supplication, he spoke before I could address it.

“The year after molten sand becomes silver glass the following will come to pass: The fire shall give its life’s blood to water, and the wind will rise to claim Hesta’s daughter.”

I furrowed my brow and opened my mouth to respond, but before I could ask the meaning of the man’s strange proclamation, he abruptly rose into a kneeling position and pulled a dagger from his satchel. My ladies in waiting screamed and flames formed in my hands as two knights stepped forward to subdue him, but they did not move swiftly enough. The man plunged the gleaming blade into his abdomen and fell face-forward onto the floor, which burned more brightly as his blood left his body and spilled onto the endlessly rippling surface. The knights quickly rolled the suicidal man onto his back and checked for a heartbeat.

“He is dead, your majesty,” one of the knights announced, obviously shaken by the sudden suicide.

“Please find out who he is,” I ordered, closing my hands to snuff out the flames. “Then report your findings to me and notify his family that he is dead.”

“Yes, your majesty,” they acknowledged.

As the knights lifted the man’s body and began to carry him out of the room, something caught my eye.

“Wait!”

The armor-clad men halted and I strode over to them, careful not to step in the blood that soiled my usually immaculate floor. Once I reached the trio, I pulled the dead man’s knife from its fleshy sheath. As I suspected, a vaguely familiar animal had been etched onto the hilt of the blade. A trio of tiny sapphires served as the scintillating eyes of the blue phoenix while its shining silver beak was open as if it had been mid-shriek when the artisan carved its likeness into the weapon.

“Thank you. Now, you may go.”

Once the knights resumed their gruesome task, I turned to face my ladies and made eye contact with Sera, whose naturally bronzed features were nearly as pale as the ivory lace on her dress.

“Sera, please find Esti and Amaia and ask them to meet me in my library.”

“Yes, your majesty,” she acknowledged with a curtsy before leaving the throne room, struggling to keep her gaze from resting on the trail of fresh blood beside her as she fled.

While the man who had died moments before clearly had no desire to end my life, my intuition still told me that a considerable threat was nigh… and that the two women’s guidance would be invaluable if I wanted to protect myself and my subjects from the imminent danger that had just begun to reveal itself.

***

About the Author:

Kristen Reed is an artist, musician, filmmaker, and writer from Dallas, Texas. Her first book from The Alazne Series, The Kings' Council, was published in 2012, and the two subsequent books, The Prophets' Guild and The Valley of Eternity, will be released in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Kristen also served as the screenwriter, executive producer, and co-director for the feature-length film, The Dahl Dynasty, a modern re-imagining of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas.

www.thealazneseries.com

www.facebook.com/thealazneseries

www.twitter.com/kristenreedtx

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Tour giveaway 

Sign up for the mailing list and get a free copy of The Kings' Council (the first book in The Alazne Series)

While supplies last- sign up here http://www.thealazneseries.com/#!sign-up/c1li8


Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Plight of the Highlander by Sky Purington





Plight of the Highlander 
The MacLomain Series 
Next Generation 
Book 5
Sky Purington
Genre:  Time Travel Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication:   November14, 2014
Number of pages:  274
Word Count:  78,000
Cover Artist:  Tamra Westberry

Book Description:  

With the dragon blood of her Viking ancestors coursing through her veins, Torra MacLomain has long tried to keep her Scottish clan safe. But a ruthless enemy has been watching...waiting. As Keir Hamilton launches his plan to possess her, many secrets come to light including her passion for a certain highlander.

When Colin MacLeod's undying love for Torra is discovered, he's given an ultimatum. Watch his lass die a brutal death or defect from his clan to lead the Hamilton armies. Four winters later and in charge of Keir's warriors, Colin battles in an ongoing war against the MacLomains. Yet now the worst has come to pass. His ill-found chieftain has finally trapped Torra.

In a castle siege unlike any other and because of time travel, the modern day Brouns and medieval MacLomains join together in a final stand-off against their merciless enemy. Battles rage. Mysteries are revealed. Freedom is found. But most importantly, a love long repressed at last rises up determined to conquer all in Plight of the Highlander.

Available at Amazon | BN | Kobo | iTunes

***

Excerpt:

Colin reeled her in until she stood between his legs. He braced his hands on her hips, eyes penetrating as he said, “You keep secrets…even from me.”

“Especially from you,” she whispered, voice failing when thickened with emotion. “‘Tis safer that way.”

Colin’s face remained impassive and he clasped her hips a fraction tighter. “There is nothing safe about me not knowing what you intend. To keep me without knowledge only makes it more difficult for me to protect you.”

Torra gently touched his cheek, thoughts once more on the eve before as she murmured, “There will be times that you cannae protect me, that I must fight battles on my own.” Unable to stop herself, she ran the pad of her thumb softly over his lower lip. “‘Tis all part of the fear that you help me face, aye?”

Colin closed his eyes briefly before they narrowed on her once more and he shook his head sharply. “I cannae force words from your lips but know this, ‘twill be unforgivable if harm befalls you and I could not help because you shut me out.”

Torra offered a small nod. What else could she do? Pain and frustration were clear enough in his eyes. That caused her grief as she thought about what he had done for her the previous night. What he had done to her. Not only his kiss but his touch had kindled a wide swath of sensations that swept her away in a rising tide of soul-deep need. She never imagined a simple kiss could feel so good.

Now sampled, she wanted more. Far more. But it wasn’t just his lips she craved. Now she knew there was an indescribable pleasure to be found in his arms. Torra instinctually pulled away. But Colin didn’t let her get too far. His eyes flared and whipped down her body then back to her flushed face.

When he stood she put up a hand and shook her head. On a heavy swallow she said, “Nay, ‘tis too soon. I need time to gain confidence.”

Her words sounded like an excuse even to her own ears. Mayhap for all she thought this morn that she had come so far, she had not at all. Torra watched Colin internally fight his assertive nature. She knew full well he was tempted to pull her into his arms. Instead, he inhaled deeply and raked a hand through his hair.

“Confidence will only be gained through repetition. ‘Tis what I tell my warriors,” he muttered under his breath and stalked into the adjoining chamber.

“I am not one of your warriors,” she reminded, following, trying not to get aggravated.

“Aye, but you are.” Colin’s regard swung her way as he poured two mugs of mead. “You are mine and you are a warrior.” He handed her a mug, eyes the hardest she’d ever seen them. “If you will not share your secrets then I will focus ever harder on those aspects of this war in which I can help.”

She knew precisely what aspects those were. Torra set aside the mug and crossed her arms over her chest. “So you think to train me by seducing me?”

“Aye, lass.” His lips quirked but his eyes remained mirthless. “Your greatest strength lies in the relationship you have with the dragon. To become the best warrior you can you must have full control over your other half.”

It didn’t matter how much sense he made, his words irked her. But despite her rising temper, Torra was surprised to realize that not only his words but the stern way he looked at her ignited…desire? This time his lips didn’t quirk but curled up ever so slowly, well aware of both her mental and physical reaction.

***

About the Author:

Sky Purington is the best-selling author of thirteen novels and several novellas. A New Englander born and bred, Sky was raised hearing stories of folklore, myth and legend. When combined with a love for nature, romance and time-travel, elements from the stories of her youth found release in her books.

Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com

Interested in keeping up with Sky's latest news and releases? Visit Sky's website, http://www.skypurington.com to download her free App on iTunes and Android or sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

Love social networking? Find Sky on Facebook and Twitter.

Website:   www.skypurington.com

Blog:   www.skypurington.blogspot.com

Twitter:   www.twitter.com/skypurington

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sky-Purington/260484263999780

Pinterest:   www.pinterest.com/skypurington

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Also Availalbe Now:

Mark of the Highlander (Book 1),
Vow of the Highlander (Book 2),
Wrath of the Highlander (Book 3)
Faith of the Highlander (Book 4).

The MacLomain Series- Early Years (Books 1-3 available in a boxed set)
The original MacLomain Series (Books 1-4 available in a boxed set)

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Tour giveaway 

2- $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway