Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Blaise Ramsay

Hey everyone! Today I'm so excited to introduce to you Blaise Ramsey! Be sure to read her interview and check out more about her below!

Tell me more about yourself:

Blaise: Hey! Well, my name is Blaise. I’m a walking life loving, positive outlooking indie currently highly caffeinated and working on a science fantasy. Before I began working as an indie publisher and authorpreneur, I worked in the conceptual art and design world for fifteen years doing multiple things from designing characters from thin air to environments for indie games and freelance clients. I began to notice that drawing wasn’t really filling a void inside of me anymore so I decided to open up Microsoft word and write short stories. After the first publicly published short story, The Good Luck Cat, earned an award on the art community I was involved with, I knew I wanted to write. At first it was only short stories but after I found the work of fellow author and great friend, A.E Fisher, I wanted to give a hand a novels. The first piece I worked on was a Biker Romance but after putting the project on the back burner, I decided to do NaNoWriMo for the first time and dished out Blessing of Luna. I fell in love with the characters so much the project evolved into three other books in the Wolfgods series. When traditional publishing didn’t go so well for me, I decided to open up FyreSyde Publishing and now I fully self-publish all of my books! If I’m not writing, I love to read and review books which I post on the blog I run on the side. I also work for two different blog tour companies and offer review services to new and seasoned authors. I’m a mom with two beautiful children, my husband, four rats and a dog. Always busy in the Ramsay home. Lol!

What inspired you to be an author?

Blaise: As a history major, writing has always been a part of life for me. I just always enjoyed the collegiate side and research part of it. Apart from college, I did start my own novel way back in the day but the project never went anywhere but it was fun! Now it’s because not only does it offer a great way to bring worlds to life, it’s a great and inspiring community! Indies and bookbloggers alike are all amazing people and so uplifting! At first it wasn’t going to be a career, just a hobby but then I found some wonderful women who just sparked something inside of me to do something with this blooming passion. So far I’ve attended two live events and the fans are so sweet and a joy to chat with! They have amazing outlooks and feedback. Occasionally I get the sour pickle but all in all, it’s a great community! There’s just something about weaving worlds from words. It’s the closest thing to magic I can see!

How long have you been writing for?

Blaise: Professionally, it’s only been about eight months but for fun, more like six years (most of those were college lol but it was still fun).

How many stories have you written? 

Blaise: Oh umm, let’s see. Including short stories, I want to say I’ve written about ten or fifteen pieces so far and that doesn’t include the research papers. Haha. There were about four books planned for the Biker Romance series and two right now in the Wolfgods. There’s three books planned for the science fantasy. For short stories, I have almost seven of those little ones. So many unfinished projects being worked on, I can’t count them all.

Is writing your full time profession? If not, what else do you do and how do you manage both jobs?

Blaise: Writing and running FyreSyde is my full time gig. This opens me up to attend book tour events and to be at home with my kids. I do also take art commissions on the weekends and attend college. In order to manage them, I find it’s best to have a day planner. Separate family appointments and realize it’s okay to relax and take the time not to work. On those days, I pop open a good book and do some catch up reading. I’m also a full time wife and mom. To keep these things in line, I hold office hours and tell my kids, it wouldn’t be any different if I went to physical place. They’re usually pretty good about it…usually. But hey they’re 4 and 6. I can only expect so much.

What is your writing process?

Blaise: I’m what’s known as a plotster. This means I usually have the general idea of where I want to go with the book. Sometimes I will work on an extremely rough outline on paper and pencil before even cracking open Scrivener or Word. Having that rough outline gives me some key events. Almost like a map from the beginning to the end of the book. When I do choose to outline, I usually reach for Kat O’Keefe’s 3 Act; 9 Block; 27 Chapter technique. It is by far, the most impressive and helpful method out there. I’ve made a template in Scrivener for it! I’d recommend it to anyone! Honestly, ten times out of nine, I won’t even go on the outline but it does help to have key points to run back to when I get stuck.

Why is research so important for writing? 

Blaise: Because even when writing fiction we have to make the world feel believable. Science fiction can bend the very fabric of reality but there has to be certain rules set in place that could feel real to a reader. Locations for example are something I tend to research thoroughly before writing any kind of novel or short story. Of course I lavish a little bit by adding pretend buildings and time periods but all in all, a question I get often is when and where is the story taking place. Readers nowadays want to feel like they’re a part of what’s going on. Doing research into character flaws, locations, etc can be key in accomplishing that.

What is the craziest thing you've had to research?

Blaise: Wow umm, I think the most interesting thing I’ve had to look into was the history of lycanthropy. I had to find some distinguishing lore that indicated the key differences between werewolves and lycanthropes to make Blessing of Luna the best it could be. Location and weather patterns were two other aspects of the story I was careful to look into to try and make the setting look and feel right to the reader. The effects of trauma on the brain was something else I researched to make Damien appear like he had detachment disorder. Just the little things like this that could make or break the novel. The devil’s in the details I believe the saying is.

How do you create the world you are writing in?

Blaise: I start by a general idea of where I want the story to take place. Often times, Paranormal romance takes place in smaller towns so it seemed logical to follow that. Afterwards it’s a matter of hashing out character details and traits to learn how they will react to the world around them. Blessing of Luna evolved from something completely on its own through a process of “What if” questions. It’s ultimately what makes the book different from your typical vampire/werewolf/lycan book and often is what catches the readers’ attention. I don’t create the world, the characters do. I just let them tell me how things go. As an author, you soon learn you have less control than you originally thought. Lol.

How do you pull us in with amazing characters?

Blaise: I think this could go along with what I said earlier. Believability and adding very real flaws that people can relate to often is what creates amazing characters. You want to latch on to that one character who you identify with. Remarkably, it isn’t always one of the mains. Often it’s the secondary or tertiary. For example, a trend I picked up on really quick among my beta readers was their love of Alexander Kain. He is not the main character of Blessing of Luna but he has such a strong presence he’s gained some serious fans. Taking the time to give your characters struggles and imperfections is all a part of world building. Something I will always recommend is to put yourself in their shoes. Act out their dialogue. It gives you a sense of what they may do or say in the scene you’re writing. You aren’t crazy! You’re an author!

Who is your favorite character you've created?

Blaise: Kain. Definitely. He is the most precious of the characters I’ve made so far because he was created by mixing two of my favorite characters from a previous book series I decided not to publish (just yet >3). I have such a close bond with him it has been next to impossible not to toil away on his book. *spoilers!*

What authors inspire you to write?

Blaise: I have many but here recently there have been some very special gals in my life who have had more of an impact. Kristin Martin, the Amazon best-selling author of the Alpha Drive series; Kim Chance, the amazing author of the hauntingly tantalizing, Keeper and A.E Fisher, the smart aleck and super sweet author of the Black Angels MC series. All of these women have supported me in one way or the author. I wouldn’t be who I am today had I not met them. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had the courage to start.

What steps do you take in drafting an outline?

Blaise: I use the same method EVERY single time. The 3 Act; 9 Block; 27 Method. It is by far the most effective and spurs creativity in ways I hadn’t heard of until I found it. Sometimes I’ll also do Dan Well’s 7-point Story Structure to get quick thoughts down on paper. Otherwise, I won’t even crack open my laptop until the very rough outline is done with pen and paper. Once I’m satisfied, then I’ll open up Scrivener (my program of choice) and start working.

What are your top five tips for aspiring authors?

  1. Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. You can. Turn off the noise and listen to the growing passion inside of you.
  2. Remember why you started your journey in the first place. You have to write for you first without any expectations to “be famous”. We don’t write to be famous. We write to tell stories.
  3. You will get harsh reviews. It’s the world we live in. Here’s the kicker though, even harsh reviews can equal growth. Use what you can, toss what you won’t.
  4. Write what you love! Not what you know. If you have no connection to the story you’re trying to tell, neither will the reader. If you cry, they will. If you hurt, they will to. If you get turned on by a love scene, so will they. Remember, you are what you write.
  5. Get some grit. Not just anyone can do this. That is one of the most misunderstood concepts of self-publishers especially. It takes work. You can’t just post a book on Amazon and expect to see sales. Actually, it’s the opposite, you may not see any for a long time but it’s okay. Your sales reflect your work and no, posting on social media is not the answer. Limit social media to connection and author platforming only. Invest in live appearances and events.
Writing is a business. If you can’t think like an authorpreneur, you will not succeed. Not just anyone can do this. That way of thinking is a myth. You can do this!

Tell me more about what you are working on, can you share an excerpt?

Blaise: Currently I’m working on two different projects, one is a science fantasy, the other is book 2 of the Wolfgods titled Bane of Tenebris. Heck yeah, I can share an excerpt!


“I know you’re here. Stop hiding.” Kain kept his eyes directed towards the floor. Only briefly glancing towards the corner of the room where darkness remained unhindered by the light.

A black shape stepped out of the shadows, the only noticeable details were the fierce red glow of its eyes. The floor burned as it made its way across the room. Its talons clacking on the wood.

The dark god knelt before Kain on the floor. Ash and shadow floated in the air around him with his aura. The choking miasma permeated the room, tightening Kain’s lungs in his chest as he tried to breathe.

“I come baring an offer to you, Alexander,” He took Kain’s jaw in his claws, raising his head to meet his eyes. “I can see your life draining even now. The pain your soul is enduring as you battle the hate inside of your own existence. Forsake your gods, Alexander. They have clearly forsaken you. Serve me and I will lift you from this weakness. Free you from this fate.”

Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?

Blaise: Yes. There is a lot and I mean A LOT of bad press about self-publishing. It can often weigh you down and scare you not to try. Believe me, I’ve doubted, I’ve questioned, I’ve had anxiety attacks and sleepless nights. But here is what I have found amazing. I am not the only Indie who’s gone through it. The writing community is so supportive. The readers really aren’t the terrors they can be made out to be. I have found so many of them to be such supportive and loving people. Find your network. Budget social media and invest in live events. Authors have a special bond with readers. We may never meet them and yet they feel so connected to us. It is an amazing feeling that makes ALL of the footwork worth it. It is hard. I will never lie and tell you it isn’t. It’s time consuming and straining but in the end, holding that final product in your hand. Seeing the smiles on your readers’ faces and shaking their hand. There’s no other euphoria like it. If you are willing to take this as a marathon, not a sprint, you will succeed. All the great marketing experts and leaders started out as failures. The difference is, they didn’t stop. They kept going even through the nay-saying. You can do it too.

Feel free to find me on my website. I love to hear from you. Quiz me, ask questions. I certainly don’t mind connecting. If you want a copy of my book get a hold of me, I will get it to you. See more at fyresydepublishing.com or email me at bramsayauthor@gmail.com!

More About Blaise:

FyreSyde Publishing owner and founder Blaise Ramsay worked over fifteen years in the graphic design industry, with some experience in indie gaming. Recently she shifted her attention to the world of literature with her debut paranormal romance series, Wolf gods. The debut title, Blessing of Luna is set to release in 2018. She currently lives in North Texas with her two children, her husband and pets. A UTD graduate with a Bachelor's in History with an intention on teaching, Blaise decided that the world of teaching just wasn't for her. A stay at home mother of two, business owner and self-publisher, Blaise loves to meet new people and encourage others to follow their dreams through weekly posts to her instagram, twitter, facebook and blog.

Feel free to contact Blaise for an author interview, guest blog opportunities and book reviews. Visit our affiliates' page for a chance to see how you can get a hold on some of the books we have reviewed.

Visit Blaise at: https://www.fyresydepublishing.com Pernell McPhee Authentic Jersey

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dam Nation Blitz

Bonnie and Clyde #2
Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance  Publisher: Pumpjack Press Date of Publication: March 24, 2018
Number of Pages: 266     CLICK TO PURCHASE    
Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.
  The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives. 
"A rollicking good read!" -- Midwest Book Review     
The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”
“How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”
“I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”
“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book. 
MAY 17-26, 2018
   blog tour services provided by

Friday, March 23, 2018

David Michael Williams

Today we have David Michael Williams on the blog! Check out his interview below and be sure to visit his website and social media!

Tell me a little more about yourself:

At my core, I’m storyteller who chose to focus on fiction writing because it seemed like the most efficient — and self-sufficient — way to convey my characters and their adventures to the world.
I’ve been fortunate enough to leverage my writing and editing skills in my day jobs, which have encompassed journalism, marketing, and public relations. To date, I have written nine books: a children’s chapter book; three sword-and-sorcery novels in The Renegade Chronicles (Rebels and Fools, Heroes and Liars, and Martyrs and Monsters); an e-book compendium (Capricon and Beyond); a standalone fantasy novel that has yet to be published (Magic’s Daughter); and a genre-bending series that explores life, death, and dreams (The Soul Sleep Cycle).
If Souls Can Sleep, the first book in that series, published on Jan. 30. The sequels, If Sin Dwells Deep and If Dreams Can Die, will be published in fall 2018 and spring 2019, respectively.
I’m married to an amazing woman who for some reason supports my fiction addiction. We have two children, and I fully expect they will eclipse my creativity someday. The four of us live in Wisconsin.

How long have you been writing?

One of my earliest writing memories is hammering out a short story about an alien with an unpronounceable name on an Apple II in my elementary school’s computer lab. I also took a stab at writing stories about spies and superheroes. In high school, I shifted my focus to swords-and-sorcery fantasy, completing quite a bit of world-building.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I began my first book in earnest, writing the first draft of what would eventually become Rebels and Fools.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a storyteller. At some point, I outgrew “playing pretend,” but I still wanted to capture my ideas. I had a modicum of talent for drawing. I could have gone that direction, I suppose, but writing seemed easier. So I started writing scenes of intertwining, never-ending adventures, hoping I would become better at the craft with practice.

Which teacher was your biggest inspiration and why?

There were many teachers who encouraged my writing throughout high school and college. But my biggest cheerleader was Judith Barisonzi, the English professor with whom I worked during a two-semester independent study. She not only taught me the fundamentals of novel writing, but also how to write on a deadline. Thanks to her, I gained the confidence to pursue authorhood.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I wish I knew! I have the next year or so mapped out, but beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. First and foremost, I’ll publish the remaining novels of The Soul Sleep Cycle. They’ve occupied precious mental real estate for more than a decade. I’ve had other ideas swimming in my head for years, so I’ll probably pick one and see if it works.

It would be nice to tackle a standalone novel—or even a novella—rather than another series. Writing for a comic book as well as for a video game are both on my bucket list. A screenplay could be fun too.

Whatever 2023 brings, I’m sure I’ll be writing something.

What is your writing process?

I once was a “pantser,” penning the storyline as it came to me. These days, however, I’m a diehard “plotter.” I do quite a bit of planning — from character profiles to timelines to chapter outlines — before I start Chapter 1. And I won’t edit anything until I’ve finished a complete first draft.
I’m also a firm believer of developing a writing schedule and sticking to it. Maybe I’m crazy, but I love deadlines.

If you could have one wish, any wish at all, what would it be and why?

I’d love to reply with something altruistic — world peace, anyone? — but for so long my dream has been to make a living with my fiction. That means getting better at book marketing so I can connect with an audience who appreciate my style and approach. Then again, I’m pretty sure every writer just wants to find readers.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I’ve written a complete draft in as few as six months or as many as three years. No two projects have been the same. I will say that it takes longer to write the first book of a series than the subsequent entries. If you include planning, research, and rewrites/edits, then I can confidently say it takes me between one and two years to complete a book.

Who is your favorite character that you’ve ever created?

Why don’t you just ask me to pick a favorite child?!
Seriously, though, this is an incredibly difficult question. I have too many favorites, but when it comes to my favorite character to write, I can think of one man — well, technically, not a man…
Noel is a main character in The Renegade Chronicles. He belongs to a race of beings called the midge, who besides being some of the strongest spell-casters in the world, have the disposition and temperament of children. It’s a comical yet dangerous combination, and Noel’s naiveté lands him and his friends into more than a few predicaments. He just makes me laugh.

There’s a character in The Soul Sleep Cycle whose intrusive dialogue and penchant for derailing the plot remind me a little of Noel. I won’t name names to avoid spoilers, but those who have read If Souls Can Sleep hopefully appreciate the comedic relief he lends.

Which character in the literary world is your favorite and why?

Too many to pick just one, so I’m going to say the first one that comes to mind: Tyler Durden of Fight Club. What can I say? I like chaotic characters!

If you could meet any of the characters you’ve created, who would you meet and why?

I’m not sure any of them would want to meet me. After all, I’m the cause of all their struggles! Of all the characters in If Souls Can Sleep, I’d probably like to meet Milton Baerwald the most because he is a downright decent guy with a lot of conviction, and because he’s also very learned, I imagine we could have some interesting conversations.

What genre do you most like to write in?

I’m most comfortable in sword-and-sorcery fantasy, but The Soul Sleep Cycle is my attempt to transition away from that genre. Comfort zones can be like cages. These days, I find it more fun to straddle several genres — suspense, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery. However, it’s safe to say that whatever I embark in, there will always be a supernatural aspect, so “speculative fiction” is probably the safest umbrella term.

Is there another genre you are interested in trying out?

Not a specific genre, no, but I am interested in trying my hand at a different age demographic. My wife and I co-wrote a children’s chapter book a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. Our kids are now tweens, so I’ve flirted with the idea of writing something closer to their reading level. I hear YA books are selling well…

What are you working on now?

Preparing If Sin Dwells Deep and If Dreams Can Die for publication will consume most of 2018.

Can you share an excerpt with us?

Sure thing. Here’s an excerpt of the prologue of If Sin Dwells Deep:

For the Wolf, tracking his prey was almost as thrilling as the kill itself.

False leads. Dead ends. So many places his quarry could hide. Sometimes the trail took him in endless circles or, worse, a straight line that never seemed to decrease the distance between hunter and hunted, no matter how far he ran.

But obstacles only heightened his excitement, delaying the exquisite moment that distracted him during the day and consumed him at night.

Her scent suddenly filled his nostrils, and the Wolf picked up speed. The scenery on either side of the path became a blur. All the easier to pretend he was surrounded by trees. The ground, a forest floor.
As the smell of vanilla intensified, he remembered how she looked back then. The store-bought blond curls framing a flawless neck. Those smirking lips, so red and shiny. The biggest tits in school, teachers included.

Her passably pretty face, soon to be smeared with blood…

Momentarily lost in his hunger, he felt the trail grow colder. The wind roared in his ears, drowning out his own growl of frustration. Reluctantly, he slowed, forgetting the pleasure ahead and focusing only on his memory of her.

He concentrated. He sniffed. The pull returned—subtle at first, then stronger.
Changing course, he allowed himself a brief grin. He’d enjoy the hunt while it lasted. It would be over all too soon.

Now that he was getting so close to her, he couldn’t keep from sprinting. As the imaginary trees vanished and he plunged headlong into more vivid surroundings, he pushed himself even faster. Only when he heard the sound of applause did he stop to assess his surroundings.

The edge of an enormous room. Warm air instead of the coolness of his false forest. Above, a constellation of big, blinding lights. Ahead, the cheers of a crowd. Her sickeningly sweet perfume.
Squinting against the glare of the stage lights, he cautiously flanked the front row of spectators. He wasn’t surprised to see their faces were practically blank. A hint of a mouth. The suggestion of eyes. A bump that would form a nose if he stared at it long enough.

He didn’t bother. His prey wasn’t among the dummies.

Beyond the studio audience, a semicircle of camera men surrounded an immaculately clean kitchen. All lenses were aimed at a woman behind a waist-high counter, dumping ingredients one by one into a tall, shiny pot.

The moment of discovery always took him back to that fateful hunting trip with Uncle Bob. When the buck had stepped up to the stream to drink, unaware of him and the mortal danger he represented, he’d nearly lost his nerve. But in the end, he did himself—and his uncle—proud. His first kill was clean. The animal never knew what hit it.

Drunk from the power only a predator can know, he watched her. His pulse raced. He grew rock hard.
The buck had never seen who killed it, but she would.

As the woman delivered lines about proper measure-ments to the cameras, he studied her. The years since high school graduation had etched deep lines upon her fleshier face, grooves that even a thick coat of stage makeup couldn’t hide. Hidden beneath a loud floral-print blouse, her once-glorious rack sagged down to a belly made doughy by too much food, too many beers, a bunch of kids, or all the above.

Seeing the former heartbreaker in such sad shape filled the Wolf with perverse joy. She and her stuck-up friends had laughed in his face when he had finally mustered the courage to ask her to the prom. “Little boy,” she had called him. The next day, the Queen Bee and her two drones had filled his locker with shaving cream.

She had thought herself superior to him, but as he watched the pitiful woman stir the pot with a wooden spoon, he promised to prove her wrong.

He’d show her he was the man of her dreams, whether she liked it or not.

Teeth clenched tightly, painfully together, he looked back at the audience. With a little concentration, two of the women in the front row started to resemble the woman’s high school friends—the stupid bitches who had latched onto her like a pair of remoras because they couldn’t achieve popularity on their own. They had laughed on cue whenever their leader insulted other students.
They would die first.

A voice in the back of his mind urged caution, warning him of the dire consequences he’d face if he got caught. The words belonged to a woman, one he hated even more than Queen Bee.

But the Wolf had come too far to turn back. He craved vengeance. Hungered for blood.

He dropped to his knees and placed his hands on the smooth cement floor. The transformation was instantaneous and painless. One moment, he was a man, and the next, a fine—if massive—specimen of canis lupis.

He crouched, his new muscles trembling with unspent power beneath a pelt of long black fur. Then he pushed off with his massive paws, leaving gouges in the floor.

A living shadow, he cleared the distance to the studio audience in a single leap. The claws of one foreleg had already sunk deep into his first victim’s neck and shoulder before any of the mannequins reacted. Drone Number One’s scream was quickly echoed by others. The Wolf reared up on his hind legs and struck again, a brutal blow that reduced her face to bloody strips of skin and cartilage.

As the lifeless body slumped to the ground, chaos filled the studio. Queen Bee’s other friend tried to run with the rest of the crowd, but the Wolf pounced. He threw his full weight at her back, sending her sprawling into the aisle. She let out a pained gasp when he landed on top of her.

He considered rolling her over so that he could watch her expression as he eviscerated her. But he had grown bored with killing dummies a long time ago. Tonight’s target had to be someone real.

A quick glance over at Queen Bee revealed an expression of pure terror. If he didn’t hurry, she might run or wake up, and while he loved a good chase, he couldn’t wait another night for satisfaction.
For the Wolf, tracking his prey was almost as thrilling as the kill itself.


Do you have any tips for other aspiring writers?

Do your research, and take your time.

Honestly, I’m glad print-on-demand publishing wasn’t available when I was in my early twenties. Self-publishing makes it too easy to put one’s work out there, and I’ve seen plenty of examples of books that were published before they are ready. Mine no doubt would have been among them!
So don’t release a story before it’s ready. Don’t skimp on editing and cover design. Put yourself in your prospective readers’ shoes. Shed as much subjectivity as you can. In short, wait until you’re prepared to treat your fiction like a business before you even think about publishing. It’s not a race.

Is there anything you would like to share with us before you go?

Thank you for this opportunity, Rebecca. In my opinion, book marketing is far more challenging than writing, editing, or publishing, so every bit of exposure helps!

David Michael Williams has suffered from a storytelling addiction for as long as he can remember. With a background in journalism, public relations, and marketing, he also flaunts his love affair with the written word as an author of speculative fiction. His most recent books include the sword-and-sorcery trilogy The Renegade Chronicles and The Soul Sleep Cycle, a genre-bending series that explores life, death, and the dreamscape.

David lives in Wisconsin with the best wife on this or any other planet and their two amazing children. He joined the Allied Authors of Wisconsin, one of the state’s oldest writing collectives, in 2005.
Author Links

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hunted Review

Wow! What an incredible read! Hunted is unlike any fairy tale retelling I have ever read. It's so refreshing to read a YA novel that satisfied my crave for a fairy tale retelling, but offered so much new material that I felt like I was reading something that was just loosely based off a fairy tale and was more it's own original tale. What a beautiful read!

I will admit, Hunted begins a little slow. Yeva, her two sisters, and her father must move to their cabin in the forest because their father lost all their fortune. Yeva's father spends his days hunting the forest and going a little mad with trying to find the creature that watches him. Once the father goes missing  Yeva ventures out to find him, but what she ends up finding is a dark monster. Yeva is thrown into a world of strange enchantments, but somehow she always felt like she had been destined for more. Like the very forest called to her her entire life.

Other than the slow beginning, this book will keep you on your toes. It's spell binding and captivating. The way Megan Spooner weaves legends and tales into the traditional fairy tale is breathtaking. And I must say, I love the tale about the firebird. Plus the ending has a beautiful message that I think everyone will love and enjoy.

Do you love fairy tales? Looking for a retellling of Beauty and the Beast but is still very original? Then add Hunted to your TBR list!
My Rating:
Book Summary:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Daughter of the Siren Queen Review

Oh. My. Gosh!

I have to say I absolutely loved this book! It picked up right around were the first book (Daughter of the Pirate King) left off and instantly swept me into a world of pirates, adventure, and romance. It's a fairly quick paced book and is action packed. I just loved this book!!! The plot was engaging! The characters were bold and daring. Alosa is just like a female Captain Jack sparrow (though honestly I think she has a bit of a better head on her shoulders). And Riden is perfect and dreamy.

I promise you, if you haven't read this duology yet you should, it won't disappoint. Who doesn't love pirates, treasure, sirens, and love?
Simply a magical read!
My Rating:
Book Summary:

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

Monday, March 12, 2018

StoneKing Excerpt

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio
February 20, 2018
FantasyThe Gemeta Stone Book 3
Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

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Kristan crouched to look beneath the bed just as something scrabbled out the other side. When he straightened up, the tabby cat was flinging itself at the chamber door, the girl-shaped haze flickering around it.

“Stop that,” Kristan snapped.

The cat froze facing the door, and Serle laughed. “Look at that! A cat that obeys!”

“She’s not a cat, and she certainly doesn’t obey. Nolle, take your true form.”

The cat did not move, although the haze around it shivered and pulsed.

“Take your true form this instant, or I’ll make you do it.” Kristan took a step forward. The cat spun, reared onto its hind legs and with a hiss, disappeared as Nolle’s form solidified. At the same moment, something round and wrapped in cloth fell from beneath her skirts. As it rolled toward Kristan, the cloth slipped away, revealing the blue glass of the scrying ball.

Kristan picked it up, never taking his eyes off Nolle.

“She’s… she’s…” Serle stammered.

“A girl, yes; and Wiche, and a thief into the bargain. Come here, Nolle.” Nolle came slowly to stand before him, flinching as if expecting to be struck. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t have you punished.

“I only wanted to see it close up,” Nolle whispered.

“Well, was it worth the risk? Worth punishment? Worth losing an easy job and plenty to eat and a warm bed?”

Nolle’s lower lip trembled. “I thought maybe I could See with it.”

It took Kristan a moment to understand what she meant. “And did you?”

She shook her head. Her cheeks had gone crimson.

Kristan looked at the scrying ball, overwhelmed with sudden anger. This is all I have of Simeon, he thought. All he left me. And this girl was going to steal it. I should punish her. She deserves to be punished. I should have her beaten –
His stomach heaved, and he knotted his hands around the ball. Stop. Controlcontrolcontrol.
“Get out,” he said, his voice little more than a growl.

She stood unmoving, as if unable to believe her ears.

“Go on,” he said. “Go back to the kitchen. Get out of my sight before –”

She darted from the room before he could finish. “Close the door, Serle,” he said, and wrapped the ball in its cloth again. He put it in the box, closed the lid, then sat on the bed and buried his face in his hands. In the long silence that followed, he could sense Serle’s eyes on him. “What?” he said gruffly.

“What is it?”

“My lord, how did she –”

“She shifts, Serle. All Wiche have a particular skill, and that’s hers. No more questions, now.

Get in your bed and go to sleep.”

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, "Yaa & The Coffins," was featured in Thinkerbeat's 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Stolen Obsession Review and Giveaway

Annalisse Series, Book 1
Marlene M Bell
Genre: Spicy Romantic Mystery Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 284
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Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.
But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?
Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.
Stolen Obsession was a very enjoyable read! I loved the suspense in the story and the love story was perfect, not too much, not too little, but a very nice balance with the rest of the story. Stolen Obsession follows Annalise and Alec. Annalise works for an art gallery and is still dealing with the aftermath of her friend being murdered. On the night of one of their showings, a necklace appears on display that looks so similar to the one that her friend had. Anna instantly believes the necklace is cursed and from there Annalise must endure another murder of a college, breaks ins to her home, a a vacation that is meant to be a romantic getaway but soon turns into something far darker. I just loved Alec in this story. At first glance he seems like a playboy, but after a few chapters it's easy to fall for this heart throb. Alec is very swoon worthy! Another note worthy character is Generosa, Alec's mom. She is charming and adorable! I love the way she tries to play match maker with Alec and Anna. The only thing I wasn't sure I liked about this book was how often Annalise was the one in trouble, though don't let that fool you, she was no damsel in distress and certainly rose to be quite the heroine on more than one occasion. Anna just seemed to be the center of all the drama all the time and I thought that maybe it was a bit too much. Other than that, I thought it had a great plot with a great focus and drive. I never felt like the story fell flat at all. I was constantly entertained and curious to see where the story was going. I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters, especially between Alec and Anna. I also loved when the story switched locations to Greece, which was the last third of the story. From there the story really picks up the pace. Stolen Obsession is filled with suspense, mystery and has a great love story. So grab a coffee, sit, back, and stay up late to enjoy this delightful read!
My Rating:
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Marlene M Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at www.marlenembell.com or www.texassheep.com.
Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.
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MARCH 1-10, 2018
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