Author Rj Sullivan original #shortstory guest post

 rj's angelsI’m pleased to share an original piece of flash fiction by author Rj Sullivan who is a mega awesome guy. This was meant to be featured on The Cabin Goddesses blog but she is taking a well deserved break, I’m sure Rj will be hanging out in the cabin at some point in the future. Stay tuned! I’ve read a couple of Rj’s books and must say I particularly love how his focus is on strong female characters. Rj is very in touch with his feminine side and I say the Little Mermaid Mug is to thank for that. So read and enjoy. Also leave some feedback. I’m sure Rj would love it.

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A funny thing happened while killing time in Broad Ripple…

Those that don’t live in Indy won’t care about the details, but suffice it to say, several of my long-time friends live north and east of Indianapolis. I am the only one of that clan to live south and west of downtown. One of my friends still lives in Broad Ripple, a place I used to visit frequently in my teens and twenties and now visit only a couple times a year.

Yes, that Broad Ripple. Fiona “Blue” Shaefer’s hangout prior to moving to the scary small town of Perionne, as referenced in Haunting Blue. Though an older, well-established suburb with many historical buildings, the presence of Butler University injects the area constantly with liberal youth often at odds with its long-term residents.

I took a trip north to meet up with my friends, and in a rare instance, we decided to group up in Broad Ripple. In a not-so-rare instance, being self-employed, I arrived in town a couple hours prior to my friends who all have to punch a clock. I thought I’d take advantage of the atmosphere to bring along the laptop (I really needed to replace that thing with some sort of pad–someday soon, I hope), find a coffee shop or restaurant, take in the local atmosphere, and see how it affects my muse.

Not many people know that the coffee shop Café Expresso as mentioned in Haunting Blue and Haunting Obsession really existed–past tense. It was a favorite hangout during my college years, a place for the more artistic type to meet during the day and, looking back, feel a bit insufferable about ourselves. Unfortunately, the little shop closed down around 1990 and so its legacy continued only in the pages of my stories, my little homage to a very cool place.

Or so I thought.

I barely had the presence of mind not to drive up onto the sidewalk when I saw the awning over a historical building in downtown Broad Ripple that declared itself to be the Café Expresso. I managed to pull over before embarrassing myself, and sat there for many seconds staring at the little shop and its ironic name. Dare I say…I felt like I’d seen a ghost.

Sometimes all you have is the cliché.

But that was nothing compared to how stunned I felt when I stumbled through the door to stare at the coffee bar….literally, a bar made up of several varieties of coffee beans behind see-through glass display containers, like a candy shop. The one element I recalled from the original place, and had put into my story. The booths and tables that gave my version a pub-like atmosphere… not so much….except….this new place had my revised layout.

Something really weird was going on, and I wondered if this was some sort of elaborate joke.

I heard a husky woman’s voice from across the room and froze. “Getting the usual tonight, Rebecca?” Literally, in mid-step, I simply stopped moving.

My brain wouldn’t accept what I was seeing. A woman in a black leather jacket proceeded to pull a fedora from her head and shake out waves of long, striking red hair. “Yes, please,” she answered, her eyes still hidden behind a pair of reflective sunglasses.

This has to be some sort of trick. Someone must have known I would be driving through and set this up. The only other explanation was that I had walked into a coffee shop of my imagination and now looked upon one of the major characters in my book series. And I knew Rebecca Burton didn’t exist. I’d made her up, along with everything else I was now looking at.

As cosplayers went, she was terrific. Mid 30s, stoic demeanor, and the perfect blend of Nell William’s and Bonnie Wasson’s interpretatoins.

As if on cue (and maybe it was) she looked up, did a double-take, and slowly removed her glasses. Her green eyes squinted at me, and her jaw slowly dropped. “What…are you…” Then words seemed to fail her.

I shook my head and approached. “Very good, Rebecca, or whatever your name really is. You must have practiced this moment for hours.

As I approached, she seemed to have regained her composure and motioned to the seat across from her. “Join me, R.J. Sullivan. I assure you I’m every bit as surprised as you are.”

Wow, she is good. “Okay, seriously, the act’s over. Who put you up to this? Stephen? John? Eric? Maybe Selah. This strikes me as the sort of thing she would concoct.”

“I assure you, this is no act, Mr. Sullivan.”

I looked around, half expecting to see the crew of What Would You Do step out any moment. “Come on, seriously. I hope I can use you for a book signing for cosplay.”

Rebecca’s eyes rolled. “I don’t cosplay, Mr. Sullivan. You, if anyone, should know that.”

“Okay, okay,” I laughed, then grew uneasy. “Still, the coffee shop, the awning, this is awfully elaborate for a practical joke.”

“I suggest you follow that train of thought, Mr. Sullivan. It’s amazing a person so dense is responsible for my existence.”

Okay, that comment stung a bit. “Hey, that’s not very friendly.”

“Sorry, it’s not very often one sees one’s creator walk through the front door. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to act.”

I considered, and then figured it would be better to go along and let them tell me in their own time. Clearly, whoever was responsible went through a lot of effort. “So you know who I am?”

“Of course, though I doubt the waitress does, or anyone else in this coffee shop. You gave me extraordinary perception, and I’ve been quite aware that I exist in two realities. There’s the one where I live and exist, where my actions impact the world I live in and those that reside in it.” She tapped her own chest, then motioned to me. “And then there’s your reality. The one where my reality is part of your imagination and put down in a series of paranormal thriller books.”

I laughed. “That’s terrific. Quite melodramatic. I could have written it myself.”

She released a sigh, the weariness in her demeanor showing through. “We can’t continue this way, Mr. Sullivan.” She extended her hand, palm up. “Take it.”

“Sorry, I’m a married…” Then her meaning became clear. “Wait…you mean, really… take your hand? Like…”

“Can you think of any other way to convince you?”

I felt the smirk come to my face. I couldn’t help it. This was too good. “Trying to hold my hand, Rebecca. You sly dog.”

She returned a humorless stare. She didn’t get it. Well, of course she wouldn’t.

“Okay, fine, here. I’ll take your—” As I placed my hand in hers, she gripped my fingers tightly, and the room suddenly spun out of focus.

“Listen to me, Mr. Sullivan. I’m really Rebecca Burton, I really have the power to influence your emotions. Since I know you’ve always wondered what this might feel like, I hope you enjoy the moment. But know that I’m not influencing you except to get you to accept this truth. I am Rebecca Burton.”

And, indeed, the room gently slipped out of focus and returned. My head swum, like fighting a bad cold, and a moment later, it cleared, and the reality of the situation sunk in. Of course she’s Rebecca. How could I have thought otherwise?

Then a second, competing thought. I’ve been manipulated by my own fictional character.

I released a sound, some sort of giggle. Or maybe a guffaw. Yes, let’s go with guffaw, because guys don’t giggle.

She released my hand, and the room returned to normal. “Wow…so….wow.” I released a breath, and tension left my body with it. “So…you’re really you. But…how?”

“An excellent question, Mr. Sullivan.” Her brows furrowed.

I waited. Come on, Rebecca, you’re the expert. You must have the answer.

And she did. “I suppose one could postulate a dynamic between the dimensions of our realities. Perhaps the point where your imaginative constructs would exist in your real world may sometimes create doorways that would allow you to travel to it.”

I considered. “Broad Ripple is a real place, but the café is not. But since I came here, and this is where the Café would exist, if it did, a doorway opened up, allowing me to enter.”

“Essentially, yes.”

“Or maybe it’s just a contrivance for a publicity blog,” I offered.

Rebecca ignored me. “In any case, I doubt you can remain here for long, and I have many questions.” She hesitated. “It’s not often one gets to ask questions of their creator.”

Her tone sobered me up. “I suppose that’s true.” I nodded. “Ask away.”

“Have you made up your mind about my story?”

The question caught me off guard. “The fact that you know I’ve been pondering several options means you have access into my insight already.”

“True.” She sipped her coffee and met my eyes. “Does that surprise you?”

I laughed. “Of course not. You’re good. I made sure of that.”

“And yet,” Rebecca said, “I’m much more than I need to be. For instance, all Rebecca Burton had to be in Haunting Obsession was a paranormal investigator, but you’ve given me many extraordinary powers. Quite useful, but hardly necessary.”

“Those powers came in handy during Virtual Blue.”

She nodded. “True. But you have a good imagination. You could have written in a workaround.”

“I could have, but I have big plans for you.”

“I know.” Then, after a short pause, “And that terrifies me.”

“You should like the next story. You and Blue have quite the fun adventure.” I was referring to Blue Shaefer, the protagonist of Haunting Blue and Virtual Blue. In Virtual Blue, my two main characters meet and interact for the first time.

Rebeccan pressed. “I know, you’re going to tell the story about last Christmas. But you have planned several stories and then canceled many of them. I’m not sure if I should be concerned.”

It was true. “I thought I’d write a few smaller books along the line of Haunting Obsession. I’m working up to a more epic story I thought of a few years ago. Back then, I didn’t think my skill level matched the challenge of the tale.”

Rebecca gulped, even though the coffee still set on the table at her side. “And now?”

“Now, I’m going to go for it. I think I’m ready now. And I think you are, too.” I reached out and patted her hand. “It’s going to be a grand adventure.”

Words erupted from her. “Not all the possibilities you’ve pondered go well for me.”

I’d never imagined Rebecca Burton with fear in her eyes, and the look unnerved me. “Yours is the most important story in what my readers jokingly call the ‘RJ-Verse.’ I don’t know how it ends, but it needs to be told.”

“Sometimes…I get very angry about that.”

I gripped her hands tighter, trying with all my might to imbue comfort, courage, contentment, into her the way she does with so many others. “It’s going to be okay, Rebecca. I write most of my tales in deep third person. I won’t put you through anything we both can’t handle.”

“Can you…tell me anything more than that?”

“Spoilers? Of course not. Who knows who’s listening in right now?” I patted her hand one last time before withdrawing mine. “I’m very proud of how you’ve turned out. You were sort of a seat-of-the-pants creation I added to over a long time, and because of you, a lot of people want to know your story and read my books. They want to know your tale almost as much as I do.”

“I’d like to know it even more.”

“Well,” I reached down and grabbed my laptop. “I suppose I should get on my way and start to write it, then.”

I stood and extended my hand. “Tell Blue hello for me.”

Rebecca took it. No tingles, no attempt to manipulate. “You probably shouldn’t try to find this place again.”

“I figured as much, but I’m glad I found it today. I guess there’s no way to get you to one of my book signings, is there?”

“I suspect these portals are exceedingly rare.”

I shook my head and headed toward the door. “Too bad. You’d look terrific handing out bookmarks.”

“Thank you, but I think you have bigger plans for me than that, Mr. Sullivan. Goodbye.”

I offered one last wave. “Goodbye, Rebecca Burton. I’ll see you again soon.” I exited.

I drove a few blocks down the road. I didn’t even bother to look in my rearview mirror as I drove away to see the building was no longer there, because that would be cliché. I pulled into a McDs, entered, ordered a giant Styrofoam Cup O Diet Coke, opened a new file on my laptop, and started typing.

Blue Christmas
A Blue Shaefer and Rebecca Burton Holiday Tale
By RJ Sullivan

Rj SullivanBiography: R. J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, in 2012 and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale, in 2013. Seventh Star will release a new edition of Haunting Blue in spring 2014. R. J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction e-novelettes.

R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it. Check in to www.rjsullivanfiction.com to learn the latest.

R.J. can also be found on Facebook, his publisher Seventh Star Press and his books can be purchased on Amazon in print and ebook

The Rebecca Burton Series So Far (in character chronological order):

Inner Strength (short story)
Haunting Obsession
Backstage Pass (a Seventh Star Single)
Virtual Blue

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Did you ever wish you could escape to a virtual world? What if you could…but then couldn’t get out?
Two years after her deadly clash with a vengeful ghost, Fiona “Blue” Shaefer still can’t shake off the trauma of that night. Moving to New York with her father didn’t help. Neither did absorbing herself in her college classes. Not even her poetry provided the solace it once did. She convinces herself that ending her relationship with Eugene “Chip” Farren, her long-distance boyfriend and final tie to the horrors of that night, might bring the closure she needs. Blue travels to Bloomington to break the news to Chip in person, but her timing couldn’t be any worse.
The Sisters of Baalina, vengeful cultists who practice a new form of “techno-magic,” have targeted Chip’s multi-player videogame as the perfect environment to cast a dangerous spell to free a demoness from the very pits of hell. In the process, their plan may trap Blue in a prison of the mind with no locks, no bars, and no escape.
Book Two in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer.

Author Rajdeep Paulus guest post and #giveaway

Seeing Through Stones - Rajdeep Paulus

 

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“I live in the in between. Between yesterday and forever. The way forward haunts me. The gap I must cover daunts me. And hope beckons, ‘Run to me,’ but I just learned to walk.”

After a lifetime of abuse, the Vanderbilt siblings flee their home, finally free to pursue new dreams while running from yesterday’s nightmares.

Once bed-ridden Jesse navigates the Chicago streets, concealing his identity and planning revenge. A chance encounter in the rain

introduces a girl who offers Jesse a glimpse of a sunnier future, but how will he weather the growing storm inside himself?

Separated from her Post-it note prince, Talia hides at a safe house for survivors of domestic violence while her father turns the city upside-down to find her. Surrounded by women fighting their own demons, Talia faces her past at every turn.

Inception-al Moments With Young Adult Book Friends by Rajdeep Paulus
 

I call my characters my friends. Simply because friendship is defined by trust and I need them to know that I trust them. And they can trust me. That’s the only way they will share their secrets with me. Funny thing is, they often whisper their best closet hidden truths in my dreams. Here’s a little dream I had the other night. Met Talia and can I just tell you, she was more beautiful and more terrifying than I ever imagined. I suppose when you’ve been through what she’s been through, you’re bound to have that affect on people.

THE DREAM:

“Wake up.”

I hear the words, but my eyes are glued to another dream, so I push off the words and roll over.

“Wake up,” the voice says again, urgency lacing the female voice that I seem to know from somewhere.

As I reach back to move her hand off my shoulders, to tell her she should find some other dreamer to bother, my fingers brush the rough and scaly feel of her arm. And then I know. Talia. Has to be.

“Is it really you?” I sit up in my dream and rub the last adventure from my eyes. “Talia? Why? What? Are you doing here? I finished writing your story. Go away.”

“It’s not that.” Her voice sounds gentle now. Sad. “I just. There’s something I forgot to tell you. Something. One thing. You forgot to write.”

Now she has my attention. I rise out of my hammock swinging between stars and step into the moonlight. So I can see her better. Talia. Just as I imagined. Yet. Different. Sure, she’s wearing green and her long brown hair falls down her back save a few strands she twirls and strings across her lips. Even with her finger teetering over her mouth, I can see her lips. Broken, like someone ripped stitches out of them. But her eyes—they mesmerize me. The hazel green reflects the stars all around us, but the longer I gaze into them, the stars begin to fall. Leaving a trail of star dust tears behind. One after the other.

“So as I was saying…” Talia blinks, giving me a chance to remember this is just a dream. Or is it?

“Right,” I say, looking away. “You wanted to tell me something.”

“Not here,” Talia says, and before I can protest, she sweeps my arm and pulls me in the direction of earth.

“But I’m not ready to wake up yet,” I say, foolishly grasping for the last dream by closing my eyes. Doesn’t work, so I open them again so I can see where she’s taking me.

We’re hopping from cloud to star to cloud back to star, the most wonderful spiral staircase I ever did descend. Okay, more like the only spiral staircase I ever stepped on.

Right before we hop from a low cloud to the top of a tree, she turns to me and says, “Promise me you won’t cry.”

“Why?” I am so confused, but the rain in her eyes tells me she knows me well. I’m a cryer.

“It’s the only way.”

“Way for what?” I want some details before I make a promise I’m pretty sure I can’t keep.

“It’s the only way the dream will stay on.” She lets go of my hand and wipes a tear from her own eye, but it’s made of stardust. Then she blows the sadness over my head. “This should hold you together. But it doesn’t work on everyone. I can only hope it lasts long enough to show you what I came to show you.”

“But…”

“No more questions,” Talia shushes me. “We’re running out of time. I don’t even know if she’s still where I left her.

I stop myself from asking who and slide down the branches of Talia’s waterfall willow until my feet land on the soft prickle of freshly cut grass.

“Is this? Are we at…”

Talia shushes me again, lowers her voice, and says, “It’s not the place I want you to pay attention to.”

She parts an opening in the willow branches, just wide enough to peek in. A girl, maybe ten or eleven is playing with a doll. Next to her is a baby bathtub. And next to the tub is a play kitchen set.

I want to ask where all this came from? How did the girl create a play world under the tree? And where are her parents. But when I look at Talia, so focused on the girl, I bite my tongue and turn my attention back to the child.

“Time for your bath, Bubbles,” says the little girl, roughly peeling the sleeper off the doll and placing  her in the empty tub, the doll arms tucked by her side. “I’ll be right back.”

Then she puts a teakettle on her play stove top and looks at her wrist, no watch visible from my angle. When the kettle hisses, the little girl takes the teapot by the handle, walks over to the bathtub, kneels down, and pours the steaming water over her doll. I don’t see any water. But I do see steam. I don’t hear the baby doll cry, but I hear the sizzle of plastic. I don’t bite my lip, but my eyes begin to water.

“Why?” The single word leaves my lips and I know the dream is over. I cried. Tears end the dream. Talia said it would be so.

But as a gift perhaps, or maybe just an echo of her final words to me as I drift up the tree, over clouds and stars, past the moon and back into my bed, I hear Talia say, “I thought if I watched her, the doll could teach me how. I just want to make it one time. Just one time without crying. Ya know?”

I know now.


****

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Rajdeep Paulus studied English Literature at Northwestern University and lives in New York with her husband and four princesses. She’s the author of YABooks, Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones, and Chip MacGregor is her agent. Visit her website or  connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

 

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Close Call by @EloiseMarch Vadgeventure #booktour & #review

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Hi there! Today I have a lovely tour for a book with a character who is having man issues. Also she has a talking vagina. Her name is Doris. The vagina not the person the vagina is attached to that’s Jemma. Still with me? Great :) Doris in the hot, muggy, tropical land that is the nether regions tries to communicate with Jemma to make her realise she is sentient. Will she? Will Jemma meet a man worthy of her and Doris? Will Doris like the penis Jemma brings home to her den of love? Ahhh sweet tantalising mystery awaits and a giveaway! In addition I’ve got a great character interview which should give you all a nice taste of what the book has to offer.

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I requested a review for the tour and at less than 100 pages its a quick highly entertaining read. I will start with an issue I had though. Some references were not anatomically correct. Call me a stickler but there is a difference between your vagina and your vulva.

Now aside from this can I say Doris is cool and everyone should converse with their genitals if they can. A lovely line in the book suggests men can communicate with their penis’. Is this really so? I love the idea of my lady parts having ideas on my life, course I’d probably just get asked to dust her. Poor thing.

Really hilarious was when the vagina’s spoke to each other and to penis’s in the room. lmao yeah genital conversation. Seriously just picture at a party your genitals chatting with the others nearby. Yeah lol

Doris is quite witty and charming and wants only the best for Jemma. She also wants to make sure the penis she brings to Doris is worthy. Ahhh what an adventure indeed and this while a wedding with family from hell is going down and you have the makings for a funny, light enjoyable read.

I recommend this for those who enjoy short stories, are open minded enough to not be weirded out by a talking vagina as a character and who want a simply entertaining read. You will get that fur sure with Close Call.

As its the first in a series I must say I look forward to the next bit of fun.

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Viva la Vadgeventures!

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Eloise Chats with Jemma and Doris, an Interview

 

Hi. I’m Eloise March and I’m here with my characters Jemma and Doris. If you’re wondering who is who, well, Jemma is the timid twenty-four year old brunette and Doris is the bald and outspoken vagina. They’ve been good enough to take the time out of their busy lives to chat with me.

 

Eloise – Thanks for joining us today, Jemma and Doris. My first question is for Jemma. How did you react when you first realised that Doris was communicating with you and had a mind of her own?

 

A - I was in shock, to be honest. Before I realised she was actually trying to communicate with me, I was worried I had some kind of muscle twitch that was never gong to go away, because in the weeks leading up to our first ‘conversation’ she had been twitching at me more and more. And you know, it’s just disconcerting when you’re minding your own business and your vagina just twitches for no reason. I’ve spilled more than one cup of coffee.

I guess I felt crazy admitting to myself that my vagina might actually be communicating with me, and when I decided to answer, well, I figured I was definitely a nut case. Imagine what people would say if they heard me talking to my vagina.

 

Q – Well, people know now that you do talk to your vagina. How have others reacted?

 

A - My friends and family don’t actually know yet, so I hope they don’t read this. I just don’t know how to tell them. I mean, do I just go up to my boyfriend and say “Hey, my vagina said you’re a nice guy.” I don’t think so. And I’m sure Erin or Sam (my best friend and my sister) would take me straight to the psych ward. I’ve been wondering how to tell them, but the time hasn’t been right.

 

At this stage Doris jumps in.

 

Doris - I think it’s about time you told them about me. What have you got to hid? Certainly not me? Really, it kind of offends me that you’re ashamed of our relationship. I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to you, and you know my advice has helped you immensely.

 

Jemma - I know, Doris, it’s just, well…. You just don’t understand.

 

Doris - I do understand, and I think you’re being immature. I just want you to know that it hurts my feelings that you won’t mention me in polite company.

 

Eloise - Okay ladies, it seems we’ve hit a sore spot. I think Jemma has to tell people when the time’s right, and I’m sure after this interview, her family might find out anyway. You’re quite the celebrity now, Doris. And I admire how much you care about Jemma and how honest you are with her.

 

Doris - Why thank you, Eloise. Of course I’m honest with her — if your own vagina can’t be honest with you, who can? Admittedly it benefits me if I have some say. Remember that idiot, Aaron’s penis. He was so rude, and diseased. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t scared him off. It would have been minor irritation for Jemma, but I would have been covered in sores and itching like hell. Damned if I’m going to take the fall for her stupid decisions. I don’t know where women get the idea that they have to have a man’s attention at all costs — screw their reputation, screw their health, screw their morals. I’m not having any of it!

 

Eloise – Good on you, Doris. I have to say, since meeting you too, I’ve been listening to my vagina and she’s really clever. Mine actually gives great financial advice — who would’ve guessed! I have on more question for both of you. What do you want women, or men even, to get from reading this book?

 

Jemma - Do you mind if I go first, Doris?

 

Doris - No, dear, go ahead.

 

Jemma - Thanks. I believe that a lot of women are like I was, and still am I guess. I just feel like I’m not thin enough, or beautiful enough, although because of Doris I’m not as bad as before. At least with my new relationship there are boundaries, and if he treats me like crap, he’s gone. I want other women to feel like they’re worth more than their cup size, their waist measurement, or their ability to twerk (which I am never doing, by the way, but I’ve seen girls do it, and it’s not pretty). I want women to love themselves enough to trust their vaginas and walk away from a situation that is hurting them. Stop worrying about what men think, and be nice to your sisters!

 

Doris - Well said, dear. I agree with Jemma and would like to add that men do think with their penis, and their penis usually tells them to sleep with as many women as possible (if he’s heterosexual, obviously). If you hardly know the guy, don’t buy his crap about how he thinks you’re the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, and he loves you. Loves you? After a couple of dates, he hardly knows you. And don’t let them call the shots. Demand what you want and see if he can deliver. It will be worth it in the end.

 

I also want men to pay attention. Respect your woman and for all you misogynistic assholes out there, women have the same brain, feelings, needs and wants that you do, so treat them as you want to be treated. Don’t treat women like objects — they are not bottles of beer, cars or blow-up dolls — they are people. Amazing, life-giving, loving people who brought you into this world and have so much to offer, if you would just open your minds and put your aggressive crap away. And ladies, don’t sabotage your sisters — speak up when your friend is about to go home with an idiot, be kind to her and don’t let her sell herself short. You know there’s power in numbers. And lastly, learn to listen to your vagina, because I guarantee she has your best interests at heart. Thanks so much for the interview, Eloise. It was fun!

 

Eloise – Thanks ladies, it was awesome talking to you. You are such a wise, wise vagina. I can’t wait to get together with both of you and write the next Vadgeventure book. See you soon. Bye!

Close Call: A Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure

Close-Call-3D-450Close Call is the first instalment of “A Doris & Jemma Vageventure” series.

Think Bridget Jones Diary and The Vagina Monologues.

Twenty-two-year-old Jemma can’t seem to get her life in order. Her track record with men stinks, she constantly worries about getting fat and ending up a spinster at thirty. And to top it off, she has to be a bridesmaid at her most-hated cousin’s wedding. She feels like her life is over, until Doris decides to help out. Who’s Doris? Doris is Jemma’s vagina and she thinks more of Jemma than her own brain does. Doris is on a mission to save Jemma from herself, but is the task too much for one vagina to handle?

TAGS: Fiction, Chick Lit, Humor, Women’s Lit, Romance

© 2013 Dionne Lister Cover by Sol Pandiella-McLeod

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and Sony.

Meet Eloise March aka Dionne Lister

Dionne Lister - 2

Eloise March is a woman who laughs at her own jokes, swears way too much and breaks any new diet by lunchtime on the day she starts. She believes in women’s equality, and all equality for that matter, and hopes the things she writes touch people in a positive way, and make them think about how they can create a better society for themselves and others.

In her spare time, she enjoys living as her alter ego, Dionne Lister — a suspense and YA fantasy author who is way too embarrassed to talk about vaginas. She likes spending time as Dionne because Dionne has an awesome family, wonderful friends and a cat called Lily, oh, and she has great hair.

If you’re looking for Eloise, or any information about future books in the Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure series, you can visit Dionne’s website, where Eloise has been lucky enough to get her own page http://www.dionnelisterwriter.com. If you’re looking for a chat, you can find Ms. March on Twitter.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website

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Follow the Tour

Monday – 3/3/2014:

Tuesday – 3/4/2014

Wednesday – 3/5/2014

Thursday – 3/6/2014

Friday – 3/7/2014

Saturday – 3/8/2014

Monday – 3/10/2014

Tuesday – 3/11/2014

Wednesday – 3/12/2014

Thursday – 3/13/2014

Final Day of the Tour – Saturday March 14th

Interview with The Cabin Goddess

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Steven Shrewsbury’s Philistine book tour #guestpost

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Welcome to my stop on the Philistine book tour. This book means a great deal to Steven I know that, he’s mentioned it in conversations and so when the time came for me to pick a post for this tour I thought what better than to have him elaborate on this his baby with a guest post on why this one means so very much to him.

Steven Shrewsbury Featured Book Release

Philistine

A Tale of Goliath

Book tour – March 3 to March 9, 2014

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Book Synopsis Philistine:

 

The Philistines, a mysterious warrior people known now for mainly one man: Goliath. The giant.

Goliath. A name grander than even the man himself. You’ve heard of his infamous end at the hands of a shepherd as written in a famous book, but what of the life of the man himself? What book tells his tale?

A warrior among warriors, a son of a god, a living legend. Goliath, the warrior champion of the Philistines. On the battlefield, he runs like a horse, wields killing instruments no normal man may heft, and revels in the fear his presence evokes. Off the field, his will is immutable, his trust invaluable, and his appetites unbearable. Goliath. This man knows no challenge.

But such a reputation will not discourage all men. Scheming rulers and generals, prophetic priests and powerful cults, dauntless warriors looking to make their own legend. Monsters. Gods. For one seemingly unkillable, at the very least, these things can ruin an otherwise pleasant day.

Along with his shield bearer, Abimelech, and soldiers more in awe than they are useful, Goliath will set out on missions for kings, face foul magic users, and walk in the shadows of mysterious halls. History tells us Goliath died at the hands of an Israelite.

Goliath may have something to say about that.

Philistine is the first Tale of Goliath, set in the same world as Steven Shrewsbury’s novels such as Overkill and Thrall, and his Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories.


Why would one want to write about a guy like Goliath? From what we see from the Bible and other sources, he comes off as a dick, kinda sorta, arrogant as hell. How many guys would really say, “Look, you dudes just send out your toughest guy and if he can kill me, this war isn’t worth fighting. We’ll just be your slaves, if he can kill me.”

 

It was the words before that which interested me, that Goliath was “A man of war since his youth.” I always wondered what he did for his entire life before that. PHILISTINE isn’t a bio of Goliath, just a peek into several weeks of his life at a certain time and does not chronicle his death. There are subtle hints at his demise some day, but read the book and enjoy.

 

PHILISTINE isn’t about furthering religion nor is it Christian fiction by any means. There is no debate on the accuracy etc of his existence. It’s a yarn, a tale about a giant in a realm of evil wizards, monsters and lusty gals…so I figure any lover of fantasy can get their mind around that, right?

 

But why did this one mean so much to me? Why did I want to write it?

 

There are many historical characters that fascinate me, but yes, as a kid, Goliath’s big ass made my mind roll. Of course it did, as he does to any kid that sees a giant. I think it was 2006 or 07 when I took my son John (then 8 or 9) to see WWE in Peoria and the Undertaker, billed at 6 ft 10, fought Mark Henry…but the Great Khali appeared the first time, a man over 7 foot tall. The crowd reaction to this figure, a head taller that Mark Calloway, the Undertaker, was a gasp. My son quipped, “I can’t believe he is really alive.” I never forgot his words.

 

Yes that’s a breathtaking thing to see. That wonderment is in there someplace, in my desire to tell that tale, but I didn’t make Goliath a clumsy beast. If anything, he moves with fluidity and I also don’t really say exactly how big he is…I hint at it, and certain parts of his anatomy of course.

 

Did I want to write on him as the ultimate macho guy, the man who could slay a woman with his manhood? The badass of all badasses, to satisfy some John Millius thing I got in my head? Naw, not that easy. My father was a huge man, as are all the guys in my family. I grew up with giants and heroes in the same house, so I don’t have prick issues. If anything, if was fun. I like action tales and long for pure escapism. I think many a writer who sets out to write a big assed volume forgets what fun is and is too in love with their won voice and ability to make a fake world be like the Earth. Change yer underpants, Junior and just set it on the Earth, for the luvva God.

 

Granted, PHILISTINE is a great deal more complex than my other novels. It’s longer, 137k, about 50k more than my usual books. I didn’t set out to write it like that, nor did I want to compete in some book door-stop fantasy novel contest. As the old saying goes, it ain’t how big it is, but how ya use it. I think I used the 137k of words very well, just as effectively as my 80k version of a work. I did go through it more, probably because I enjoyed spending time in the realm than I care to admit.

 

In the end, telling about Goliath and the military guys about him, the creepy priests, the petty gods and the insurrection in Canaan among the Philistines themselves made for a great story to spin. That’s what I wanted to do, tell a good story. I think I did.

 

It’s a work I wanted to do before I die, because, frankly, I think I can tell it better than others. Why? I was there. I felt every footstep, every strike, every drop of blood that hit the sand. I felt the men live, laugh and also felt them die. Life isn’t pretty and PHILISTINE is a brutal work not meant of the squeamish or the faith of heart.

 

But come take my hand, open the pages of scroll ‘em down. Read and enjoy a story about a time far away and a world full of action, adventure, lust and violence. You might learn a little about history and yourself while reading, too.

 

Are there more tales I want to tell before I die? Many.


StevenShrewsburyAuthorPhotoAbout the Author: STEVEN L. SHREWSBURY lives, works, and writes in rural Illinois. Over 360 of his short stories have appeared in print or electronic media along with over 100 poems. 9 of his novels have been released, with more on the way. His books run from sword & sorcery (PHILISTINE, OVERKILL, THRALL, BEDLAM UNLEASHED) to historical fantasy (GODFORSAKEN) extreme horror (HAWG, TORMENTOR, STRONGER THAN DEATH) to horror-westerns (HELL BILLY, BAD MAGICK, and the forthcoming LAST MAN SCREAMING).

He loves books, British TV, guns, movies, politics, sports and hanging out with his sons. He’s frequently outdoors, looking for brightness wherever it may hide.

 

Author and buy links:

Website / Facebook / Print Version / Kindle Version

 

Steven Shrewsbury

Tour Schedule and Activities

3/3 Beauty in Ruins Character Post

3/3 Author HC Playa Review

3/3 Seers, Seraphs, and More Interview

3/3 Deal Sharing Aunt Tour Wide Contest

3/4 SpecMusicMuse Review

3/4 Come Selahway With Me Character Post

3/5 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review

3/5 Book in the Bag Interview

3/5 MichaelSciFan Interview

3/6 Workaday Reads Character Interview

3/6 Book and Movie Dimension Blog Review

3/7 Azure Dwarf Review

3/8 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post

3/8 The Official Writing Blog of Dee Dee Davies Character Post

3/9 I Smell Sheep Guest Post

3/9 Jess Resides Here Guest Post

 

Bedlam by B A Morton Book Tour #excerpt #giveaway

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The Opening Scene – Excerpt One

I’m a pretty disorganised person. I write when I can or when the mood grabs me and quite often that means I’m tip tapping away at my teeny tiny keyboard, when every sane person is tucked up asleep in bed. It’s the same with my novels. I start at the beginning and see where my imagination takes me. It’s not for everyone, I know. In fact most people would recommend a plan of sorts, a rough idea of start, middle and end, but my thinking is this. In life we never know what awaits us, what quirks of fate, decisions or accidents might change our course and it’s this unexpected quality that makes life interesting, enjoyable and downright scary.

So I start with a thought, usually an image or a snatch of conversation. Then I bring in the central characters and let them loose. I like a twisty turny plot, I like the ending to be as much of a surprise to me as it is to the reader. I love characters that are real and make you laugh and cry. Sometimes it’s difficult to rein it all in, but goodness, what fun!

But let’s not forget, that initial thought. That first pen to paper has an awful lot riding on it. It has to create a scene that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them reading as the plot unravels. The opening scene (and probably the closing scene), are the two hardest things to write, but the first scene is the one that will hopefully win the reader. For me, I go with my gut, the first image seared into my imagination and I try very hard not deviate from that or to dilute it at the editing stage.

Bedlam opens with a young woman poised precariously on a windswept bridge parapet, two hundred feet above Bedlam’s open maw. She’s raw with fear and emotion and she’s about to open the door to a horrifying sequence of events that will push DS Joe McNeil to the brink of madness…

…I hope you’ll read the book to find out why.

Excerpt One:

Fear is subjective. I know this to be true. In my time I have faced them all. The scuttling arachnid, the hissing serpent, even the searing heat of the pyre has left me unbowed. But, when I stand toe-to-toe with the wide open space, the plummeting depths, the void at the edge of my world, the panoramic vista draws me, seduces me, entices me to take that final step back into Bedlam.

I’m shaking now deep inside. My organs rattle like poppy seeds in a desiccated pod. No warm flesh to cushion them, I am but a dry shell. Yet I feel perspiration, cold against the back of my neck, hot on my face, and I force my eyes to remain open. This time I must see what lies before me. This time nothing will stop me.

I hear him coming softly through the darkness, his measured step as he circles ever closer. I feel his presence. The subtle movement of air around me as he moves disturbs my fragile being. I must retain focus, but I have not the power to resist as his warm breath whispers against my ear, taunting, teasing. He knows I will succumb, as I have for what seems like an eternity.

This time is different. I must overcome, I must succeed.

I inhale. The simple act of breathing causes my chest to burn. My heart beats a warning, my senses buzz. I clamp my mouth shut, hold my breath. He is all around me; he is poison – and yet my lungs yearn for release. My body betrays me and my lips part with a soft sigh. The threat is real.  I know it.  I cannot help myself. I step forward.

My toes are bare, scuffed and bloody, but I feel no pain, merely the cold steel beneath my feet. I have travelled far. I am nearly there, almost at my destination, the point of no return. Sadness seeps from my pores. Melancholy hums gently in my head. I curl my toes over the edge, feel the roughness of rusted rivets, and steady myself against the night breeze.

He smiles. I feel it against my skin in the same way I hear his laughter in my head, harsh and mocking. He is letting me know that my actions are his and I am powerless. I seek out the rage that lies hidden in the depths of my used and abused excuse for a soul. It evades me.

I inch forward. Now my toes are free of the rusted metal and I pivot precariously on the balls of my feet. Cool air, an updraft of sweet intoxication beckons, and I am tempted. Behind, he urges me on, whispers his jibes, like lyrics to a favourite song, over and over until the chorus threatens to overpower me, to push me over, to pull me in.

 

B A Morton  November 2013


BA Morton

Joe loves Kit. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Joe knows she’s not.

 

If you lost the love of your life, how far would you go to get them back?

Detective Joe McNeil would do absolutely anything.

When Joe breathes life into a crime scene victim, he discovers what anything really means.

Nell will use whatever is necessary to ensure she survives, including Joe. Is she really a victim or merely the weapon being wielded by a much more cunning foe?

Against the background of a multiple murder investigation, Joe struggles between his love for missing Kit and his growing obsession with the enigmatic Nell. Plunged headlong into a spiralling nightmare of kidnap, murder and betrayal, his relentless search for the truth jeopardises his career, his sanity and his life.

But for Nell, the risk is even greater..

 

A haunting tale of obsessive love, ultimate sacrifice and deadly consequences

 

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