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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guest Post by D.E. Haggerty on the Life Discarded Suspense Book Tour



Guest Post by D.E. Haggerty
I’ve never really thought about the type of women about whom I write. A story or just a whisper of an idea strikes me, usually at a most inopportune moment, and I write the story as it unfolds itself to me and follow the characters as they tell me what to write (yes, they tell me). Looking back at my published novels, however, I see that strong women are calling to me.
The first book I published, Unforeseen Consequences, features four women that met during basic training and were together in the U.S. Army for a time. Although they each lost their way in some manner during the telling of the tale, they eventually prove themselves to be exceptionally strong women.
The heroine of my second book, Buried Appearances, is also extremely tough. Skylar had a difficult start in life, is a bit stuck and – dare I say – self-centered at the start of her story. Her journey is one of character building and learning to find one’s inner strength.
Life Discarded is my most recent novel and features a strong female character as well or at least that’s what I intended when I invented Morgan, the heroine. I was surprised to learn that many readers of Life Discarded thought that Morgan was not a strong woman and were upset by how she dealt (or perhaps more accurately didn’t deal) with her abuse. Although Morgan does suffer and ‘put up with’ emotional abuse from her husband, that’s only the start of the story.
A lot of readers were appalled by Morgan’s timidity and subjugation to her husband. Of course they are correct – in a way. Morgan did lose herself for a while. But what woman doesn’t have a girlfriend that hasn’t lost her way when in love or perhaps has herself lost her way when first involved with a significant other? Being a strong woman is not about never getting lost, never being depressed, never losing a battle. No! Being a strong woman is about suffering through adversity and coming out on the other side stronger than ever – winning the war if you will.
The differing thoughts about Morgan and whether or not she is a weakling leads me to the question: What makes a strong person and, more specifically, a strong woman? And, furthermore, how can someone be strong if never faced with adversity?
This is what I believe. People who fight their fears and insecurities, no matter how small or insignificant we find them, are strong. As I write this blog post while sitting in a plane several thousand feet in the air, I have to think of my sister who is terrified of flying. Her fear has not once stopped her from boarding a plane. That’s strength in my book.
It is the facing of adversity and matters we fear that makes us tough. How we deal with such situations is what makes us strong. There are only heroes in times of trouble. In times of peace we can only guess at how strong we would be. This is a lesson that Skylar learns in Buried Appearances. She learns to appreciate the difficult choices people have to make when fighting for their very survival.
What would you do when faced with adversity? Can we judge those that act differently than we think we would act in their situation? Or should we learn to be accepting and non-judgmental, understanding that we can never truly know what it’s like for someone to be in a situation that we are not in?
Stay strong. Be strong. Live strong. 

 



http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/lifediscarded/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/24/14 – 12/22/14
Genres: Suspense/Thriller/Mystery, Women’s Lit
Tour Promo: Unforeseen Consequences and Buried Appearances by D.E. Haggerty are free until 1/1/15.




Blurb:

Why would a woman who has it all throw her life away? Morgan has the perfect life. She married the man of her dreams. Daniel is smart, gorgeous and successful. Everything she has always wanted in a husband and the father of her children. But he’s also overprotective, jealous, and domineering. Is living with him enough to drive Morgan over the edge? Or does something more treacherous lurk beneath the fa├žade? 


Morgan

A gorgeous, sweet woman that is oblivious to her own beauty. She’s shy with men, but a rock to her friends. A librarian in a small town in the mid-west. She’s been waiting a long-time to find the one.


Daniel

An accountant in the city who will do anything to be the youngest partner in his firm. He always gets what he wants and he wants Morgan. He will pursue Morgan until she submits.


Together

They rush through a courtship and marry within a year of meeting. Morgan’s life is perfect. She has a job she loves, a best friend for which she would do anything and a husband that completes her. But things are not often as they appear. Behind closed doors the loving Daniel that Morgan married is jealous and overprotective. Sometimes he’s even domineering.


The Culmination

Morgan runs away – destroying everything in her path as she disappears. What made this good girl go bad?

 
Excerpt:

Morgan was still obsessed with Daniel’s locked office door the next day at the library. Instead of getting busy with her overload of work, she stared at her computer, trying to work, but not accomplishing anything as the words on her computer blurred together.

Did you hear?” Dawn shouted as she breezed into Morgan’s office. Morgan startled at the sound of Dawn’s voice and shook her head to force the fog from her head.

Jeez, Dawn, you scared me.” Morgan held her hand over her beating-out-of-control heart.

Dawn came over to Morgan’s desk, shaking a newspaper in her hand. “Did you see this?”

Morgan had no idea what in the newspaper could be getting Dawn so excited. “What are you talking about you?” She asked on a sigh.

Dawn opened the newspaper and laid it over the mess on Morgan’s desk. “Look,” she said pointing to a column in the crime section. Morgan waved her hand over the newspaper, caught up in her own drama and uninterested in a stranger’s drama. “Just tell me.”

There’s been another rape,” Dawn was nearly shouting.

Another rape? What are you talking about?”

Dawn sighed and crossed her arms. “Don’t you remember? There was a rape at that fancy hotel in Milwaukee a while back. And now there’s been another one!”

That’s horrible.” Morgan sank into her chair. Dawn sat down across from her. She picked up the newspaper again. “It was at another hotel in downtown Milwaukee, but they’re withholding the location as they don’t want to scare anyone.” She continued to scan the story. “They’re calling it date rape. Don’t you hate that? Rape is rape. No is no.”

Morgan nodded. Based on personal experience, she could vehemently agree. Dawn went back to reciting the facts from the article. “It says the woman was picked up in some bar and then they went back to her hotel room. The victim, whose identity is protected, claims she tried to fight off the assailant, but at 5’4” the victim didn’t have much chance. The victim’s long hair was ripped from her head in places and her glasses were destroyed in the struggle.

Morgan shuddered. “Dawn, that’s enough. We need to get to work.” She pulled herself together and shooed Dawn out of her office. She locked her office door behind Dawn and sank to the floor. Taking deep breaths, she tried to fight the guilt clawing at her. In desperate need of reassurance from a loved one, she stood and went to her bag for her phone. Daniel had left that morning for some conference. Although she was desperate to call him, she didn’t want to anger him by disturbing him and settled for texting – hoping he would respond.


 
Buy Links:



About the Author:
D.E. Haggerty was born and raised in Wisconsin but thinks she’s a European. After spending her senior year of high school in Germany, she developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. After high school she returned to the U.S. to go to college ending up with a Bachelor’s degree in History at the tender age of 20 while still managing to spend time bouncing back and forth to Europe during her vacations. Unable to find a job after college and still suffering from wanderlust, she joined the U.S. Army as a Military Policewoman for 5 years. While stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, she met her future husband, a flying Dutchman. After being given her freedom from the Army, she went off to law school. She finished law school and moved to the Netherlands with her husband and became a commercial lawyer for more than a decade. During a six month break from the lawyering world, she wrote her first book, Unforeseen Consequences. Although she finished the book, she went back to the law until she could no longer take it and upped stakes and moved to Germany to start a B&B. Three years after starting the B&B, she got the itch and decided to pull the manuscript for Unforeseen Consequences out of the attic and get it published as an e-book. Deciding that she may have indeed finally found what she wanted to do with her life, she went on to write Buried Appearances. After moving to Istanbul, she started on Life Discarded, her third book. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune and reading books like they are going out of style, she writes articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, reviews other indie authors’ books, writes a blog about whatever comes to mind and is working on her fourth book.
 
Connect With The Author:
 
Giveaway:
Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card on the Life Discarded by D.E. Haggerty Book Tour and Giveaway! Open worldwide, this giveaway will run 11/24/14 – 12/22/14. Enter through Rafflecopter.

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The Top Three Kindle Bestselling Books... As of Right Now


As the sole members of LAPD’s Special Cases Unit, Detective Michael Gideon and his German shepherd partner Sirius work investigations considered bizarre even by Los Angeles’s standards. Yet their latest case is more than strange—it might be out of this world.
Ronald “Wrong” Pauley is a homeless man long fallen from grace. When Pauley’s late-night drinking is interrupted by a detonation of light, he sees what he describes as a “being of light” in the alley below. Pauley tries to help, but ends up as a witness to what he believes is the murder of a fallen angel.
Gideon and Sirius are already in the midst of trying to determine the identity of the so-called “Reluctant Hero” who seemed to magically appear just moments after shots began ringing out at an elementary school. Braving gunfire, the hero tackled the shooter, and then disappeared.
Both cases defy easy answers, but when Pauley turns up dead, the detectives are left with two murders to solve and lots of questions. Gideon and Sirius—along with help from a newfound friend—investigate that thin line between the real and surreal to make sense of these possible crimes.
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Until Death Do Us Part by James Fuller Blog Tour & Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/paranormal-erotic-book-tour-giveaway-until-death-do-us-part-by-james-fuller-12214-123014/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/2/14-12/30/14
Genres: Paranormal Erotica





Blurb:
What was supposed to be a lustful night of passion and sinful, sexual thrill turned bloody in a way he could never have imagined, revealing a predator that plagued the night and feasted on the living…
Fuelled by the bleakest of hope and the haunting images of the past, Conner cleaves a path of retribution through the midnight world of vampires; dangling his morals and life in the balance to retain what little he has left of his former self, praying each step will bring him closer to finding ‘her’ and the one that took everything from him…

Excerpt:
Conner sat in a dimly lit corner of the small, run-down hotel room, the old and faded, seventies floral-papered walls casting shadows across his rugged, unshaven features. He inhaled deeply from his cigarette and for a moment, the sensation of warm, flavoured smoke rolling down into his lungs was all he cared about – all else ceased to be for that briefest instant of time. He wished that moment could last forever, but it wouldn’t. He placed the cigarette in the grimy, glass ashtray on the cheap, scratched up pinewood table beside him and exhaled two streams of thick smoke from his nostrils.
The wooden chair made a creaking noise, as his weight shifted back and he pulled a worn photograph from his coat pocket. He stared down at it for a long time, lost in a better place. His fingers slowly ran over the creases and torn edges that had marred it. It was the last good picture he had left and he knew he should have it framed and keep it safe from the damage it would be forced to endure on his person, but he couldn’t – he needed it close to him.
He returned the picture and glanced over at the two naked women in bed – their slender, tanned bodies still sleek with the sweat of lovemaking. He chided himself with a shake of his head – no, he would not try and fool himself, what they had done had not been ‘lovemaking’ – it had been sex, plain and simple. An act of lustful desires with a hidden purpose on both sides, yet he would not deny the pleasure he had taken from it.
He closed his eyes, taking another drag off his cigarette as flashes of their eager, firm bodies against his ran rampant through his mind; their exploring hands caressing not only the hardness of his body but the voluptuous curves of each other’s, willing to discover all the pleasures that could be had. He could still feel their hungry mouths upon him; silken lips tasting every forbidden place and trying to find more.


Buy Links:
Amazon
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon CA
Kobo
Smashwords



About the Author:
I am a 31 year old male, born in Canada BC, husband and father, and have been writing since I was about 14. But only seriously for the last 4 years. I write fantasy, dark fiction, horror, dark erotica and paranormal erotica. I pride myself on creating detailed visual worlds and plots that aren’t of the norm that will draw a reader in and leaving it impossible for them to know what happens next until it does. I create characters that are real, that have faults and flaws and make mistakes. I also pride myself on creating real ending not fairy tale ending. (I suck at bio’s about myself)

Connect With The Author:
Website
Facebook
Twitter 

Giveaway:
Enter to win one of three $40 Amazon gift cards. This giveaway is open to residents worldwide and is available for entry 12/2/14-12/30/14. Enter through Rafflecopter.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Inspiration behind Winter Wolf by RJ Blain - Guest Post on the Book Tour & Giveaway

The Inspiration behind Winter Wolf by RJ Blain

There comes a point when it becomes necessary to acknowledge that I’m, well, weird. There is absolutely no way that I can discuss my original inspiration for Winter Wolf without sounding like I’m at least a little bit crazy. I guess I may as well embrace it!

I’m a little too enthusiastically interested in the study of contagious illnesses. I think if I hadn’t become a writer, my interest would have eventually led me to biomedical studies relating to these illnesses.

That’s saying something, considering I’m not all that good with math or sciences. Some subjects are interesting enough for me to want to conquer my weaknesses. I think saved myself a great deal of frustration by following my writing love first.

But back on subject, at the very top of my list of fascinating infectious illnesses is ebolavirus Zaire. My fascination with ebolavirus, particularly the Zaire strain, isn’t due to its contagion rating. In the grand scheme of things, ebolavirus is extremely difficult to contract. Some people might claim I’m riding on the ebolavirus outbreak, but the truth of the matter is this: I started this book five or six years ago, long before the mass spread of ebolavirus was even a consideration to most people.

Ebolavirus Zaire interested me due to its ruthlessness. Hemorrhaging fever is an entirely unpleasant way to go. I’ll spare you the details, but I used to have nightmares as a child about ebolavirus. That stuck with me. Now I have devolved from healthy paranoia and fright of the virus to morbid fascination.

See, I told you, there’s no way I can discuss my inspiration for this novel without sound like a crazy person.

To step away from the subject of infectious illnesses, there were other factors at play creating Winter Wolf. In a way, almost all of my interests have played into this book in some fashion or another. It’s not a Mary Sue, though—I don’t wish to be any one of the things in my novel world, and if you asked my opinion, I’d very much like to not live in this type of world. I’d probably fall over and die of fright before the end of the first chapter! But I can’t say that my interests didn’t impact this book because they did. I’m pretty cautious about how much of myself I put into my novels. My characters aren’t me—and I never want them to be me. I never want to be in any situation like my characters endure, either. Being honest, if I put myself into a novel as a character, I’d make it a title so boring and happy that no one would want to read it. So, while I don’t typically include my personal interests in my novels, Winter Wolf is a book of exceptions. Here is the entire list of things I share with events and characters in the book:

1: I love music, so one of the characters was a musician at some point. (I can’t play piano to save my life. I’d like to learn to play the cello. I played flute and violin in band, soloed a set on saxophone once, and was a second soprano in an all-girls concert choir. The idea of soloing as a singer ranks as a nightmare not a daydream for me.)

2: I like sports cars, so I injected my interest in those to some degree. (The car I would like to own doesn’t make an appearance in the book.) I can’t drive a manual, but I’d like to learn how to.

3: I love gemstones and I might happen to own something very similar to what one of the characters acquires. The gemstone I own was actually the inspiration for that addition into the novel.

4: I absolutely adore leather journals. (My favorite brand, ironically, is Moleskine—and they don’t use leather.)

5: One of my all-time favorite novels (and miniseries) is Stephen King’s The Stand. It may have influenced me just a little bit in wanting to write a pandemic story.

The witches, werewolves, and wizards of the world came into being simply because I love wondering what would happen to our world if magic really did exist. So, once I mashed all of these things together, the Witch & Wolf series was born.

I released Inquisitor first, but Winter Wolf is where everything began. I let my morbid curiosity mate with my love of thriller novels. (Yes, you can read the books in either order!)

All I have left to say is “Thank goodness I am not a person in this world!”


http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/urban-fantasy-book-tour-giveaway-winter-wolf-by-rj-blain-112414-122214/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/24/14 – 12/22/14
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Supernatural Suspense







Blurb:
The Hunted Wizard
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.
Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.
Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.
But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Excerpt:
I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.

This time, I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.

For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.

Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.

I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.

No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.

I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges.

Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.

In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.

Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.

She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.

Nothing happened.

Perfect.

I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.

Buy Links:
Amazon
iTunes
Barnes and Noble
Kobo 




About the Author:
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series
In no particular order:
Anne McCaffrey’s Pern
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera & The Dresden Files
Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris
Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series
Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

Connect With The Author:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Google+ 

Giveaway:
Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! Open Internationally. This giveaway will run 11/24/14 – 12/22/14. Enter through Rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Young Adult Spotlight: Sceadu by Prashant Pinge #Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/ya-fantasy-fiction-book-tour-giveaway-sceadu-by-prashant-pinge-111014-12814/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/10/14 – 12/8/14
Genres: YA Fantasy Fiction




Blurb:
All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.
Nine year old Matilda ends up with a century old book through a series of strange coincidences. And disappears. Her brother and cousins are forced to suspend their hostilities and pursue her to Sceadu, a land inside the human shadow. Once there, the reluctant visitors find themselves chased by the vicious Hefigans, creatures of Sceadu. However, everything changes with the revelation of an ancient prophecy that foretells the doom of the world they left behind.
With the stakes suddenly raised, the children must now navigate the dangerous terrain, overcome grave challenges, and unlock the secrets of the shadow. But can they do it in time to thwart the plans of the treacherous Hefigans? Or will they succumb to the guile of a ruthless enemy who is equally determined to destroy mankind?
Sceadu is a fast-paced adventure which blurs the boundary between the physical and the psychological, the real and the mythical.
 




Excerpt:
Matilda sat at her old wooden desk, staring into the thick yellowed pages of a book under a dull moth ridden beam cast by the night lamp. But every time she blinked, it seemed as if the words had played a round of musical chairs. And the moths, fluttering through the words at times and hovering over them at others, did not make things any easier.
Matilda was about to turn the page when there was a tug at her feet. It was a very gentle one, almost imperceptible. Surprised, she glanced down, but there was nothing. Perhaps it’s just my imagination, she thought. She was about to shake her thick dark brown curls out of her face when she felt it again.
Matilda pushed her head down and looked into the dark void with furrowed brow. Her skinny legs stared back. But before she could decide on whether she had actually felt anything, there was another tug, an unmistakable one this time. And another one. The truth suddenly dawned upon Matilda. It was her shadow, trying to drag her into itself.
Matilda jerked back the chair, kicking hard at her shadow. But it snapped back, pulling at her even more viciously. She stomped upon it repeatedly. But the dark grey shape began jabbing at her feet and ankles. Matilda pushed herself up and made a frantic attempt to run. But her legs refused to move, and she almost toppled forward.
All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.

Buy Links:
Amazon 


About the Author:
Prashant Pinge was born and brought up in the picturesque neighbourhood of Shivaji Park in the bustling city of Mumbai in India.
A quiet and diligent student throughout his schooling and college years, Prashant proceeded to pursue electrical engineering at Purdue University in the United States. Over the next decade, he accumulated three more degrees, a master of science in management from Lancaster University, a post graduate program in management from Indian School of Business, and a post MBA master in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Apart from enjoying the company of books, Prashant had always had an imaginative bent of mind. But writing only happened in the fall of 2003, when a remarkably intriguing dream interrupted an uncharacteristically deep spell of slumber, compelling him to stagger to his desk and pen down the idea. That book is still a few years away from being written. Prashant, however, continues to work from his cauldron of creativity and churn out critically acclaimed works of fiction.
In addition to his literary pursuits, Prashant is Managing Partner in his marketing and branding firm, Media Panther. In his spare time, Prashant enjoys collecting old coins, reading fiction, travelling to exotic destinations, watching movies, and listening to music. He recently wrote and produced a short film titled Freedom of Expression. Prashant is also keenly interested in the subjects of psychology, mythology and ancient history.
Prashant lives with his wife and son in Mumbai.

Connect With The Author:
Author Website
Blog
Email imagine@prashantpinge.com
Author Facebook Page
Sceadu Facebook Page
Twitter Page
LinkedIn Page
Google+ Page

Giveaway:
This giveaway is opened WW and will run 11/10/14 – 12/9/14 at 12 AM Eastern time. Five winners.

Prizes:
Two Amazon gift cards ($10)
Three e-book copies of Sceadu
Enter through Rafflecopter.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Spotlight & Giveaway: How the Water Falls by K.P. Kollenborn

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/psychological-thriller-book-tour-giveaway-how-the-water-falls-by-k-p-kollenborn-12114-121514/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/1/14 – 12/15/14
Genres: Psychological Thriller





Blurb:
On the fringes of a civil war arise a kaleidoscope of stories of abuse, power, betrayal, sex, love, and absolution, all united by the failings of a dying government. Set in the backdrop during the last years of South Africa’s apartheid, How the Water Falls is a psychological thriller that unfolds the truth and deception of the system’s victims, perpetrators, and unlikely heroes.

Excerpt:
LENA STOOD OUTSIDE of her workplace with a sign that read, “Work for First African Bank and Die of Starvation Wages.” Down the block, at a shoe store, a light-skinned man in his mid-fifties stood in front of his workplace with another sign that read, “Work for Edworks and Die of Starvation Wages.” Not far from him, a third accomplice—a young Zulu woman—stood in front of a clothing store holding a similar sign. All three lived in different townships, but Lena had managed to speak with them about staging this little protest during their lunch break. At first they were reluctant, fearing losing a job that had taken a long time to find. But none of them were paid the same wages as their white co-workers. Despite the fact that blacks were allowed to be employed in the downtown Johannesburg retail district, and had been for some years now, there were issues regarding pay and pay raises. They were earning nearly half of what their white counterparts were making, suggesting that they were worth half a human being. Lena had also contacted Robert Mlambisi from the paper to take photos. She understood it would not make the front page; nonetheless, to be mentioned at all in a newspaper would still achieve attention.
How you been, sista?” Robert asked, giving her a hug while holding his camera with his other hand.
Well, I am still ‘ere,” she smiled.
That is much of a good thing as any!” he laughed. “It’s good to see you rreturning to your old habits. Good indeed!”
Thanks for coming, Rrobbie. Dis is much apprreciated.”
For a worthy cause, anytime. Anytime! But I must confess, this will be my last assignment with The Daily Harbour,” he said. “Starrting at the end of the month, I will be working for The Sowetan.”
Oh, I see,” she nodded. “Why ‘aven’t you worrked with dem frrom de beginning?”
To prrove a point I can work for a white newspaper strrictly on my own merrits. But as luck would have it, my editor ‘as hired his quota of blacks this year, simply because they are black. Naturally that leaves me to ponder why he hirred me in the first place. So now, I’m moving on to where my talents arre acknowledged, I think.”
Gently pressing his hand for support, she said, “Good luck, Rrobbie. I’m surre you will find fulfillment dere.”
So does my wife!” he laughed again. “She ‘as thrreatened to find anotha ‘usband if I don’t stop complaining so much.” Catching his breath, he announced, “So, Lena, shall we begin?”
He stepped back to the edge of the sidewalk and started to snap shots. Several people, who were white, walked by Lena and the other two protesters, and only glanced at the signs. Robbie took the photos of the passersby glancing at the signs. Although not stopping, they were at least noticing the existence of the signs. Robert eased his way around to photograph the two others who were dressed in their fine work attire appropriate for retail sales. Twenty minutes into the silent protest, the owner of the shoe store swung the entrance of the door open. In his early forties, wearing a suit and tie, he angrily pointed at his employee.
What is the meaning of this, Dingane?” he demanded.
Rread de sign, baas,” he calmly replied, as if softly blowing a toy boat down the stream.
Glaring at Robert, he turned his pointing finger into his direction. “You there!” he cried. “Stop taking photos! You have no right to take photos in front of my place of business!”
Robert removed his press card from his jacket to show the store owner.
This is public prroperty,” Robert defended smoothly. “As a member of the prress, I ‘ave the rright to be ‘ere. You can call the police if you like, but I tell you, they cannot do anything to stop me.”
The owner blinked as if he had been slapped in the face. Then turning to his employee, he ranted, “Dingane, get back inside before I fire you! You know very well I pay you the going rate for kaffirs!”
Dingane smeared a smile, exposing two missing teeth, one on the top, the other on the bottom. “Yes, baas,” he replied evenly, sarcastically. “An’ how fery kind of you. A man wit morals may pay more. But not you, baas. Tank you for being like any utta man on dis block so my childrren can starve.”
Huffing, the owner crossed his arms. “Well, it’s not my fault you people breed like rabbits! That’s the real problem. You people don’t stop having children you cahn’t afford!”
Looking at Robert as if soliciting strength to not hit his employer, Dingane returned to stare at him. “Could you, honestly, feed a family wit 30 rrands a mont? Afta taxes?”
I write your paychecks. I know how much you make!”
Den shall I make a sign for you, too, baas? Come join us?”
Straining his jaw, he cleared his throat. “Dingane, I’m warning you. If you do not come inside now, I suggest you don’t come inside my store— ever again!”
He sighed and shrugged. “You hafe my addrress to mail my las’ check, baas.”
Exhaling, the store owner began pointing once more. “You need to leave these premises for loitering, Dingane! I can call the police on this matter and they can arrest you, and your two girlfriends, for that!” Then pointing at Lena and the other young woman, he vented, “The same applies to you both! I’ll call your bosses as well if both of you don’t remove all this nonsense!”
The owner stomped inside his store, glaring out the window as he picked up his phone.
Dingane joked, “All dis calling will only wear out dat little pointy finger of ‘is!”
Lena and Robert laughed.
Robert promptly announced, “Well, Lena, it looks like I won the bet. It took more than ten minutes before one of them brroke down!”

Buy Link:
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About the Author:
I am fortunate to have been trained by one the top ten writing teachers in the US, the late Leonard Bishop, and author of Dare to be a Great Writer. I owe my love of writing to him.  How The Water Falls is my second novel. Although I’ve been writing since my childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned more wisely than something that happened yesterday, because what happened yesterday affects how we live today.  Although I’ve been writing since childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned more wisely than something that happened yesterday, because what happened yesterday affects how we live today. That’s why I love history: To learn. To question. To redeem our humanity. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, over our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future. In addition to writing, I draw, paint, create graphic design, and am an amateur photographer. 

Connect With The Author:
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Giveaway:
Enter to win one of four print and autographed copies of this book! Open to residents located in the USA. This giveaway will run Nov. 15- Dec. 15, 2014. Enter at Goodreads!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

How the Water Falls by K.P. Kollenborn

How the Water Falls

by K.P. Kollenborn

Giveaway ends December 15, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Deadly Ruse: A Mac McClellan Mystery by E. Michael Helms Blog Tour and Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/mystery-book-tour-giveaway-deadly-ruse-a-mac-mcclellan-mystery-by-e-michael-helms-112514-122314/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/25/14 – 12/23/14
Genres: Mystery, Fiction





Blurb:
Mac’s girlfriend, Kate Bell, thinks she’s seen a ghost. Wes Harrison, Kate’s former boyfriend, supposedly perished twelve years ago in a boating accident. But now she swears a man she spotted in a crowded theater lobby is Wes. Mac has his doubts–it was only a fleeting glimpse. But to calm her shattered nerves, he starts making inquiries.
A clue leads him from his home in St. George, Florida, to a Texas orphanage. There he uncovers startling information that turns both his and Kate’s world upside-down. Diamond smuggling, sex, deceit, and murder are just part of the twisted tale that emerges from Kate’s earlier life. Using wit, grit, and the ingrained military training of a former Marine, Mac starts to fit the pieces of this scrambled puzzle together.
Further clues point to the Palmetto Royale Casino and Resort near St. George. He and Kate discover that the casino is a front for big drug deals. When they barely escape a murder attempt, Mac knows he’s on the right track.
But he better play his cards right–because losing this high-stakes game could cost him his life.
 
Praise for Deadly Ruse:
E. Michael Helms wrote a wonderfully paced mystery that is filled with all the deceitful things a reader can find good when reading a book. This is a story that will keep your attention and hold you on the edge of your seat.Night Owl Reviews
Deadly Ruse is set in the Florida Panhandle and briefly in Texas and Atlanta, Georgia, and Helms has a fine knack for blending real locales into his fiction. Si Dunn Books, Books, & More (New) Books
 
Excerpt:
From Chapter 1:
I’d never been a big believer in coincidence until the night Kate Bell and I strolled out of O’Malley’s Theater after watching Dead Man Walking.
O’Malley’s shows classics and other oldies from yesteryear; and instead of row after row of conventional seating, tables and chairs occupy most of the auditorium where couples or small groups can enjoy dinner while viewing the night’s offering of cinematic magic.
Not that I considered 1995’s Dead Man Walking a true oldie, but to the teens and twenty-something’s in the audience I suppose the flick qualified. After all, I’d served with several old salt Vietnam vets during my career with the Marines, and to me the Vietnam War was ancient history, much like World War II and Korea had been to them. It’s all relative.
I’m not much of a Sean Penn fan, although I think he’s a fine actor. I guess it’s his politics that rub me the wrong way. But Kate’s a big fan, and any excuse to spend time with her is good enough for me. We enjoyed grilled grouper sandwiches with the trimmings and a pitcher of beer while I suffered through the movie.
When R. Lee Ermey, a career Marine himself who played the rape/murder victim’s father, tossed do-gooder Sister Helen out of his house I almost cheered, while the scene brought Kate to tears. Ugh. And when they finally strapped Matthew Poncelet’s no-good lying ass into Gruesome Gertie and fried the bastard, I did let slip a rather loud “Oorah!” From the look she gave me, I thought Kate was going to slap the taste out of my mouth.
“You just don’t get it, Mac,” she said, still dabbing at her eyes with a napkin as we left the theater and stepped into the cool, early spring night air.
“Sure I get it,” I countered as we strolled down the sidewalk toward my Silverado. “He raped that girl and murdered her and her boyfriend. Then they fried his butt. What’s not to get?”
Kate reached over and pinched my arm. “You’re about as sentimental as Godzilla. I don’t know why you even—
“Dang,” she said, interrupting herself, “I forgot my purse.”
Kate turned and rushed back into O’Malley’s, leaving me several steps behind. Just as I stepped under the marquee I sidestepped a tall, dark-haired man and bumped head-on into an attractive redhead clutching his arm. She was wearing a tight black pantsuit that did nothing to hide a knockout figure.
“Sorry,” I muttered, standing aside as they hurried down the sidewalk. I forced my eyes back into their sockets and hurried through the door after Kate. She had stopped dead in her tracks between the concession stand and the doorway leading into the auditorium and was shaking like she’d been pole axed. I double-timed to her side, hoping she wasn’t having a heretofore unmentioned epileptic fit or some similar medical malfunction.
“What’s the matter?” I said, quickly wrapping an arm around Kate to steady her. She’d turned as pale as the mound of popcorn in the theater’s popper.
“That man,” she said, just as her legs buckled. I caught her with my other arm and pulled her close. She trembled against my chest, her ragged breath coming in rushes. “That was . . .” and just like that she fainted.
 
Buy Links:
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About the Author:
E. Michael Helms is a USMC combat veteran. His memoir of the Vietnam War, The Proud Bastards, has been called “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written . . . a modern military classic,” and has been in print for over 20 years.
His work has also appeared in the books: Semper Fi: Stories of U.S. Marines from Boot Camp to Battle (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003); Soldier’s Heart: Survivors’ Views of Combat Trauma (The Sidran Press, 1995); and Two Score and Ten: The Third Marine Division History (Turner Publishing, 1992).
Book One of his two-part saga of the Civil War, Of Blood and Brothers, was released in September 2013, with Book Two following in March 2014. The first of his Mac McClellan Mysteries, Deadly Catch, was published in November 2013. Deadly Ruse, the second in the series, launched November 2014. The Private War of Corporal Henson, a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to his memoir, The Proud Bastards, was published in August 2014.
Helms lives with his wife in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Upstate region of South Carolina, where they enjoy canoeing, hiking and bird watching.

See his interview feature in the November issue of “The Big Thrill,” the International Thriller Writers e-magazine here.
 
Connect With The Author:
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Amazon Author Page
Twitter
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Giveaway:
This giveaway will run 11/25/14 – 12/23/14.
Prizes:
Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards (Open Worldwide)
Three Autographed Print Copies of the first Mac McClellan Mystery Deadly Catch (Open to Residents of the USA & Canada)
Five winners! Enter through Rafflecopter.


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