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                                     SF/Fantasy Romance Author

            Romance That's 'Out Of This World


Romance That's 'Out Of This World'

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How To Get Good Reviews on Amazon - Goddess Fish Super Book Blast

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (1)




Theo Rogers

A very interesting book today - which I'm sure will be both interesting and invaluable to anyone who has ever had a book published on Amazon!


How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon is a simple, no-nonsense guide that teaches exactly what it says it does. Based on both psychological science and thousands of hours of conversation with some of Amazon’s top reviewers, it takes you behind the scenes into the reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. It gives you a deep, insider’s knowledge of how the top reviewers think and operate. It not only shows you what to do: it takes you inside the reviewers’ heads so that you can see for yourself both how these techniques work and why they’re so effective.

Lessons include:

 • A simple, four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.

• Three things never to say when communicating with reviewers!

• How to pick reviewers who are more likely to give you a good review.

• How to reduce the chance that a reviewer you contact will post a bad review – even if it turns out they don’t like your work!

• How people get caught out when receiving reviews from friends and family.


This book teaches an honest, straightforward approach that works. It works because it’s not based gimmicks or tricks but on a real understanding of how Amazon reviewers operate: most of all on what they expect from authors and other sellers. If you want to know how to talk to Amazon reviewers in a way that will make them respect you as a professional and see you as the kind of seller they actually want to help, this is the book for you.


One of the most fundamental ideas in this booklet is that there’s a definite reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. Like any culture, it has its own particular values and mores: its own ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong. When we come to the issue of shill reviews, we collide headlong with the values of the reviewing culture. As you might expect, most reviewers see shills – and the sellers who use them – as very, very wrong.

 Because this section is all about values, I think it’s important to stress that I’m writing here as your guide to Amazon’s reviewing subculture. I’m not writing as a missionary on its behalf.

 Simply put, I believe that your journey through the Amazon Jungle will be smoother, easier, and more successful if along the way you’re respectful of the values of the natives who dwell there. For that reason, I’m going to lay out for you some of the more commonly held tenants: the basic beliefs that most of the natives would hold to. It’s not for me to tell you whether you should embrace these values to the core of your being and make them your own. I’m just telling you that as a matter of pure pragmatism, you are going to make trouble for yourself if you ignore them.




Theo Rogers combines years of coalface experience on Amazon's website with formal training and qualifications in a range of business and social science disciplines. He's spent literally thousands of hours talking with Amazon reviewers, getting inside their heads, and learning what makes them tick. He's spent almost as many hours observing the carnage that so often takes place on Amazon's forums. In the process he's developed a deep insider's knowledge of the reviewing subculture that's grown up on Amazon's website.


He's also seen a lot of authors and other would-be sellers make the same mistakes in their dealings with that subculture - over and over again.


As a result of his experiences, Theo has come to believe that yes, there is a simple formula that works: a way of dealing with reviewers that's honest, powerful, and extremely effective at winning reviewers over, getting them on your side, and making them actually want to help you.

The Author will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card - use this link to enter.

 The other stops can be found here - remember, the more you visit and enter, the better your chances of winning!

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle

Nancy Jardine - author of 'Topaz Eyes'

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm thrilled to present fellow 'Brit' , talented author Nancy Jardine to the flight deck today, as part of her Book Blitz Tour. Please welcome her and check out her latest book 'TOPAZ EYES'


Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband of many years. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she does have a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s just supposed to be ‘just’ childminding her twice a week. A lover of all things historical it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.


A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910. Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger – a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery? As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure.  And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels? Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love. Excerpt Rochester – thief in the night – 412 During the night Keira woke suddenly, though had no idea what had disturbed her. Teun wasn’t in the bed beside her and didn’t seem to be in the en suite bathroom either, since the door was open and the light was off. The door to the corridor was open, however, and dim light from the hallway window gave a soft moonlit illumination. As silently as she could, she rose from the bed, yanked on the panties and top lying discarded on the floor, and then tip-toed out into the corridor. Ignoring the squeaks from loose floorboards, she made her way along to the staircase. There was the faintest sound coming from downstairs, as if someone closed a door down below her. What was Teun doing? The jewels? Was he doing something downstairs with them? Retracing her steps, she scurried back to Teun’s side of the bed. Feeling her way across the surface of the nightstand, she located the velvet boxes. For some strange reason a sigh of relief escaped her. Whatever he was doing didn’t include the jewels; she knew that, having made sure the jewellery was still inside both boxes, and no stray pearls having dropped on the floor. Adam? Was it Adam who was unwell and she’d not heard him? Guilt made her embarrassed as she crept back out of the bedroom. How mercenary she’d been thinking of the jewellery before Adam’s welfare.  Speeding her way down the stairs, the breath whooshed out of her as her foot left the bottom step. A muffled whimper was all she managed as someone tackled her to the floor, before a heavy body pinned her down. What the hell was happening? Face bent onto wooden floorboards, she struggled her way free, kicking her legs wildly. Before she could cry out, a hand cuffed her mouth. “What are you doing?” Teun whispered in her ear, his arms tightly clasping her, though he did take his hand away from her mouth. He rolled over with her now on top of him, prostrate, his chest heaving into her back, his arms now a protective clutch. His breathing was so loud at her ear, it deafened. “Teun?” “What the hell are you doing, Keira?” “What am I doing?” She forgot to whisper. His hand clamped her mouth again, but not so forcibly. “Shhh…” She felt like a punch bag, but realized immediately Teun had thought she was someone else. “Is Adam okay?”

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle

Nevermore by David Niall Wilson - Buy the Book Tour and *G*i*v*e*a*w*a*y*

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (8)

Nevermore – A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe                                                                                                                                              

I'm thrilled to have no other than David Niall Wilson as my special guest today and to fnd out a little more about him and

'Nevermore'.  Make yourself comfortable, let the slave-drone mix you something sparkling, and let's get started!

HL: Tell us a little more about yourself, with three things not many people know about you. 

DNW:  I've been writing seriously since the mid 1980s.  I published my own magazine in the late 1980s, early 1990s called The Tome.  I served for twenty years in the United States Navy, where a good number of my stories and novels were written.  I have 31 books out now, including novels, licensed novels, short story collections and one book titled "American Pies" that is about – well – baking pies.  It's also something of a memoir.  Three things:

1)      I occasionally tear up during emotional movie and television scenes, and even when reading books, if the story is that good.
2)      I'm a member of a motorcycle "club" – Tiburon MC – formed in Rota Spain and could write horror stories about the initiation.
3)      I have visited a Bodega in southern Spain and tasted Amontillado – I don't care what Poe says, it is one of the nastiest varietals of sherry available.

HL:  Wow - that's an awful lot of books - and I'm with you on the 'tearing up' I'm just the same! So what comes first: the plot or the characters?
DNW:  I'm not sure this is a question with an apples or oranges kind of answer.  I often start with nothing more than a clever title.  My first collection is centered around a story titled "The Fall of the House of Escher."  That story began with characters and the plot developed as I wrote.

Many of my stories and novels now take place in the fictional cities and universe I've been slowly creating for them.  In these cases, a lot of the characters existed before the plot came along.  This is almost always true of series works, like my DeChance Chronicles, or the novels of the O.C.L.T.  In situations like that, you already know who the main characters will be – and the only characters remaining are those they will interact with in that particular story.  These works are generally borne of a plot and then adapted to the existing world and characters.

That said, I am a character driven author.  I have always been able to put myself into the minds and thought patterns of those I create.  I believe this is the most important thing about characterization – if you can't imagine how your character would react to the plot at hand, it will never ring true.  You might think of the plot first, in other words, but to bring the plot to life you have to filter it through the characters.  Sometimes this process changes a plot irrevocably.

HL:   What a fascinating answer - and I so agree about the characters. *sigh* mine change the plot all the time! :) Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it

DNW: My latest novel is Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe.  It's an alternate history, as well as a dark fantasy, proposing an identity for Lenore, a reason for the poem The Raven to be written, and tying elements of fantasy, mystery, romance and intrigue into a single storyline.
I think people will fall in love with Edgar and Lenore.  At least, I hope they will.  Fans of my work will recognize the swamp witch Nettie, and will smile as my character, Donovan DeChance, waltzes in at one point in the novel, setting up the next book and tying Nevermore in as a sort of book 4.5 between Book IV of the DeChance Chronicles, Kali's Tale, and Book V (in progress) which has the working title of A Midnight Dreary. 

HL:   Oh, it sounds wonderful, I've just downloacerd 'Nevermore and am so looking forward to reading it - and I love alternate history and dark fantasy, so I know I'll love it, and I'm sure other readers will too! If someone were to play one of  your characters in a movie, which character and what actor would it be and why?

DNW: I like to play casting director in my head, and have written some screenplays and TV proposals.  I could get too deeply into this question, so I'm going to give you a more obvious answer.  The character I'd most like to see portrayed is Donovan DeChance.  Any of three actors would work for this part, all for similar reasons, and all with an absolutely different outcome.  I'm not going to choose them because they physically resemble the character, but because I have never been disappointed in any character they have portrayed, and would love to see their interpretation.  Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., and – of course – Johnny Depp.  Donovan requires a mix of old-world sophistication and humor.  He's a book collector, a mage, an investigator when it's called for – and a very resourceful man.  He's also been alive since the mid 1800s, and has seen a lot of life – both good, and bad. 

HL:  Great cast line-up! :) I'd certainly want to see the film if it happens! What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?

DNW: I'm afraid that this won't be a very positive answer.  The thing that has surprised me the most about writing – which I consider an art – is that the business of writing has very little to do with art.  Most of our great literary talents have succeeded despite the system set up to publish and promote them, not because of it, and I shudder to think how many very talented, passionate authors have been pounded into drudges and hacks, spilling out what "sells" instead of what they are compelled to create.
I have played that game myself, and though I've always tried very hard to maintain the same level of quality in my work, whether working in the White Wolf World of Darkness, or with the characters of Star Trek and Stargate, I have always been aware that precision and style are not art.

I've been working a long time on a book about writing, and about my life.  If it's ever published, it will be titled "Writing What Hurts," and that's the most important thing, to me.  If what you are working on does not in some way move you – if you aren't caught up in it, loving it, sometimes hating it, dying with your characters, living and loving in their lives – you are just going through the motions.  Sadly, to make a living writing, it has long been necessary to please agents and editors before yourself, and in this process we have – I think – lowered the expectations of readers to a point where a lack of heart in the writing doesn't cause a stir, as long as the formulas are familiar, and the constant barrage of marketing tells them what is good.
Thank god for the exceptional – Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Caitlin Kiernan, Kathe Koja – authors who refuse to be told what to write.

HL:  That is so very true, David.  Now let's change tack a little and talk some more about your writing process. Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you  find it  distracts you?

DNW: Nothing distracts me.  I served in the Navy on a number of ships.  If I had not developed the trick of compartmentalizing my mind, I'd never have written a word.  On board a ship there are very few places you can go to work where there won't be at least a few others around you – constant noise and distraction.

I love to listen to music when I write.  I have written a crazy number of words to the music of Concrete Blonde, Depeche Mode, Siouxie and the Banshees, Ten Inch Men, and scores of others.  I play guitar, and sing a little – music has always been a large part of everything important in my life.

HL:  What a fascinating answer - and speaking personally, I just love to listen to the guitar! What is your personal definition of success?

DNW: Since I consider myself a storyteller, success to me would be for my stories to be read, experienced, and loved.  Sure, I would like to be comfortable, and I'm happy that I can provide for my family, but what I wouldn’t' give to be walking down the street and see someone with their nose buried in a book – and to realize it's one of mine.  I mean, I've seen sales numbers, know that hundreds of thousands of people have actually read my words, but the feedback in this profession is incredibly sparse until you reach rockstar status, at which point you probably need to move somewhere private.  Us "in-betweeners" live for the times our words reach others.

HL:   I think most writers, if they writer for the love of story telling, would certainly agree with that. If you were an animal, which one do you think you would be, and why?

DNW: A Raven, or a very large crow.  I have always been drawn to these birds – Corvids of all sorts – but ravens most of all.  Even before the movie "The Crow" made it cool, I was up on the folklore and legends surrounding these guys.  Both Donovan DeChance and Edgar Poe are accompanied by them in my books…
I love their darkness, their mystery, the intelligence that they are not supposed to have – and the notion that when all of this is done – this life – one of them will be there to carry me on to whatever comes next.

HL:  What a wonderful concept, I think birds of all species have far more intelligence that many people give them credit for. I see you are also a fellow animal lover, I think we can learn so much from the creatures which share our planet.  So - Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

DNW: There is a lot of me in a great number of my characters, but none of them would be based directly on that one framework.  I study people.  I draw characters from the bits and pieces I see and hear around me.  My novel The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature – for instance.  There are characters in there loosely based on local people – speech patterns, habits – it's how I build the stories, one character at a time.
More often than I steal entire characters, you'll find me using names.  Most of my co-workers ended up in my sci-fi novel The Second Veil – A Tale of the Scattered Earth, and off and on I drop colleagues, other authors, etc. into books.  I don't think any of us could create a real character to save our souls if we didn't have life spread out all around us, the shoppers in Walmart, the guys hanging out at a bar, our friends and co-workers, all dealing with life and on display for us to memorize, revise, and put to use.

Thank you so much for taking time to visit and take part in this interview. It’s been a thrill having you here and learning more about you and your writing. I wish you even greater success, now and in the future.


David Niall Wilson has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction since the mid-eighties. An ordained minister, once President of the Horror Writer’s Association and multiple recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, his novels include Maelstrom, The Mote in Andrea’s Eye, Deep Blue, the Grails Covenant Trilogy, Star Trek Voyager: Chrysalis, Except You Go Through Shadow, This is My Blood, Ancient Eyes, On the Third Day, The Orffyreus Wheel, and Vintage Soul – Book One of the DeChance Chronicles. The Stargate Atlantis novel “Brimstone, written with Patricia Lee Macomber is his most recent. He has over 150 short stories published in anthologies, magazines, and five collections, the most recent of which were “Defining Moments,” published in 2007 by WFC Award winning Sarob Press, and the currently available “Ennui & Other States of Madness,” from Dark Regions Press. His work has appeared in and is due out in various anthologies and magazines. David lives and loves with Patricia Lee Macomber in the historic William R. White House in Hertford, NC with their children, Billy, Zach, Zane, and Katie, and occasionally their genius college daughter Stephanie.

Nevermore  - Genre: Dark Fantasy

About Nevermore – A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe

Nevermore CoverOn the banks of Lake Drummond, on the edge of The Great Dismal Swamp, there is a tree in the shape of a woman.

One dark, moonlit night, two artists met at The Lake Drummond Hotel, built directly on the borderline of North Carolina and Virginia. One was a young woman with the ability to see spirits trapped in trees and stone, anchored to the earth beyond their years. Her gift was to draw them, and then to set them free. The other was a dark man, haunted by dreams and visions that brought him stories of sadness and pain, and trapped in a life between the powers he sensed all around him, and a mundane existence attended by failure. They were Eleanore MacReady, Lenore, to her friends, and a young poet named Edgar Allan Poe, who traveled with a crow that was his secret, and almost constant companion, a bird named Grimm for the talented brothers of fairy-tale fame.

Their meeting drew them together in vision, and legend, and pitted their strange powers and quick minds against the depths of the Dismal Swamp itself, ancient legends, and time.

Once, upon a shoreline dreary, there was a tree. This is her story.

Chapter One
The room was low-ceilinged and deep. Smoke wafted from table to table, cigars, pipes, and the pungent aroma of scented candles. Laughter floated out from the bar, separated by a low half-wall from a small dining area, where the bartender regaled the crowd with a particularly bawdy story. In the corners, more private conversations took place, and at the rear, facing the Intercoastal Waterway beyond, the door stood open to the night, letting the slightly cooler air of evening in and the sound and smoke free.

The smoke prevented the illumination from a series of gaslights and lanterns from cutting the gloom properly. Smiles gleamed from shadows and the glint of silver and gunmetal winked like stars. It was a rough crowd, into their drinks and stories, plans and schemes.
Along the back wall, facing a window that looked out over the waterway and the Great Dismal Swamp beyond, a lone figure sat with her back to the room. Her hair was long and light brown, braided back and falling over her shoulder to the center of her back. She was tall and slender with smooth, tanned skin. She was dressed for travel, in a long, floor length dress that covered her legs, while allowing ease of motion. The crowd swirled around her, but none paid her any attention.
She paid no attention to anything but the window. Her gaze was fixed on the point where an intricate pattern of branches and leaves crossed the face of the moon.

There was a sheaf of paper on the table, and she held a bit of chalk loosely between the thumb and index finger of her right hand. She formed the trees, the long strong lines of the trees, the fine mesh of branches and mist. Her fingers moved quickly, etching outlines and shading onto her sketch with practiced ease.

A serving girl wandered over to glance down at the work in progress. She stared at the paper intently, and then glanced up at the window, and the night beyond. She reached down and plucked the empty wine glass from the table.

“What are they?” she asked.

The woman glanced up. Her expression was startled, as if she’d been drawn back from some other place, or out of a trance. She followed the serving girl’s gaze to the paper.

Among the branches, formed of limbs and leaves, mist and reflected light, faces gazed out, some at the tavern, some at the swamp, others down along the waterway. They mixed so subtly with the trees themselves that if you were not looking carefully, they seemed to disappear.

“I don’t know,” the woman said. “Not yet. Spirits, I suppose. Trapped. Tangled.”

“You are a crazy woman,” the girl said. There was no conviction in her words. She continued to stare at the sketch. Then, very suddenly, she stepped back. She stumbled, and nearly dropped her tray.
The woman glanced up at her sharply.


“That…face.” The girl stepped back to the table very slowly, and pointed to the center of the snarl of branches. The tip of her finger brushed along the lines of a square-jawed face. The eyes were dark and the expression was a scowl close to rage.

“I’ve seen him before,” she said. “Last year. He…he was shot.”

“Can you tell me?”

The girl shook her head. “Not now. I have to work. If I stand here longer there will be trouble. Later? I must serve until the tavern closes, a few hours…”

The artist held out her hand.

“My Name is Eleanor, Eleanor MacReady, but friends call me Lenore. I’ll be here, finishing this drawing, until you close. I know that it will be late, but I am something of a night person. Can we talk then? Maybe in my room?”

The girl nodded. She glanced down at the drawing again and stepped back. Then she stumbled off into the crowded tavern and disappeared. Lenore stared after her for a long moment, brow furrowed, then turned back to the window. The moon had shifted, and the image she’d been drawing was lost. It didn’t matter. The faces were locked in her mind, and she turned her attention to her wine glass, and to the paper. The basic design was complete, but there was a lot of shading and detail work remaining. She had to get the faces just right – exactly as she remembered them. Then the real work would begin.

Even as she worked, her mind drifted out toward the swamp, and toward her true destination. She didn’t know the exact location of the tree, but she knew it was there, and she knew that she would find it. She didn’t always see things in her dreams, but when she did, the visions were always true.

A breeze blew in through the open window, and she shivered.

The face she was working on was that of an older man. He had a sharp, beak of a nose and deep-set shadowed eyes. The expression on his face might have been surprise, or dismay. His hair was formed of strands of gray cloud blended with small twigs and wisps of fog as she carefully entered the details.

There were others. She’d counted five in all, just in that one glimpse of the swamp. She thought she could probably sit right here, at this window, and work for years without capturing them all. How many lives lay buried in the peat moss and murky water? How many had died, or been killed beside the long stretch of the Intercoastal Waterway? She tilted her head and listened. The breeze seemed to carry voices from far away, the sound of firing guns, the screams of the lost and dying.

She worked a woman’s features into a knotted joint in one of the tree’s branches. The face was proud. Her lip curled down slightly at the edge, not so much in a frown, as in determination. Purpose. From the strong cheekbones and distinctive lines of the woman’s nose, Lenore sensed she’d been an Indian. How had she come here, soul trapped fluttering up through the sticky fingers of the ancient trees?
Around her, the sounds of revelry, arguments of drunken, belligerent men, clink of glasses, full and empty, and the sound of a lone guitar in a far corner surrounded her. She felt cut off – isolated in some odd way from everyone, and everything but the paper beneath her fingers. Now and then she paused, reached out for her glass, and sipped her wine.

No one troubled her and that in and of itself, was odd. A woman – an attractive woman – alone in a place like the Halfway House was an oddity. She should have been a target. She was not. A few men glanced her way, but something about her – the way she bent over her work, the intensity of her focus – kept them away. She worked steadily, and one by one, the others drifted out the doors, some to rooms, others to wander about with bottles and thoughts of their own. Eventually, there were only a few small groups, talking quietly, the bartender, and the girl.

There was nothing more she could do. She had drawn an eerily accurate recreation of the trees over the waterway, and of the five faces she’d found trapped in their branches. She sensed things about them but knew little. She did not need to know. She knew that she had to set them free, to allow them to move on to the next level. Something had bound them – some power, or some part of themselves they were unwilling to release. They did not belong, and though she knew that most of the world either ignored, or did not sense these things at all – she did. All those trapped, helpless beings weighed on her spirit like stones. She was fine until she saw them, but once that happened, she was bound to set them free. It was her gift – her curse? Sometimes the two were too closely aligned to be differentiated.
She rose, drained the last of the wine in her cup, and gathered her pencils. She tucked the drawing into the pocket of a leather portfolio, careful not to smudge it. Soon, it would not matter, but until she’d had a chance to finish her work, it was crucial that nothing be disturbed.

The girl, who had been busy wiping the spilled remnants of ale, wine, and the night from the various tables and the surface of the bar, wandered slowly over.

“I’m in the corner room,” Lenore said, smiling. “The one farthest in on the Carolina side.”

The girl nodded. She glanced over at the bartender, then turned back.

“I will come as soon as I can.” She glanced down at the portfolio. “You have finished?”

Lenore nodded, but only slightly. “I have finished the basic drawing, yes.”

“He was a bad man,” the girl said. “A very bad man. I have never seen him there – in the trees – before tonight. I don’t like that he watches.”

“After tonight, he will not,” Lenore said, reaching to lay her hand on the girl’s shoulder. “But I’d love to know who he is – who he was. I seldom know the faces I’ve drawn. You saw him – in my drawing, and in the trees. Most see nothing but branches.”
“I will come soon,” the girl said, turning and hurrying back toward the bar.

Lenore watched her go, frowned slightly, and then turned. She had to exit through the front door and follow a long porch along the side of the building where it turned from the saloon in the center to a line of rooms on the Carolina side. There were similar rooms on the Virginia side, but her business was in the swamp, and the corner room gave her a better view of what lay beyond.

As she made her way to her room, she heard the steady drum of hooves. She stopped, and turned. A carriage had come into view, winding in from the main road that stretched between the states. It was dark, pulled by a pair of even darker horses. She stood still and watched as it came to a halt. Something moved far above, and she glanced up in time to see a dark shape flash across the pale face of the moon. A bird? At night?

She glanced back to the carriage to see it pulling away into the night. A single figure stood, his bag in one hand. He glanced her way, nodded, and then turned toward the main door of the saloon. He was thin, with dark hair and eyes. It was hard to make his features out in the darkness, but somehow she saw into those eyes. They were filled with an odd, melancholy sadness. As he passed inside, it seemed as if his shadow remained, just for a moment, outlined in silvery light. Then it was gone.

Lenore shook her head, turned, and hurried to the door to her room. She fumbled the key from her jacket pocket, jammed it into the lock, and hurried inside. She had no idea why the sight of the man had unnerved her, but it had. And the bird. If she’d woken from a dream, she’d have believed she was meant to set him free…but she was very, very awake, and though her fingers itched to draw – to put his image on paper and tuck it away somewhere safe, she knew she could not. Not now – not yet. There was not much time before dawn, and she still had work to finish – and a story to hear. The stranger, if she ever returned to him, would have to wait.
She lit the oil lamp on the single table in her small room, opened the portfolio, and laid the drawing on the flat surface. There was a small stand nearby, and another bottle of wine rested there. She had two glasses, but had not known at the time why she’d asked for them. Another vision? She poured one for herself, and replaced the cork.

Moments later, there was a soft rap on the door. When she opened it, the girl stood outside, shifting nervously from one foot to the other and looking up and down the long porch as if fearing to be seen.

“Come in,” Lenore said.

The girl did so, and Lenore closed the door behind them.

“What shall I call you?” she asked, trying to set the girl at ease. Something had her spooked and it would simply not do to have the girl bolt without spilling her story.

“Anita,” the girl said shyly, glancing at Lenore. “I am Anita.”

“I’m glad to meet you,” Lenore said, “and very curious to hear what you have to say about the man you saw in the trees. I see them all the time, you know. In trees, bushes, sometimes in the water or a stone. It’s not very often that I meet another who is aware of them – even less often that I have a chance to hear their stories.”

“It is not a good story,” Anita said. “He was a very bad man.”

Lenore smiled again. “He’s not a man any longer, dear, so there is nothing to fear in the telling. Would you like a glass of wine?”
The girl nodded. Lenore poured a second glass from her bottle and handed it over. “Sit down,” she said. “I still have work to do, and I can work as you talk. It will relax me.”

“I will tell you,” Anita said, perching lightly on the corner of the bed, “but it will not relax you.”

“Then it will keep me awake,” Lenore said, seating herself at her desk. “Yo see, I don’t just see those who are trapped, I have to undo whatever it is that has them trapped. I won’t be finished until I’ve freed them all.”

The girl glanced sharply over, nearly spilling her drink. 

“Maybe…maybe it is best if this one stays.”

Lenore pulled out her pencils, and a gum eraser.

“We’ll leave him for now,” she said. “There are four others, and I can only work on one at a time. Tell me your story.”

Anita took a sip of her wine, and nodded. “His name is Abraham Thigpen. He died about a year ago but I remember it like today…”

Lenore listened, and worked, rearranging branches, shifting the wood slightly, picking the strong woman’s face to release from the pattern first. Anita’s voice droned in the background – and she faded into the story, letting it draw her back across the years as she carefully disassembled her drawing, working the faces free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Widgets

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

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Maven - Interview and *G*i*v*e*a*w*a*y -

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (2)

Click on the above link to follow the tour - the more you enter the better your chances of winning!

I'm delighted to welcome Starla Huchton to the Flight Deck today, and to feature her new release 'Maven' - and how about that stunning cover?   Before we get to the interview, let's find out some more about this intriguing Young Adult SF Romance, I must say it sounds amazing. And don't forget to read all the way through and to enter the rafflecopter contest.

Maven The Endure Series, Book 1 S. A. Huchton Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Romance ISBN-13: 978-1484985632 ISBN-10: 148498563X ISBN: 9781301686940 ASIN: B00D5JOC8O Number of pages: 284 Word Count: 81,640 Cover Artist: Starla Huchton

 Amazon Kindle   Smashwords

Book Description: How far would you go for love? Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.

Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse. Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?

Short Excerpt: It hadn't been a lie. That last glass of champagne was probably a mistake. Lydia stared out at the shifting colors of sunset. Even if this little scheme didn't work at all, maybe it would clear her head some. She rested her hands on the stone railing of the balcony, watching the waves break over the sand.

"Gorgeous." Daniel's voice made her tighten her grip on the rail. Lydia didn't look at him. "You don't see many sunsets under water," she said. "I'd almost forgotten how lovely they were."

He walked over and leaned next to her. "I wasn't talking about the sunset." She hoped the changing light hid the pink in her cheeks.

"Hmm. Your hypothesis lacks evidence to back it up, since clearly I wasn't attractive enough for anyone to actually invite to this thing."

Daniel winced. "Uh, yeah. About that..."

That was not the response she'd expected. "What, Daniel?" She looked at him accusingly.

He straightened and took a step back. "I may or may not have threatened to sever certain personal entertainment feeds for anyone that asked you."

Lydia stared at him, stupefied. "You... you threatened to disconnect their porn?"

"Well, if you want to be crass about--"

"Why would you do that to me, Daniel?" she yelled at him, shoving him, hard. All the rage she had been bottling up the last two weeks exploded out of her. "All my life, all of it, I have been too smart, too young, too intimidating, too... something, to be dated by anyone. The few times I was asked out somewhere, it ended with some guy asking me for a term paper or test questions so he could get a better grade or evaluation or something. And now, when I'm finally someplace welcoming, at an age where I'm not just a kid anymore, you decided issuing a threat to anyone who might even think of dating me is a good idea? What the hell, Daniel? Why? Why would you do that to me?" Lydia's eyes stung, but she would not cry. She. Would. Not.

Daniel's face was a mixture of fear and guilt. "You didn't hear them talking. I figured, anyone that would value porn over the chance at an evening with you, well, no one like that deserves you. I... I couldn't stand the thought of anyone else with you, Lydia."

She closed her eyes and turned away. "Then why not ask me yourself?" There was a pause before he spoke. Whatever he had to say, it had better be good.

"For one, I didn't want to cancel if my father decided I needed other arrangements. I thought if I waited until Friday morning and he hadn't pulled me by then I'd be safe. And for two..." His voice faded and she glanced at him.

"Well?" she prompted.

He swallowed, then exhaled in frustration.

"Honestly, you scare the crap out of me, Lydia. I've never... I mean, you're the first and last thing I think about every damn day. I'm physically ill when I think I might not ever be the kind of person you deserve to be with. You make me want to be better at everything I do. I'm terrified whenever I screw up because I think I might never get the chance to kiss you even once, and if that were true I... I don't know if I could deal with that."

Of all the things he could have said to her, she couldn't imagine any of them being more perfect. Maybe it was all the champagne, but her anger evaporated. He touched her bare shoulder.

"Lydia, I'm sorry. I--"

She didn't let him finish. The word "sorry" had barely left his lips before hers were on them. It had taken every ounce of courage she had, but she had done it. Daniel didn't respond for a moment. She thought maybe she had made a mistake, but his hand on her neck, and the other sliding around her waist eased her fear. His lips were warm, parting against hers. She thought she might actually melt at the sweet sensation. Her fingers dug into the fabric of his jacket, pulling him closer. Daniel's tongue tickled her own, encouraging her.

The embrace grew heated very quickly and she didn't think she could stand much more. Out of breath, she broke away. Unsure if her legs would hold her, she set a hand on the railing for support. She couldn't meet his eyes, anxious about what she might see there. He set his own hand over hers, entwining their fingers. "Seems I was wrong," he whispered in her ear.

"Wrong?" Surprised, she looked up at him. His empty hand touched her chin.

"Well, now that I've kissed you, I'm not sure I can stop." Lydia smiled. "And who's stopping you?"      

He kissed her again, gentler this time, his mouth brushing her skin as lightly as the breeze coming off the ocean. At this, she came undone and lost any feeling in her feet. She laughed as he caught her. It was positively mortifying, but she couldn't care less. If it landed her in his arms, she would consider never walking again.

About the Author: Starla Huchton released her first novel, The Dreamer's Thread, as a full cast podcast production beginning in August 2009. Her first foray went on to become a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. Since her debut, Starla's voice has appeared in other podcasts including The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, The Drabblecast, and Erotica a la Carte. She is also a voice talent for Darkfire Productions, and narrates several of their projects, including The Emperor's Edge series, This Path We Share, and others. Her writing has appeared in the Erotica a la Carte podcast, a short story for The Gearheart, and an episode of the Tales from the Archives podcast (the companion to Tee Morris and Philippa Balantine's Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series), which garnered her a second finalist badge from the 2012 Parsec Awards.

Her second novel, a Steampunk adventure entitled Master of Myth, was the first place winner in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of The Sandy Writing Contest held annually by the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Maven is her third completed novel and the first in a planned series of four, being released under the name S. A. Huchton. After completing her degree in Graphic Arts at Monterey Peninsula College, Starla opened up shop as a freelance graphic designer focusing on creating beautiful book covers for independent authors and publishers. She currently lives in Virginia where she trains her three Minions and military husband.

S A Huchton
HL: Welcome. Make yourself comfortable, help ourself to a drink of something refreshing from the repli-bar, and tell us a little more about yourself , with three things not many people know about you.

SA:  1. I love watching people play video games. I don't play them much myself (outside of a few story/puzzle games), but I have actually tried to talk my husband into playing them more often so I can watch the stories unfold!
2. I spent over five years in the US Navy, and was not stationed on a ship for any of that time. To be fair, I did spend four years in Keflavik, Iceland, where I met my husband and two of my children were born, so it's not like I wasn't plenty busy.
3. If you had told me five years ago that I would be writing romance, I'd have called you crazy. It didn't occur to me until I was nearly thirty years old that maybe I would be good at it and/or enjoy it!

HL:  Wow! It's amazing what one learns about fellow authors on the Flight Deck! :) What comes first: the plot or the characters?

SA:   Every book is different for me. In the case of Maven, the setting and the characters were the first to emerge. The first book I ever wrote was based on the idea of what happens to a dream when someone isn't dreaming it. I'm typically a pantser and fill in the details as I go. However, I've just started a new project where an entire 2-book idea hit me full in the face, characters, plot and all (hello, sexy superheroes!). So, it's a mixed bag with me. Inspiration is everywhere!

HL:   Oh I couldn't agree more about inspiration. Tell us about Maven, and what you think readers will enjoy about it?

 SA: Maven is probably something a little different for a lot of people. It's categorized as New Adult SciFi Romance, but this tends to cause hesitancy in some readers. They get worried that SciFi means aliens or too much explanation of technology, but that isn't what they'll find in Maven. Above all else, it's a New Adult story (set only forty years in the future) about two young people learning to function in the world beyond childhood and adolescence, and exploring what it means to love another. Every bit of science within the story is explained on a level anyone can understand, as I myself am not a scientist. I love the ideas science puts forward, but not so much the math and complex explanations behind it. What readers will find in Maven is enough information to understand what's going on in the plot without being overwhelmed by terminology. I love the idea of entertaining while maybe imparting a little knowledge. Maven will give you a sense of the fantastic while still keeping your feet on the ground. Or, under water, as it were. :)

HL:  I can certainly relate to much of what you say abovel  As a SF Romance writer myself, I have to admit I'm no scientist or mathematician either, but researching just enough to make the plot plausible and not drown the reader with facts is part of the fun isn't it.  I'd love to know - if someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and what actor would it be and why?

SA:  I actually had to think about this one a long time. In the end, I narrowed it down to one of two Emmas to play Lydia: Emma Watson or Emma Stone. Brains are a requirement when it comes to portraying my heroine, and either of those two ladies would be a good fit. And I pretty much love anything they've ever been in ever.

For Daniel, I took to Google and searched around for a good casting match there. What I found actually surprised me. I ran across a picture of a young Jensen Ackles and my jaw dropped. While he's a bit too old to play him now (as Daniel is only 22), Jensen's appearance and mannerisms are really really close to what I envision for Daniel. So, I guess if you could bring someone from the past into the future for such a role, that would be my pick. This really did surprise me as I haven't watched Supernatural since the first season. And I always preferred Jared Padalecki on that show anyway. So there's that.

HL:  Great choices! Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

 SA: My support system seems to expand on a daily basis. I started out with a group of folks in the Second Life game who were all participating in NaNoWriMo. While I don't play any more, some of those connections still persist today, including someone who's become my "creative sounding board" and first line of defense in everything I write. When I dipped my toes into the realm of podcasting fiction, I was suddenly surrounded by a whole troop of authors who were ready and willing to offer every piece of advice they had. Really, I can't thank those folks enough for all the support they've given me in the last four years. Some of them have become great friends of mine, and are endlessly giving of their time. Within the last year I've started making connections in the Romance, YA, and NA communities of writers, bloggers, and readers as well. The indie author support in these groups of people has been astounding! There is a constant extension of helping hands reaching out wherever I turn. In everything from the mechanics of writing, to the navigation of blog tours and cover reveals, I've learned so much from them I can't even begin to list it all. I have to make mention of the SFR Brigade as well, as they're also incredibly supportive of authors within the SciFi Romance genre and help each other at every opportunity.

HL:    Oh, that's interesting, I'm a member of the SFR Brigade as well, and as you say, the support of other authors is amazing and so valuable What sort of research do you do for your books and what’s your favourite source of information.
SA: Given the contents of this book, I definitely did a lot of research. I mined the web for information on everything from UEFA soccer schedules to Hawaiian hotels to marine microorganisms to computer security technology. But I think my favorite method of finding the information I needed for my fiction was the conversations I had with friends and contacts working in professions associated with some of the topics I hit on in Maven. My husband has his undergrad in microbiology and his masters degree in computer science, so a lot of my info came from him. However, my Twitter timeline is full of all sorts of interesting people, so I used that for sources too. In order to have the story make sense and not confuse anyone, I needed to be sure I understood the science myself, and these conversations were instrumental in that. My notes probably look like lesson plans for kindergarteners, but, really, I had to make it simple. Because I'm more inclined to art and music than science and math, it was a challenge to condense the ideas into something a reader could easily wrap their head around without any prior experience. I figured, if I could get a handle on it, anyone else could too

HL:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

SA:  While I love both Lydia and Daniel, I think if I were to befriend any of the characters in this book it would be Cordellia Orietti (Cordy for short). Especially after working on books two and three (which are complete and coming soon) and what's in store for her in book four, I absolutely adore her spunk and sass. She has a no nonsense attitude and is both a loyal friend and fierce defender of those close to her. Cordy works in the Administration department on the Endure, but what you learn about her as the story progresses in the later books really shows that there's more to her than being a paper pusher. She's proof that you can be a girly girl and still kick some butt when the situation calls for it. It doesn't hurt that she's pretty smart in her own right as well.

HL:  She sounds a wonderful character.  I love girly heroines, who can still 'kick butt'! :) Where can readers connect with you?

SA: I am all over the web, but here are a few places people can find me:
HL:  Fantastic! Sadly time has run out and I have to return you to Earth. Thank you so much for taking time to visit my blog, it’s been a thrill having you here and learning more about you and your writing. I wish you much success now and in the future.

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle

Christine Amsden - Virtual Book Tour - VBT Cafe

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (3)
Cassie Scot:
ParaNormal Detective (Book 1)

About The Author:
Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Release Date: May 15, 2013

Book Description:

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Praise for the Cassie Scot Series:

Publisher’s Weekly:

In  this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family. …Readers will enjoy Cassie’s fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:

When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle

Blind Alliegiance, - interview and VBT Book Tour

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (4)

Violetta Rand

HL:  Welcome to the Flightdeck Violletta, make yourself comfortable and let's start the interview.  How about you tell us a little more about yourself , with three things not many people know
about you.
VR: I’m addicted to Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers (cheddar cheese and pizza flavors)
I’m a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles football fan
In the 1990s I raced motorcycles (I really loved doing this!)
 HL:   Wow, fascinating! What do you do for fun when not writing?
VR: I’m a voracious reader—reading just about anything I  can get my hands on. I live in Alaska, so I’m outside fishing or four-wheeling whenever I can.

 HL:   When did you start writing?

VR: I started writing short stories (illustrated by my best friend) when I was five years old. I sold these little treasures in my neighborhood for about 25 cents each.

HL:   LOL,  Nothing like starting young! So what comes first: the plot or the characters?

VR:  My brain doesn’t work that way (I wish it did). I just sit down and write. A character might pop into my head first or the story unfolds as it will. Overall, I’m an undisciplined writer.

 HL:   Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it.

VR: Blind Allegiance is my debut novel and Book 1 of a new series.

Eleventh century Norway faced many challenges, including religious turmoil between the pagans and growing Christian community. It was an age of struggle and discovery and I believe my characters display the courage and faith it takes to survive under harsh conditions. Above all, it demonstrates how two people (Randvior and Noelle) grow to respect each other’s cultural and religious differences and eventually fall in love.

HL:   Sounds like a wonderful read! Tell me, If someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and  

VR:My hero, Randvior Sigurdsson, is a classic Viking. He’s incredibly tall and tanned, with blond hair, and totally ripped. I’d love Timothy Oliphant to play him, but he’d need to wear high heels and gain 50 pounds of muscle to match the body type! Hugh Jackman fits the profile nicely. Hope he doesn’t mind dying his hair.

HL:   Great choices! What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised                              you the most?

VR: Hurry up and wait! Publishers and editors aren’t on your time schedule.

 HL:   So true! What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

VR: This reverts back to the undisciplined thing. I don’t really have a process. My favorite writing spot is at the end of my dining room table facing the four windows that overlook the mountains and woods behind my house. If natural splendor can be seen as a writing process, I guess that would be the most consistent factor. I like seeing nature when I look up.
Nothing has changed after writing my first book.

HL:  Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you  find it distracts you?

VR: It’s a 50/50 split for me. Music never distracts me when I write, if anything, it helps me find my rhythm. I’m a heavy rock kind of girl (from classic to new). I love everything from Pink Floyd to Disturbed. But I also enjoy classical, country, and R&B.

 HL:  What is your personal definition of success?

VR: My definition of success as a writer is the same as the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you don’t keep doing the same thing (edits, queries, synopsis, and submissions) and don’t expect different results, you’ll never get published.

  HL:  So true! Now, who is your most favorite character of all time from any book?

      VR: One of my favorite books is Kepler’s Witch (James A. Connor). Mr. Connor describes my favorite     character, Johannes Kepler, as the Protestant Galileo and a neglected hero of science and faith. Known for his laws of planetary motion and as the founder of modern optics, Kepler defended his professional research and maintained his faith through war, religious conflicts, and personal tragedies. He’s an academic warrior and definitely a hero worth reading about.

Thank you so much,  Violletta, it's been so interesting finding out more about you. Now let's find out some more about your book!


It’s a risk of a lifetime loving a man you’re supposed to hate…

Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior.

Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?



     Dark clouds always gathered in Noelle Sinclair’s dreams. Hundreds of nightmares had played out in her mind since childhood. Why should tonight be any different?
The smell of burning wood invaded her sleep. Smoke snatched her breath and she tried to purge her lungs by taking deep breaths. She ran for the great hall and all she could see were scorched rafters and floorboards. Guards scrambled to the battlements, while women and children fled the castle. She searched for her sisters among the people migrating outside ...


Noelle’s eyes snapped open at the sound of dire warning. By God, this was no dream! She flung blankets aside and rolled over, shook her older sister awake, and jumped out of bed.

“What’s wrong?” Margaret asked sleepily.

“The castle’s on fire. Get up, now!”

 Margaret scurried from bed and ran with Noelle to the windows overlooking the eastern edge of the castle. Through the swirling fog, Noelle could make out a tangle of men with torches and weapons in the courtyard below. She further scanned the shoreline where the North Sea pounded against the rocks and dunes. The castle was under siege and poorly defended. Most of the soldiers and her father were in Ireland, leaving only her brother and a skeleton army behind.

Her gaze still locked on the beach, Noelle caught sight of three, silvery-white longships anchored beyond the walls. Their blood-red sails snapped in the wind. She stared in horror as the pattern on the sails came into focus—the shape of a dragon.

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see. Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.


Violetta will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift card to one randomly drawn commenter. Follow her Tour at the address below - the more you enter the better your chance of winning!


'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle

Reconnaissance (Paradise Reclaimed #2) CBLS Promotions Blast and G*i*v*e*a*w*a*y

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (2)

I'm thrilled to once again welcome wonderful SF romance author, AUBRIE DIONNE and her latest novel:

Reconnaissance (Paradise Reclaimed #2) 

YA Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance

Categories: Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian

Publisher: Inkspell

Publishing Release Date: May 1, 2013

Heat Level: Sweet

Word Count: 50,000

Available at:


Nova Williams has lost her one shot at Lieutenanthood and at love. Lieutenant Crophaven has promoted her rival, Andromeda, all because her lifemate, Sirius, sacrificed their mission to win back Andromeda’s love. While sneaking out to prove Andromeda is a fake, Nova finds an alien ship hovering over their colony. Lieutenant Crophaven assigns her to a reconnaissance mission, giving her a second chance to redeem herself. Sirius must fly her and a research team to the vessel to decide if they are a threat.

Thrown together with the lifemate that betrayed her, she battles with her own jealousy while her team battles for their lives. Can she forgive Sirius in order to save her team and warn her colony?

Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation--favorite character was Data by far--and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Excerpt: A drone, as deep and low as the growl of a primordial beast, resonated in my gut and I yanked my hand away. My heart sped like someone had fired a starter gun to a race, and my chest tightened until I couldn’t breathe. That blaring blasphemy wasn’t from my ship. The sound tapered off, leaving me in silence.

I stared at the bones, wondering if I’d imagined it, or if I should hide here in the ruins in case the sound came back. What am I doing?

I’m a team expedition leader, for crying out loud!

I pulled myself back together. Everyone else was attending the ceremony on the ship. The thick hull, designed to protect us from deep space, blocked all sounds from the outside world. I was the only one who would have heard it. The only one who could investigate.

I thought about going back for help, but every second I delayed, the source of the sound could disappear. Besides, I didn’t want the credit taken away from me. Not this time.

I scrambled to the window and climbed over the ledge, throwing myself down so fast my ankles exploded in pain. Cursing, I hobbled up the embankment of the excavation site. The sound boomed around me, vibrating the crystals underneath my feet. I fell to my knees and covered my ears.It reminded me of warping metal, growling monsters, and screeching alarms all at the same time.

The sound came from the jungle. I pulled myself up the incline and peered over the edge. A dry, fiery breeze blew my hair back, and I looked above the rustling canopy.

My heart stammered then beat into a frenzy. A massive ring of a ship, twice as large as the New Dawn, hovered over the jungle. Spires jutted from the top and the bottom, like a two-sided pin cushion. Blinking reddish lights adorned the ends. The hull was a dull gray shield of impenetrable metal with no sight panels or markings of any kind.

The buzzing sound made my eardrums throb. I pressed my nose up against the crystal ledge and peered over as my whole body shook. The lowest spire, thick as a nuclear reactor, lengthened from the belly of the ship until the tip hovered a meter from the jungle canopy. A trap door opened, and a beam of white light seared a hole in the foliage. The smell of burnt vines choked my throat, and I cowered against the side of the ledge.

I have to warn the ship.

About the Author:

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be “a concert flutist” when she grew up. She majored in flute performance at the University of New Hampshire on a full scholarship, then secured two teaching jobs at a University and a local community music school. While playing in orchestras and teaching, stories popped into her head, and she used them to make the music come alive for her flute students. Her students said they were so good, she had to write them down! Maybe they were right, who knows? Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now. She is represented by Dawn Dowdle and writes sweet and adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary romance.

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To win this beatiful pendent, see the Rafflecopter details below.

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Connect with Aubrie Dionne:

This sounds like a wonderful addition to the series, Aubrie - and I too was captivated by Peter S Beagle's 'The Last Unicorn', the book first and then the movie. Wishing you much success with 'Reconaissance'.

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH Also available on Kindle

The Cordello Quest, (Fiction Addiction Book Tours)

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (6)

 To win an e-copy of The Cordello Quest. Just leave a comment before 30th July to be in the draw!

It's a great thrill to be part of fellow Brit author, Joanna Gawn's promotional tour blitz and GIVEAWAY today.

Here are the details of her latest release, with Ron Dickerson:


Cordello Quest paperback cover



What would you do if you found yourself in another world? If you were told you had a key role to play in the lives of a people you never knew existed? That you had been a part of their legend for centuries? Who would you rely on? The Cordello Quest is a tale of hope, trust and faith. It is a tale of magic and mystery … of making the most of your inner knowing. It is a tale of doing the right thing … wherever you are. It is a tale of tuning in to your most aware self. Most of all, it is a tale of the power of love and light.


 The other tour hosts are:

 Book Hoarder

Today I’m Reading

Supportive Business Mums

Donna’s Room for Reading

Brook Cottage Books

Bookalicious Travel Addict

Hywela Lyn ~ Romance That’s Out of This World

Everything Books and Authors

Me, My Books and I

Victoria’s Pages of Romance


Each tour host will be giving away an e-copy of The Cordello Quest.


butterflies 1


About the Authors

 Joanna Gawn is an author, energy-healing practitioner and wife. She loves writing, reading, spreadsheets, National Trust gardens, and inspiring scenery. Dartmoor and Brittany are two of her favourite places. She and her husband are owned by two cats. Joanna is a chocoholic, and is also partial to cake.


Ron Dickerson is a Cornishman with a background in rugby, business and Round Table/Rotary; perhaps not the expected connections for writing spiritual adventure novels! He has a deep love of books and superb writing. He is an intuitive natural healer. He and his wife also have two cats.

Joanna and Ron are currently writing the sequel to The Cordello Quest, entitled Mosaic of Light. They also write short stories (published as ebooks), flash fiction and poetry.




Twitter @lazuliportals





 The Cordello Quest was the recent winner of FABT’s promo blitz giveaway.


'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH                   Also available on Kindle