Thursday, October 31, 2013

Echo Prophecy

Today's special guest is Lindsey Fairleigh. Lindsey lives her life with one foot in a book--as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she's not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats.


ABOUT THE BOOK


“…we only see what we want to see…what we expect to see…”

Discover what’s hidden—a powerful, mythic race, an ancient Egyptian prophecy, and a love strong enough to shatter the boundaries of time.

Alexandra Larson isn’t human…but she doesn’t know that. As far as Lex is concerned, she’s simply an ambitious and independent archaeology grad student with a knack for deciphering ancient languages, especially the various forms of Egyptian. When she’s recruited to work on her dream excavation, her translating skills uncover the secret entrance to an underground Egyptian temple concealed within Djeser-Djeseru—the famous mortuary temple of Queen Hatchepsut. Lex is beyond thrilled by her discovery…as is the enigmatic and alluring excavation director, Marcus Bahur.


As the relationship between Lex and Marcus heats up, a series of shocking revelations leave the young archaeologist reeling. Once Lex discovers the truth of her ancient Egyptian roots—the truth of her more-than-human nature—the people she trusts most make one final, terrifying revelation: Lex is the central figure of a four-thousand-year-old prophecy. She is the only thing standing between the power to alter the very fabric of time and an evil megalomaniac…who also happens to be her father. As events set in motion over four millennia ago lead Lex and Marcus from Seattle to the heart of Egypt, the fate of mankind depends on one thing: the strength of Lex’s love.


AN EXCERPT


“This is all so strange, you know? It’s like a dream I could wake from any moment,” I said, my voice hushed.

Marcus’s arm tensed in mine. “Would you want to wake up?” He sounded a little sad.

I hugged his arm with both of mine and said, “Not anymore.”

When Marcus abruptly stopped, I almost slipped on the slick brick path. With his free hand, he turned me to face him. His cool, leather-clad fingers cupped either side of my face, tilting it up so he could examine my features better in the light of a distant streetlamp. I could feel the faint kiss of each snowflake as it landed on my face.

“What are you, Alexandra Ivanov?” he breathed. “What are you and what are you doing to me?” As his deep, silky voice released each word into the starless night, he leaned closer. Our individual white puffs of breath slowly merged, becoming indistinguishable.

“But—”

“Shhh, Little Ivanov,” he murmured, closing the distance between our mouths. His lips touched mine with the faintest possible pressure, brushing first one way, then the other. When I tried to deepen the kiss, he pulled back just enough to maintain the maddening softness.


I slipped my fingertips into his coat pockets, pulling his body closer to mine, and groaned in frustration. I wanted more. I needed more.


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Selkie's Song

Today's special guest is Clare Austin. Clare submitted her first manuscript to a publisher at the age of eight years. She wishes she still had that rejection letter.

Many years and not a few stories later, with characters knocking at the inside of her cranium and begging to be released, Clare’s romantic comedy, Butterfly, was published. There followed a suspenseful sequel, Angel’s Share, and Hot Flash, a women’s fiction/romance for mature women and the men who love them.

Clare lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and enjoys her horses, playing her violin, and traveling to Ireland every summer. 


ABOUT THE BOOK

They call her Selkie. Muireann O'Malley often felt she was born of the sea but refuses to let sentimentality stand in the way of her crusade to protect the shore she has wandered since a small child. A patch of West Clare, Ireland, and a derelict building are all that stand between the cliffs she loves and the callous grip of progress.

Tynan Sloane should be content with success, but a dream beckons. O'Fallon's Pub in historic downtown Boston is for sale and Tynan wants to make it his. An unexpected inheritance of land in the west of Ireland could provide the financing he needs. He doesn't expect his quick trip to sell the land to rekindle youthful passion.

 Fifteen years ago, they had an adolescent crush. Now disparate ambition and a legend as old as Ireland herself stand between them. Will love and myth collide to bring them together or tear them apart?


AN EXCERPT

The window was open and the breeze filled the
room with salty air. “It’s perfect, Mary.” Ty set his bag
down on the floor, his mandolin case on the bed, and
stepped to the window. He’d lived in Ireland most of
his life, but something about this place set the skin on
the back of his neck to prickle with unexpected
excitement.

Mary was puttering about, opening cupboards and
showing him where to hang his clothes, chatting to no
one in particular the whole time. “…and if ya happen
down to those cliffs—”

“What do you call them? Those cliffs to the west
there.” He pointed to a spectacular grassy paddock
dotted with sheep and bounded on the far side by a drop
of about five hundred feet.

“Ah, yes, now that headland is Ceann Na
Conghaile, Conneely’s Head.”

“I’m certain there’s a story behind that name.”
Tynan knew it wouldn’t take much probing to get the
whole tale from Mary. She was poised to give it—with
embellishments.

“True, oh, so true. Legend has it, long ago, the kin
of the Conneely were selkies.” She pointed, with a
slight tremor of her hand, for dramatic effect no doubt.

“A man needs to be cautious when he hears the selkie’s
song. I believe it’s not simply a tale, more than one man
has been lured from those cliffs…” She looked square
in his eyes and took a deep breath. “They can’t stop
themselves. Ah, it’s a tragic thing, it is.”


SPECIAL LINKS - AND A SPECIAL GIFT

Clare will be awarding a print (US only) or digital copies (international) of the first two books in the series, Butterfly and Angel's Share to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/09/virtual-excerpt-tour-selkies-song-by.html


Twitter: clareaustin@authorclare

Buy link for Kindle:  http://amzn.com/B00DNDK3MG

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Climb That Fence and Take That Leap

Today's special guest is Philip Johnsey. Raised on a farm and having been a volunteer at different animal rescues, it’s no surprise that his first two published articles were about animals. So it’s only fitting that Phil’s first book is about animals and the connections we share.

From Phil’s first high school job to present, he’s spent his career working with clients, explaining complex ideas in an easy to understand manner.  In addition Phil enjoys exploring the world and sharing those adventures via writing, photography, and videography.

Phil’s credits include, multiple certifications, Reiki master, photographer, author of two blogs, author of a travel column, creates short segments for a local T.V. station and whatever else he can get into.

Kirkus Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/philip-johnsey/climb-that-fence-and-take-that-leap/

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

I asked Phil if he had five things he wish every pet owner knew. Here are his answers below. And Phil, thank you for joining us here today!

Hi! Thank you for the opportunity to swing on by. This topic really made me think more than expected, which I always enjoy. Here are five things I wish every pet owner knew.

In no particular order…..

11.      Pets have distinct personalities: 

That may sound obvious, but if you pay attention, you’ll see they’re very much like people. Some are very easy going and just float along; others demand a lot of attention and will let you know if they don’t get it, some just are playful. For example, Edmund is easy going and mild whereas Amanda needs lot of attention and validation.

2
2.      Pets are protective on a variety of levels:

We’ve all seen stories of pets alerting owners to fires or other in home physical dangers. Pets can also sense things about people. I’ll never forget the evening my mild mannered, laid back cat decided to have a stare down with a guest. As soon as this guy sat down, Keiko climbed onto the coffee table and just stared at him. She didn’t move an inch and was directly in front of me. The guy became very uncomfortable and even noted he had never had a cat stare him down like that. Keiko wasn’t moving at all and we couldn’t budge her. Later on this guy’s true colors shown and he was not someone we wanted to be around.  Keiko was dead on in sounding the alarm.

33.      Pets are intuitive:

Similar to number two, pets can read us and know what we need. I know when I’m not feeling well or sad both cats will come and stay near me. What’s even more interesting is times I’m quite upset and one will just walk up, rub against me and just stand there. As if to say, “it’ll be fine, I’m here”.  On a fun note, the other morning I was thinking to myself "this would be a good day to take a sick day”. I never said a word, but as soon as I thought it, both of the cats excitedly ran around the house and then headed for the door waiting to be let out.  It’s like they knew: Daddy’s home today, we get to hang out on the porch.

44.      Pets have feelings and emotions:

We all know pets can be happy. Just wave a ball in front of a dog! Yet I’ve seen them display sadness after another pet passed away. I particularly remember a time when Edmund kept trying to get out of the fence and I finally fixed all the escape routes.  He just lay on the patio, as if he had no purpose. He didn’t seem to care much about anything else. Even eating was routine. I changed the patio where he could explore and the life instantly came back. If you want to experience this first hand, take a walk in a shelter and see the animals that are just lying there. Wondering what happened to their owner, will someone take me home?

55.      Pets need attention and love:

This sounds too obvious, but often life can get in the way and we end up giving them food and water and that’s it.  It’s amazing how they wake up when you give them a little brushing, or spend some extra time with just them.  When you give them love and attention, they totally wake up and then show you more affection. It’s a cycle that is worth continuing.


In summary, I’d say that pets are more like people than we think. They have feelings, emotions, personalities, and a special bond with their owners.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Edmund blasts across the yard against my calls to come in. He gleely runs off and I chase him across the grass only to find a unique butterfly or a sky filled with stars. As soon as I stop and admire, Edmund promptly comes to my side and rubs against me.

Do you ever wonder if there is more to your pet's behavior than meets the eye?  Sometimes their antics are more than just random behavior.  Can we learn something about ourselves by watching them?

I believe so and Climb that Fence and Take that Leap is a compilation of personal, inspirational animal stories and the life lessons I gleaned from them.


After enjoying these stories, hopefully you'll enjoy more quality time with your furry friend and know what it takes to Climb that Fence and Take that Leap!


AN EXCERPT

Unconditional love isn’t always easy:

You remember how I said I’d spend more time with her? That became very difficult as the disease progressed. The sickening smell, the drool, and the wet fur made it hard to be near her, let alone pet her.

Whenever she came up to me, there was always a puddle or mark left from her drooling on me or rubbing against me. Anything she laid on or was near captured that smell.

Then one day I looked at her, and she just looked so pitiful. How could I not show this cat who’d been with me eighteen years some love? That was just being selfish and mean. I grabbed some old towels and began to hold her frequently. She just loved it. As soon as I picked her up, she’d just purr away. Yeah, the stink would get through onto my clothes, but that was OK. It was worth it.

It had always been easy to hold her when she was clean. Now that she was stinky and sick was when she needed that affection the most. As much as I loved my cat, there were days where it was difficult to be close to her. Often I’d get upset with her, and I knew that it was my frustration coming out. I just wanted to help her be well.

Unconditional love can be hard sometimes. You have to go way past the funky appearance and the odd smells, and think solely about the other person. You have to think about what it’d be like if you were in that situation. What would you really like?


MY REVIEW

I don't usually review books, but anyone who knows me knows what an animal lover I am. I couldn't resist asking for a review copy. And to my delight, this book is a real gem. As I read about the author's 18-year relationship with his cat Keiko, it brought back memories of my own pets and how much their lives taught me about living. Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, I was pulled into the drama as Keiko was diagnosed with a type of squamous cell carcinoma that degenerated her entire jaw. The author told of wrapping her in a towel and taking her on car rides, which she adored, as her physical condition waned. Her emotional attitude, however, remained high and that is due (in my opinion) to the caring and loving attitude of her owner, who clearly adored her.

Johnsey takes the story a step further, however, into what Keiko taught him about living each day to its fullest and making every moment count.

He also tells of a turtle he rescued who became a pet and family member, and how the turtle discovered the world beyond his fenced courtyard. While some owners would see the digging under the gate as a nuisance, Johnsey took the role of an observer, discovering why the turtle wanted to explore its world and deepening his bond with this unlikely pet. The result is how much this turtle taught him about broadening his horizons, taking on challenges and never giving up.

A truly heartwarming story is one in which he found sea turtles digging their way out of the sand and making their way to the beach, encountering rocky outcrops and terrain that threatened their lives. Only the size of quarters, he watched and assisted without taking from their unique experiences and tenacity to reach the sea. There were stories of waves pushing them back, of imprints in the sand that swallowed the baby turtles, of rocky ledges with four foot drops, and much more - but their determination to reach the sea and survive was an amazing, inspiring story.

There are many of these stories in which Johnsey observed animal behavior and applied their attitude, problem-solving and tenacity to our own lives, our own challenges and the worlds we make for ourselves. The result is learning how to excel in this life and perhaps, in the process, becoming the type of human that our pets believe us to be.

This is a quick read, if you're looking for entertainment. But it's much more than that: it's a reference book to return to time and again, to re-read the lessons and learn how to apply various principles to our own lives.

Highly recommended reading.


LEAVE A COMMENT - AND WIN A GIFT!

Philip will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/09/virtual-book-tour-climb-that-fence-and.html

Buy links:

Amazon:


Barnes and Noble:


Createspace:





Monday, October 21, 2013

The Sydney Rye Series

Today's special guest is Emily Kimelman. Emily lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure.

Her "Sydney Rye Series" are dark murder mystery novels which features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first four books in Kimelman's series, UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE and STRINGS OF GLASS are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

If you've read Emily's work, and enjoyed it, please let Emily know. You can reach her via email ejkimelman [at] gmail.com.


ABOUT THE BOOKS

Books 1-3, The complete Series Box Set (Value Pack)

The Sydney Rye series of mysteries features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

This box set includes all three of the Sydney Rye Books.

UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)

When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller's dog-walking business on Manhattan's exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.

But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim--and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.

When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit--cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.

DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)

At the beginning of Death in the Dark we find Joy Humbolt hiding, not only from the law, but also from her past and the mistakes she's made. Living this isolated life doesn't last long though when a visit from Mulberry brings Joy to accept her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye. To complete the transformation, Joy must learn to control her emotions as well as her giant aggressive dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer, Joy learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of a close friend is brutally murdered in the desert, Rye turns away from her mentor to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.


INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)

The third book in the series begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.

With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she's not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn't until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl's trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she's going to find the girl and keep them all alive.

New release!  STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)

STRINGS OF GLASS is the fourth novel in Emily Kimelman's Sydney Rye Series of dark murder mystery novels. This series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and Blue, are attacked by a pact of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again; to do good by being bad.

Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and human trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. While Sydney struggles to accept her true nature she realizes that it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation. But Rye fears that she will lose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against.


AN EXCERPT

I packed the few items of clothing I had and put a leash on Blue. I picked up a bottle of tequila at the liquor store and then hopped on the subway acting like it was legal to bring a giant dog on the train.

Halfway there I opened the bottle of tequila and took a painful swig. A child watched me with big, glistening eyes. Her mother, without looking at me, distracted him with a colorful stuffed toy that had lots of legs.

I stumbled on the steps on my way out of the subway, scraping my knee on the filthy cement. Blue whined and licked my face. I picked myself up and walked to the Excelsior. The man behind the desk didn’t move as I walked by him to the elevator.

Once in my room I placed the bottle of tequila on the coffee table. I pulled my gun out of my bag and put it next to the tequila. I found my bullets and spilled them onto the coffee table. A couple of them rolled onto the floor. They were gold and pretty looking. I ran my hands over their smooth surfaces, pushing them around.

I woke up naked in bed with a big hangover. I walked barefoot into the living room and grabbed a $7 beer out of the mini bar and opened it on the bottle opener attached to my bathroom wall. I didn’t look in the mirror.


LINKS

Emily will be awarding a STRINGS OF GLASS tote bag to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a a STRINGS OF GLASS tote bag to a randomly drawn host.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/07/virtual-review-tour-strings-of-glass-by.html



@ejkimelman

“Unleashed” is free through the end of summer!

Buy links for all books at Amazon:


Barnes and Noble:



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weak at the Knees

Today's special guest is Jo Kessel. When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.

P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.


ABOUT THE BOOK

“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps.


AN EXCERPT

I leaned over, intending to air brush his cheeks with mine, but it didn’t quite happen that way. A stronger, more powerful force than my conscience, a force more powerful than morality, changed my path of navigation at the last second, making my lips meet his, melt deliciously into his, over and over and over again, sending shivers of pleasure through every limb in my body. My skin tingled, my head spun, I felt light-headed even though I was sitting down. That’s all we did for over an hour. Kiss and kiss and kiss, tasting each other, pressing our bodies close and steaming up the car. I didn’t want it to ever stop. I never realized that kissing could be so sensual and powerful and overwhelming. If Olivier and I were to never progress beyond kissing, then it would be enough, as long as I could keep on doing it forever. Finally, when he had to go, he hugged me tight and told me he’d wanted to kiss me since the first time we met, when I lay crashed in a snowy heap at his feet.


LEAVE A COMMENT - AND WIN A GIFT!

Jo will be giving away a $50 amazon or bn.com gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


LINKS


Jo loves to hear from her readers and they can connect with her on:
Her website: www.jokessel.com
Twitter: @jo_kessel

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fearless

Today's special guest is Chris O'Guinn. In his own words, he says:

I’ve been writing since I was fifteen, not that those stories will ever be allowed out of the dark hole I buried them in. I focused primarily on the Fantasy genre for the first two decades, occasionally diverting into modern fiction. In 2010, I embarked in a self-publishing career, focusing on the young adult novel genre. When I’m not writing, I am contributing to TheBacklot.com, a gay entertainment website.


You can follow me on Facebook and you can keep up to date with my works via Lightbane.com.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Was Justin's character based on anyone you've known in real life?

Justin is largely based on me, which was entirely accidental. I was extremely introverted in high school, and full of bitterness and teenage angst. I was also really isolated and untrusting. I found it easy to pull on a lot of my life to build Justin’s world. Even the school he went to was based on my high school. And the relationship with his parents was very similar to what I had with my parents.

Can you tell us a little about how Justin became such a cynic?

Oh, some meta info for your readers, the sort of thing that wasn’t in the book. The book does make it clear that he’s had a lot of friends drop him. Having his trust betrayed so many times made him very suspicious of people and their motives. What wasn’t in the book was what brought about his parents’ divorce. His father made some really risky investments which bankrupted them. Justin went from a lower middle-class life to being quite poor. The acrimony between his parents that came about from this and the inevitable divorce gave him a jaded view of relationships. This all added up to make him quite cynical.

Tell us about Liam and how he and Justin meet and/or become friends.

Liam is an observer. He noticed Justin, saw how cut off he was, but he also saw how Justin was kind to those around him. He asked Justin for help with his schoolwork as a way to get to know him better, but that didn’t work out very well. He ran smack into Justin’s defenses—solid stone walls surrounded by a moat filled with man-eating sharks. However, as much as Justin didn’t want to try another friendship, he was lonely. So he agreed to help Liam with his schoolwork and very quickly found that Liam was a great guy to know.

Is there a message you'd like for this book to convey to the reader?

There are two main messages. The first is that you can’t let fear rule you. This is easier said than done, I know. But really think about it. Life is so fleeting. You need to get everything you can out of every single day.
The other message is how foolish it is to judge others without knowing them. In society and especially in high school, it’s so easy to see a way a person dresses, the way they look and assume you know their story. But you will almost always find out that you’re wrong.



ABOUT THE BOOK

At fifteen, Justin is already a cynic. He’s experienced too many betrayals, too many disappointments. He doesn’t want to be involved in anything. He doesn’t want to be popular. He doesn’t even want friends anymore, since they only ever let you down. He just wants to get through high school and the best way he can come up with to accomplish that goal is to simply be invisible.

His self-imposed exile from high school life is threatened when Liam, the scary stoner, reaches out to him. What starts out as a strange and unsettling encounter with the unnerving,  pot-smoking teenager evolves into the sort of friendship that changes the course of a person’s life.

But as Liam drags the reluctant Justin out of his shell, Liam’s own secret is revealed.

Fearless is the story of the myriad shades of love, how to find one’s courage and the transformative power of friendship.


AN EXCERPT

“Man, I can’t believe we’re stuck at home instead of at the Homecoming Dance.”

“Trust me, this is better,” I told him. “At least for me. My dance moves are outlawed in twelve states.”

Liam cracked a smile. “I got to see that.”

I frowned at him. “No.”

Liam’s eyes lit up with mischief. “Uh uh, you can’t keep claiming to be bad at everything without proof. You have to show me.”

“I really don’t.”

He went over to my laptop and called up the music player. “Hmm, let’s see, what do we have for playlists? ‘Life sux?’ ‘Love sux?’ I’m sensing a theme here.”

“At least I’m consistent.”

“True. Hey, ‘OMG the 80’s’ I think we have a winner.”

“I’m not dancing,” I told him.

I thought my tone was pretty firm. That didn’t prevent him from yanking me to my feet, though, with a strength I didn’t think he had. As the familiar beat of one of my favorite classics warbled out of my laptop’s crappy speakers, I folded my arms and backed away from the crazy guy with the infectious smile.

“Come on, feel the beat,” Liam coaxed.

I just couldn’t hang onto my glower, not with him gyrating and flailing like a fish out of water. It didn’t seem possible, but somehow he was actually as bad or worse than me.

“Oh girls just want to have fun,” he sang—badly—and danced (if one could call it that) over to me.

“You really don’t get the whole ‘no’ concept, do you?”


LEAVE A COMMENT - AND WIN A GIFT!

Chris will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hunted Dreams

Today's special guest is Elle Hill. An inveterate fan of fairy tales, particularly the darker ones, Elle pens paranormal romance. Her urban fantasies envision an alternate Los Angeles (or is it?) in which Leeches -- scheming psychic vampires -- and Hunters and Psychics -- the beings that exist to thwart them -- fight fierce, primal battles in the land of movie stars, silicone, and sunshine.

Born in Idaho during the height of disco, Elle Hill now chicken-pecks at the keyboard while rocking out to Donna Summer and KC and the Sunshine Band. She worked in Idaho for several years as a secretary and journalist before moving to California and selling her soul to academia. After receiving her PhD in Sociology, Elle Hill became a not-so-mild-mannered college instructor by night and a community activist during the remainder of her waking hours. Always a journalist and writer at heart, one of her favorite pastimes includes publishing commentary on the political and social states of the world; some of her thoughts are posted on her blog at ellehillauthor.blogspot.com.

Elle welcomes visitors to her website at www.ellehill.com. She also urges everyone to become a superhero and adopt their next non-human companion from a local animal shelter.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

The plot of Hunted Dreams is very intriguing. What inspired the plot?

Thanks!

My family, particularly my oldest sister, likes to tease me because I always lock my fictional characters in some kind of confined room. I always patiently explain to her that shutting out distractions helps my characters delve right in to the interpersonal tension and character development. After one of these conversations, I started thinking, “What if I stranded one of my characters not in a physical prison but a mental one? What if we could jump right into her mind?” Thus began my cruel torture of Katana, Hunted Dreams’ main character.


There is a strong dream element in the book. Do you have vivid dreams?

One of my sisters (I have three, all of whom profess to be my biggest fans) jokes that my dreams are especially surrealistic. Hers, apparently, tend to unwind like a TV drama. I admit I was intrigued by the idea of having a playground where my creativity – and my weirdness – could swing and slide and engage in all sorts of bizarre games.

A couple of the dreams in Hunted Dreams I plucked directly from my own sleeping noggin, but most of them I had way-too-much fun constructing on my own.


Tell us about the Broschi - who they are and what they're like.

Ooh! You bet. I like talking about them.

In my prior two books, Hunted and Hunted Past, the Broschi (called “Leeches” in these stories) played villains without much back story. The Broschi are a race of superhuman, super strong genetic mutants who have been around for several centuries but who continue to live in secrecy. They’ve developed a unique method of sustaining themselves: in addition to consuming food as we know it, they also eat painful human feelings. In fact, they have a talent for evoking it in average humans. As far as they know, it doesn’t hurt humans to eat their “life force”; however, when they’re hungry, which is most of the time, some of them have been known to inflict harm on humans in order to nosh on their misery.

The Clan (made up of Hunters, or female warriors, and male Psychics) exist to oppose the Broschi and save humanity. As a result, a centuries-long war has raged between the two groups, all under humans’ noses. Because I’m not so keen on war, I hoped I portrayed the one-sidedness of the Clan’s perspective in my previous novels, but I know it was subtle. In Hunted Dreams, the pointlessness of the war, the arbitrariness of labeling one side “heroes” and the other “villains,” emerged onto center stage.


What are you working on next?

I just finished writing my latest novel, The Tithe. I’m in the middle of revising it a second time before submitting it to my editor. I’m enormously excited about this novel and look forward to chatting with you about it in a year or so.

Thanks so much for featuring me on your site. I spent a couple of weeks in North Carolina this summer and found it stunningly beautiful.

I wish you much happiness and chocolate!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Her history, her whereabouts, her name: She knows nothing. Nothing but her current reality: a constant stream of horrific, surrealistic scenarios in which she fights not only monsters and unseen attackers but also her own pain and despair.

Reed Jayvyn is an ex-Army vet, penniless and living in his truck. After saving a young man from attackers, he finds himself embroiled in a superhuman drama between the Broschi and the Clan, two groups engaged in a centuries-long war. Worse, he finds he is one of them—a Broschi, a psychic vampire that feeds off the pain of humans. But Reed’s greatest surprise comes each night, when he finds himself dreaming of a fierce, nameless woman.

She is dreaming. So says the handsome man who uses his heretofore latent psychic ability to flicker in and out of her dreamscape. With Reed’s help, she slowly learns more about who she is, why she is here, what trauma in her past keeps her locked inside her mind. Meanwhile, Reed explores his own heritage, discovering enemies and allies in unexpected places.

But most important to Reed is freeing this woman caught in an endless loop of nightmares, someone he considers in every way to be the woman of his dreams.


AN EXCERPT

“I know you’re not bad,” she reassured him, smiling.

“You don’t know anything of the sort,” he said.

“Don’t you dare invade my dream and then question my judgment!” She meant to snap it but couldn’t manage anything beyond a biting edge to her tone. “We’ve been in some, um, challenging environments, and I think I know you pretty well.”

“Says the woman who only recently started thinking of me as real,” he said.

Katana felt the cold of the rock under her behind wind upward into her head. “Recently for you,” she said quietly, all teasing gone. “You have no idea how long it feels in here. I’ve spun from dream to dream, always fighting, always endangered, always waiting for the pain and the terror. I haven’t had a lot of time to think, but I’ve done what I can when I have a moment or two. I feel I’ve known you for months and get to see you every few weeks, even though I know it’s once per day for you.”

Reed exhaled once, slowly. Then, gently, he placed his hand against her cheek and helped guide her face upward.

Knowing what to expect, Katana closed her eyes and stretched upward. Reed wrapped both arms around her, and she flowed against him.

After a moment, Reed pulled away very slightly and kissed her nose. “You feel warm and . . . good,” he murmured against her lips. She felt his moist breath against her face and inhaled the mintiness of his toothpaste.

“You feel real,” she whispered.


LINKS

Elle will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/08/virtual-book-tour-hunted-dreams-by-elle.html