Charity anthology – Gifts of the Magi #sale

Magi

Stories for Christmas, authors for the New Year!

Find within this magical tome 14 NEW original holiday-themed stories of fantasy, horror and science fiction by a talented group of authors–plus one holiday essay. The tales from our Magi vary from the light and satirical to the dark and serious, and we’ve shuffled the deck to keep you guessing.

• A time guardian may have to choose between preserving reality or destroying the man she loves.
• A snowman comes to life, but he’s not a happy soul.
• Santa makes a terrible bargain in order to save Christmas.
• On Christmas Eve, a furious fairy princess attacks a double-decker bus.
• Two secret agents attend an exclusive Christmas party with an unusual price of admission.
• Soldiers in the midst of the zombie apocalypse try to find the Christmas spirit.
• A boy and his father confront an alien creature on the Longest Night.
• A mercenary packing magical pistols battles a monster while Christmas shopping for her werewolf boyfriend.
• Steampunk detectives find themselves fending off Christmas “elves.”
• Humans exiled to an alternate world blend alien and human holiday traditions.
• A banished prince with a magic chicken finds a nearly drowned soldier–so says the storyteller.
• A bounty hunter searches for a rogue elf.
• A traumatized punk girl confronts the spirits from the worst night of her life.
• In a dystopian future, Christmas is outlawed.
• …And Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author Nicole Cushing reveals the holiday specials that she feels deserve “lumps of coal.”

100% of all proceeds from this book benefit Indy Reads.

Indy Reads is a not-for-profit organization that relies on volunteers to provide basic literacy tutoring to illiterate and semi-literate adults. Indy Reads operates a bookstore in downtown Indianapolis. Learn more at www.indyreads.org.

Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection is on sale now for 99cents. The price increases to 1.99 on Saturday. All proceeds go to charity so get your copy now to support a good cause

The Mesmerised by @RhiannonFrater #review @PermutedPress

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Welcome to my spot on the book tour for Rhiannon Fraters latest book, The Mesmerised. A big thanks to Rhiannon for allowing me to take part in the tour and Permuted Press for my review copy. I’ve been a big fan of Rhiannon since I was lucky enough to receive an arc of her then latest book The First Days which was book one of the As the World Dies series. I instantly became a big fan and get gushy over her books because that series seriously rocked my socks. A zombie tale that had heart, soul, guns and ammo and hooked me from the start with those little fingers under the door.

Rhiannon Frater
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It is silence, not screams of terror, which proclaims the end of the world…

Minji Nordim is vacationing in Las Vegas with her small family when she witnesses the beginning of a terrifying apocalypse. When humanity is transformed into mindless drones by a terrifying supernatural event only Minji appears to be immune.

Thousands die instantly, but the other affected people are drawn to the Nevada desert. Nothing stands in the way of the mesmerized. Not fire, not heights, not rubble. As the bodies pile in the streets and the relentless wave of the mesmerized plods into the deadly desert, Minji is trapped in a burning city attempting to rescue her affected family.
Can one woman save her family and the world?

While I felt it was easy to figure our where the book was heading The Mesmerised initially had me thinking this would be a zombie book similar to what I had previously read by Rhiannon. I found myself quite taken with the second half of the book, not wanting to put it down. In fact I quite loved it and I think this is because of the ending which I thought was simply perfect. The beginning had a quite disturbing build up with more and more people becoming mindless drones all heading off together in the same direction after each attack. How does a woman with a husband now one of the affected and two small children to care for keep them all safe from harm when everyone around her is either heading transfixed into the desert or dead and the few who are still with it are not exactly the best allies one can have?

I liked Minji a great character capable and headstrong, the desert had something far more curious in store for her than I had originally thought it would and this pleased me a great deal. Entertaining and with characters one can get behind I felt The Mesmerised was another example of why it is I enjoy Rhiannons work.

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Excerpt from The Mesmerized

By

Rhiannon Frater

“Okay, the tigers are at The Mirage. So that’s our first stop,” Jake decided. “Then we can head to the Hard Rock. I want a t-shirt from there.”

Minji looped the end of the leash a few times around her wrist before taking Ava’s hand. “Perfect. Let’s get this show on the road.”

“It’s really crowded right now, so everyone stay close. I’m looking at you, Ava.”

Ava gave her father a plaintive look while tugging on her leash. “I can’t run away!”

“Good! I’d like my little girl to not go splat in the road.”

Minji winced at the memory of her daughter dodging into the road to greet Jake when he’d returned from an evening run. Luckily their neighbor had seen her in time and jerked her car onto someone else’s lawn, avoiding Ava completely. The mere idea of losing any of her family was enough to make Minji sick to her stomach.

Shoving negative thoughts away, Minji kept in her husband’s wake as he threaded through the crowd toward the escalators that descended from either side of the waterfall. The atrium loomed ahead filled with bright sunlight that reflected off the creamy walls and pillars.

The first sign that something was wrong came when her brain was assailed with what felt like millions of cold needles burrowing into the gray matter. With a whimper, Minji pressed her fingertips to her temples in a futile attempt to stave off the pain. Then the sensation intensified.

Screams echoed through the vast resort in a horrifying chorus. All around her, people flailed about, or gripped their heads in their hands. Jake grunted and stumbled as Bailey let out a shrill cry. Woozy, Minji reached for her screaming baby just as another stab of unbearable agony tore through her brain, blinding her. Rapidly blinking her eyes, she desperately attempted to restore her sight.

“Mommy! Mommy!” Ava wailed. “Mommy, my head hurts! I can’t see!”

Howls of agony reverberated through the mall corridors. Minji tugged on the child leash, dragging Ava into her arms. Unable to see, she clutched her daughter close. Paralyzing fear churned in her gut. The pain diminished, but the blindness remained.

“Jake!”

“I’m right here.” A familiar, warm hand floundered against her back then found her shoulder. “I’m right here, hon. I got you.”

Again there was a flash of icy discomfort, then the world returned to sharp focus. To Minji’s horror, blood streamed down the faces of some of the shoppers close to her. Bubbles of the rich liquid formed in their eyes, noses, and ran from their lips. Swaying slightly, the bleeders stared blankly past the faces of their frightened companions. Minji swiftly checked Ava, Bailey and Jake. None of them were bleeding. Lifting Ava onto her hip, Minji pressed against Jake’s side.

“Jake, are you okay?”

“My head is killing me,” he answered. “Check the baby.”

“She’s not bleeding, just crying. What the hell is happening?”

“I don’t know. Keep Ava close!” Jake wrapped his arms around his wife, pulling her toward the far wall.

 

The Mesmerised is on sale for $2.99 till the 19th of December so grab a copy asap. You can enter to win a signed Hardcover copy of The Mesmerised below. The others taking part in the tour can be found on the tour page.

While I’m at it I’d like to wish Rhiannon a big Happy Birthday.

Happy-birthday-zombie-7-223x300

RhiannonFraterRhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

 

 

You can find her online at:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+ | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Pinterest
Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com


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3rd Degree Secrets by @RoniOConnell #booktour #giveaway

About The Book:

3rd Degree Secrets (The Chronicles of D.E.A.D. High, #2)
By: Roni O’Connell
Published: December 8, 2014
Pages: 310

Like burns, there are degrees of secrets. First-degree secrets are those that girls share with female friends under clouds of giggles and shushed voices, eyes bright, smiles flashing, with furtive glances to ensure that a certain boy doesn’t overhear.

 First-degree secrets are relatively painless, subject to no worse than blushes or easy tears depending upon if that boy does or does not return feelings of affection.
 
Second-degree secrets follow a person from her locker down the school halls—rolling eyes and pointed fingers marking her as surely as a painted X on her back. These secrets don’t leave scars, but injure nonetheless, deep inside where insecurities linger and fester, waiting to explode. The most serious secrets are third degree, just as third degree burns are the worst, leaving the scars, bumpy, pitted, and marred; these secrets irrevocably twist, disfigure, and ruin lives. 

I’ve had my share of second-degree secrets that I mostly try to ignore, but my third-degree secrets, well, those I hug to me in a fear born of basic survival instincts. My exterior is unblemished, white with blue veins, road maps traveling to foreign places beneath my skin, but inside, the terrain rises into mountains and ridges, scared, puckered, and ugly, un-crossable except by painful passage that I’m unwilling to take.

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5 Day Special:
Grab a copy of FLOAT for FREE this week only at Amazon. http://amzn.to/1u93prQ
About The Author:
Roni O’Connell lives with her husband and two dogs high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She finds inspiration in the forest, wildlife, and lakes around her home.

A former English teacher, Roni enjoys the company of young adults, their spirited opinions, great enthusiasm, and outrageous humor.
When Roni isn’t writing novels, you can find her hiking in the forest or contemplating the wonders of nature.
Social Media Links:

 Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest

Follow The Tour:
December 8thAll About Books – Guest Post  
December 8thFangirlish – Review  
December 8thCabin Goddess – Playlist
 December 9thJess Resides Here – Promo Post
December 9thKarin Reads and Reviews – Review
December 10thPretty Girls Read – Author Interview
December 10thJen’s Reading Obsession – Guest Post
December 10thLara Lynn – Review
December 10thThe Reader And The Chef – Review
December 11thPixie Vixen Reviews – Review
December 11thA Book Addicts Delight – Guest Post
December 11th Books Complete Me – Review
December 12thBookish Debbie – Review
December 12thBookish – Tiffany – Review
December 12thReads All The Books – Review 
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New Cover, New Publisher – Dead Girl Walking by Ruth Silver

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Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper) by Ruth Silver

Published: November 25, 2014

Publisher: Booktrope

 

Forget everything you know about grim reapers.

Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.

Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.

 

Now includes the prequel Ashes to Ashes as a bonus story in the Booktrope edition. Available in eBook & Paperback.

Excerpt

 

“Listen, kid, I don’t care what you believe in. It’s not for me to say what’s true and untrue, real or unreal. My assignment was you. You get to be one of us, if you want it. Otherwise, you move on, life is over, kaput.”

Ophelia backed away from the stranger. For the first time, she realized she didn’t feel cold and wasn’t shivering. Is this what being dead was like? “One of you?”

“A grim reaper.” He held out his hand to properly introduce himself. “Edon Montgomery, head reaper and old soul.”

 

Meet the Characters

 

Ophelia Dacre

The princess and heir to the throne, Ophelia witnessed her mother’s murder as a young child. Barely seventeen, she is a hopeless romantic at heart. Ophelia has fallen in love with Larkin, a commoner. Although she knew it’s against her fathers wishes, she continues to see her boyfriend in secret. Ophelia is passionate, cunning, and would do anything for her young sister Mara.

 

 

Leila Bele

Formerly Ophelia Dacre, Leila is the newest reaper and has trouble following the rules. She missed her life as a princess, and has trouble staying away from those she left behind.

Wynter Gael

A grim reaper and constant rule breaker. Wynter enjoys Leila’s company. His roommate and best friend, Jasper, keeps him in line.

Mara Dacre

Princess and younger sister to Ophelia, Mara is just fourteen years old. Full of love toward Ophelia, Mara will stop at nothing to know the truth about how her sister died, and who murdered her.

Larkin Alis

Not of royal blood, unbeknownst to him, Larkin was courting Princess Ophelia up until her murder. He is a suspect in her brutal slaying.

Edon Montgomery

Head reaper and considered an old soul, Edon’s job is to keep the other reapers in line. Tough but fair, Edon is always watching and fixing reaper mistakes. Although, he has a few secrets of his own.

Jasper Ehlers

A fellow reaper and best friend to Wynter, Jasper has been in love with Violetta for decades. He’s a romantic, constantly wooing Violetta through the decades, hoping to one day win over her heart.

Violetta Mercier

A grim reaper and roommate of Emblyn. Violetta is cheeky, dark, and quite often mysterious at first introduction. She loves to tease others and enjoys the thrill of being pursued by Jasper. She prides herself on being a reaper and lets it reflect in her appearance.

Emblyn Vernon

The good girl reaper. Emblyn follows the rules, most of the time. A friend to most reapers, Emblyn has a kind heart and upbeat attitude. She sticks up for those that need support, and is always there to offer a hand when necessary.


Astin Stafford

Of royal blood, Prince Astin and Princess Ophelia have an arranged marriage for the sake of their kingdoms. He’s kind, charming, but a bit of a push over. Ophelia has no romantic feelings toward Astin.

Juliana Stapleton

Once human over a thousand year ago, Juliana was forever marked a dark angel. With black wings and a duty of responsibility, she doesn’t take her job lightly.

About the Author

1 lo res

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. Her interests also include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and her book blog Write Away Bliss.

Cas Peace The Challenge book tour #interview & #giveaway

 

The Challenge – Circle of Conspiracy –
By: Cas Peace
Published by: Albia Publishing
Release Date: April 19, 2014
Pages: 426
Friend against friend, lover against lover, ally against ally.

 
Conflict is coming …

Nine months have passed since Brynne Sullyan helped forge an alliance between the realms of Albia and Andaryon. A fragile peace reigns as both sides recover from the events of the previous year. Then mysterious raiders strike Andaryon villages. Attempts are made on the life of Albia’s High King.

As Sullyan scrambles to find those responsible, unseen enemies threaten to pull apart everything she has worked for, including her marriage.

 

  To betray either one would break her heart, but if conflict is inevitable, she must make a choice …

 

The alliance begins to crumble, and Sullyan finds herself caught between two monarchs: the king she’s sworn allegiance to, and the man she loves as a father. 
First I’d like to say a huge “thank you” for hosting me and helping me showcase my work. I really appreciate it. I enjoyed answering the questions and I hope everyone enjoys reading them. And that they enjoy my books too, of course!

Please tell me about yourself.

I’m Cas Peace, a fantasy and non-fiction author from the UK. I live in Hampshire, in the south of England. I’ve been married to my lovely husband Dave for 24 years, and we live in a 1900s cottage in a delightful, small village. We have two rescue dogs, Milly and Milo. I love singing, and as well as writing and recording the folk-style songs and music for my books, I also sing in our local church choir. My hobbies include playing the bodhran (Irish drum), gardening, and caring for my large collection of cacti. I also used to work in stained glass, but don’t get the time for that now.
What is something about you that no one knows?

This is a bit embarrassing really, but I must have been a bit of a whiney child because my father’s nickname for me was “Grizelda Pugh”. I hated it!
What is your workspace and writing routine like? Share a pic of your workspace if you like.

Cas's outdoor workspace (2) - Jess

I have two workspaces, depending on the time of year. When the weather’s good, I love to work outdoors. I take a small table outside and sit so I can overlook my garden. Because we’re in a small village, and we live down a single-track, dead-end lane, it’s often really quiet apart from birdsong. In the colder weather I work in my study, which also doubles as a music room. As for my routine, I rise around 7.15 a.m., have breakfast, and then walk the dogs for an hour. After that I answer emails, and then get down to work – either writing or editing (I’m a freelance editor and proofreader). Lunch is usually at 12.15 p.m. for an hour, and then I work on until 3 p.m. when the dogs get their second walk. I finish work around 5, or 5.30 p.m., and then either relax, practice some music, or do whatever Dave and I have planned for the evening.

Cas's Study -- Jess
What are you reading now?

At the moments I’m reading “I, the Sun” by Janet E. Morris. Janet is a best-selling, highly-acclaimed US fantasy, sci-fi and non-fiction author, and I particularly love her Sacred Band of Stepsons novels. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to her a while back and was thrilled when she read and thoroughly enjoyed my own novels. She likes them so much that she has endorsed them. I can’t tell you how much that means to me!
Some favorite books and authors?

I particularly love Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series; I avidly read Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant; I loved C J Cherryh’s Chronicles of Morgaine (the heroine of my own novels owes much to Morgaine); I really enjoy Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels; the Lord of the Rings is a favorite, as is author Barbara Hambly. There are many more!
Animals are a huge part of your life. Are they good company when writing as well?

They certainly are! I often get lost in my writing when I’m actively working on a book and I have sometimes been known to forget to eat. Milly and Milo aren’t too keen on foregoing their dinner, or their walks, so I can rely on them to let me know what the time is. I’m always amazed at how accurate they are regarding dinnertime, or walkies time. They are often within a minute of the time I usually take them. Also, if I get a bit stuck on something, or if my writing doesn’t feel like it’s flowing right, I will stop and play with the dogs. They are great at knowing if I need distracting, and walking them can both soothe me if I’m feeling frustrated, or help kickstart the ceative juices once more. I wouldn’t be without my precious dogs. I’d love to own a horse again, too (it would have to be a Friesian, like Sullyan’s Drum) but it’s one of the most annoying paradoxes of my life so far that although I could now afford to buy and keep the kind of horse I’ve always wanted, I have neither the time to dedicate to one nor the physical strength to look after it properly. I guess nothing’s perfect!
Do you prefer human or animal company?

Depends on the human! I’d prefer to share the company of those humans I love the best with the animals that are dearest to my heart. But if we’re talking in general terms, and en masse, then I’d have to choose animals. Humans have grown too arrogant, too grasping, too uncaring of others or the world about them for their own good. Animals only take what they need to survive – they rarely massacre their own kind or seek to destroy their environment. We, as humans, need to remember where we came from, and realize that this earth, this Universe, wasn’t put here simply for us to rip apart as we please.
Please share about your latest book, The Challenge.

The Challenge begins the second Artesans trilogy, Circle of Conspiracy. In it, the reader will learn much more about the plans and nature of the Baron – the person trying to destroy Artesans by eradicating the craft. Wheels that were set in motion in the first trilogy, Artesans of Albia, now start to bear fruit, and in the worst of ways. The Baron’s machinations have far-reaching and disastrous consequences; consequences that might prove too far along to prevent.What do readers have to look forward to next? The next book in the series, The Circle, will be published very soon – maybe even in time for the second half of this blog/review tour. Buying links will be included if this is the case. And the final book in the second trilogy, Full Circle, should be available around April 2015. Then the final trilogy, the cataclysmic Master of Malice, will be published during 2015 and 2016. I can guarantee it will be both shocking and packed full of action and suspense! Please do keep an eye on my website for details. You can also hear and download (free) the songs and music associated with my Artesans of Albia series, and also find information on my editing and proofreading services for writers. See www.caspeace.com

 

Series Synopsis:
On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertantly carrying the Staff.

Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran’s actions, Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne.

Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle. Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan’s greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him.
If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan’s life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.

The race for the Staff has begun.
Review Quotes:
“Cas Peace has a most beguiling method of pulling you into this very well thought out world she has created. You simply fall in love with her characters, and then you cannot put the book down.” -P C Dodge, Amazon Reviewer.
“If you enjoy being whisked away to the realm of fantasy, I strongly suggest this unique, special read! Hands down, one of the best fantasy series I have ever read!” -Ashley L. Knight, author of FALWYN
“I have just loved this entire series. Cas Peace is a master storyteller, providing a depth and breadth of information about her worlds and their people that is just staggering. Her characters are complex and multi-dimensional, and I have very much enjoyed reading this series. I am also looking forward with great anticipation to her next novel in this series. I heartily recommend this series to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy, strong world-building and beautiful storytelling. Highly recommended!” -K. Sozaeva, Amazon Vine Voice and Top 1000 Reviewer.
Cas Peace’s Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away:  the drama starts with King’s Envoy, continues unabated in King’s Champion, and climaxes in King’s Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying.  The Artesan series propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real.  Smart.  Powerful.  Compelling.  The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you’ve found another home—in Albia.
Now there’s a fourth book on Albia’s horizon:  The Challenge, also Book One in Peace’s forthcoming sub-series, the Circle of Conspiracy trilogy, proof of more Albian tales on the way.  So start reading now.  I, for one, can’t wait to find out what will happen next. -Janet Morris: The Sacred Band of Stepsons; the Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage.

 

 

Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.

 Cas’s other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing.


 Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.

November 24thJ E Haldeman/ Fenix Fire Designs – Guest Post/Playlist
November 24thInside Mikey’s World – Character Interview
November 24thPenny Writes – Review
November 25thA Book and A Cup of Coffee – Review
November 25th4 Cover To Cover – Excerpt / Spotlight
November 26thPinky’s Favorite Reads – Author Interview
November 26thDeal Sharing Aunt – Review/Interview/Top Ten
November 28thDonna K. Weaver – Review
November 28thDogs Moms Visits – Excerpt/Spotlight
December 1stA_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner – Review
December 1stJess Resides Here – Author Interview
December 2ndRooms with Books – Author Interview/Excerpt 
December 2ndPenny Writes – Review
December 3rdPaul Kater – Special Feature
December 3rdThe FlipSide of Julianne – Author Interview
December 4thJourneys & Life by Oregonmike – Review / Top Ten
December 4thCabin Goddess – Special Feature
December 5thPixie Vixen Book Reviews – Guest Post

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