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Andrew's historical fantasy novel based on an ancient Welsh tale, 'The Fairy Wife' (working title) is accepted for publication!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Captain’s Sortie

I’d like to welcome author Mike Fuller and his new book, ‘Captain’s Sortie’, published by Rogue Phoenix Press.  During this book tour, Mike will award a prize to a randomly drawn commenter.

Captains Sortie

Title: Captain's Sortie

Deland Sea And Land Adventure Novel Book 2

ISBN: 978-1-62420-300-8

Author: Mike Fuller

Genre: Historical, Action, Adventure

Excerpt Heat Level: 1

Book Heat Level: 2

BANNER-CaptainsSortie

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

TAGLINE

Captain Ben Deland sails north from the Caribbean to join the English and provincial forces moving to stop the French from control of the frontier. But Ben becomes the only hope for the rescue of loved ones snatched by Indian and French raiders.

BLURB

The American colonial frontier is at war and stained in the blood of farmer and soldier alike. French generals have filled the land with armies of white uniformed troops and their north woods Indian allies. No one is safe from the perils of this conflict that seems to have no end. Captain Ben Deland sails north from the warm Caribbean with more than one mission to accomplish. The war is not going well for the British and Americans in the late winter of 1758 and Ben once again must lead his loyal crew ashore and into the dangerous forests and mountains to face the French and Indians.

But the British have undertaken a great task to stop the French from overwhelming the Hudson and splitting the colonies in two. Captain Deland is drawn to their aid and then has to launch a desperate rescue into the dangerous wilderness filled with enemies to find the victims of the war raging all around them.

Sea and shore action and adventure told through the stories of the men and women who face overwhelming obstacles and evil characters. Real history mixed with rich descriptive portrayals of nature and man set in the violence and uncertainty of war on the colonial frontier. Another thrilling novel from the author of Captain's Cross.

EXCERPT

Thomas had done the same thing when he was younger. He lay next to Paul just behind a moss-covered log. He could see Paul’s hand quiver just a little as the boy cocked the hammer of his short rifle. Thomas had been surprised and a bit overwhelmed when Ben presented an almost identical rifle to him years ago. Thomas had since outgrown it and now had his own full sized long rifle. So, it was his turn to pass along to Paul the knowledge of the mountains as Ben had done to him before.

“Just where the shoulder rounds over the front leg,” Thomas whispered. The shot would drop a little over the distance and put the ball in the vital spot of the doe whitetail on the opposite bank across the stream. “Take a breath and let part of it out. Just touch the trigger, don’t pull it…”

The little rifle roared and through the smoke Thomas could see the doe crumple to the ground. Paul tried to see where the deer had gone and rose up on his knee to look over the smoke. As he started to move over the log, Thomas reached out and put a firm hand on Paul’s shirt.

“What did you forget?” Thomas had heard the same thing from Ben in the past.

Paul looked at Thomas for a moment and then frowned. “Yes, Sir, to reload.” Paul stood and began the process of powder and ball, finishing with priming the pan of the flintlock. It took longer than Thomas would like, but the lad was still learning.

The meat from the doe would fill out the load on their pack horses and send them back to the smoke camp. Paul was out with Thomas on this trip. Paul had been sent out with several members of the crew, each adding their own woods wisdom to his education. The summer was full and they had to be careful where they stepped as they moved through the thick forest. There were other hunters in the warm woods now and some of them had very poisonous fangs.

Ben was less than a mile north of them and leading the mare and his pack horse down a ridge following an Indian trail too narrow and overgrown to ride atop the mare. Horses were sometimes more of a burden in the thick woods and Ben decided he would leave the mare behind next trip and only walk with the pack horse.

The warm southerly wind carried the sound of the gunshot to him and he stopped for a moment trying to place the direction of the sound. He listened for any follow on shots, but none came. The meat they brought in was feeding boat builders and soldiers south of them at the head of the Mohawk. They would have to move soon. The army was loading the boats on wagons and going to the west. Another part of the war was off to the northeast. The French and the British fought over the lakes and forts there without much progress for several years. The farmers on the frontier suffered the most though. Raids from the north continued with bloody results. The French relied upon their Indian allies and did little to hold back their murder and torture. Thomas had lost his family to it.

Ben kept moving. He likely would cross with the shooters when they got closer to the smoke camp. The summer heat meant that they had to turn around their hunts quickly lest the meat spoil. It was good they were moving west again to new hunting territory. They would have to venture farther every day that they took game around the camp.

Just the smallest bit of red color in the distance ahead brought Ben to his knee and the long rifle up and aimed at the spot. He dropped the leather rein to the mare and slipped sideways into the thicker brush aside the narrow trail. It would hurt his soul if the mare took a ball meant for him, but that may have to be. With skill refined to the highest level over twenty years in the woods, he moved toward the swatch of color angling out away from the horses.

The red swatch was joined by another of a less bright hue and another of gray feather. The top dressings of northern woods Indians. He counted three, but knew more could be just behind these three. It would come to confrontation soon. They had not seen the mare and pack horse yet, but in only a few more steps…

~ * ~

Draco had the scent. The wolf dog appeared just as Paul was tying off the meat on the pack horse and circled the small piece of forest the two men and four horses occupied. Thomas stopped his digging at the front foot of the gelding and let the hoof drop back to the ground to watch the dog.

“Something’s wrong,” was all that Thomas said before he mounted and slipped the buckskin cover from his short rifle. He tapped the gelding’s sides with his moccasins and the horse was gone into the trees in only a moment behind the dog. Paul was confused, but regained his thoughts and gathered the leads of the pack horses and once on his own horse, set off after Thomas.

Thomas hadn’t gone far to the north when he pulled the gelding to a standstill. Draco was walking with his nose to the ground and the gray and black hair standing almost straight up on his back. Dismounting and loosely tying the horse to a sapling, Thomas followed on foot. Each step was thought out. It slowed him, but he knew silence was putting favor to his cause. He still carried the short rifle. He lost little in range and nothing in caliber with the smaller weapon. In the thick woods, he was satisfied his first rifle served him well. A turned leaf, an oak dropped this spring after the winter, showed the wetness from its underside where a careless foot pulled it over revealing passage. Thomas examined the forest floor and was able now to see the slightest trace of a game trail. Another leaf and a thin branch pulled forward then caught in the crook of another betrayed more of the man or men that had moved through. Not many White men would leave so little of a path behind. These were woodsmen, White or no.

Thomas scarcely breathed and within a few more steps saw Draco down on his belly and pointing his nose straight ahead. Only the soft swish the small breeze made as it passed through the upper leaves added to the stillness. Not a bird sound. Something or someone, more likely, was just beyond the pines blocking the way. Thomas tried to will his eyes to see through them, but it would not be.

It happened together. Paul crashed ahead through the trees from behind leading the horses atop his own and Draco lunged just as an Indian showed himself through the pine boughs and fired his musket past Thomas’s head toward Paul. The Indian died only a second later and Thomas hesitated deciding if he was to reload the rifle or go after Draco with his pistol and sword.

The sound of the dog roaring, as only Draco could do, within the pines and Paul hitting the ground with a cry of pain gave Thomas no choice. He spun and covered the distance to Paul and as he got close enough to see the boy awash in blood, he heard a gunshot then another from the pines. Thomas grabbed Paul’s collar and drug him back behind the horses scooping up Paul’s short rifle as he passed. A thick beech sheltered him as he put his body between Paul and the pines and began to reload his own rifle.

“Where?” he whispered to Paul. He heard no answer and did not dare take his eyes from the place the Indian had emerged. Thomas nudged Paul’s shoulder and said again, “Where?”

“In the pine trees, Thomas. The Indians are…” Paul coughed and went silent. Thomas meant to learn of Paul’s wound, but the boy went past that to the threat before them.

Thomas had his rifle reloaded and judged the distance to the long rifle in the scabbard on the gelding behind them. With both short rifles, his pistol and his long rifle, he could answer well for them. But then he had Paul to deal with. He took time to look down at the boy curled up beneath him in the lee of the beech. There was a lot of blood on the boy’s summer shirt. Most of it was near his waist and on the right side.

“I know where they are. Are you still with me, Paul?” Thomas again whispered.

“It hurts, Tom. So bad. My side hurts.”

The Abeneki was only about Thomas’ age and had a war club in his hand as he burst from the trees toward them. Thomas was looking down at Paul and could not see the look of pure and concentrated rage in the Indian’s eyes. The sound of the Indian’s buckskins against the pine boughs is what drug Thomas back into the fight, but it was too late to bring the short rifle to bear. Thomas was knocked backward and was underneath the warrior before he could even begin to defend himself.

The Indian swung the club down and caught the flinching Thomas with a glancing blow to the side of his head. Thomas felt the strike, but it didn’t hurt. He was too full of fight himself by then and the Indian was launched up and over Thomas, the club falling away. The warrior was well trained and rolled to his feet with a rather substantial trader’s knife in his hand. Thomas reached for the pistol in his belt, but it was gone and he didn’t bother searching for it, instead coming to his feet with the short sword in his hand.

More snarling dog sounds came from behind, but Thomas was otherwise occupied at the moment. The Abeneki did not know that Thomas’ family had been butchered by Abeneki raiders when Thomas was only thirteen. It may have not made a difference, but it did to Thomas. With a fierceness that overwhelmed the Indian, Thomas charged and swung the sword at the very last moment. The Indian died as his body hit the ground, the sword finding the heart of the attacker and ending the fight.

Thomas dove back to Paul and scooped up his rifle, ready for the next threat. But only a bloody faced Draco appeared followed a moment later by Ben and three Mohawk warriors.

Mike Fuller

Keywords: history, action adventure, colonial America, war, French and Indian War

Website URL: http://mikefullerauthor.com

Twitter: @mikefullerwrite

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mikefullerauthor

Friday, 23 June 2017

‘Choke’ – by Lisa Towles

Choke

What does a missing hospital patient in San Francisco have to do with a scientific discovery on the opposite coast that could put a serious dent in pharmaceutical industry profits? It’s a mystery that crime novelist Lisa Towles draws to a riveting conclusion in her fourth full-length novel.

Kerry Stine is a nursing assistant at a San Francisco hospital who is blamed for the disappearance of a patient from the intensive care unit, while Adrian Calhoun is a scientist on the East Coast who finds himself in danger from Big Pharma operatives after developing a cancer-curing cigarette.

Choke (Rebel E Publishers) features two seemingly unrelated plot lines, relentlessly paced through multiple layers and fascinating twists before leading its unwitting heroine down a perilous path toward truth and redemption.

Video Trailer

ACCOLADES

“A cleverly-written, smart thriller that kept me guessing, and at times holding my breath.”
- Christine Husom, author of the Winnebago County and Snow Globe Shop series of mysteries

“This unusual thriller completely intrigued me from the first page.”
- Marilyn Meredith, best-selling author of two mystery fiction series

“Towles takes the reader on a heart-pounding journey. The unlikely intersection of their stories delivers unparalleled suspense. It’s a smart, well-written thriller that will deliver on the big screen someday as well as it does on the page.”
- Leo Bottary, author of The Power of Peers

“A cigarette that cures lung cancer? Who could be against such a concept? If you can’t figure that out, just heed the basic advice of any crime investigation—follow the money, which is what Lisa Towles has done in her magnificent story. I read this with the pleasurable company of a pack of Marlboros … smokin’ good read!”
- Les Edgerton, award-winning author of The Death of Tarpons, The Rapist, The Bitch, The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping and others

“Choke’s complex characters fascinated me. Its layered dilemmas – threating both individual lives and the lives of cancer victims across the world – grabbed me by the throat. Lisa Towles’ new thriller is a must-read. It kept me in suspense the whole way through – and inspired me in the process.”
- Judith Schiess Avila, NYT best-selling author of Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

“Lively descriptions, characters, and dialogue make this a highly readable page-turner.”
- Albert Noyer, author of The Secundus Papyrus and other novels

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY AND CONTACT

Lisa Towles specializes in writing crime mysteries when not working full time in the tech industry and completing an MBA. The author of numerous short stories (under her previous name of Lisa Polisar), Towles also has contributed feature articles, columns, art reviews and book reviews for a variety of newspapers and periodicals.

An active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Crimespace, Towles is a New England native who earned two journalism awards from the National Press Women’s Association and the 2016 National Engaged Leader Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Towles graduated from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in music, majoring in flute with a minor in psychology.

Website
Facebook page
Buy link

EXCERPT

In her five decades on earth, Grace Mattson had learned to pay attention to instinct. And right now hers was telling her not to touch the envelope sitting beside Neville’s note. Instead, she gazed upon it, using her powers of perception and everything Sherlock Holmes had taught her about the observation of details. The most significant of which, however, was the churning feeling in her stomach.

“You’re right to be cautious.” The female voice startled her. “I would be too.”

Grace noticed the umbrella even before seeing the woman’s face. It was a smooth, sculpted face with mistrust woven into its elegant features. “I can’t decide whether to invite you for tea or sick my Doberman on you.”

The woman blinked, revealing dark blue eyes. “I would prefer tea with an English woman than death by an invisible dog.”
Grace allowed a momentary smirk. “I don’t suppose I look like a dog-person.”

“No.”

Something about her, this woman with impeccable taste in clothes, fashionable without a hint of overstatement, and her steely voice, caused Grace’s heart to thud inside her chest. The blue eyes stared evenly, and Grace’s palms felt clammy. What was this about, and why had this woman watched her and Adrian at Atticus?

“Come in then,” Grace said finally, “we’ll have tea in the garden.” And I hope I live through the experience.

The woman followed her inside, and Grace unlocked the back door. “I’ll boil some water. Please, make yourself comfortable.” She pointed to the back yard, to a vine-covered trellis, under which sat two Adirondack chairs adorned with flowered pillows. She hated those pillows. A gift from Neville, she’d wondered if they were Neville’s way of making her more soft or feminine, somehow.

“We’re interested in your research,” the woman said after Grace came out to meet her.

“We?

“What I mean is …very interested,” the woman went on, ignoring the question. Her voice was flat, monotone, controlled, without a hint of inflection or emotion. Was she an android? A highly functioning artificial life form such as she’d seen on the SyFy channel so many times? The woman’s face looked as though it hadn’t ever cracked a smile. The skin was beyond smooth and the eyes looked hard, almost menacing. Just as the woman used her voice simply to deliver instructions, rather than the sharing of communication.

Grace fondled the sealed black envelope. “And this is to offer me a million dollars for it?”

“It’s an offer … of exchange, yes.”

“Who’s we?”

“Me and … my employers.”

“And who are you, exactly?”

The woman slowly crossed her legs. “You can call me … Beth.”

“Well, I could call you a lot of things. But that doesn’t answer my question.”

“I’ll say it again – my employers are very interested in your research.”

“What research are you talking about exactly? I’m a retired ethnobotanist, I teach gardening classes and breed rare species of plants. It’s not very exciting, I assure you.”

“Orchids. Isn’t that right?”

“Not only orchids. But yes. You want to know how I do it? Come to my greenhouse, I’ll show you.”

“We’ve been to your greenhouse.”

Grace’s palms felt slick with sweat. She took a slow sip of tea, reminding herself to breathe.

“In fact, we’ve been going there for the past six months. It’s not there.”

“Excuse me? You’ve been … what’s not there?”

For what felt like a long time, neither of them spoke. Not one single bird chirped, no traffic sounds, pedestrians, car alarms, or sirens.

“We’re prepared to pay for what we want.”

“That’s very kind of you,” Grace joked.

“We’re not in the business of kindness, I’m afraid.”

“No?”

The woman sighed, uncrossed her legs. Then crossed them the other way. She looked uneasy, as if she were about to launch a different tactic. “The decisions we make affect the economy, on global levels.”

“Really? You don’t look like a banker.”

The woman smiled and looked toward the house.

“Water’s boiling. Pardon me, I’ll be right back.”

Grace returned with a bamboo tray containing a pot of tea, two cups, a pitcher, and tiny bowls for milk and lemon.

“Royal Doulton,” Beth commented with what seemed like admiration. But Grace knew already that she was not what she seemed.

“It was my mother’s,” Grace said and swirled the brew around in the teapot and then poured.

Beth held the cup and stared intently into the liquid, glanced at Grace, and returned her gaze to the cup.

“I’m still not clear on what research you want.”

“You know what we want.” The woman sipped the tea.

“Careful, could be poison,” Grace said and stared.

She watched the woman take two more sips and then soundlessly leave down the side walkway toward Kensington. She continued watching her all the way out toward Chapel Street, and then slowly opened the envelope. On one heavy sheet of stationary paper appeared a single typed sentence.

The research in exchange for your partner’s life.

Adrian, my God, she thought. What have you done?

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Welcoming Maggie Mundy

I’d like to welcome author Maggie Mundy to talk about her book, ‘Unmasked, published by Rogue Phoenix Press.  During this book tour, Maggie will award a prize to a randomly drawn commenter.

BANNER-Unmasked

Title: Unmasked

Author: Maggie Mundy

ISBN EBOOK: 978-1-62420-323-7

ISBN POD: 978-1547054831

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Excerpt Heat Level: 1

Book Heat Level: 4

TAGLINE

Corrupted magic is hard to fight when you’re the only one who believes something is wrong. Daria faces a battle to save her world.

BLURB

Six hundred years of peace are destroyed when Daria’s settlement is attacked. It is the start of problems for the land of Majura. Daria saves people with magic and must join the magic wielding Mask wearers who rule the land. Her dreams have warned if she became one it would be the end of Majura. Are the Mask wearers keeping secrets or is she the only one who can see the power in the land is changing. A Mask wearer called Alenze believes her and offers to go on a quest with her to fix the Essence where the magic comes from, but he is keeping secrets from her that could be the death of them all.

Unmasked

EXCERPT

If most of the other Masks were like Alenze, then she was never going to fit in. He didn't have a hair out of place. His clothes were grey but of the highest quality, with a beautifully fitted long tunic and breeches and well-made knee-high leather boots.

"During the travelling, you'll be placed in a trance. This is done so you're not alarmed by the experience. I'll be in control, and you'll not be aware of what's happening around you."

He spoke to her as if she were a child. The fact he was at least a head taller than her didn't help matters as he peered down.

"I assure you growing up here has made me resilient." Daria crossed her fingers behind her back at the lie.

"Many people struggle with the experience. I myself was glad I wore brown britches the first time. I agree though. I sense you'll not be alarmed easily," Alenze replied.

For a second Daria saw a smirk on his face. He had a sense of humor, who would have thought. He even almost looked handsome when he smiled.

"Traveler Quatrome, the sun is setting," her father interrupted. "The Chamber is ready." He bowed his head to both of them.

Alenze offered his arm to escort her into the Travelling Chamber. Daria stared at his hand as her heart pounded in fear, but knew she had no choice but to eventually take it. Pell stopped outside the Chamber and smiled at her, then looked to Alenze.

"Take care of her, and warn your fellow Masks to watch out for her temper; she didn't inherit her mother's green eyes and red hair without reason," Pell warned.

"You have my word, Master Gallo," Alenze replied as he shook her father's hand.

Atia and Chelle hugged her with tears streaming down all their faces.

"It won't be long, and I'll be back, especially if they don't want me, which is highly likely," Daria soothed them as she tried to get her tears under control.

Alenze coughed and Daria couldn't delay any more. Again, his arm was offered and this time she accepted. He escorted her into the chamber and as the doors shut behind them, she could hear Rumus howling and her breath caught in her throat.

Alenze let go of her arm and walked into the center of the circular, windowless room. With the doors closed, there was an oppressive feel to the space, with the only illumination coming from the oil lamps placed about the walls. The floor was covered with a beautiful painting. The tales were that the settlement had been built around this place.

Alenze was studying the markings on the floor. Daria's breath was catching in her throat and the room was getting smaller. She couldn't go through with this, they couldn't make her go. Her chest was getting tight as her panic increased. She ran to the door of the chamber and raised her fists, thumping hard again and again. The yells coming from her throat blanked out the pain as her fists started to redden and bleed.

"Let me out."

A hand touched her shoulder, causing her to spin around screaming, her clenched fist aimed at Alenze. Placing his hand over hers, he brought her fist down. He stared intently at her with his dark grey eyes as he spoke.

"When I went to the Domain in Denarius, I believed no one would want someone like me. Those who came with me at that time were filled with a confidence I never had. I didn't feel I'd ever belong, but now I do. Becoming a Mask has given my life meaning beyond what I would ever have thought possible. I've grown to love what I've become. You must trust me, and believe you'll feel that, too." He paused. "Are you ready?"

Daria nodded as he let go of her hands and walked over and stood over the open mouth of the winged serpent painted on the floor. She stood on the outside of the circular floor painting and thought her eyes must be playing tricks on her. The painting was starting to move as the serpent's coils began to entwine one upon another hypnotically.

"We can delay no longer. Stand on the mark of the moon." Holding out his arm, Alenze beckoned her to move forward.

She took the step, her breath coming in gasps. The outer circle had symbols of the sun, moon, stars and the Goddess Ikrar. The Goddess stood with her hands clasped around a crystal.

Alenze removed a small, plain brown mask from a pouch hanging around his neck and put it on his face. It had no hooks or fastenings, but melded to him on contact.

"Enter the circle, Daria."

Daria stepped forward onto the moving picture. Alenze took her hands in a firm grip, and needing something to hold onto, she gripped equally as hard around his wrists. She wondered if he could hear her heart beating. He should, as it felt as if it was going to explode through her chest.

"I don't want to do this. My life is here, Crane is here, I love him and I want to stay." Tears flowed down her face.

"Trust me, Daria, and you'll be safe," Alenze instructed.

"I don't want to trust you. I don't want to go and no one there will want me. They think I'm bringing doom with me because I touched the crystal," Daria sobbed, but Alenze wasn't listening anymore. His eyes were shut and he was chanting strange words over and over. There was a humming noise making her dizzy, and then something touched her foot. She jerked her knee up. Peering down, she let out a scream as the coils of the snake picture on the floor started slithering over her feet and around her ankles - where was the trance Alenze had promised? The Mask was no longer solid on his face; the flat surface was bubbling as though something was trying to erupt. Then the small heads of two snakes broke free from the surface and bit into his temples. If he felt any pain he didn't react.

More snakes oozed from the Mask until the whole of his head was a wriggling mass moving down his back and entwining around his arms. Two vipers separated from the others encircling his arms. The snakes stopped their movements at his wrists and raised their bodies up as though to get a good look at her. They swayed hypnotically. Daria tried to pull free of Alenze's grip, but he was too strong. Then without warning, both snakes struck at her wrists in unison.

"Alenze," his name burst from her mouth as the pain hit her arms and the poison burned into her. His eyes opened, looking first to her face and then at the vipers injecting their venom. She could hear his thoughts.

Forgive me, Daria.

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:

Maggie Mundy Pic

I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, one cat, two dogs and a snake. I have a motorbike that I would like to ride more than I do and I love walking at the beach and listening to the waves. I've always loved reading all forms of fiction from high fantasy and paranormal to contemporary and decided the stories in my head needed to be written down. It was either that or start on medication. Unlike many, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until a few years back. I started off doing a degree in drama but soon realized my love was in writing, though there is a play lurking somewhere on my computer. My day job is as a nurse in the operating room. I believe romance can be fun to read and write but it’s exciting to spice it up with the uncertainty that comes with suspense where the rules can be broken.

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Website URL: www.maggiemundy.com

Blog URL: http://maggiemundy.blogspot.com.au

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieMundyAuthor

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/MundyMaggie

Monday, 19 June 2017

Their Only Choice, Their Last Chance

Storm Watch - Book III in the ‘Unfinished Business’ series by Carole Ann Moleti

Storm Watch 3 Final_338x507
Mike and Liz thought they'd gotten control of the specters haunting the Barrett Inn. But things get very complicated when they're the ghosts from your past life. The Category Five Hurricane bearing down on Cape Cod appears to be headed directly for them--or has it been spawned from inside them? Knowing it’s their last chance to end the hauntings, Mike and Liz must decide whether to run or to defy evacuation orders. Will they survive the storm?

That’s the premise behind this new book by Carole Ann Moleti, the final part of the ‘Unfinished Business’ series. Having read ‘The Widow’s Walk’ and ‘Breakwater Beach’, I was delighted to be asked to preview ‘Storm Watch’ because it meant I got an early chance to find out what happened to the people who left a mark on me in the previous instalments.

The story is about how the characters and the ghosts inside them try to cope when a massive storm approaches and then hits their homes in Cape Cod. The novel has an excellent sense of location - I’ve never been to Cape Cod but came to feel I knew it well. I was so drawn in I started looking up maps and photographs, to find Moleti described everything so well the settings are just as I imagined them.
We’re not only dealing with the storm and ghosts, but multiple sub plots that are skillfully woven into the story and add interest rather than complexity. These plots drew me in because I wanted to know what would happen with each strand, until I was immersed in the whole book. I finished the novel well before I expected to because I kept wanting to read ‘just one more chapter’.

However, as so often with Moleti’s work, the real standout is the characters who are consistent and well drawn across the series’ three books. The author has a clear picture of what makes people tick and a knack for characterisation that many authors – including me – will envy. As with the series’ other books, the people in the story are largely ordinary, everyday folk on the surface, but each has depths and uniqueness that the writing brings out. It’s this depth that really had me rooting for everyone. I particularly liked the hermit, Harley, who is a new addition. His presence changes the dynamics a little from previous books which keeps the series fresh and the reader on his toes – and he’s great fun in his own right.

‘Storm Watch’ will be available on 19 July. Details are at: http://www.caroleannmoleti.com/the-unfinished-business-series/

The pre-order link for ‘Storm Watch’ is here.

Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women's issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

The first book in Carole's Unfinished Business series, ‘The Widow's Walk’, was published in 2015.

The prequel, ‘Breakwater Beach’, appeared in 2016.

Urban fantasies set in the world of Carole's novels have been featured in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires.

Carole also writes non fiction that ranges from sweet and sentimental in This Path and Thanksgiving to Christmas to edgy and irreverent in the Not Your Mother's Books: On Being a Mother and On Being a Parent.

Carole is at:
http://amazon.com/author/carolemoleti
http://Twitter.com/Cmoleti
http://www.caroleannmoleti.com
https://www.facebook.com/caroleannmoleti
plus.google.com/103609323247390103301
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCmoleti
http://www.pinterest.com/caroleannmoleti/

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Rebel ePublishers

So, contracts have been signed – nice and quickly in these days of e-signatures – so I can announce that ‘The Fairy Wife’s’ publisher will be Rebel ePublishers.

Jayne at Rebel edited and generally handled my two previous novels, ‘The Footholder’s Tale’ and ‘The Door into War’, brilliantly so I was hoping Rebel would want to take on ‘The Fairy Wife,’ too.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Welcoming Courtney Rene

Banner400

I’d like to welcome author Courtney Rene and her book, ‘Before the Dawn’, published by Rogue Phoenix Press.  During this book tour, Courtney will give away a digital copy of ‘Before the Dawn’ to a luck commenter.

Before the DawnTitle: Before the Dawn

A Howl in the Night Book 3

Author: Courtney Rene

ISBN: 978-1-62420-325-1

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Excerpt Heat Level: 1

Book Heat Level: 2

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Website URL: Www.Courtneyrene.com

Blog URL: www.ctnyrene.blogspot.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Shadow-Dancer-and-more-by-Courtney-Rene-164433473646449/

Twitter handle: @ctnyrene

TAGLINE

Darkness continues to haunt Abby since her escape from the Hunterz. Questions continue to circle. Who are they, really? Why do they hate the wolves so much?

BLURB

Seventeen year old Abby can’t shake the darkness that continues to haunt her since her escape from the Hunterz. She can’t let it go. Questions continue to circle. Questions no one will answer. Who are they, really? Why do they hate the wolves so much? The answers could be found in a young boy named, Sam. He may be from the Hunterz, but he smells of wolf. Derek wants to believe her, and tries to help, but Abby still hasn’t learned how to accept help from others. Her relationships with her mother and father continue to deteriorate, but Derek is a puzzle. Some days he’s exactly what she wants and others he is all that she despises. Being a shifter isn’t as simple as she thought it would be. The wolf part is easy. It’s the human side that needs a little work.

EXCERPT

I huddled in the darkness, barely aware of the passing hours and days. The wolf ate when she was hungry. She found mice and rodents to catch and devour. I was barely aware of the chase or the joy she found in the hunt. The wolf drank from streams and creeks along her journey. She slept when she was tired and traveled the rest of it.

I was aware the forest was starting to look familiar, but I didn't care enough to wonder why or where I was. When the big white sprawling house came before us, I realized the wolf had brought us to the only other place she knew to go: Aunt Lilly's.

I didn't leave the safety within the wolf when we arrived at the house. I was aware when we stepped onto the porch and dropped to the cool white washed boards where the wolf curled up and slept, but I stayed safe, hidden deep. The wolf and the instincts that drove her protected us. I was happy to let her lead. I was happy to be carried wherever she decided to go. I slept as the wolf did throughout the rest of the night.

When the wolf woke, I woke with her. We were still curled on the porch, but we were within a pile of dogs that had come to keep us safe and warm and offer company. The wolf was happy for the companions, as I was not able to be one. I was silent and empty and had nothing to give right then. I had nothing left to offer her.

I saw my Aunt come out on the porch, and I saw the moment she recognized me for what I was. "Abby, honey. What are you doing here?"

I shrank back deeper within the wolf, and as the wolf had nothing to say to her in that form, Aunt Lilly was left at a loss. She crouched down before us and ran her hands over my head and down my back. "You look a little worse for wear. Do you want to come in and eat? Maybe get a shower and some clothes?"

I wasn't coming out of the wolf form. I realized that had been my intention the whole time. I simply hadn't been ready to face it. I was obviously not very good as a human, so I would try being a wolf for a bit. I used a little more energy and turned my head away from her and dropped it back down on my front paws.

"Abby? What's wrong?"

I had no answer for her, so I didn't move or acknowledge her question. I didn't know what to tell her. I was still feeling sorry for myself, and I didn't have a plan of how to fix it other than to ignore it. I was happy as a wolf. Why did I have to be a human anyway?

She stayed crouched down next to me for a long time. She tried to talk to me, but I didn't answer. Finally, she gave up and stepped back. Her dog friends stayed with me, protecting me in their own way. She surveyed the pile of us then said, "Well, I guess I'll check on you in a bit."

I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. I spent the next few days hardly moving a muscle. What was the point? Aside from getting up to empty my bladder or get a drink of water, I stayed on the porch, quiet and still. Aunt Lilly stopped trying to talk to me, but she did continue to sit with me and offer what comfort she could by way of gentle caresses or tidbits of food she could tempt me with, or just simple water. The best part was when she sat in the white rocker and just rocked. Her being there was enough. Sometimes when she sat there, I would get up and sit next to her, just to be close to someone who gave a damn about me. Just me. Not what I could do for her, or what I could do for the clan. She just cared about me.

Why was I so unlovable by everyone else? Why didn't my mother want me anymore? Why did my father only see me for what I offered the clan? Why didn't Derek just want me? Why. Why. Why! What was so wrong with just being me?

It was times like those that even in wolf form I was able to cry. When the hurt of the world grew to immense I could not hold it in anymore. I cried the sounds of the wolf, even if it didn't come with the tears of a human. Aunt Lilly wouldn't press or talk, she was simply there with me as I tried to handle the sadness overwhelming me. She'd caress my head and continue to rock.

I don't know how long things went on like that. Maybe a few days, maybe it was an entire week. I do know when it came to an abrupt end. Morning arrived with a definite chill in the air. I didn't notice the cold all that much, thanks to my warm fur, but also because Aunt Lilly's dogs took shifts with what I thought of as protecting me. There were always a handful of them, either lying next to me or with me, or whatever. I was never cold or alone. They knew I was hurting and they in their animal wisdom stayed with me as comfort. Animals are awesome. People…suck.

AUTHOR BIO:

Courtney Rene_PicCourtney Rene lives in the State of Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her young adult novels, A Howl in the Night and the Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com or feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Welcoming Jeffery J Smith

I’d like to welcome author Jeffery J Smith to talk about his book, ‘Perfect Timing’, published by Rogue Phoenix Press.  During this book tour, Jeffery will award a digital copy of Perfect Timing to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

BANNER-PerfectTimingB-400

Title: Perfect Timing

Author: Jeffery J. Smith

ISBN: 978-1-62420-321-3

Genre: Sci-fi

Excerpt Heat Level: 1

Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

TAGLINE

Accidentally sucked from the present, caterer Crik must prove he started the trend that led to the future’s utopia—or be returned to waiting bullets.

BLURB

Perfect TimingAccidentally transported to the future, caterer Crik escapes house-arrest with Tepper, his possible distant descendant. While pursued by volunteer vigilante Voltak, goofball Crik explores Geotopia—where buildings grow, people incorporate animal powers, smart phones know it all, and vehicles defy gravity—seeking clues. If he can discover, understand, and articulate the future’s public policy that works right for everybody, he can prove he was their founder, the lone agent of change who put society on its path toward universal prosperity and harmony with nature. If he fails to convince the Futurite Authorities, they wouldn’t return their unexpected visitor to the exact second he left—something their law requires—to the moment when a hail of gunfire was bearing down on the luckless caterer and college dropout...would they?

EXCERPT

The image of a bellhop perches first on one leg then the other by the edge of a roof of a downtown skyscraper. Gazing downward, with both hands he raises a golf club over his head. The scene occurs on a large monitor.

Far below, the people look like a school of minnows flitting across the downtown central plaza. Others resemble tufts of beach grass clumped around street performers break dancing or juggling. The bellhop arches his back.

In a darkened laboratory, two wide-eyed technicians wearing white coats watch the monitor. In grainy color, the young man bends and stretches. Mouths agape, the viewers take notes and wipe their brows.

"This is your candidate?" the taller researcher says. "This golfer? Crik Duvall?"

The shorter one nods. "He's a bellhop, too."

~ * ~

1

At the wall atop the city's tallest hotel, Crik in the hotel's uniform lowers his club. The height does not frighten him, rather, the view always intrigues him. People sure look little, Crik thinks. Must be how landlords see us.

Crik takes a few practice swings. He steps back from the edge and tees up. He drives a Whiffle golf ball into the air without a hitch. The headwind blows the hollow ball back to him. He catches it. Yes! He replaces the plastic ball on the tee — yo-yo golf.

Lifting his bellhop cap, Crik runs his fingers through bleached streaks. Yo-yo golf will challenge enthusiasts of all nations, even become an Olympic event. I could pay down my tuition. Even help Randy with his debt. How dumb, messing with dudes from the vodka importers convention. What'd he know about ostrich racing anyway?

Crik's knuckles are tattooed with esoteric symbols. A stud twinkles in one ear but no weighty choker worries his swing. He's up to twenty-three straight successful drives-then-catches, closing in on his personal best.

The word "Fore!" rings out from a phone in his pocket, but he ignores it.

Steadying himself, Crik cocks his club for another swing and drives the white ball into the onrushing breeze.

"Crik!"

Crik blinks. The plastic dot sails past him, into the void. Zippers.

"Whenever you don't answer your phone, I know where to find you."

Crik looks over his shoulder, resting the club on his other one.

Randy lets the door close behind him. "My man, break be over." Also a bellhop, Randy has his cap is on backwards. As he crosses the roof, his body lags behind his head, his neck nearly level.

Like offering his empty melon to a guillotine, poor sucker. Crik takes out a twenty-dollar bill. "Another big date before next payday, bro?"

"Man, you are like family." Randy takes the note.

~ * ~

"'Crik'. That short for cricket?" People always ask.

No, Crik was named Crik because Brook was already taken; his older brother got named that.

"Oh, I get it," the hotel manager said when interviewing Crik, "Creek."

Crik nodded. His hair waved, didn't curl, despite him being the black sheep of the family. "Yeah, Crik."

Crik is too busy to finish college. How many decades would it take to pay off the student loan — a necklace of stone — anyway? Especially with good friends unable to budget themselves. Better to have a fun job. Make money and enjoy life.

~ * ~

In the gloomy laboratory, tall Dr. Alvin Ultra and his short assistant Yuri Ivanov, both middle-aged, emit gasps and wag their heads, jotting down notes.

The monitor, thin as a sheet, hangs from a ceiling in a high corner. It's cabled to a device shaped like an oversized dog biscuit with a sharp point like a syringe, big as a sled, some parts shiny, some opaque. Colored wires twist and run to other odd-shaped devices that whir and jerk.

Crik hides his club on the ledge beyond the perimeter wall.

Dr. Ultra glances at Yuri. "Neither of these two has indicated any interest in social evolution, never mind founding an entirely new way of viewing the world."

Under his beret and bushy eyebrows, Yuri shrugs. "Destinon said to check out this moment."

~ * ~

The two bellhops enter the hotel's darkened conference hall. It's packed like a tent revival on the eve of the Second Coming. Of course. Who hates money?

Strains of Wagner's majestic movements accompany the big-screen video of unabashed luxury: Acres of vineyards remind Crik of the south of France where he'd backpacked one summer. A sleek car barely looking street-legal swerves through hills.

"Tesla Roadster," Crik whispers to Randy. "0 to 60 in 3.7."

On the screen, a limousine grand enough for comfortably hosting small celebrations sits in the driveway of a mansion with the long lines of Frank Lloyd Wright draped over a seaside cliff. Inside, fashion models adorned with jewelry befriend vain hosts sipping champagne. Famous paintings hang on the walls.

Crik leans over to his pal. "I've a print of that Van Gogh."

"With his autograph?" Randy whispers.

Crik frowns. "Ethics teaches us virtue is its own reward."

Randy frowns. "Economics teaches that reward is its own virtue."

My reward would be to never get another bill, late notice, or harassing phone call.

A sharp-dressed salesman in a flawless Armani suit strides onstage. His shiny hair neatly styled, Julian Seizure keeps his posture erect and full-chested, as would a cocksure general before his troops. His blistering smile stretches his narrow-featured face.

Seizure fires his words forcefully and pounds the air with a fist, keeping time with his avarice. "Andrew Carnegie, a billionaire back when a dime bought you a complete breakfast, noted, and I quote: 'It takes hard work to amass a fortune in industry, but any fool can get rich in real estate.'"

Perking up, Randy whispers to Crik, "Did he say any fool?" His eyebrows bounce up and down.

The big screen shows slender beauties gliding in Olympic-size pools and robust businessmen driving golf balls a mile down the links. The pitchman exhales. "The old boy nailed it. Nothing else comes close to how much people pay over the course of their lives for a place to live. Directly or indirectly, a big part of everyone's spending goes to a lease or mortgage."

The sea of heads nod in assent. The speaker opens his hands in empathy. "Since all of us have been foolish at least once …"

Amid the sea of heads, only Randy bobs agreeably — until he sees nobody else owning up and slinks lower into his seat.

"Why are we not all very well off?" The instant-riches guru taps his skull. "Foresight." Seizure stares down his audience. "It's not speculation when you see what's coming."

Crik snorts. Too good to be true. "Why can't telling the unvarnished truth work to sell?"

"I believe!" Randy says.

"Time to go, bro." Crik tugs his friend's sleeve. "I've a better idea. You think Seizure plays golf?"

Jeffery J. Smith picAuthor Bio:

Jeffery J. Smith’s credits are in nonfiction, being published in both the popular and academic press on “geonomics” (ecological economics). Before switching to fiction, he edited the news site, the Progress Report and contributed regularly to TruthOut. His newsletter, The Geonomist, won a California Greenlight Award. He taught both English and composition and was a graduate scholar in linguistics. An inventor of games and engines, he lives on the West Coast and winters in Latin America, listening to tall tales.