Monday, November 17, 2014

Emma L. Adams's The Darkworld series ~ Fall Into Fantasy Tour #giveaway


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 13: The Darkworld Series
Prequel Novella: Fear's Touch
Book One: Darkness Watching
Book Two: Walking Shadow
By Emma L. Adams


This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.

Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.

But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?

Now available at retailers! 
Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes& Noble  Kobo
Add it to Goodreads

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. 

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

Reviews:
"Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up? The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked." - Rose at Desert Rose Reviews

"A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series." - Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author

“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” - Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter 

"Emma is an amazing writer. She has become one of my favorites. I couldn’t put Darkness Watching down." - Diane at A Creative Mind

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads



When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer who doesn’t know their origins.

The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.

Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…

Coming December 1st, 2014 from Curiosity Quills
Add it to Goodreads

ABOUT EMMA L. ADAMS
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy novels for children and young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, and four more novels and a novella will follow. She chats about writing and other book-related things at her blog, From the Writer’s Nest, and looks forward to sharing more tales from the bizarre depths of her imagination.
Find Emma online: Blog Website Facebook Page Twitter
Sign up to Emma's newsletter to be the first to find out about new releases


Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Read a deleted scene from the new epic fantasy In Your Dreams by John Swan #contest



I'm happy to have author John Swan here today sharing a deleted scene from his new epic fantasy release, In Your Dreams. Be sure to check out his book and also the great contest at the bottom of this post.








Deleted Scene from In Your Dreams by John Swan

            So…, book one was riddled with tiny deleted scenes. Every book has them, whether its dialogue or major chapters. For whatever reason, most of which are due to the author’s ramblings, they don’t fit or flow and drag on too long with little to offer the actual story. But In Your Dreams did have a few major ones that I cut for design and flow. It pained me to do so, and I had a lot of juvenile arguments with my agent that usually started with, “Oh, but did you really read it. I mean, come on, it’s so good for character development!”  But then I started being objective, and in the end I cut them from the story. However, I wanted to share them with you, my amazing readers and supporters, because if you love the story I figure you’d appreciate the extras. And I love bonus material! I like it on all of my favorite DVD’s, books, etc. It makes for fun speculation and gives a glimpse into how I write, and how I delete certain scenes.
            The first, and probably the most major in terms of length, was the 30 pages or so that I cut with Bette’s beauty pageant. Yes, I said it; beauty pageant. It was after the girls arrived at the Vale and get settled into Gracemere. It was my attempt to get the reader involved in more of their daily lives. It was neat, I promise, but unfortunately didn’t make the cut. It was part of the Far Darron festival, and was a pageant for all of the girls from the Vale and surrounding towns to compete in. Bette, who really is a true beauty, advanced very far. But you got to see this quirky part of her as she became used to the dresses and lifestyle of being comfortable and feeling beautiful for the first time. You also got to see the friendly disgust and sarcasm of Mim about the whole thing, which she thinks is completely trivial. It was also a plot device to get Mim and Bette to the festival, but in the end it wasn’t needed. So beauty pageant = delete.
            The next was a good 15-20 pages during the Vale as well. It took you through more of the castle through the eyes of the girls, and into their daily schedules and with more of the Deans. A major part of this was on the top of the star tower, where Mim actually kisses a boy for the first time in her life. I thought people would eat it up, but instead my editor thought it was too caddy. And it really didn’t do anything for the story, especially when I started developing Mim’s actual love interest as the series goes on.
            The next one is actually backtracking in the story’s timeline, but runs through the River Palace scene. It begins when Mim first encounters Eolan. During the raid on the road, the two don’t actually meet. Mim stows away in a utility trunk strapped to the back of the wagon. From here, she sneaks into the capitol and, when in hiding, meets Bette. A bit of the story goes by, with Bette being relieved from duty by Ms. Plarn, and Mim pretends to be Bette’s replacement as a trick to get a letter to Eolan and the King about Jennah. Afterwards they hide out in an old Brandy cellar, (a scene which I loved!), and then quietly board the clipper with Mim’s coins. There is a nasty scene that ensues with an entitled noble, and it causes quite the uproar. Eolan sees this on his way on board the clipper, and has the girls brought up to his apartments where they finally meet. 
That whole part was the most difficult for me to rewrite and fix. My biggest hurdle was due to me naively thinking it was the best written! How wrong was I…? Well that about sums up the deleted scenes and major fixes. I hope you enjoyed the little sneak peeks into what could have been. Stay tuned for more on each book. Trust me, there will be plenty, because I love writing too much.

 *~*~*

In Your Dreams: The Aldaya Series, Book One by John Swan



Genre: Epic Fantasy

Date of Publication: Sept. 14, 2014
 ISBN:978-0-9906555-0-3
ASIN:B00NI96DC4
 Number of pages: Estimated 276
Cover Artist: Natalie Spasic

Book Description:

On an ancient planet within our galaxy, a dark and fearsome terror has awoken from its long slumber. Its task is to work quietly from the unseen, spreading dissent through the vulnerable territories of the free races; weakening them for its master. By a chance meeting, it comes across a young girl in the swampy and mist choked lands of Endmoor.

Her name is Mim, and the pairing of her platinum hair and violet eyes has not been seen since the Great War 1,000 years earlier; and has attracted unwanted attention. Knowing it hunts her, Mim flees and starts on a journey that takes her far across the Great Isle of Aldaya; the only landmass that now sits above the waves.

Unbeknownst to her, she is the key to unraveling the darkness that is falling over the Great Isle; an emptiness that threatens to swallow not only Aldaya, but the Sphere as well, and all its futures to come.

 
Excerpt:

Her words caught in her throat and she was unable to breathe. The woman at the table was the strangest looking person she had ever seen. Her body was thin and gangly, and her pale skin stuck out jaggedly in places as if it were trying to cover too many bones. Even sitting down Mim could tell she was tall, and her thin robes were midnight black and hemmed in places with dark maroon embroidery.

Then Mim took in her face, and it was paler and more terrifying than the rest of her body.

Her cheekbones were set a little too pointy and high. The mouth was nothing more than a thin slit stretched too far across the length of her face. The nose looked as if it had been removed, shrunk, and poorly placed back on. And her eyes were ghastly and titled upwards too far, and completely black with veins around the outer parts. Their color matched the hair that came down from her dark hood, which had jagged protrusions poking out at a few points near the back.
“Oh! I didn’t smell a child,” the creature said. As her black eyes met Mim’s purple ringed with blue, she stopped. “Well, what do we have here? How strange...” She got up from the table and circled her. At full height, the creature stood at least two feet taller than Mim.“I can smell the sweet scent of youth a mile away, little piglet, yet somehow I had no idea you were here.” A cold, pointy, finger ran across Mim’s cheek and up to her temples. “And what strange eyes you have.”

Mim was rooted to the ground and dared not move. Whatever stood before her seemed to be a demon that had jumped off the pages of one of Ilanya’s stories, and as she glanced towards Miss Barley and Candy for direction, the two were expressionless. They stared ahead in some sort of trance. What was wrong with them?

A lightning bolt cracked overhead and the woman let out a high-pitched laugh. When her oversized mouth opened, Mim could see two rows of sharpened teeth that filled the inside: one in the front like normal, and another jagged row sitting just behind it. The two figures that accompanied her said nothing, remaining still and hidden under their cloaks.

As she looked down at the blond girl, for the first time in over a thousand years, curiosity crept into Morra’s mind. The girl had no smell, and try as she might, Morra Losis couldn’t sense a trace of her except with her vision. But even stranger were her eyes. Purple eyes like those she had only seen many ages ago, and the bearers of them had disappeared from the sphere before the Great War in the north had begun.

But yet here in front of her one remained, and she wondered to herself whether her queen would find interest in this young human. Oh, most certainly, she thought. This revelation was the only thing keeping her from devouring the succulent girl on the spot. But if she lost her now, she would have to hunt for her like mortals did, and that was certainly not going to happen. Then the most wonderful idea came to her mind.

With the centaurs it had always been the hunt, the Dwarves their precious jewels, and the Elves their knowledge. But with humans it had always come down to their desire for freedom and independence. And although she hadn’t been awake for long, she knew in this age that true freedom could only be attained by one thing:wealth. She knew exactly what this poor little mongrel desired most just by looking at her torn outfit and dirty hands. “Well, it seems that one servant around here knows how to appease a guest of status. And I have always prided myself on paying the help.”

Morra Losis snapped her fingers and one of the tall hooded figures glided over, producing a large coin purse. She dipped her hand in and pulled out a large handful of endins and sprinkled them into the pot of meat with a smile. The taller creature then went back to standing by its twin before she drew herself closer to the girl onceagain. “That is for the meat, dear.” She then reached into a pocket from the inside of her cloak and pulled out a very small black purse. It was made of a shimmery fabric and all over it were dark maroon shapes. “And this is for you.”

As her hand placed the small pouch in the girl’s free hand, a tremor went through her. She could barely contain her appetite. She grabbed Mim’s jaw with one hand and effortlessly lifted her off of the ground, running her forked purple tongue up Mim’s cheek. The pot dropped to the ground, sending pieces of raw pork and coins spilling onto the rough floors. Her grip was so tight that she felt the girl’s jaws beginning to crack. She hadn’t had a meal this intriguing in an age, and her resistance was crumbling to the need to satisfy her hunger. What can one little bite hurt? she thought. But as she thought of her master, she quickly let go, dropping the girl back to the ground and turning back towards the table. As she bent down and picked up a raw piece of intestine and dangled it in front of her face, she said, “I just don’t think this will do. I certainly do not eat off of the floor, and when I feed I have always desired something with a little more...spunk.” She turned towards the dark greasy haired girl and let out a low gurgle, briefly revealing her jagged rows of teeth. Lifting her enchantment, the girl came out of her stupor, and after a moment began shrieking and backing away.

About the Author:


John Swan has been an independent fiction writer since 2003, with the Aldaya Series being his first published work to date. During that time, he attended Southern Illinois University and graduated with two degrees, both with high honors. He has an Associates in the Sciences and a Bachelors in Meteorology and Climate sciences, with emphasis on research and written dictations.


He spent several years during school helping to open and manage a French Bistro before moving to Honolulu, HI, where he worked for the local Parks and Wildlife service and was finally able to give his writing career the full attention it needed.


His love for writing began at an early age, never passing up chances to submit his works to young writers’ forums through school and his local community. He grew up on a small farm in southern Illinois, but spent his summers in an enchanted little blue cottage on the banks of the Mississippi River. In this valley is where he wandered beneath the trees along the bluffs with his best friends, and where tales of hobbits, mages, boy wizards, enchanted wardrobes and Native American folk lore shaped his writing style and drove him to create an entire universe all his own.

Mailing list      http://bit.ly/1pVhj3X
Facebook Fan Page http://on.fb.me/1m8dbuF

Twitter            http://bit.ly/UZlq2o
Linkedin          http://linkd.in/1prZEgP
Google Plus     http://bit.ly/1kZ7zxY
Goodreads      http://bit.ly/1pwR6XH
Website           http://bit.ly/1nsoJFF
 

Tour Giveaway Prizes:

1 KINDLE FIRE

5 Prize Packs Featuring  Digital Series Wallpapers Character Group and ebooks of Book I

5 Prize Packs  Featuring a Paperback (Not Signed)  and a Digital Group Character Poster

5 Prize Packs of Book I Paperback signed with a signed Character Group poster signed by Author & Illustrators (1st official print run pre release)

5 Prize Packs Featuring Digital Wall Papers of  4 Individual Characters of Book 1 + Aldaya Series Wrist Bracelet + e book

2 Prize Packs Featuring Digital  Series Wall Paper Fantasy Map + Print Color Version of the Fantasy Map poster size signed, + E Book. 

5 Prize Packs Featuring Aldaya Series Bracelet, Digital B & W version of The Fantasy World Map + e book

5 Digital Prize Packs  Wall Paper Bundle of  all Official Series Digital  Group, Individual Character, Fantasy Map  Color and B& W Version + e book


2 VIP SUPER FAN PRIZE BUNDLE >Digital E Book, Signed Paperback, All Digital Series Wallpaper +  (Group, Individual & Fantasy Map) , Character Group poster signed by Author & Illustrators (1st official print run pre release) ,  e-Book short story "Trial of the Heart" pre release, and one conversation with the Author + Aldaya Series Wrist Bracelet


*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tea Leaf Tales: Love Lies Under the Waterfall Ahead


Oh, I’ve just come upon this strange trail marker along my hiking path, and wonder what lies ahead.

I hide side under cover of some brush to wait and watch for any sign of other people, since this could have been drawn by a serial rapist or worse, a murderer looking for an easy target. After all, it was drawn in red, like blood. Or the person could be some desperate chick who thinks all hikers are buff guys.

Or am I overthinking? The person might be a guy who’s a real hunk. I venture a few more yards along the trail, and the sound of splashing water reaches my ears. Maybe the hot guy is playing in a waterfall…stripped down to his shorts with water dripping over the ripples of his toned abs.

I lick my lips, and unable to endure more sweet anticipation, I rush around the corner. My knees go weak, and I drop to the rock floor, unable to utter a peep, in total awe and in love with mother nature.


Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.

*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lisa Swallow's Between: The Dark Intent series ~ Fall Into Fantasy Tour #giveaway


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 12: The Dark Intent Series
Book One: Between
By Lisa Swallow


What do you do when you are attracted to two men and both have the power to kill you with a touch or a kiss? Can Rose trust either of them - or anyone in her new life?

Ghosts? Demons? Angels? Or something more? The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre...

Rose survived the accident that killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren't the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her enigmatic work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn't expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn't fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she's the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek's past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, on the edge of Hell, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her - but are they prepared to risk the consequences?



ABOUT LISA SWALLOW
Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.

Find Lisa online: Website Facebook Twitter Mailing List

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Donna Augustine's Writing Rollercoaster creating her UF book Karma ~guest post and #contest



I'm happy to bring my readers an interesting account of my guest Donna Augustine's writing process. Be sure to check out her new urban fantasy release, Karma, as well as her awesome giveaway at the bottom of this post.




*~*~*
The Writing Rollercoaster
 by Donna Augustine

As I prepare for a new book to come out, people often ask if I’m excited. That single word can’t really encompass the range of emotions I feel. It had me thinking about the whole process of writing a book, from the first idea to the last word, and I thought it might be of interest to a few of you.

The very beginning of a new story usually starts at the strangest times. I’ll be driving along in my car, or shampooing my hair, when it hits. It won’t be anything much at that point but a glimpse into a scene. Over the next few weeks, or more likely months, it’ll start to grow into something with a real storyline. This is when the work begins.

When I first start getting it down, I’m filled with excitement and passion for this new idea and the words can’t come out quick enough. In this stage, I often believe this is going to be the best thing I’ve ever written. Then comes act two and with it, the inevitable doubts. By act three, I’m starting to debate whether the entire thing should be deleted. Having some books under my belt though, I know that this is normal for me and I plow ahead.

I start the rewrite process, which is pretty extensive for me. I shift through what I think is working, and invariably, some things will get cut and new scenes will need to be added. I start to feel better about the story again and after I’ve gone over it many times, start to feel like this is my best work ever.

Until I remember other people have to see it. All the doubts I had come slamming back into me. I’ve given it to a trusted group of readers, people I’m comfortable with and I still can’t sleep. They give me feedback, I polish it up to the best of my abilities and then it’s time to set it free.

For the first couple weeks after a book is released, I can’t sleep, I eat sporadically and I’m tense the majority of the time. Then I start to calm down. Not because of anything other than the knowledge that life goes on, whether people hate it or not. I start to throw my hands in the air and realize it’s out of my control and time to get back to work. Then I do it all again. 
 *~*~*

Karma
Karma Series
Book One
Donna Augustine

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Strong Hold Publishing
Date of Publication: July 9, 2014
ISBN: 0692248463
ASIN: B00LMNRWQ4
Number of pages: 344
Word Count: 72,000
Cover Artist: Donna Augustine

Book Description:

People say karma's a...well, you know. Personally, I don't think I'm that bad. It's not like I wanted this job. I wasn't even in my right mind when I accepted it. 

Now, I'm surrounded by crazy coworkers like Lady Luck, who's a bit of a tramp, and Murphy's Law, who's a bumbling oaf.

But the worst is Fate. He's got a problem with transfers like myself and I have to see him constantly. It's unavoidable, since we're hunting the same man, my murderer.

Available at Amazon


I was immediately drawn into the story and once I started I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the next book in the series. ~ Review by BookGirl

Excerpt:

“No. Just you. Everyone has their own department. You are Karma.” He pointed toward me dramatically, the way someone would try and accent a meaning to a person who didn't know the language.

“I'm not sure I'm adequately suited for this position. Even for a month. I'm more of a “bygones be bygones” kind of person. Don't you need someone a bit more vengeful?”

He looked down at the file spread on his desk. “I would disagree. Your file said you would be an excellent candidate.”

“May I see that?” I asked, eying up said file on his desk. How much did Harold know about me? Everything? That was an uneasy feeling. Even the best of us had our secrets and even though I considered myself a decent human being, I didn't think I fell into the saintly category.

The file didn't look big enough for my entire life to be in it. It didn't even look thick enough for a short story. Maybe just a highly edited Wiki version?

“No, absolutely not.” He shut the Manila folder quickly, as if I were going to jump up and try to peek. The guy took neurotic to a whole other level.

Okay, the file wasn't that important. I needed to keep the peace and simply explain in better detail how I'd made an error in judgment. Be nice. My southern mother had always said you caught more bees with honey than vinegar. She had tried to drill it into my head since I was a small child. It wasn't something I'd come naturally to, that was for sure, but it was a valid tactic, even if that wasn't the lesson my mother had meant to instill.

“Harold, when I agreed to work for you, I was under the duress of seeing my dead body. You can understand how jarring that can be, right? I wasn't thinking clearly at all.” It sounded logical enough to me, but I wasn't sure if he'd ever had the pleasure of dying and his manner didn't scream naturally empathetic.

He cleared his throat and I could tell by the set of his mouth that I wouldn't like the next words. “I'm sorry, but that's not how things work here. Like I told you, there’s a mandatory one-month trial period. An active one-month.”

He leaned back in his chair and pushed his glasses up closer to his face. His almost black eyes, artificially enlarged from the lens, stared at me in a bit of an awkward way. I wasn't sure if there was a bite to follow up his bark but his magnified beady gaze sure made the situation less than desirable.

Still, beady gaze and all, I had to try one last time. Perhaps a different angle. Regardless of my record, he clearly thought I was an idiot; maybe that was the way to go. I had no problem playing a stooge if it got me out of here quickly.

“As you stated, I'm a transfer. You really don't want me. I'm a horribly slow learner. The mistakes I've made in my life, geesh, you'd squirm if you knew.” I twirled a finger in my hair for effect and wished I had some chewing gum to smack.

“Yes, I'm well aware.”

He was? Hey, wait a minute; I didn't think I'd done too badly for myself. What were these jerks writing about me in that file?

“Fate will help you with that.”

And just like that, I had bigger problems. I wasn't just stuck here; I was stuck with him. “The guy who helped me so far?”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“It has to be him.” Harold threw his hands in the air, as if why am I bothering him? Not his orders.

“Then I'll work alone.”

I'd be clueless but peaceful. There was something wrong about that guy. There was something too bossy or too intense. I couldn't even describe exactly what it was about him that was too much, but it was.

Even the brief moment I'd actually been in my right mind around him, it was as if his presence exerted some sort of gravitational pull, stronger than a normal person’s. As if his intensity could throw me out of orbit. And I didn't want to go out of orbit. I had enough things to handle besides ping ponging around.

“Non-negotiable. I've got orders.” Harold folded his hands and rested them atop his desk, littered with paper.

“From who exactly?”

“The universe.” His chin notched up a hair.

“Would it be possible to speak to this universe person? I'm sure they'll understand that there is a personality conflict.” It was time to bump my complaint to upper management.

“No one speaks to the universe.”

“Then how do you know what to do?” I leaned in a little.

“Simple. Through my orders.” His eyes started to twitch.

“Which you get how?”

“My memos.”

“Then you can send a memo to the universe. I won't work with him.”

“I'll file your complaint but it won't matter. And don't forget, as I've already explained, it has to be an active month.”

Twenty-five days. I've dealt with worse for longer. One case in particular came to mind. The guy actually tried to bite me when we lost. Harold didn't seem inclined to bite and he didn't get into my personal space. I could deal with him.

On the other hand, Fate looked like he might be the biting sort.

“Do the last five days count toward the thirty? Time served and all?”

“Yes.”

“These first days were highly unpleasant. Do you think I could get extra credit for those? Maybe, I don't know, you could knock off a day or two? Like they do in jail for good behavior?”He squinted his eyes and tilted his head. I was going to take that for a no.

About the Author:


Donna Augustine’s lifelong ambition was to become the crazy cat lady. Unfortunately, when family allergies cut short her dream of living in a house full of furries, she turned her ambitions toward writing. Combining her love of fantasy, scifi, horror and romance, she tries to string together interesting twists on urban fantasy.

A native of New Jersey, when she isn’t writing, or overdosing on caffeine, she can occasionally be spotted in disguise at the local dog park.


Tour Giveaway

5 ebook copies 
$25 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 *~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why I Write Fantasy ~guest post by Christian A. Brown about Feast of Fates #contest


Today I'm pleased to bring my readers a guest post from author Christian A. Brown about why he writes fantasy. Be sure to check out his new release, Feast of Fates and also his great contest at the bottom of this post.





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Why I Write
by Christian A. Brown
Well there’s whopper of a question that authors often ask themselves. When I decided that I was going to give this “writing” thing a go, I chose to treat it with the same seriousness one applies to a career. Over the course of this journey, I’ve had to amass connections in creative, marketing, advertising and literary professional fields. I’ve had to wear every hat imaginable. I’ve invested a decent portion of my savings as well; you know, that stuff you’re never supposed to touch.

You could say that I’ve gambled my life on this. You would be correct. But if you can push past the fear, the insecurity, the worrying over the gamble that you’ve taken, you can reach a state of clarity where hard-work and a bit of luck mostly determines the outcome of your fate. I guess that’s a similar journey to what my characters (and certain villains) take. Only the perils and threats with which they must contend are far graver than finding an audience. I am overjoyed, really and truly, that so many of you are enchanted with Feast of Fates. And don’t forget, that if you like the novel, if you are as passionate about seeing the rest of the tangled, sweeping tale I have envisioned, then the best thing you can do for me is to share your wonder with someone else. Tell a friend, a co-worker. Sure, I’d love it if they bought a copy, but lend them yours if hesitation presents itself.

Stories exist to be shared. In many ways, you folks—the ones who bought into my work—are a part of my gamble. You are the reason that I keep rolling the dice. Yes, authors will say: “I only write for myself.” I think that’s a rather narrow stance, and involves a measure of self-deception. If I was only interested in private monologues, I’d start keeping a journal. I’m not. I want to write. I want others to find wisdom, laughter, and even a little pain in my experiences. However deeply I entwine my metaphors in colorful characters and fantastic settings, I am, fundamentally, having a conversation with my audience. I am speaking to you—broadly—but the act of reading still remains a conversation. So for me, I do not write for myself, I write to interact with others. I write, because you and I can speak and share in pain, joy, and love, even though we have never met.

The real magic, lies not within my tales with their immortal kings and ancient powers. The real magic is that thread between people miles and continents apart, between page and mind, across gender and nearly every other divide. When I hear from readers, I know that connection has been made. A very real and extraordinarily magical link between souls and minds. Even more humbling to me, is that I can continue that conversation with your children, and their children, well after we are dust. I can’t think of a greater honor or task to which to commit my life. I leave you now, to work on some more of those “conversations”.

I wish you all a wonderful week. 
All the best,
– C
*~*~* 

Feast of Fates
Four Feasts Till Darkness
Book One
Christian A. Brown

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: September 9, 2014
ISBN: 978-1495907586
Number of pages: 540
Word Count: 212K
Cover Artist: Brian Garabrant

Book Description:

"Love is what binds us in brotherhood, blinds us from hate, and makes us soar with desire.”

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her--visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Available at Amazon and Createspace

Feast of Fates, Excerpt

Morigan took the bracelet.
            “I accept your offering.” The Wolf’s face lit and she thought that he would leap at her. “Yet first, I have a request.”
            “Anything, my Fawn.”
            “I would like to see…what you are. The second body that shares your soul. Show me your fangs and claws,” she commanded.
            Perhaps it was the steadiness of her voice, how she ordered him to bare himself as if he belonged to her that made the Wolf’s heart roar to comply. He did not shed his skin but for the whitest moons of the year, and even then, so far from the city and never in front of another. In a sense, he was as much a virgin as she. With an unaccustomed shyness, he found himself undressing before the Fawn, confused for a speck as to who was the hunter. The flare of her nostrils, the intensity of her stare that ate at him for once.
            I have chosen well for a mate. She is as much a Wolf as I, he thought, kicking off his boots and then shimmying his pants down to join the rest of his clothing. No bashful maiden was Morigan, and she did not look away from his nakedness, but appreciated what she saw: every rough, hairy, huge bit of him.
            He howled and fell to all fours. Bones shifted and snapped, rearranging under his skin like skeletal gears. From his head, chest and loins, the soft black hair thickened and spread over his twisting flesh. His heaving became guttural and sloppy, and when he tossed his head up in a throe of agony or pleasure, his beard had coated his face, and she noticed nothing but white daggers of teeth. Wondrously Morigan witnessed the transformation, watched him swell with twice the muscle he had possessed as a man, saw his hands and feet shag over with fur and split the soil with black claws. Another howl and a final gristle-crunching shudder (his hindquarters snapping into place, she thought) signified the end of the change.
            Her dreams did not do Caenith justice. Here was a beast twice the size of a mare with jaws that could swallow her to the waist. Here was a monster that had stalked and ruled the Untamed. A lord of fang and claw. The birds and weaker animals vanished, knowing a deadly might was near. Around her, the Wolf paced; making the ground tremble with power; ravishing her with his cold gray gaze; huffing and blasting her with his forceful breaths. While the scent of his musk was choking, it was undeniably Caenith’s, if rawer and unwashed.
            Morigan was not afraid, and was flushed with heat and shaking as she slipped the bracelet on and knelt. She did not flinch as the Wolf lay behind and about her like a great snuffling rug and placed his boulder of a head in her lap. No, she stroked his long ears and his wrinkled snout. A maiden and her Wolf. Soon the birds returned, sensing this peace and chirping in praise of it. And neither Morigan nor the Wolf could recall a time—if ever there was one—where they had felt so complete. 

About the Author
Christian A. Brown has written creatively since the age of six. After spending most of his career in the health and fitness industry, Brown quit his job to care for his mother when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2010.

Having dabbled with the novel that would eventually become Feast of Fates for over a decade, Brown was finally able to finish the project. His mother, who was able to read a beginning version of the novel before she passed away, has since imbued the story with deeper sentiments of loss, love, and meaning. He is proud to now share the finished product with the world.

Links



Tour giveaway

5 signed copies of FoF (Launch Edition) shipped anywhere within US/ Canada.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.