My #Guest Leanne Sain shares Half-Moon Lake, her new #release

Welcome to my blog, Leanna. Tell us why you wrote “Half-Moon Lake.”

My husband and I were winding through the Nantahala Valley on our way to deliver a customer’s furniture. The mountain rose straight up on one side of the road and dropped straight down on the other. Kudzu draped everything…trees, power lines, barns. To my right was a long rounded hump, but the lush vine made it impossible to tell what it was hiding. Wait! Was that a patch of yellow? Yes…barely visible amid the fluttering leaves, but yes. It was a school bus, almost completely encased in a green cocoon. This was the story seed for Half-Moon Lake, the newest novel in my GRITS (Girls-Raised-In-The-South) romantic suspense series.

I used this story seed and combined it with my fascination of identical twins and the unusual “connection” they have with each other. I asked myself, “What if one twin was killed in a horrible accident? What results might that cause in the remaining twin?” Half-Moon Lake is my answer. Kathryn Dorne (aka Katelyn Eubank) is the remaining twin. The problem is, she doesn’t even know it. Her mind completely blocked all memories before the age of nine, when her sister drowned in Half-Moon Lake. It’s only when she’s summoned for the reading of her father’s will that she discovers her whole life is a lie. It’s up to her to find out the truth, but the more she digs, the more memories start surfacing and the more frightening her search becomes.

I love that I was able to tie this story back to my “Gate” trilogy via Half-Moon, the Cherokee Indian medicine woman who gives this novel its name. My hope is that it will pique readers’ interest, making them frantic to get their hands on those other books. I was able to do a similar tie-back with my first GRITS book, Red Curtains. Maybe I’ll make it my trademark… a treat for those who have read the other books, and a lure for those who haven’t.

Blurb: When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

Excerpt:
I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.

“Nooo,” I whimpered. “No, please…no!”

I stared, with wide eyes, at the ceiling, concentrating on the shimmery patterns cast by the outside lights around the pool, and gulped deep breaths in an effort to calm down, all while my heart and mind raced.

The nightmare was back. It had plagued me almost every night since I was nine, but about two years ago it stopped, and I thought I’d finally outgrown it. Looked like I was wrong, and begging wouldn’t change anything. Disappointment left a bitter taste in my mouth Why now? What made it return? What could’ve triggered it?

The letter. That had to be it. Everything had been going fine…well, as fine as I could expect things to go in my dysfunctional life, and then I’d gotten yesterday’s mail. There had to be a connection. Maybe—

No! If I allowed my mind to start thinking about it, picking apart every sentence, mulling over what every little thing could mean, I’d never get back to sleep. Tomorrow would be—I glanced at the clock—correction…today was going to be a big day. I needed all the rest I could get if I expected to be able to face it. “Go back to sleep, Kate.”

I flipped my pillow over to the “good dream” side, and twisting my long hair up away from her neck, I sank back into the pillow’s cool softness. It might be silly to still practice such a childish ritual, but it reminded me of my mom and right now, I needed that. The familiarity brought a measure of comfort, which in turn, calmed me. If clinging to the fairytale helped me go back to sleep, then so be it.

I’d face the rest later.

North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com

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

Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks

Website and blog:  http://leannasain.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LeannaSain

Buy links:

 

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=half-moon+lake&submit_search=

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=half-moon+lake+leanna+sain

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/half-moon-lake/id1241572035?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-moon-lake-leanna-sain/1126450434?ean=2940157456566

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/half-moon-lake-1

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My #Guest Linda Nightingale shares why she wrote her anthology, Four by Moonlight

Please welcome my guest Linda Nightingale presenting Four by MoonLight

Linda, why did you write this anthology?

moonlight-copySince this is an anthology, I’d have to explain why I wrote each of the four stories in Four by Moonlight.  It’s going to be tight but here goes!

Gypsy Ribbons – a ghost story. I got the idea for this story from a poem I dearly love: The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Of course, there’s no ghost in The Highwayman, and that’s where my imagination came in, providing a family ghost who warns of death by a heartbreaking sigh at the door.

Star Angel – I wrote this story for everyone who feels like Lucy, the heroine, bored, feeling trapped and like love has passed her by. She falls in love with a vision she glimpses in the corner of her eye, and one day that vision is standing before her. She’s forced with a life-altering choice that would give pause to most of us.

The Night Before Doomsday – Azazel was a leader of the angels sent to Earth to teach Man, but they revealed the secrets of Heaven to their pupils and took wives among their women. Was it lust or love that lost the Grigori Heaven?  I read the Book of Enoch and was inspired to write the real (imagined) reason the Watchers fell.

The Gatekeeper’s Cottage – The only erotic romance among the anthology is a study in how far obsession will make people go for something they must have. I wanted to explore the darker implications and psychological undertones of this near malady. The hero and heroine very narrowly miss committing a sin—in the eyes of the modern world.

Blurb:

Four by Moonlight

An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal realms…

Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.

Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.

The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.

The Gate Keeper’s Cottage – Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.

~*~

Excerpt:

Red eyes watched from the grate as she slipped into the cold, empty bed. Simon should have been there to warm her rather than the dying fire. Not pursuing a dangerous dream. Too angry, too miserable to weep, she tossed and turned. The relief of sleep eluded her.

An icy breath whispered through the room. Tory snuggled deeper beneath the goose down covers. Had the weather made up its mind? Was Simon riding in ice and snow? She imagined white flakes in Goliath’s long black mane and on the highwayman’s plush velvet cloak. Poor darling, he would be cold. Tory slowly drifted to sleep unrelated thoughts scrolling in her mind. A soft sound snapped her wide awake. She sat bolt upright, tugging the covers over the breasts.  The room was iceberg cold.  The ghost.

“Not Simon.” She held her breath, ears stained for the horrifying, otherworldly whisper, a warning of imminent death. The sound came again, closer. A slow footstep creeping over the old oaken floor. Tonight, the ghost of Darby Manor wandered its dim corridors.

“No. No.” Tory squeezed her eyes closed and prayed, forgetting she didn’t believe in ghosts.

The footsteps halted. Tory’s heart stopped. She started to cover her ears, refusing to hear. The ghost breathed that heartbreaking sigh at her door.

Shuddering, she slid back under the layers of down. The warmth had no effect on her shivers. She folded into a fetal position.  I’m no longer alone.  Fear chilled her anew.  Though she couldn’t see clearly in the dim light, she knew her breath puffed white clouds in the frigid air. Dread sank its wicked claws into her racing heart.

Buy Links:
Link: http://a.co/fRoGYLB

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new-author-photoAbout the Author:

Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.  She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt.   She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Miata Club, and enjoys events with that car club.  Among her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano.  She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale

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

Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Thanks again for visiting with my guest. Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

 

My #Guest Toni V. Sweeney shares why she wrote Sinbad’s Pride

Please welcome my guest Toni V. Sweeney, author of Sinbad’s Pride.

Why did you write Sinbad’s Pride?

They say Imitation is the best form of flattery.

Many years ago, I was intrigued by a TV show called Beauty and the Beast. Not the latest one where the Beast is the result of a secret US experiment to create super soldiers and the Beauty is the police detective who loves him, but the original series in 1987.  In homage, I wrote my own spin on that story:  The Adventures of Sinbad.  My Beast isn’t simply a man who by some quirk of birth looks like a lion.  He is a lion, a native of Felida where the inhabitants evolved from a feline species instead of simians, where their culture follows a feline pattern.

My Beast is Sinbad sh’en Singh, a smuggler wanted on seven worlds of the United Terran Federation, with more than a hundred thousand credits bounty on his capture.  That was all right with Sin, because he intended to thumb his nose at the TUF for as long as he could—and then he met a little Terran named Andrea Talltrees and got shot right out of orbit…in flames.

His Beauty is Andrea Talltrees, a feisty little woman raised by the Navajos after her father is killed in the Terro-Felidan War and her mother dies of a broken heart.  When her husband is accused of being a spy in yet another war and is arrested, she doesn’t just sit around.  She goes to the one person her godfather suggests might help…a certain Felidan smuggler who hates Terran women almost as much as he hates the Federation…

…And that’s the way they meet.  It’s a culture clash of epic proportions with a disturbing explosion of instant attraction as Andi and Sin try desperately not to fall in love with each other.

The first novel in the series, The Story of a Peace-Loving Man, was published in 2016. Sinbad’s Last Voyage followed, with Sinbad’s Wife, the story of his courtship and winning of his Beauty, published in January of this year. The one I’m offereikng today is Book 4, Sinbad’s Pride.

Sinbad’s Pride Blurb:

When Andrea Talltrees married Sinbad sh’en Singh, she knew they would have problems.  All newly-weds do, but married life with a part-Felidan ex-smuggler seems to be nothing but one crisis after another.

Being law-abiding simply isn’t part of Sin’s lifestyle and he’s already found a way to legally restore Felida’s pre-war glory by making it a prime smuggling planet—and he’s also found a way to prevent the Federation from doing anything about it.  In order to do that, however, he needs the cooperation of the second and third most powerful prides on Felida, and they in turn want to cement the deal through a family relationship.

That’s why Sin finds himself with a very angry Prime Wife, as he tries to explain to Andi why he’s taking not one but two concubines though he swears he loves her and wouldn’t be unfaithful in a million years.  If he doesn’t handle this right, Sin is facing a future which may involve sleeping on a sofa until he’s an ocotogenerian.

Felida is a male-oriented planet, chauvinistic to the nth degree and the fact that Sinbad sometimes consults his wife and concedes to her wishes doesn’t sit well with his grandfather or any of the older males in the Pride.  Andi being a hated Terran doesn’t help, either, and the feisty little Navajo finds herself forcefully striving to act more like a Felidan female and less like her usual independent self. In other words, the newly-reinstated heir and his spouse have a lot going against them and only their determination to be accepted going for them.

In the meantime, sons Cash and Adam are growing up and becoming men—in every sense of the word—though Sin sometimes thinks sense doesn’t enter into their actions.  When a former smuggling associate declares war on Sin’s new criminal efforts, the two youngsters are brought into the fight and the decisions they make soon lead to a tragedy threatening to tear Sin’s newly-made family apart.

Sinbad’s Pride is about family and responsibility and doing things a person nay not necessarily wish to do in order to keep that family together.  Sin and Andi face many decisions in their new life on Felida, decision which not only test their marriage but in some ways strengthen it.

EXCERPT:

“I’ve received a message from Salu-Khan,” Murad announced, glancing at the scroll he held.  “He’s eager to become a part of your operation, Andrew–so eager in fact that he’s requesting permission to join!”

“Grandsire, that’s great!  With Salu-Khan’s participation, we’ll have two-thirds of the Prides behind us.”

“Salu-Khan wants more than a business association, I’m afraid,” Murad went on.  He tossed the scroll onto the desk and looked down at his grandson.

“What do you mean, Grandsire?”

“He has a daughter of breeding age.  He’s requesting a union with our Den through marriage.”

“Doesn’t he know Amir-Kasdan’s bonded?”

“He wants you for his daughter, Andrew.”

It wasn’t respectful to laugh at his grandfather but Sin couldn’t help it.  “Guess he’s out of luck then since I’m already married–”

“–and I’ve sent him my reply, agreeing to the affiliation,” Murad went on, as if he hadn’t spoken.

“B-but I can’t–  Grandsire, I already have a mate!”

“Salu-Khan’s aware of that and accepts the fact that his daughter will be merely a concubine,” Murad went on imperturbably.

“Concu–  I don’t want a concubine!” Sin exclaimed.  “Besides, Andi wou–”

He broke off quickly.  He’d almost said Andi would never allow it, and that was definitely the wrong thing to say to the Head of the Clan.

“Andrea went through a Felidan marriage ceremony with you, Andrew,” his grandfather reminded him.  “She agreed to follow our customs and laws and Felidan law allows a kh’ta concubines.  Your mate has no say-so in the matter.”

Murad’s tone made it final, the matter settled, but Sin wasn’t about to accept his grandfather’s command so easily.

“What about my say-so?  I say I don’t want another female, either as a wife or a concubine!  I–”

“As you just pointed out, Andrew, we need Salu-Khan’s backing.  In something this important, there can’t be any dissention among the participants.”  Murad was forcing himself to remain calm, since he understood how his grandson felt about his wife, having himself been so in love with his own mate that he’d never thought to take another after she died.  “As Pride Heir, you must obey.  You have to do this.  For the Pride.”

“Forget it!” Sin retorted, turning away and stalking to the window.  From Grandsire’s side of the house, he could see the high cliffs rising above them and the trees trembling in the winter wind.  He looked back at Murad.  “No.”

Just that one word.  No arguments.

Murad sighed again.  “I’m afraid you have to, Andrew.  We can’t afford to insult Salu-Khan’s Clan a second time.”

“Second time?” Sin frowned.  “Other than his obvious important, Grandsire, why does Salu-Khan’s name sound so familiar?”

“His brother was the Pride Chief your mother was bonded to, the one your father killed in order to make her his mate and save the unborn whelp that became you, my beloved grandson!”

“Oh.”  Sin was suitably silenced for a moment.  He stood there without speaking, for once not really knowing what to say, and Murad seized his moment of uncertainty to plunge on.

“The female will arrive here in four days.  On that afternoon, the Ceremony will take place.  You will receive her and make her your concubine.”

Silently, Sin glared at his grandfather, wanting to argue but knowing there was nothing he could say.  Murad sh’en Singh had spoken.  The Pride Heir had to obey.

Ducking his head in a quick bow, he answered, “I’ll obey, Grandfather, but I wish to go on record as protesting this union, and state that I’m definitely entering into it unwillingly!”

Before Murad could reply, he whirled and stalked out.

Oh God!  How am I going to tell Andi?

Sinbad’s Pride is being released by Class Act Books.

BUY LINKS:

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/cat-romance/sinbad-s-pride-detail

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sinbads-Pride-Adventures-Sinbad-Book-ebook/dp/B06VWQVV8W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487436765&sr=8-1&keywords=sinbad%27s+pride+by+toni+v.+sweeney

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/253-3088958-0513727?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Sinbad%27s+pride+by+Toni+V.+Sweeney

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/704125

AUTHOR’S BIO:

This past December, Toni V. Sweeney celebrated her 74th birthday. This month, she’s celebrating the release of her 74rd novel.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone.   In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US) . She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the paranormal Romance Guild, and in 2016 was certified a professional reader by netgalley.com..

Find out more about Toni:

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

Twitter:  @ToniVSweeney

Please leave a comment for Toni today, Barbara.

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Blog https://barbaraedwardscomments.wordpress.com/

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

 

 

My#Guest Kenneth Gordon shares his hero of Dark City

  • Please welcome my guest Kenneth Gordon, Author of Dark City
  • Hi Kenneth, share with our readers  Dark City hero: Jeremiah Xidorn.
    Most authors, whether they intend to or not, put themselves into their characters’ strengths and weaknesses; unless you know the specific author, there is no way to determine where the attributes of the author ends and the traits of the character begin.
    Jeremiah is most auspiciously a sanguine personality type. He’s also a bit of an exhibitionist and a creative thinker. Because he likes to have fun most of the time, he may not think about the consequences of his actions. When he did his best to make Security crack a smile, it never occurred to him that he could lose his job over it. It is certainly ironic for a man who is such a people person to work in technology. Yet he finds Tech to be bothersome especially when it is not working for him.
    When he is confronted by the Builders, there is no fear. He is trying his best to understand them and play the long game. There is a great deal of curiosity, he has not yet been hardened or broken by the world. Jeremiah is still young enough and flexible enough to survive in any situation and come out on the other end a deeper and richer character.
    Dark City blurb:
    What does it mean to be human? How can we explain evil in the world? What if an AI confronts you about a flaw in your programming?
    Join Jeremiah Xidorn as he is taken from the world he thinks he knows into a place of decision. Will he side with his captors; will he fight back? Delve into these and other questions…
    Dark City Excerpt:
    “I’ve been promoted. I am now in my boss’ position.” Joe flailed his arms with glee.
    “That’s great. Congratulations!” they all said in unison.
    “Where’s Joe?”
    “I don’t know. He just left. An appointment I guess,” Sarah responded.
    “The ’droids are settin’ things up, so I’ll stay out of their hair for a bit.” Jeremiah spun around as if to show off to his friends.
    Something was off, but he couldn’t pin it down.
    Joe had disappeared, and no one seemed to know where he went.
  • “I’ll find him,” he told himself and bolted for his new office.
    The androids had done their work quicker than expected, and Jeremiah’s office was quiet when he got there. He had to use the scanner to get in. Immediately, he was taken aback.
    On his desk were pictures of his family that he didn’t put there. Setting that thought aside for the moment, he jacked into the phone system and sent the sequence to dial.
    He called Joe’s office. No answer. A moment later, he called the central office to see if Joe could be located.
    The automated attendant replied, “We are sorry, that person is no longer employed at this company.”
    A sense of panic raised the hair on the back of his neck. Immediately, he ran with every ounce of strength to his friend’s office. It was empty. No trace that Joe worked there or had ever worked there was found. It was swept clean.
    “Maybe I went to the wrong place,” he thought. “All these offices look the same.”
    To his own chagrin, he knew too well the location of his friend’s office. The paranoia built to a steady state when, upon finding his other compatriots, they had no knowledge that Joe had ever been part of their group. Jeremiah’s heart sank. He even checked the payroll office and no trace of his friend could be found.
    “I think I’ll go home. I’m not feeling well,” he said out loud.
    The security desk saw him approach. “We’re sorry you aren’t feeling well. Go home.”
    Even in his emotional state, he couldn’t detect any emotion coming from the people behind the desk. It was as if they had been replaced by replicants. “Yeah, thanks. I will.”
    Jeremiah made his way to a CAB, slid in and told it where to go. He was going over to Joe’s house. The place where he lived was no longer a single family dwelling, but a high rise multi-unit condo style building. There was no trace that Joe ever existed.
    Jeremiah checked the street sign to make sure the CAB didn’t take him to the wrong place.
    There was no mistake. Joe had been intentionally erased.
    About the Author
  • Kenneth Gordon grew up in Milford, NH and still lived in that state. When he isn’t writing scifi-infused horror novels, he plays PC games, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums. He also holds a brown belt in Kung Fu.

    Web Site: http:// kennethgordonnovelist .com/
    FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KennethGordonNovelist/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethGordon69
    Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our
    authors/manufacturers/kenneth-gordon
    Dark City Buy Links
    Publisher’s website:
    http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/science-fiction/dark-
    city689-detail?Itemid=0
    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-CityKenneth-Gordon-
    ebook/dp/B01FOOX3DW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469976535&sr=8-
    1&keywords=Dark+City+by+Kenneth+gordon#navbar
    Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-CityKenneth-
    Gordon/dp/1938703901/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469977049&sr=1-
    1&keywords=Dark+City+by+Kenneth+Gordon
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/636567
  • Thank you for visiting my blog. Please leave a comment for Ken.
  • Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

    Website http://barbaraedwards.net

    Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

    Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

    Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

    GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

     

My #Guest Michael D. Smith gives an in-depth description of his hero in CommWealth

Please welcome my guest, Michael D. Smith , author ofCommWealth

*** Tell us about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.

Allan Larson is one of the six major figures in CommWealth.  Though two other characters eventually step forth to function as heroes, Allan is the consummate anti-hero whose absurd and puerile ambitions dominate this book.  I’ve always thought of the characters in CommWealth as an ensemble cast in a movie, where accomplished actors divide the plot between them and no one actor has the lead role.  The ensemble concept is apt for this novel, in which these characters form the core of the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe.  The Cup of Fog coffeehouse in the fictional coastal Texas town of Linstar is their home base and forms the stage upon which the forces of the novel collide.

The insanity of the six-month-old CommWealth system, in which all private property has been outlawed and citizens are required to share everything, finds its apt expression in Allan Larson as he glibly procures free electronics and a Porsche in the first scene.  Allan is a narcissistic playwright and actor who forces Forensic Squad to stage his mediocre play Cabaret.  Supercilious, clueless, and manipulative, he’s claimed a mansion in Linstar Heights and surrounded himself with expensive cars and gadgets.  As a writer he thinks he should express his buried truths, but he’s too fearful to find out what they really are, and when crime tempts him, he sees it as just another avenue to fulfilling his needs.  He considers himself too creative to be bothered making backup copies of his writing, and it’s only by luck that he gets a digital copy of Cabaret back after his laptop is claimed by another citizen along with all his wide screen TVs, sports cars, and motorcycles.  He dominates Forensic Squad not as a leader or someone who can make the troupe function, but as its clever, over-the-top “idea man” playwright with just enough charisma to keep things rolling his way.

If Allan has any redeeming quality, it’s his hesitant realization of a need for friendship or for the comradeship of the theatrical troupe, even as he considers how such friends and fellow actors might further or thwart his ambitions, and when might be the best opportunity to betray them.  His loneliness can be touching.  Though he lives in a dream world and rewrites every event to conform to his worldview, when a machine gun is pressed into his hands and his service is demanded as a soldier of a revolution against CommWealth, he’s at least grounded enough to see the absolute futility of such a battle–although his cowardice also plays a large part here.

Blurb:

The CommWealth system, has created a society in which there is no legal claim to any kind of private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before someone else can request it. As actors in the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe attempt to adapt to this chaos, their breaking of the Four Rules sustaining the system, as several members navigate betrayals, double agents, and murder to find themselves leading a suicidal revolution.

Excerpt:

CommWealth Rules:

Rule One – You are free to enjoy the chosen object for thirty days. During this period no other person may request it.

Rule Two – The requestor is untouchable for thirty days by the person asked. Attempts at retaliation, such as demanding unusually large quantities from the original requestor after the thirty-day period, carry stiff penalties.

Rule Three – Once you ask somebody for something, you can never ask him or her for anything else again.

Rule Four – You can never ask for the same thing back from the person who got it from you, not even after his or her thirty days of enjoyment.

Allan shivered at the reflection of his black overcoat and his striding legs on the wet sidewalk. Up ahead someone with a DreamPiston Electronics bag opened a shiny red Porsche glistening with thousands of water beads.

“Okay,” Allan said, “I’ll take your car here.”

The mustached little twerp looked up. “Ahhh, crap…”

“C’mon, don’t give me any trouble. Gimme the key.”

“Look, it’s raining. And I just got these MP3 players and the new Fappy tablet—”

“Not my problem. Fork the damn key over.”

“Look, my umbrella’s in the car—can I just get my umbrella so my stuff—”

“Forget it. The umbrella’s part of the car as far as I’m concerned. Anything in the car. Besides, I just lost my umbrella a couple blocks back. I’m soaked.”

“C’mon, I just got this car the other day!”

“Don’t hand me that. The sticker on the plate says you got it a month and a half ago. You’re overdue, buddy. Now hand me the key.”

“Dammit! Dammit!”

“Got trouble there?” A bright blue City of Linstar police car idled in the rain. “Got a Hoarder there?” a huge officer grinned.

“Uh, no… not at all…” said the twerp. “I just—I just can’t find the key—”

“Yeah, right—you just unlocked the damn car with it,” Allan said, turning to the policeman. “He is giving me a lot of crap about it.”

“C’mon, sir, you know better than that.” The officer’s name tag read BARCLAY.

“Dammit!” the twerp snarled. He separated the Porsche key off his key ring, thrust it at Allan, then spun around and fastened on a man coming down the sidewalk.

“Give me that umbrella! Right now!”

“Goddammit…” the man grunted, surrendering his umbrella to the twerp, who grabbed it and hoisted it above his DreamPiston bag.

“We really got the Christmas spirit here, don’t we?” Barclay said.

“Really,” Allan said. “Some people…” He examined the Porsche key in the rain. “Thanks for your help, officer.”

“Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t really necessary. People are basically good, you know. Give ’em time to adjust and all, that’s what I say.”

The twerp leapt into traffic with his new umbrella and his bag, waving his free arm. A little green car skidded to a halt. The twerp ran to the window and pounded on it. “Give me this car! Right now! Damn you!”

“Jesus…” Allan said. “What a bastard!”

Barclay was out of his patrol car in a second, hand on his hand on his holster. “Sir, that’s not the right way to go about it. We need to be respectful. That’s the CommWealth way.”

About the Author:

Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist.  In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.

Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes.  On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.

CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.

Find out more about Michael at:

Website: , www.sortmind.com,

Blog: www. http://blog.sortmind.com/wordpress/

CommWealth is available at:

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/dystopian/commwealth-6022015-08-14-23-29-50-detail?Itemid=0

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CommWealth-Michael-D-Smith-ebook/dp/B013YPU5D4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478983628&sr=8-1&keywords=CommWealth

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/commwealth-michael-d-smith/1122537291?ean=2940152097313

Now that you’ve read about my guest, please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

My #Guest Jeremy Higley on His Hero in The Son of Dark

Please welcome author Jeremy Higley, as he describes his hero in The Son of Dark

Tell me about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.

I started writing The Son of Dark during my senior year of college. It took me about three years to finish. Now that it’s done, I still struggle to summarize the story properly without feeling like I’m leaving things out.

My hero, Skel, is a wizard in training and the foster son of an elephant herder who resents him. At the age of 14, his world falls apart when his master leaves unexpectedly, and his true father shows up to tell him about the prophecy that led to his birth. The same night his infant foster brother is kidnapped by a magical dream cult called the Dun Ko.

The book also follows the journey of my secondary “hero,” a former pirate turned merchant whose wife has been possessed by a dragon. As Skel searches for the Dun Ko and the lost child, he gets tangled up in the man’s quest to find a cure for his wife’s enchantment. Meanwhile, the good and evil wizards from an age before are becoming active again as the prophecy of the Darksome Thorn, the same prophecy without which Skel would never have been born, is weaving the past and the present together in preparation for a dark threat approaching from beyond the horizon.

Skel is not so much an accidental hero as a reluctant one. He wants to do the right thing, and he would like to help everybody, but he hates being the center of attention. He’s like a main character who wants to take the role of a supporting character, but Fate won’t let him. The most fascinating part of his journey, for me, is his development into a leader. He certainly isn’t there by the end of the first book. He likely will have an awkward relationship with his role for a while yet.

Indeed, I think I’ll always see Skel as an unassuming soul whose greatness is thrust upon him by forces beyond his control.

Blurb for Son of Dark:

A thousand years ago, the wizards of the Nynsa  failed to follow the prophecy of the Darksome Thorn, and now the greatest evil of their time has survived into the next age.

Now, the Darksome Thorn has revealed a new prophecy, and the very evil they failed to kill is working to use that prophecy to his advantage.

Forces of evil run rampant in the land of Duskain. Ancient powers are stirring. A greater darkness is imminent…

…and Skel, the foster son of an elephant herder, finds himself caught in the middle of everything. Will Skel’s newly developing powers be a help or a hindrance…

Excerpt for Son of Dark:

Marga pointed to the south. Zar didn’t turn, but he heard a gasp of recognition from Skel.

“Aja-aja,” he said with concern. “Three of them, about two miles away.”

Zar sighed in trepidation. The aja-aja were rare, enormous snakes prowling the Eltar plains, preying on elephants and any herders foolish enough to attack them. They had three heads each and stocky, powerful bodies to match, and could grow to over forty feet long. They killed and then predigested their prey by spitting streams of corrosive poison from their mouths.

“The aja-aja will be no problem,” he bluffed, staring into Marga’s eyes. “I have two magic-users with me now, a wizard and a Phage. They’re perfectly capable of dispatching a few overgrown snakes.”

“If so, then I’ll simply have to wait longer to be reunited with my precious one,”

the Wyvern said, eyeing the flattened snake corpses around her.

Something inside Zar began to burn like a fuse at the words “precious one.”

“You knew her before, I presume,” he continued, his voice much quieter. “Before you kidnapped her, I mean, and took over her mind.”

“She was mine to take,” the Wyvern retorted through Marga’s lips. “She was always mine to take.”

The last words hissed from Marga’s mouth like a challenge. Zar’s fingers wrapped around his sword’s hilt. He wanted nothing more at this moment than a way to strike at

his enemy, but the Wyvern was far, far away.

“If you want her,” Zar said, “you’ll have to kill me.”

“Too risky,” the Wyvern replied. “You crave nothing more than to die for her. To kill you might break my grip.”

“If you don’t kill me she will never truly be yours,” Zar said. He walked to within an arm’s length of her. “As long as there’s breath in me, I will always be fighting to free

her.”

“I’m sure you mean that,” the Wyvern said. “Once you’re dead, there’s nothing to stop me from singing her back to me.”

About the Author:

Jeremy Higley was born in California but now lives in Arizona. As of 2016 he’s a graduate student working on a master’s degree in English. He’s also an instructional aide at a local elementary school, a novelist, and a contributing editor for a nonprofit student success company called LifeBound.

The Son of Dark, Book 1 of The Darksome Thorn, is his first novel.

Find out more about Jeremy at:

Website: www.darksomethorn.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeremy.higley.3?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/darksomethorn/

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-higley-93b0b418

Google+: https://plus.google.com/100303315189666735431

Buy Links:

Publishers Website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/cat-young-adult/the-son-of-dark-tales-of-the-darksome-thorn-book-1-detail?Itemid=0

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b?ie=UTF8&node=154606011

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Son-Dark-Darksome-Thorn-Book-ebook/dp/B01IG983XC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=U

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/650660

Thanks for stopping by,

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

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GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

 

How Evil Is My Villian? by my #Guest Juanita Aydlette Author of It’s in the Blood

Please welcome my guest, Juanita Aydlette, author of It’s in the Blood 

Tell us more about your story, Juanita.

HOW EVIL IS MY VILLIAN?

The villain in my story, IT’S IN THE BLOOD, is named Rhodora. She’s from a supposedly extinct tribe called The Inans, whose evil leader was killed thousands of years ago by a set of twins possessing magical powers, who were born to an enemy tribe.

During the quest to resurrect her leader from the dead, she stalks a set of twins and their mother born in the enemy village from their birthplace in the jungles of Brazil to Africa. She suspects they are the predicted rebirth of the Miraculous Twins. Rhodora kills their mother, marries their unsuspecting father, and patiently waits for the twins’ eighteenth birthday. It is then she plans to slaughter one of the twins and use her blood to resurrect her leader.

Rhodora’s beauty is a lure during the day. At midnight she turns into a hideous creature that feeds on rodents and other small animals. Upon reviving her leader, the curse will be lifted and she will be the envy of all women. She will also become queen of a new tribe and rule all of South America.

BLURB:

itsinthedblood-1When Gabrielle Madsen accompanies her parents on a three month trip to Africa, she is in for a pretty unique summer. As a botany major in college, her first interest is to hopefully discover a new plant species during her visit. Her discovery, however, tips her world on its axis.

Being a very naïve but dangerously curious young woman, she accepts a sight-seeing invitation from strangers that she met in her hotel lobby. This little escapade sets off a chain of events that changes the course of her life forever.

She instantly falls for Joshua Van Ness, one of the group’s members. Very quickly, their relationship excels.

Joshua and his twin sister, Christina, are descendants of an ancient Brazilian tribe, and they have a secret. Gabby’s curiosity about Josh heats up and puts her life in danger. Will the dark forces that wish to possess Josh and his sister view Gabby as an extra bonus?

Is this summer love worth the risk?

EXCERPT:

Josh looked into my eyes as he moved his feet in rhythm with the warriors.

“I love you.” He kissed my forehead pressing his lips in firmly.

“I love you too, Josh, more than you’ll ever know.”

The singing continued from above and below, with the tiger and the lioness now circling the temple outside the ring of tribesmen. The dancers’ rhythm increased in speed and they enhanced the ceremony with brisk, hand clapping. Mike stood and cupped Chris’s other hand within his own. Peter gently stroked her hair. The heart-breaking sadness twisted my insides as the uplifting voices of the brave warriors sung Chris’s soul into the spirit world. It was apparent that death was too easily accepted in this part of the world. I was devastated. I wasn’t ready to let go of my newly acquired family member so soon.

During a quick onset of nausea, I panicked, thinking that maybe I had picked up some sort of foreign bug. My tummy was starting to feel warm with Josh’s hand cupped over Chris’s, although his body heat was always searing.

I was staring at Mike with the sincerest of empathy when he fell to his knees and pressed his face against Chris’s hand. I wished that I could reach inside of him and cradle his heart and mend its shattered pieces. Earlier that day in the hotel, when he connected with Chris through the magic of my little one, I truly believed that he had just come to grips with the secret world that had graced his surroundings from the moment he met Chris. This was our bonding link. His thoughts were suddenly mine, a trip back into time, recalling some of the unbelievable events that had taken place before his eyes. He accepted them blindly without question because of his unconditional love for her. He didn’t want to know the why’s that trailed every strange episode in her life. All he wanted was to be with her through it all, forever.

aydlette-1ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Juanita Aydlette was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.

What started out as a childhood obsession with magical creatures became a passion in her later years. She created such magic in her first novel IT’S IN THE BLOOD, and challenged her imagination to bring readers into her world of romance, suspense and fear of the unknown.

Her upcoming novel BLOOD TIES continues this epic saga.

Find out more about Juanita at:

https://twitter.com/JuanitaAydlette

https://www.facebook.com/juanita.aydlette

http://thesouloffiction.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Class-Act-Books-279355422086332/?fref=ts

Twitter: @Juanita Aydlette

Buy Links for IT’S IN THE BLOOD:

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/component/virtuemart/cat-fantasy/it-s-in-the-blood-716-detail?Itemid=0

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Its-Blood-Juanita-Aydlette-ebook/dp/B01KEC287G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1471477043&sr=8-3&keywords=It%27s+in+the+Blood

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/658257

I hope you enjoyed visiting with my guest. Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards