book release

One Spark of Magic

 

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A dream leads dancer Paige Cartwright to a plane ride that will change her life. The man in the seat across from her sent a spark through her heart. It was him. She knew it without a doubt. She knew her grand mere’s dream had sent her to meet the man she was to marry.

Jarrett Bryson is a star. Not just on the baseball field, but in life as well. He has it all, money, fame, and women. Yet, there was something about the woman in the seat across from him.

Love and laughter enter their lives, but jealousy rears its ugly head in ways neither anticipates. Will Jarrett and Paige survive? It all comes down to One Spark of Magic.

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Purchase Links

http://amzn.to/2f4Mnjp

http://www.irisbolling.net/

 

About the Author:

Iris Bolling’s published her first novel, Once You’ve Touched the Heart in 2008. This self-published work was the first of the five additional books to complete the Heart Series. The popular Heart Series has captivated the hearts of readers and awarded Iris the Emma Award as Debut Author of the Year in 2010 In May of 2011, Iris introduced a new cast of characters in her in Night of Seduction Series. The second book in the series, The Pendleton Rule was reviewed in USA Today and received, the 2014 Emma Award for Suspense of The Year.

In 2012, she began the Gems & Gents series with her novel Teach Me, which generated an importune shoe contest on Facebook that spanned the international waters. It continued with the release of the very popular Book of Joshua I and Book of Joshua II. The series has earned Iris several awards including 2014 Hero of The Year and 2015 Heroine of The Year.

The beginning of her third series, The Brooks’ Family Values, was introduced in her novel Sinergy in 2014, followed by book 2 Fatal Mistake and Propensity for Love, both released in 2015. Propensity for Love was awarded the Villain of The Year honor and has been nominated for several 2016 Emma awards. Iris received the honor of being named Author of The Year twice since the inception of her career, 2012 and 2014.

In 2014, Iris stepped into a new venture geared towards bringing books to film. She produced The Heart, a television series based on her popular novels. Season two will air in the spring of 2016. Adding more to her resume’ Iris is now doing quest-speaking engagements to share her experience and to encourage others to follow their dreams.

Iris currently lives in Richmond, Virginia where she is working on her next series. Join Iris mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram. Join Iris Book Palace. You can reach Iris at irisb@siriaustin.com

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book release, contemporary romance, romance | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

New Release: Secret Places Revealed

KINDLE SECRET PLACES

#SecretPlacesRevealed

By Paulette Harper

Genre: Inspirational Fiction Romance

Single and content, Real Estate Developer, Aaron Blackman is determined not to be in another relationship. His ex Macy, gave him enough heartache to last a life time. The only thing that has his attention right now is his growing business, that’s until Simone Herron comes along. Fighting to keep his promise to himself, he soon learns that when it comes to love some rules are meant to be broken.

After losing her fiancé to an untimely death, Simone Herron is relocating and trying to put the past behind her. A new chapter in her life is what she is hoping for but what happens when her past and her present collide? Will she let the walls she has built come down?

Simone must learn that in order to love again, she must conquer her past fears and allow God to put all the broken pieces together.

Available August 9th! Pre-order on Amazon https://amzn.com/B01G1CP1OA

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About The Author

Paulette is a multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, who writes Christian fiction, nonfiction and children’s books. She has been writing since 2008. Paulette is also the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and as a book writing coach she enjoys assisting aspiring authors navigate through the process of publishing books, marketing and creating an online presence.

Paulette lives in Northern California.

Buy Link

Amazon e-book: https://amzn.com/B01G1CP1OA

Social Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pauletteharper

Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B004FEJKCQ

Website: www.pauletteharper.com

 

 

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book launch, book of the day, book release, books, new release, romance, women's fiction | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

New Release: The Encore

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The Encore by Christine S. Feldman

When Jane married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, she never dreamed she would lose him to leukemia before either of them reached forty. A year later, she’s struggling to move on and create a new life for herself, a second act that she never expected to have to follow the first. Picking up the pieces is hard enough—it’s even harder when those closest to her don’t understand or support the way she’s trying to put them back together again.

But while the curtain may have come down on the life she originally had planned, life itself certainly isn’t finished with her yet.

And neither, as it turns out, is her heart.

Buy now for only $0.99 at the following links:

Amazon   |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

*

 

Excerpt from The Encore:

Mother Nature cut them a break: no humidity today.  Instead the air was clear and balmy, complete with a mild breeze that was enough to feel good on Jane’s skin without blowing her hair into her eyes.  She breathed it in with a sense of relief.  Strange how even a house that had no memories of Noel could somehow remind her of him, or at least remind her of the plans they’d never had the chance to bring to fruition.  Family kinds of plans in particular.

But maybe it only hit her hard today because of Bobby and Anna being there.  Maybe the silence of the house would seem peaceful again rather than empty when she got home, and things would be fine.  Soothing, even.  Comfortable.

Maybe.

She turned her attention to the sidewalk on which they ambled, and to the dog trotting obediently if disinterestedly next to her.  It was a quiet street with no traffic at the moment, so she was more than willing to let him lead her wherever his nose and his curiosity took them, but he only kept to the straight line of the cement in front of them instead of sniffing at shrubs or grass or even—surely the dog equivalent of catnip or a ball of yarn?—the lone fire hydrant that they passed.

Nothing.  His ears twitched once at the sound of a car horn that blared for a moment in the distance, but once all was quiet again, Otto’s only movements were those of his legs, keeping a slow and steady rhythm that Jane didn’t have the heart to push any faster.

Her mind was less on their path as they rounded a corner and more on what might be the least ridiculous way to ask a veterinarian about therapy for her dog when she finally realized just how far they’d already walked.  They were only a stone’s throw away from the good doctor’s driveway.  A small voice in the back of her head—the same one that often tried to get her to rein in some of her more impulsive decisions—suggested that this might be a mighty fine time to turn back.  She would have sworn that voice sounded an awful lot like Lizzie’s at the moment.

And Jane might have considered listening to it if it wasn’t for a damnable and familiar spark of curiosity that often overshadowed that cautionary voice and that flared up now at a glimpse of movement in the doctor’s driveway.  A dark grey car that was parked there—his car, presumably—had its hood up, and someone who was half-hidden by that hood was working on something beneath it.  Home on his day off, or had he perhaps been sent home by a superior after his actions the other day?

None of your business, Jane…

No, of course it wasn’t, and yet any alternative must have seemed better than facing the loudness of the silence waiting for her at home, because her feet were still headed in the doctor’s general direction as if they had a mind of their own.  And then they stopped, just as autonomously, in front of the rear bumper of the parked car.

She studied it while the clinking sound of metal against metal marked the activity of the as of yet oblivious would-be mechanic at work at the other end of the car.  Some kind of sedan.  It wasn’t exactly old or beat up, but neither was it the kind of vehicle one might expect to see a physician driving.  Maybe she was unjustly pigeonholing doctors in thinking that way, but she would have thought he’d have something more like a shiny BMW or Mercedes with a vanity plate that read something like #1 DOC or HLN HNDZ.

Well, no, maybe not this doctor, she thought, remembering the coolness of his eyes and rigidness of his posture.

And then before her mind could stray too far after the sudden thought that PP DOC would be a great license plate for a urologist, Jane cleared her throat and said, “Hi.”

The clinking of metal stopped.

Jane put her free hand up to shield her eyes from the sun and peered around at the quiet street.  “Nice day for a tune-up.  Or are you just checking its vitals, Doc?”

Nothing but silence answered her, but after a moment, the face of Dr. Cullen Douglass appeared at one side of the car’s hood to look at her.

Jane offered him a flick of a wave not unlike the one she’d offered him on Moving Day.  She got pretty much the same response this time as she had then, which was to say, none at all.  Undeterred, she countered with a blithe smile.  “I’m Jane Freeley, your new neighbor—”  She nodded her head toward the far side of his house.  “Thataway.  And unless you have an evil twin running around out there, you’re Dr. Cullen Douglas, right?  We kind of sort of didn’t meet at all at the hospital the other day.”  Refusing to let her smile falter, she waited patiently for a reaction, any reaction.  And she was prepared to wait as long as it took to get one.

Maybe he sensed that, because finally she got a curt nod that could actually have just been an involuntary twitch of some kind, but she preferred to be optimistic.

Instinct told her not to stick out her hand, because he was not likely to take it.  Snap it off maybe, but not take it.  Fair enough.  “So you work with my sister-in-law, Lizzie Berkoff.  Well—work, butt heads with… one or the other.”

Nothing.  No reaction at all.  Really?  But she found it less off-putting than intriguing.  He stood there and stared back at her as if waiting for her to come to her point.  Deliberately turning up the wattage on her smile, she waited him out again instead.

Finally, he gestured at his car’s exposed engine.  “Look, Miss Freeley…”

Mrs., she nearly corrected him out of habit, and even after a year it still felt strange somehow to swallow the word back.  “Jane,” she corrected him instead.

He continued as if she hadn’t spoken.  “I have an engine to fix, and I’m really not interested in whatever it is you’re trying to do here.  Scout out prospects somewhere else, please.”

Prospects?  She blinked.  It was a cutting remark, the kind designed both to leave the recipient with no doubts that the conversation was over and to discourage any future attempts at one.  Any normal woman would huff with indignation and perhaps hurl an insult before spinning on her heels and marching off to fume.

But no one had ever accused Jane of being normal.  Instead of taking offense, she started to laugh, and it wasn’t a laugh that was intended to put him in his place and show him just how insignificant he was to her; it was one hundred percent pure, genuine amusement.  “Scout out prospects—You think I’m hitting on you?”  And as she said the words aloud, they seemed even funnier to her.  Although maybe the good doctor did have his share of admirers, because some women really went for the whole dark and broody kind of thing, not to mention the medical degree.  Some women.  But that he had cast her in that role…  “Really?  Because I’ve gone around to introduce myself to at least half a dozen other neighbors this week, and I’ve got to say, none of them seemed to interpret it as sexual harassment—unless I’m really doing it wrong.  I only tore the clothes off the one, after all.”

His expression was guarded, but not quite guarded enough to mask his initial startle at her cheerfulness, and her teasing.

“Oh, don’t look so worried, Doc.”  Unable to help herself, Jane patted one of his grease-stained hands.  “Your virtue is safe with me, I promise.”

The look he gave her was wary, and it tempted her to be playful.  Prickly people often did.  Be good, Jane.  And she tried, she really did.  But when Otto sniffed the toe of Dr. Douglas’s shoe and gave it a quick lick, she couldn’t help but add, “Just so we’re clear, he’s not hitting on you either.  But if it would make you feel better, I’ll be sure to have a long talk with him about boundaries when we get home.  Which should probably be sooner rather than later, I suppose—”  She glanced at her watch and spoke more to herself than to him.  “—since I’ve got stacks of work waiting for me.”  Figuratively, at least.  The stacks were all in the form of computer files.  “But… A chi vuole, non mancano modi.”  —Where there is a will, there is a way—  “Come on, Otto.  Good luck with your car, Doc.  Thanks so much for the warm welcome to the neighborhood.”

Tugging a surprisingly reluctant Otto away from both the man and the car, Jane led him back the way they’d come, still fighting back mirth and with the odd thought that if anyone else would have appreciated the humor in the situation, it would have been Noel.

*

Now available!

Amazon   |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

Categories: authors to watch, book deals, book excerpt, book feature, book launch, book of the day, book release, books, new release, women's fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Release: Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

By Gwenan Haines

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For three years Laura Drake has watched Senator Pete Worthington promote a series of gorgeous women while she sits in a forgotten corner answering constituent letters on an outdated computer. When Worthington asks her to find an elusive file one Friday night he sets off a series of events that brands her as a killer and puts her life in jeopardy. The path she sets out on forces her to confront not only the nature of evil but the ghosts from her past that have never been set to rest.FBI Agent Dalton Ross transferred from Chicago to Washington to escape his own ghosts. When his investigation leads him to Laura he’s torn between his desire to keep her safe and the need to protect his own heart. As the mystery that surrounds them deepens, Laura and Dalton race to save themselves and the nation from someone willing to sacrifice anything to protect a secret.

Now available on Amazon!

Excerpt from Collateral Damage

Dalton checked his gun and opened the driver’s side door as quietly as possible. “Appearances can be deceiving.”

She opened her door too. “You leave me here, I’m gone when you get back.” She flashed an object in front of his face. “And I’ve got the key.”

“Do you have a death wish or something?” How had she managed to get hold of the key? He was sure he’d put it in his wallet, which was tucked away in the glove compartment. He would have remembered it if she’d opened it. “I thought you said you were dull.”

“I am.” She deposited the key down the front of her dress. “But I’m kinda getting the hang of this adventure thing.” A grin tugged at the corner of his mouth, but he suppressed it. She was charming, no doubt about that. And damn mysterious, too. As she stood there smiling with cat-like satisfaction, he had to resist the urge to take her in his arms and kiss her. Just the idea of pressing his lips to hers was making him hard. The trouble was Laura had no idea what she was up against. She thought of all this as an exciting change from her ordinary life. But this was real life, and real life was full of people whose sole purpose was to inflict as much pain as they possibly could. It was all too easy to go about one’s business without ever seeing the dark side of things—he’d done it for years, and in a way, he wished he could go back to being that twenty-year-old kid who signed up for an interview with the FBI mostly to impress his buddies. But after more than a decade spent hunting killers he knew that like all fairy-tales, the happily-ever-after of suburbia had its monsters.

In real life, people died.

 

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About Gwenan Haines

I live in an old Cape house with my daughter, too many books, and a red-and-white Siberian husky born on Halloween. After working in Washington, D.C. for several years and traveling to Russia, Europe and Pakistan, I moved back to New England. I’m the author of the romantic suspense novel Vertigo, which is available as an E-book from Amazon Encore and in paperback from Wild Rose Press. Collateral Risk, the follow-up novel to Collateral Damage (which features Dalton’s boss Nick Doyle and scientist Mia Lindgren), is forthcoming from Wild Rose Press. When I’m not working on fiction, I write poetry, teach literature and am still trying to learn how to cook.

Connect with Gwenan:

Blog: gwenanhaines.blogspot.com

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Collateral-Damage-Gwenan-Haines-ebook/dp/B01A9PUSMA/

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Gwenan-Haines/e/B005WEXWRW

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gwenan.haines

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Gwenan-Haines-271101656263836/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5278329.Gwenan_Haines

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book launch, book of the day, book release, new release | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

New Release: Incarnate Justice

I’m pleased to welcome Juliet B Madison back to Authors to Watch to talk about her futuristic psychic police procedural Psychic CID series. Incarnate Justice, the first book in the series, is released today.

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Welcome, Juliet. Wat made you decide to write about cops who openly acknowledge psychic powers?

I enjoy writing crime fiction and have had moderate success with the DI Frank Lyle series, but I wanted to do something vastly different.

What is Incarnate Justice about?

Here’s the blurb:

In 2015 thirteen-year-old Ellen Shaw disappeared without a trace. No traces of her alive or dead were ever found and the police dismissed a Psychic’s help.

In 2040 the recently formed Psychic CID are called in to investigate when decomposed human remains are found.  The original Missing Persons case file yields no clues.

Newly promoted DS Joe Lamont has been plagued by disturbing dreams since his early teens and he feels a connection to Ellen that he can’t explain.

 Will Lamont’s intuition prove to be a hindrance or a help and can Psychic CID solve the case and get to the truth about what really happened to Ellen?

You can also read about the ethos of the Psychic CID series on The Official Psychic CID website

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It sounds completely different from anything I’ve ever read.

Hopefully it will stand out. A lot of paranormal books feature, shifters, vampires and witches, but Psychic CID has none of those because the market is already oversaturated with that kind of thing. It combines police procedural and forensics based stuff with psychic practise. Set in a future time – 2040 to be exact – when such practices are more open, although some people still tar real psychics with the same murky brush as fakes. I’m trying to challenge that perception.

Did you have to do any speculation or make anything up?

The beauty of writing future based stuff is that you can speculate to a degree and no one can rubbish you for it because they don’t know what will be forensically possible in twenty-five years time. I daresay a few sad little trolls will try, but since they won’t even understand the implications of the title I doubt they will, cope as there are no pictures to help them.

I’ve invented a future where Psychics are able to testify in criminal trials as Expert Witnesses and psychic development classes are freely available to anyone demonstrating ability. I sadly doubt this will become a reality, but I don’t mind imagining it will be so.

Are you psychic?

Not fully, I’m what they call a sensitive, which means I can sense the presence of spirits, but I can’t actually see them. I get messages which come in the form of sudden thoughts. I also know that my spirit guides are there, but I can’t connect directly with them whereas DS Lamont, the hero of Incarnate Justice, can connect with his Native American spirit guide Running Fox.

You’ve said in previous interviews – on this and other websites- that one day you would write a book featuring reincarnation. Is Incarnate Justice that book?

My first police procedural book was supposed to be a story with a spiritual dimension, but as I had no experience of writing police procedurals at that time, I felt that would be too much to cope with. Now that I have written several police procedurals I am confident in managing the two themes together. The most spiritual thing about the DI Lyle series was DS Desai’s Hindu beliefs, which live on through his widow, Almira, and young son, Sunil jr. So yes, Incarnate Justice is that story that I’ve wanted to write for longer than I care to admit.

Are any of the characters based on people you know?

Every character I write has part of me or someone I know in them.

Who are your favorite and least favorite characters in Incarnate Justice and why?

DS Joe Lamont is definitely my favourite, because he has a lot to learn about himself. My least favourite is the forensic pathologist Dr Monica Kaufman as she is totally closed off to the psychic world and thinks that medicine and science can explain everything, which of course they can’t.

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What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?

I suspect that a lot of people who read Incarnate Justice will already have some interest in the paranormal. Really I want people to read it with an open heart and mind and I hope that they will learn something to help them along life’s thorny path.

Were there any scenes that you found especially difficult to write and why?

I don’t want to give too much away, but the scene where DS Lamont and DI Lynch go to tell a mother that they have found her daughter didn’t come naturally to me. Not having kids myself I was worried about getting it right, but thankfully I have a lot of writer friends who are also parents that I can run this sort of scene by.

Would you be prepared to share a short excerpt from Incarnate Justice with my readers?

This isn’t my favourite part as that would give too much away, but I’m rather proud of this bit.

The yellow and black crime scene tape fluttered in the light breeze and DS Lamont noticed the CSIs padding around in their ghostly white suits and overshoes. DI Lynch showed her warrant card to one of the uniformed officers guarding the cordon. The officer lifted the cordon for them to duck beneath and pretty soon they were on the far side.

“Can you sense anything?” Lynch asked Joe. He nodded; aware that he felt like he was being choked and for a moment he felt unable to breathe much less speak. That was due to more than the inevitable stench of decomposed remains, that sense of foreboding wrapped itself tightly around him.

“What can you sense?” Lynch asked.

Lamont cleared his throat.

“Definitely Spirit here, Boss, and not necessarily benevolent either.”

His hand closed briefly, almost reactionary around his black tourmaline pendant.

“It tells me that whoever buried the remains left something of himself here.” Whitfield replied.

Finally they were permitted to draw closer and they saw an arrangement of human bones on a mossy bed.

“She’s been here about twenty-five years,” Dr Monica Kaufman, the pathologist, said “She was a Caucasian female, very young, In fact, judging by the bones I’d say she was in her early teens. I’ll have to consult a forensic anthropologist to be sure, although I’m hoping there is enough to identify her by her dental records. ”

Joe was aware that Dr Kaufman was addressing the regular police officers and knew that the presence of Psychic CID officers was merely tolerated because of the legal mandate that they attend. He was aware from his time in regular CID that Kaufman was a renowned skeptic in psychic matters and he wished that any other pathologist could have been sent rather than her. Still, sometimes you had to work with what you were given. Joe knew that Dr Kaufman, and indeed most of the regular police officers present, would be hard pushed to find a psychic connection to any case so if there was any to be found it was up to him and his new colleagues to find it.

Joe felt himself being drawn away and found himself in his regular nightmarish dreamscape. He could see that the young girl was running, but for a change he was watching from an observatory, rather than participatory viewpoint. He was aware of her laboured breathing and her adrenaline flushed cheeks as she looked right at him

“Help me!” Her eyes pleaded.

Then everything went black.

Where can my readers get their own copy of Incarnate Justice?

You can buy Incarnate Justice from Kindle, Kobo  itunes and Nook

Where can my readers learn more about the Psychic CID series online?

You can  Like the Official Psychic CID Facebook page

You can Follow Psychic CID on Twitter

You can visit the Official Psychic CID website

Thank you for your visit, Juliet. Best of luck with your new release!

INCARNATE JUSTICE IT'S HERE

 

 

Categories: author interview, authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book launch, book release, new release, paranormal, science fiction | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Slow Burn: A Sexy Spy Thriller by Sascha Illyvich

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Tempting secrets of an angel

Seductive mysteries of the beast

Derrick, a former spy, has been asked to protect the sultry Sonja, a death metal singer whose magical voice grabs him by the balls and won’t let go. He’ll protect her, all right…with every part of his body tight against hers.

Sonja uses her voice to purge her fans of their darkness, their hate and hopelessness. But evil forces want to use her magic for their own ends. All she wants, at this point, is safety for herself and her band.

When Derrick and Sonja team up, Sonja does her best to resist the lure of safety he represents, until a radical league that wants her dead propels her into his arms. Will his help be enough? Or will she lose her heart to him, only to be killed in the process of saving the world?

Buy the book on Amazon!

Learn more about Sascha Illyvich by connecting with him at the following links:

Sascha Illyvich
Categories: book feature, book release, thriller | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

New Release! DARKHAVEN Review and Author Interview

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Today, I’m over-the-moon excited to be a part of the DARKHAVEN release party!!! Not only did I read and review (and absolutely LOVE) the book, I managed to score an interview with author A.F.E. Smith! In addition to the interview and review, we’ve also got a scavenger hunt and giveaway. AND, there’s a Facebook party you are invited to join where you can win tons of prizes. So, without further rambling from me, allow me to introduce A.F.E. Smith…

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Hi, A.F.E. and welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, Tricia, and thanks for having me! Hmm, a bit about me … well, I work as an academic editor during the day and a fantasy writer at night. Thus far I haven’t accidentally-on-purpose added a swordfight into a textbook about number theory, but I’m working on it. I’m also the mother of two children, who I refer to online as Small and Tiny, though they’re rapidly outgrowing those names. My favourite food is pasta, my favourite number is five and my favourite Beatle is George. And I’m sometimes a robin.

Please tell us about your new book, Darkhaven.

It’s a fantasy murder mystery. The main characters are a brother and sister, Myrren and Ayla Nightshade, who belong to a ruling family of shapeshifters. Their father is murdered, all the evidence points to Ayla being the culprit, and the book follows both of them as they work from different angles to try and figure out who really did it. Plus there are swords, pistols, lots of action, a bit of romance, a few plot twists here and there …

I just finished reading Darkhaven (check out my review below!) and it is phenomenal. Is there the possibility of a sequel in the future? 

Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, there is a sequel coming next year. Two, in fact. Book 2 is currently with the publisher and Book 3 is being written as we speak. Like Darkhaven, they are standalone stories, but some of the same characters will tie all the books together.

How in the world did you come up with the idea for the book?

It grew from the first scene – though at the time, my vague plot idea was a little different. I had one particular character in mind to be the villain, only it then occurred to me that the story would be much more interesting if that person wasn’t a villain at all. Sorry, I’m being a bit vague here to avoid spoilers (though since you’ve read it, you may be able to guess who I’m talking about!).

Overall, though, I think the core idea for this book was one of plot rather than of concept or setting or character. All those things are linked, but you have to have a seed to start them off – like the grit in the middle of a pearl (she says, blithely comparing her book to a pearl). In this case, the seed was very much a plot seed. The whole story hinges on the identity of the murderer, which I guess is typical for a murder mystery. Even a murder mystery hybrid.

Having said that, I think someone would enjoy the book even if they figured out the identity of the murderer straight away. The plot may have been the seed, but everything I write turns out to be about people more than anything – so it’s the relationships that matter, not the mystery.

I’m in awe of the intricate world you created. Where is Darkhaven and who is in charge?

Darkhaven itself is a tower at the heart of a capital city, Arkannen. The city is made up of seven concentric rings and Darkhaven is at the centre of the innermost. It is ruled by the Nightshade family, who have the hereditary ability to shift shape into certain powerful creatures – Firedrake, Unicorn and so on. Their country, Mirrorvale, is quite small and surrounded by larger neighbours, so one of its main protections is the existence of these fearsome and apparently indestructible creatures. As a result, the overlords of Darkhaven have become very focused on preserving the purity of their bloodline, and this causes problems for Myrren and Ayla in the book.

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As overlord, Myrren faces challenges early on. How does his internal conflict affect his approach to dealing with these challenges?

Myrren is a perfectionist and a people-pleaser, which stems from the fact that he was born without the shapeshifter gift of his bloodline. He has spent his entire life since he came of age trying to make up for what his father perceives as a fatal deficiency. So although – being the older child and the only son – he’s been brought up as his father’s heir, he doesn’t have much confidence in that role. And his father’s declared intention to disinherit him in favour of Ayla doesn’t help much.

What that does to him, of course, is leave him in a very unstable position when his father dies unexpectedly. He becomes overlord in name, but not in spirit. And so his battle is as much with himself as it is with any external obstacles he has to face.

Really, I see Myrren as being the perfect example of the devastating effect that parents can have on their children when they try to force them to be something other than who they are.

Ayla is another complicated character. What are her flaws and how do they make things worse for her?

Ayla is impetuous and argumentative, though I’m not sure she’d see those as flaws. She is far more outspoken than her brother; he tends to give in to their father, whereas she will always fight back. But she’s become so used to fighting that she doesn’t always recognise when someone is on her side. Nor is she very good at recognising the times when diplomacy would actually be a better approach. She digs in her heels and refuses to budge, and that stubbornness can exacerbate a situation.

I think she also comes across as judgemental and unfriendly, sometimes, but those flaws aren’t part of her true character. They’re part of the defences she put up after her mother’s death. Over the course of the book she begins to soften a bit and let her better nature creep back through.

Which character was easier to write? Who was the most challenging?

The easiest was probably Tomas Caraway, my failed Helmsman (bodyguard to the royal family) – because if I’m allowed to have a favourite character, he’s probably the one. There’s just something satisfying about writing the kind of personal redemption arc he goes through.

The hardest … Owen Travers, Captain of the Helm, who is in pursuit of Ayla to lock her up for her father’s murder. He does some awful things, but he’s not capital-e Evil. Very few people are. So although I don’t want readers to like him, I do want them to understand him a bit. It was rather like arguing passionately for a position I don’t believe in.

What projects are you currently working on?

The two books that follow Darkhaven come first for now, but I also have various other projects on the go. They include a more epic-style fantasy series, as well as a young adult series set in this world. Of course these other series have had to take a back seat while I focus on the Darkhaven books, but I hope to return to them before too long.

Where can readers go to find out more about Darkhaven?

I have a page about Darkhaven (the book) and a page about Arkannen (the setting) on my website. The latter includes the outline sketch of a map, which might be useful and/or fun if you like that kind of thing. There’s also a page for the Darkhaven blog tour.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

And finally, if you’re interested in buying a copy of the book for the truly awesome price of $3.99/£1.99, here are a variety of links to choose from:

HarperCollins | Amazon (global link) | Barnes & Noble | Google play | iBooks | Kobo

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Book title: DARKHAVEN
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: 2 July 2015 (ebook), 14 January 2016 (paperback)
Price: £1.99/$3.99 (ebook)

Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.

*****

My Review: When Ayla escapes captivity, she finds herself in greater danger than she ever imagined possible. She can’t return to Darkhaven – not without facing punishment for a crime she didn’t commit. Myrren, desperate to investigate his father’s murder and clear his sister’s name, finds more questions than answers. Ayla teams up with the person she swore she’d never forgive, while Myrren has to determine who he can and cannot trust as he endeavors to investigate a string of attacks. When the mystery is solved, the implications are shocking and one thing is certain- Ayla’s and Myrren’s lives will never be the same.

Amazing. That’s the only word I can think of to describe this book. From the moment I began reading, I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading the last half of the book in one sitting. Yes, it’s that good! This book has everything – fantasy, sword battles, mythical creatures, shapeshifting, and more. All these elements are blended together perfectly in the world Smith has created. When you add in the cast of well-written, believable, likable (and not-so-likable) characters, you’ve got the perfect combination, at least in my opinion. I’m a sucker for complicated, multifaceted characters, and that’s what I’ve found in this book.

I would recommend this book to just about everyone. There’s so much that sets this book apart and makes it wonderfully unique. You won’t find better world-building and you won’t find better characters. I can’t wait to read more from this author!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Want to follow the tour? 
Check out the Tour homepage: www.afesmith.com/darkhaven-blog-tour

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: author interview, authors to watch, book launch, book release, book review, fantasy, interview | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Eden Release Day!

Announcing the release of the third book in the E series, Eden, by Kate Wrath:

Cover of Eden

THE THIRD BOOK IN THE E SERIES

Both friends and enemies are keen to get their hands on the information inside Eden’s head—information that could take down the Sentries and change the world. But there are costs that no one realized, and Eden’s not so sure she’s willing to pay them. Refusing to do so could create dangerous problems within the tribe she’s only just come back to.

Eden has her own agenda for learning Lily’s secrets. With hope refusing to die, she’s spurred forward by memories of Oscar and thoughts of finding him again. But Lily’s hold on her is greater than she knows, compelling her to chase after strange clues and confusing visions. With love and longing weighing on her, Eden must determine the reality of her fractured identity in order to decide which path to take. The choices she makes could tear her away from Jonas and Apollon, from everything she’s ever known.

Eden’s future will not be determined solely by choices. Fate has her own cards to play, and they just might take the game.


A few words from Kate….

lint-711890_640Writing Eden was such a joy. I’m deep into this series now, and the main characters are familiar friends. I loved exploring their relationships even further, and also having the chance to bounce them off of new characters in a new setting. Bringing my dystopian world into a tropical climate was also fun, and I especially loved all the intricacies of the new city and the adventure of exploring and coming to understand it along with Eden, Apollon, and Jonas.

The story of the Sentries continues—how my characters have come to pit themselves against the unfeeling robots that enforce order within the dystopian world. But as always, the story is about people. Sure, giant killer robots are exciting, dystopian societies are intriguing, but none of it means anything without the human factor. So the story of The E Series is always about human relationships and how they affect the events. It’s about who we are as people, and how our weaknesses, our strengths, and our deepest desires control the course of human history.

I hope you find a little of yourself inside my stories.


An excerpt from Eden:

I glance at his face. He’s not looking at me, but off down the street, taking in everything in that relaxed sort of way one does when everything is good and at ease. He looks at me now, sensing me looking at him. His smile is so easy. So real and natural. It’s the perfect time to ask him, when he’s like this. But that would bring all the weight back in. His smile would disappear. Maybe we’ll walk just a moment more.

But a moment, and a moment, and a moment. It’s not enough of this. When I let all my thoughts go—when I let them float away on the breeze like a cobweb—there’s just the filmy sparkle of their passing. And behind, sunshine. Smiles. Something warm and good inside me that I don’t want to give up. Yes, there are tuggings and pullings and longings deep within, but if I pay them no attention, I can just be here in this moment. I can just feel what it’s like to be smiled at by him.

I sigh and lean into his shoulder as we walk. He murmurs something—some wordless something—an unimportant comment or offhand observation. I feel outside of language, right now. It’s the tone that’s important. The being.

So we walk, and I drink it all in.

Forever later—an instant later—we find ourselves at one of the warehouses with the trees.

“They’re mostly in bloom,” he says, drawing me through the door.

Inside is a secret forest of blossom and nectar and sunshine. We walk through the rows of trees, observing their flowers and the occasional fruit. It’s a quiet place in and of itself, and our voices are gone for a long time.

There is a single orange dangling off the end of a branch, right at face level. We stop, and I caress it with my finger tips, leaning in to smell it. There is something about that smell. My eyes flutter closed as I inhale, drinking in the perfume of citrus. When I draw back, exhaling slowly, opening my eyes, Jonas is looking at me from the other side of the orange. A soft, soft smile is painted across his face.

And I don’t want to let go of this moment. But I have to ask. He knows so much more about everything here, than me. “What can you tell me about oranges?”

His eyebrows go up a touch with surprise. He considers. “They’re our main source of trade.”

“Yes.” I suppose I knew that. But what does it mean?

“…And you like them,” he adds. “A lot.” He takes hold of the orange and plucks it from the branch, holds it out to me. It rolls off his palm and comes to rest in the cup of his curved fingers.

I look at the orange for a moment, a little chill running up my spine. “Yes,” I say again, taking it from him and raising it to my nose. I meet his gaze as I breathe in the lovely smell one more time, smiling behind the orange. “I do.”

He laughs and turns away, touching a dangling branch of blossoms from the next tree over. “We used to come here,” he murmurs, and though the words are quiet, I hear him well. He glances back over his shoulder at me, and a line has etched itself across his brow. “I wish we had a place just for us,” he says. “That wasn’t ever anyone else’s.”

“We have a river,” I say, before I know what I’m saying. “And a spot on a raft in the morning, with the sun just rising.”

An open-lipped smile stretches slowly across his face. “Next time I take you back there, it will be just you and me on the raft.”

Now I laugh and move because I’m blushing and if I don’t move I might pass out. And because there’s too much pain in this joy. And too much uncertainty.

We walk for the door like we’ve made an unspoken agreement.

You can purchase Eden on Amazon.


About the Author:

Kate WrathKate Wrath lives in the Southwestern US. Much like other authors, she has both a [family] and a [pet].

[family = three crazy-but-lovable, exceedingly adorable people with longer eyelashes and better sense of humor than Kate]

[pet = lovable-but-crazy giant German Shepherd who seems to be able to read, but pretends not to understand when something is required of him]

Kate is the author of the E series: E (Book #1), Evolution (Book #2), Eden (Book #3, June 13, 2015), and Jason and Lily (prequel, July 23, 2015). She has also written two fantasy novels that are soon to be released.

Kate believes in literature as an art form, world peace, and animal rights, but aspires to write total trash that is full of senseless violence, with characters who eat house pets.

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Click here to entere: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: book excerpt, book release | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Winging It: Book Release!

Winging It

Christine S Feldman

Up until now, straitlaced Simon Kirkendale has done an admirable job of keeping his high society mother’s demands for grandbabies at bay, but lately she’s kicked things into high gear.  So he isn’t too disappointed to delay her latest matchmaking attempt when a pretty stranger hops into the backseat of his car en route to one of his mother’s dinner parties and tells him to drive.  A car-jacking?  Nope.  More like a bird on the run, but this particular bird happens to be a parrot who has slipped its cage, and Simon’s new acquaintance desperately needs to get it back before she loses sight of it altogether.

Ever the nice guy—and okay, maybe also a little intrigued by the colorful Miss Juleen Pruitt’s sudden appearance in his car—Simon hits the gas pedal and obliges only to find himself unwittingly dragged into a wild goose chase around town for a bird who seems to be determined to either get itself killed or the two people trying to catch it.  Simon’s money is on the latter.

But it turns out that a little disruption and chaos in his life might just be what Simon needs most—especially if it comes in the form of Juleen.

If he can just manage to survive meeting her…

Grab a copy on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Winging-Christine-S-Feldman-ebook/dp/B00WUWXITG/

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Winging It – Excerpt

So here he was, dressed up in his best suit and tie and driving as slowly as he could manage without actually being late to his mother’s brownstone.

What was this latest one’s name—Francine?  No, wait.  Francine had been the one from the last dinner party.  This one was named Olivia and was probably every bit as much a carbon copy as all of the others who had come before.  His mother had a type.  Polished, poised, and possessing a family pedigree that could probably be traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Possibly even earlier.  And they were all nice.  They were always nice.  They just weren’t for him.

And perhaps it was time to make that fact abundantly clear to his mother.  Just as soon as he did a little fact checking with his childhood obstetrician first.

The light turned green.  Simon was just about to put his foot on the gas pedal again, when someone opened the back door of his car and dived inside.

“That way!” the newcomer barked at him, her eyes wide and frantic in his rear view mirror as she leaned forward in a mass of unkempt dark curls to point past him and through his windshield.  “Drive!”

“What?” he responded brilliantly, blinking at her reflection as a fragrance that smelled vaguely like an odd combination of strawberries and paint fumes enveloped him.

“Go, go, go!  We’re losing him!”

Well, that didn’t sound good at all, whoever the aforementioned “him” might be, so Simon hit the gas.  The car leaped forward with a squeal of its tires, something it had probably never done before in its entire existence.  Volvos weren’t the most popular cars for chases.  But since this appeared to be a genuine emergency—the first in Simon’s life, actually—it was gratifying to see his car rise to the challenge.

“Which way?” he asked, peering in vain for someone who looked like he might be fleeing the scene and feeling adrenaline begin to course through his veins at the prospect.  A purse-snatcher, maybe, or even a burglar who’d been caught mid-burgle… Simon didn’t exactly possess mad street-fighting skills, but he could probably take on one of those kinds of guys all right.  Certainly from behind the wheel of his car, anyway.  Kind of gave “defensive driving” a whole new meaning.

“Left—go left!”

He gave the steering wheel an abrupt yank, earning a few honks from other drivers.  Oops.  “Are you sure?  I don’t see—”

“Left again.  Hurry!”

“Who exactly are we chasing?”

“Frankie!” was her muffled reply, and when he looked back in the mirror again, he saw that her head and half of her torso were hanging out the window.  In fact, she wasn’t replying to him at all, he realized.  She was calling out instead.  So much for his purse-snatcher theory.

A runaway child perhaps?  Or maybe an errant boyfriend, he considered with a pang of regret and a sour taste in his mouth since she was pretty in an unusual sort of way.  It would be just his luck to have an attractive woman throw herself into his car only to ask him to drive after another man for her.  And it would be just like Simon to do it.  Chivalry had been one of the things drilled into him as a boy, too.

Ah, well, he thought with an impish sort of satisfaction.  Then his mother really would have no one but herself to blame if he showed up a few minutes late for dinner this evening, would she?  At least, that was the tack he was going to take, especially if she started pulling out sonograms or something like that when she expressed her displeasure.  “What’s this Frankie of yours look like?”

There was no reply, just another frantic calling of the name.  With her head out the window as it currently was, she probably couldn’t even hear him.

He rolled down his window to stick his own head out, and when he was sure he could do so without wrapping the car around a tree or a lamppost, he risked a quick look back and called out, “I said, what does Frankie look like?”

They must have made an interesting picture to the folks in the cars around them.  Interesting in a cautionary tale sort of way.  Kids, take a good look, because if I ever catch you doing that…

“Green—He’s green.”

“He’s wearing green?”  Yanking his head back in and veering around a slowpoke in front of them, Simon looked through the windshield in vain.  There was no one in green that he could see, not unless you counted that wizened little old lady in the green muumuu who was hobbling out of a candy store up ahead, and she really didn’t look like a Frankie.  Or like someone you’d have to chase by car.

Ah, wait.  The mysterious Frankie might be in a car himself.  Simon squinted ahead, trying to get a look at distant drivers wearing green.

“No, I said he is green.  Oh, shoot—he just zigged right!”  She smacked her hand—a very nice hand with bright blue nail polish on the tips of her fingers and what looked like a smear of plum-colored paint on one knuckle—against the doorframe in obvious frustration and wailed, “Can’t this thing go any faster?”

“He is green?” Simon repeated in surprise, zipping into the right-hand lane and rather impressed if he did say so himself by his ability to do it without clipping any of the fenders around them.  Car chases were turning out to be pretty invigorating.  Who knew?  “Who are we chasing—Kermit?”  Could she mean that he had green hair maybe?  Frankie could be a surly adolescent younger brother with a penchant for hair dyes and body piercings, and not his passenger’s boyfriend after all.  Simon perked up.  He could handle surly adolescents.  He did it every day.

“No, Frankie the parrot.”

“I’m chasing a bird?” he asked in disbelief, suddenly feeling a lot less like Steve McQueen roaring through the streets of San Francisco and a whole lot more like a certain coyote after a certain roadrunner.  Unless, of course, Frankie the Parrot was some sort of street name.  A really, really lame street name…

 

Winging It is available on Amazon and at other retailers.

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About the Author:

Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and, to her great delight, she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts—and has even won a couple of them.  In 2012 one of her screenplays was featured as a staged reading in New York City at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival (http://www.gsiff.com/content/staged-screenplay-reading-1), and later that same year she signed her first publishing contract.  When she is not writing, she is teaching kindergarten, puttering around in her garden, ballroom dancing with her husband, or doing research for her next project.  Please visit her at her website http://christinesfeldman.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristineSFeldman, or follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FeldmanCS.

 

 

Categories: book excerpt, book feature, book launch, book release, romance | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Countdown to A Perfect Man

Hello, everyone! Today, Authors to Watch is proud to be part of the release event for A Perfect Man by Cecilia Dominic. As part of the 12 Days to Perfect countdown, I’ve invited Cecilia to hang out and answer a few questions about her book. She’s brought a very special guest, straight from the pages of her new book. ALSO… Cecilia is offering an awesome prize to one very lucky winner! All you have to do is leave a comment below and answer Cecilia’s question for you. There’s also a link to a Rafflecopter giveaway AND information on how you can follow the tour to win MORE cool prizes!

Let’s all give a huge round of applause to Cecilia Dominic!

*****

Thank you so much for having me today, Tricia!

I’m a clinical psychologist in my day job life, so I invite other authors to send me their unpublished characters who are causing them trouble or their published ones who want a little attention for a psychological interview on my blog at http://www.ceciliadominic.com. I decided to give Seth, the hero of A Perfect Man, the published character interview.

If your character were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in? Yes, a court order is a valid answer.

I think Seth would go to see a therapist willingly, although he’s definitely the kind of guy who wants to figure out his problems on his own. He may agree to consult a professional to figure out how to talk to his mother without allowing her to make him feel like an insecure fifteen-year-old.

Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?

With regard to external conflict, Seth has saved up some money, which has allowed him to enroll in a genre fiction Masters of Fine Arts program and get started, but he’ll soon need the inheritance he was supposed to get when he turned twenty-five. His father died when he was fifteen and left him the money, which his mother has kept in trust for him. He lost the documents in an apartment flood, and his mother has been uncooperative in getting him the information.

Seth meets with his mother to discuss the matter and notices some suspicious behavior. He wonders if she’s cheating on his stepfather, who was the pulmonologist who admitted Seth’s alcoholic biological father the night he died. Seth has always wondered how much of a role his stepfather had in his biological father’s death, although his parents were separated at the time.

The presenting problem is also part of Seth’s internal conflict because he is wary of strong women and tends to avoid them. He needs to develop confidence in himself and his writing abilities, which his mother disparages.

It’s always interesting to see how people act when they first enter the office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?

Seth would stride to the couch and sit in a semi-closed posture with an ankle crossed over his knee.

Does your character talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be?

Seth would be forthcoming about wanting to learn communication strategies, but he would be more reticent as to exactly why. I don’t think he would bring up the stuff about his father’s death until the third or fourth session, if he even came back for that many. He may not take well to a female therapist.

Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?

Seth would order a craft beer and chat with the bartender or avoid dealing with people by reading a book on his phone. He might even use what he discovered during session to search for self-help books so he can address the issue himself without further outside help.

When you’re building characters, do you have any tricks you use to really get into their psyches, like a character interview or personality system (e.g., Myers-Briggs types)?

I’ll sometimes use the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator because I find it’s really helpful for defining internal conflict. I have other character interviews I’ll use as well depending on the book and where I feel like I need more information about the character.

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How far will she go to find her perfect man? How far will he go to be one?

When Karen Hardeman sets foot on the Foothills University campus, it’s her first step toward proving her abusive ex wrong. Just her luck, her first writing assignment in Intro to Romance sends her in search of the perfect hero—a quest she’s never managed to conquer.

Worse, her professor forces her to collaborate with the most overconfident, annoying guy in the class.

Seth Sayers is also at Foothills to find new direction—preferably one that takes him far away from the family drama that’s followed him since his father’s death. He didn’t mean to humiliate Karen by rewriting her manuscript from the hero’s point of view. He blames the painkillers the ER doctor gave him after stitching up a wine-induced cut on his hand.

As their collaboration progresses, Karen begins to trust Seth with her manuscript, then maybe a little piece of her heart. But Seth’s half-brother resurrects Seth’s suspicions about his father’s death. Until he finds the truth, he can’t be the hero in anyone’s life. Even his own.

Warning: Some alcohol consumption. Okay, writer amounts of alcohol consumption. There are also some adult situations, but nothing too explicit. It is a romance-writing class, after all.

For an excerpt from the first chapter, please check out http://ceciliadominic.blogspot.com/2015/04/a-perfect-man-first-chapter-and.html

A Perfect Man will be released May 12 from Samhain Publishing.

Preorder links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Man-Cecilia-Dominic-ebook/dp/B00TLIGB6E/

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-perfect-man-cecilia-dominic/1121228853?ean=9781619229464

Samhain (on sale at the time the blog post was turned in): https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5430/a-perfect-man

 *****

In one scene in A Perfect Man, some of the female characters order a dessert rumored to be better than sex. What would your ideal dessert be? Comment below for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift certificate, which will be emailed, so please be sure to give your email along with your comment.

Want to follow me and my characters on the #12DaystoPerfect blog hop for the chance to win more cool prizes? Join the event on Facebook for daily updates and please consider liking my page while you’re there. https://www.facebook.com/events/472007642953392/

There’s also Rafflecopter giveaway for some grand prizes including a $50 Visa gift card:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For a full description of all the grand prizes, see:  http://ceciliadominic.blogspot.com/2015/04/12-days-to-perfect-blog-hop-preview.html

About the Author:

Cecilia Dominic became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. By day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction that keeps her readers turning pages past bedtime. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each. She has been published in short story and novel-length fiction and currently writes urban fantasy, new adult contemporary, and steampunk for Samhain Publishing.

You can find her at:

Web page:  http://www.ceciliadominic.com

Wine blog:  http://www.randomoenophile.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/CeciliaDominicAuthor

Twitter: @RandomOenophile

Categories: book release, book tour | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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