Friday, June 29, 2012

Yay, It's Friday

Enjoy the weekend.....................

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wishmaker


With us today is DD Roy. She's going to tell us what three wishes she'd wish for if given the opportunity. They're good ones:)
Wish #1. Everyone would know their talent. See, everybody has something they are good at. But sometimes it’s really hard to figure out what it is. Many people give up and assume they aren’t good at anything. Not true. We all have something special. You just have to keep searching to figure it out.
Wish #2. People would never be mean to others who are different from them. Man, it’s everywhere. Athletes. Nerds. Races. Religions. Maybe we should all decide who we want to be around based on the time of day we were born. “I can’t stand the 10:02 people.” “You shouldn’t talk to anyone who is a 7:34.” It’s just about as arbitrary.
Wish #3. Everyone was born healthy. My daughter goes through challenges every day that I don’t know I could face. And yet, she’s happy. But I wish no babies were born with epilepsy, or heart defects, or blind or deaf or brain damaged or sick. But if it happened, I definitely wish they weren’t treated any differently. (See Wish #2.)
That was all serious, wasn’t it? Okay, okay, here are the real wishes:
1: A midnight blue 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Just too cool.
2: To be able to draw. I can’t even make a stick figure anyone would recognize.
3: Chocolate every day. No wait, every meal. Yes. Every one. Wait. Non-fattening chocolate. That’s better. Non-fattening but utterly delicious chocolate at every meal. 
BLURB:

Eleven-year-old Jinnie has a dilemma--she can grant wishes, but she can't control the results.

The school counselor tells Jinnie to join the Troubled Tweens, a group of kids with similar power problems. Maddy’s touch makes anyone explode in anger. Grace can make people like her--as long as they don’t let go of her arm.

But their loose use of magic attracts the attention of the Loki, a group of magic thieves and pranksters. They want to steal an open-ended wish from Jinnie, and it will take all the limited and messed-up magic she and her friends possess to make sure their powers don’t fall into the Loki’s greedy hands.


Jinnie Wishmaker is the first book of the Troubled Tweens series for 9-12 year olds

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

The Magic Mood Ring

The lid opened with a sharp pop, revealing a large black oval ring with a scalloped silver trim.

“Let’s see what everyone’s mood is like today.” Mr. Kent slipped the ring on his fourth finger. The oversized oval gem turned vivid blue. “I’m looking very calm.” He passed the ring to Maddy.

Jinnie’s face blazed. She knew the ring was going to go off the chart with anxiety when she put it on. She tried to relax, to breathe normally. She already hated Troubled Tweens.

“Oh, look, it’s gone black again. Negative and brooding. Big surprise.” Maddy yanked it off and tossed it at Jinnie. The ring bounced off her chest.

“Catch,” Maddy said, sneering.

Jinnie fumbled her hands against her shirt, finally trapping the ring and cupping it in her palm. She took one more long breath, willing the ring to be green, and slipped it on her middle finger.

The ring shifted from black to gray, then slid into yellow before turning perfectly clear.

Everyone leaned forward, even Maddy.

“Whoa,” Marcus said. “It has no color at all.”

“It’s creepy. Maybe you don’t really exist,” Maddy said.

Mr. Kent smiled. “I think it means you are special.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

D.D. Roy wrote her first story "Blackie and the Garbage Dump Dogs" when she was in elementary school. As a teen, she tried to destroy her little hand-made books, but if you get a chance to meet D.D.'s mom, she will whip out the one surviving copy, still to D.D.'s total embarrassment.
Her first middle grade novel, JINNIE WISHMAKER, became a Hot New Release on the Nook, and was re-released as a hardcover School Library Edition through Casey Shay Press in spring 2012. Her story book app for the iPad, DUST BUNNIES: SECRET AGENTS, just came out in May through Polycot Labs.


 

The author is offering the following prizes to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (this is an international contest):

As a tie in to Jinnie Wishmaker, each blog will have two Magical Mood Rings to give away. Mood rings are a central item in the book as it is how the Troubled Tweens determine if a new member has a magical power or not. Very fun!

For the grand prize, Casey Shay Press is offering their bestselling balloon animal kit. It includes the paperback book Kids Show Kids How to Make Balloon Animals (for the same age group as Jinnie Wishmaker) as well as a professional pump and balloons.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summoned

Joining us is Susan  Leigh Noble with her new release Summoned . I asked her to to talk with us today about dragons. Here's her post:
Sometimes it seems a fantasy novel isn’t complete without a dragon. The thing about fantasy novels is you really have the creativity to do whatever you want, and this holds true with dragons. They can be small, large, friendly, menacing, have magical powers - the possibilities are endless. You can portray them as a snake-like creature like a Chinese dragon or a lizard-like beast with huge bat-like wings. I prefer the latter.  When visualizing my dragons, I mainly think of the Windstone Edition dragon statues designed by M. Pena, but I also get inspiration from the artwork of Peter Pracownik. I just love his artwork.
Though dragons often are portrayed as evil, in my novel, Summoned, I opted to create dragons as cooperative. I made them large enough to allow the other characters to ride on their backs.  And while many books or movies have dragons that don’t communicate, there are instances where they speak like we do (think BBC’s Merlin TV series or the movie Dragonheart) or even telepathically (such as Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series). I happened to want my dragons to communicate and figured it would be more realistic to have them be telepathic. 
 In many stories, dragons breathe fire but here again I decided to go a different route. Here is an excerpt of when my main character, Lina, first meets the black dragon Zoot. The dragons have been exiled for almost a thousand years so Lina knows very little about them.  
Lina turned back to the dragon. His huge yellow eyes stared at her. She broke the gaze and turned back to the trap. “Couldn't you break these or breathe fire and burn them?” she asked and hesitantly touched one of the ropes and then glanced at the dragon.
Still telling that old story, huh? Nope. We never could breathe fire. I believe that story started when one of us knocked over an oil lamp. Some poor servant saw it and started exaggerating. You know how it goes.
Lina smiled. She had never heard of that story. She had just always believed they could breathe fire, especially since the phrase “dragon’s fire” was so commonly used.
Zoot is introduced near the end of Summoned and plays a more active role for the remainder of the trilogy. Of course as the trilogy has progressed, I have added more dragon characters but Zoot with this gruff, sarcastic attitude will always be my favorite.      


BLURB:

Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.
 
Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago.  During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Excerpt - Battle - 314 words

Then he saw one of the men break away from the battle. His sword held ready, the man set his horse directly toward them. Tosh lashed his tail angrily against the saddle. He had succeeded in getting her out of the danger of the initial attack but that lone rider would soon be upon them, and Lina had no weapon. He considered his options. He only saw one clear choice. He lifted his paw, claws outstretched.

Lina, hold on.

He prepared to slash the mare again, but as he raised his paw, he caught a glimpse of her face. She was staring intently at the man racing toward them. Her face held a determined look as the wind began to blow her hair. The long honey-colored locks whipped around her face as the wind began to blow harder.  The force was so strong Tosh had to dig his claws into the saddle in order to stay on the mare. He whirled around in time to see the full force of Lina’s gust of wind hit the attacker. The man fell backward, his arms outstretched as if to grab the saddle. But his fingers missed and continued backward. Then Tosh heard the sickening sound of the man’s head hitting his horse’s rear hoof. The man hit the ground with a deadening thud and lay motionless. Lina cringed, a look of shock on her face. 

“I didn’t mean...” she whispered in a sick voice. Her eyes had a haunted look, and she shook her head slightly as if in disbelief over what had happened.

You had to stop him, Lina. He leaned against her, tucking his head into the crook of her arm.
Lina hung her head down. Her honey-colored hair fell around him like a curtain. “But I only meant to stop him.” She stared at the motionless man before her. “Not to kill him.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.

She loves to hear from readers: susannoble@satx.rr.com
Check out her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Leigh-Noble/200225396700412
Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLeighNoble



Susan will award a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Visitors and Contest Extension

More visitors. The smaller picture looks like a baby. Look how fuzzy he/she is. I think it may be a Gypsy Moth. Trivia on gypsy moths: the females don't fly. Life's just not fair. Can you imagine having wings and not being able to fly?

Does anyone know who the guy at the top is?
Due to some confusion on the ending date of the contest at some of the blog stops its been extended until June 30th.

~*~

The beast stepped out of the water and shook itself. It looked at the dark house set atop the
craggy cliff and sniffed. The strong scent of Minder and magic filled its nostrils.



Friday, June 22, 2012

Contest

Sunday, the 24th, is the last day of the contest. If you wish to enter just leave a comment with the word Minder and your email addie.
Winner receives:
Butterfly jewelry
Starbucks gift card
Book Dedication
PDF of Minder

 Blurb:

Among the northern tribes there is a legend passed down from generation to generation about shape-shifting Minders—guardians of the innocents—and how they came to be. 
It is said that nowadays only a handful of Minders exist, hunted to near extinction by a fearsome beast. Of the remaining Minders, only one wears a garnet-studded collar, the symbol of protection and royalty.  
Even when my aunt told me the story, and handed me an ancient garnet-studded band, I had no idea the tale applied to me.
After all, it’s only a legend…

J
une 18:  A Case of Reading Insomnia
June 18:  STOP 2TaraLenWalker
June 19:  It's Raining Books
June 20:  Welcome to My World of Dreams
June 20:  STOP 2:  Reader Girls
June 21:  Hywela Lyn (Romance That's "Out Of This World")
June 22:   United By Books

BARRAGE SCHEDULE:
June 21, 2012

Black Hippie Chuck's Take on Books & The World (Giveaway)
The YA Cafe (Giveaway)
Close Encounters with the Night Kind (Giveaway)
Hywela Lyn (Giveaway)
Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem (Giveaway)

June 22, 2012
Bea's Book Nook (Giveaway)
Bornean Bookworm Reads (Giveaway)
Carly Fall - Where Fantasy Meets Romance (Giveaway)
Sapphyria's Book Reviews (Giveaway)
Young Adult Novel Reader (Giveaway)

--

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dancing Naked in Dixie

Lauren will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-book-tour-dancing-naked-in.html

Lauren Clark is going to tell us what sets life in the South apart from the rest of Julia's (Dancing's heroine) travel experiences.


Julia Sullivan lives at twice the speed of life, traveling to the far-reaches of the globe to bring Getaways magazine's readers the latest on fabulous resorts and exotic new destinations. She's quite content visiting different cities and meeting new people every day. The constant change doesn't allow Julia to get attached to anything or anyone. This is her comfort zone, as Julia is still nursing wounds from her mother's death and father's abandonment.

As a travel writer, the five-star hotels and celebrity restaurants also have Julia a bit spoiled. Her view of the world skewed, as she doesn't spend time in the 'trenches.' Though she's aware of how the economy has impacted America, she's still naive. The day-to-day struggles, especially in small towns, aren't really on Julia's radar.

Her trip to the Deep South is a bit of a shock because there's no disappearing into a crowd, no skyscrapers, no blending into the scenery. The people of this Eufaula -- in a very loving way -- won't let it happen.

Julia's stop at the Citgo is a prime example. Elma broadcasts her arrival to the far reaches of Eufaula, all of fourteen thousand people. For those who don't catch the news, her visit is also made public knowledge at the Honeysuckle Cafe. Julia is questioned and examined like an (adorable) alien who's landed her space ship on the White House lawn.

When invited to dine with the Jordan family at their home, this very personal connection throws Julia even more off-balance. She sees the inner-workings of this family, the passion with which each member loves Eufaula and the Pilgrimage, and how much her visit really means to this historic community.

As Julia spends more time with Shug and his family, she discovers that progress may destroy this lovely city as she knows it. For the first time in Julia's life, her assignment becomes more than words on a page. Her article, and how she chooses to write it, will affect the future of Eufaula and the people who live there.

For anyone who's visited the Deep South -- likely because of the intense heat of the summer -- you know that everything operates at a much slower, more languid pace. People aren't in such a hurry. Almost everyone is friendly, waves, and will offer a hand if you're in trouble. Be prepared for a conversation while shopping at a store or having lunch at a cafe -- it's considered rude not to comment on the weather, church happenings, or make general small talk.

If you love comfort food, no region of the country does it better than in the South. From the golden fried chicken and fall-off-the-bone ribs to peach cobbler and fresh banana pudding, meals here are savored, shared, and celebrated. Often, in the evenings in my own neighborhood, everyone sits out on their porches to enjoy the occasional breeze and share a chilled glass of sweet tea with friends.

Pride in community, family name, and Southern history is fierce. College football has a cult following, especially in Alabama where there are no professional teams. From birth, children are dressed in orange and blue for Auburn University or crimson and white for the University of Alabama. There are many folks who will still argue that the Confederacy should have won the "War of Northern Aggression."

Life in the South isn't perfect -- as Julia finds out -- there are fire ants that bite and stinging insects that will attack when disturbed. The snake population is live and well, especially in the country. Tiny green lizards love to hang out on my azalea bushes. One occasionally makes it into my house. I still shriek in surprise when I see one, even after years of living here. (I grew up in Upstate NY)

Julia, at the outset of the novel, sees a visit to the Deep South as punishment. She announces loudly to her boss that she'd rather "dance naked" than go on assignment to Eufaula, Alabama. Realizing that she might lose her job, Julia makes the trip, and the visit ends up changing everything in her life for the better.


Have you ever had an experience similar to Julia's? What good came out of it?


BLURB:

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?  

EXCERPT

I’m a travel writer at Getaways magazine. Paid for the glorious task of gathering up fascinating snippets of culture and piecing them into quirky little stories. Jet-setting to the Riviera, exploring the Great Barrier Reef, basking on Bermuda beaches. It’s as glamorous and exhilarating as I imagined.

Okay, it is a tad lonely, from time to time.

And quite exhausting.

Which is precisely why I have to get organized.

Today.

I sink into my chair and try to concentrate. What to tackle first? Think, think.  

“Julia Sullivan!”
                                                        
Third reminder. Uh-oh.

Marietta rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb toward the inevitable. “Guess you better walk the plank,” she teases. “New guy’s waiting. Haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s the ‘take no prisoners’ sort. Hope you come back alive.”

I grope for something witty and casual to say, but all of a sudden, my head feels light and hollow.

I’ve been dying to find out about the new editor.

Every last gory detail.

Until now.

“I’m still in another time zone,” I offer up to Marietta with a weak smile. My insides toss from side to side as I slide out of my chair.

Marietta tosses me a wry look. “Nice try. Get going already, sport.”

I tilt my head toward the hallway and pretend to pout. When I look back, Marietta’s already disappeared. Smart girl.

“Fine, fine.” I tug a piece of rebellious auburn hair into place, smooth my wool suit, and begin to march toward the inevitable.

Our new editor.

My neck prickles.

I’m not going to worry. Not much anyway.

My pulse thuds.

Not going to worry about change. Or re-organization. Or pink slips.

Focus, Julia.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.

A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.











Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Holiday Affair Blog Barrage


BLURB

Nothing more than a holiday fling…until he moved in next door!

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And Lissy would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted Lissy. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

EXCERPT

“Hi, Tom. Hi, Nicky. Hi, lucky ladies with Tom and Nicky,” a giggly champagne-fueled hic-cough escaped her lips and Jenny dragged her into the rest room.

“Melissa!” exclaimed Jenny. “The professor is a hunk. Tell me all…you called him by his first name. Have you been out with him, or do you just know him from work?”

“Nuh, juss from work,” slurred Lissy. “He’s a nightmare to work with, very full of himself…not very nice at all.”

“What about Tom? Are you still seeing him?”

“Huh—” said Lissy “—thought he was different, but they are tarred with the same hairbrush.”

Jenny burst out laughing. “Oh, you are so funny with a few drinks under your belt. You mean brush, not

hair brush!”

Lissy tried to be serious for a minute, and had to hang on tightly to the basin to keep her balance. She squinted into the mirror and saw that her curls were out of control.

“Woo…a bit giddy,” she said. “And I’m hungry.”

Jenny pulled a chair over and sat her down in front of the mirror. “Okay, let’s fix you up.” She stood behind Lissy and tried to tame her curls down with her hand. “Speaking of hairbrushes, did you bring yours, hon?”

Lissy fumbled in her bag and tipped it out onto the bench. The contents of the bag rolled around and fell over the edge, just as the two glamorous women who were with Tom and Nick entered the restroom. She dived to the floor to catch lipstick, brushes, keys, and coins as they hit the floor.

“Oh, hello,” she said giggling. “Your legs match the rest of you.”

REVIEWS

BUY LINKS

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia. Recently retired from the world of full time work, she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing, and has had instant success! Her first two books were both published on the same day.

She writes across genres: steampunk, historical and paranormal romance, romantic suspense but her favorite genre is contemporary romance

She lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. They share their home with "Bob" the dog and two white cats, Boycat and Girlcat.

Annie’s working life was spent in education from early childhood through to teaching trainee teachers at university. She has worked as librarian, teacher, technology consultant and university tutor.  She has now retired and spends her days writing down all the stories in her head.

When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach... or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc in hand as the sun sets.

Twitter:  @annieseaton26

One random commenter will win an e copy of Holiday Affair

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Charleston

If you haven't visited Charleston, I recommend it. Its all kinds of fun. Much history and beauty. Lots to do:
The beaches--Isle of Palms(has shops and hotels along the boulevard), Sullivan's Island (This beach is more secluded than Isle of Palms. Edgar Allen Poe spent time here) and Folly Beach  where the bro got married.
Shopping--Open air market, Tanger outlet, antique shops, Old Slave mart, art galleries
 Tours--Boat Tours, Historical Tours, Ghost Tours, Mini Bus Tours, Walking Tours, Dolphin Tours, Historical Tours
Fort Sumter--First engagement of the civil war April 12, 1861
Gardens and Magnolia Plantation--http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/video_minutes.html
South Carolina Aquarium--This is on the harbor. The inhabitants come from the five major Southeast Appalachian watersheds.
Rainbow Row--Colorful, historic homes on East Bay Street.
The Waterfront--pictured below.
Hmmm, I realize all I didn't get to see and need to go back.



June 18:  A Case of Reading Insomnia
June 18:  STOP 2TaraLenWalker
June 19:  It's Raining Books
June 20:  Welcome to My World of Dreams
June 20:  STOP 2:  Reader Girls
June 21:  Hywela Lyn (Romance That's "Out Of This World")
June 22:   United By Books

Monday, June 18, 2012

No Remorse

Ian will award a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/05/virtual-blurb-blitz-tour-no-remorse-by.html
 
BLURB:

Two men, exiles from their respective societies, take conflicting approaches in the quest to regain their place and self-respect, and find themselves at war over a kidnapped girl.

Lee McCloud (“Mac”), a special forces soldier facing trumped-up charges of murder, is forced to work for a mysterious government outfit operating outside the law.

Khalid Yubani, cast out of Saudi Arabia for an offence against another member of the Royal family, seeks revenge through ruthless acts of evil. Engaged in the worst forms of human trafficking, Khalid buys Sophia, the daughter of Mac’s best friend, who has been kidnapped in Mexico. With time running out for Sophia, Mac enlists the help of a beautiful computer genius, a British SAS soldier and a Lebanese fixer to try to find Sophia and save her from the terrifying fate that Khalid has in store.

Although starting the quest as a man with no remorse, Mac gradually discovers a side of himself that he suppressed after witnessing the abduction of his own sister years before.

Dodging assassins, corrupt generals, evil medicos, Mossad agents, corrupt bureaucrats, and sharks, Mac ignores the order to stay out of trouble and follows Sophia’s trail from Mexico to Paris, London and Dubai, and the island of Andaran, where Khalid and his henchmen are waiting…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


EXCERPT ONE:

The girls’ fathers, Bob and Marvin, each carried a briefcase full of cash with a tiny GPS tracker hidden in a false bottom. They were both taller than the kidnappers, and through the scope Mac could read the pain on Bob’s face. The behavior of the kidnappers was still bothering him, but there was nothing he could do except watch. The leader held out his palm and waved his pistol like it was a flag. He addressed the fathers in accented English.

“You’re late. We think perhaps you do not want your daughters back, eh?”

“Sorry,” Bob said, his breathing short and sharp. “We took a wrong turn coming into the dam. The signs were confusing.”

The man grunted and glanced at the one with the knife. “Check them.”

Knife Man patted them down, searched their pockets, nodded the all clear.

“You have our money?”

“Of course.” Bob’s voice came through deep and confident in his earpiece, although the armpits of his shirt betrayed his anxiety. Be courteous but strong, Mac had advised him, otherwise they won’t respect you. Being a basketball coach undoubtedly helped. “And you have our daughters,” Bob said. A statement, not a question. He held out the briefcase. “Here’s the money. We didn’t contact the police.”

Several kidnappers gave a hearty laugh.

The leader smirked. “We wouldn’t be here if you had, gringo. But your daughters would be. With bullets in their heads.” He gestured to a kidnapper wearing a red bandana around his neck. “Abrirlos,” he ordered, and the man took both briefcases and unclipped the locks.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


 Ian Walkley has had a career in social and market research, and has been writing novels, short stories, travel articles and copywriting since 2008. He has co-authored two publications on small business and his first novel, No Remorse was published in 2012. Ian's screenplay "Deniable Justice" placed fourth in the Writer's Digest 2011 competition for best screenplay. Ian has traveled extensively and researched his subject, and brings a knowledge of location and technical detail to the exotic settings and big screen thrills. Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife and three children. 
LINKS



~*~

Minder's Virtual Tour

June 18:  TaraLenWalker
June 19:  It's Raining Books
June 20:  Welcome to My World of Dreams
June 20:  STOP 2:  Reader Girls
June 21:  Hywela Lyn (Romance That's "Out Of This World")
June 22:   United By Books

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To All the Dads Out There

Happy Father's Day

*picture from justsomethingimade.com

Friday, June 15, 2012

Minder Contest

To celebrate the release of Minder, I'll be running a month long contest. The winner  gets:
A set of butterfly pins--on right
A Starbucks gift certificate
A book dedication
and
A download of Minder
To enter: Just leave a coment mentioning Minder and  include your email addie.

 Blurb:

Among the northern tribes there is a legend passed down from generation to generation about shape-shifting Minders—guardians of the innocents—and how they came to be. 
It is said that nowadays only a handful of Minders exist, hunted to near extinction by a fearsome beast. Of the remaining Minders, only one wears a garnet-studded collar, the symbol of protection and royalty.  
Even when my aunt told me the story, and handed me an ancient garnet-studded band, I had no idea the tale applied to me.
After all, it’s only a legend…

Excerpt:

“Try on the necklace.”
“There’s no clasp.” I held it between my fingers and studied it.
“Just slip it over your head.”
“I don’t think it will fit.”
“Try.”
The necklace widened easily as I slipped it over my hair then narrowed to embrace my throat. I straightened and lifted my chin.
I might be outdoorsy, and though I don’t obsess over them, I enjoy pretty things especially clothes and jewelry.  
But this was different. This piece of jewelry was an extension of me. I felt alive, regal, protected. I frowned. Protected? What an odd thought.
“It’s beautiful. It sets off your long swan-like neck to perfection. It belongs on you.” My aunt studied me her eyes alight with what looked like affirmation.
“Yes.” I touched it. “It feels like it was made for me.”
I felt the pull of an intent gaze and knew who would be staring. I turned my head. Our gazes collided. I could see his golden eyes dilate to black, his nostrils flare and strangest of all I could smell his heat.
His gaze locked with mine, he stood abruptly. The woman who sat beside him grabbed his arm and pulled him down. She glared at me.
Acutely aware of him, I broke eye contact and turned back to my aunt. “You said it was a gift from my mother?”
“She wore it. Do you remember?” Aunt leaned forward, her elbows on the table, her chin in her hands, her eyes intent.
I frowned and tried to recall. A forgotten memory surfaced. A young woman who looked like me turning in a circle laughing, butterflies fluttering around her, the necklace at her throat. I felt a thrill. Our features were nearly identical, her hair the same color, texture and sheen only longer.
“Yes, I do.” I smiled. The memory a gift I would cherish and hug close to my heart.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shadows Deep


Title: Shadows Deep (Shadows, Part II)
Author: Cege Smith
Publisher: Self
Length: 70,000 words
Genres: Horror, Paranormal (Non-Romance)

Available at:

Blurb:
Ellie Coulter made a deal with the devil, and now it’s time to pay the price. Little did she know, the shadows that have swirled around her life since her parents’ death were not a coincidence. As Ellie's destiny is revealed, it comes with the knowledge that her fate is the lynchpin in a far larger, and more dangerous game. And the one who found her has no intention of ever letting her go.

Ellie walks a fine line between keeping up the appearance of acceptance while gathering the information she needs to escape. Along the way, she has to decide who to trust and that includes the man she loves.  As facts give way to lies, Ellie begins to question everything.

With her true intentions on the verge of being discovered, Ellie must find a way to defeat her captor before she becomes a shadow herself.
Excerpt:
Letting go was one of the hardest things a person could ever do. Ellie knew that. What happened when she let go of the idea that reality as she knew it was merely a cover on a rabbit hole? She had willingly taken the cover off and fallen down into the unknown darkness. She’d surrendered. Somehow it felt easier that way. But the Voice kept picking at her even though she was deep in her hidey hole. It wouldn’t leave her alone.

“What was it like for you when your parents died?”

Ellie had answered some variation of that question what seemed like a million times over the years, but her response always paled in comparison to the effect of that one event on the rest of her life. How could she explain the depth of pain she felt when the two people who she loved most were ripped out of her life? Or the excruciating, almost debilitating sense of loneliness that followed when she finally comprehended that she was completely alone in the world?

“I was eight,” Ellie replied. “I had no other family. One minute I was surrounded by love. In the blink of an eye I was an orphan. What do you think it was like?” No one could understand what she had been through, and eventually she gave up trying to explain. Her parents’ death was just something that happened to her a long time ago. Ellie preferred to leave that buried there.

“I am sure it was difficult. But you obviously learned to cope, even thrive.”

“Thrive isn’t the word I’d choose,” Ellie said. “I learned how to survive. Eventually I learned ways to be happy again, but I did that on my own. I never felt like I belonged anywhere again.”

The Voice was silent for a while and Ellie was relieved. When it wasn’t poking at her, the darkness was peaceful. Ellie was used to being alone.

“Tell me about your ability. You’ve linked that to your parents’ death.”

Ellie was tired of the questions. They had covered the same ground over and over again. But it was like the Voice was missing some nuance, and so it all started again. Combing through her life. Looking for clues. “I noticed it the first time at the funeral. I was standing there in the cemetery, looking at their caskets, with the social worker beside me. I kept looking around for more people, but it was just the three of us: me, the social worker, and the minister. And then I noticed that the longer the minister spoke, the more these colors seemed to grow out of him. It didn’t make any sense at the time. The colors were deep purple and blue and they got more vivid every time he made eye contact with me. It scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know what to do.”

A familiar cloud of sadness fell over her thoughts as she remembered that lost little girl. “When the service was over, I wanted to kick and scream and lash out. I wanted to push over those caskets because I convinced myself they were empty and it was some elaborate hoax. Any minute they would appear to take me home. But it wasn’t a hoax. My parents raised me to think that showing emotion in public wasn’t ladylike, so as desperately as I wanted to throw a tantrum, I knew they wouldn’t approve. I looked at the social worker and she had a glow of white tinged with yellow around her. Even though I didn’t know what it meant, the colors were soothing. I had to accept that I was left with nothing but this woman to take care of me. I was naive and automatically assumed that she was kind and that she’d be good to me.”

“She wasn’t?”

Ellie sighed. “After twenty-five years of reading auras, I know now that she was indifferent. She probably saw a dozen kids just like me every week. Her aura meant that she was at peace and even slightly happy, but it had nothing to do with me. I was part of her job, and while I was watching my parents be buried, she was probably thinking about getting a manicure or going home and having a glass of wine. Me, I had no home left.”

“You went into foster care.”

“Yes, and in foster care I stayed until I applied for emancipation when I was sixteen.” She remembered the day that the court approved her request. It had been bittersweet.

“Your ability must have been advantageous in that kind of hostile environment.”

“If you mean it helped keep me out of trouble, then probably it did. But I was always a good kid. I studied hard, got decent grades, and generally stayed out of everyone’s way.  I never gave my foster families any reason to really concern themselves with me. I wanted to be invisible. I was pretty good at it,” Ellie said. She had closed herself off from anyone who tried to reach her. It was a defense mechanism that worked well. Perhaps too well.

“Until you met Veronica.”

A face flashed in Ellie’s mind. A pretty blond with infectious laughter. Whereas her parents’ faces had faded over time, Roni’s was vivid and seemed so real that Ellie almost thought her friend was there with her in the darkness.

“Roni just wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Ellie said. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. And for some reason she wanted to be my friend. I owe her a lot.” It was strange talking about Veronica. Those memories were under strict lock and key for a reason.
About the Author:
Cege Smith is a Minnesota based writer who is addicted to lattes and B-rated horror films. She had been crafting spooky stories since she was twelve years old. She lives with her husband, two adorable stepsons, and mini long-hair dachshund, Juliet in the suburbs of Minneapolis.



http://cblspromotions.blogspot.com/2012/05/scheduled-vbt-shadows-deep-shadows-part.html