Blood of Azure

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Jonathan J. Michael and his epic fantasy series, Blood of Azure.

Author’s description

BLOOD OF AZURE SERIES

 

Four races with powers dictated by the seasons seek balance and prosperity. However, life instinctively primes itself for survival, and when one race commands the touch of death, all others fall in line. Tyranny plagues Azure as an immortal ruler governs the knowledge of the seasons and those wielding its power.

 

Four young protagonists, Stone, Jaymes, Goose, and Astor, each navigate their way to escape his shadow and reclaim their freedom. Simple ambitions for young souls. But little did they know, they would uncover the secrets the realm is built upon, and the unique talents they each carry. Their ignorance allows the knowledge of the seasons to escape into the world around them little by little, and with it, a power loosing anarchy upon the realm. A power most aren’t worthy of wielding. It is up to Stone and his companions to tame that power and reclaim the balance.

 

Four seasons to balance the land. Four sages to balance the life.

 

SEASON OF SACRIFICE, BOOK 1

 

Courage is for the bold. It is not for Stone McLarin. He’s been in hiding for four seasons after being orphaned by the Taoiseach. He doesn’t care for the heroic antics of avenging his parent’s death or securing his freedom. He only desires one thing—to protect his sister’s life.

This proves challenging when his sister, Jaymes, possesses a rivaling power of decay to that of the tyrant ruler’s. She’s a threat to his dominance, and there will be no escaping his shadow.

When the Taoiseach manipulates his way into Jaymes’s life and steals her away, Stone has no choice but to follow. He must venture into the heart of the tyrant’s domain and figure out how to penetrate the impenetrable. And if he succeeds there, he will have to slay the most powerful man in Azure.

In a world ruled by decay, what chance does life stand?

Season of Sacrifice is part one of the Blood of Azure series—an epic fantasy full of grim encounters, heroic adventures, unique magic, and a captivating world to explore.

Author’s Note: Contains explicit language and some graphic descriptions.

 

SEASON OF SUFFERING, BOOK 2

 

A villain in his own mind, Stone McLarin is labeled the hero for murdering a man.

Not only is Stone weighted down as a hero, but he’s idolized by the dominant religion, and he’s the sole protector of the knowledge of the ages. The pressure of the entire realm is on his shoulders.

Carib Reign, a shapeshifter building an army of immortals, plans to purge the Crimson Capital to find this hidden knowledge. His motive, to give the people of Azure the freedom they deserve.

With many adventures along the way, Stone will lead the charge to defend the Crimson Capital against the Immortal Army. Should he fail, anarchy is inevitable. Death for all Azure, a possibility.

Where there is life, death anticipates. But what if death is abandoned? Life will rebel.

Season of Suffering is part two of the Blood of Azure series—an epic fantasy with both light and dark hearts. You’ll experience many fantasy tropes, clashing swords, unique magic, fantastical beasts, and a wide range of Azure’s scenic terrain.

Author’s Note: Contains explicit language and some graphic descriptions.

About Jonathan J. Michael

Jonathan J Michael was born and raised in the greater Seattle area in the scenic state of Washington. Jonathan is an advocate of science, nature, and exploration, which has a heavy influence in his debut series, Blood of Azure.

When I drive down the freeway, I often want to veer onto the backroads and head for the mountains. When I’m at an evening gathering, I’m eager to step outside and gaze at the stars. When I’m on a ferry, I’m at the guardrail staring into the depths wondering what kind of leviathans lurk below. I’m an explorer, and since I’m not on the next Crew Dragon headed for the ISS, fantasy novels let me have what I seek. I write to explore a world of wonder.

Why I Write Fantasy

by Jonathan J. Michael

A waterfall pours from the clouds. Flying fish dance around it in a thrum of idiocy, searching for food. My spear flies, piercing two or three. The predator becomes a meal today. I move to retrieve my catch, and the looming shadow appears again. I halt, wary of its existence. What is it? It hovers above the clouds, just over the waterfall. A thin line drops from the fluffy ceiling, something glowing on the end of it. Something sweet. Is that…is that neverweed? It only blooms once in a cycle. It’s not time. I beat my fins. The sweet aroma draws me in, nearly irresistible. The idiocy of fish continues to circle around themselves, and only scatter when I get within an arm’s reach. With a swift jab, I snag the neverweed. Bubbles fill the dense air around me as high velocity projectiles shoot downward. A dark net encapsulates me, sending me skyward.

My imagination is my limitation. If there’s consistency within the realm, it works. Even if it’s consistently inconsistent. The thrill of discovering ridiculous ideas is fun. I intend to write an entire series surrounding that paragraph. And when I find a way to pull all the ridiculousness together in a logical manner, it will be exhilarating. That is why I write fantasy. I can turn idiocy into brilliance with the right flow of words.

The dense air grows denser as I’m pulled upward. I touched the ceiling once. When I was a child testing my limits. But never have I flown into the clouds. We don’t go into the clouds. The air is nearly unbreathable. As it thickens, I can feel the heavy weight on my lungs. Suddenly, all is clear. The pressing weight lifts and shocks my system as the air above the clouds is quite the opposite. Too thin to breathe. I gasp, trying to fill my lungs, but I cannot get enough air. I must return to my world, beneath the clouds. I don’t belong up here. I pause for a moment, as I realize the serenity of the space surrounding me. A blue ceiling spanning across the sky. Not the marbling whites and greys I’m accustomed to. And the sun shines brightly. I only ever witness it once a cycle, but in a fraction of what I’m sensing now. Its warmth fills me. The energy pours into me. I try to sprawl out to take it in, and remember I’m trapped within a net, being hoisted to a dark silhouette above me. And I struggle to breathe. How do I escape?

My protagonist pops into a new world. A world with a taste of beauty and novelty. But also, a world of threat and toxicity. It creates wonder. Wonder I have no limitations to explore. My protagonist has limitations, perhaps, but not the writer. That’s why I write fantasy. To explore new worlds.

I can breathe, but hardly. I’ve trained for this. It’s no different than when we submerge ourselves to the depths where the neverweed grows. Deep beneath the dense oceans. I flatten my lips, allowing a slow stream of the thin air to fill my lungs. I continue letting it in and balloon my chest as far as it will go, then slowly exhale. This is just to calm my nerves. It’s a new world up here. The tribe will be thrilled to hear about this. If I return. I continue my slow breathing exercises. I open my diaphragm as I inhale, hold my breath for a short second, then slowly exhale. The fresh air replaces the low-quality air hunkered deep within me. I do this several more times, and my breathing gets easier, as long as it’s slow and methodical. Once I have my breathing under control, I unsheathe the sickle at my waist and slice at the netting. A hole opens, and I fall through it—an experience I’ve never encountered. Panic takes hold. I haven’t trained for this. My fins beat against the air but do nothing. My arms flail but have no grasp on the air around me. I’m too heavy up here, the air cannot support my mass. I gasp, forgetting my breathing techniques as I plummet. A puff of clouds catches me, and it quickly turns back into my ceiling. A dull, grey, comfortable ceiling. I’m safe.

A common experience for humanity. A wonder to my protagonist. Can you imagine not knowing what it’s like to fall? He lives in a world where falling doesn’t exist. It’s an untouched experience for him. That’s why I write fantasy. To experience the world from different perspectives.

There are so many reasons to write fantasy, but for me it all boils down to exploring ridiculous ideas, discovering new worlds, and experiencing them through different eyes. Fantasy opens the mind and hacks away boundaries.

Find Jonathan J. Michael

Website: https://jonathanjmichael.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.j.michael.author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonathan_j_michael/

Buy the Blood of Azure Books

Season of Sacrifice – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T1XV54W
Season of Suffering – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NSM62N8

Yes, there is a giveaway

Jonathan J. Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish.

My Favorite Excerpt

From Season of Suffering: I step away from the blood-soaked terrain and reach into my belt pouch, withdrawing a few seeds. I ponder over them for a moment. My fury subsides. But not completely. Just enough for me to regain my senses. Pain floods my body. I get down to one knee and drop the seeds into the soil, brushing remains of the decaying forest floor over top of them. I press hard into the soil with both hands.

One sprout emerges from the ground ahead of two others. All three grow to knee-high in size before a plumage of green needles sprouts from the top. Then branches spill away from the still thickening trunk and begin to form digits. The trunk itself, on all three saplings, rips from the ground and splits at the base, each forming digits as well. Dark eyes spring open and flutter as they wake.

I rise above the forest children. They stand attentive, awaiting instruction. “Arbormen, there is no battle this time, my apologies.” I speak candidly to them. “I require you to send a message. Find Iron Valor and tell him of what happened here. Tell him it is time. Go.” The forest children scurry into the waking forest without hesitation and vanish amidst the undergrowth.

Retribution will be delivered. But first… First, I must deliver my family back to Azure.

Thank you!

Jonathan J. Michael — we appreciate your sharing your series Blood of Azure with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Witchslayer’s Scion

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author L.T. Getty and her Sword and Sorcery fantasy, Witchslayer’s Scion.

Author’s description

Koth’s life was decided for him since before he was born, for his ability to heal wounds by touch is rare even among his people. When an attempted kidnapping turns to sacrificial murder, he embraces vengeance and the sword. As he journeys far from his small isolated village in the north, he learns the truth as to why his bloodline is targeted by strange magic, in a world still rebuilding from a time when dark sorcerers didn’t bother with secrecy.

Koth thinks his quest is straightforward enough–find the men responsible, and kill them–and any who aid them. He will soon learn that those who have both privilege and power, there are few things they lack–and in the pursuit of godhood, their allies can prove even more sinister as mere mortals seek to advent empires and dynasties.

About L.T. Getty

L.T. Getty is a rural paramedic from Manitoba. She enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy and generally being creative.

Find L.T. Getty on her blog at: https://ltgetty.ca/

Buy Witchslayer’s Scion

Amazon (American): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096LXWJM6/
Amazon (Canadian): https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B096LXWJM6/
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/witchslayer-s-scion
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58269585-witchslayer-s-scion
Champagne Books: https://champagnebooks.com/store/fantasy/843-witchslayer-s-scion-9781771552707.html
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/witchslayers-scion-l-t-getty/1139633382?ean=2940165401237

Yes, there is a giveaway

L.T. Getty will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish.

Thoughts on Secondary Characters

In my books I usually have a minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So I asked L. T. Getty if there was such a character in her novel? Here is her answer.

In Witchslayer’s Scion, it was the character of Nisiris. I think the reason as to Why was because he and and the main character Koth initially had very similar motivations, but whereas Koth eventually put aside his revenge for doing what was right, Nisiris kept going down a dark path.

Nisiris is a young fisherman living under colonial rule on his island of Tredonia. He’s all but actively rebelling at this point, feeling generally resentful towards mainlanders on his island. He and several others chance across a badly damaged imperial warship, and find that the crew was trying to limp to safety after a battle, with most of the crew sick or dying as their ship had been dead in the water several days, but finds a noble-born he thinks he can ransom back. He and his friend arrive back on deck to see that the Imperial ship also spotted the damaged ship, and his fisher boat crew has abandoned them. He strikes a deal with the prince, only for the prince to turn on him, demanding a blood duel between the friends with the winner to be sold as a pit fighter (gladiator) back in in the Imperium, with them both to be sold into hard slavery if they refuse to fight. Nisiris curses the prince and swears revenge, but waits until the bad weather starts to jump ship, and is washed out to sea. He washes up on the small island called Mazala and takes up service with the Lady of the Island Elza, eventually becoming her lover and beginning the journey of becoming a mage.

This first part of the novel takes place about twenty years prior was written at the very end of my draft. I started out with Koth and came back to the beginning at the very end because I felt it felt too long to take us to the Tenageen plot. When I got feedback from a blue pencil session, I was told that my choice could be confusing for some readers. I still preferred starting with Nisiris, as it set up this giant backdrop and gave the idea about the bigger picture of the world before we got to it, as opposed to this creep towards this rising empire in the south. It set up the theme that things were going on before the main character was around, and how the past shapes the world we’re in now, even when the people responsible for the state of the world are often long gone.

I wasn’t expecting Nisiris to have a breakout role of villain. I thought it was going to be Elza or Lamont, but they were cunning and calculated, so it took a lot for them to deviate from the plan, and really out of the two of them only Lamont did at the very end.  Nisiris on the other hand wasn’t a centuries old being who learned patience and was acting more like a regular human being as opposed to the others, so he was relatable  to the audience. Nisiris also fit the definition of what I call a Battle Mage.

I never really think about the trope of Squishy Wizards but t find that a lot of my mage characters lean this way because as they become more powerful in magic they don’t have to rely on their physical prowess. Mages aren’t all one in the same, as they have different natural abilities with powers, as well as roles in their covens, but one relatively low-level mage can cause massive damage to a group of regular people. They also typically have people with weapons to guard their backs, so assuming that you are the rare person able to ward off a spell, you now have to get through their body guard. And because it takes a very long time to get that real power, mages tend not to focus on the physical other than the aesthetic – and I’ve often implied that they use their magic to make themselves more attractive or fierce.

A Battle Mage is someone who can use a weapon or fight physically as well as with magic. The main reason I have for this not being so common is that the majority of apprentices are selected from a young age and discouraged from using weapons. They do the cloak and dagger thing, but if you’re a high wizard on the cusp of ultimate power, you’re at a disadvantage if your apprentice decides to start taking down your allies physically with an axe and you’re grasping at the Ultimate McGuffin. But if you’re an Archmage and you picked someone knowing they won’t get very far in with magic, they can be useful to have around. It’s just usually not a bad idea to keep a bodyguard kicking around in case anyone gets any clever ideas.

As for making characters behave well – I say let your characters act up, but in a way that’s entertaining to the reader. Give them a satisfactory story arc and really delve into their mindset. I don’t want to manipulate puppets, I want to be surprised and tell a better story when I’m done then when I sat down with my original ideas.

Thank you!

L.T. Getty — we appreciate your sharing your book Witchslayer’s Scion with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Royal Fifth

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author James Peyton and his adventure thriller, The Royal Fifth.

Author’s description

The Royal Fifth: The amount of stolen treasure Conquistadors were supposed to give to the Spanish Crown.

 

In a world corrupted by its past, what could turn a sensitive artist into a killer?

 

Young Santa Fe artist, Martín Cortés, is devastated by the deaths of family members and the loss of a huge emerald that once belonged to Hernán Cortés.

 

Colin Glendaring, a disgraced archeologist with an insatiable passion for pre-Columbian artifacts, is responsible. Martín learns that another family descended from the Spanish Conqueror lives in Oaxaca. Rather than kill Glendaring, he heads south. He discovers an unconventional household that includes Ilhui, a beautiful young woman with a dangerous political agenda.

 

Martín is stunned when he learns how the family manages to live so well…then alarmed when he discovers that Glendaring is on his way to Oaxaca. Martín and Ilhui are soon accused of murder. On the run, they are betrayed, and Ilhui is kidnapped by a guerilla leader known for recreating grisly Aztec rituals.

 

With time running out, Martín makes a pact with a ruthless army officer and a crooked federal policeman. Will it be a deal with the devil, or can he do what has to be done to save his new family and love?

About James Peyton

Award-winning Author James Peyton infuses his novels with stranger-than-fiction encounters and true-to-life characters based on his extensive travel and research. Realism in his plots and action comes from that background and his experience in martial arts and tactical firearms.

The Royal Fifth is based loosely on historical events surrounding the Conqueror, Hernán Cortés, brought into the present time. It will be followed by a mystery-thriller series featuring federal policeman, Artemas Salcido. Artemas is the illegitimate son of a Mexican governor and his Yaqui servant. Following his mother’s suspicious death, he was sent to be raised by the village priest. He attended Harvard on a scholarship and returned to Mexico vowing to fight corruption—only to receive his real education, where the grade is often life or death.

Find James Peyton

Website:  jwpeyton@att.net

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/216986.James_W_Peyton

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/James-W.-Peyton/e/B001K7XKJA

Buy The Royal Fifth

The book is on sale for $0.99

Yes, there is a giveaway

James Peyton will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish.

My Favorite Excerpt

Three months before he approached the international bridge, Martín Cortés drove through the gates of his parents’ home in Tesuque, just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Invariably that caused something powerful to stir inside him. That particular day, as the rambling adobe came into view, what stirred inside Martín was a witch’s brew of emotions. The last time he was summoned to a business meeting by his father had been three years ago. It concerned his decision to pursue a career as an artist rather than take over the family bank. That had ended badly—for everyone.

As he turned into the driveway, Martín slowed. He scanned the wooded, thirty-acre site at the base of the piñon-covered hill and then moved his gaze to the house. His eyes traced the rounded corners of the traditional two-story adobe. Irregular roof lines dipped gradually, almost whimsically, on both sides to meandering one-story additions. The structure was pinkish-tan and looked like it had been fashioned by a sculptor, which in effect it had.

Stubby piñon trees and patches of snow dotted the edge of the gravel drive and parking area. Still cold in early March, smoke curled from one of several chimneys, caressing the bare branches of tall trees flanking the driveway. Although the sky gleamed clear and blue through the clutter of spidery branches, Martín felt like a small plane flying into a thunderhead.

Thank you!

James Peyton — we appreciate your sharing your book The Royal Fifth with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Spider Green

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Norm Harris and his legal and military thriller series Spider Green.

Author’s description

Fruit of a Poisonous Tree, Book 1

Faydra “Spider” Green is a dedicated Navy JAG lawyer who has lived her life in the shadows of a great and powerful man: her father, former President of the United States William Green. Green cannot heal the wound in his relationship with his daughter. His former power and influence curse Faydra and cause her to wonder if her accomplishments were her own doing.
A lawyer by trade, Faydra is both anxious and excited as she undertakes her first homicide investigation: —the brutal murder of a Navy SEAL. She reasons that a successful investigation will provide her the opportunity to validate her sense of self-worth. Thanks to her remarkable deductive abilities, Faydra soon realizes that the accused man, a Special Ops Marine war hero, may be innocent and that the Navy is using her as a pawn in a complex cover-up.
Meanwhile, a seasoned Navy Sea Captain, Egan Fletcher, whose wife had died eight years earlier, struggles to balance his Navy career with raising a son. When the Navy purposefully pairs him with Faydra in a meeting, the two Navy officers embark on an adrenaline-pumping adventure. It is a top-secret mission- impossible that will take them halfway around the world in an attempt to avert a catastrophic act of terrorism in the form of, a biological war.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of Washington State’s Puget Sound and the mystique of East Asia, Faydra’s story revolves around a woman who appears to be as pure as the driven snow—yet, she is driven by an insatiable need to complete any assignment, no matter how dangerous. Along the way, she transforms into a symbol of hope, perseverance, and a woman’s ability to overcome life-threatening events.
 

Arid Sea, Book 2

Faydra “Spider” Green is a spirited Navy lawyer who wants nothing more than to do the right thing and see justice done. After reconciling with her father, former President William Green, Fay is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Alvin Joe, a retired admiral. He has vanished – seemingly into thin air – from his Florida home, along with secret files for a top-secret military weapon. Alongside her bubbly, quick-witted sister and a handsome, affable Sheriff, Fay sets out to track down Joe. But she soon finds herself embroiled in a deeper and far more sinister plot involving an unscrupulous corporation, the mafia, and a truly evil man who has his sights set on destroying her.

Deception Pass, Book 3

Faydra “Spider” Green has had a storied career as a Navy lawyer, all while juggling being the daughter of a former U.S. President. She has successfully navigated complex diplomatic situations, pulse-pounding legal investigations, and dangerous military missions, managing each time to save the day. But now, Fay finds herself faced with a task unlike anything she has ever tackled before: fierce mafioso Roman Justine, the man who had nearly cost Fay her life, has seemingly returned from the dead. Now, Justine, hellbent on revenge, poses a threat to Fay and national security. Fay will have to go to extraordinary lengths to stop him, even tampering with the bounds of time and space.

The Girl Who Knew Death, Book 4

Katrinka Lavrova is a young Russian espionage agent discovered by Russian Navy Captain Lavrov at the age of nineteen. Katrinka worked as both a spy and a sparrow since age thirteen to support her aged parents. Lavrov rescues the woman and becomes her guardian. Captain Lavrov introduces Katrinka to Fay. Fay asks Katrinka to help her steal the top-secret plans from Roman Justine’s office safe. Fay grows fond of Kat and offers her a fresh start in the United States. Katrinka dares to hope for a better life by accepting Fay’s offer.
Navy lawyer and former First Daughter Faydra (Fay) Green is no longer quite so haunted by the dark events of her recent past and is hoping for some well-deserved rest. But her world is once again turned upside down when a shocking secret about her adopted daughter, Katrinka (Kat), is revealed. But before Fay can help Kat make any decisions about her future, Kat is captured and thrown into an Egyptian prison. She manages to escape but must flee to safety across Europe, trying to stay one step ahead of several mysterious pursuers. Soon, Fay and Kat discover they are being chased by more than ordinary forces – Azrael, the Angel of Death, has taken a puzzling interest in their situation and a dangerous demon appears to be stalking Kat’s every move. It will take all of Fay’s strength and ingenuity to meet these and other challenges looming ahead of her, while Kat must ask herself what she truly wants out of life.

About Norm Harris

Norm Harris’ first novel debuted on an Amazon bestseller list in 2002. It was a one-and-done, but now he’s back with a plan to publish a couple of sequels to that first mystery/thriller of days gone by. Except for time spent in military service, he is a second-generation Seattleite (that’s what they call those who dwell in the shadow of Mt. Rainier), with his legal beagle son, K-K, and five giant tropical fish. His upcoming release, Arid Sea, is the third book in what he hopes to be an award-winning Spider Green Mystery Story series.

Minor Characters in Major Roles

I love to ask authors about the minor characters in their books and how they sometimes come to play a larger role. Author Norm Harris has an interesting perspective to share as his experience with minor characters spans four books!  He says …

Rather than the minor character, I think I insist they play a more significant role. When I wrote the first book in the Spider Green Mystery Thriller Series, I did not know what was to follow. Same with the second and the third. While I create a scene in a later book, I sometimes think about a minor character in a previous book who would fit. An example would be Irena Sergeevna. She is a Russian Navy commando in book one only in several scenes. She pops up in book three when the protagonist, Faydra “Spider” Green, travels to Moscow to assassinate an evil man from book two. Irena is “Irishka”. Irishka helps Faydra on the first trip. Irishka helps Faydra steal documents crucial to the US government on the second trip. Then in book four, Irishka takes a significant role. I did not know this when I was writing book one.

In book three, Deception Pass, two minor characters, Leeci Chen and Theodore Smith, both ladies have turned up in book five, Rain, and Wind, and Fire. 

Find Norm Harris

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/780557.Norm_Harris
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Norman-A.-Harris/e/B002BOH4R0

Buy the Book

Book 1: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09L56XS21/
Book 2: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09N8QWTF5/
Book 3: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09Q1XVRNR/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Occasionally, the glow cast by the divers’ torches below her would momentarily disappear. She supposed—prayed—it was perhaps Romeo or Juliet passing between her line of sight and the torches, temporarily interrupting the beams of light, rather than a predator.

Fay grew fascinated by the many air bubbles emitted by the divers, reflected in the light of their torches’ eerie glow. Like a surreal field of vapor flowers, they appeared and disappeared as they slowly wobbled toward the surface. Fay reached for a bubble but instead found it to be a jellyfish, not a bubble as she had first thought.

Fay stopped sinking. Although she could not see it, she assumed they had reached the wreck. She brought her wrist to within inches of her face to check the luminous reading on her depth gauge. Eighty-seven feet.

She strained her eyes in a vain attempt to see through the black water. Fay may as well have been swimming in a cup of Seattle’s Best Coffee. All she could see was the light from the torch she held in her hand. She experienced complete disorientation. No up, no down. Someone, Andrew Lawrence perhaps, grasped her wrist. He was dragging her somewhere. She saw a deck rail, then a deck, and finally passed through a hatchway. They were now inside the Carr. There was only one light ahead of her—Andrew’s.

Thank you!

Norm Harris — we appreciate your sharing your series Spider Green with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Beauty in the Beast

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Emily-Jane Hills Orford and her fantasy/science fiction novel, Beauty in the Beast.

Author’s description

Priya, a name that suggests beautiful. Amell, a name that suggests all powerful. One is a beautiful young lady; the other a beast. Their paths have crossed before, only Priya doesn’t remember Amell from her past. Or does she? And what does it all mean? The Amell she meets is part beast. So are the others at Castle Mutasim. Is she one of them, too? How can this be? What manner of creature would experiment on other living creatures, to mutate them into something bizarre and, sometimes, downright dangerous? Priya has to know. She wants to know. And she wants to make things right.

About Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Emily-Jane Hills Orford is a country writer, living just outside the tiny community of North Gower, Ontario, near the nation’s capital. With degrees in art history, music and Canadian studies, the retired music teacher enjoys the quiet nature of her country home and the inspiration of working at her antique Jane Austen-style spinet desk, feeling quite complete as she writes and stares out the large picture window at the birds and the forest. She writes in several genres, including creative nonfiction, memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction. http://emilyjanebooks.ca

Find Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/realpeoplestories
Twitter: @ejhomusic

Buy Beauty in the Beast

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Beast-Emily-Jane-Hills-Orford-ebook/dp/B09TH1T6J6/

Characters Who Won’t Behave

In my books I usually have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked Emily-Jane Hills Orford if she had such a character in her novel, Beauty in the Beast? And if she didn’t, I wanted to know how she got the characters in her head to behave so well! She answered both questions and it appears she and I have similar problems. Enjoy her delightful response!

Priya’s best friend (BFF, of course) was her rescued dog, Bear. Only, upon arriving at Castle Mutasim, she discovers that Bear is really a mutant dog/human and who knows what else. Sitting next to her at the grand table in the castle’s dining room, Priya is stunned.

““Bear?” she gasped.

          ““Yes, Priya,” the creature replied. “It is I. The one you call Bear. Perhaps you could come up with another name. Like Gawain. Or Wayne, for short.”

          “His suggestion was met with guffaws all around the table. “He fashions himself after the great Sir Gawain,” Roderick paused from his eating long enough to explain, pointing a fork at Bear. “Knight in shining armor. Rescuer of damsels in distress and all that.””

          From BFF as a dog, to BFF as a mutant, Bear, now Wayne, aspires to capture Priya’s attention, only he has a hidden agenda which is not in Priya’s best interests or that of the other castle’s occupants. He always appears to be elbowing his way into the action. I really can’t say anymore without giving away the story.

          As for your second question, how I get the characters in my head to behave so well, I didn’t think they did. They haunt me in my sleep and plague my every waking hour. I’m forever fixing them up and molding their moods to suit the plot. No, they don’t behave: it’s a smoke screen, an illusion.

Yes, there is a giveaway

Emily-Jane Hills Orford will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

“Amell,” she screamed. “Amell. Help me.”

She was pinned in a hunk of metal, the world around her growing darker by the minute. And it was cold. Bitter. Bone-chilling. A soft tongue licked her cheek. Whines and a warm breath slipped into her ear. Bear. Her three-year-old mutt, a Border Collie-Black Lab mix. Black and white. Full of love and mischief. Her strength in a time of need. Like right now.

She had rescued Bear. A puppy tossed in a dumpster. Left to die. The two were inseparable. Now, she was failing Bear. And they would die.

One final scream, “Amell.”

“I’m so sorry, Bear,” she whispered.

As she slipped into oblivion, she felt a fog of confusion slither through her brain. Who is Amell?

Thank you!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford — we appreciate your sharing your book Beauty in the Beast with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Write Balance

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Bonni Goldberg and her non-fiction book, The Write Balance.

Author’s description

In The Write Balance, the companion book to the beloved bestseller, Room to Write, Bonni Goldberg demonstrates how to find fulfillment as a writer by embracing three key aspects of writing: 1) Percolation: what takes place before a first draft is written; 2) Revision: the writer’s role after the initial draft; and 3) Going Public: the writer’s mission once the writing is done. Filled with tools, examples and exercises, Bonni’s guide offers motives, choices, and encouragement for writers to appreciate and to be creative in the phases before and beyond a first draft. Whether you’re new to writing or a pro, become more passionate and balanced in your writing life.

About Bonni Goldberg

Bonni Goldberg is the author of The Write Balance: How to Embrace Percolation, Revision & Going Public, the companion book to the best-seller Room to Write: Daily Invitations to a Writer’s Life. Bonni is an award-winning poet and writer. She is the creator of the 2 Minute Journals™ series. Both traditionally and indie published, her books include non-fiction for adults and fiction and non-fiction for young readers. Her essays and blog posts can be found in numerous print and online publications.

Bonni teaches creative writing at colleges and leads writing workshops internationally for all ages. She knows everyone is creative, and she supports people to discover and share their authentic, meaningful and imaginative experiences through words.

Whether through her writings or through teaching, her methods and perspectives continue to empower thousands of adults, families, and children.

Bonni is also a Jewish educator. She speaks, writes, and leads workshops on Jewish topics such as Jewish identity, rituals and antisemitism at Jewish women’s events, JCCs, and conferences.

Bonni Goldberg lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner in life, and some creative projects, artist Geo Kendall.

Two Surprises from Bonni Goldberg

I got the chance to ask this author a question, so I inquired as to what single piece of advice in her book she thought would surprise people the most.  She asked me if she could give me two. Of course 🙂

She says …

I’m not so great with single. May I cover two? First, writing advice books, including mine, are filled with what you should do like write, revise, and publish. But along with tips, exercises and perspectives about the excellent reasons writers should do these things, I include good reasons not to do them sometimes. I hope people find those sections refreshing, as well as useful. The second type of advice readers may be surprised by is the physical body exercises I offer. Think of them like writer yoga, only they aren’t for tight shoulders or carpel tunnel. They’re mind-body exercises. I wish everyone tries at least one. We spend so much time in our minds as writers. The body is a powerful writing resource for balance and change, too.

Find Bonni Goldberg

Website: http://www.bonnigoldberg.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bonnigoldbergbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bonnigoldberg
Instrogram: www.instagram.com/goldbergbonni

Get the The Write Balance for Free

Get your FREE copy of “Writing & Marketing: 8 Authors Reveal Their Secrets” here: https://bookhip.com/PASGHHQ

Yes, there is a giveaway

Bonni Goldberg will be awarding a prize to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The winner can choose between a 30 minute coaching call, a Q&A Zoom with their group, or feedback on 3 double spaced pages of their work (via email). In addition, a free ebook about balancing writing & marketing will be given to everyone who enters the raffle.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

If percolation is really such an essential element of the writing process, why do we resist it? For one thing, many people feel impatient about it. It requires a state of stillness we are not accustomed to. For another thing, sometimes being as free form in our writing process as we are during percolation creates anxiety. Without our ideas firmly planted in writing, we feel dizzy and out of control. Also, most of us learn to accomplish our goals by taking tangible actions, especially when it comes to writing. We count words, pages, chapters. As a result, even writing teachers feel compelled to provide students with word-generating activities to get their uncensored words out or to help them avoid procrastination. Procrastination is a myriad of excuses for not writing. Sometimes we confuse it with percolation because in both cases we’re not producing visible words. The similarities between the two make us uncomfortable; but percolation isn’t procrastination. We need the energy percolating supplies to our ideas. The psyche is at work. Our senses are attuned inward. We’re feeding our idea.

Thank you!

Bonni Goldberg — we appreciate your sharing your book The Write Balance with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Find Your Way Back

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Javacia Harris Bowser and her collection of essays, Find Your Way Back.

Author’s description

Award-winning freelance journalist Javacia Harris Bowser is convinced that writing is a superpower. She sees her life as proof of it since writing has helped her navigate marriage, crisis of faith and body image issues. It also helped her to beat cancer.

 

As a Black woman from the South, Javacia has used the written word to explore issues of gender and race as well as religion. Find Your Way Back is a collection of essays that demonstrate how Javacia has used writing to achieve some of her wildest dreams such as being a public speaker, having her own column, and being her own boss. The book also explores how writing, self-love, and faith helped her overcome her worst nightmare: a cancer diagnosis in 2020. Javacia’s goal is to show readers how writing can transform their lives as well. The book includes prompts throughout to help readers start their own writing journey.

 

This book is for the woman who has wanted to write since she was a girl but struggles to find the time or the courage to put her words on paper. Find Your Way Back, shows that instead of putting writing on the back burner when life gets turned upside down, we should turn to it to help life make sense again.

About Javacia Harris Bowser

Javacia Harris Bowser is an award-winning essayist and journalist and the founder of See Jane Write. A proud graduate of the journalism programs at the University of Alabama and the University of California at Berkeley, Javacia has written for USA Today, HerMoney.com, and Good Grit magazine. Named one of Birmingham’s Top 40 Under 40, she believes we can all write our way to the life of our dreams.

Find Javacia Harris Bowser

IG & Twitter @seejavaciawrite, #FYWBBookTour

IG @TheLiteraryLobbyist #TheLiteraryLobbyist @DawnMichellePR on Twitter

Buy Find Your Way Back

Amazon: tinyurl.com/findyourwaybackbook

See Jane Write: https://seejanewritebham.com/product/findyourwayback/

Yes, there is a double giveaway

The author will be awarding one $25 and one $50 Amazon/BN gift card to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

– from “Write Like a Girl”

On my eleventh birthday, I declared I was a woman. I have no idea why. My budding boobs barely filled my training bra, and I wouldn’t get my period for another year. But it was as if turning eleven declared I was number one and said it again for good measure, and I believed it.

I can’t recall exactly what I decided to wear on this special day, but I do remember slouch socks were involved. I also remember that I didn’t want a party because birthday parties were for children. A woman–especially one who at the time fancied herself a poet–should spend her birthday having a quiet evening at home writing in her journal, reflecting on her past, and making plans for the years to come.

What I’m trying to say is eleven-year-old me was ridiculous. But I think about this girl often. Sometimes to become the woman you’re meant to be, you must remember the girl you used to be. Sometimes you must write like a girl.

When you write for a living, it can be hard to remember how to do this. When you write for a living, you can easily forget to write for yourself. You can forget to write simply for the love of words, for the joy of stringing together sentences. It can be hard to remember what it felt like to write with no regard for readers or a deadline, but that’s what writing like a girl is all about.

Sometimes I think back to that eleven-year-old girl–who thought she was a woman–and I challenge myself–just for a few moments–to forget about building a brand or pitching publications and just write. Yes, I can get back to business later, but right now, just write.

Thank you!

Javacia Harris Bowser — we appreciate your sharing your book Find Your Way Back with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Nantucket Beachfront Inn

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Ainsley Keaton and her women’s fiction novel, The Nantucket Beachfront Inn.

Author’s description

She’s 54, broken-hearted, and starting over….

 

High-powered New York attorney Ava Flynn finds herself without a job or a future. Unemployable at her age, and broken-hearted by a husband who left her in the lurch, she desperately needs a Plan B. Her prayers are answered when a wealthy benefactor wills her a large house in the ‘Sconset Beach area of Nantucket. She heads out to the picturesque New England island with her two best friends, Luna and Mila, going along for the ride.

 

One catch…her estranged daughter also lives there. Charlotte Killeen, Ava’s daughter, is battling a crisis of her own. Her new husband, Matthew, wants a divorce, even though the couple have a newborn baby. Charlotte needs her mother more than ever, but the two have never seen eye to eye. Her marriage on the rocks and with few prospects for income, Charlotte is near the end of her rope. Then a life-threatening illness brings into focus what’s important after all.

 

Ava’s other daughter, Samantha, also lives on Nantucket Island, with her best friend and roommate, Grayson. Samantha suffers from a lack of direction in her life, and longs to meet a rich prince charming who will sweep her off her feet. When she meets the man of her dreams, she’s leaving behind the one man who loves her unconditionally – Grayson.

 

Jackson, Ava’s son, is an aspiring actor in Hollywood. Everything has always come easy to him, that is until Willow, Matthew’s cousin, shows up. Free-spirited Willow is just the kind of girl to break Jackson’s heart, which is difficult to do, as Jackson is always the heartbreaker.

 

And speaking of Willow…she’s a feminist island witch and artist. She and Jackson have been through many, many lifetimes together. Yet, Willow wants nothing to do with Jackson in this lifetime. She has no desire to give up even an ounce of her power, not even for her soul mate. Willow also is hiding a devastating secret from Jackson. A secret that is guaranteed to upend his life for good.

 

Mila, Ava’s best friend, is battling a devastating illness, information that she hasn’t shared with Ava and Luna. She never wants to be a burden, so she just doesn’t ask for help. But she’s going to need all the support she can get. She finds this support in a very surprising place, and, in doing so, gets closer to her own destiny.

 

Ava busies herself with fixing up her beautiful new beach home, so that she can open up a bed and breakfast. Contractor Deacon Cromwell, whom Ava hires to do the renovation, is the man who might thaw Ava’s cold heart, if only she’ll let him. However, he’s almost 20 years her junior and, Ava believes, out of her league. Can Ava overcome her insecurities and allow herself to love again?

 

In this feel-good beach read with a touch of magick, Ava and her friends and family will become your best friends. Come and share their joys and heartbreaks, their tragedies and triumphs. For fans of Susan Mallery, Jude Devereaux Nantucket Bride series and Elin Hilderbrand!

About Ainsley Keaton

Ainsley Keaton lives in Southern California with her husband and two fur-babies, Bella and Annie. When she’s not binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Downton Abbey and Succession, she’s reading historical and women’s fiction or scouring the beach for sea glass and sand dollars.

What does she think of critique groups? Read on to find out!

Critique groups were an invaluable resource when I first got started, because I wanted to meet other writers and I was eager to get some feedback on whether or not I could really write well. That said, I don’t go to critique groups anymore, for several reasons.

The major reason is that, in a typical critique group, a few pages of your manuscript is critiqued by the group. In the world of self-publishing, that kind of schedule just doesn’t work, because you have to write so rapidly. That said, if there was a section that just wasn’t working, for whatever reason, going to a critique group might help with that section. But to expect the critique group to critique your whole novel…that would take forever!

That said, there can be a lot of value to critique groups, too. You get to meet a lot of other writers in your area, which can be fun, and one of the critique groups I went to was frequented by established writers, so it was a thrill to learn from them. That critique group was a lot of fun, because everybody drank wine around the table and the guy who hosted it made dinner for everyone (he made the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted)! And it’s also a bit of a thrill to hear from others how your writing is received. So many times, a writer feels like he or she is writing into the void, putting a book out into the world and not getting immediate feedback, so the writer doesn’t know if it’s good or not. It’s a bit of a thrill to hear people talking about your writing, your characters, your story. It can be an ego boost!

Anyhow, for beginning writers, I think that critique groups are a good thing, because the groups can identify things like clunky dialogue, underdeveloped characters, purple prose and the like. I’d suggest beginning writers to find critique groups, even if they aren’t in person because of the pandemic. If nothing else, you’ll get to meet like-minded people and maybe find a friend or writing partner along the way.

Find Ainsley Keaton

https://attorneykc.wixsite.com/my-site-2
https://www.facebook.com/AinsleyKeaton1967

Pre-order The Nantucket Beachfront Inn

Amazon Pre-buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/Nantucket-Beachfront-Inn-Sconset-Beach-ebook/dp/B09NMVKJ17/

Yes, there is a giveaway

Ainsley Keaton will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

“You don’t need me to do another spell to bring that guy back. What you need is a spell to make you tougher, stronger. More of a badass. Mentally, that is,” Willow clarified as she looked at the delicate waifish-like figure of her friend.

“I don’t want to be a badass. I just want him back.”

“The sex couldn’t be that good,” Willow said. “No sex is good enough to make you give your power away like this. And why do I think that you guys aren’t even having that good of sex?”

Sara’s pale face grew crimson. “I don’t like to talk about that,” she said.

“I knew it. I knew it. The guy’s not even that great of a lay, is what you’re telling me, or not telling me, yet here you are, desperate to get him back. What kind of hold does he have over you?”

“He…he…he…” Sara couldn’t seem to find her words, so Willow found them for her.

“Listen,” Willow said. “Here’s the thing. You’re a hotty, in case you don’t know. Here’s a mirror.” Willow kept a small mirror in her pocket to ward off negative energies. In this case, she didn’t want to use it for magickal purposes. She just wanted Sara to see herself.

Sara looked into the mirror. “Oh, God, I look like crap. No wonder Jamie left.” Then she shook her head.

“That backfired spectacularly,” Willow mumbled to herself. “Let’s see, what kind of spell can I do to make you like yourself? Let alone love yourself?”

She was going to have to go to her personal Book of Shadows, where she wrote down all of her spells, incantations and poetry, and find the right spell to work so that Sara could see herself as the world saw her. Sara was objectively beautiful – even without makeup, her skin glowed from within, as did her enormous blue eyes. Somehow, her eyelashes were thick and dark, even though the woman was a natural blonde. Her nose was thin and delicate, her lips full and lush. She also appeared to be naturally slim, although Willow wasn’t sure about that. It could be that she just had an eating disorder.

Or, maybe like Willow herself, Sara just couldn’t afford to eat. That was always a possibility.

Sara was gorgeous, yet she still clung to the jerkiest jerks in Boston. And, yes, Sara lived in the city, which meant that every time she came to see Willow, she had to shlep her carcass an hour east to Hyannis, catch the ferry, then Uber her way to Willow’s cottage. Willow was still astounded that anybody could be that motivated, especially about getting some loser back in one’s life.

“I don’t care about that,” Sara said. “I just want him back.”

“You don’t care if you love yourself or not?” Willow asked. “Let’s go for a walk to the beach, shall we?”

“No,” Sara said. “I didn’t come here for a nature hike.”

“I know, I know. You came here because you lost your regular booty call. Because that’s essentially what Jamie was, you know. And, from your reaction earlier, it sounds like he wasn’t all that great of a booty call at that.”

Willow stood up and started walking towards the beach, making it clear that the topic of whether or not the two women were going to take a walk wasn’t up for discussion. If Sara wanted Willow’s help, she would do it on Willow’s terms, not her own.

Thank you!

Ainsley Keaton — we appreciate your sharing your book The Nantucket Beachfront Inn with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Descent Into Darkness

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Zanne Raby and her science fiction space opera Descent Into Darkness

Author’s description

Descent into Darkness: Mayhem follows the Mayflower in the second book of The Chronicles of Deneb series. Journey along with the crew of the Space Ark Mayflower as they adapt to their new home on the planet Deneb. But along with their struggle to integrate into an alien culture, a new battle sweeps across the planet with the arrival of the human-transmitted Chimera bactovirus, bringing war and fanning the flames of racial intolerance. With a bloody conflict raging across the planet, the crew of the Mayflower is split between the two factions and embroiled in the chaos and destruction. Descend with the crew into darkness, where the only survivors of a global war will be on the right side of the border.

About Zanne Raby

Since the days of the Napoleonic War, there has always been a member of Zanne’s family in uniform. Choosing to follow in the footsteps of her ancestors, Zanne joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1980, and was selected to attend the Royal Military College of Canada – the first year that women were accepted into that prestigious academy of learning. After graduation, she studied to become a Transportation and Movements Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

During a career spanning 38 years, some of the most memorable experiences involved command of 8 Mission Support Squadron as part of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, leading a study on support to the Canadian Arctic involving several trips to Northern Canada, including Canadian Forces Station Alert (the most northern settlement in the world), a three–year tour with NATO at Joint Force Command Brunssum, a deployment as the NATO Liaison Officer to United States Central Command, and finally a nomination as the Deputy Commander for the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group.

After hanging up the uniform and putting away the combat boots, Zanne bought a small acreage in Central Ontario and designed her own house. With an office overlooking the picturesque shores of Georgian Bay, surrounded by maps and images of alien worlds, she is pursuing her life-long ambition to become an author. Enough of the reports and returns that littered her desk over her career, now she could turn her attention to unleashing the creativity that had taken a back seat to the analytical world of logistics. The time had come to shake the dust off and begin a new career. The winds of change had called.

Zanne is currently crafting The Chronicles of Deneb, a sci-fi series that will take the reader from a dystopian earth on a voyage across the galaxy in search of a safe haven. But the planets the team discover provide anything but the sanctuary they sought. In her spare time, Zanne enjoys travel, photography, hiking, and gardening. And always, a good story to pass the time.

Zanne Raby shares her thoughts

I like to ask other authors if they had a minor character in their book who insisted on playing a larger a role. Zanne Raby definitely did and she’s going to tell you about it in her own words.

I’m really excited at being featured as a guest author on the Seven Troublesome Sisters blog and I’d like to thank Sherrie Cronin for inviting me to write about my latest novel, Descent into Darkness, the second book in the sci-fi/ space opera series, “The Chronicles of Deneb”.

You remember back in high school that kid who sat in the back of the class and didn’t say too much? Kind of a mysterious, secretive type? When all the popular kids were hanging out, they were always in the shadows. A minor character who just blended in. Yup, you knew somebody like that, right? Well, when I began writing the first novel in the series, I created a character just like that. Except she just didn’t know her place. And that’s what I’m going to write about – a minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story.

First though, a bit of background. The thread that runs through the entire series revolves around a crew of humans who flee a dying Earth. Dr. Daniel Radu, a brilliant astronautical engineer teams up with a Nobel-prize winning astrophysicist named Dr. Tara Kóbor, and they start off as the main characters in the opening chapters of the first novel in the series (the Flight of the Mayflower, by the way). Add to that a small crew aboard a gargantuan Space Ark zipping across the galaxy on the look out for a new planet to call home. Well, they make it safely except that the world they thought was virgin territory is already taken and the welcome wagon is anything but welcoming.

Enter my bit player: General Ravenna. So my crew of plucky human space travellers get set to dock their spacecraft on Deneb7 and settle right in. Instead, they’re met by an armed Denebian war force, with the ruthless and powerful General Ravenna in charge of the nation’s army. Ravenna was just a minor character whose role was to throw everything the Denebian war host had at what they thought was an alien invasion. Then she was supposed to vanish into the cream-coloured pages of the novel.

But Ravenna wasn’t satisfied with staying in the wings, oh no! She blossoms, and like a vine begins to spread across the pages. After all, Ravenna’s a powerful woman and not one to be kept down. When the humans manage to convince President Meryx that they’re just peaceful intergalactic migrants with every intention of integrating into Denebian society, Ravenna smells a rat. It’s not like she got to where she was by being trusting, and this ferocious woman with a mysterious past suddenly rises to major character status. Finding herself doubting the nation’s leader, the loyal but mistrustful officer dutifully carries out the mission all the while doubt dances through her mind. And of course, she blames the humans for pulling the wool over the eyes of the nation. So my minor character now vaults into stardom by doing her utmost to unveil the truth, and she stops at absolutely nothing in her quest to be proven right. In the meantime, she thrusts reason aside when a sophisticated assassin crosses paths with her before coming to the conclusion that there’s no love left for a woman with a scarred history. Then there’s misguided loyalties that come back to haunt her when a blast from the past blows in General Diti Cavell, an old friend who takes no prisoners herself. When her own life hangs by a thread, can Ravenna tear the cords that bind her to the past? Will she learn to trust and let her guard down just enough to find a future where happiness awaits? I found myself exploring the notion of giving up control and allowing others in to your life through General Ravenna’s eyes. That’s not easy for a powerful, intelligent, and resourceful woman like Ravenna and let me tell you, she sure made it impossible for me to hold her down as a minor player once the planet of Deneb begins its Descent into Darkness.

Find Zanne Raby

WEBSITE zanneraby.com
FACEBOOK Zanne Raby
INSTAGRAM @zanne_raby
GOODREADS Zanne Raby
AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL Zanne Raby

Buy Descent Into Darkness

Buy at AMAZON.COM
Buy at AMAZON.CA
Buy at  BARNES & NOBLE
Buy at KOBO
Buy at  SMASHWORDS

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Nagib looked overhead at the sun and shook his head. “I’m starting to think that Brynn’s right, Charra. Maybe they’re not coming after all.” His wife threw her hands to her hips and swivelled to face her husband.

“We wait, husband. And you’d do better to wipe that dirt smudge from your tunic.”

With her chin pointing at him defiantly, Nagib knew he was beaten and lowered his head timidly. “She’s only nine Charra, and she’s so full of life. Can’t this wait a few more years?”

“What are you, stupid or something?” his wife fumed. “It’s for this very reason, wasn’t it, that we made the match in the first place. This daughter of yours has too much spirit, and I blame you for encouraging her. If we wait any longer, her behaviour will shame us and then no family will want this girl who doesn’t know her place in the world.”

Frowning partly in frustration and mostly in impotent anger at his wife, Nagib turned his back on Charra. My fault? As if this wife of mine knows her place, he fumed, tucking his hands into the sleeves of his billowing tunic. But still, he knew that Charra was a good woman, one who bore him strong children and had nursed him through the illness with no complaints. And she looked the other way when he stayed high in the hills with his flocks, long past the hot days of summer after the other shepherds had driven their animals back to the valleys and winter villages where the Geiten congregated during the short months of the Cooling. Truth be told, he knew Charra did not love him, nor did he care much for her. But theirs was a partnership built for survival and in that they had succeeded in their match. Only he held hope in his heart for more than this for his daughter, the sprite who touched his heart with her dear ways.

Around them, the circle of villagers started to rustle impatiently like the tall grasses in the wind, everyone wondering if sickness had carried away the young bridegroom and his mother, or if they had fallen prey to the bloodwolves that had recently learned to appreciate the taste of Geiten flesh. And mingling amongst the Geiten of Urkyn was a cluster of beings who from a distance could pass for foreigners from any one of the planets that made up the Interstellar Collective for Peace and Security.

Thank you!

Zanne Raby — we appreciate your sharing your book Descent Into Darkness with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Gingerbread Curse

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author April Marcom and her fantasy fairy tale novel, The Gingerbread Curse.

Author’s description

All her life, Falon’s grandfather told her the age-old tale of ‘The Gingerbread Man’. Even as a teenager, she’d fallen asleep to his favorite bedtime story, a special tradition she knew she’d never outgrow.  However, when he makes a dying wish, asking her to visit a secret underground world of magic to rescue the best friend he left behind fifty years ago, the tale begins to come to life.

Setting out with her self-obsessed cousin and a cure for the magicked man with skin like gingerbread, she finds herself tangled within an adventure nothing like the story her grandfather always told.

Once having found the long lost man of her grandfather’s youth, her only hope of ever returning home, or even surviving his world, lies in the talons of a deadly hybrid she scarcely trusts. Together they must face the animals taken from the children’s tale and magicked into monsters, a man who can move mountains who is bent on killing them all, and a labyrinth rumored to have never allowed a survivor.

About April Marcom

April Marcom works as a Pre-K teacher’s assistant, but her true passion is writing. When she’s not teaching or creating stories, she’s enjoying the country life with her car-obsessed husband and three fabulous children.

She also enjoys rainy days, traveling, and her very rowdy dogs. April grew up a southern bell in Mississippi, but is now a proud Oklahoman.

Find April Marcom

Website: http://www.5princebooks.com/aprilmarcom.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AprilMarcom

Buy The Gingerbread Curse

The book will be $0.99 at
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Gingerbread-Curse-April-Marcom-ebook/dp/B07M7Q4PQY
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-gingerbread-curse/id1449194526
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-gingerbread-curse
B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gingerbread-curse-april-marcom/1130194688?ean=2940161412503

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

A thrill shot through me as I approached the spectacular tree. Something wonderful was about to happen, or something I might very well regret for the rest of my life. Either way, I was simply too hungry, and there was too much time ahead of me with no food, to have a choice in eating it or not…

I stared at all the tear drops. None stood out especially. The ones closer to the trunk of the tree were the biggest. My appetite was pushing me in their direction. I followed one of the branches inward, wondering if a larger crystal meant a stronger ability. No amount of time trying to decide which one would make any difference. And part of me was terribly excited to discover which of Sierra’s ‘gifts’ I was about to inherit.

The leaves twinkled and sparkled against one another. I reached out for the largest one in sight, wondering if it might give me fearlessness or musical ability or wisdom beyond my years, but stopped at the last moment when I noticed the one hanging just above it. Frost-like patterns etched over the higher crystal created a perfect calligraphy F. It was as if my name was written on it. This was the one.

I reached out with both hands and cupped them around the leaf, catching nearly every purple petal. They had a chill to them, and felt damp as if they’d been painted with fresh morning dew. The rest liquefied, one by one, as they hit the ground.

Cautiously, I ate one petal. The sweet burst that erupted like grape juice inside my mouth was so delightful, I ate the rest without restraint.

April Marcom answers a question

just for us!

In my books I’ve always had one minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story. So I asked April Marcom if there was there such a character in her novel.  It looks like there was.  I’ll let her tell you about it …

I guess I’d say Aurora’s kind of like that. She starts out as a minor character (Falon’s new cousin by marriage), but has become rather good at bullying her way into the spotlight throughout her perfect Barbie doll-style life. Once she and Falon are trapped underground and immortality’s at their fingertips, Aurora’s number one reason for wanting to escape and return to normal life is that everyone down there seems to like Falon better than her. That’s not something she’s used to, nor is it something she’s willing to put up with. 

Spoiler Alert: When she and Falon reach Sierra’s magical island and each are offered a special, surprise ability, Aurora receives the gift of seeing people based on their inner beauty. She realizes she’s hideous and accuses Sierra of ruining her life, but knows she’s got to make some changes.

Thank you!

April Marcom — we appreciate your sharing your thoughts and your book The Gingerbread Curse with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.