Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Extinction of all Children Book Blast

Blurb:
The futuristic world of Craigluy has been divided into three territories and three economic classes. A large wall separates the territories, so the poor cannot mingle with the rich.

Since President Esther, the ruler over all of Craigluy, believes the poor do not have adequate means to take care of children, they are no longer allowed to procreate. Pregnant mothers are imprisoned until their babies are born, then the infants are taken away.

Emma Whisperer is the last child to survive. She is the last child born in lower-class Territory L before the law was instituted in the year 2080. She is the last eighteen-year-old.

Emma struggles to understand why she was spared while others weren’t. She doesn’t like the laws and believes they should be repealed. Her family doesn’t agree with her; they discourage her rebellious streak. Yet, she helps them to cover up their own family rebellion. She helps them to hide a big secret, a secret that could be both disastrous and deadly for members of their family.

As she meets new people along the way, Emma learns who she can and cannot trust. And, in the end, she makes a gut-wrenching decision that may be disastrous for everyone.

She finds herself in danger for doing what she feels is right.



Excerpt:
“I see your side is still bothering you.” He looks me up and down. “That’s why I came by in regular clothes. I knew you wouldn’t feel much like training. You should rest your side for a few days, like the doctor said.”

“How do you know what the doctor said?”

“Samuel told me. He said we should put off training, for a while.”

“Until I recuperate.” I groan again, pushing the pack more into my skin. “I don’t want to lose my newfound skills. Pretty soon, I will be good enough to beat you.”

“Now wait a minute.” He holds up his hands. “Slow it down, a little. You’re doing well, but don’t get ahead of yourself. I think the nickname Whisper has caused you to lose all sense of reality.”

“No, I’m still in my right mind,” I say. I grin like baby Abigail when you tickle her stomach.

“Seriously, though.” His eyes find mine. “Is your side all right?”

“It’s fine, or it will be.” My fingers sting, holding the pack.

“What about your hand?”

“They gave me some ointment to use.”

“Why did you let Samuel take you?” His chest rises and falls like the words were hard to say. “I mean, I asked to take you to the hospital and you refused. Why would you let Samuel take you, instead of me?”


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About the Author: 
L.J. Epps is a lover of all things related to books: fiction and nonfiction novels, as well as biographies and autobiographies. She has also been known to sit and read comic books from cover to cover, several times over.

Over the last few years, L.J. has written several manuscripts; her mission is to publish all of them. She enjoys writing fiction in several genres, including contemporary romance and women’s fiction, as well as young adult dystopian, science fiction and fantasy. She loves to write because it immerses her into another world that is not her own.

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Buy Links:
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Dragon's Revenge Book Blast

Blurb:
When Tucson private detective and Iraq War vet Letty Valdez is hired to investigate a murder, she immediately finds herself targeted by a violent criminal. To find the killer, Letty turns to an old memoir of life in late 19th century Tucson. Clues in in the memoir, with its tale of love between two immigrants - one, an Italian widow, and the other, an exiled Chinese revolutionary - launch Letty on a suspense-filled struggle to find answers, to stop the murderer – and to stay alive!


Excerpt:

By mid-morning, Letty was sleepy again. She called the dogs in from the backyard and took them with her to her bedroom.

Less than an hour later, Letty was startled awake. She sat up in bed.


Both Millie and Teddy were up, alert, and facing her bedroom door. The fur on their necks and along the ridge of their backbones was standing up erect. Both dogs were very tense and staring at the bedroom door with full attention.


Letty’s heart began to pound. She couldn’t hear anything but she knew there had to be an intruder.


Millie growled.


Teddy growled, too, a low rumbling growl from deep in his chest. Teddy’s lips curled up sharply, exposing his teeth. His pink tongue flicked in and out of his mouth. Teddy looked ready to attack and to tear someone apart with those fangs. He growled again.


Millie was ready, too. She stared at the door and growled a second time. She showed her fangs, too.


Letty felt like she almost couldn’t breathe. A paralyzing combination of fear and fury immobilized her. She was too banged up to be able to fight anyone. And whoever was on the other side of the door couldn’t be a welcome visitor. Letty realized that beyond a doubt, she had become a target.


The knob on the door began to turn slowly as if someone were trying to quietly enter the room. At the sight and sound of that turning knob, Millie barked a short warning bark. Teddy followed with a deep woofing sound. Don’t even try it, they communicated to the intruder. The door knob returned to its original position. Both dogs continued to stare intently at the door.


Letty knew that the person on the other side of the door knew now that there were two dogs in her room and those dogs were not happy.


Letty quietly got up from her bed and went to her closet. She pulled down a box from the top shelf, retrieved her Glock, and quickly assembled it. Just as quietly, she loaded the gun.


Letty moved toward the bedroom door, listening intently. She didn’t hear anything. She opened the door, gun in hand aimed and ready to shoot.


Both dogs bolted through the door past her and ran through the house. They were following the scent of the intruder. The backdoor was open. Letty did a quick check of every room in the house, gun ready. Nothing. The intruder had fled. Letty followed the dogs out the back door and into the backyard. Teddy did a quick survey of the backyard and Millie stood at attention close to Letty. Whoever had been there was gone now.




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About the Author:

C.J. Shane is a writer and visual artist in Arizona. In addition to her mystery fiction, she is the author of eight nonfiction books. Her first fiction book, Desert Jade: A Letty Valdez Mystery, (11-2017) is a finalist for Best Suspense-Thriller novel, New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.

Learn more at https://www.cjshane.com/

https://www.cjshane.com/dragons-revenge.html

Rope's End Publishing    |    Goodreads    |    BookBub    |    Facebook

Buy Links:

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Knightmare Arcanist Review Tour

Blurb:
Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.



Excerpt:

A flash of rain pelted the entire city, but only for a few seconds, as though the heavens coughed and forgot to cover their mouth. The man secured his pack shut, protecting his vegetables. 

“Oh, this again,” he said. 

“Does this happen often?”

“Storms happen frequently enough,” he replied. “This ain’t no storm, though. It’s those flashy arcanists. They like makin’ a show. Just you wait. You’ll see somethin’ good yet.”

Making a show?

I headed toward the docks. Despite the creeping chill, I moved with energy and purpose. Crowds of people clogged the roadways, making travel by foot damn near impossible, even for an arcanist. Frustrated, I jumped onto the wheels of a nearby carriage and used the extra height to pull myself onto the roof of a building. The A-frame roof made for a steep trek, but the tiles were easy to grip, even when wet.

Once on top, I turned my attention to the nearest pier. 

A tremendous flash of lightning lit the sky. Thunder chased after, strong enough to rattle the windows and pierce straight to my bone. Luthair shifted through the shadows as another round lit the sky. I knew some arcanists could control the weather, but I had never seen a demonstration so showy before. 

A flurry of snow soon followed, but like the rain, it lasted only a few seconds. People lifted their hands in the air, trying to catch the snowflakes as they approached the earth. Most evaporated before anyone could hold them, but I managed to catch a few on my tongue. 

The ocean waters beyond the docks swirled into whirlpools. Two cyclones of saltwater rose upward, forming pillars of ocean as thick as forty oak trees, each stretching straight to the sky. 

Rapt by the show of magic, I almost didn’t notice the massive leviathan snaking through the ocean. Its shiny scales glistened with each new flash of lightning. The serpent-like body must’ve been as long as ten galley ships and as thick as a three-mast sailing ship. Although the mystical creature never lifted his head out of the water, I already knew who he was.

Decimus—Gregory Ruma’s legendary leviathan. 




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




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About the Author:
Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Website    |    Twitter    |    Facebook

Buy Links:
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Groundwork for Murder Book Blast

Blurb:
Landscape artist Alexandra Newborn dreams of a one-woman show at the Diamond Gallery. But the gallery owner dismisses her paintings as "old, tired, and dull. Lacking excitement." Those words also describe Alex's unhappy marriage.

Alex's shocking reunion with her college art professor, Dominick "Nick" Anselmo—once a world-celebrated Italian artist, now a homeless lawn man—reignites their passion and fuels a creative spark for both, helping Nick recover from his wife's death.

With Nick's provocative sketches, art imitates life, but Alex doesn't realize they reveal a dangerous liaison between her husband and the gallery owner. Without Nick's knowledge, Alex arranges an art opening that includes his drawings.

When the torrid affair between Alex's husband and his mistress is exposed, the seeds are sown for murder, mystery, and romance.



Excerpt:
The subject matter was unexpected and provocative. She’d thought that, in his new life as a lawn man, Nick might just draw a tree, or a garden, not a couple caught in a passionate embrace—her face against his cheek, his face buried in her neck to hide their identities and keep the world at bay.

He had captured them in a clinch that seemed to portray more lust than love. The sketch spoke of forbidden moments. The lines revealed movement, as if the couple had had to love and leave. All that sexual desire was combustible. And yet there was love there. Maybe not love between this couple, but Nick had obviously transferred his own feelings of lost love and longing onto the paper.

“Always leave something of yourself in your work.” That’s what Professore Anselmo had taught his students in college. And he had managed to do that brilliantly in this drawing. The passion was raw, and it exposed everything that was missing in her relationship with Mark. And everything that was missing in her art. Something vaguely familiar about this couple tugged at her memory, but she quickly dismissed it.

Alex knew great art could have that effect on your soul. It was similar to a writer who paints word pictures that draw you into the story and elevate the everyday into the sublime—word pictures that are often too close to home, too real to examine too closely.


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Author Bio and Links:
Marilyn Baron and Sharon Goldman are sisters. Groundwork for Murder won first place in the Suspense Romance category of the Ignite the Flame Contest, sponsored by the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Chapter of RWA. 

Marilyn Baron
Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. She and her sister even wrote a musical called Memory Lane.

She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel The Alibi. Her novel The Siege was nominated for the 2019 GAYA Awards in the Romance Category.

Groundwork for Murder is her 24th work of fiction. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, she is chair of the Roswell Reads Steering Committee.

A native of Miami, Florida, Marilyn graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with a B.S. in Journalism—a major in Public Relations and a minor in English (Creative Writing). She met her husband at UF and both of her daughters graduated from UF. Marilyn now lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband.

Find out more about Marilyn on her websiteFacebookand Twitter.
  

Sharon Goldman
Sharon Goldman is an award-winning artist whose paintings are in private collections and who has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout northeast Florida, including the Haskell Gallery in the Jacksonville International Airport.

As a native Floridian, Sharon strives to create work that captures the spirit of Florida. Her colorful palette, unique cropping, and background as a designer and art director help her envision her novel compositions, which she describes as painterly realism.

Sharon has taught art school in her home studio to more than 200 students in her community. Sharon has also written and illustrated a children’s book.

Sharon is on the Dean’s Leadership Council at the University of North Florida’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library, where she gives monthly tours of one of the largest permanent art collections of regional artists in the state.

A graduate of the University of Florida in Fine Arts, Sharon had a long career in the advertising business. After having three children (now college graduates), she has more time to bring her ideas to light.

To view Sharon’s art, visit her website.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mystic Maples Review Tour

Blurb:
Earth/Fire witch Mercy Rose's insatiable curiosity always gets her in trouble. After a break-in at her Colorado flower shop, and a court battle that comes to a screeching halt in her favor, she arrives at Deerbourne Inn for a much-needed getaway. Looking for peace and quiet, she finds just the opposite in a startling handsome but mysterious man and his dog.

Silvanus Forrest's gypsy/fae heritage is a double-edged sword. The land he inherited from his parents is rumored to be enchanted. But when Mercy discovers the truth, his well-ordered life unravels, and they're catapulted into the past to right a wrong. Along the way their lives intertwine, and they discover the true meaning of family and love. Will they change the past in time to save their future?



Excerpt:
As Silvanus walked down the path, the young woman from the inn was standing at his truck, conversing with Rag-a-Muffin through the partially open window. Raga wasn’t even barking. “Her name’s Raga, short for Rag-a-Muffin.” He grinned.

He was surprised when she jumped. Her curls bounced around her shoulders as she held her hand to her heart and whirled to face him. Her eyes were a bit disconcerting.

“Whew, you scared me. What a beautiful dog. The white fur patches around her big brown eyes really set them off. She seems sweet, though I didn’t try to pet her.”

Transfixed, he stared at her for a couple beats. Her eyes were mesmerizing, one emerald green and the other the brightest blue he’d ever seen. He blinked and looked at Raga for a second. It was rude to stare. Finally he found his voice. “She has a history, but she seems to like you.”

Red patches bloomed on her cheeks. “Don’t we all. I best be on my way.” She turned on her heel and hurried down the street.

“Wait… I didn’t get your name?” His question was too late. She was either already out of hearing distance or didn’t want to acknowledge him.



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



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Author Bio and Links:
Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking  or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.

Website: https://www.tenastetler.com
Authors’ Secret’s Blog - https://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/
My Say What Blog - http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler     
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler
The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/1264_tena-stetler
Amazon:  www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler
Newsletter: http://www.tenastetler.com/newsletter-signup/
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler
Tribber - http://triberr.com/TenaStetler
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tena-stetler
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tenastetler/
BookGorilla - https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B014E0PEPM/tena-stetler

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The Fixer Upper Cover Reveal


Welcome to the cover reveal of Maggie Mae Gallagher's latest book The Fixer Upper which will be released September 6.

Blurb:
Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?


And now, for the cover:

Excerpt:
Abby opened the door to two delivery men wearing Styman and Sons logos on their polos. Greg Styman Junior and Teddy Styman were the sons part of the company. They were both relatively attractive guys in a down-home Mayberry type of way, and were young—far, far too young.

While Abby might be nearing her twenty-ninth birthday, these two reminded her of students—fresh-faced, with that innocent wide-eyed wonder of youth that people tended to lose by their mid-twenties.

One of the things that had drawn her to the local appliance shop, instead of heading into Denver and one of those big-box stores to make her purchase, had been their willingness to haul away the old freezer free of charge. Styman and Sons would strip it and refurbish any of the old parts that weren’t rusted or still viable and resell them online. It made Abby feel like she was doing something good for the environment because the whole thing wouldn’t end up in a landfill.

Abby was standing on her porch, watching the two guys pull her handy-dandy new deepfreeze from the truck, when she was flattened.

She’d barely had time to issue an umphff before she was on her back on the ivory wooden porch, a hulking brute covered in dark black fur towering over her. She lay on her back, trying to assess the damage as a large, wet, pink tongue slobbered over her face. From this angle, she could tell there were a few parts of the roof overhang that needed to be fixed before winter arrived.

Her hands slid into the soft, short fur, attempting to move the massive beast as it said hello with an almost rabid enthusiasm. Abby would have had better luck moving one of the fourteen footers nearby.

“Rufus, stupid mutt, get off her.” Abby heard the deep baritone filled with abject horror.

Rufus, the mammoth Great Dane, listened about as well as a toddler playing with his favorite toy and, instead of moving off her, decided he really wanted to cuddle and lie on top of her. Her breath whooshed out of her again at the dog’s impressive weight. He had to outweigh her by twenty pounds.

“Jesus, Rufus.” Nate Barnes tugged and yanked the hulking beast of a dog off Abby’s prone form. Rufus seemed to think that meant Nate wanted to play and wrestle around. They skirmished on her porch for a minute or so, until Rufus spied a rabbit and took off after the poor creature.

She was starting to push herself up, mentally assessing the damage, when Nate held out a hand to her, a mask of apology adding a deep line to his furrowed brow. “I’m so sorry. Are you all right? He’s harmless, really. The lamebrain just thinks he’s more of a lap dog and doesn’t realize how big he is.”

Abby felt a few brain cells faint as she accepted his help, placing her hand in his much longer one, noticing that the fingers were rough with calluses.

“It’s okay,” she said as she gained her feet, only to be shocked—and a little turned on—as he ran his hands over her, checking for injuries. As much as she tried to rationalize that it was a police-style frisking, a low burn ignited in her belly. Before she did something entirely stupid, like invite him in where he could give her body a private inspection, she batted his hands away. “No harm done. He seems like a big lover.”

Nate smiled sheepishly as he retreated a step, and it did nothing to lessen his impact.

She almost sawed her tongue in half. See? I shouldn’t talk to people, ever. Especially not after Sheriff Stud Muffin put his hands all over her. The action had short-wired and fried her brain, leading to her precarious foot-in-mouth disease. As if he knew she had been talking about him, Rufus loped back up her porch, making a beeline directly for her or, better yet, her crotch, as he planted his wet nose there by way of greeting.

“Rufus, get off her. Jesus, I’m sorry. He’s normally not like this,” Nate explained, more than a little flummoxed and embarrassed as he tried to yank him off.

It was nice to know the guy was human. After their initial and rather violent meeting, she’d wondered if he was a superhero in disguise. She had hit him with the golf club with her full force and the guy had barely flinched.



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About the Author:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Website    |    Facebook    |    Instagram    |    Goodreads
Twitter    |    Amazon Author Page    |    BookBub

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Maggie Mae Gallagher!
The Mystic Series
REMEMBER ME
CASKET GIRL

The Cantati Chronicles
RUPTURED
ANOINTED
ASCENDED

And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers on Amazon!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Good Trouble Book Blast

Blurb:
WRONG BEFORE IT'S RIGHT

Annie Clarke knew fairy tales were only in books, and love was a disaster. Nothing could convince her to go down that road again. But local football hero, Erik Strathmore, wore her down. Too cocky by half, and too damn good-looking for his own good, when he suggested they give friends with benefits a try, she relented. At first, it worked. Erik was a great friend, and a fantastic lover. But then their hearts entered the field of play, and Erik betrayed her. Annie cursed herself for allowing it to happen again, she'd loved and lost for the last time. After realizing his mistake, Erik couldn't have agreed more. Annie would never love anyone else again. She was his, and he intended to keep her by his side forever.


Excerpt:

I told myself I was keeping my door open because I was trying to be friendly. But that was a lie. I left it open so I’d know when he arrived. He was due any minute. I was emotionally unprepared despite anticipating the appointment for days. He unnerved me. Too cocky by half, and too damn good-looking for his own good. Been there, done that. Gave the t-shirt to the charity shop.

Professionally, though, I was ready. No problem. I had reviewed my notes, restocked my tape draw, warmed the oil, changed the pillowcase, and had cleaned the bed. Twice. I’d even folded the towels. Colour-coded origami swans now sat on the shelf. I’d adjusted my computer, then I fiddled with my pens, making sure the blue ones were on the left, the red on the right, and the highlighters in the middle. I had repositioned the Oasis mug on my desk, taking a moment to marvel at how it had lasted twenty years after I’d purchased it at a concert. A small reminder of the home I’d fled.

My brain, acting like a cat in a bag, u-turned from thoughts of home to the rugged, chiselled, Thor-like, blond-haired, blue-eyed, fantasy Viking-lumberjack who was also the son of Satan. That I preferred to think about him and not my home in England was saying something.

Needing to move, I stood up, the nervous energy making my skin tingle and my limbs twitch. I rubbed my sweating palms on my jeans and walked to the back of my treatment room, quietly cursing a blue streak at my inability to get myself in order.

He was only a damned man.

“You know, I could listen to you swear like a truck driver all day with that pretty accent of yours.”

My body froze, but my mouth didn’t. I wished it had, but my mouth never cooperated.



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About the Author:
As a girl growing up in Australia, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her life. There had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair. Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a full time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes

Returning from the States, her career took a different turn as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other ways to win hearts and minds.

While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling has only got stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valleys of North East Victoria, Australia with her husband, daughter, son, two dogs and seven chooks. When she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency, renovating her farmhouse, or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she is writing.

Say G’day to Laura:
Website   |   Facebook  |   Twitter   |   Instagram   |   LinkedIn

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Beneath Black Clouds and White

Blurb:
Accompanied by his wife to Flanders, Josiah Tenterchilt meets a man who could not be more different from him: an apprentice surgeon named Henry Fotherby. As these two men pursue their own actions, fate and the careful connivance of a mysterious individual will push them together for the rest of their lives.

But it is a tumultuous time, and the French revolutionaries are not the only ones who pose a threat. The two gentlemen must find their place in a world where the constraints of social class are inescapable, and ‘slavery or abolition’ are the words on everyone’s lips.

Beneath Black Clouds and White is the prequel to Day's Dying Glory.



Excerpt:
“Henry, you saved so many lives, but some men are beyond curing.”

“No, it was not that.” He turned to face his uncle once more. “He was court martialled and shot.”

“Good lord, Henry,” he said quickly. “Whatever for?”

“Insubordination.”

“And you defended him?” His uncle scowled up at him and shook his head. “Do you want the revolution here in England? King George may struggle with himself but that is no reason to guillotine him.”

“I defended him because he was wronged,” Fotherby replied, as calmly as he could. “He was not able to consider his actions.”

“You cannot do it, Henry.”

“Do what?”

“Bring that into Wanderford Hall.”

“What do you mean?” Fotherby whispered, staring at the man before him.

“I tolerated your engagement to a woman of no birth and no money. I accepted her and her father into this house. But you cannot take the daughter of such a man and make her the mistress of Wanderford Hall.”

“It is not your house to tell me what I can and cannot do. I say that Miss Simmons shall be a fine mistress of Wanderford Hall. How can you judge a woman on the actions of her father? I should not care to think that I were judged on your actions simply because I am your nephew.”




Virginia, thanks so much for stopping by. Tell us a little about yourself.
First of all, thank you for inviting me to share a few thoughts and ideas on my writing and books.  I’m a private music teacher who, from time to time, moonlights as an author!  I live in the far north of Scotland where I soak up the inspiration from the beautiful landscape and the steady pace of life.


How did you get started writing?
I attribute my writing to two factors.  I grew up surrounded by some of the most awesome – like, actually AWEsome – landscape in the whole world.  It was easy to write about the connection of land and man, or those who recognised the beauty of all things around them when the view from your bedroom window was of a mountain rising from the sea.  The hypnotic rhythm of the lighthouse, the sound of the gulls and no traffic, and the sharp wind carrying a tangy salt spray everywhere you went.  I grew up in Orkney before the cruise ships arrived, and it was incredible.

Secondly, and most significantly of all, I have been encouraged from before I held a pen to create stories.  My family have been tirelessly supportive of my writing and, as every single one of them except Dad are writers, there’s no wonder! And Dad reads more than Austen’s Mr Bennett.


What was the inspiration for your book?
This is a tough question because there have been so many influences.  Amongst them was our own family history research.  Ancestry has become very important to me, and it’s opened up my eyes to events I’d never really thought about.  Knowing that my ancestors were present at the D-Day landings, in the two Boer War, and even – yes that’s right! – as far back as the tide-turning events of 1066 at the Battle of Hastings, gave me a real fascination about military history.  But I wanted to convey not only the emotions of those who fought, but the feelings and fear of those who stayed behind and waited for them.  Wars in history have been fought by soldiers, but they were felt as keenly by the people who stayed at home.  I wanted to convey the battles which were faced both at home and abroad, because the battle for Abolition (which is the root of Beneath Black Clouds and White) was not defined by rank or class, but by everyone across society.  I like to think my ancestors were pro-abolition, but I don’t know.  Writing this book allowed me to project how the topic might have been received by them.


What’s a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Years ago I wrote a crime story which was a great plot but exceptionally shoddily written! I’d quite like to go back to it now that I have a better grasp of language.  I’d also love to feel confident writing for children.


Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
Being quintessentially British I can’t bring myself to write or read erotica.
I’d never write science fiction either because, quite honestly, I’m just not clever enough.


What are you up to now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
At the moment, all my writing endeavours are linked to my MLitt dissertation, but there are two more books to appear with these characters over the next few years.  They follow the Tenterchilt and the Fotherby families into the 1850s, where there’s a logical conclusion for them.  But families never end, so perhaps they’ll be more to come..?

The next of my writings to make an appearance, though, is quite different! Before the end of this year I am having an historical fantasy book serialised. It takes place in the aftermath of Culloden but has its roots much further back in time… Watch this space!


Alright, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Yellow all the way! There’s no colour to match it for benefit and cheerfulness. I’ve had a yellow room now for the past twenty years!


Favorite movie?    
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – so many memories, so many heroics, so much fun.


Book that inspired you to become an author?
Eeek! I’m not sure there was a single book which led me to write my own.  One thing I do know is that I decided I wanted to be an author like G. P. Taylor, who is always accessible to his fans.  I remember contacting him and Philip Pullman’s agent concerning my undergraduate dissertation years ago.  I got a lovely, supportive reply back from G. P. Taylor and heard absolutely nothing from Philip Pullman.  So I make sure I have a contact email address at the front of my books which I use solely for my writing, so that I’ll never miss a message from a fan.  Go on, drop me an email!  I love getting feedback and I always try to answer any book related questions.


You have one superpower. What is it?
Time travel.  Even sticking to that golden rule of never interacting with the people of the time, I’d love to be able to see what made people do the things they did.  Also, I’ve fallen into the web of genealogy – if I’d known how addictive it was, I’d never have started! We’ve got so many “brick walls” in our family tree research, I’d quite like to be able to knock them down.  So, I’d travel back and fill in a few blanks.  I’m really interested in the unreported lives of everyday heroes, lives which have been lost in the retelling of written history, simply because those around these individuals couldn’t write.


You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
The temptation is to say Lord Byron, who I find absolutely fascinating and inspirational.  But I’m just not sure I would trust him after the meal!  So I’ll go for:
1.     Robin Hood – because there is so much I would want to know.  Was it true?  Who was he first of all?  Why did he really do it?
2.    Janet Mackintosh Cayley – the chief “brick wall” in our family tree, who’s been driving me mad for about eight years, now!
3.    Athos – Because I’m convinced he is my perfect man!


Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Oh my goodness, this is a tricky one!  So many of my characters possess certain attributes of my personality.  To pick out one single character is a bit like picking out one facial feature with makes you look like the person you see in the mirror.  They’re all so excitingly multifaceted, and only part of them is anything like me!



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Author Bio and Links:
Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her soon-to-be-serialised books "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the film!

When she's not writing, Virginia is a music teacher in Caithness. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John o' Groats Book Festival which has just celebrated its 2nd year. Hopefully they'll be plenty more to come!

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