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Monday, February 16, 2015

Guilt by Joan Ellis Spotlight & Giveaway

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/psychological-thriller-book-tour-giveaway-guilt-by-joan-ellis-21615-31615/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/16/15 – 3/16/15
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Crime
Tour Promo Price: 99p (UK) 1.49 (US Dollars) 1.99 (Canadian Dollars)
Free with Kindle Unlimited!






Blurb:
'You died in April 1965, a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.'
Seven year old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but her relationship with her baby, she must revisit her past to discover the truth. The outcome is as wonderful as it is horrific.


Excerpt:
Don’t, Mark,’ I said as you grabbed Mum’s bottle of ‘sweets’, but you weren’t used to doing as you were told. She let you do whatever you wanted. Besides, you were too busy to listen to me. When you couldn’t unscrew the lid, you wrapped a tea-towel round it just like you had seen her do countless times before. I’ll never forget the look of triumph on your face when you finally got the top off.
Mum will be angry,’ I warned.
Don’t tell. Cross your heart and hope to die,’ you said. You were concentrating hard on removing the cotton wool stopper and tipping the pills into your hand. Too many for you to hold, you dropped some and watched as they skittered across the floor.
Damn!’
Ssch! That’s a bad word, Mark.’
Daddy says it,’ you replied, showing me your treasure. The sweets looked lemony, like they might taste of sherbet. Where was the harm? After all, Mum took them all the time and she was fine, sort of. Perhaps she said they’d make you ill because she wanted to keep them all for herself. I reached out to take one, my fingertips just brushing the smooth surface.
Dare you, Susan.’
No,’ I told you, standing back, knowing how cross Mum would be when she found out. ‘I’m not playing.’
I’d like to tell you what happened next but I can’t, Mark. Whatever it was, is hidden, masked by too many memories. It’s the reason I’m talking to you; I need you to help me discover what went on.
As I waited for Dad to come home, the only sound was the ticking of the clock, its black hands unstoppable, moving unstintingly around its hard, miserable face. I will never forget the exact moment he got home. The little hand was on the eight and the big hand just past the nine when I heard his key in the lock. Then I saw his face, which was one enormous gaping mouth when he spotted you on the floor and me curled up next to you, like a dog.
Mark’s asleep and he won’t wake up.’
What happened?’ he yelled from the hole in his face.
I wanted to tell him, I really did but the words were stuck. I pointed to Mum’s ‘sweets’ scattered across the scratched Linoleum like yellow polka dots. Fists clenched into weapons, eyes wild, Dad stood in the doorway, staring down at you. I had seen him angry many times but never like this. He ran over to you, looked like he was going to kneel down but then walked away. He paced the room, his eyes on you the whole time. I started crying, begging him to do something to wake you up.
Shut-up!’ he cried dashing into the hall. I thought he was phoning for help but I didn’t hear him speak to anyone. After what felt like forever, he came back and flung himself down beside you, forcing his fingers into your mouth. When he brought them out they were covered in slime. He wiped the stuff on his trousers, then pinched your tiny nose between his thumb and forefinger and put his mouth over yours, like he was about to give you a kiss. You still didn’t wake up and I watched in horror as he placed his massive hands on you, completely covering your chest, pushing down gently at first but when you didn’t open your eyes, pumping harder and harder, faster and faster.
Don’t!’ I screamed running over to try to pull him off you. ‘You’ll hurt him.’
He swatted me away and put his ear to your chest. Nothing. Silence. More silence than I had ever heard.


Buy Links:

Kindle
Amazon UK
Amazon 

Paperback
Amazon UK
Amazon




About the Author:
Advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.

Connect With The Author:
Website 

Giveaway:
Win one of five copies of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy (pdf) or a $12 Amazon gift card! Six winners. Open WW. Enter 2/16/15 – 3/16/15.


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Ravished Giveaway

RAVISHED (The Teplo Trilogy)
By: Ayden K. Morgen
Publication Date: 04/05/15
 Genre: Erotic Romance/Suspense
Pages: 432        

Summary

When Tristan Riley drags Lillian Maddox onto the dance floor at Teplo, he intends only to protect his cover… at least that's what he tells himself. But the lovely Lillian would tempt a saint, and Tristan is far from a gentleman. Beneath the bright lights of the Vetrov family's dangerous club, the weary DEA agent finds himself captivated by the ballerina, coaxing them both into a reckless, erotic encounter.
But Tristan isn't prepared for the intense connection between him and Lillian, or for the fallout of their tryst. In a matter of days, their lives careen wildly off course, catapulting them both into a deadly game of hide and seek with the Vetrov family and one of Mexico's deadliest drug cartels.
Trying to keep his hands to himself while working alongside Lillian to stop Anton Vetrov's deadly new drug proves almost impossible for Tristan, but what choice does he have when being with her might get her killed? He should know: his entire family was murdered by people just like Anton.
When the stakes are raised and innocent lives are lost, will Tristan be able to let go of the guilt, or will he destroy his chance at happiness with Lillian before it ever truly begins?

Preorder Link

Excerpt

"I need you naked. Now."
Lillian froze as soon as the frantic confession left his mouth.
"No," she said, no longer pulling him close but pushing him away. "No, Tristan. Let me go."
"Shit." Heat gave way to ice in an instant.
His arms slipped from around her as soon as her feet were on the ground. She stumbled and then righted herself, one hand pressed to her mouth and her eyes wide and wary in her flushed face.
Tristan cursed at that look. "Lillian, I'm-"
"No." She shook her head, her hand still pressed to her swollen lips. Her expression hardened. "You don't get to kiss me like that, Tristan. You don't get to rile me up and then walk out. I won't-" She gulped, practically babbling. "You can't just… Not again."
"I'm not going anywhere," he said, looking down at her. "I'm not going to-"
"Not going to what?" Her eyes flashed, daring him to answer that question.
"I'm not-" He wanted to tell her he wouldn't walk away, but he wasn't so sure that was true. He wanted her, but he wouldn't fuck her when she'd only regret it, and she would have regretted it. "It's not you," he told her instead, wishing he could take back the ill-advised words the moment they left his mouth.
Lillian flinched as if he'd struck her, her face paling beneath the flush in her cheeks. "Not me?" She laughed, the sound jagged and harsh, angry. "Right."
Way to go, you moron, he cursed himself.
"I want you, Lillian. That hasn't changed." He blew out a breath, frustrated that he couldn't seem to think straight around her, let alone find words to explain why he kept walking away from her. "I just-"
"You want me, just not enough." Her wide, angry eyes met his, held for a moment, and then darted away. She ran a hand through her hair, fingers catching in snarls he'd helped cause. "Fine. What happens now?" The faint tremble in her voice screamed that he'd hurt her.
"I want you more than I did the first night," he said, ignoring her question. They weren't doing that shit, avoiding the issue until one or the other of them snapped. Christ, his blood still boiled. His mind was clouded by her scent, her taste. And yet again, she got it all wrong, assumed he didn't want her enough when the problem was that he wanted her too much. But he didn't want her to hate him, and he certainly didn't want her to regret what he'd do to her when she finally gave in to him.
"Do you trust me, Lillian?" he asked instead of trying to explain.
She took another shaky breath and then cursed and squared her shoulders. Her expression firmed into one of cool resolve. "No, I don't trust you. And I'm not sure I even like you."
He nodded once, refusing to give in to the little ripple of hurt threatening to shoot through him at her answer. It wasn't like he hadn't expected that truth. Hell, wasn't like he didn't deserve it, either. "I want you, Lillian. I want you against that fucking wall." He jerked his chin in the direction of the wall in question. "I want you bent over the table by the door. On the floor. In your bed. In mine. Across the street in the middle of the dance floor. Anywhere you'll let me and every way you'll let me." He looked at her, letting her see exactly how much he meant that.
She swallowed, her wide-eyed gaze darkening, held captive by his own.
He took a step toward her, reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Sparks sizzled and popped where his skin met hers. He let his arm drop slowly, dragging his fingertips down her cheek and onto her neck before shoving his hands deep into his pockets.
Pitching his voice low, he killed them both with words and one long, heated looked. "I want you panting, moaning, and screaming until you can't move, baby. But I'm not going to fuck you when you'd just regret it later. When I take you to bed – and I do mean when, Lillian, not if. When I take you, you're not going to regret sleeping with me. You're going to know exactly how much I want you, and you're going to beg for it."

Author Bio

Ayden lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart and husband of ten years, and their five furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social and public services field. 
Ayden also writes Young and New Adult fiction under the penname A.K. Morgen.
You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, or via her website at http://aydenmorgen.com. You can learn more about her YA/NA fiction at http://akmorgen.com.

Giveaway

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spotlight and Giveaway: Rise: A Novel - Rejection is a lie... by D.U. Okonkwo

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/coming-of-age-book-tour-giveaway-rise-a-novel-rejection-is-a-lie-by-d-u-okonkwo-12615-22315/

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/26/15 – 2/23/15
Genres: Mainstream, Literary, Spirituality, Coming of Age







Blurb: Riana “Ria” Ofor is a gifted sculptress whose beautiful creations could draw crowds. But due to the childhood accident that left her facially scarred, she avoids selling her work publicly, instead scraping a living through online sales. However, when a home repossession notice arrives, both her love of sculpting, as well as her home, suddenly come under threat.

Now she is forced to step out of her comfort zone and enter the very public world of gallery showings. When she does land a gallery contract, she then finds herself the target of a rival artist after the very same contract. Using malicious lies about Ria, he intends to make her regret taking what should have been his. Now, Ria must look to find a truth that conquers all lies.

Excerpt:
Chapter one.
Ria appreciated the beauty of the headless female sculpture standing before her. A sculpture without its head has its own particular beauty. Strong sculpted legs, intricately crafted torso and powerful shoulders – the beauty of creation.
She squatted in front of the sculpture and ran a slender hand over its flanks. The modeling clay she had chosen had done its job; its durability ensuring the legs of the sculpture came out strong and smooth, the hips gently curved. Seven weeks into the making, this piece would be larger than any piece she had previously sculpted, and certainly more challenging.
Here in her art studio, which spanned the basement of her small house in London’s Island Gardens, clay statues of ancient kings and queens graced the long wooden shelves resting against ivory walls. A small sink sat at the far right end against the wall beside a large white storage cupboard, snug beside a two-seater. A small stereo, which she only turned on when sketching, rested on the table beside it.
Time to begin the head, she decided, as she rose gracefully to her feet. Creating the head was her favorite part. If the legs, shoulders, and torso possessed their own particular beauty, then how she created a sculpture’s head showcased its personality – laughing eyes, a slanted mouth, and a molded chin. These will bring out the figure’s humorous manner.
Ria got to her feet. A slim young woman with close-cropped, tightly-curled black hair; she had a dewy, dark chocolate complexion. And with a delicate oval face, even the faded pink burn scars that ran from the apples of her cheekbones down to her collarbone, her classic beauty couldn’t be marred. 
She reached for her apron and tied it around her long-sleeved white t-shirt and soft faded blue jeans. Sculpting was arduous and messy work, but one of the perks of being a full-time sculptress was that she went to work in her most comfortable clothes.
She moved to where the armature waited atop the worktable. Shaped like an egg, an armature’s rigid metal framework ensured effective structuring of a sculpture’s head.
Collecting an armful of old newspapers from the storage cupboard in the corner, she rolled the papers into balls then began to fill the armature with them. Once thoroughly packed, she secured the head in place with a small plastic bag. Now for the clay. She took a moment to relish the solid, yet light weight of it in her hand. Then, detail by detail, piece by piece, she began adding more and more clay to the stuffed plastic bag, melding and smoothing it against the bag’s slippery surface. She hummed as she worked, following the measurements she had set out when the idea had first came into her head. Her deft and skilful fingers, armed with her trusted sculpting chisel, manipulated the clay.
The sharp slap of the letter box upstairs stopped her. She stretched her arms high over her head, working out the stiffness in her shoulders caused by bending over the armature. She crossed to the sink and washed her hands, then proceeded to leave the studio, heading up pink carpeted stairs to the ground floor.
She plucked the white envelope lying on the doormat. Early morning sunlight shone through the glass panel in the front door, and the click of women’s heels sounded on the pavement outside as they carried a neighbour to work. Once the morning rush was over as everyone had either left for work or school, she would go for her daily morning walk and then fuel up with a green juice.
She broke the seal of the envelope and pulled out the letter. 
Dear Ms. Ofor,
Account No: 17032007-55GM Property: 55 Garden Mews
 Please be informed that payment due on the above-referenced account has not been made. We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact you. Our records show that your account is in arrears by £11,509.
 Please make arrangements to clear the outstanding amount within 28 days, otherwise the case will be escalated to our solicitors, whereupon they may be forced to take legal action resulting in the repossession of the property.
 If you have since made arrangements to clear the aforementioned amount, please ignore this letter.
 Ria’s stomach dropped somewhere below ground level, and the noose of the repossession notice only tightened further around her neck, almost choking her.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Apple iBooks
Google Play
Kobo
Nook 





 

About the Author:
D. U. Okonkwo was born and raised in London. An avid reader from childhood, she began writing her own stories at the age of ten. She holds a BSc Hons degree in Business with Spanish, and is currently working on her second novel.

Connect With The Author:
Facebook
Twitter 

Giveaway:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card on the Rise: A Novel – Rejection is a lie… by D.U. Okonkwo book tour! Open WW. Enter 1/26/15 – 2/23/15.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Eden Found: The Sin of Sinlessness by Dustin Lawson Blog Tour & Giveaway







Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/26/-14 – 1/23/15
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Action/Adventure
 

Blurb:

Eden Found is like Romeo and Juliet, The Giver, and Lord of The Flies in the Garden of Eden and Jurassic Park.

If Jesus and Darwin teamed up to write a novel it would have been Eden Found.

The Garden of Eden, a peaceful world formed from Creation, and Valdar, a harsh survival of the fittest world formed from evolution, have existed side by side with only a river separating them for earth’s entire 72 year existence. The two worlds have had no interaction because domed over Eden is Innocence Guard, an invisible protective energy field that keeps anything from leaving or entering the garden as long as Eden is innocent. 

A half angel and half demon entity named Demjel sits in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil waiting to carry out his mission, which is to convince the first human sinner that their decision to eat forbidden fruit was a good choice. But in Eden’s 72 years neither Adam, Eve, nor any of their three hundred descendants have eaten forbidden fruit. 


The story opens with Demjel performing his favorite hobby, restlessly mocking sinless Eden for how ignorant and boring it is. Then Eden’s newest couple, Ariel and Lena, consummates their relationship under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, a practice that has always been done under the Tree of Life. That night, alone, one of them comes back to the tree and eats forbidden fruit, eliminating Eden’s sinlessness and destroying the protection of Innocence Guard. 


Meanwhile, the most physically and mentally evolved creature in Valdar, a four armed flying self-aware beast named Sife, has been trying to find a way into Eden because he thinks the garden contains a higher level of evolution than what Valdar can provide for him. With Innocence Guard decimated he finally has his wish.


Will Valdar destroy Eden or will Adam find a way to restore Eden’s sinlessness, thus restoring Innocence Guard to full strength? Will Eve, feeling empowered by the knowledge of good and evil, thwart Adam’s goal of restoring Eden’s sinlessness? Will Demjel be able to show the first human sinner all the good that comes from having the knowledge of good and evil and in doing so convince the first human sinner that eating forbidden fruit was a good choice? Or will the first human sinner conclude that the evil of pain, death, and sin far outweigh the good of eating forbidden fruit? Why were these two worlds created side by side to begin with?


 See the book trailer on Youtube!





Excerpt:

END OF CHAPTER ONE
Demjel looked up into the branches. “I assumed it would be only a matter of time before one of them gave in. But days turned into years, and neither of them ever touched another piece of this tree’s fruit. Now Adam and Eve’s children have had children, and their children have had children, and their children are starting to have children. There are now as many humans in Eden as there are pieces of fruit in this tree, and none of them have come as close to freeing me as Eve did that day. I thought the temptation would have been too strong for sinless Eden to have lasted this long. But no one else has even approached our tree, let alone considered eating its fruit. ”
Demjel ran a thumb over Almost. “I know you tire of me telling this story. I wish you could be liberated from your burden of having gotten so close to being the one that freed humanity. And I wish you could be freed from all the relentless mocking by the other pieces of forbidden fruit because you failed. I am glad I have you, though. You are the only one who understands what it is like to be an outcast, to no longer feel like you belong in the world you are from.”
The demonic angel then rotated Almost and ran a finger over a small hole in the middle of the fruit that a worm had made before Eve almost took a bite from it. “If only an animal eating forbidden fruit had the same effect as a human, then this wormhole would have been like a portal to another world, a new Eden.”
The angelic demon looked up at the clouds. Frustrated, he said, “I need change! I have become like the humans, repeating the same words and patterns over and over again every day. I cannot take this anymore! A human needs to eat this fruit!” More quietly, Demjel said, “I need to see Galatea again.”
Having completed his routine for the eighth time that day, Demjel sat silently and watched Adam and Eve continue mating. Eventually, he got frustrated with that and so started his routine again from the beginning, pacing back and forth on the tree’s lowest branch. “They will never see the good in evil. They will never experience the pleasure of pa—”. Startled, Demjel stopped talking and looked down at Almost. His fruit friend was moving on its own.
Almost then tried to pull free from Demjel’s grip. The angelic demon looked up. Every piece of forbidden fruit was moving on its own, but they were randomly pulling in different directions. He looked down at Eve who had her legs wrapped tightly around her man, screaming in ecstasy as Adam brought her to her finish.
Almost is not pulling toward her. Demjel scanned the Crucible and Middle Path, looking for someone who appeared out of the ordinary.
No one did.
Then the demonic angel noticed the blue light from Heaven’s Hole grow dimmer. Looking around his tree’s trunk, Demjel saw the white leopard enter its hole and portal back to Heaven.
Strange, Demjel thought.
Seth and Anthea, along with the couple that had just given birth, began walking down the Crucible. Almost was not pulling toward any of them.
Almost then focused its pull to Demjel’s left. The angelic demon quickly scanned that part of the Crucible.
There was nothing unusual.
Then Demjel noticed a lion leave the front half of Middle Path and begin to ascend the Crucible. Halfway up the hill it stopped, turned, and began scanning the crowd.
It looks like it knows something that no one else does,” Demjel said.
Almost pulled again. The demonic angel swiveled his head, trying to pick out the human Almost was pulling towards. None of them stood out.
Demjel began to doubt the forbidden fruit’s premonition. Looking down at Almost, he said, “I think you and the rest might be mistaken.”
Almost pulled again, this time slipping out of Demjel’s hands. The angelic demon quickly reached below the branch and grabbed the fruit before it fell to the ground. He pulled Almost to him as if it were his heart that had fallen out and he was trying to put it back in his chest. “No. I believe you. I was wrong. The forbidden fruit never makes a mistake when it comes to this. It has just been so long.”
Demjel knew that all the forbidden fruit moving on its own meant only one thing. There is a human that possesses that same quality that no one has had since Eve almost ate Almost.
Curiosity.


Buy Links:
Amazon
Website 


About the Author:


Dustin Lawson was born and raised in central Ohio. All throughout high school and college he worked as a lion and tiger trainer at the Siberian Tiger Conservation in Gambier, Ohio (YouTube “Lions, and Tigers, and Lawson, Oh My!” for video). In high school he dreamt of becoming the next Jungle Jack Hannah traveling the world with his own Safari show. Instead, he went to college to become a preacher. During his junior year of college (2005) Dustin had testicular cancer and has been in remission ever since.
After college, Dustin passed on an offer to move to Vegas and help take care of Siegfried and Roy’s lions and tigers. Instead, he spent a year traveling all over North America, Europe, and the Middle East as the assistant to a preacher and author named Josh McDowell. Seeing McDowell’s daily discipline as a writer demystified the book writing process for Dustin and gave him confidence that he also could be an author. Along with writing, Dustin wanted to serve in the military. But because of his history of cancer, the military rejected Dustin 13 times over the span of five and a half years before letting him in. He is now an officer in the National Guard. During basic training Dustin won the Iron Man Award for having the highest physical fitness score in the company (over 200 soldiers). While waiting for the military to let him in, Dustin earned a master’s degree in Global Politics and worked in Washington D.C.
Eden Found was rejected about a hundred times before Dustin found a publisher. From all of his manuscripts he has received over 300 rejections. He kept a list of famous authors who were rejected many times before they received their break to keep himself encouraged and motivated.
The great writer Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” After lions and tigers, preaching, cancer, traveling the world, grad school, Washington D.C., the army, and all the rejection from the military and publishers Dustin feels he has stood and lived. Now he wants to spend his days sitting down to write.


Connect With Dustin Lawson:
Facebook
Website
 

Giveaway:
Win a $20 Amazon gift card! This giveaway is open worldwide and will run 12/26/-14 – 1/23/15. Enter through Rafflecopter.


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https://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/epic-fantasy-book-tour-giveaway-eden-found-by-dustin-lawson-111414-121214/



The Queen's Gift













The Queen’s Gift by T.R. Allardice
Publication date: December 15th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Fifteen-year-old, late-bloomer Jean Elliott dreams of becoming a Genie like her mom. When her family relocates to Tokyo, Jean is forced to use sleight-of-hand tricks to fool everyone at school into believing that she’s a normal Preternatural or risk expulsion. When her power finally appears, it comes in the form of the Queen’s Gift–an unspeakable magic that strips power from all Preternaturals and heralds the arrival of the new queen.
After an absence of two hundred years, not everyone wants the monarchy to return and they’re willing to go to great lengths to keep the status quo. When buried secrets rip Jean’s family apart, she has a choice to make: Walk away and hope for the best or embrace the power that’s known to lead to madness in order to save her family.
Jean’s greatest dream has turned into her biggest nightmare and no matter how hard she tries, there’ll be no wishing the Queen’s Gift away.


AUTHOR BIO

T.R. Allardice writes young adult, new adult, and humorous horror stories. Most of what she writes incorporates several genres. The content won't always be 'safe'. What's the fun in that? She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, Novelist Inc. and the Author's Guild. She has thirty-one books published under another pen name. To find out more about her upcoming work, go to: www.trallardice.com

Author links:


Interview:

  1. Out of all the characters in The Queen’s Gift who is your favorite?

I’d have to say Karen Kim. She’s so conflicted and desperate to fit in, when there’s no chance of that happening.

  1. Why place the book in Tokyo?

Because it’s one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to by far. The scale of the city is mindboggling. It’s the only place I’ve ever traveled that you cannot see the end of the city no matter what direction you look. I also really like the Japanese people, though that may not come through in the first book.

  1. Will the other books be set in Tokyo, too?

It’s funny, but I’m actually trying to decide that now. When I originally planned The Queen’s Gift, I intended to change the location for each year she’s in school. There would be specific mythology based on each location. I even have the other cities picked out, photographs and all. When I entered a writing contest—The Queen’s Gift won First Place YAY—one of the things the judges brought up was keeping the book in Tokyo. It came up enough that it made me wonder if I was doing the right thing with changing locations. Ultimately, I think it will be up to the characters.

  1. How did you come up with the lead character, Jean?

Jean started with one question: What would happen if you were a Genie and couldn’t grant wishes? To make it worse, I made her mother one of the most skilled Genie’s in the world.

  1. How did you come up with the idea for Jean’s world?

I wanted to write a story that poked fun of a lot of books that I’d read over the years. I looked at all the characters that have populated books and noticed most were portrayed in a positive light. What I mean by that is that most were super cool, amazing looking, great at everything, love triangles, etc.

No characters seemed to be suffering from typical school issues like zits and other maladies. None of the characters really had to face not getting the guy or girl of their dreams. Every time I read one of these books, I thought about my high school experiences. I realize I was reading fiction, but it made me go in another direction.

For example, Karen Kim is a ghoul with greenish colored skin who dreams about being a super model. She’s the size of a linebacker. She will always be the size of a linebacker. Stefan is a fainting vampire. He’s always forgetting to get his iron shots from the school nurse. Chloe has to worry about bursting into flames every time she sneezes or farts. Like I said, I wanted to write something a little different, so I did. 

  1. You said that you wanted to make fun of the tropes you’ve read about, yet there is a love triangle in your book. Why?

I do have a sort of love triangle happening in The Queen’s Gift. The big difference is that it’s resolved by the end of the book…maybe. ;)

  1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I have so many places I want to travel to right now. My top six are: Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, China, Egypt, and Jordan. Given the unrest in the entire Middle East, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make it to Jordan and Egypt, but I’d really love to see Petra and the pyramids before I leave this place.

  1. Do you have any travel plans?

I spend quite a bit of time in the United Kingdom. I’ll be hitting it again in the summer.

  1. What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the first book in a new young adult series. I’ve had the idea for quite a while and I need to get the first book done so the characters stop bothering me.

  1. Final question. What do you do for fun?

I read. I go to the movies a lot. And I travel. Thank you for having me.




Friday, January 2, 2015

Spotlight and Giveaway: The Killing of Mummy's Boy by Joan Ellis

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/psychological-thriller-book-tour-giveaway-the-killing-of-mummys-boy-by-joan-ellis-121014-1715/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/10/14 – 1/7/15
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Tour Promo: This book will be $.99 during the tour!





Blurb:
‘I slit someone’s throat,’ the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.’
Two strangers. One shared interest. Murder. Ben slit a man’s throat. Sandra’s son, Carl witnessed a murder.
With Carl on a Witness Protection Programme, Sandra fled London to live anonymously in a remote village on the Isle of Wight where she becomes increasingly isolated and vulnerable. Terrorised by an unknown stalker, the police are unable to help and she turns to Ben. What makes a respectable, middle-aged woman want to sleep with a killer? More importantly, can the relationship give her the love she craves and help Ben find redemption?
Hate, fear and lies boil over in a page-turner with love at its black heart.
 
Excerpt:
Locking the door and flicking on the radio, she relaxed as the DJ’s silky smooth voice seemed to single her out from his millions of listeners and speak to her alone. It was an old broadcasting trick but she didn’t care. The mindless chatter was soothing and suited her just fine.

Do you ever get that?’ asked the DJ. ‘You’re walking along the street and someone says ‘Hi ya, mate. How’s it going?’ And you’re thinking ‘Do I know you? Or are you just some weirdo?’ Ha, ha. If that’s happened to you, tell us. Text the word, ‘stranger’ to …’

She quickly turned it off, her mind jolting back to the man on the train. What if he came back? What if he was here, hiding inside the cottage?

Sandra froze, her heart pounding against her ribs.

Dove Cottage, Shorwell, PO30 5AB,’ she could hear herself saying on the train. ‘‘B’ for bravo. ‘B’ for bravo.’

‘‘More like ‘S’ for ‘stupid’,’ she thought bitterly.

Cautiously, she crept upstairs and flung open her bedroom door causing the handle to bang against the wall. From the doorway, she could see the whole of the room, even under the bed. Nothing. Her wardrobe was on the landing. She pulled the door and it swung open. Her scant collection of clothes hung like husks on the rail.

As she approached the bathroom a wild face greeted her. She leapt back terrified before realising she was looking at her own reflection. Breathing heavily, she headed back downstairs and into the kitchen.

She sat at the table and told herself to calm down, there was nothing to worry about, the man had played his sick little joke, game over. Gradually, her heartbeat slowed.


She decided a cup of tea would soothe her nerves and she reached into the fridge for the milk. Spotting half a loaf of bread, she put two slices into the toaster before opening the cupboard where she kept her special plate.

Carl had spotted it in a junk shop in Brighton on one of their many excursions and had asked to have his pocket money early so he could buy it. It was one of the few gifts he had given her over the years and she treasured it.

It was not in its usual place but it was always in the cupboard above the sink, behind the casserole dish. She glanced across at the shelves and work surfaces. No sign of it. Frantically, she tried to recall when she had last used it. It had been just before she had left for London. Her cheese sandwich had tasted all the better for being eaten off such precious crockery. She remembered using the last of the washing-up liquid to wash it up. She checked the bin. Sure enough, there was the empty bottle.

As she turned back she saw it in the sink. She went over and picked it up. It was covered in crumbs and smeared with a dark, sticky substance. She sniffed it suspiciously. Marmite. She had bought a new jar recently but not used it. She opened the cupboard, found the pot and unscrewed the lid. Sure enough, the seal had been broken.

She clung to the edge of sink. He had been back to her house and this time he had been inside. He must have wanted her to know; just like before he made no attempt to cover his tracks.

How the hell had he got in? She was always so careful to lock up. She felt the vomit rise in her throat. She bolted upstairs and into the bathroom where she flung herself over the toilet. Looking down into the porcelain bowl, she was repulsed and shocked to see it was full of dark, foamy urine.

She knew it couldn’t possibly be hers. She had not used the lavatory that morning; she had peed in the shower.
 

Buy Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon 




About the Author:
Advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s
great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.
She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.

 
Connect With The Author:
Website
Twitter

 
Giveaway:
Win an ebook copy of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy (ten winners, open worldwide) or a print & autographed copy of the book (one winner, UK residents only). This giveaway will run 12/10/14 – 1/7/15. Enter through Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
Interview:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was little I was rubbish at sums and writing. I was so bad my Mother had to write my school essays. When she'd finished, she would work through them with me,
teaching me what to do. Gradually,I began to understand how she did it and when I was ten I wrote my first story. Much to my surprise and delight, the teacher read it to the
class. The same thing happened the next week and the week after that. I'm still hopeless at maths.

How long does it take you to write a book?

About a year. I write 1,000 words a day so, in theory, it should take just over two months to pen a 70,000 word novel. The tricky bit is getting the right 1,000 words.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Characters take on a life of their own. They grow, they change. They do and say things I don't always plan. The funny ones make jokes I could
never think of. And the more sinister types know the workings of a criminal mind!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I work for ten hours a day, six days a week. The incentive is always brownies. There's a lot of cake involved.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written three novels and a memoir. I have a soft spot for my first book: I am Ella. Buy me, because it's based on my life in Adland, a girl in a man's world in the sexist
80s. It's Mad Men meets Bridget Jones.
The Things You Missed While You Were Away is about my daughter and brings back wonderful memories of a golden time when she was very young. It's full of the special
moments all mums can relate to.

My favourite novel is The Killing of Mummy's Boy. I was trapped with a murderer on a train and survived! During that time he told me things I didn't want to hear - disturbing,
terrifying stuff. He asked me to run away with him. Of course, I refused but it got me thinking - what would make a woman want or need to be with a man like that? Although it
was uncomfortable getting into the mind of a killer and discovering what made him tick, it was interesting to write from his viewpoint. I wanted to make him real, not just
describe a cliche criminal. Ben is more complex than he first appears. That said, even when I thought I knew him inside out, he'd do something unexpected to keep me on
my toes.

Sandra is different again, always on the edge, she's jumpy and vulnerable but with good cause. Their relationship pans out in unexpected ways. It's full of twists and turns,
just like the plot.

What do you think makes a good story?

The characters and their emotions. Good stories make you feel things, make you question yourself. A great book can be a game-changer. I heard an interview with an ex-
convict who had served twenty years for murder. When he was in prison, someone sent him a book to read. He never looked back. A reformed character, he is now an
author.

What can readers expect next from you?

My new psychological thriller: GUILT.

‘You died a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.’

Seven-year-old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but also
her relationship with her own baby, she must revisit her past to discover the truth. The outcome is as disturbing as it is wonderful.

Guilt is damaging, it corrodes people from the inside out, infecting everyone it comes into contact with. Finding the truth can be a slow but necessary process. Susan has
lived with blame for so long she can no longer tell fact from fiction. Peeling back the layers takes a strength of character she never knew she had. Refusing to stop until she
finds out what really happened, she transforms not only her life but those close to her.


Thank you for inviting me to stop-over. It's been great talking to you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Truly Lament by Mathias B. Freese - A Fictional Holocaust Book Tour and Giveaway

https://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/holocaust-fiction-book-tour-giveaway-i-truly-lament-by-mathias-b-freese-12314-123114/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/3/14 – 12/31/14
Genres: Literary Fiction, Holocaust Fiction, Short Stories










Blurb:
“…Freese’s haunting lament might best be explained (at least to me) by something Nathaniel Hawthorn wrote about Herman Melville’s endless search for answers to questions that perplexed him all his adult life. Melville was incessantly obsessed with what one might call the why of it all — life, death, metaphysical mysteries. Similar to Freese, Melville was repeatedly afflicted with a dark and depressive state of mind.” –Duff Brenna, Professor Emeritus, CSU, San Marcos

Praise for I Truly Lament:
I have read many books about the Holocaust as I find the subject very interesting from a psychological standpoint. I have to say though, that Mr. Freese has placed an entirely new twist on the subject. I will admit to being perplexed at first, having expected something a bit different. As the collection unfolded, I was drawn into the raw emotion. I particularly enjoyed the story, “Cantor Matyas Balogh.” Matyas found love so late in life, only to have it ripped from him. Freese does not just tell a tale, he creates a basis for reflection. I believe that he is completely correct when he states that someone can never truly understand the Holocaust. We can write about it, but the lasting impact on the people that survived can never be put into words. I Truly Lament is a remarkable collection that will leave the reader speechless. – Heather Osborne for Readers’ Favorite


Excerpt:
At a social distance from me now, as exact and
regulatory as a geometric theorem, I see the Jew as a
thing rather than entity. He is foreign to me.

The Disenchanted Golem

IN MY LATEST INCARNATION I was a golem for a few months in
Poland. Invoked by the mumbo-jumbo Kabalistic rites of a Hasidic
tzaddik, I was raised from nothing. Of course, Jews have no idea where
I come from or how I exist when not on call. They know nothing
of the fabric of my being. They believe, or at least this Hasid did,
that prayer—and demands—bring me forth. Rubbish! My directive
comes from a different source and one that’s not accountable to me.
I cannot explain my existence. I’m in the dark much like the rabbi.
And when I wake to a call and go about my tasks, which are often to
tear out legs and arms of Poles, in this instance, I find it a necessary
evil of which I’m a significant part. I’d rather rest in soil from which
I come, or at least that is the matter that forms my lumpish shape.
Going way back to 1492, SeƱor Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor
who was of Jewish descent, cursed me for dismembering a fellow
priest whom I’d beaten with a candelabrum until he curled up in a ball
and died. Spry Torquemada fled from my presence and I lumbered
after him, finally grabbing the wily old bastard by his caftan. I can’t
speak, which is problematic, for I’ve seen or experienced so much
about death and dying that I’ve a lot to say. Sometimes I would like
interrogate the victim to see how he responds not only to his imminent
death but to my physical presence: which is more terrifying?
Anyway, I scared the shit out of the Grand Inquisitor but let him
live. I really don’t know why. Before I left his home I peed in his
private chapel, the piss laced with mud and twigs, an earthy aroma
to it, like asparagus, essentially all the parts of my makeup. Basically
I am mud.
I like to do a good job. Different golems act differently. We’re all
of the same construction. Quite simply, as a golem I need no compass
for finding a malicious Gentile. I just know his whereabouts and I
intuitively seek him out—unnerving, if you’re a Gentile. Jews mistakenly
think I act for them; well, yes and no, basically more no than yes.
I’m an independent slayer, like the angel of death. I definitely don’t
act out of religious reasons or because Jews need me at this time or
another. It’s all so complicated as to my origins and purposes.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
Wheatmark




About the Author:
MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. His recent collection of essays, This Mobius Strip of Ifs, was the winner of the National Indie Excellence Award of 2012 in general non-fiction and a 2012 Global Ebook Award finalist. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust was one of three finalists chosen in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions.

Connect With The Author:
Website
Linkedin

Giveaway:
Win a print copy of I Truly Lament by Mathias B. Freese on the tour and giveaway! This giveaway will run – 1/1/15. Open to residents of Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the USA. Enter at Goodreads