Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Monique Gliozzi and her supernatural thriller novel, Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished.

Author’s description

When Hank Gild is given the opportunity to take up his dream job, he accepts the offer with excitement. As a tour guide at the historical imperial castle on Lake Starnberg, Hank delights his guests with stories of the late Bavarian emperor-his antics, his precious artifacts and the mystery shrouding his death in 1886. But it seems that not all the castle’s visitors are of pure heart. Before long, Hank is forced down a path of greed, deception and danger with no way out. A once happy and simple life unexpectedly becomes a treacherous nightmare. Who can he trust? Can Hank save himself before learning the ultimate lesson?

You be the Judge

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog,  I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel.

Monique Gliozzi gave it some thought and decided she had one but the reader needs to decide how big a role her intruder got. It’s an intriguing response and one I’ve never gotten before. Read on to see what I mean.

Historically in my previous novellas, I’ve always had a main protagonist and created the plot around them, weaving different characters into the story line. Facets of the Past is no different. The main players are Hank, our hero, Karl and his niece, the evil villains and masterminds behind the treacherous deed that Hank finds himself embroiled in. Early in the piece we meet Helena, an official of the museum (imperial palace) who helps Hank become accustomed to his responsibilities as a tour guide. Initially, I thought of leaving it at that, but something told me to create a little more of a role for her, which would bring more depth to Hank’s character. So after some soul searching, her persona became more involved with the plot while still remaining in the wings of the story’s suspense. You might be asking yourself, is there a little romance between the two? Well I will let you decide and be the judge of the path I chose for them.

The Author’s Story

Born in Dublin, Dr Monique Gliozzi, a graduate from the University of Western Australia medical school, has a keen interest in forensic sciences and psychiatry. She works as a psychiatrist in Perth, with ties to the UWA School of Psychiatry, where she has had a role as a senior clinical lecturer. Her love for teaching granted her a nomination for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.

Monique also holds an interest in aviation. She trained at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, where she obtained a commercial pilot license. Following this, Monique completed her instructor rating and is now working on a casual basis as a senior flight instructor.

Monique rekindled her passion for writing starting with the fictional thriller Foresight, followed by Hunted and ghostly encounters in Vestige. Her latest book, Diversity, is a compilation of entertaining short stories of different genres.

Find the Author

WEBSITE  — https://moniquegliozzi.com/
BLOG — https://paranormalpsychiatrist.com/
FACEBOOK — https://www.facebook.com/moniquegliozziauthor
INSTAGRAM — https://www.instagram.com/monique.gliozzi/?hl=en
TWITTER — https://twitter.com/GliozziMonique

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM — https://amazon.com/dp/0228848903
INDIGO CHAPTERS — https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/facets-of-the-past-no/9780228848929-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/facets-of-the-past-monique-gliozzi/1139129049
RAKUTEN KOBO — https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/facets-of-the-past
SMASHWORDS — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1076824
APPLE BOOKS — https://books.apple.com/us/book/facets-of-the-past-no-dark-deed-goes-unpunished/id1561052315

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

Sliding behind the tapestry immortalizing the king’s coronation, then positioning my flashlight to take full advantage of its beam, I went to work. The old lock cracked within seconds. The click echoing around the room appeared loud to my already adrenaline-laden senses. With a heart pounding like a jackhammer, I reached for the handle, savoring the feeling of cold brass against my clammy palm. The little secret door was finally ajar.

Anyone familiar with old doors would know that they never open quietly, their hinges invariably will creak. This one was no different. A rush of cold musty air rushed past me. Shining the torch, I could see that behind this partition was a short narrow corridor leading to a set of steps. Glancing at my watch, I noted there was still time before a second security sweep would be needed.

Tentatively, I walked into the unknown, first tackling the corridor and steep set of winding stairs to another locked door. As I prepared to pick its lock, images of an archaeological expedition crossed my mind – Tutankhamen. The oppressive musty air, steep dark tunnels and unlawful intrusion were some similarities taunting with my moral compass. I hoped that there were no microorganisms in this space causing a mysterious and deadly affliction or, worse, a curse.

Sweat built on my brow, the tools slipped from between my moist fingers, but eventually I opened the second door, revealing yet another very long tunnel. The ceiling was arched and low, suitable for anyone of shorter stature than my six-foot frame. As I walked bent over like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I calculated the approximate length of this tunnel to be eight hundred yards. Finally, reaching its end, another door beckoned to be unlocked. Putting my skill to good use, within seconds I found myself in a small underground room.

Shining the beam around the space, a sense of uncanny familiarity befell me. Then, at the far end of the antique wine cellar, I recognized a set of wooden steps. I was in the cellar of my cottage! Relieved at having completed this little adventure unscathed, I decided to retrace my steps back to the castle.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Hank!”

Startled, I spun around, my flashlight catching a dark hooded shape emerging from the shadows.

“Who are you? How do you know my name?” The harshness of my tone barely disguised my fear. The figure slowly stepped toward the middle of the room, his head bowed and face still concealed by the hood of what appeared to be a monk’s habit. He stood in silence.

“Who are you?” I demanded. Then, slowly lifting his head toward the light, revealing a sunken midface, sharply jutting jaw, a long beaked nose, and black penetrating eyes, the stranger answered, sending a chill down my spine.

“Call me the Handyman.”

Thank you!

Monique Gliozzi  — we appreciate your sharing your book Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Unbound (The Witches of Doyle Book 10)

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Kirsten Weiss and her paranormal mystery novel, Unbound (The Witches of Doyle Book 10)

Author’s description

Three Witches and a Metaphysical Detective…

 

Riga just wants to mentor three young witches and go home. Doyle witch Jayce wouldn’t take help if it landed on her. But when a man is murdered in front of their eyes, these two must learn to work together. Because a dead man is the least of their worries… Jayce Bonheim loves magic and Doyle, California. But she and her small town have been paying a deadly price for the fairy gate she and her sisters can’t close. Now, a society of dark magicians has returned to town, a deadly winged monster has come through the gate, and an old friend has been murdered. And the new mentor who’s supposed to help Jayce and her sisters seems to have an agenda of her own…

 

It was supposed to be a simple training gig for Riga Hayworth, not a murder investigation. Still reeling from a tragic mistake in her past, she’s determined to stay retired. But the murder and the town’s magic seem tied together. Can Riga resist the lure of an investigation?

 

A thrilling and funny paranormal mystery, packed with magic, mystery, and murder. Perfect for fans of Mercy Thompson, Supernatural, and Charlaine Harris. Buy Unbound and start reading this page-turning witch mystery.

About the Author

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/pie-town-mysteries, Tea and Tarot -https://www.kirstenweiss.com/tea-and-tarot-mysteries, Paranormal Museum-  http://www.kirstenweiss.com/the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-mus-1 and Wits’ End –  http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-cozy-mystery-series books.

If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-witch-cozy-mysteries, Riga Hayworth –  http://www.kirstenweiss.com/riga-hayworth-paranormal-mysteries and Rocky Bridges – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/rocky-bridges-mysteries books a try.

And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/sensibility-grey-steampunk-suspense series might be for you.

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com

Feel free to follow her on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss – https://www.pinterest.com/kirstenweiss/ or on Bookbub – http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss, get in touch on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/, post a picture of this book to Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kirstenweissauthor/
and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email.
She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Find the Author

Email: kweiss2001@kirstenweiss.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/
Instagram: @KirstenWeissAuthor
Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss

Book Series:
Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/sensibility-grey-steampunk-suspense,
Tea and Tarot cozy mysterieshttps://www.kirstenweiss.com/tea-and-tarot-mysteries,
The Pie Town cozy mysterieshttp://www.kirstenweiss.com/pie-town-mysteries,
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mysterieshttp://www.kirstenweiss.com/the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-mus-1,
The Doyle Witchhttp://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-witch-cozy-mysteries
Doyle Cozyhttp://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-cozy-mystery-series mystery novels,
The Riga Hayworthhttp://www.kirstenweiss.com/riga-hayworth-paranormal-mysteries  paranormal mysteries.

Buy the Book

Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08YMYK6QW

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author 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

“A black lodge in Doyle? Don’t you think you could have led with that?” I had mad respect for Mrs. Steinberg, but honestly. She’d dropped that intel for maximum dramatic effect.

The old lady set down her e-cigarette. “Not a black lodge. The Black Lodge. The one from San Francisco that’s been causing us so much trouble.”

“How do you know?” Riga asked quietly.

The old lady reached into her black handbag on the table and pulled out another square business card. She flung it onto the stained tablecloth. “Because the cheeky devils introduced themselves.”

My sisters and I shared a look.

“I know,” Mrs. Steinberg said. “They walked up to me, bold as brass, and they… and they…”

“They what?” I prompted and glanced at Riga. Why had Mrs. Steinberg hired her? Riga didn’t look that tough. She couldn’t be more than five-six in her low-heeled boots. Her eyes were odd—a sort of browny-purply. What sort of magic did she have?

“They brought flowers.” Mrs. Steinberg bristled. “Irises. My favorite.”

I rolled my eyes. “That does sound intimidating.” Looking at the tablecloth, I grounded myself and extended my senses toward Riga. I felt power, cold and empty. And yes, I know empty doesn’t exactly sound powerful. But hers was the empty of space, vast and deadly and terrifying.

I looked up. Riga was watching me.

Thank you!

Kirsten Weiss  — we appreciate your sharing your book Unbound (The Witches of Doyle Book 10) with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Critical Hit

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author W.M. Akers and his mystery/thriller novel, Critical Hit.

Author’s description

How do you win a game that’s trying to kill you?

 

A twenty-nine year-old clerk at a games store in the Appalachian hamlet of Jett Creek, Tennessee, Callie Myles lives for the weekly RPG sessions run by her beloved brother and gamesmaster, LB. Under his watchful eye, she and her friends wage war, harness magic, and battle evil. When the dice are rolling, they are heroes, and all of Callie’s anxieties slip away. The fun stops the night LB burns to death in a bizarre fire.

 

Asked by her friends to keep the weekly game alive, Callie does her best to set her grief aside. She puts on the monocle LB wore during sessions and finds herself sucked into a life-sized recreation of her brother’s game. Inhabiting the body of her beloved character, the legendary Arabeth, she thinks she has found the ultimate escape. Her paradise is spoiled when she discovers that something inside the game killed LB—and one of her fellow players was in on it.

 

To save herself, to avenge her brother, Callie Myles must pull on her armor and beat LB’s game from the inside out. If she gets killed along the way, well, at least she’s having a great time.

 

A fast-paced hybrid of mystery and adventure, CRITICAL HIT captures the breakneck joy of tabletop gaming, where life and death depend on the whims of a plastic die. It will be on Kickstarter from May 25 to June 25, and available on DriveThruFiction and Amazon after that.

About the Author

W.M. Akers is a novelist, playwright, and game designer. He is the author of the mystery novels Westside and Westside Lights; the creator of the bestselling games Deadball: Baseball With Dice and Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG; and the curator of

the history newsletter Strange Times. Born in Nashville, he spent a lucky thirteen years in New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2019. Learn more about his work at wmakers.net.

Find the Author

Personal: wmakers.net
Newsletter: strangetimes.substack.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ouijum
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wmakers?fan_landing=true
FB: http://facebook.com/ouijum

Kickstart Program

Book Kickstarter goes live on the morning of 5/25 at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author 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

Somewhere far from Blackbriar Keep, a barricade of empty beer cans and crumpled chip bags ringed a plastic castle. On the white grid that represented its muddy courtyard, four one-inch miniature Heroes were locked in deadly combat with the dozen figurines that represented a Horde of thousands. They were beautiful little figurines, but all eyes were on the other end of the table. Nothing mattered but Arabeth.

She had one leg raised, her bowstring drawn taut, and a look of extreme do-not-fuck-with-me on her face. I’d spent twenty-two hours painting her, deploying all my tricks to bring her plastic to life. From her forest green boots to the curls of her rich brown hair, every millimeter was perfect. Tonight, perfect was what it would take.

It was April 2003, when tops were cropped and pants were cargo, when fedoras and trucker hats still seemed like good ideas, when America was already getting bored with its new war. More importantly, it was a Thursday, which meant the back room at Critical Hit was ours. Stale beer and smoke polluted the air. Imitation wood paneling peeled from a drop ceiling that was nearly as stained as the pea green carpet. The walls were close, or I guess the table was too big, because you couldn’t shift your seat without banging into one or the other. Absolutely no breeze drifted through the little window on the far wall. Grimy lace curtains hid us from the rest of the games shop. It was a pit, but it had to be the happiest pit on earth.

The man who brought magic into that little room sat at the head of the table. One hand rested on his gut; the other twisted a beard flicked with red ale. His eyes—one bare, the other behind that ridiculous monocle—were slits. A playful smile drifted across his face as he tried to figure out what might happen next. He looked like a big, gentle grizzly bear. A stranger might have mistaken him for just another geek. They’d never have guessed that my big brother was the greatest gamemaster in the world.

“You sure you want to do this?” he asked.

“I think I already have.”

Thank you!

W.M. Akers — we appreciate your sharing your book Critical Hit with us! Best of luck with this on Kickstarter, and with all of your future writing.

The Electric Girl

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Christine Hart and her YA/magic realism/sci-fi novel, The Electric Girl.

Author’s description

Polly Michaels is trying to forget that her mom has cancer. She keeps busy at school and plods through a normal social life. Until a freak electrical storm and a unicorn appear in the orchard next to her house.

Sy’kai wakes on an orchard floor to the smell of rotting cherries and wet earth. She doesn’t know where she is—or what she is—but she knows something is hunting her.

Polly recruits her friends to find the mysterious creature she saw from her window while Sy’kai, a confused shape-shifting endling from another dimension tries to piece her mind back together. Once the human girls find Sy’kai (whom they nickname Psyche) the mystery unravels and the danger facing all of them comes into focus.

A gritty struggle ranges throughout the girls’ rural hometown and in the wild terrain around it. All while two questions hang over their heads. Can an alien deliver a miracle for a human mother? Can a group of teens defeat an interdimensional demon?

About the Author

Christine Hart writes from her suburban home on BC’s beautiful West Coast. She specializes in speculative fiction for young readers. Her stories feature detailed real-world landscapes as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.

Christine’s backlist includes YA, NA, and MG titles, including the speculative trilogy The Variant Conspiracy. Her debut YA, Watching July, won a gold medal from the Moonbeam Children’s awards in the mature issues category and an honourable mention from the Sunburst Awards.

Christine holds a BA in English and Professional Writing, as well as current membership with the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.

She works as a content and communications specialist for a technology studio in Vancouver. And when not writing, she creates wearable art from recycled metals under the guise of her Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller.  She shares her eclectic lifestyle with her husband and two children.

Find the Author

Learn more about Christine and her books at www.christine-hart.ca.

My Thoughts on This Book

The Electric Girl not only surprised me, it reminded me of what a difference an author’s skill makes. I began the book disappointed to discover I was reading one more tale of high school students going through a portal and saving the world. Then I got to the second chapter and saw earth through the eyes of a frightened alien. Hmm. Not what I expected.

After she lays this groundwork, Hart tells her story by going back and forth between these two points of view. Her prose is engaging and her approach is downright clever. The tale may be almost as old as time, but she seldom resorts to over-used tropes and her characters remain likable and real. Even the alien. Actually, especially the alien.

I raced through this book and I recommend it to those of any age looking for a quick, fun story.  Grab a copy and take it to the beach. You’ll be glad you did.

Buy the Book

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Girl-Christine-Hart-ebook/dp/B08RW676HV/

The book will be $0.99.

Yes, there are giveaways!

Christine Hart will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC. In addition, the author will award a $50 gift certificate to the author’s Etsy shop Sleepless Storyteller (https://www.etsy.com/shop/sleeplessstoryteller) and a $100 gift certificate to the author’s Etsy shop (International) 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

Polly crept softly downstairs and into the vaulted kitchen. In the window behind the double sink, her mom’s stained-glass butterfly reflected a glint of moonlight. Her gaze darted from the window to the sliding glass doors across the room, behind a small round oak table. A greasy takeout box and two plates of chicken bones on the counter—her mom’s only half-eaten—glistened in the faint light. She paused next to the table, gripped the padded back of a dining chair, and leaned toward the glass door. She peered out, across the backyard and into the orchard.

A large beacon of light flickered in the trees. It moved, as if floating. No, not floating—walking. The intense glow, marked by dark strips of trunk and branch, moved at a measured pace. She squinted, trying to make out an outline of . . . whatever it was that meandered through the trees.

It’s an animal. It has to be!

She lifted the latch on the sliding glass door and gently opened it. Chilly night air rushed in, smelling of ozone and the earth. Her flannel nightgown billowed in the breeze. She placed a bare foot on the smooth concrete of the patio. The cold was sharp and shot straight through Polly, causing her to gasp, but she forced herself to keep moving. She stepped all the way out and slid the door back into place, almost closing it but not quite.

The roving light in the orchard had grown larger. It was weaving between the dark rows of trees in the distance. The undulating pace of it . . . it wasn’t human. Whatever it was, it was moving—walking, she thought, but not on two legs.

Polly put one foot in front of the other, compelled by her need to know. She crossed the backyard, reaching the bumpy bare earth of the orchard floor. She steadied herself against a tree trunk as adrenaline raced through her veins. She leaned into the tree, hoping to conceal her figure without losing sight of the creature, whatever it was.

She waited, watching in both awe and terror as the glowing animal came closer. The creature made no sound at all. Polly watched, eyes trained on the glow itself, until finally she could make out a shape—a long, muscular torso flexed above four knobby legs. Pointed ears flickered.

It’s a horse! A white mare! Oh my god, she’s so bright.

The horse turned its head, flashing a spiraled horn—unmistakable against the dark branches around them.

NO WAY!

“Polly? Are you out there?” she heard her mom call. She turned to see her mom’s silhouette standing in the kitchen. Her mom flicked on a light, spilling yellow across the yard. Polly whipped around to see the unicorn again, but the orchard had grown dark, full of silent indigo trees.

The glowing animal was gone.

Thank you!

Christine Hart — we appreciate your sharing your book The Electric Girl with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Moonshine, Magic, and Murder

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author January Bain and her witchy cozy mystery novel, Moonshine, Magic, and Murder.

Author’s description

Charm McCall has a proven track record for solving small-town mysteries, but can she figure out how to deal with a life event that threatens to harm the McCall clan…

 

Charm McCall is once more on the hunt to figure out why her cat has been seeing a ghost, why she’s been shown a treasure map by, gulp, a dead guy and why her Auntie T.J. has suddenly disappeared, bagpipes and all. That would be more than enough, but with the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance and its accompanying promise bags to create and spell, to help her fellow Goddesses get their dearest wishes fulfilled, she’s about run off her feet. Not to mention that now it’s legal to sell marijuana in Canada, orders for pot brownies are spilling in and threatening to crash her online store.

 

Charm discovers she needs all the help she can get to deal with the arrival of her mother and the beyond painful host of problems that creates for her family, find her Auntie T.J. to save her hiney and discover who the real murderer is. That is, if she wants her romance with Snowy Lake’s sexy Mountie, Ace Collins, to have any hope of deepening…

About the Author

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

Find the Author

Blog Address – http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/
Twitter Name – https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
Manitoba Tea & Tarot Mysteries page: https://www.facebook.com/CozyCharms
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437282.January_Bain

Buy the Book

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Y91SN2B/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author 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

Behind me, I experienced the emotions of my sisters burning into my back. The town was suddenly silent, like the whole universe was holding its collective breath. Goddess, do not fail me now. I ask for your protection and understanding. I sent the prayer into the crisp morning air before turning a benevolent smile toward my favorite Mountie.

“Morning, darlin’. I trust you will be talking to your aunt for me? Sharing my concerns over her breaking the town’s sound ordinance, jaywalking and obstructing traffic on Main Street laws?”

I glanced around pointedly, about to say that no one was waiting to drive down the street that I could see, when he reached out to take my hand with his far larger and far warmer one, throwing me off-kilter in a heartbeat. I nodded mutely as a momentous electrical charge coursed through me, making me feel I could provide lighting for the entire town. I groaned, only imaging what Tulip was observing with her new-found gift of reading auras. Now she had ammunition up the yin-yang for blackmail or teasing. Had I just lost the oldest sister advantage?

Trying to tug my hand away from his without appearing too obvious about it didn’t work. He held on, then did the unexpected—leaned his head down toward me and captured my lips for a kiss. A modest one for certain, quite quick, but oh so memorable. My insides trembled at the pleasurable sensations that rippled through me.

When he pulled his head away, he gave me a certain look from under the brim of his Stetson, then let go of my hand. “Be sure to talk to your aunt or I will.”

“Are you threatening me?” Hands back on hips, I glared at him with all the emotions our impossible-to-consummate relationship produced. Until we knew for absolute, unequivocally dead certain that he was my one true love, we couldn’t do much at all as it might jeopardize my goddess-given gifts.

My searcher gift—finding lost items—wouldn’t be missed near as much as my healing gift, because the whole town counted on that. And as Granny Toogood had shared a few weeks back, if I gave myself to someone who wasn’t The One, I’d lose it all. And the town wasn’t helping us a bit on this one. Instead, it was always interrupting us. If we didn’t steal kisses on the run, there’d be none at all.

“No, Miss McCall. But consider yourself fully warned of the consequences for your aunt if you don’t fix this thing. I don’t want to hear it happens for a fourth day.” A twitch that I had observed on the odd occasion began in his cheek. He was feeling the effects of our needing to restraint ourselves to only kisses as much as me. Good. Fair play. Though, in truth, it was more a hesitation on Ace’s part than mine. I was about ninety-nine-point-nine percent certain he was my one. I just had to persuade everyone else that it was the case. That my healing gift would stay intact.

“I’ll handle it,” I said, tucking my hands behind my back while rolling on the balls of my feet. Nice to see a man sweat. Not that I didn’t want more than a few chaste kisses from Ace, but in the meantime, it was a fun if somewhat frustrating time. And I was pretty sure I knew how it would all end. Or at least I had my hopes.

Another light standard winked as if it too were going to blow. “Oh, relax already. I got this.” I turned and headed back into the café, bracing myself for my sister’s comments.

Thank you!

January Bain — we appreciate your sharing your book Moonshine, Magic, and Murder with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

I’m in SPFBO7: Take Deep Breaths

I keep lists of ideas for new ways to promote my self-published books and I seldom follow through on them. Too much work. Too expensive. Probably won’t make a bit of difference. It’s easy to get discouraged in the world of self-publishing.

One idea got moved from list to list.  I became aware of a contest a few years ago that looked promising called SPFBO (aka self-published fantasy blog off — not bake off.) But every time I saw it, the contest was in progress and I never could figure out where to find the schedule or the rules. Oh well, it probably costs a fortune anyway. And if it doesn’t they won’t let me in.

Then late at night 3 days ago, I skimmed a post from a blog and I saw it. The contest, the SPFBO, was opening the next day! More amazing, it was free and would accept the first 300 people who signed up. This was unbelievable. It didn’t surprise me to discover that last year it filled in under 24 hours.

However, there was one small problem. That same day, the next day, Friday the 14th, was the release day for my latest book She’s the One Who Gets in Fights.

I had three different book release things happening  plus a slew of other related promotional ideas to pursue. Could I possibly get myself entered into this SBFBO thingy as well? Of course I could.

I went to bed determined.  I’d get up and find a way to do it all.

I woke up at 6:59 am to the sound of my wave noise generator stopping. That’s weird. It’s never shut off before. I opened my eyes to see the ceiling fan slowing down.

No!

I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina and every once in a while we lose power up in these hills. Like once every year or two… Not today. Please not today.

But yes, the gods of stress were having a small chuckle at my expense. I found a way to make hot tea (no coffee!) No shower (our well runs on electricity.) I started doing what I could from my phone. Dim that screen. Make that battery last.

However, entering SBFBO was one thing my phone couldn’t do. Did it have enough oomph to be an adequate hot spot for my laptop? Was my laptop well enough charged? If I’d just known this was going to happen …

Entries opened at 2 pm my time. I watched the hours pass, considering a drive into the nearest small town. Since Covid hit, I didn’t know of a single place offering inside space and free internet. Had that changed? Could I make it over to Asheville? Surely they had something.

I must have become boring to watch, for at about 10:30 the gods of stress released their hold on our power lines and  the refrigerator began to hum.

Okay, I can do this now. I can do this. Breath. Slowly.

And of course I did do it because in spite of all my panic it was remarkably easy to enter. I even managed most of my promotional book release stuff, too.

When I woke up Saturday to plenty of wonderful power surging through my home there was also excitement surging through my veins. Someone put all the entered books on Goodreads. Someone else made a list of all the judges. One entrant asked what we all did for a living and the answers were pouring in. This looked to be an exciting thing to be a part of!

Encouragement poured in as well, especially to us nervous first time entrants. I’d read that one of the joys of this endeavor was a sense of community and it looks like no one was joking about that.

So, here I am, in touch with 299 other self-published fantasy writers. Some have have far more success to their names than I do while others have only begun their journey, submitting their first novel. I’m humbled to be in this group and grateful for the whim that led me to read the thing that clued me in to the timing.

Isn’t life funny, in so many ways?

Sulphur has arrived!

I’m quite proud of Sulphur’s story and it fills me with joy that her tale now sees the light of day. Yes you can find her on Amazon today and preorder her on Smashwords. She’ll make her way onto Apple, Kobo, and B&N over the days ahead. Trust me, she’s one take-no-shit woman you can’t help but like.

Three wonderful groups help me promote her today.

Justine of Whispers and Wonders let me do a guest post about writing historical fantasy, and she is featuring Sulphur’s release day in this lovely post. Thank you Justine!

The North Carolina Writer’s Network  featured me in today’s Book Buzz! I’m so glad I found this organization and the wealth of tools and services they offer.

And … R&R book tours is hosting a marvelous release day book blitz!

See all sorts of posts below.

Hosts

Phantom of the Library – https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

Jessica Belmont – https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review – http://www.thefaeriereview.com 

Lilyana Shadowlyn – https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com

Rambling Mads – http://ramblingmads.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales – https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Stine Writing – https://christinebialczak.com/

Indie’s Review – http://indieproreview.blogspot.com/

Nessa’s Lair – https://nessaslair.com/

Didi Oviatt – https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Lunarian Press – https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Nesie’s Place – https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@fle_d – https://www.instagram.com/fle_d/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Clockwork Igni

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Christina Bauer and her YA urban fantasy, Clockwork Igni.

Author’s description

Long live the me! As Queen of Antrum, I rule an underground realm of demon hunters who love finding new caves. Hey, it’s boring down here; I’m glad they all have a hobby. Per usual, I try to act interested about their latest discovery, but all I hear is “blah blah blah new cavern blah blah blah Forbidden Tombs blah blah blah massive bronze pyramids blah blah blah creepy ticking sounds.” It’s a little odd, but I’m not worried.

My bad.

Suddenly, the Forbidden Tombs burst through the ground in my home realm of Purgatory. Bronze pyramids smash through abandoned buildings and highways, making rush hour a nightmare. Even worse, the metal structures attract tiny lightning bolts called igni, which are my very special supernatural buddies. Within minutes, every last igni gets stolen away.

Now. I’m. Pissed.

Whoever hides inside those pyramids? Time to dust off your mummies and shine up your sarcophagi. Because my husband, Lincoln, and I are breaking in and kicking ass.

 

Angelbound Origins

In which Myla Lewis kicks ass and takes names. Nuff said.

1. Angelbound

2. Scala

3. Acca

4. Thrax

5. The Dark Lands

6. The Brutal Time

7. Armageddon

8. Quasi Redux

9. Clockwork Igni

10. Lady Reaper

About the Author

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too. Christina lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby. She loves to connect with her fans at BauersBooks.com.

Find the Author

Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!
Blog: http://monsterhousebooks.com/blog/category/christina
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/
Twitter: @CB_Bauer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cb-bauer-481b12139/
Web site: http://monsterhousebooks.com/authors/cbauer

Buy the Book

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Clockwork-Igni-Angelbound-Origins-Book-ebook/dp/B08JZ9LFZH

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding an angel/demon necklace 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.

An Excerpt

I stand in a small square room. A heavy iron door looms before me. All around, the walls are lined with intricately-entwined gears and springs. Tiny pieces whirl and tick away at high speed. With each click and swipe, a tiny jolt of worry ricochets down my spine. Sweat beads on my palms.

I’m girl enough to admit it. This scene freaks me out.

No question why, either. This isn’t just any metal portal. It’s Pandora’s Door. As in, the girl didn’t keep a box of nasties. Nope. Instead, something awful lurks behind this very entrance. If I pull on the handle, that magical whatchamacallit gets free. Based on what I’ve learned, the mystery something-something could make everything right again. In other words, my igni would return. I’ll move souls once more. The Great Scala is back. How perfect.

Or I could release an unknown scourge that destroys all the after-realms. Definitely not as cool.

A memory appears. I picture Verus giving me a solemn warning: “No matter how tempting the door may appear, you must step back and walk away.”

It’s logical enough advice. Plus, Verus is an oracle angel. In my experience, she’s right most of the time. Perhaps I should give up. Go home. Play with my kid. Smooch my hottie husband. Get a mocha.

That lasts all of five seconds.

Screw it. I’m going in.

I grasp the handle and pull.

Thank you!

Christina Bauer — we appreciate your sharing your book Clockwork Igni with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Damsel in a Dress

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Kirsten Weiss and her cozy mystery, Damsel in a Dress.

Author’s description

Bridesmaid duties can be deadly…

Maddie Kosloski has more than wedding cake on her plate. She’s managing her paranormal museum, helping her best friend Adele with wedding plans, and trying to prove that Adele’s vintage wedding dress is most definitely not haunted. 

But when a bridesmaid turns up murdered, Maddie has to solve the crime to save the wedding. As her bouquet of suspects grows, and everyone’s alibis have the ring of truth, Maddie begins to doubt this wedding will go off without a hitch. 

If you love laugh-out-loud mysteries, witty heroines, and a touch of the paranormal, you’ll love Damsel in a Dress, book 5 in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series of novels. Read this twisty cozy mystery today!

About the Author

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Tea and Tarot,  Paranormal Museum, and Wits’ End cozy-mystery-series books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth, and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey suspense series might be for you.

Find the Author

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com

Feel free to follow her on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss – https://www.pinterest.com/kirstenweiss/
or on Bookbub – http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss,
get in touch on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/,
post a picture of this book to Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kirstenweissauthor/
and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.
Email: kweiss2001@kirstenweiss.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/
Instagram: @KirstenWeissAuthor
Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss

Find her Books

Book Series: Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/sensibility-grey-steampunk-suspense,
Tea and Tarot cozy mysteries – https://www.kirstenweiss.com/tea-and-tarot-mysteries
The Pie Town cozy mysteries – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/pie-town-mysteries,
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mysteries – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-mus-1,
The Doyle Witch – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-witch-cozy-mysteries
Doyle Cozy – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-cozy-mystery-series mystery novels
The Riga Hayworth – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/riga-hayworth-paranormal-mysteries  paranormal mysteries

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author 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

The wedding gown ghosted into my museum on a slither of plastic and a shiver of air conditioning. Since it was a paranormal museum, I should have figured that was a sign, an omen, a warning.

But all I worried about that morning was stepping on the hem of my best friend’s newly altered dress. I carried it like it was an atom bomb, arms extended, treading carefully.

File that under the had-I-but-known category.

My assistant, Leo, looked up from behind the glass counter and slid one finger inside the collar of his Paranormal Museum tee. “Yo.” His black leather jacket was slung over the back of his tall chair. A shock of his ebony hair fell forward, obscuring his eyes.

The museum’s front door drifted shut behind me, and the bell jangled above it.

“Thanks for managing things.” I draped the dress over the counter. Unpeeling the staticky plastic from my jeans, I scanned the museum, alert for disasters.

Visitors wandered between the shelves displaying haunted objects and creepy dolls. Photos of long-dead murderers gazed impassively from their frames beneath the black-painted crown molding.

“How many decks did you sell?” I bounced in my low-heeled sandals. The museum was doing better, but we needed to increase our in-store sales.

“One.”

I deflated. Bummer. Still, I’d only been gone thirty minutes.

GD, the museum’s ghost detecting cat, rose from the haunted rocking chair in the corner of the main room. It swayed beneath the ebony cat’s weight.

“How’d you get stuck with dress duty anyway?” Leo asked.

“I’ll do anything for wedding cake.” Really, I will. Also, I was a bridesmaid, and one of my bridesmaidly duties was picking up the altered wedding gown. Cruelly and unfairly, I had not been selected for cake sampling duty.

Thank you!

Kirsten Weiss  — we appreciate your sharing your book Damsel in a Dress with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Magical Beasts Series

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Geoffrey Saign and his YA fantasy series Magical Beasts.

Author’s description

Samantha and Jake fight to save their poisoned parents, and instead find themselves in a battle to save the parallel magical world of KiraKu. The two teens discover they must defeat the Evil One—a diabolical master of deception—or their own world will fall too. Samantha must master the mysterious supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find out if she has what it takes to fulfill the prophecy of the true guardian. In a final battle, reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, the two teens will have to risk everything, or lose it all. For Fans of Fantastic Beasts, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings.

~ Magical Beasts is now in development for a major motion picture. ~

Getting Surprised by your own Characters

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 Geoffrey Saign if he had any such characters in his Magical Beasts series. Well it turns out he had a lot of them! Read on for his interesting answer.

Yes!!! Vampire bat Queen Valera in Book 4, Guardian The Stand, the only book she’s in, is in 5 short scenes. Yet she is so fundamentally important to the story, to the main character, and to the fate of an entire world, that it cannot be overestimated. Plus she is super powerful, mysterious, and interesting! An immortal, she can kick butt, and has no patience for stupidity. But she empathizes with the hero of the series, Samantha (Sam) Green and doesn’t want her to die. When this character first appeared, I had a vague idea about her. Then I loved her immediately and needed to put her into three more scenes. I was so enthralled with her, she came into the climactic ending too.

The same thing occurred in the other books in the series, where a character began as rather mild and ended up as wildly important. In Book 3, Guardian The Sacrifice, the same thing occurred with the Beister, a maniacal killer with huge secrets in his past that directly affected the main character in a shocking way. In Book 2, Guardian The Quest, Drasine, the golden dragon had a significant role, was mysterious, and very powerful. And in Book 1, Guardian The Choice, Heshia, a minor character at first, again became wildly important for the main character, even though she was only in 4 scenes.

Heshia, Drasine, the Beister, and Queen Valera all had a major impact on the main character, the plot, and the ending. They all made my writing more exciting and fun to complete, and the stories richer.

About the Author

Geoffrey Saign’s love of wildlife led him to write the award-winning fantasy series, Magical Beasts. He often experiences the magic of nature and wildlife while hiking and swimming. He has a degree in biology and has assisted in field research on hummingbirds and humpback whales. Geoff loves to sail big boats, hike, and cook—and he infuses all of his writing with his passion for nature. As a swimmer he considers himself fortunate to live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota. See what he’s up to at https://geoffreysaign.net/magical-beasts

Find the Author & Learn More

Bookbub — https://www.bookbub.com/authors/geoffrey-saign
Goodreads—Magical Beasts Book 1—Guardian The Choice — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50094484-guardian
Website — https://geoffreysaign.net/magical-beasts-fantasy-book-series/

Buy the Book

Book 1 is FREE April 12-18
Book 2 is 99c April 12-16

Kindle/KU/Paperback Series page — https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZR6VDJ8

Audible — https://www.audible.com/pd/Guardian-The-Choice-Audiobook/B081PVPNLN

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $30 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

From Guardian The Sacrifice, Book 3

She peers into my eyes. “What are you willing to do to save your friends? To save the love of your life?”

I slump. Desperation and hope fill my voice. “Anything. Everything.”

Her hands drop away from my face. “Kneel before me.”

I slump down on one knee and lower my head. The woman is power mad, like the crazy kraken Gorgon, and the Evil One. I bite my lip.

“I’m not like either of them,” she says tersely. “This is your test, not mine. Look at me when I speak to you.”

Unable to keep the anger out of my eyes, I lift my head and stare up at her. She reminds me of Tris, able to see what I’m thinking just by looking at me. “Why are you doing this? You’re the Black Dragon. A caretaker. Why are you hurting us?”

She ignores my questions. “You and your friends will bring the Beister to me. Agree to this or you’ll never see your friends again.”

When I think of Mom I have to fight back tears—I don’t want to give the Black Dragon any satisfaction. But I do wish I knew more of Mom’s life as an Original. “How do we find the Beister?”

“Answers are coming. For now, get out of my sight.” She grabs my arm and in one fast, twisting motion she tosses me out over the river.

Before I hit the water, I see her turn and walk off the bridge. I sink sluggishly as if in slow motion. My arms and legs won’t respond when I try to swim to the surface. I tell my limbs to move, but they won’t. Starved for air, I gulp water instead, my lungs choking on it. Sunlight sparkles on the surface above me, and then I’m descending into oblivion.

Thank you!

Geoffrey Saign — we appreciate your sharing your Magical Beasts Series with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Looking for More?

This week I’m featuring two more YA fantasy books on my blogs. Check out The Virus of Beauty (post goes up Thursday 4/29) and my review of A Fairy’s Quest.