Friday, June 14, 2019

Sassing Saul Blurb Blitz

Annie used to believe in all that happily ever after crap, until the day she found out her Prince Charming husband was a conman with a wandering eye. On the same day she booted him to the curb, an alien fleet double-parked over Earth and life as she knew it ended. To survive she joined a militia unit and used her unique physic powers to fight off the alien invaders. She was so successful she earned the swell nickname of the Grim Reaper. Now she must fight for her own freedom because Saul Jones, a Coletti-hybrid warlord, has decided she’s his and he won’t stop until he possesses her.

General Saul Jones has his hands full. Not only is he a four-star Marine general, he’s also a Coletti warlord. To complicate matters, he’s the Coletti Overlord’s liaison to Earth and one of the patriarchs of “the” Jones clan. Raising his blood pressure even more is his teenage psychic daughter who has found her mate before she’s of legal age. Can you say raging hormones? Not to mention the headaches of dealing with all the interspecies head-butting and Central Command. He has a million and one things needing his attention and at long last he discovers the other half of his soul. Annie Russell aka the Grim Reaper. Instead of running into his arms, Annie’s running as far and fast as she can.

A shuttle flew over the canyon.

I smiled. The General had arrived without any backup. The cocky guy thought he would block my stun grenades and simply overpower me. I was about to show him the error of his plan.

“You’re trapped. There’s no way out of the canyon.”

“Okay. Is this where I’m supposed to start pleading for mercy?”

“A smart woman would start apologizing.” There was a note of anger in the General’s voice.

“For what?”

“You’ve broken numerous laws and you had those blasted birds shit on me.”

“I did and I’m not apologizing for it.”

“Most people fear Coletti warlords,” the General snapped. 

“News flash. I don’t find you that scary. Did you flunk the “How to be a Big, Bad Warlord” course?” I swatted at a bee buzzing around my head.

“Your husband turned you into an angry, bitter woman,” General Jones stated grimly.

I flinched. He was right. Annie, the romantic, was dead and buried. “Hell, my prick of a husband, taught me that love is an illusion and to never, ever trust a man. In the end he will betray you and all you have left are the ashes of your dreams.”

“I’m sorry, darlin’.”

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and to keep from going totally bonkers – I mean people have no idea what a real emergency is. Take this for example: I answered, “9-1-1 emergency, what’s your emergency?” And this hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree.” Sometimes I really couldn’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.” The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.” Like I said, not a clue. “I’m sorry ma’am but we don’t get birds out of trees.” The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too.” See what I had to deal with? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone I took up writing.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

On Loving VBT

In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora's box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.

Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, On Loving is the story of one woman's lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.

It was a beautiful late spring afternoon in Paris, and I decided to stroll down the streets of this lovely city as much as I could, to calm my nerves after that emotional talk.

Walking at a slow pace, through the charming cobbled passages and tree-lined avenues of the mesmerizing City of Love, I easily found my way to the Café de la Rotonde, my favorite café to spend time in whenever I’m in Paris. I love being in bustling Montparnasse, where Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso and many others took their coffee breaks many years ago. Sitting there, I always feel that I can hear their voices or even smell in the air the tobacco they smoked. Being a huge fan of literature and art since childhood, being in that environment for even a few minutes often led me to think how it might feel to create a masterwork or to write something as captivating as they once did.

I was about to sip my coffee when a young woman sitting at the table close to mine suddenly left in a rush, forgetting her newspaper and cellphone.

“Excusez-moi, madame?” I took the newspaper and phone and followed her, hoping to catch up before she completely disappeared in the crowd, but it was too late.

Back at my seat and handed the phone to the waiter while glancing at the newspaper’s front page:

Des millions de la Reine Soraya Esfandiari-Bakhtiari iront à la charité

“Queen Soraya Esfandiari-Bakhtiari’s millions go to charity”

I quickly asked the waiter to let me keep the paper.

I sat on my chair, staring at the title again. I felt as if I had stumbled on a familiar face, as if I knew her intimately. I touched her photo: her beautiful eyes, her lovely smile. Everything about her was unique, even thirteen years after her death in Paris in 2001.

Then, shaking inside, I read the report.

Princess Soraya Esfandiari-Bakhtiari, born in the city of Isfahan in 1932 to an Iranian father from the well-known Bakhtiari family and his German wife, had died childless back in 2001. But now a court in Germany had ruled that because her brother, who lived there, had died before settlement was finished, her entire $6 million estate should be divided among the three charities she’d chosen — the Red Cross, a group that worked for animal protection and a disabled rights group. The article talked about her time as queen, her beauty, her stunning emerald eyes and how she’d be known as the “Princess with the sad eyes” after the last king of Iran, Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi, divorced her in 1958 for not producing an heir. Yet much of her wealth had come from jewellery he had gifted her; he loved her deeply.

Wait a second!

I quickly wiped the tears that ran down my face, trying to stay calm. But it wasn’t the deceased former queen I was mourning. It was my own past, surging up from beneath the dust that had covered it for years, that made me so emotional. The former queen’s distinctive name and her story reminded me painfully of the love I had shared in my heart for many years, the love that had changed my destiny in so many ways.

Drenched in cold sweat, I rested my forehead on the newspaper, feeling the hard table beneath it.

Life is so mystifying. After all these years … The gracious Queen Soraya … my distant relative! We shared genes, ancestors … I know … I know well the very place she was born in, I’ve been there — Isfahan, the ancient city of Isfahan, City of Roses … city of my own beautiful black roses!

I felt like I was choking and struggled to breathe. I needed fresh air. I put money on the table and rushed out of the café.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
No, I haven’t.

Do you have any phobias?
No, I don’t.

Do you listen to music when you're writing?
Not while writing because it distracts me but before starting writing to bring my mood back to where it should, I always listen to the music.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?

Tell us about your main character and who inspired him/her.
Dr. Rose Hemmings, now is a retired vascular surgeon and after many years she finally decides to tell her young granddaughter, Amanda, the real story of her love-driven life. She had just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger was shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives became forever intertwined. After been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. Rose’s life journey as an accomplished, modern woman, who follows her dreams, beliefs and her heart while trying to evaluate her own emotional changes and growth through the story, leads her to self-awareness and self-scrutiny. A journey for her to know herself, her strengths and her weaknesses and appreciate what she can achieve having a privilege of being a woman and be able to be in touch with her inner self and her emotions. The professional women whom I’ve worked with inspired me.

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Author Bio and Links:
Lili Naghdi is an Iranian Canadian physician who was born and raised in Tehran. She continued her education and research after moving to Canada with her husband and daughter in 1996. Today she practices family medicine in Vaughan, Ontario, with particular interests in women’s and mental health. Being a family physician gives her the privilege of connecting with patients and participating in their care with a deeper understanding of the physical, emotional and social adversities they face. Interacting with people of many different backgrounds has also provided Dr. Naghdi with the opportunity to grow as a person, a physician and an author.

Growing up in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran, Lili became fascinated by the magical realm of literature, poetry and history. She began collecting prized quotations at the young age of eight. Dr. Naghdi has written poetry and short stories in both Farsi and English, but she eventually followed William Wordsworth’s advice to “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” and turned to fiction.

On Loving is her first novel. Inspired by both the ordinary people she has the honor to support and by the great literature of Persia and the world — from Hafez to Forugh Farrokhzad and from John Steinbeck to Margaret Mitchell — Dr. Naghdi passionately agrees with Boris Pasternak, whose Yuri Zhivago is a physician and patriotic poet, when he writes: “Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.”

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Videos of her book launch:

Buy Links:
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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Layers of Light Review Tour

A Texan teenager develops an unusual ability when she becomes an exchange student in India. Once human trafficking touches her world, her mysterious talent shows hope for locating her friends. If she only knew what the talent was and how to use it.

A stranger makes her an unexpected offer. He will train her to find her missing friends, but she will need trust in ideas she barely believes and more courage than has ever been expected of her. Also, she’ll never be normal again.

She accepts his offer, intending to show those guilty of unspeakable crimes just how powerful a young woman can be.

“Just wear what makes you comfortable,” Teddie said.

“No.” Michelle shook her head. “If she really wants to get into this class, she needs to show up looking good. These are young guys; they’re not going to turn away an attractive female they think they can hit on.”

“It’s not right for her to do that,” Teddie said.

“Come on. She’s already at a disadvantage having to plead to get in, in the first place. She’s a way better climber than anyone in this class is gonna be. She should use any advantage she can get.” Michelle was as adamant.

“It might work against her,” Usha said. “Attractive women make some men nervous, and it doesn’t help that she’s foreign and underage. I think she should look as ugly as she can, so they think of her as another male.”

“I don’t think she should try to look anything,” Teddie said. “She needs to ignore the fact that she’s female.”

“How the hell does she do that?” Michelle answered with a gesture at Haley’s long shapely legs.

“This is just stupid,” Haley spoke up as she pushed the entire pile of rejected outfits onto the floor. “I want to climb mountains, not play inane mind games. Did you know slime mold has over five-hundred different genders? Right now, it would be easier to be slime mold.”

“You wish to be mold?” Usha was incredulous.

“She’s joking, Usha.”

“Jeans and a flannel shirt. No cleavage, no makeup.” Haley had made up her mind.

“Good hair and tight jeans?” Michelle suggested.

“Good hair and my normal jeans which aren’t exactly unflattering.”

“And your best smile,” Teddie added. “When they see how bad you want this, who is going to deny you?”

My Review:
I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked on this series. You can read my reviews of books 1, 2, and 3, where I lay out parts of what I love about the series. Since I’ve already done that, for now, I’m going to focus on this book specifically.

The story appears disjointed at first, with multiple characters being introduced around the world. But as I’ve learned from reading the earlier books, this is just how the author sets everything up. Sure enough, after getting to know the characters individually, we saw them brought together and thrown on a dangerous path, full of adventure, girl power, intrigue, and gut-wrenching moments, especially with the issue the author chose to tackle in this book: human trafficking.

I thought the author handled a tough subject in a respectful, realistic way. I liked how the author focused on the mental side effects of going through that experience and the long-term effects. I feel like this made it both easier to read, as the story didn’t focus on the physical and sexual abuse as strongly (making this friendlier for younger readers), and more difficult, as it was much more personal and emotional at times because of this. You could tell the author did her research, not only on human trafficking, but on numerous other aspects of her story, including telepathy/out-of-body experiences, mountain trekking, and the demography of multiple Asian countries.

All in all, this was another great addition to the series, and I cannot wait to see how this book ties into the remainder of the series down the road (because something is definitely a brewin’ my friends).

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.

She published her first science fiction short story long ago, and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came,  it declared to her it had to be a whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.

The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to calm down and  explained how, in a fit of practicality, she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it to be entertaining and ridiculously well-paying. The bad news was the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.

She was now Mrs. Cronin, and further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved, even though, to be honest, that was where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.

Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her it had now grown into a six book collection. Sherrie decided she better start writing it before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Come a Little Closer Book Blast

Sophie was the love of my life. Okay, we were twelve the last time I saw her but still. I've tried everything to move on—whiskey, women, weed. Nothing seemed to fill the void. Now, ten years later, she shows up out of the blue. The problem, I'm not the boy she used to know. I have a reputation that could ruin everything. Still, I have to try. Even if nothing happens between us, having Sophie in my life as a friend is better than not having her at all. Come A Little Closer is the second installment in the Georgia Boys Series. It can be read as a standalone novel.

I blush and shake my head. “We should get started on the bedroom.”

Kevin follows behind me, fiddling with his phone. I refill the paint tray and set it on the bedroom floor. Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” starts playing. Kevin comes up behind me, puts his hands on my hips and begins to move them to the music. He presses against my back. My hands fall to my sides, and I tilt my head against his chest.

“This is not helping my walls get painted,” I whine.

“Come on, dance with me.” he pleads.

I turn around and stare into his eyes. It would be so easy to get lost in them but I can’t. I won’t. My hips stop moving, but Kevin’s still dancing. I raise the paintbrush that’s in my hand and slap him in the face with it. Slap sounds violent. It was more like I grazed him with cream colored paint while my hand slowly moved in front of his face. Kevin stops dancing. His jaw hangs open.

“Game on babe.”

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

About the Author: 
Chrissy Brown lives in Fort Myers, Fl with her hubby, two beautiful girls, one dog who loves to cuddle and another dog who pees on everything. She enjoys going to hockey games, reading romance novels and having “Netflix and Chill” nights.

She’s addicted to everything related to the amazing emotion of love, and has been referred to as a "hopeless romantic" which she took as a compliment. It may not have been and she’s okay with that.

Her Georgia Boys Series is New Adult romance that has three novels published in 2018. She has a young adult romance standalone in the works as well as an erotic New Adult standalone started. She’s a busy writer, but she loves it.

Buy Link

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker VBT

WORLD WAR OZ from coast to coast.

An adult fantasy that takes one of America's favorite tales and transforms it into a dark and epic landscape few can escape much less understand. Imagine Potter meets Avengers in Emerald city and you're getting close.

After a homicidal alien from Orion arrives on Earth intent on annihilating human life, the 21st century's greatest sorcerers create a network of seven Oz-like city worlds designed to harbor the human race in a newly formed utopia while also protecting it from the alien entity. But the alien is far more magically powerful than anyone suspected. Piper Robbin, ancient daughter of the Earth's greatest sorcerer inventor, Edison Godfellow, must sacrifice all to defeat the implacable force that calls itself "The Witch Queen of Oz," and quickly, before Earth becomes only a cold cinder floating among the stars.

THE FORGOTTEN CHILD IN PIPER ROBBIN, for the first time that day in the coffee shop, understood the meaning of true panic. Crushing a stone to powder or throwing a javelin half a mile wouldn’t fix anything (and neither would anyone in New York care) like in the old days of Ulysses. Muttering spells that made deserts bloom or oceans boil meant less than cooking a burger on the grill. Mortality for all, even the gods and greatest sorcerers, might be just around the corner. People think just because you’re a great magical being of some kind you have it made. Nothing could be more wrong. Your hopes and dreams are often spit on, your happiness ruined, your friends killed, and you lose sleep at night, worrying about shit just like everyone else. And besides obligations you really don’t want, you face mega-dangerous freaks way too often because you’re expected to, you know, cause you’re the official bad ass superwoman. By the gods! Really? You crawl in pain and heave up your insides for starters, die in lots of ways, and after all that trouble, sometimes you don’t come back.

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Author Bio and Links:
Warwick Gleeson is a dedicated writer of screenplays, short stories, novels, and poetry. He has lived in both LA and NYC and worked many different jobs in his life, everything from roofer to waiter to small business owner to government analyst. He was the major writer, creator, and senior story editor for another project published by Del Sol Press called "War of the World Makers" that debuted in 2017. The novel has since won four national novel awards (two first place and two place) for SFF. Warwick is a big fan of great SFF television writing, like the kind you find in Emerald City, Gotham, The Expanse, and Umbrella Academy. He now lives in Tuscon, AZ, with a fat lazy cat and his most wonderful wife who is also a writer.

Amazon Author Page     |     Goodreads

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Will Rise From Ashes NBtM

Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can't lose another loved one.

Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ's fear of driving and Reid's military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ's anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family's present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.

A gray column of ash exploded on the screen. The plume darkened the sky.

“Mom, come look!” Will said, without turning from the TV.

She fidgeted with the mail on the kitchen counter. Then said a bad word. The metal trash lid clanged open, and she grumbled. He tapped a finger on his thigh as he listened to the newscaster.
A few minutes passed. “Mom…”

“One minute,” she called. He turned. She dragged the basket of dirty laundry from their vacation to Yellowstone down the basement steps. Thump, thump, thump.

“But it’s the volcano! On TV!” His pulse flickered. This was important. She needed to see.

“Hang on a sec, Will.”

The clock read 9:03 p.m. Eastern Time, but it still felt like Mountain Time and he wasn’t sleepy. He counted to one second. He knew she didn’t mean that. Her “a sec” or “a minute” could be way longer.

She returned from the basement and opened the window over the kitchen sink. The metallic, vibrating hum of the foghorn sounded in the distance. He rose and added a tally mark to the chart on his clipboard. Soon, he’d need to make his snow charts, too. But it was only August.

“Where are they?” Mom said.

She came through the doorway to the living room with her mug in one hand. It smelled like burnt stinky milk. He covered his nose.

“Mom, watch out!” She almost stepped on his eight red volcano cut-outs lined in a row in front of the TV. His heart kerthumped. He straightened one, so the bottom edge realigned with the rest. There, better.

“So, honey, what is it? Find an interesting documentary to watch?” she finally asked, drawing her gaze to the TV as she stumbled. “Will, the tape and scissors. I need you to pick them up, okay?” She yawned. “We need to go to bed soon.” She leaned over the coffee table and clicked her laptop shut with another curse. “I can’t even track their flight. Where are they?” she repeated to herself.

Her brown eyes were shiny, holding that sad look she got when she thought about Dad. Some expressions confused him, but Mom was easier to understand than others. She was sad a lot these days. Was she sad about his little brother Finn not returning home yet? He approached her and hugged her around the waist. He nudged the top of his head against her ribcage. “It’s okay, Mom. Finn and Uncle Brandon will be here. Maybe their flights were delayed again?”

She exhaled. Coffee breath. His stomach squeezed. Delays. Yuck, he didn’t like delays either.

She said in a whisper, a raspy grating sound, “They should’ve landed by now…the traffic north to Maine from Boston isn’t awful this time of day. Finn’s going to be so wired.”

But he’s not a robot, Will wanted to say, but he knew it was just one of Mom’s weird phrases. The commercials ended. He grabbed her hand. “Look, Mom. Yellowstone! Maybe Finn and Uncle Brandon saw it erupt since we were all just there! How lucky of them to see that, huh?” He pointed to the LIVE symbol in the bottom right corner.

Her mug slipped and fell in a crash, spilling all over his volcanoes.

 My 10 favorite highlights of Yellowstone National Park

I’m a daydreamer and traveler, hiking buff and lover of nature. The backdrop (or inciting incident) in Will Rise from Ashes is the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. So, today, I thought I’d share some of the most awe-inspiring places within this gigantic geothermal wonder of a park that I’ve been fortunate to visit twice (once as a child, and once a few years ago with my own kids). Bring your hiking shoes and camera, and be ready to be wowed at this first National Park of the USA…

Let’s count them down from 10…

10. Mammoth Hot Springs – these calcium carbonate terraces are interesting to see and you’re guaranteed to see some elk!

9. Visitor Education Centers – Learn cool facts about the science behind the geothermal wonders of the park. Impressive! We were equipped with a Junior Ranger guide, an infrared thermometer, and fun stuff to work on and our kids got Junior Ranger badges!

8. Yellowstone Lake – visit the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet elevation in North America.

7. Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley – both sweeping, lush valleys are rich in scenery and wildlife.

6. Yellowstone Falls – found in the “Grand Canyon of Yellowstone,” and at over 300 feet high, Lower Yellowstone Falls is twice as tall as Niagara Falls.

5. Bears, wolves, elk, and wildlife, oh my! – bring the binoculars, keep an ear and eye out, and Yellowstone will gift you with sightings from bird to mammal.

4. Bison jams (no, not jellies) – getting up close and personal with these beautiful creatures is easy. And yes, by jam I mean traffic jam…once one or several or a herd are sighted, the cars stop, and out pop the cameras. We had one walk in the middle of the road right past our car! Just don’t get too close and respect nature from a distance. Bison are not cows. They can hurt you.

3. Grand Prismatic Spring – the largest (and a gloriously colorful) hot spring in the United States (approximately 370 feet wide and 120 feet deep) is also worth a visit! See it walking on a boardwalk, up close and personal (be careful), or on the new trail that gives a bird’s eye view from above.

2. Old Faithful Geyser – yup, it’s as faithful as you think and draws many tourists to its routine eruptions every 90 minutes or so. It shoots nearly 130 feet into the air. Get there early for a good seat and be prepared to be wowed!

1. Morning Glory Pool – this deep, polychromatic hot spring can be reached at the end of the Upper Geyser Basin (3 mile-round trip) walk. Very much worth it as you meander past dozens and dozens of geysers and hot springs. My favorite bubbly wonder in the park!

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Ravens Cove VBT

Welcome to Ravens Cove, Alaska, a tiny town nestled in a small hollow on the majestic Cook Inlet. A town familiar with storytelling—after all, Alaska abounds in rich legends. In Ravens Cove, though, legends have a tendency to come to life.

Meet Josiah Williams, the peculiar stranger whose warning to lifetime residents Kat Tovslosky and her cousin, Sheriff Bart Andersen, raises more questions than answers; a man whose dark past and knowledge of the murders make him a suspect more than an ally. Join Kat and Bart as an unlikely troop forms (including a very unwelcome FBI agent) to discover the identity of a killer. The unearthing of which will throw the reluctant warriors into a battle for their very lives and the lives of all who call Ravens Cove home.

 “This is Agent Melbourne again. If you hang up, I will call back as many times as it takes. This is urgent. Tell your boss to pick up the phone, and do it now!”

Kat-fight mode sounded the first bell in the back of her brain. She knew her orders, and she would enforce them.

“With all due respect, Agent, no.” She dropped the phone into the cradle.

Ten minutes and several Melbourne calls later, Kat stomped to Bart’s office, angry at being ordered by the know-it-all FBI agent to get her “boss.”

Bart looked up to blazing eyes and a flushed face. He leaned back in his chair, linking his hands behind his head, and hoping his body language would diffuse the onslaught of emotion. It didn’t.

“There is an Agent Melbourne who keeps calling. He insists on talking to you.”

“Told you my policy on nosy outsiders.”

Being reprimanded brought the stew of frustration, weariness and hunger to a boil.

“Yes,” her voice rose, “yes you have. And, I told him, too. And I hung up. And he called back again, and again, and again. I hung up again, and again and AGAIN. He is now ordering me, under threat of interfering with FBI business, to put my ‘boss’ on the phone. He is on hold.”

Bart knew Kat. No matter who paid her, she did not have a “boss.” She had been, and always would be, a freethinker and free spirit. He could not control the grin creeping across his mouth.

 On Coincidences

There is one thing to be said for coincidences. There aren’t any.  Before you think I’m crazy or just ‘narrow minded’ consider the following story of how I became a published author.

A day came when I was confronted with an indisputable fact: My eternal soul lives in nothing more than crockery.  That day came in May 1998.

I awoke for another day of work. Hands reaching toward the ceiling in that wonderful morning stretch were stopped instantly by sharp, tear-producing pain.  As the initial pain subsided, I downed a pain reliever and was at my desk by 9 am.   The pain returned with a vengeance by noon.  At 1 pm I found myself in the emergency room.  A disc had herniated in my neck, and I faced surgery with a long recovery.

As they say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” Indeed, He does. Because if a disc in my neck had not herniated, if I hadn’t read 100 books in ninety days because I could do nothing else while I healed, and if I had not listened to a good friend who suggested I write a novel, I would not be an author.

My first book in what is now the Iconoclast series took many years before it saw the black and white of printing. The journey was full of trips down other paths – going back to work time and again to make the almighty dollar and avoid the emotions and mental weariness of writing. I took courses, joined online chat groups and talked about writing until I was blue in the face. I finally accepted the desire to writie a book was not going away. It took twelve years to summon the courage to write a novel.

In all of the trips down other pathways, one helped me. I discovered National Novel Writing Month. This is a yearly event where over 300,000 writers come together and grind out a novel in 30 days. I committed to the project. Low and behold, Ravens Cove was born.

Once written, I was faced with the frightening and somewhat overwhelming question every writer has: “What now?” My answer for several months was, “nothing!” This was when I first discovered that writing a book is akin to giving birth. I wasn’t putting my ‘baby’ out into the world for criticism and rejection.

I let the book sit in the dark for several months. It stayed in the rawest of formats. I think I was actually in denial. I didn’t have (or make) the time to edit it because I had no clue where to go and who to trust with my ‘baby.’

My husband read the prologue and told me it was great. Of course he did. He wanted dinner and to sleep in his own bed – what else would he say? I knew he meant it. I also knew he loved me so I dismissed his compliment.

It just so happened that my father-in-law came to visit the summer after I wrote Ravens Cove. He asked if I might allow him to read it. His reading it was not such a frightening thought and, to be honest, I wanted his opinion. And, I trusted his view because he has a PhD in education and had published works of his own. He also happened to be the most avid reader I had ever met.

He and my husband left that weekend for our RV in Anchor Point. He read it there. He came back and told me he really liked it. He said he had read authors he thought should have never been published. And, he thought mine should be.

My husband, with the I-told-you-so-look, agreed. Then, he took it a step further and emailed links to several publishers and publishing houses with information on what it took to get the book to press. Here’s where providence is again disguised as coincidence. One of those names was Publication Consultants.

I debated sending out query letters to the ‘big houses.’ I heard stories of books that were tied up for months, even a year or more, by those ‘big houses’ who initially accepted the author’s work and left them hanging forever. I debated the self-publishing houses and again read and heard of the horror stories of authors that were taken financially to the point it wasn’t worthwhile to pursue marketing their books. I decided I wanted to be able to look a publisher in the eye. So, I met with Evan Swensen of Publication Consultants.

Before I did, I reviewed the website and the different contracts available to an author. They all seemed above board and fair. I reviewed what authors said about them and it sounded good. I called.

Evan reviewed the first few pages of what was to be Ravens Cove. There were some problems but said the story was good and he would publish it—after I took it to an editor to fix the ‘boulders.’ The rest is history. Since 2010, I have been privileged to call Publication Consultants my publishing house.

Publication Consultants was and still is invaluable to this me. They have taught, and are still teaching me, the ins and outs of the road to becoming a successful author. There have been numerous mountains to climb and valleys to traverse. They have stuck with me throughout the process and have opened doors that self-publishing could not. Without Evan Swensen and his staff, I would not have reached the goal of becoming a published author.

As I stated when I began this article, there are no coincidences. Each occurrence that seemed so small in and of theirselves led me to Publication Consultants and the adventure of being a published author. To date, the journey continues. The Iconoclast Thriller series is complete. And, when ready and God willing, my fifth book will be published within a year with the assistance of Publication Consultants.

Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
I’m Mary Ann Poll, America’s Lady of Supernatural Thrillers and charter member of Author Masterminds. The first question most people ask is, “What is an Iconoclast?” Iconoclast means, “The destroyer of religious beliefs or symbols.” I took this definition and applied it to the supernatural realm, which is how the Iconoclast Thriller series was born. My books revolve around the battle between good and evil. They also revolve around the heroic acts of ordinary people who must face extraordinary, even unbelievable, circumstances.

I draw from real-life experiences, as well as my imagination, to create these supernatural thrillers. My love for a creepy, goosebump-creating ghost story and my love for Christ come together in these books.

I am a proud pet lover, which is also reflected in my writing. In my off time, I enjoy gardening, swimming and spending time with beloved family.
I pray you enjoy reading Ravens Cove as much as I enjoyed writing it. Blessings in Christ!