Saturday, December 20, 2014

Join Jonathan Black as He Answers Questions about His Newest Novel Speaking of Murder


About SPEAKING OF MURDER by Jonathan Black:

Speaking of Murder is a suspenseful mystery about a serial killer who targets a unique group of victims: motivational speakers. Witty, taut, and fast-paced, this is a terrific fiction debut from the former long-time managing editor of Playboy.

Hank Fowler is finally getting is life back together after his divorce and “early retirement” from reporting at Chicago’s biggest daily. But the tranquility doesn’t last long. After receiving an odd phone call from his old college roommate, who turns up dead shortly thereafter, Hank can’t help but investigate the case. Several more bodies are found in similarly mysterious circumstances, and the victims all have one trait in common: they are—or were—motivational speakers.

Meanwhile, Hank meets Rachel, newly divorced and trying to write a book, after she enrolls in Hank’s writing class. With her notalways-welcome help, Hank sets out to track down the killer. In this compelling, well-knit narrative, Jonathan Black creates a fast-paced murder mystery for the digital age. Speaking of Murder is a contemporary whodunit that should appeal to all lovers of the mystery genre.

Speaking of Murder is available in all popular ebook formats and accessible from all ereader and tablet devices.

Speaking of Murder, Agate Digital, 978-1-57284-490-2, Fiction/mystery

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon:


About the Author:

Jonathan Black is the former managing editor of Playboy magazine. The author of Yes, You Can!, a nonfiction book about motivational speakers, Black is currently a professor of journalism at DePaul University. His writing has appeared in USA Today, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, among others. He worked at various magazines in New York before moving to Chicago.

Agate Digital is the newest venture from Chicago-based Agate Publishing, which partners with other forward-thinking media creators to publish affordable ebooks on a wide range of topics.

Enjoy a Q & A session with Jonathan Black, author of Speaking of Murder:

What inspired you to write Speaking of Murder?

I wrote a nonfiction book about motivational speakers (Yes You Can!) and remained fascinated by their appeal. It’s tempting to dismiss them as quacks and charlatans: they make it up as they go, they’re hypocrites who live in trailer parks, they drink all day. In large part, that’s our way of defending ourselves against their message—that we can all do better with our lives. We’d rather kill the messenger than heed what they have to say. There is, of course, a darker side to the uplift culture. One of the beefs I have with motivational speakers is that they preach an upbeat message but never bother with consequences. I like to think a certain entropy prevails, that the increase in one person’s happiness might come at the terrible expense of another. Then what? That’s the source of the murderous plot in Speaking of Murder.

What made you set this novel in Chicago?

Chicago is a great American city but full of contradictions. It’s both sophisticated and provincial, progressive yet tied to its past, rabidly proud yet prone to comparison. It’s these dualities that made it a fun backdrop for the book, whose main characters also shuttle between identities. They, too, are between things; it’s how most of us fall into new adventures, dangerous and otherwise. Of course I live in Chicago, which made it very convenient to set the book here. I’m also a New York transplant, which helps explains some of the attitude.

How much of your own experience shaped this narrative?

Professionally, I was a journalist like the novel’s lead character, Hank. I was laid off and had to grapple with changed circumstances, not all to my liking. It’s tough to go from a big job to scraping together a living. It was a challenge to pursue new directions, but fun to pursue new experiences. You have to if you want to remain alive and productive, but you never know where your instincts will take you. You’re working without a net. That’s the risk, and it’s what happens to the book’s protagonist, Hank. Like Hank, I fell into travel writing, which can be a tricky occupation: you’re often on the outside, trying to go someplace where you have no business. Non-professionally, I’ve had several friends from long ago who had a dramatic impact on my life but then disappeared. I imagine we’ve all had a couple of people like that in our lives. But what happens when they surface, and you’re no longer confident you know them? What happens when they appear with a new and scary agenda? That’s what Hank faces.

There are aspects of the book that get quite grisly. Is that something that appeals to you?

In our imagination, I think we’re all drawn to people with dark impulses who act out what we wouldn’t ever consider. I did find it surprising how easily I could drift into grim situations and macabre details. That’s the fun of being a writer.

The lead character has a quirky ally in the book—any chance we might see them again?

I didn’t set out to give Hank a woman friend. But the more I wrote about Rachel, the more I liked her. She was blunt and resourceful, and she turned out to be a very useful ally of Hank’s, though of course he resisted her throughout. They are already arguing about a new and mysterious series of murders.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Tour Wrap Up with Exclusive Excerpt/Guest Blog & Giveaway: Hunters, Book One, by Aoife Marie Sheridan


Welcome to the last stop in the blog tour for Hunters by Aoife Marie Sheridan

Follow along as you read about the book and an exclusive excerpt specifically for my blog post today. Don't leave after you read the excerpt, though. There is author information and a giveaway to enter. Thank you for stopping by Sapphyria's Book Reviews today.


Book Details:

Hunters
Book One
Aoife Marie Sheridan

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

ISBN: 9781495430725

Word Count: 62,000

Cover Artist: Airicka’s Mystical Creations

Book Description:

Abigail is nineteen, her job she hunts demons.

Her life so far has been tough, having witnessed her family’s death and her mother’s suicide she’s taken in by a priest, who believes her when she says she sees ghosts. Father Peter trains her as a demon hunter with three other members, one being Daniel, who isn’t what he seems.

But when a possession goes wrong, and ghosts start to attack Abigail, the tight rope she had on her emotions soon starts to loosen.

Abigail draws the unwanted attention of the Vatican, and she finds out a lot more then she was willing to learn.

Knowledge is power, but for Abigail it’s her undoing, and the only thing keeping her together is Daniel.

Watch the Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/7KT2Xy6hh7k

Read the Exclusive Excerpt:

TAKEN FROM HUNTERS – CHAPTER EIGHT – DEMON TRAP (ABIGAIL) 

It took us nearly an hour to locate Stacey’s house. Her memory wasn’t great and it took four estates before we found hers. 

“This is it!” she said, and her enthusiasm died as I made my way to the door. She fidgeted with her hands, nervous now. Her fingers brushed through her golden hair and that’s when her wounds became visible to me; I watched as Stacey put the pieces of her death together, like all spirits who bring to memory their deaths, her wounds began to resurface. She was remembering what happened, I tried not to look away as the transformation began, half of her skull was bashed in and blood started to taint her hair and clothes. I looked away as my stomach heaved, I couldn’t watch anymore. 

“Do I look okay?” she asked. 

I swallowed and gave her a smile. “You look great.” No point in telling her that she looked like something from a horror movie. 

The door opened, and before I could say hello, Stacey started mumbling, “Mum.” But the women looked at me… waiting, not hearing her daughter. 

“Mrs. Moore, do you have a moment, please?” She looked at me, unsure. I really should have changed. “I’m a friend of Stacey’s,” I said. 

The woman opened the door and her eyes filled with sorrow, “Come in, dear.” 

I crossed the threshold and Stacey followed, her movements becoming stiff. 

Something felt off, really wrong. Maybe it was Stacey being home. I sat down on a worn brown settee, my body not settling. 

Mrs. Moore sat across from me, her hands knotted together “How did you say you knew my daughter?” she asked while looking around nervously, as if she could feel the shift in the atmosphere. 

I looked at Stacey, but she was unsettled. Her body was phasing in and out and alarm was on her face. 

“What was your name?” Mrs. Moore’s voice came through my cloud of thought. 

I looked at her weary face now. “Abigail,” I answered as I looked back at Stacey, who was almost invisible now. 

Something was really wrong here. Bad vibes hit me in waves, and my stomach knotted. 

“Is there anyone else here?” I asked. 

Mrs. Moore stood, looking alarmed. “I think it’s best if you leave.” 

I stood too, with no intentions of leaving. I looked around the small sitting room. Photos of the family adorned the wall, three blonde girls, Mrs. Moore, who looked healthy and happy, and a tall man with a deep set of blue eyes and the blond hair that he had given to his two beautiful daughters. Stacey was smiling in the photo, wearing a snow white summer dress, the same one she had appeared to me in. 

“When was this photo taken?” I asked. 

“Five years ago. Now, I think it’s best if you leave!” she said, looking afraid for the first time. Stacey’s outline started to appear. 

“What age was Stacey when she died?” 

Mrs. Moore looked about ready to bolt from the room, but I grabbed her arm. “She was fifteen. It was an accident,” she said as her eyes filled with tears. 

“You lied to me!” I said to Stacey as she hovered at the door. 

“Just like you lied to your friend.” Something sinister crossed her face. 

“Oh no, I’m sorry. Please, don’t let her hurt me!” Mrs. Moore was on her knees, with her hands in a praying gesture. 

The woman’s eyes were pleading, terrified as her eyes went to the area that Stacey now vacated. The light bulb overhead started to glow brightly and smashed into a million pieces, raining down on us. I covered my head as small bits pierced my skin. I hated when they did that. 

“Where are you?” Stacey roared and the photos on the wall started to shake, leaping from the wall before crashing to the ground. Her outline glowered an ugly red as her anger grew. She would take down the whole house. 

“Mammy!” The scream of a terrified young girl came from upstairs. I met Stacey’s eyes as she disappeared through the ceiling and the girl’s screams became blood curling. I raced up the stairs as ornaments and pictures were flung in every direction. 

I dodged as much as I could, but still got hit all the same. When I opened the door that the screams were coming from, Stacey had turned into something ugly. Her outline now black as blood dripped from her. The young girl’s room was smashed to pieces. The only piece of furniture still in place was the bed where the little girl sat on, her knees drawn up to her chest as she tried to protect herself. The bed levitated off the floor. I could hear her mother’s soft whispers of prayer as she stayed downstairs. Maybe fear kept her rooted, or she believed that God would intervene. Good luck with that, I thought. 

“Stacey Moore, your time ends now in this world” I removed my cross and the bottle of holy water from the inside of my coat, and as I started to splash her with it, the bed hit the floor with a thud and all movement ceased as Stacey turned to me. 

Her face became young again. Innocence radiated from her now large green eyes. “He hurt me so bad, who will make him pay? Who will remind them of what they let him got away with? What about me? Does no one care about me?” Her face started to darken again. I needed to keep this spirit calm. A soft glow beside the little girl started to get brighter. Her guardian angel becoming more protective. Stacey laughed. “Where was my angel when he bashed my head in?” 

She raced towards me with an angry scream and everything turned dark. 

*** 

I opened my eyes but couldn’t see my own hand in front of me. I stood on shaky legs. A whisper brushed the back of my neck. I turned holding out my hands, trying to feel what was behind me, but my hands brushed through air. Laughter came from my right and I moved in that direction, but once again, I could only see darkness. Then a small light moved towards me and Stacey’s face jumped out, making a scream leap from my throat. I took a step back, trying to regain my composure. I hated when they did that. Half of her face was smashed in, the skull sunken from where a large object had bashed it and blood soaked her face and dress. 

“I know what you are and I want them to pay!” she said. 

Blood had seeped into one of her eyes, making it glow with an angry red hue. The other eye sloped at an odd angle, where the skull was no longer supporting it. 

“I’m a demon hunter. I don’t hurt people,” I said as she moved closer. I looked around, but still couldn’t see anything. “Where am I?” I asked as this had never happened before. 

“You’re inside my head. I needed you to myself for a moment before he came.” She smiled, cracking the blood that had coated her lips. “I know you can hurt them for me,” she said. I wasn’t playing her games, no one was coming she was trying to scare me. 

“Release me now, or I will send you to the pits of hell!” I held her stare, even against how gruesome she looked. 

“Have you ever been to hell, Abigail?” she asked sweetly. 

“Stacey, this is your last warning, Release me, now!” I said. 

Tightness filled my chest, making it hard to breathe. My knees buckled as my vision blurred, and I only had a split second to brace myself as she raced for me, her hands held high, and then she was gone. I looked up and around me, but once again, I was in darkness. The air filled my lungs and the taste of sulfur was overpowering. I stood too quickly as dizziness rushed me; something was here with me, something worse than Stacey. Maybe it was the person who she was talking about. Goose bumps broke out along my arms and the hair rose on the back of my neck. “He’s here!” I turned to the voice and Stacey stared down at me, anger now etched on her face. “My time has run out, Hunter!” she growled, before she raked her now long nails down my face. 

I screamed in agony, my own hands trying to protect myself, but no more pain came. I turned and she was gone. My face stung and my hands trembled as I reached up and touched it gently. Warmth coated my fingertips and I could feel the dripping of the blood from my face. She had dug deep. 

Ten voices came to me at once. I couldn’t find the source or understand the language, but two words were repeated constantly until the noise became louder and louder, “Everto parvulus”. The temperature had dropped and I shivered with the cold. My hair was starting to freeze and the ends held small icicles. The voices stopped and silence filled its void, just before light poured into the darkness. It was too bright and I shielded my face. A roar of anger filled my ears, a roar that I recognized as Zee’s. It sent all my nerves on edge. Air raced towards me along with the light. It was only a blur that passed me, but I knew it was Zee, and then light spread into the room and I could see the demon, its face was contracting into other faces. Each face brought a fresh terror, and then it paused on one and my legs gave out. 

“Dad,” I whispered, and then nothing.


Purchase at Amazon:

Hunters: Hunters (The Demon Series Book 1)

About the Author:



Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon's books, given to by her grandmother her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn't) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison study one of her favourite books has been read and re-read countless times.

Aoife's first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works.

Find Aoife Online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Aoifemariesheri

Website: www.aoifemariesheridan.com

Blog: https://aoifesheri.wordpress.com

Enter the Giveaway:

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Happy Release Day ~ Disenchanted by Leigh Goff (YA Paranormal)

Welcome to the Release Day Blast for Disenchanted,
a new YA Fantasy novel by 
Leigh Goff


About Disenchanted:

A dark curse, a forbidden love.

Orphaned sixteen-year-old Sophie Goodchild is an outcast among the ordinaries and her coven, but not because she’s untalented. Descended from a powerful Wethersfield witch, her spellcasting gift is awkwardly emerging, but that’s the least of her worries. The boy she’s forbidden to fall for, a descendant of the man who condemned her ancestor to hang, carries a dark secret that could destroy them both unless Sophie learns how to tap into the mysterious power of her diamond bloodcharm. 

Suspenseful, dark, romantic, and brimming with old magic, Disenchanted captures the intrigue of New England’s witchlore.

Book Details:

Title: Disenchanted

Author Name: Leigh Goff

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Musa Publishing, LLC http://www.musapublishing.com/

ISBN: 978-1-68009-045-1

Release Date: 12/19/2014

Read an Excerpt:

I sat, soaking wet, shaking from the adrenaline. Whoever he was, he rescued me from the would-be thief who bore the symbol of the Leos, a breath-saving nickname I gave Judge Mather’s Law Enforcement Organization. I strained to see, but the rain drops clinging to my long eyelashes blurred my vision. I wiped them away as my heart settled to an even pace.

With his back to me, he watched the thief disappear into the stormy night. He ran his hands through his thick, wavy, wet hair. His broad shoulders relaxed before he turned to offer me assistance. He extended his long arm to help me to my feet. I hesitated for a second, unsure of him, but as he reached for me, our fingers brushed together. A shock of electricity bolted through my hand. I froze as I caught the surprised reaction on his face, telling me he felt it, too. His fingers clasped firmly around mine and, with no effort, he pulled me to my feet. Unsteady, I pressed my hands against his firm muscled chest that showed through the drenched white shirt. A dizzy, swirly sensation swept through my head as if I were on a merry-go-round spinning around at one hundred miles per hour.

He had to be six feet tall.

“Are you okay?” he asked in a smooth British accent. His deep voice vibrated with tension, sending warm chills inside me.

I balanced myself and brushed my wet hair behind my ears, swallowing hard. A British accent that could make a girl melt if the girl didn’t have alarm bells going off in her head. There were no Brits currently living in our small part of Wethersfield, which meant he had to be one of them. My wide eyes flitted around, looking for a clue to make sense of why the statuesque Mather boy with his soaking wet shirt and black tailored pants left the comfort of his father’s manor house to brave the storm.

He stepped closer, breaching the already slim gap between us and forcing my eyes up. The streetlight illuminated his handsome features. His ivory complexion, dappled with raindrops and a shadow of thick stubble, revealed a hint of blush as if it were wintertime and the cold air had plucked at his cheeks.

I followed the perfect straight line of his nose to his brooding, dark eyes full of mystery. His eyes wandered over the details of my face and settled on my own, waiting for me to reply. A warm, wet breeze swirled up from behind him and wrapped his alluring scent around me; clean, floral and woodsy and thoroughly masculine. I inhaled again and again, unable to exhale. With all the plants and flowers I had smelled in my lifetime, he smelled better than any, alone or in combination. I wavered slightly, side to side, feeling dazed. I gulped a mouthful of air, trying not to breathe him in. What was wrong with me? I shook myself out of the stupor.

“Did you know that man?” he asked.

“Did you?” I said in an accusatory tone, but at that moment, I didn’t care about the attacker.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He drew back like I was crazy for suggesting anything.

He was the enemy. Say something, I thought. “What…what are you doing out here anyway?”

He furrowed his eyebrows inward. “Saving you, obviously.”

I threw my hands on my hips, shocked by the irony. A Mather helping a Greensmith? Hell was freezing over somewhere beneath our feet and every kind of farm animal was sprouting wings to fly. “That’s impossible.”

“And why is that?”

“Because…because you’re a Mather,” I said, not meaning to sound disgusted, but I struggled to contain my feelings. Fact was, the Mathers had Greensmith blood on their hands, as well as my coven’s blood. Through Wethersfield’s history, they were known as witch-hunters and with each generation, they changed only to appear more politically correct, but their intentions remained unchanged.

Add Disenchanted to your Goodreads Shelf:


Purchase Your Copy at Musa Publishing:


About the Author:


I love writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it's also what I like to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, I now live in Maryland, where I enjoy the area's great history and culture.

I am a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. I am also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. My debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and will be released by Musa Publishing in December 2014.


For review copies or to arrange an interview, blog visit, or event with the author please click the Sapphyria's Book Promotions banner or you may contact her at saphsbookblog@gmail.com

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tour & #Giveaway: Shinigami Eyes (Shinigami Eyes, Book #1) by Cheree Smith and Adam Smith


Welcome to the Shinigami Eyes Book Blitz Presented by Dark World Books and Hosted by Sapphyria!


About Shinigami Eyes (Shinigami Eyes, Book #1):

Most children hope to grow out of their imaginary friends.

17-year-old Rin Waters’ only hope is that hers doesn’t kill someone, especially when said imaginary friend puts a boy in a coma. Finding herself shipped half-way around the world—to Japan, of all places—she is forced to live with grandparents she hasn’t seen for ten years and a cousin she can’t even remember.

Rin would rather just forget about the one night that ruined her life and pretend her imaginary friend doesn’t exist—if it was only that easy. When manga-obsessed otaku, Matt, won’t stop pestering her about a manga that sees the future and the tragic accident she’ll be involved in if she doesn’t listen to him, pretending becomes quite a challenge.

Suddenly mysterious accidents begin to happen to students in her school, and Rin has to wonder what length Matt is willing to go to prove his manga is real. Is it all a sham or is there really something that wants to see Rin and her new friends dead?

Read Author Cheree Smith's Favorite Scene in Shinigami Eyes:

“Hurry, Rin-chan, we’re going to be late,” Haruka yells, diving from the train before the doors have even finished opening.

I try and shove my way through the pack of harried commuters crowding the doorway before I lose sight of Haruka. One little train delay, and suddenly everyone is in a rush. It was only like three minutes tops. Maybe ten. Now it looks like we won’t even be stopping for food, in case we’re late for Juku. This sucks.

I watch Haruka tear off up platform, ducking and weaving between pedestrians like she’s trying out for the Olympics. I lose sight of her and suddenly she’s at the far end of the platform. I have to run or else she’ll leave me at the station. I don’t know the way to Juku on my own. Not that I want to go there, but still.

I stop at the top of the stairs, huffing and heaving. I’ve never done so much running in my life. Peering down the steep flight of stairs, I catch a brief fading glimpse of Haruka disappearing down the far end of the hallway like a white rabbit down the rabbit hole. I’m never going to catch her now.
“No. Stop. Wait.” Sucking in a breath, I mutter weakly.

Well, I tried. Maybe if I find a nice place to sit down, she’ll come back for me. Like a McDonalds or something.

A hard shove lands on my back, and I feel the ground fall out from under my feet. My foot catches on the edge of the step, and a sharp jolt race up my leg as I suddenly become airborne. Everything slows and my panicking brain struggles to comprehend my newfound ability to fly. Countless stairs drift by before my eyes as I watch the concrete floor creep up to greet me. Screaming, I squeeze my eyes shut and await the inevitable thud against the hard surface below.

 A firm hand grabs onto me, and I thud into something soft instead.

When I gather up enough courage to finally open my eyes I come face to face with the broad chest of the boy—young man—who caught me. His dark hair hangs casually over eyes brimming with concern.

“Are you okay?” he asks, carefully repositioning his grip on me. His black woollen jumper ripples against his lean, athletic body as he gently lowers me to the ground. The black jumper and faded jeans stretched across well-maintained muscles gives him a look I can only describe as roguish.

“I’m fi—” I start to say, but end up biting back a scream when I try to stand up.

“You are not.” He grasps my ankle.

I cringe as pain shoots up my leg when he moves the ankle back and forth.

“Here, lean on me until you can walk.” The guy pulls me into his arms and starts leading me away from the stairs.

I glance back and think I see a certain blond lurking at the top of the stairs, glancing everywhere and looking shifty, but when I look again he’s gone.

“Hiro~shi~, why’d you run off on me like that?” an incredibly whiny voice calls out as soon as we enter the station proper, and a girl with wavy copper-tone hair comes running over to meet us. The instant she sees me clinging to the guy, a look of pure murder enters her eyes. “Get your hands off of my boyfriend!”

Freaked by the sudden anger directed at me, I reflexively start trying to bury my face into the guy’s chest. This doesn’t seem to do anything to lessen the girl’s rage, for some reason.

“Ease off, Sakura. She fell down the stairs, and injured her ankle. I’m just helping her walk.” He gives her a crooked grin and the girl seems to calm down. “You’re lucky I’m fast on my feet or things could have ended up a lot worse.”

The girl, I belatedly recognise as Sakura, leader of the music club, the one who didn’t show up to club today, turns towards me, and I could swear a scowl tugs at her lips before it’s replaced by a warm smile. “Are you alright, Waters-san?”

“I’m fine.” I try to push myself to a standing position. Away from her boyfriend.
“Oh, so you two know each other then?” Hiroshi frowns at my wobbly distancing and grabs my shoulder to keep me upright.

“Yes, Waters-san joined the music club yesterday. She’s my newest kouhai,” Sakura adds in a sickly sweet voice, still unhappy about my proximity to Hiroshi beneath her friendly grin, but at least no longer looking for a knife to stab me with.

“Found her! She’s over there hugging that boy!” a sudden cheerful voice shouts loud enough to attract the attention of several passing commuters.

Sakura looks ready to snap, and I almost tumble back onto my ass trying to put as much distance between me and her as possible. Hiroshi just laughs and grabs my hand to keep me from falling as a distraught looking Haruka and a way too happy Miki come bounding over to us.

“Rin-chan, gomenne.” Haruka stops in front of me, taking in my awkward stance between Hiroshi and Sakura. “I-turned-around-and-you-weren’t-there. I-looked-everywhere. Where-did-you-go? Miki-chan’s-been-helping-me-look-for-you.”

I can only blink as her hyperspeed rundown washes over me while Miki bounces around beside her like a joyful dog expecting a treat. Sakura just stares at us like she’s planning a killing spree and is trying to work out who to start with.

“She had a bit of trouble on the stairs,” Hiroshi volunteers when it becomes clear no one’s going to talk.

“Stairs?” Haruka stares blankly like the entire concept is foreign.
“I fell down the stairs.”

“Oh my god, are you okay, Rin-chan?” My overly concerned cousin nearly barrels me over in her rush to comfort me.

“I’m fine,” I mutter. Really, I just want people to stop fussing over me.

“Takahashi-san, maybe you should take Waters-san to a hospital? She might need to get looked at.”

Sakura is casual and friendly, but her eyes still glare at Hiroshi’s hand on my arm.

“I’m fine,” I assure them, my much-used catchphrase. Even if I did manage to break a leg, I’d probably still tell them I’m fine. I’d really like for my mother not to hear of this. “I just jarred it, that’s all. I’ll be right in no time.”

“Come on, we’ll skip Juku tonight, let’s get you home.” Haruka grabs me around the waist and Hiroshi finally let’s go, much to Sakura’s relief.

“I’ll help,” Miki pipes up as she grabs my arm, then in her usual energetic way begins bouncing on the spot. Each tug on my arm sends another jolt of pain across my wounded ankle. Oh, yay! Looks like I’ve got two babysitters, one of which is doing more harm than good, to make sure I get home safely. Super.

As I hobble away, well aware of everyone gawking at the scene I’ve caused, I can’t help but notice Sakura throwing herself into Hiroshi’s arms the moment we step away from them. I turn my gaze away from the lovely scene and that’s when my eyes catch on a certain blond kid standing near a cafĂ© on the other side of the station. He’s there watching me, usual manga held open in one hand and clutching something small in the other. He mouths something at me and I can’t help trembling as his warning comes floating back.

‘Be careful on the stairs’.

Purchase Your Copy on Amazon:


About the Authors:


Cheree Smith

Cheree Smith lives in the coastal city of Newcastle in Australia where she is studying graphics design and photography. When she is not hard at study, she is busy writing paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.

Find Cheree Online:



Adam Smith

Adam Smith has always loved the Japanese culture, which began with his love of anime and manga. This helped him accomplish his goal of moving to Japan to become an ALT (assistant language teacher) in Iwate, Japan. When he’s not reading, writing or speaking Japanese, he is working on paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults with his sister, Cheree.

Find Adam Online:


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Blurb Blitz Tour & #Giveaway: Ruptured by Maggie Mae Gallagher


Blurb for Ruptured:

It has been eighty-three years since the walls between Earth and Infernus fell, and now our world stands upon the razor’s edge of extinction. Demon platoons are marching upon us. My home, one of humanity’s last bastions of existence, is under siege.

My name is Alana Devereaux. I am the resident demon detector of Cantati Forces and Platoon Commander. My job is to hunt down the vermin unleashed upon my world, and I love it. I live for the day I can kick every last demon’s ass out of this world. Except as enemy forces reign down terror upon us, the Densare Council sentences me to a fate worse than death.


Read an Excerpt:

He held up a hand. Pulled his chair out, turned it around and straddled it.

“But I will follow the orders of the Council. You belong to me. I won’t be cruel or force you tonight. I will give you today to become familiar with me before we consummate our union. I have a mission within the hour, but will visit you tomorrow evening. I will start visiting your room each night at an arranged time depending upon my mission schedule.” It didn’t sound like he liked that little tidbit, that he would be forced to come to my room. Except, the Council had decreed that women were to live below ground as a means of protection. So what he wanted didn’t matter. He still got to bed the General’s daughter, just not on his own terms.

Although, the fact that he had given me an extra night of freedom was more than I had expected from him. Maybe I could, if not feel something for him, at least be less opposed to being with him. 

“Cade, I don’t mean to be difficult. I don’t like that my choice was taken from me. We are both platoon leaders and used to making our own decisions, other than what General O’Hare dictates.”

Could he understand my side at least? Then maybe I wouldn’t feel like I was standing before a firing squad.

“I won’t say I’m displeased. You are one hell of a warrior, and the offspring we will make together will be something fierce. It would help, though, if you didn’t look like you’d just swallowed an explosive.” He meant it. His deep voice rumbled as his gaze roamed over me, stopping ever so briefly at my chest and juncture of my thighs before returning his smoldering stare to my face. There was no way this man would allow me to lie there, unresponsive, while he did his thing. He would make me be present, would not accept any wooden responses, and would do his damnedest to make sure any walls I had built were waylaid into dust.

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About the Author


Bestselling Author Maggie Mae Gallagher doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.

Find Maggie Mae Gallagher Online:






Giveaway Details and Entry Form:

Maggie Mae will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Make sure follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. 

The tour dates can be found here: 


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Many Moods of Winter Wolf – The Confessions of an Author ~ By RJ Blain, Author of Winter Wolf (Witch and Wolf, Book 2)


I have a fantastic announcement!!  

RJ Blain is stopping by the blog today!

Please welcome RJ as she talks about The Many Moods of Winter Wolf – The Confessions of an Author:

After having written and published four different novels, I have learned that I have at least one dirty secret about each and every book. Dirty secret number one applies to all of my novels: each one is different.

How I wrote them was different. How I edited them was different. Every little aspect, from story concept to drafting, was different. It’s rather bizarre—and quite a bit disturbing—that so many elements of how I write a book changes as I draft, edit, and produce a novel for publication. In a way, I think it’d be a lot easier on me if I had a set process.

But I can, because every book is different. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By changing how I work on a book, I think I can write better stories and pursue characters in different ways. After all, no two people are alike. Why would two main characters from different books be written in the same exact fashion? I think because I change my process and go with the flow of each book, I’m able to make sure my main characters are unique and not carbon copies of each other.

Winter Wolf had a lot of unique elements to it. The characters were completely different than anything I’d written prior. This made the book difficult to write, difficult to edit, and challenging on all fronts. I’m glad I stuck with it, but this book was hard on me in so many different ways. Between my real life and the situations within the novel, I was hard pressed to finish it. It’s something I’ve never experienced before when writing a book.

Usually I’m able to write without much delay right to the ending. This wasn’t the case with Winter Wolf. I still don’t know why this book was so difficult for me. Could it have been the fact the characters were so dramatically different from anything I’d written before? Could it have been the fact that I wanted this book to be as perfect as I could make it?

I doubt I’ll ever know.

But I did walk away with a lot of lessons learned from writing this novel. First, and perhaps most importantly, I should never discount my determination to sit down and do something I set my mind to. Without this determination, I never would have overcome the hurdles I encountered writing Winter Wolf.

Most interestingly, while it was the hardest book for me to write and edit, it was also the hardest novel for me to let go of and send off into the wilds. Every error I found after I thought I was done and my editors had combed through it multiple times was a blow I couldn’t forgive myself for. I still don’t.

Here is my final secret for Winter Wolf. I cringe at the thought of errors—and of things people perceive as errors. The English language is funny like that. I live in Quebec, Montreal. English is a different beast here than it is where I grew up in the deep countryside of Maryland. As a result, I speak and write in a hybrid of French-Canadian English and Mid-East Coast English. One of my editors is from the Midwest. Another one is from Maryland. The third one is from West Coast California. My fourth editor lives in New York City.

As a result, Winter Wolf, as well as most of my novels, combines five different dialects of North American English. I’ve had editors getting into spats over the linguistics of the novel… with me stuck somewhere in the middle. I learned a lot, yet I also feel like I haven’t learned enough.

And perhaps that is one of the most interesting things about Winter Wolf. Of all of my novels, it is the one that proved I have so much left to learn about being an author.


Winter Wolf
Witch and Wolf, Book 2
RJ Blain

Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Release Date: November 24, 2014

ASIN: B00N1BXDMW

About Winter Wolf:

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…

Read an 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.

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BN 



Read 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.

Find RJ Online:





RJ’s 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

Happy Birthday Surprise ~ Tri Destiny Publishing Announces Net Worth, a Good Faith sequel by Liz Crowe and a #Giveaway


Tri Destiny Publishing Announces

Net Worth, a Good Faith sequel

Visit Tri Destiny Publishing to read the full announcement


"What better way to celebrate a birthday and exceptional hard work than with the best announcement I could be making. *drumroll* After careful calculations, Good Faith’s final totals for this year to date are 1327– which means….

That’s right, you amazing readers, supportive fans, and everyone who spread the word about Liz, Stewart Realty, Jack Gordon, Jack and Sara, and the rest of the crazy Stewart Realty family in an effort to get us over the 1000-books-sold by 12/17 mark – you did it! You. Are. AWESOME! From the very bottom of our hearts, we thank you. This is the best birthday present you could give Liz – the demand from her fans for more of a “beloved series that never should’ve been.” Because that’s exactly what this series was when it started and with each book, with each reader, with each fan, it became so much more.

So, as a special thank-you to all of you who have been with us through it all. To you who have waited just over a year to find out “what happens after.” To everyone who read the last five words of Good Faith and screamed “NO! Liz, no” with tears streaming down your face. For the fans who came into the Good Faith support group and yelled at us or emailed us privately when you got to “that certain spot.” For every single one of you, we are releasing an extra special sneak peek today at the first chapter of “Net Worth” the Good Faith sequel."

* excerpt from Tri Destiny's Official Announcement  - http://bit.ly/1BT0N7H*

And with that we say HAPPY BIRTHDAY and CONGRATULATIONS
 to Liz Crowe for this mighty fine accomplishment!

Don't forget to head over to Tri Destiny to read the FIRST CHAPTER OF NET WORTH....but before you do that, check out the amazing new covers the first three books in the series have been given below, and enter the giveaway!

And don't forget to check out Liz's blog for her annual birthday post - http://bit.ly/1BT4NoJ


Rafflecopter giveaway

Floor Time

Free  at time of posting on Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Tri Destiny

Jack Gordon is Ann Arbor's most delectable bachelor. At age thirty-five, he's made millions as a top-selling Ann Arbor real estate broker and has the right connections to close a deal by any means necessary. With his rugged good looks and compelling personality, he has a virtual black book most men would kill for and he uses it often, never settling for one woman for very long.

While his D/s past remains buried, exactly where he wants it, an undercurrent of boredom and dissatisfaction runs through his life now. A disastrous experience years earlier made him swear off the whole scene, but the more Jack suppresses his natural Dom, the more his frustration grows.

Sara Thornton, a rookie in the real estate game, has fast-tracked herself to the top of the Ann Arbor market. Her life reflects a disciplined and focused routine, exactly the way she wants it. However, as her career takes off, the fulfillment she seeks remains inexplicably out of reach. The one thing she knows for sure, she will not join the Jack Gordon groupies in her company, no matter how tempting that might seem.


A chance encounter, then a difficult transaction, throw Jack and Sara together and the sparks fly high and hot and often. Forced to confront the compulsions that gain momentum with each sizzling encounter, their relationship seems to spiral out of control until Jack finally admits what he needs, and shows Sara what she's been missing. 

Sweet Equity

Buy it on Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Tri Destiny


Jack Gordon thought he’d finally made it. He had a wildly successful career, money in the bank and even returned to his life as Dom, putting an end to a string of unfulfilling sexual encounters. Now that he's made the ultimate commitment to Sara Thornton, he believes all is right in their world. However, a series of misunderstandings and a dose of self-fulfilling prophesy bring his perfectly crafted house of cards tumbling down around him, forcing him to confront lingering misgivings about marriage and trust. Could those be the only two things he can never achieve?

Sara struggles with her intense need for Jack and her desire for less volatility in her busy life, two goals which appear to be mutually exclusive. Although willing to put in the time and emotional effort to make their relationship work, she finds it futile and frustrating, littered with clashes thanks to near-identical personalities and temperaments. Given Sara’s history, easing back into the comfortable status quo becomes easier than fighting a war with the one person who should be her safe haven. But will the easier choice satisfy her the way only Jack can? Is her "war" one that comes from without or within? 

Buffeted by circumstance, temptation and distraction, Jack and Sara’s tenuous relationship crumbles, sparking a continuous quest for the ever elusive: trust, love and acceptance. By the time they rebuild a foundation for renewal, fate has other plans. This leaves them both reeling, once again questioning their destiny. 

Closing Costs

Buy it on Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Tri Destiny


Love conquers all? Not likely, according to Sara Thornton. She's spent eight years coming to terms with the new parameters of her life while resigning herself to the idea that “happily ever afters” are best left to fairytales. Sales manager for her successful real estate office and juggling an added element of responsibility she never thought she'd face, Sara continues to struggle with the men in her life. Love, for her, has only meant hurt, broken trust and anger; all of which she’s completely banished from her life, so she claims.

Jack Gordon has come a long way since his early days of obsession with Sara. As the general manager of Stewart Realty, his own level of responsibility for the well-being of others has ramped up. He’s even honed his caretaking skills, now that he has someone who loves him unconditionally.

Continuing to invest effort and rebuild their relationship, he and Sara grow close as friends. Despite this, his ultimate question remains unanswered; the one he keeps asking, no matter how many times she says no. Sara isn't prepared for the keen focus of his need--to have her back, once and for all. Her stubborn resistance nearly rips both lives apart

The epic conclusion to The Realtors series, Closing Costs brings Jack and Sara truly full circle. Proving that the heat of lust and obsession; the need for control and to be mastered in many areas of life can lead to love —surprising you when you least expect it – if you will only allow it. 



About Liz Crowe



Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

Connect with Liz