Category Archives: Author Promotions

A COMMON EVIL is upon us thanks to @brchitwood

One of my favorite people, author Billy Ray Chitwood releases his book, A Common Evil today! Sink your teeth into this series. I’m glad I did! Read my review below and discover why. You can also find my review on:

Amazon US | UK | Canada  and Goodreads.

Please join me in congratulating Billy Ray on his latest book. Well done, sir!

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a common evil

 Buy from Amazon in ebook and print

US  ~  UK  ~  CA

Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality. Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices. Also President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend, but other problems which add to this suspenseful chapter in his life. The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault.

An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonoran desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

This is the final Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’.

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My 5-star review for A Common Evil

A Common Evil addresses something basic in all of us—the need to preserve the things we love, whether they are people, a place to live, or a certain way of life.

This is the sixth and final book in the Bailey Crane Mystery series, which started with An Arizona Tragedy – (Bailey Crane Mystery Series Book 1), and it more than stands on its own as an engaging story.

The setting is the Sea of Cortez, also known by other names—Gulf of California or Gulf of Mexico, a large inlet along the northwestern coast of Mexico. Already, the story attracted me due to its location – exotic, hot, sand, beach, and home to Corona beer.

Bailey Crane, a retired detective is minding his own business, living in a luxury beach resort with his wife, Wendy, when he is drawn into the shifty underworld. The start of the book pulls you in immediately with raucous gunfire. It offers a look of what it’s like to live among drug cartels that are at odds with one another. The paradox of paradise is that life is expendable when profit and greed motivate those in power.

Against the backdrop of the fascinating world of living in Mexico as an American, Mr. Chitwood treats us to moments of self-reflection with strong hints of his Southern upbringing. These moments were for me, some of the most satisfying passages in the book. They offered a deeper look into the inner workings of his protagonist.

Bailey Crane is not afraid to be brutish to protect what he wants. While he may wrestle with inner demons, he can steep himself firmly in the task at hand and reflect on his own morality later. In other words, he gets the job done.

Through his two main characters, the author offers us a glimpse of a couple who have been through a lot. Bailey Crane and Wendy have a very strong relationship, one with a love that runs deep and is deeply personal. Within that love, words are not always required to express how they feel for each other. At times, the book reads as an ode from Bailey to Wendy, and I found this particularly endearing.

As with all good mystery/thrillers, there are twists and turns and a surprise ending that made for a wonderful read. For lovers of the mystery genre, whether you slant toward action, cozy, or literary—A Common Evil will not disappoint.

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Find Billy Ray at all his virtual homes

br chitwood 3

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Angela M Carter releases Memory Chose a Woman’s Body (@amcarterpoetry)

Angela M. Carter was introduced to me by friend and poet, Loren Kleinman. I’m very happy to spread the word of Angela’s first book.

Please find out more about Angela and Memory Chose a Woman’s Body. 

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memory chose a woman's body

Buy in paperback from Amazon

Memory Chose a Woman’s Body is a poetic memoir, one woman’s harrowing yet hopeful story of harm and healing. The poems, each powerful as stand-alone works, are a journey of self-discovery, an epic tale of finding one’s way and voice. Angela M Carter navigates uninviting terrain with the skill and grace of a veteran truth teller. Memory Chose a Woman’s Body is a ray of cleansing light directed at the dark corners of the human heart. It is an offering of sisterhood to survivors of all kinds.

Connect to Angela

angela carter

Website | Twitter @amcarterpoetry | Facebook

Poets & Writers Magazine profile

ANGELA M CARTER has been a writer since the age of eight. What began as an escape from the events of her childhood became a way of life. Angela writes about subjects many people are uncomfortable talking about. Each of her poems is its own story, yet they all carry the same message: silence is not golden. Born and raised in a Virginia farming town with a population of fewer than 280 souls, Angela moved to England for several years only to find her memories followed her. She returned to Virginia with new-found confidence and a voice. She has been speaking with that voice ever since. Angela is a wife and mother and she believes that had it not been for poetry she would not be either of those things. She believes that poetry saved her life.

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Author Jay Finn releases Fastian (@JayFinn32)

Good friend and author, Maria Savva, introduced me to a new author from Ireland named  Jay Finn. I’m happy to highlight his debut fantasy novel Fastian. He has also penned two short story collections Looking Back and Beneath the Darkness.

Here is how Jay describes himself:

The deeper, isolated and sometimes darker side of the human psyche has always fascinated me. It doesn’t make me a dark or morbid person but I’ve always loved stories that reflect that side of human nature. I try to do the same in my own writing.

Learn more about Jay and connect to him on all his networks!

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Fastian

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Nation: A sadistic and cruel empire that has ruled Edgeweir since time beyond memory. But under the tutelage of Alabaster Shanks, a group of disparate rebels have come together to fight back and stand up to the Nation’s rule.

Amongst them is Fastian; dark, dangerous and with an eye for vengeance; and Jacob, a boy and the newest recruit, who possesses a skill craved by the rebels. 

Now they come together to undertake a mission that could be the beginning of the end for the Nation. But with Fastian’s mind ever on the past and Jacob’s eye firmly on his future, will they be capable enough to ever see it through?

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Connect to Jay

Jay Finn

Blog | Twitter @Jayfinn32 | Facebook

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A POISON TREE by @JohnDolanAuthor launches!

One of my favourite people, English-Thai author, John Dolan has released the third book in his Time, Blood and Karma series.

I had the great pleasure of reading A POISON TREE and have posted a review below. You will definitely want to buy it.

But wait …

There’s more …

To celebrate the release, John is hosting a giveaway on Goodreads. Win a paperback copy of a A POISON TREE by entering here.

Pretty amazing, right?

But hold on to your hat …

There’s even more …

and it’s not Ginsu knives!

John’s first book in the series, EVERYONES BURNS is FREE STARTING TODAY for a limited time on Amazon—a wonderful and generous gesture!

To show John your appreciation, help him celebrate the launch of A POISON TREE by getting your copy today!

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apt

“You kill my wife and I’ll kill yours.” You must admit, as a proposition, it has an alluring symmetry to it.

It is 1999, and as the Millennium approaches, old certainties wither. For family man, David Braddock, his hitherto predictable world is undergoing a slow collapse. The people closest to him seem suddenly different. As desires and aspirations tangle around each other like parasite stems, betrayal is in the air.

And so is murder.

Fans of Braddock will finally learn the sequence of events that drove him into exile in Asia, while for new readers, A Poison Tree is the perfect introduction to the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series.

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My 5-star review for A Poison Tree

A Poison Tree, the third book in the Time, Blood and Karma series for author John Dolan is actually a prequel. It tells the story of how the main character, David Braddock came to be in Thailand.

It is also my favourite of the three books so far. I know I’m giving away a lot here. It’s akin to choosing a favourite child—you’re not supposed to do it, but …

Everyone Burns kicked off the series and captivated me based on a strong protagonist in an exotic land. Hungry Ghosts continued the trend with more shenanigans and provided further insight into David Braddock’s mind.

In A Poison Tree, the setting has moved from Thailand to England. We are taken back in time (1999 – 2001) to where David Braddock grew up, got married, and led a ‘normal’ life before something happened to him, causing him to flee to Southeast Asia. That something is revealed in this book. The tale is fascinating, twisted, and unpredictable.

The intricate story of David and his wife Claire drew me in from the start. It was a complex relationship of secrets and lies, but in the end, it was a love story. I’m a sucker for a love story. I challenge anyone not to be when it’s written with poignant detail, yet never spirals into over-sentimentality.  If you don’t feel your throat clenching or your heart sinking while reading some of the passages, I’d suggest checking to make sure you still have a pulse.

With colourful characters and a criminal element dished out in subtle narrative, A Poison Tree is an angst-filled journey guided by cunning misdirection. For lovers of mystery and thriller novels, there is plenty of intrigue and moments of “I DID NOT see that coming.” What’s more, the atmospheric pace counterpoints perfectly with noir-ish undertones.

Even though each of Mr. Dolan’s books stands on its own, I loved reading them in the order he wrote them. He drew me in so cleverly with his first two books, and A Poison Tree answered the outstanding questions.

What a joy to discover a series that only keeps getting better.

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Don’t forget Everyone Burns is FREE on AMAZON for a limited time only. Grab your copy TODAY!

Buy from Amazon:   US  ~  UK  ~  CA

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JD 3 book series

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Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim is FREE until John starts charging for it.

It’s a great short story with a peculiar connection to A Poison Tree.

Buy from Amazon: US ~ UK ~ CA | Smashwords

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JIM FOSSE'S EXPENSE CLAIM

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Seek John out at all his virtual homes

john dolan

Blog – Galericulate | Twitter @JohnDolanAuthor

Amazon: US ~ UK  |  Smashwords | Website

Goodreads  | Facebook | Google +

John was originally interviewed here Jan. 2013.

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New Release ~ The Dark Cave Between My Ribs by Poet @LorenKleinman

I’m thrilled to announce a new release from poet and friend, Loren Kleinman. Since April is National Poetry Month, this is a great opportunity to become familiar with Loren’s work if you are not already.

Please learn more about her latest book, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs.

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LorenKleinman_FlatforeBooks

Purchase from Amazon

After disaster, there is always the possibility to love again. Poet Loren Kleinman invites us to witness snapshots of a complex life-including accounts of abuse, grief, suicide, love, and loss-rendered poetic yet accessible. The Dark Cave Between My Ribs appeals to all who crave an authentic voice that is tangible, unique, and universal.

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Read the Reviews

Loren Kleinman’s poetry is staring you dead in the face and daring you to blink. Not much so stark, has ever dared to be so cleanly beautiful – the lines crisp, the silences their own loud singing. Nothing lets you look away; lets you be left alone. Roger Bonair-Agard
, Cave Canem fellow
, Two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, 
author of Tarnish and Masquerade

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Loren Kleinman’s poems in The Dark Cave Between My Ribs are explorations of love and loss, longing and passion. Kleinman peels away at the scrim we try to hide behind so we don’t see our own scars or the scars we have inflicted on the world. Her universe is filled with images of the terrible atrocities of concentration camps as well as the one-on-one betrayal of rape. The poet struggles are often rendered in nightmare landscapes, which she runs through in order to reach some semblance of safety and peace. This book is an amazing achievement. Maria Mazziotti Gillan
, Winner, American Book Award 
& Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers

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In this beautiful collection, Loren Kleinman writes about longing and loving, touch and loss, truth, absence, and ultimately, the soul. The poems are moving, the sentiment naked, and the language irresistible. I’m grateful to have been invited to into this writer’s mind and heart and world. Beverly Donofrio, author Riding in Cars with Boys

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Loren Kleinman’s The Dark Cave Between My Ribs is as much a keening behind the destructive nature of assault and addiction as it is an instruction for survival itself.  These poems build a raw and unflinching collection that travels across the individual lens to the unspeakable human wreckage of Nazi Death Squads in Lithuania.   The speaker in these poems refuses to dodge grief, to look away. Instead, she proclaims: “Somehow, I’ll know what to do. /touch the skin of this world. /Peel it back.” It is in this stark and brave examination of the physical world that Kleinman reveals a necessary truth for us all. Sean Nevin, author of Oblivio Gate

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These poems are an intimate look into the heart written with such power.  The Dark Cave Between My Ribs is beautiful, sad, intense and will grab the reader and not let go. Loren Kleinman’s poems capture the dark side of things that happen in life but yet, show such courage in the writing. “I’m  broken winged, a fallen bird on the road” can sum up many of these poems, but that bird survives, rises up and flies. Gloria Mindock, Editor and Publisher, Červená Barva Press

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Every now and then fate introduces me to a poet whose poetic work captures my attention. Such is the case with regard to poet Loren Kleinman and her new collection of poetry entitled The Dark Cave Between My Ribs. In a world where there is a plethora of published prose poetry, this collection stands out in my mind. I say so because beginning with the first poem, the collection gathers strength, as if a tea kettle filled with water gathering steam. Once the whistle blows, you know you have water ready for tea. I am confident readers of this work will walk away having been emotionally impacted by this collection. More importantly, it feels like it has award-winning quality. That is my hope for this powerful work of poetry by poet Loren Kleinman. Emmett Wheatfall, author of Bread Widow

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About Loren Kleinman

loren kleinman

Connect to Loren

Website | Twitter @lorenkleinman | Facebook

Amazon | LinkedIn | Tumblr | Huffington Post | IndieReader

Loren Kleinman is an American-born poet with roots in New Jersey. Her poetry explores the results of love and loss, and how both themes affect Loren_NYC-11an individual’s internal and external voice. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex (UK). Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Wilderness House Literary Review, Narrative Northeast, Writer’s Bloc, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review (PLR), Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee, and was a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Prize finalist for poetry.

In 2003, Spire Press (NYC) published her first collection of poetry Flamenco Sketches, which explored the relationship between love and jazz. Kleinman judged the literary entries for the book Alt-History: New Writing from Brighton published by QueenSpark Books (UK). She was also a contributing editor/writer for the Cancer Dancer by Patricia San Pedro. Kleinman is also a columnist for IndieReader.com (IR) where she interviews NYT bestselling indie authors. Many of those interviews in IR reappeared in USA Today and The Huffington Post.

Her second collection of poetry, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs released in 2014 (Winter Goose Publishing). She is the author of Indie Authors Naked (IndieReader Publishing, 2014), which was an Amazon Top 100 bestseller in Journalism in the UK and USA. She is also working on a literary romance novel, This Way to Forever.

Kleinman co-founded National Translation Month, a month long celebration on the craft of translation that publishes essays and poetry translations during February.

She has an author interview series on The Huffington Post Books community blogs section.

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New Release by @Maria_Savva ~ Far Away in Time

Friend and author, Maria Savva has a new collection of short stories, and you know I’m a huge fan of short stories!

I’m happy to highlight Maria’s latest release. Please learn more about her book, Far Away in Time, and watch the video too!

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Far Away In Time

Sold via Amazon Kindle

US | UK | FR | DE | IN | AU | BR | IT | ES | MX | JP | CA

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

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Connect to Maria

maria savva

Website | Twitter @maria_savva | Facebook

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga.

Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller.

Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories. You can find out more about her work at her official website.

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New Release by @TobyWNeal ~ Shattered Palms

I’m thrilled to highlight the latest release from author and friend, Toby Neal. She’s the only author I know who lives in Hawaii and greets me with “Aloha!”

You will learn more about her in a future author interview, but I wanted to draw attention to her new novel, Shattered Palms, the 6th book in her wildly popular LEI CRIME SERIES. It’s garnering excellent reviews and climbing the charts, so pick up your copy!

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SHATTERED PALMS COVER2

Sold via Amazon

Maui is lush mountains, cloud forest and exquisite birdsong—but for Detective Lei Texeira, arrows break that peace.

Someone is stalking poachers that are capturing Maui’s rarest birds, and Lei pursues the case with her usual leap-first, look-later style—but will she be able to catch a killer, save the birds, and still make it to her own wedding? Shattered Palms is a roller coaster ride from the top of Haleakala to the beach and back again, with extinction at stake.

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Connect to Toby

Toby Neal

WebsiteFacebook | Twitter @tobywneal

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Roll-Her Dervish~A new film by the incredible @BethofBamNorth

Filmmaker Beth Mairs of BAM North Productions is a dear friend, and I’m thrilled to be involved with her newest project, a film called Roll-Her Dervish. She has an IndieGoGo campaign for it now after following around the subjects of the film for over a year.

A trailer and all the details can be found on the site. As part of International Woman’s Day, Indiegogo is generously contributing an extra dollar for every $25 raised by this campaign, so please give what you can. It’s a great opportunity to see your money work even harder for you.

Find out more about Roll-Her Dervish on the Indiegogo page.

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Connect to BAM North Productions

bam north productions

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @BethofBAMNorth

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Learn About my Writing Process

Happy Monday! My regular Music Monday post has been replaced by this blog meme and will return next week. “My Writing Process” is a blog tour which takes place every Monday. Here, you will discover an individual author’s writing process based on four simple questions.

I was invited by author Raymond Bolton, who posted his writing process last Monday. I’ve featured Raymond on my blog previously when he released his novel, Awakening.

Below are the questions and my answers:

What am I working on?
My very first novel. Wheee! I’ve written and published anthologies, novellas, short stories, and flash fiction up until now, so this full-length novel has been a real challenge. It’s also a different genre from what I primarily wrote in. I’m moving from erotica to mystery.

Double whammy, but hey, I love a challenge, or maybe I’m just mad.

steven saylor quote

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ll be honest. I hate this question. As a writer who’s penned erotica, romance, thrillers, I’m all about the storytelling and I could give a rat’s ass about genre. Genre is an old dividing line for readers, with some stories categorized as plot-driven and others as character-driven. Mysteries are normally classified as plot-driven, along with thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, and romance. There’s a lot of judgment in this type of categorization, with the assumption that character-driven stories are more “literary,” and plot-driven “genre” stories are entertaining but not well written.

To this, I say, Bullocks! And I’m not even British.

mysteryIt’s ridiculous to pit one against the other, and that’s why the argument of genre becomes tiresome for me.

I don’t write to fit my work into a genre. I’ve classified my upcoming book as a psychological mystery because there are complex characters and interplay between them. There is also a plot that moves them forward. There is no detective, but there is suspense. The end product has both conflict and growth. Whether you love the “Whodunnit” mystery or prefer the psychological interaction between characters, I think you’ll enjoy my book.

Why do I write what I do?

I’m not crazy about this question either (I’m beginning to wonder why I’m on this tour ;) ). The best answer I can come up with is my writing is fuelled by interests outside of writing. Some of these things are: the human psyche; foreign destinations; music; culture; current events; travel; life and death; love; sex; life in general. Until now, I’ve written erotica because I had the stories, and I liked telling them. Sex is a provocative and universal subject.

Now, I have another story to tell. It’s not erotic. It’s mysterious. Can you tell I really don’t like being labeled?

How does my writing process work?

In previous interviews, I’ve said I don’t deconstruct my writing, and that’s the god’s honest truth, but there are a few things I do regularly which steep me in the discipline.

Writing everyday is important. Reading is important. Right now, I’m on a word count schedule because it’s important to know I’ve reached milestones in my book, but that’s as strict as I get. The internal pressure to finish my book is great, but I also know myself. As a full time writer, I can easily become obsessive and self-absorbed if I don’t have a balance in my life. For this reason, I pursue external endeavours that have little to do with writing. 

One last tidbit, though I consider writing a serious business (and it should be if you want to earn a living from it), it needs to be fun. Here’s a piece of writing humour you might enjoy.

ImportantWritingTips humor

Next week, you can discover the writing process of three more authors. Visit their sites and see how amazing they are, then you’ll know why I chose them for this tour. I’ve included their Twitter handles too, so you can follow them now.

They will each post on Monday, February 24th to their individual sites, so watch for them!

Annetta Ribken ~ A professional editor of over ninety novels, Annetta Ribken has also been writing since a tender young age, when letters were chiseled on stone tablets, and is currently living and working just outside St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena. Twitter: @netta50

Cameron Garriepy ~ Romance novelist, genre-crossing short story author and indie publisher. Twitter: @camerongarriepy

Victoria Dougherty ~ She comes from the ultimate Cold War family – daring escapes, backyard firing squads, Communist snitches, bowlfuls of goulash, gargoyles, spies, killers and dangerous pursuits, all part of her recent family history and explain why she writes Cold War thrillers. Twitter: @vicdougherty

My sincere thanks again to Ray for inviting me on this tour.

~eden

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Happy Valentine’s Day ~ Save on my books via @selenablake and @indieauthorland

You already know my two books, Fall into Winter and Hot Flash are on sale for 99 cents until Feb 17th.

Well … I have more great news for you!

Here are two more sites where you can find my books along with others on sale.

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I’m joining 11 fabulous authors to bring you some extra romance this Valentine’s Day.

Hit the button below and be taken to the individual authors’ sites. It’s time to save big!

Many thanks to author, Selena Blake for putting this promotion together!

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My two books are also featured on one of my favourite sites for indie authors – Indie Author Land. See all their wonderful deals by hitting the button below.

indie author land button

Enjoy Valentine’s Day by picking up a gift of books!

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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New Release by @ReginaPucket and @CharityParkerso

I’m happy to announce the release today of Chained by Desire, a book from authors Charity Parkerson and Regina Puckett.

Please help me congratulate them on their new novel! There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway as well, so make sure to enter for great prizes.

~eden

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chained by desire

Buy links:

Ellora’s CaveAmazon US

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Blurb:

Not good enough for heaven but not bad enough to burn, Kylie has a slight problem. She’s dead and trapped between the realms.

Left with no options, she follows Detective Liam Stone on the hunt for her killer. Death has left Kylie invisible but does nothing to dampen her desire for the sexy detective. Instead, it  gives her the freedom to do as she pleases with his body, and what a delicious body it is.

Liam’s determined to solve Kylie’s case but as the clues uncover an underground world of demonic torture and pacts, Liam must face his own secrets or the flames of passion won’t be the only ones the couple will have to face.

Inside Scoop: Parts of this tale are graphically violent, but other parts might leave you drooling for a ghost or a demon of your own. Look out for the brief but hot F/F scenes in the bedroom and the shower.

A Romantica® horror erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

rafflecopter

Excerpt:

She died on this corner. It seemed strange it would be right here where she caught the bus each morning and evening. She couldn’t recall why she had been there at that exact time but it didn’t change the outcome. She was dead.

She had been brought up to believe things would be different when this day came. There would be light, trumpets…peace. Kylie had none of those things. Instead, she stood looking down at her lifeless body in shock. Maybe this is what happens when you’re murdered. That thought lingered on the outer rim of her disbelief.

“At least my nails still look good,” she said tilting her head to get a better look at the rounded pink tips she’d gotten done the day before. At her statement, the man hovering over her empty shell lifted her hand from the ground and inspected her nails.

“It doesn’t look as if she tried to defend herself.”

No shit Sherlock, she thought with a roll of her eyes. She craned her neck attempting to get a better look at the man’s face. He was big and rugged looking, as if he hadn’t shaved in at least a week. The beginnings of a dark beard covered his chin but in a harsh contrast to his dark hair, his eyes were a light blue almost exactly the same shade as the sky. He was a sexy one she realized with a pang of regret for the life she had lost.

“Thank God I wore my good panties.”

He lifted her skirt. “Underwear’s still in place. She doesn’t appear to have been raped.”

“Put that down you dirty little bastard. Sheesh! Who is this guy?” He dropped the material and smoothed it down over her knees. It was a sad day when a girl ended up murdered on a street corner and couldn’t even hold onto her modesty afterward. Damn, why hadn’t someone as sexy as him wanted to check out her girly bits while she’d still been able to enjoy it? Typical.

Meet the Authors

charity parkerson

Website | FB for Charity | FB for The Men of Sin | Twitter @CharityParkerso

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Midnight Books, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath
*Named one of the top 10 best books by an Indie author in 2011- Paranormal Reads Reviews
*Best Paranormal Romance of 2012- Paranormal Reads Reviews

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regina puckett

Facebook | Twitter @reginapucket | Website | Goodreads

Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.

Borrowed Wings, has received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Memories won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.

Slowly Drowning won second place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her poetry book, My Words into the Beyond.

Sir Galahad Comes to the Rescue won third place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Ramblings and Dreams.

Her collection of poetry, Fireflies, won 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.

She has been writing for over forty-five years. She lives in Tennessee with her husband of over forty years. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

She writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, picture books and poetry. There are several projects in various stages of completion and there are always characters and stories waiting for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.

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I am exposed in Indie Authors Naked by @lorenkleinman

For about seven years, I was a member of a nudist resort. I was never a purist nudist, the type who would only go on nude holidays, walk around nude in the house, hang out with other nudists, etc.

My goal was to get out of the city on summer weekends and take in the rays in a beautiful environment. It just happened to be a resort for nudists. The private hideaway, replete with a lake, sauna, whirlpool, tennis courts, and billiard tables (you can laugh, I hear you) welcomed children and adults, encouraged family memberships. Single men could only join with a female partner. The property was owned by an elderly couple – their place, their rules.

That was many years ago. As a writer, I never thought I’d be caught naked, but here I am. Metaphorically naked, that is.

Indie Authors Naked, edited by poet, Loren Kleinman, exposes some terrific indie writers. The book is brilliantly laid out. Each author is introduced by someone who knows their work or has some relationship to them as a writer. My wonderful editor, Annetta Ribken did me the honour of writing my introduction. The actual interviews shed light on questions of craft, motivation, and the publishing industry. There is a terrific cross-section of writers, which makes for a compelling and informative read.

Authors both traditionally and self-published are represented in this book, so for anyone interested in publishing, you will learn about the process from an author’s perspective, and the reasons for their choices.

Indie Authors Naked officially releases January 15th in ebook and print, but the digital version is available NOW on Amazon.

I feel privileged to be included in this book with the likes of indie media darlings, James Franco and Hugh Howey, as well as accomplished writer friends, Rachel Thompson, J. Alexander Greenwood, Christoph Paul and many others.

I hope you will pick up the book and learn more about all the wonderful indie authors exposed in it.

indie authors naked

Buy from Amazon: US | UK | Canada

Follow the book tour beginning January 23rd.

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Indie Authors Naked explores and defines the world of independent publishing.

Comprised of a series of essays and interviews by indie authors, booksellers and publishers, readers will get a look at the many aspects of the indie community, where publishing professionals of all types come together with the simple goal of creating something unique; something that speaks directly to the reader, no middleman necessary.

Contributors include: James Franco, Hugh Howey, McNally Jackson Books, Sarah Gerard, OHWOW Books, Raine Miller, David Vinjamuri, Toby Neal, Rachel Thompson, Eden Baylee, Christoph Paul, Jessica Redmerski, and more.

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About Loren Kleinman

loren kleinman

Loren Kleinman is a writer and poet with roots in New Jersey. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex. Kleinman is a columnist for IndieReader.com (IR) where she interviews New York Times and USA Today bestselling indie authors. Some of those interviews in IR reappeared in USA Today and The Huffington Post.

Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Writer’s Bloc, Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize finalist. In 2003, Spire Press published her first collection of poetry Flamenco Sketches, which explored the relationship between love and jazz.

Her second collection of poetry, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs, is due to release with Winter Goose Publishing in March 2014. She is currently working on a New Adult romance, This Way to Forever.

Links for Loren

Website | Twitter @lorenkleinman | Facebook | Amazon | LinkedIn | Tumblr

Learn more about Loren in an interview she recently gave to Toby Neal, another fabulous author featured in Indie Authors Naked.

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About Amy Holman Edelman

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Amy Holman Edelman launched IndieReader, the essential consumer guide to self-published books and the people who write them, way back in 2007. Since then, indie authors have stormed the bestseller lists, been courted by trad publishers and (after all that), finally gained a modicum of respect. 

Amy self-published her first book, The Fashion Resource Directory, back in the 80s, long before POD and Amazon and e-readers roamed the land. Her second and third books (The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair), were traditionally published (by Simon & Schuster and Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of Crown).

As an author and a publicist with over 20 years’ experience, Amy’s goal for IndieReader is no less than to make indie a respected and desirable category within the publishing world. This book is just one step in that direction.

Links for IndieReader

Website | Twitter @indiereader | Facebook

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New Release by @RaymondBolton ~ Awakening (The Ydron Saga)

Raymond and I go back a few years when  we wrote as part of the collective Black Ink, White Paper. We had lots of fun in that group, penning blogs that were not just about writing, but about what we did outside of writing.

Ray and I also shared a love of  good scotch, so we always had something to talk about.

I’m thrilled to learn he has released his novel  Awakening, The Ydron Saga.

I know Ray to be a pristine writer and I’ve picked up my copy. Find out more and grab yours.

Way to start the new year, Ray, congratulations!

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Awakening

Sold via Amazon: ebook | Print

How does a world equipped with bows, arrows and catapults, where steam power is just beginning to replace horses and sailing ships, avert a conquest from beyond the stars?

Prince Regilius has been engineered to combat the Dalthin, a predatory alien species that enslaves worlds telepathically, and to do so he must unite his people. But when his mother murders his father, the land descends into chaos and his task may prove impossible. Faced with slaying the one who gave him life in order to protect his world, he seeks a better way. Set in a vast and varied land where telepaths and those with unusual metal abilities tip the course of events, Awakening goes to the heart of family, friendship and betrayal.

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Connect To Raymond

raymond Bolton

WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

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Help make WINTER IN THE CITY a reality via @kickstarter and @rbwood

I’m no fan of winter in the city, but I am a fan of R.B. Wood’s project called: Winter in the City - a collection of urban fantasy tales.

It’s never easy to spearhead a project with multiple writers. It requires time, commitment, and talent. Richard and his team have all this. What they need help with is funding, and that’s how you can help.

Richard is running a Kickstarter campaign, and it’s in the final 10 days! This is the crucial time to grab attention for the cause and help it achieve its goal of $15,000.

I’m very proud to back this campaign because I know Richard has supported many writers, especially with his Word Count Podcast.

I urge you to check out the campaign and donate if you can. If not, donate a few seconds and share it via your networks. Spreading the word will connect the campaign to someone who can make a difference. 

Hit the graphic and see the excellent perks you can receive for your donation via Kickstarter!

winter in the city kickstarter

Connect to Winter in the City

Website | Facebook | Twitter @CityWinter

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WIN 2 tickets for Toronto screening of AWAITING ATWOOD by @BethofBamNorth

UPDATE Nov 18th 12:45 PMThe winner is Betsy Purvis! Thanks again to everyone for commenting. Tickets are still available for sale from 5PM today.

UPDATE Nov 18th 12:16 PM: The winner’s name has been drawn using random.org, and I will apprise shortly once the prize has been accepted.

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Per a previous post, Awaiting Atwood, a film I had the pleasure to be involved with is screening in Toronto, Monday, November 18, 7 PM at the Carlton.

Filmmaker Beth Mairs of BAM North Productions is generously offering TWO FREE TICKETS to readers of my blog! (Tickets are available for sale at the theatre 2 hours before the screening).

To win, answer this question in the comments. Make sure you include a valid email address.

Which one of Margaret Atwood’s books was published in 1969, coinciding with the rise of the women’s movement in North America?

a) The Edible Woman

b) The Handmaid’s Tale

c) The Year of the Flood

~ I will draw for the winner by Nov. 18th, NOON and advise on how to pick up the tickets. ~

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Check out the trailer. I have a tiny part in this film playing the Junior Cop.

Connect to BAM North Productions

bam north productions

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @BethofBAMNorth

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Attend the Premiere Screenings of AWAITING ATWOOD ~ a film by @BethofBamNorth

Awaiting Atwood, a film I had the pleasure to be involved with is screening this month! Wheee!

The movie is directed by Beth Mairs of BAM North Productions, who stars in it with her wife, Betty Ann McPherson. I was honoured to donate my books as a perk for the successful Indiegogo campaign.

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Two washed-up, middle-aged adventuresses are under the delusion literary icon Margaret Atwood has invited them to stay with her in downtown Toronto. Having nothing better to do for the summer, they turn this into a full-on adventure traveling by bike and canoe from Sudbury to land on Ms. Atwood’s front lawn. En route, they experience a series of misadventures, encountering themes and images from several of Atwood’s best-loved novels.

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Check out the film trailer. I have a tiny part in this film. Can you spot me? ;)

Three Screenings in November!

WORLD PREMIERE in SUDBURY! ~ Thursday, Nov. 14th at 8pm at Vale Cavern, Science North. Margaret Atwood will be present! ~ Facebook event page

margaret atwood

SUDBURY ~ Friday, Nov. 22nd at 7:30pm at (old) Rainbow Cinemas. Female Eye Film Festival in Sudbury Opening Night -  Tickets are $25 . ~ Facebook event page

TORONTO ~ Monday, Nov. 18th at 7pm Carlton Cinema. (on Margaret Atwood’s actual birthday!) Tickets are $10 with an after-party next door. ~ Facebook event page. I hope to see you there!

Connect to BAM North Productions

bam north productions

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @BethofBAMNorth

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ANNETTA RIBKEN (@netta50) ~ The Chariot Interview and a FAB GIVEAWAY

Allegories of the Tarot Badass Marketing Blog TourGet to know Annetta Ribken, one of the 22 contributors to and editor of the recently-released Allegories of the Tarot Anthology (which is already trailblazing its way up the fantasy anthology charts on Amazon!). Annetta wrote her tale, Squashfest, based on The Chariot card. You can read an excerpt of her story below.

Get the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on AmazonSmashwords, Kobo, and everywhere else e-books are sold. Add the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

About Annetta

Annetta RibkenA professional editor of over eighty novels, Annetta Ribken has also been writing since a tender young age, when letters were chiseled on stone tablets. A precocious student, Annetta earned her Ph.D in the School of Hard Knocks, with honors, in the early Age of Disco. She lives and works just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.

Annetta has big plans to release the sequels to Athena’s Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy) and The Trailer Park Tiara and the Goat Incident (a Sally Mae Riddley Adventure) in 2014. She is not too proud to bribe her muse with chocolate.

You can find out all about her at about.me/annettaribken including a link to her fiction on Amazon and all other fine online book stores.

Just a few questions…

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card? The Chariot is all about victory and overcoming obstacles due to hard work and self-discipline. I’m really in touch with that feeling. Funny enough, it was also the last card left after the other writers had their pick. Coincidence? You decide.

Why did you decide to get roped into this project? Since I started the whole thing :), you can read how it all began here for the long version, but the short version is it’s a cool idea and it wouldn’t leave me alone.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before? I have. Obviously, or this would be an anthology about something else. I’m fascinated by the images and the meanings behind the cards, although I feel like the Tarot is more about the human experience than anything occult. But how the cards fall? Could be Fate.

What other projects do you have planned? Yoiks. I’m a full-time freelance editor, so I usually always have something going on. In my spare time (snort) I’m working on finishing ATHENA’S CHAINS, the sequel to ATHENA’S PROMISE, and the second novella in the Adventures of Sally Mae Riddley series.

Chariot share photoHow did you decide what to write about? I have this chatty wench in my head and she never shuts up. You speak as if I had a choice. I started a different story, but Sally Mae was having NONE OF IT.

How literal did you want to get with your card? I didn’t want to be too literal, but again, Sally Mae had other plans. I think the story has subtleties which involve The Chariot which might be cleared up the more her overall story comes to light.

Is your story a part of something you’ve written about previously? Yes, indeedy. SQUASHFEST is part of the Sally Mae world, set just before the events in THE TRAILER PARK TIARA AND THE GOAT INCIDENT.

Would you like to have written about any other card? Which card? Why? I actually think it was the perfect card. I’d really like to write stories about all the cards, because there’s so much rich story fodder there. Eventually, I may do just that.

If you could have the power to divine the future, would you or would you not and why? The Tarot isn’t so much a divination of the future as much as it is a reflection of the human experience and a guide to what you might face. I actually believe the future is far from certain; there are too many variables which depend on the decisions of others. That being said, I further believe everything happens for a reason, and it’s up to you how you react. It’s all about CHOICE.

I think knowing what the future holds would be a burden and scary as hell.

An excerpt from Squashfest

She settled on one side of the table and me and Becky Jo flopped to a seat on the pillows. The woman’s eyes never left my face, which I found a bit disconcerting. Like she was studying a bug on a pin. She reached out toward a covered object and moved it away. “Not the crystal ball,” she said. Squinting her eyes, she pulled out a deck of old, worn cards and placed it in the center of the table. “No, for you it will be the cards.”

I shivered. Becky Jo sat all quiet-like, her hands clasped in her lap. I wondered what she was picking up from all this.

“But first,” the woman continued, “there must be payment.”

Oh, hellfire. I hope Becky Jo din’t spend her last dime on that butternut. “How much, ma’am?”

“Give me what you have in your pockets. Both of you. Because I can see you’re closely tied together.”

I warn’t too impressed by that, considering we’d come in hand-in-hand. She’s probably nothing but a big faker.

She tsked. “I assure you, I’m the real deal.”

I pert near swallowed my tongue.

Read the rest of Squashfest in the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology!

About Allegories of the Tarot

Allegories of the TarotOnce upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and were fashioned into an anthology?”

The idea would not leave her alone.

And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born.

Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe.

Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.

Get the book!

Allegories of the Tarot is available in e-book and paperback format on Amazon, Kobo, and in multiple e-book formats on Smashwords.

Don’t forget to add Allegories of the Tarot to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Connect with the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on its websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

Fabulous Giveaway ~ Check out the Prizes!

Hit the widget below and be taken to Rafflecopter where you can win any of these fab prizes! Good luck!

allegories prizes

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Allegories of the Tarot Anthology releases TODAY!

Wheee! The anthology I’m a part of launches today! Read more about it and find out how you can buy your copy. Thanks to everyone who supported this book, especially to the the woman who created the idea, our wonderful editor, Annetta Ribken.

I am sure I speak for everyone on this project when I say I love you, Netta. 

AllegoriesRelease

Get the Allegories of the Tarot anthology on Amazon and Smashwords

Add the Allegories of the Tarot anthology to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

Swing by the Allegories of the Tarot Facebook page and enter the release-day giveaway. Win a custom Tarot box–complete with Tarot deck!

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Allegories of the Tarot

Who hasn’t been fascinated by the mysterious Tarot, writer and reader alike? For centuries, fortune-telling by the Tarot has caught many an imagination, but nothing like what will be presented here.

22 cards… each an individual splinter of the human psyche.

22 writers… honing each splinter into a story of triumph and decay, arrogance and humility.

Stories of the brightest lights and the darkest corners of the weirdest minds.

22 cross-genre worlds.

22 portals into the Universal.

Only one way to get there.

Come with us. Cross the portals. The Universal awaits.

About the book

Once upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and were fashioned into an anthology?”

The idea would not leave her alone.

And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born.

Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind:†Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe.

Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.


Allegories of the Tarot Badass Marketing Blog Tour

Early readers have fallen in love with Allegories of the Tarot

“Allegories of the Tarot Anthology is a magical book. Magic that will keep you turning the pages. There are muses, demons, psychics, evil, and more! I shivered, I laughed and I even cried. Magic, I tell you. Magic.” – Julie Affleck

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“Reviewing an anthology is slightly more difficult than discussing a book or comic because the tone varies from author to author. However, Allegories somehow flowed together as a well-matched whole. The project ended up feeling like several beads strung together to form a beautiful necklace that were more amazing for being paired together.” – Jodi Scaife

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“All twenty-two stories in this volume are, in a word, superb. I found myself scouring the Internet as I read it; every story made me want to go find more work by its author. The ultimate compliment I can give Allegories is to say that when I finished it, I thought how I envy those who haven’t read it yet.” – Lisa Millraney

Get the book!

Allegories of the Tarot is available in e-book and paperback format on Amazon, and in multiple e-book formats on Smashwords.

Don’t forget to add Allegories of the Tarot to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Connect with the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on its websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

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FAMILY MAGIC turns TWO ~ Come celebrate with @PattiLarsen and @BadAssMktg

FM-Bday-Bash-Banner-600x250

Welcome to the Family Magic Birthday Extravaganza! Family Magic, the first book in Patti Larsen’s epic 20-book Hayle Coven young adult series, is having its second anniversary–and we’re bringing the magic, fun, and awesomeness to this birthday celebration!

Join author Patti Larsen and Badass Marketing for a week of fun, contests, giveaways, never-before-shared deleted scenes, and a kick-ass scavenger hunt that will have you looking for magic in unexpected places!

Check out where the party’s happening right here!

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Multiple chances to WIN!

Hit Rafflecopter and find out how.

rafflecopter

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Check out this deleted chapter from Family Magic, where we find out the full story behind Frank’s transformation into a vampire.

I made it to the light at the end of the tunnel, namely the door at the top of the stairs and forced my way through the hungry crowd in the kitchen. I reached the hallway before anyone could stop me and pressed my back against the cool wall of the dark hallway, trying to shut out the laughing voices in the next room. The last thing I wanted to do was participate in the social gathering that always followed a night of ceremony. Miriam took her role as coven leader very seriously and the party would go on well into the night. I just hoped the fight we’d had would prevent her from insisting I join the rest of the coven in the celebration.

For some reason, I just didn’t feel like celebrating.

I made it to the stairs without being challenged and took it as a victory. As I took the first step I heard my mother’s voice, cheerful and welcoming, in the kitchen and breathed a sigh of relief she had recovered. I fully intended to corner her the next day and try to apologize, especially since I knew if I let it go too long she would start moping and using guilt again.

I was so focused on escape I practically tripped over the two people kissing on the stairs. I let out a small, involuntary shriek and slipped back a step, clutching at the rail to keep myself from falling. I needn’t have bothered. Two sets of very strong hands grabbed and held me as the kissing couple moved with supernatural speed to save me from a tumble down the stairs. They pulled me down practically on top of them, overestimating each other’s strength, I guess. I ended up in a three-person heap, laughing with my would-be rescuers.

On one side, a handsome, boyish face grinned at me in the dark, features becoming clearer as I grew accustomed to the low light. Shiny white teeth and blue eyes flashed and the strong hands let me go. On the other, pale red hair shone in the faint light coming from the kitchen. Another set of very white teeth sparkled, pointed and very sharp.

I struggled to right myself, only succeeding in collapsing on them again. The resulting laughter eased my tension and I ended up relaxing between them as they both hugged me at once.

“Watch the fangs, Uncle Frank,” I mock-growled. My very handsome and very dead uncle did his best Hollywood Dracula impression.

“Oh, common, Syd,” he swept his head back, fangs exposed, “join the club!  It’s a gas.”

I pushed away from him, sniggering.

“Dead guys get gas?”  I ducked the fake swat he aimed at me and ended up with his girlfriend’s arms around me.

“I’ll hold her down,” Sunny said.

Yes, Sunny is her real name. Most unfortunate for a vampire, but she thinks it’s funny. I pretended to struggle and fought a case of the giggles. Release of tension usually makes me a little giddy.

“Fangs but no fangs,” I punned. Uncle Frank groaned and made a horrible face.

“No!  Anything but puns!  I’m melting!”  He made a hideous noise and collapsed against the railing. Sunny and I giggled appreciatively.

“Not bad,” she prodded his ‘dead’ body with one bare foot.

“No Oscar here,” I said. “No actual melting happened, so…”

Uncle Frank sat up suddenly and shrugged.

“Everyone’s a critic.”

Sunny and I laughed. I leaned forward and hugged Uncle Frank hard, much harder than I intended. And even though it would have taken a lot more that than to hurt him, he noticed. He pulled back and cupped my face in his hands.

“Skipping the party, Syd?”

I tried to pull away but he wouldn’t let go. Sunny’s grip got a little tighter, too. I sighed. Can’t pull one over on a vampire, I guess.

“Not interested,” I said, trying to be casual and failing utterly. The tension came back and I know they both felt it.

Uncle Frank made a face. “Yeah, us either.”

I made a face back. “Vamps aren’t invited.”

“Their loss,” the pair said in unison. We giggled. Then, I sighed, heavy and sad, and collapsed completely against Sunny. She hugged me, her body warm. She must have eaten before I got there. I tried not to shudder at the thought.

Uncle Frank let me go and settled down on one elbow, blue eyes on mine.

“Miriam giving you a hard time again?”

“Try tag team Hayle,” I said. “They even dragged Meira into it.”

“Ouch,” Uncle Frank said. “Not really fair.”

I loved Uncle Frank. “You have no idea.”

“So the same old or new stuff?”

“Same old,” I toyed with the bracelet on Sunny’s wrist. “They just don’t get it.”

“What, that you wish you hadn’t been born the daughter of a demon?  That you hate moving so much because something always happens that makes the coven relocate?  That you have the potential to be the most powerful witch of your generation?”

I nodded, tears actually welling. I felt like crap. I knew Uncle Frank would get it.

“Yeah, exactly.”

“Poor you,” he said softly. I looked up at him and realized for the first time he wasn’t really sympathizing. He actually looked angry.

“Sorry?” I said.

Uncle Frank took a deep breath and exchanged a look with Sunny. He looked back at me and let the breath go. I wondered at the significance. After all, neither of them had to breath.

“Sorry, Syd,” he said. “I’ve just gotten to the point of having a hard time understanding that you are rejecting everything I ever wanted.”

I looked over my shoulder at Sunny. She looked really sad. I looked back at Uncle Frank and shook my head.

“I don’t get it.”

“Of course you don’t,” he answered. “You missed it all, kiddo. You were just a baby when it happened.”

“Are you planning to fill me in?”

He shrugged, not looking at me. I got mad all of a sudden and kicked him, hard.

“You know what really pisses me off?  The stupid secrets!  Our big, dark secrets we keep from the world and, obviously, from each other, too. Man, I hate this family!”

I struggled to pull away, but Sunny held me again.

“Let go,” I snapped, pushing her hands away.

Sunny looked at Uncle Frank. “Tell her,” she said.

Uncle Frank nodded. “Miriam will kill me but, yeah, okay, let’s tell Syd the truth.”

I managed to pull away from Sunny only because she was suddenly willing to let me go. I looked back and forth between them. Uncle Frank flashed a half smile, bitter and full of emotion.

“You never heard how I became a vampire, did you, Syd?”

I shook my head. “The usual way, I guess?”

Uncle Frank and Sunny both laughed, but there was no humor in it. The air seemed cold and I hugged myself.

“Yeah, Syd, the usual way. But you don’t know why.”

I watched him as he shifted on the step, uneasy, his hand gripping Sunny’s.

“It was my fault,” Sunny blurted.

“No way, Sunshine,” Uncle Frank stopped her. “Mine, all the way.”

“Hang on a sec,” I said. “Are you saying that Sunny… that you…”

“I made your uncle a vampire,” Sunny said.

I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding and tried to process it.

“Wow holy cow.”

Uncle Frank squeezed Sunny’s hand. “It was an accident, Syd. We never meant for it to go that far.”

I shook my head. “Seriously, Uncle Frank, what did you expect would happen?  You’re a witch, or you were. You know vampirism is contagious. How could you possibly have an accident?”

“Because, Syd,” Uncle Frank spoke so softly I had to strain to hear over the growing noise in the kitchen, “that’s just it. I wasn’t a witch.”

“Sorry,” I said. “ You said what?”

Uncle Frank looked up at me, an old and aching sadness in his eyes that made me want to hug him as hard as I could and never let go. “I was born into the most powerful witch family in the country, the only son, second born, and I was born normal.”

I sat in silence, the second blow harder than the first. “You were born without magic?”

Uncle Frank nodded. I looked at Sunny whose expression confirmed it.

Suddenly, I felt like total crap. I had spent my entire life using Uncle Frank as a crying post, the only person I thought understood my feelings about being a witch. I had spent countless hours commiserating over my miserable life with him and he had offered only comfort and understanding. I had thought the vampirism had been from an attack. He was very powerful in magic and I just assumed that the journey to the undead had accentuated his abilities, not created them. I leaned forward and hugged him. He slowly hugged me back.

“I’m sorry, Uncle Frank,” I said.

His arms tightened. “I’m not,” he answered.

I let him go and leaned back. He smiled again, this time with genuine happiness. His eyes flickered to Sunny then back to me.

“I spent my whole life trying to raise my magic. You think you feel like a fish out of the aquarium. Imagine being the only person in your whole family who can’t do magic. Who everyone looks at with pity and treats like the class idiot. The normal who doesn’t fit in.”  Some of the bitterness was back. “My parents didn’t know what to do with me. The coven ignored me and banished me from ceremonies, even from the parties afterwards because I made them uncomfortable. I couldn’t get it, Syd, don’t you see?  I wasn’t one of them and never would be.”

I nodded. “I get it.”

Uncle Frank went on. “The only person who cared, who tried to help, was your mother. Miriam was the oldest and she saw it as her responsibility to help me find my magic. She defended me so much, I wondered if she felt guilty that she had so much magic, that she was even more powerful than our mother, and worried that that was the reason I had none.”

He shifted again, this time to relax a little. “I did blame her, later, just a little. I started thinking the same thing when we finally realized her full potential. I finally got to the point where I rejected everyone in the family and just ran away.

“I traveled for a few years, trying out what it was like to be normal, but I craved the power, the belonging. It seemed like everywhere I went, I met witches who knew our family. I was away when your grandmother, my mother, faced the Purity Coven and won, but I wasn’t there for her to help her and I always felt guilty, like if I had had power, maybe Ethpeal would still have her mind.”

“Mom tells me nothing could have saved Gram, Uncle Frank,” I said. “She gave up too much.”

Uncle Frank nodded. “Still. You can guess how I felt.”

I nodded, silent, not knowing what to say. I had never been on the comfort side before, at least not with him.

“I decided to try to find my magic on my own, by any means necessary. It really hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I was born normal after all. I always believed that the magic was hidden, blocked somehow and if I could find just the right spell, the right ritual, I could release it and finally claim my birthright.

“I tried everything, Syd, as guilty as that makes me feel. Yes,” he held up one hand to silence me before I could ask the obvious, shock on my face, “I even dabbled in negative magic. It never went very far, mind you, but only because I couldn’t bear the price. I contacted demons and foreign covens, witch doctors and priests but no one could help me. No one.

“At least, that’s what I thought. Until I met Sunny and everything changed.”

I looked at Sunny, too stunned by the revelations Uncle Frank was sharing to speak, but wanting her side of the story. Sunny smiled hesitantly at both of us.

“Frank changed everything for me too, Syd,” she said softly. Someone in the kitchen laughed loudly and we all jumped. Sunny giggled. “It feels like we’re breaking the rules, Frank.”

“We are. Keep going, Sunshine.”

She nodded, pale red hair rippling. “I’ve been around a long time, Syd,” she said. “And no, a lady doesn’t tell her age but I will tell you this:  I’ve been around long enough to know that someone like your Uncle Frank and the wonderful family that made him don’t come around very often.”

I tried to ignore the gentle chiding and nodded.

She touched my face gently and smiled again. “When I met Frank, I had been alone for a long time. I had given up the traditional vampire ways of feeding on normals and turned to already drawn blood. Not as satisfying but does the trick.”

I tried not to shudder.

“I had decided that it was too dangerous for me to be around normals from then on and had begun to search for a place I could hide for the rest of eternity.”  She made a face. “Am I glad I gave up that idea.”

Uncle Frank laughed. “Me too, love.”

Somehow their exchanges of gooey eyes didn’t bother me as much as my mom and dad.

Sunny went on. “Frank and I hit it off immediately, I think because he knew right away what I was and didn’t care. I stayed in the world for him at first out of curiosity and then out of love. When Frank finally told me what he was searching for, I felt terrible for him and wished there was something I could do to help. I went with him to try to find an answer but with each failure I watched him become more and more withdrawn, more desperate and torn apart.”

“I was a bit of a mess,” Uncle Frank grinned.

“I guess,” she answered. “One night we started talking about power. Frank knew I had some magic and to him, at that point, some magic was better than none. We came up with a plan to infuse him with just enough of my blood to trigger his power but keep him alive.”

“Guess that didn’t work, huh?”  I kept it light and the pair laughed.

“Nope,” Uncle Frank said. “We both underestimated the strength of the vampire infection.”

“I wanted so much to make you happy. And because of that I gave you too much,” Sunny sighed.

“You gave me what I asked for,” Uncle Frank leaned over me to kiss Sunny on the temple. “And it wasn’t enough. I took more and ended up, well, dead.”

“Happy dead,” she laughed.

“You betcha,” he laughed back.

I sat between the two vampires and felt like a total jerk. I had spent so much time feeling sorry for myself that I hadn’t even considered that they had a sadder story than I did.

“That’s crappy, Uncle Frank. No offense, Sunny,” I said quickly.

“None taken,” she murmured with a smile.

Uncle Frank disagreed, however. “I’m exactly where I want to be. And because of Sunny and the vampirism, my power, my magic, emerged. I’m finally what I wanted all along.”

“Knowing what you know, being who you are, how could you put up with me all that time?” I asked him, outraged for him at myself as odd as that was. “I would have smacked me up side the head about a million years ago.”

Uncle Frank smiled at me. “Because, Syd. Despite the fact we wanted opposite things, you were exactly like me. You just wanted to fit in, to be normal, like everyone else. Except, normal to you was, well, exactly that. To be a normal. I got it, I get it and I love you for it.”

“I feel a huge ‘but’ hanging out there, Uncle Frank,” I said.

He nodded, serious.  “But… be careful, Syd, very careful what you wish for. It never happens exactly the way you want and can severely bite you in the butt. And the power, it doesn’t just go away, it just hides for a while… and when it comes out, it can take everything away again…”

I hugged myself then and they hugged me too. I felt their love pour over me and into me like a warm wave, but this time I didn’t resist. Not their love, their power, because I felt perfect and accepted in their arms, like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

“Because you don’t expect anything from me,” I whispered.

Uncle Frank leaned back, eyes widening. “Is that it, kiddo?”

“I guess that’s part of it. I’m tired of being told who I am, what I’m supposed to do, be, how powerful I’m supposed to be, it’s crap, Uncle Frank and I’m sick of it.”

He was suddenly very still.

“Have you told them?”

“What’s to tell?”  I felt the bitterness well up and didn’t try to hide it from them. “They don’t care. All that matters is the family, the power, the lineage. You get that, Uncle Frank. They did it to you too.”

He sighed then, deep and long.

“Now it’s my turn to be sorry, Syd. I had no idea.”

“Maybe I didn’t either until just now,” I said, believing it. Weird how revelations can come on a stairway in the dark with two vampires as witnesses. I’d have to try it again.

I pulled myself to my feet, away from them, suddenly really tired.

“I’m going to go to bed. Can you tell Mom if she asks?”

“Did you make her cry?”  He asked.

“Yup,” I sighed.

“I’ll tell her,” he winked.

I hugged both of them and continued on up the stairs, my whole body feeling heavy and almost sore. I made it to the last step and my bedroom, aware that I was feeling way less sorry for myself but wondering if I would ever really be free.

“Love you, Syd,” Uncle Frank said.

“Love you too,” I said, and closed my bedroom door.

* * * *

adonis

You found the statue!

About Family Magic

Family Magic by Patti LarsenHer mom’s a witch.
Her dad’s a demon.
And she just wants to be ordinary.

I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. My heavy velvet cloak fell in oppressive, suffocating folds in the closed space of the ceremony chamber, the cowl trapping the annoying bits of puff I missed. I hated the way my eyes burned and teared, an almost constant distraction. Not that I didn’t welcome the distraction, to be honest. Anything to take my mind from what went on around me.

Being part of a demon raising is way less exciting than it sounds.

Sydlynn Hayle’s life couldn’t be more complicated. Trying to please her coven, starting over in a new town, and fending off a bully cheerleader who hates her are just the beginning of her troubles. What to do when delicious football hero Brad Peters–boyfriend of her cheer nemesis–shows interest? If only the darkly yummy witch, Quaid Moromond, didn’t make it so difficult for her to focus on fitting in with the normal kids. Add to that her crazy grandmother’s constant escapes driving her family to the brink and Syd’s between a rock and a coven site. Forced to take on power she doesn’t want to protect a coven who blames her for everything, only she can save her family’s magic.

If her family’s distrust doesn’t destroy her first.

Find Family Magic on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Connect with Patti Larsen on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

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Filed under Author Promotions

Urban fantasy author @CarrieClevenger releases TRAITORS

Author Carrie Clevenger is officially releasing a new Crooked Fang novella next week, and I wanted to help her spread the word! Her popular series centers around Xan Marcelles, bassist for the band, Crooked Fang. He also happens to be a vampire.

I think you will enjoy learning more about this mysterious and beautiful author, so be sure to connect to Carrie at all her virtual homes and pick up her books!

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Traitors

Buy TRAITORS on Amazon

Traitors is of novella-length and is the second story set in the Crooked Fang universe to continue the series.

Duty calls, but Xan doesn’t have to like it. Vampire Xan Marcelles and his band, Crooked Fang, have been sitting idle for almost two months when Xan’s given a job offer he can’t refuse. Only it is not a music gig — it’s a multiple hit in a Texas town called Bartlett. Given no details except six names and a location, Xan hits the road. He’s always worked alone at this sort of job, but now there’s no way but to have Nin riding shotgun. Can Xan take out his marks and keep Nin out of trouble or have the years out of circulation blunted his edge?

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crooked fang

Buy CROOKED FANG on Amazon

Xan Marcelles–bassist for Crooked Fang, vampire and full-time asshole, is content with his quiet existence in the backwoods of Pinecliffe, Colorado. But life at the Pale Rider tavern is set to become a little more complicated when he gets entangled with a feisty, blue-haired damsel and her abusive soon-to-be ex boyfriend.

To add to his woes, he’s gone from hunter to hunted, and his past returns to haunt him when a phone call draws him back to New Mexico. With the help of friends from his living past, he must get to the bottom of a murder, and figure out where he stands with his lover and his band, all while keeping one step ahead of his enemies. Hiding won’t be easy for him, especially with a mysterious woman dogging him every step of the way.

 

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Connect to Carrie

Carrie Clevenger

Carrie Clevenger landed in the urban fantasy genre when she couldn’t decide between horror and humor. When not writing she enjoys listening to music, hanging out with musicians, attending local venues, catching her favorite bands on tour, and obsessing over The Next Big Album release. Carrie resides in Austin, Texas. See more of Carrie’s work on MINDSPEAK.

Website | Twitter @carrieclevenger | Twitter @crookedfang | Facebook

Amazon author page | Goodreads | About Me | Pinterest

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Filed under Author Promotions