Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Tropes Guest Blog and Giveaway with Christine Amsden


I don't care how many times I've seen them, I'll gladly read them again!
10. Everyman — I’m seeing less and less of this one in recent years (or maybe I’m looking in the wrong places), but I really enjoy becoming engaged with a fantasy tale from the perspective of someone like me. Or at least, someone who is as awestruck by the magic as I am. It helps ease me into the story.
9. Shape shifters — These ARE incredibly popular right now, but that works for me!
8. Attitude and wit — I doubt I’ll ever get sick of clever characters with a wry sense of humor and a certain flair. Authors with strong voices freshen this trope up every time just by being themselves.
7. Swords — So much cooler than guns, even if they are a bit less practical!
6. Cats — Anyone ever notice that there are a lot of cats in fantasy novels? Not nearly so many dogs. As someone who has *mostly* overcome a childhood phobia involving dogs but who still only tolerates the beasts, cats will always be my preferred pet.
5. Series — Maybe not the ones that go on and on and on with no end in sight, but honestly, I do like to spend a few books with the characters I love. I particularly like to do this when the characters grow and change over the course of those books.
4. Fae — So much more interesting than Tinkerbell.
3. Long-lost relatives — Tell me I’m not the only one who has a soft spot for this plot device. (I will make an exception for the specific discovery that the bad guy is your father. Star Wars pretty much killed that one.)
2. Ridiculously good looking men — Sorry ridiculously good looking women, I can’t say the same for you and I don’t care if that’s a double standard. I like what I like. :)
1. Superpowers — Enough said!


Stolen Dreams
Cassie Scot
Book 4
Christine Amsden

Genre: Urban fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, new adult

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Date of Publication: June 25, 2014 (ebook)
October 15, 2014 (paperback)

ISBN:  978-1-60619-281-8
ASIN: Coming soon

Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 84,000

Cover Artist: Ural Akyutz

Book Description:

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own?

Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.


Excerpt (From Chapter 7)

            “I–” My cell phone rang, saving me the challenge of coming up with a plausible lie. I answered without checking the caller ID. “Hello?”
            “Cassie, dear, how are you and my grandson getting along?” It was Abigail. I had the volume turned up loud enough that Evan could hear. His eyes widened, and he stepped closer. Too close, but I pretended the proximity didn’t affect me in the slightest.
            “Abigail, where are you? What are you doing?”
            “You know the answer to that question, Cassie. And as much as I’d love to give you and Evan a chance to work through more of your issues, I find I have a selfish last request.”
            My heart squeezed. “What?”
            “I don’t want to die alone.” The words were a bare whisper, but both Evan and I heard.
            “Where are you?”
            “At the overlook around back. Hurry.” The call ended.
            “What did she mean?” Evan asked. “What do you know?”
            I was already on my way out the front door, Evan right on my heals. To simplify matters, and to get to her as soon as possible, I decided to give him as much of the truth as I could. “She says someone has to die, and if it’s not her, then it’s going to be your parents.”
            “What? When did she say that?”
            “In snatches for a week, but most of it earlier tonight, right before I came over.” I was out the door now, heading around back up the paved path wide enough for Abigail’s wheelchair to navigate.
            To my immense relief, Evan didn’t question me further. He followed me for a few paces, then rushed ahead, moving too quickly for me to keep up even when I broke into a run.
            She had her chair parked at the top of the hill, overlooking the lake below and a spectacular sunset above. Either I had never seen colors so vibrant before, or I had never paid proper attention. It was as if the heavens were saying farewell.
            My father was nowhere in sight. I had half expected to see him there, and managed a sigh of relief when I didn’t. It was short lived, though.
            Evan knelt in front of his grandmother, holding her right hand in his. When I arrived, I sank to the paved earth at her other side, taking her left hand in mine. The skin was papery thin and so frail I feared it would flake away.
            “Thank you.” She didn’t look at either one of us, and her voice was whisper-thin.
            “You don’t have to die,” Evan said. “There has to be another way out. How are you going to die?”
            “I-I don’t know. I can’t see past my own death. It’s made things... difficult these past few months.”
            “Then how do you know you’re doing the right thing?” I asked. Demanded might be a better word. “How do you know your death will prevent anything?”
            “I didn’t have long to live anyway. My heart is weak, and.... I don’t want to talk about it. Please. I don’t have long. Talk to me about something nice.” There was a hitch in her voice that told me no matter how she had prepared for this moment, she wasn’t ready to die. That realization, more than anything else, brought the first tears to my eyes.
            “Don’t cry for me. I’ll be all right. My husband’s been gone these many years now, and I’ve been alone.”
            I felt Evan’s free hand take mine, and I didn’t even think about yanking it away. For once, his touch didn’t feel anything except comforting. He needed it. I needed it. And so it was.
            “Did you like my invitations?” Abigail asked.
            “Why did you send them?” Evan asked.
            “I don’t suppose you two would consider it a dying woman’s last request?” she asked.
            “Nice try,” I said.
            Evan didn’t say anything, although I became more aware of his hand holding mine.
            “Seriously,” Abigail said, “will you at least talk to one another? Really talk?”
            I closed my eyes, swallowed hard, and nodded. The request was at least as manipulative as the first because she knew I couldn’t deny this one. It was too reasonable.
            “Good.” She squeezed my hand.
            That’s when her house exploded.



About the Author:

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

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway The Lycan Hunter by Kelsey Jordan




The Lycan Hunter
The Gardinian World Series
Book 1
Kelsey Jordan

Genre:  Paranormal Romance           

Publisher:  Booktrope Publishing
Date of Publication:  June 1, 2014

ISBN:  9781620154311
ASIN:  B00KQ5E6I6

Number of pages:  308

Cover Artist:  Greg Simanson

Book Description: 

When Alexis James arrives at her first assignment in months, she anticipates the danger and violence rife in her calling as a Lycan Hunter. What she doesn’t expect is a handsome, blue-eyed wolf saving her life and kidnapping her. Surrounded by the enemy, Alexis must not only survive her prisoners but the bonds of a different sort that begin to form against her will.

Mikko Kyran was chosen by the gods to lead his pack, and he has made it his mission to end the eight thousand years of war plaguing his people. The Alpha never suspected that the key to the prophecy ending the Forever War would be held by a smart-mouthed, sexy Hunter determined to kill him.

Can two people from different worlds set aside everything they know about one another long enough to survive retribution from the Hunters, the pack, and the gods? Or will their differences start a war that neither can win?

Written with intensity and depth, The Lycan Hunter is the first in a thrilling new series.

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~*~ Lycan Hunter Excerpt ~*~
An ominous feeling settled in her stomach, the sensation surging and plummeting so fast in her gut she had to reach out to grip the desk for stability. The only thing missing was classic horror-themed music as the sinister feeling surged again when Kyran paused as if he was listening for something. Still she couldn’tt force her feet to move, too drawn in by all the awful possibilities from what the screen showed her.
Theo – like all Hunters – had been trained to be aware of their surroundings yet maintain the appearance that he was unconscious. Alexis found herself hoping that Theo would do something to give himself away. All Kyran would need is a subtle uptick of Theos calm heart, a hitched breath, or a subtle muscle movement to show him that Theo wasnt asleep but pretending. Nothing happened, and Kyran stepped forward. Her gut twisted in agony, but her feet still refused to obey her command to find help.
Kyran was obviously in doctor mode. He would naturally wonder what happened to his patient, wonder if somehow the sedatives that Theo had been given had been too much. He suffered from a kindness that Hunters were trained out of from childhood. His inclination for decency would cost him, but at least he was cognizant that something was unusual. Maybe that would keep him safe enough that she could warn him or send help.
Her gut tightened again, and a quick glimpse showed how close Kyran was to his destruction. She knew she wouldn’tt find that room in time, so she left the room hoping to find Ronan. Hopefully, it wouldn’tt be too late.
She began beating on the first door she came to. It swung open to reveal Ronans sleep tossed hair, unfocused glare, and gloriously naked body.
“What the hell, Ky – ” His hands flew to his groin when his gaze fell on her.
“Come on. Kyrans in trouble.”



About the Author: 

Kelsey Jordan is the author of The Lycan Hunter, the first book in her Gardinian World series. Though she has a preference for all things paranormal and romantic, Kelsey admits she just writes what her muse demands of her. It’s less painful that way. When she isn’t enjoying the momentary benefits of playing god to the many characters that live in her head, she can usually be found curled up with a book, killing something in a video game, or spending time with her family. At some point in the day she is probably drinking more than her recommended dose of coffee, but don’t tell her that. She doesn’t care about recommended servings.

As a Texas native and self-described Air Force brat, Kelsey now lives in Georgia with her husband and their tutu-wearing minion. Book 2 and 3 of the series will be published by Booktrope Editions late Summer/Fall 2014. 

To learn more, visit her at: http://kelseyjordangw.com



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22053393-the-lycan-hunter



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Interview and Giveaway: Black Moon by Becca C. Smith and F.M. Sherrill



Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Well, there’s two of us: Faith Sherrill and Becca C. Smith. This is our first novel that we’ve written together, but we both have published other works. Faith’s book is a dark fantasy called Ivory and she publishes under the name F.M. Sherrill. Becca has a couple of series out there, but her most popular is her teen sci-fi/horror  series The Riser Saga.

We both wanted to write a vampire novel since neither one of us had tackled that genre yet. With our completely different writing styles we thought it would be a great experiment to try blending the two. Becca has more of “teen” voice (innocent, naïve etc.), whereas Faith’s voice is more dark and intense. By having Becca write the “Shea” chapters and Faith write the “Lucian” chapters made for a pretty crazy mix, but it worked really well.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?

Immortality. There’s something attractive and hopeful about our physical bodies not having to age or die.

Please tell us about your latest release.

The book is called Black Moon and it is the first in a trilogy. It has fangs, blood, romance, history and all the romping bad-ass characters you could want in a paranormal romance.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

No, unfortunately, these are not stand alone books. If you miss the first one, you’re going to be very confused.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Actually, we had a webshow called The Writers’ Block because let’s face it, all writers have writer’s block from time to time. The only way we deal with it is to force ourselves through it. Just write. Even if it sucks, eventually you’ll pull yourself out of it.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

We actually both have to have a clean environment to write. Cluttered place, cluttered mind.

When did you consider yourself a writer?
We’ve both been creating stories and fantasies all our lives, so in a sense, we’ve always considered ourselves writers.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
Becca: I read, I write, I watch enormous amounts of television and I play warcraft.

Faith: I’m learning the piano, but typically I like to spend time gardening, dancing, singing and enjoying life.

What was the last amazing book you read?

Becca: Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings.

Faith: Quiet by Susan Cain

What can readers expect next from you?

Black Sunrise is the 2nd book in the Black Moon Saga and will be out by the end of the year. Faith and I have just finished separate novels of our own. Faith’s is called Cry Wolf and it’s a werewolf apocalypse novel. It will be published in September. Becca just finished the second book in her Atlas Series called Atlas: Grigori Returned and it will be released in August.

Where can readers find you on the web?

And we also have a website www.blackmoonsaga.com



Black Moon
The Black Moon Saga
Book 1
Becca C. Smith & F.M. Sherrill

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Red Frog Publishing
Date of Publication: 07/07/14

ISBN: 9780985027698
ASIN:

Number of pages: 283
Word Count: 68,000

Cover Artist: Becca C. Smith & F.M. Sherrill

Book Description:

Shea Harper is forced to stay in boring, hot and dry Phoenix, Arizona for college. But once she meets the enigmatic yet positively egocentric Lucian, Shea’s life changes forever.

She finds out that she comes from a long line of descendants called Vessels. In her soul is the key to destroying an ancient prison protecting the world from darkness itself: Lucian’s father.

Up until now, Lucian has captured every descendant except Shea. With her powers awakening, all vampires want to drag her down to the pit. But Lucian is territorial. She’s the first female Vessel… and he’s convinced she belongs to him.

Saucy and tauntingly surprising, Black Moon captures the struggle between burning alive with desire and castrating the heart. This is a love story that will drain you dry.


Available on Amazon

About the Authors:

Becca C. Smith:

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted. Most recently Becca released Atlas, the first book in a new urban fantasy series. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

F.M. Sherrill:

Aren't author's bios boring? I always wanted to read one that went something like this:

F.M. Sherrill: recent citizen of earth. Plans on ruling the planet once she gets over the common cold. Or, F.M. Sherrill: time traveler. Decided to alter the space-time continuum by writing a novel, thus changing history slightly, which will eventually lead to the rise of a new human species.

But here it is. F.M. Sherrill is a novelist, A.K.A. an avid bullshitter; that's why she lives in L.A.. She's been writing for as long as her ancient mind can remember, devouring tales like an anemic vampire roaming the streets in hot pink heels, always thirsty for more. When she's not writing, she's making steampunk weapons, sewing giant plant-eater Mario plushes, making costumes for some film bloke or cosplayer, and sculpting/casting movie prop replicas while gardening in her urban apartment. Her favorite tools? A soldering iron, a blowtorch, a band saw, a sonic screwdriver, a replicator and an active imagination.


Twitter: @therisersaga and @fmsherrill 




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Release Day Blitz Two in the Afternoon by Cora Cade




Two in the Afternoon
A Day of Pleasure
Book 2
Cora Cade

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Samhain
Date of Publication:  July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61922-298-4
ASIN:

Word Count: 26,000

Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor

Book Description:

When it comes to hand-to-heart combat, no hold is barred.

Molly Ryan survived one attack, and she’s not about to be a sitting duck for another. With her attacker harassing her from his jail cell, she packs up her life in Chicago, follows her Delta Force brother to North Carolina and gets work in a pub.
Men in uniform are definitely off her menu, but her boss’s friend, Army Ranger Callum Eversman, is one hot hunk she’d like to sample.

Home on a two-week furlough, Cal has agreed to watch over Molly as a favor to fellow Ranger Noah Harper. Accomplishing his mission without her noticing? That’s going to be tough, as any idiot can see their sparks of attraction from a mile away.

Despite her hands-off-military-men policy, Molly is tempted to indulge, just this once, in a no-strings-attached fling. No dating, no kissy face, no hearts involved. But when her past threatens her future, there’s only one man to turn to. The one who’ll risk everything—body, heart, and soul—to protect her.

Available at the Samhain Store

Copyright © 2014 Cora Cade
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
 

Propping her bare feet on the edge of the ancient desk, Molly Ryan took a well-deserved pull of her beer. Before dropping her head back to ease the tension in her shoulders she closed her aching eyes and sighed heavily. It was nearly two in the afternoon, which meant she’d been locked in the pub’s office for roughly six hours, getting caught up on the weekly invoicing, payroll and upcoming supply orders.

The office had no window to enjoy the lake view, but she knew it was a glorious, sunny summer day. It was well worth the sacrifice of her Sunday off to know that she’d put a major dent in her work week, though. With Noah and Tennyson off on their honeymoon for the next two weeks, they’d left Molly in charge of more than just her normal duties.
Managing a busy pub like the Drunken Duck was enough work, but taking on Noah’s responsibilities as owner added a little more tension to her shoulders. To be fair, it was a challenge she was more than up for. Noah had left his brother, Chris, as her second in command for the duration, giving plenty of help.

She heard the service door open down the hall. Undoubtedly it was Chris to check in with her. He had a normal work week as an architect and helped out in the evenings and weekends as needed. He was likely stopping after seeing her sporty red coupe in the empty parking lot.

“Hey, Mr. Sexy Pants, I’m in the office. Bring me another beer on your way!” She couldn’t help teasing him. He’d spent the previous night fighting off advances from Lexie, his latest crazy chick, as Tenn would call her. At one point Lexie had cornered Chris next to the bar, put a slim hand down the front of his tuxedo pants, and called him Mr. Sexy Pants loud enough for half the bar to hear. Watching Chris turn ten shades of red while attempting to pull the tenacious girl’s hand from his pants had caused Molly to fall off her bar stool in hysterical laughter. Even after landing squarely on her ass and spilling her scotch down the front of her bridesmaid dress, effectively ruining it, she still couldn’t stop laughing.

As the office door opened behind her, she pushed off from the desk. The movement sent the chair whirling around, making the tiny room spin in a quick half turn.

“Hey… Oh.” Well, that wasn’t Chris standing in her doorway. Where Chris was leanly muscled, this guy looked like a hulking linebacker, with heavily muscled arms and a chest broad enough to block the sun. He had a black duffel bag slung over one shoulder, exposing the underside of a thick biceps and a heavy tribal tattoo ending at the elbow.

Intensity pulsed off of him. Light mocha skin, a smoothly shaved head, and steely gray eyes, he exuded a quiet watchfulness that was at odds with his stern demeanor. He had an obvious perpetual scowl set on his face. A face, upon closer inspection, that had a full mouth and broad features and a light scar running across his left cheek, just under the eye.

He watched her watching him, and no one spoke for a moment. Molly belatedly realized she was sitting in front of a ridiculously hot stranger in her pajamas. Not even her cute pajamas. When she’d rolled out of bed after a night of just a little too much scotch and not enough sleep, she hadn’t even considered running into anyone. Her apartment was three blocks away, the pub was closed every Sunday, and most of the town was also recovering from Noah and Tenn’s wedding reception.

Who was this guy, and where had he come from? And could she keep him?

If the vixen in black pajama bottoms with pink skulls was Noah’s new bride, then Cal was in a lot of trouble. It went against his code to covet a fellow soldier’s woman. But he was hard-pressed to take his eyes off the petite beauty with a shock of unruly auburn hair and a full, pouty mouth. She darted her tongue across a lush bottom lip, causing his libido to stand at attention.

It was well past time to stop cataloging every attribute of the woman before him, especially if she was Noah’s. “I’m looking for Noah Harper. Is he around?”

“Noah?” She shook her head, as if clearing it, before going on. “He’s not in, but I’m the manager of the Drunken Duck. Can I help you?”


It was relief, first and foremost, that washed over him. Cal was grateful he’d had a chance to speak with Noah earlier in the week. Molly wasn’t Noah’s wife, but the woman he was here to look after.

About the Author:

Nestled away in a small town in Ohio, I spend my days adding delicious books to my library, snuggling with my four rotten dogs, and debating the finer points of life with the dear husband.

When I'm not tucked away with a book you can be find me tapping away at my laptop.   With coffee.  And my iPod.


Website:  www.coracade.com




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