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

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My Guest Leslie Heath shares her hero from The Last Mayor’s Son

***Hi Leslie, Tell me about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.

leslie The hero of The Last Mayor’s Son, Aibek is a twenty-year-old orphan who is raised by his aunt and uncle in the city. He grows up learning to fight, to lead, and to be an officer in the Xona Army, but must adjust his plans when he learns that the village of his birth is in peril and needs his help. Longing for some news of his parents, he sets out for the Tsari Forest – even though he’s only seen a few scrawny trees in his young life – and the uncertainty of returning to a treetop homeland recently freed from a vicious ruler. Thus begins the tale of Aibek’s journey to Nivaka to assume the roles and responsibilities of his birthright as the last mayor’s son.

Due to his uncle’s harsh and implacable parenting, Aibek struggles with anxiety, insecurity, and the desire to please everyone – undesirable attributes in a mayor. He must learn to make decisions and take control if he is to lead the village to victory against the evil Helak’s approaching army. Meanwhile, he also faces an unknown enemy within the forest village, who opposes the new government and works to maim and kill both the mayor and the fledgling council. Thankfully, his best friend, Faruz, tags along on the journey and provides some much-needed levity and confidence.

Unbeknownst to him, Aibek is a born leader who inspires confidence in those around him. It doesn’t take long before most of the several hundred residents of Nivaka love him for his charismatic personality, and pledge to follow him into a battle they know they may not win. Aibek and Faruz work to build an army out of the peaceful village, though the previous governor had forbidden swordplay and all arts of war for the past twenty years. Will Aibek learn to trust his leader’s instincts and guide the village to an era of peace?

Blurb

thelastmayorssoncove3Twenty years after the death of his parents, Aibek must return to the forest and lead his hometown to freedom.

Villagers summon him to be their new mayor after they overthrow the small group of soldiers the ruthless Helak appointed to rule them. They need someone to help them fight off the army that seeks to regain the enemy’s brutal control. Aibek has no problem with standing and fighting. It’s the leading that has him concerned.

Distracted by the problem of teaching a placid people to defend themselves, Aibek nearly overlooks a plot to overthrow the fledgling government. Will he figure out who in the village wants him gone before it’s too late?

Author Bio

Leslie E. Heath lives in rural North Carolina with her husband, children, and an unsettlingly large number of rescue pets. She enjoys writing, which is important because she plans to do a lot more of it. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time at the beach, training for and competing in long-distance running events, and working as a registered nurse.

The Last Mayor’s Son is Heath’s publishing debut and the first volume of a planned trilogy.

Buy links

http://www.classactbooks.com/young-adult/the-last-mayor-s-son-762-detail

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33404442-the-last-mayor-s-son?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946523003/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_9PdKybQYYQ63Z

 

My Guest# Tena Stetler reveals her inspiration for A Demon’s Witch

Tena Stetler
Tena Stetler

Today my guest is Tena Stetler, author of A Demon’s Witch

Paranormal Romance

Rating PG-13

Best selling author, Tena Stetler, uses her over-active imagination to spin tales of paranormal romance/suspense and cozy mysteries. Her spicy romances spin the adventures of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. From demons to faeries and witches to vampires her intriguing characters take roads less traveled to draw you into exciting tales that  engage the imagination and warm the heart.
What was your inspiration for A Demon’s Witch?
A Demon’s Witch was my debut novel and has remained close to my heart. A Demon’s Witch hit the market and garnered best seller status. It earned The Romantic Reviews Readers Choice 2016 Nominee in the paranormal romance category.   I love talking about this story.
The ideas begin to percolate as I sat in a beauty salon listening to the chatter from other customers. One woman swore she’d been approached by a vampire want-to-be.
This got me to thinking, which is scary in and of itself. What if the hairdresser was an alpha male, Demon Overlord of the Western Hemisphere that owned a multi-species salon in Washington DC? Enter a powerful witch, whose beauty caught the eye of the demon on a rainy day when she rushed into his salon. Now, unbeknownst to him, she is not any ordinary witch, but the little sister of the demon’s enforcer. Now you have a romance with unbelievable complications. 
The story became a series, but the other planned books in the series took a strange turn when the majority of readers and reviewers clamored for the enforcer, Tristian’s story to be next in line. I’d never considered writing a book on the witch’s brother, the demon’s enforcer. But after mulling it over for several months and publishing three unrelated books, 
I am excited to announce A Warlock’s Secrets (Tristian’s story) is awaiting cover art and will be published spring 2017. So please watch for it!
Tena’s contact links:
 
Newsletter: Sign up on web page www.tenastetler.com
 
For a chance to win an amazon $5.00 GC or a e-book of A Witch’s Journey please sign up for my newsletter at  http://www.tenastetler.com and Like my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author.
 
51oxj6gawvl-_uy250_I hope you enjoy my blurb and peek into A Demon’s Witch.
 
Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C., is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running.  Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly.
Bruce’s world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce’s long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation, but something darker threatens them all. Will undeniable attraction between demon and witch tear their worlds apart?
Excerpt:
At two in the morning he awoke feeling her restlessness, listening he heard her soft sobs. He pulled on his black silk lounge pants and grabbed the robe from the foot of his bed. Padding silently in his bare feet down the hall, he paused at her bedroom door just as her anguished scream filled the room. He was at the side of her bed a second later. Gathering her onto his lap, he held her unyielding body to his until her flailing limbs quieted and her troubled violet eyes opened. Cognizant of where she was now and with whom, she flung her arms around his neck and clung tight as shivers racked her slight frame.
Megan came running from the other wing of the house where the staff lived during the week. “Is everything all right?” She peeked inside Angie’s bedroom door.
“Just a nightmare, nothing to worry about. She’s awake now.
“Oh no my Lord,” Megan said in a low frantic whisper.
“Don’t call me that,” he growled, his amber eyes tinged with orange glowed in the dark room.
“Sorry. There’s something dark and dangerous chasing that one.” She nodded in Angie’s direction. “It’s not of this world.”
He lowered his voice and spoke kindly. “Go back to bed, I’ve got this handled.” He paused for a beat exhaling slowly. “For now.”
 
Buy Link: AMAZON  http://amzn.com/1509203087

From Barbara Edwards – Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

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My Guest Casi McLean presents Beneath The Lake – A Time-Slip Romantic Suspense –

Please meet Casi McLean, author of Beneath The Lake – A Time-Slip, Romantic Suspense – Rated PG13
 
USA Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2jB4JXp
 
What is your inspiration for For Beneath The Lake, Casi?:
I love to talk about my story, Beneath The Lake, and the eerie lake lore that inspired my museA town that time forgot––the history and creepy stories attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. The moonshiners of the 1940’s added built-in suspense, and the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, exposed its cement stands in a recent draught. 
There’s a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too––the spine-chilling lore is the basis for book three in my Beneath The Lake series, Between The Shadows. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. The inspiration swirled in my mind, begging for a story to be told. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.
Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history, presented a plausible theory. What if the excavation explosions triggered a seismic shift? Given enough energy, could the blasts rip a portal into a different dimension or a crack in time? The possibilities were endless.
The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux’s A Knight In Shining Armor. The time-slip novel introduced her endearing Montgomery family. I hope my books honor her inspiration. My high school friend, Hilary Johnson, inspired the persona of my heroine, Lacey Montgomery. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble. Some of Hillary’s finer qualities became part of Lacey––the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. LOL. Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.
The sequel, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Beyond The Mist is complete, in editing, and will be published in a few months.
For a Free Gift, and a chance to win my entire short story collection, Destiny: Five Novelettes With a Twist, click here:https://spark.adobe.com/page/pxekfzj8Rx4el/
I hope you enjoy my trailer, blurb, and the opening excerpt below.
 
cydmaduuqaaadtjBlurb –
A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of–34 years before she was born.
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.
Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.
Excerpt:
Lake Lanier, Georgia—June 2011
A final thud hurled him backward, flailing through brush and thickets like a rag doll. Grasping at anything to break momentum, Rob’s hand clung to a branch wedged into the face of the precipice. Spiny splinters sliced his skin. Blood oozed and trickled into his palms, and one by one, his fingers slowly slipped.
A sharp crack echoed through the silence of the ravine as the bough succumbed to his weight. He plummeted into free-fall. Clenching his eyes, he drew in a deep breath, terrified of the pain, the mauling that waited on the jagged rocks below.
When icy water broke his fall, the chill kept him from losing consciousness. He spun, straining to see, but darkness enveloped him. Soggy clothing pulled him deeper—deeper into the murky, fathomless depths. He wrestled to squirm free from the waterlogged jacket dragging him down to a watery grave, watched the coat disappear into black obscurity. Panic gripped his stomach, or was it death that snaked around his chest, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing the air, the life from his body? Lack of oxygen burned his lungs, beckoning surrender, and a shard of rage pierced his gut as reality set in. He lunged upward with one last thrust and burst from the water’s deadly grip, gasping for air. A gurgling howl spewed from the depths of his soul and echoed into silence.
Sunlight shimmered across a smooth, indigo lake, but aside from the slight ripples of his own paddling, nothing but stillness surrounded him. He floated toward the shore, sucking deep breaths into his lungs until the pummeling in his chest subsided. When he reached the water’s edge, he hoisted his body onto the soft red clay and collapsed while the sun’s warmth drained the tension from his body.
No one knew he had survived. The rules had shifted. Now he could reinvent himself, become a stealth predator. His target: Lacey Madison Montgomery.
Amazon Best-Selling Author Casi McLean Bio:
 
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense. Beneath The Lake won the 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Her stories entwine strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
Contact Links:
 
Winner Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence
Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine
2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense
2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews
2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist
2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award
Romantic Suspense, Time Slips, And Mystery with a Sprinkle of Magic….

My Guest Tony-Paul de Vissage turns a Villain’s Son into a Hero

1959403_763700340320774_7851013420971761107_nTony-Paul, tell me about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.

A few years ago, on a dare, I wrote a novel titled Absinthe. It did pretty good, earning an award for the Best M/M Historical Horror novel of 2014 by the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice.

My “hero,” or rather protagonist—for there were many who questioned any heroic attributes Absinthe possessed—was an opportunist, cold, manipulative, and with absolutely NO moral compass to guide him. He’d been deliberately raised that way, as an instrument of revenge. He was at the same time, the hero and the villain of this particular story….yet some people found him fascinating because of his ethical dichotomy.

After the novel’s publication, I went on to other things, thinking that particular story was done, but eventually Absinthe again reared his handsome, if debauched, head. The same friend who conned me into writing that novel, was at it again.

absinthe-front_180x270“So…when are you going to write a sequel to Absinthe?” she asked, out of the blue one afternoon.

“Probably never,” I replied, and continued with what I was doing, which was writing a chapter of my new novel.

“You mean you didn’t write that epilogue with a sequel in mind?  Come on.”  

“Nope…” I kept my eyes on the computer screen.

“But…what about all the questions left unanswered?” she demanded.

“What questions?” I tried to pretend I didn’t know what she meant.

It didn’t work.

“What questions…?  Don’t play stupid.” She caught my arm and shook it, jerking my hand from the keyboard which sent it nearly toppling from the typing shelf. I managed to catch it before it crashed to the floor. “Come on, don’t leave us hanging…there’s more to the story and you know it!”

I did know it…and as much as I tried to ignore it and work on something else, the idea had been buzzing around in my brain for a bit. After that little episode, the buzz was as loud as a chorus of cicadas. Sighing and saving what I’d been working on, I bowed to the inevitable and took up the threads where they’d been left hanging…and Essence of Absinthe was the result.

This novel takes up the story of Absinthe’s son, David…a young man the exact opposite of his father in every way. David isn’t the typical 18th century young nobleman spending his time drinking carousing, gambling, with a mistress in every brothel in town…look to his best friend Rouge for that. Rather, the young man is shy around women, obedient to a fault, and, in his twentieth year, still chaste. He’s even perhaps a bit of a prude, especially from Rouge’s point of view. David is a very moral young person, highly religious, as evidenced by his numerous visits to the family chapel to pray for his family and for his friend. He’d probably be shocked out of his highborn mind if he knew his father had been a very highly-paid man-whore named Absinthe.

Point of fact, David doesn’t know he’s Absinthe’s son. He believes himself the son of Étienne, the Marquis Delafée, who is in reality his grandfather. This fact, hidden from David all his life, will cause problems later on, for when his “father,” fearing the upcoming rumbles of revolution in France, decides to take his family to the safety of colonial Louisiana, he delivers his “son” to the very place where the spirits of the dead have been waiting, for two decades…

Nouvelle-Orléans is very different from France, and in this city of voodou and obeah, mountain men and aristocrats, where passion and desire for revenge exist side-by-side, this very gentle, very good youngster is about to have a very rude awakening to the darker side of life.

Young David will face some heart-shattering facts strong enough to make even the strong walls of his moral fiber crumble.  He will face some decisions designed to threaten his very existence as well as his own beliefs. In the end, it won’t change his love for his parents, or his friendship with Rouge, but it will serve to make him more of an adult and less of a dreamer, more cynical and less of a believer in the good of his fellow men..

Essence of Absinthe may be considered mild in comparison to its predecessor but that’s because the subject matter has changed. Absinthe was a tale of obessesion; Essence of Absinthe is a story of possession, and how the desire for revenge can survive and fester and wreak itself upon the innocent, especially those who are completely unaware of its existence.

I hope those reading the story will applaud the way I handled that, as well as David’s responses.

BlURB:

The noble family of Vaurien has secrets, and one Étienne Vaurien and his wife have suppressed for twenty years is about to be discovered. Taking his family from France to escape the murmur of revolution places his son David in mortal danger.

A city may change but some things remain the same. Hatred and the desire for revenge are at the top of the list. David’s resemblance to Étienne’s deceased eldest son, Absinthe, is remarked upon by many but to one person it means more than a mere likeness of features.

Genevieve, Etienne’s abandoned mistress and Absinthe’s amour, has pined twenty years for her young lover. Now, she has a chance to get him back…and she isn’t going to let death stop her.

In a short time, David’s living body will house the spirit of a dead man who wants once again to live…and love.

essence-copyEXCERPT:

David decided to ask something always bothering him. “I know you’re not a particularly religious man, sir, but why don’t you like the chapel? They say you haven’t been inside since the fire.”

Immediately he wondered if he should’ve mentioned that, since it brought up a reference to the near-forbidden subject of Étienne’s lost son.

They?” Étienne’s eyes held a surprising twinkle at his son’s remark. “What else do those mysterious “they” say?” He gave David a direct, near-confrontational stare. “Who are “they,” exactly?”

“I don’t know…servants…townspeople…visitors…” David waved his hands.

“Ah…that hazy and indistinct group which forms our opinions for us.” His father nodded, a finger going to his lips. “I see.” He appeared amused by his son’s vagueness. “You still haven’t told me what else they’ve said.”

“Nothing,” David admitted. “Apparently no one wishes to speak of it.”

“I wish you wouldn’t.” Étienne’s reply was abrupt. Softer, he went on, “You know I don’t like to be reminded of what I lost that day.”

“I’m sorry, sir.” David truly was.

He acknowledged his father kept a tight rein on his emotions. When in public, even if a mere visit to the village, he was, while not cold, at least aloof…polite and friendly, but reserved and a little distant. Very rarely did the Marquis Delafée let outsiders see his gentler side.

“Not that I haven’t regained it through you, mon fils,” Étienne added hastily, as if realizing how his statement sounded. “It’s simply…” He stopped, shaking his head.

“I apologize for mentioning it at all.” David hesitated, then said, in a softer tone, “It’s only…you never speak of him if you can help it, and that makes me curious, of course…of what happened that day.”

There was silence, broken only when Étienne muttered, “I really don’t want…” He studied his son briefly. “I didn’t intend this to be a day of revelations.”

He stopped again, then replaced the quill he held in its holder with a deliberate movement.

“Perhaps, you should know more.” Étienne sighed, as if in surrender. “Sit, son.” He indicated a chair placed to the side of the desk. “No need to stand like a servant.”

David dropped gratefully into the chair as Étienne continued, grudgingly, “It was his wedding day. He died in that fire before the ceremony could be completed.”

“As did Rouge’s father.” David remembered the inscription on his brother’s vault…that a second body lay in the tomb with him. The engraving chiseled into the granite stated for all to see that his best friend’s father was also buried there.

“Rouge Meurtrier, pèreoui.” Briefly, the marquis avoided his son’s gaze.

“My uncle died, also.”

“Uncle?” Étienne looked up. “Whom do you mean?”

 “Didn’t Mamère’s brother die that day, too? Jean-Paul? Why don’t they speak of him, either?”
“How do you know about Jean-Paul?” Étienne half-rose from his chair, leaning  across the desk toward his son. “Who’ve you been talking to?”

“No one, I swear. It’s merely another of the questions I’ve long wished to ask.” Startled, David found himself bending backward as if to escape his father’s grasp though the marquis hadn’t raised either hand.  He struggled to keep any condemnation out of his voice. “Once when I went to visit Gran’père Georges, I wandered into the garden. At the end of it, I found the family burial plot. The mausoleum was open and I went in. Morbid curiosity I suppose…to see the names of Mamère’s ancestors,” he added. “You know my hobby.”

His father nodded and relaxed.  David was surprised. Until that moment, he hadn’t realized Étienne was tense. Why should he be?

“I found his vault…Jean-Paul la Carrière, Vicomte la Proie.”. Just that and his death date…the same as my brother’s…and Rouge Meurtrier’s.”

Oui. Jean-Paul died that day also. He was Absinthe’s…compagnon de mariage…”

“Absinthe. Why did they call him that?” David persisted, fearing his father might soon regret reawakening the tragedy and refused to say more.

“Because of his eyes…they were the color of that infernal liqueur.” Étienne took a deep breath, looking away as if to hide the fact his own eyes were also that color, but in his case, he’d been called Peridot.

Using that surnom to differentiate the deceased child from his living namesake had become habit but it still cause an ache. To his son, it sounded as if he were controlling great fury.

“I don’t wish to speak of this any longer, David.”

Absinthe is available from Class Act Books. Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Essence of Absinthe will be available in April 15, 2017, and will be listed with the above vendors.

About the Author:

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless—and he’s now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the Undead.

Find out more about Tony-Paul at:

Twitter:  @tpvissage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonypaul.devissage?fref=ts

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/tony-paul-de-vissage

Amazon author’s page: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

Sometimes Frustration Can Lead to a Different Result by my guest James Austin McCormick

My Guest,  James Austin McCormick is the author of Dragon: the Tower of Tamerlane.

Tell us why you wrote this YA Story.

dragontower-copy-2I’ve wanted to write a fantasy series for young readers for quite some time now.

The premise, I feel, is a promising one. It involves a kingdom bordered by a magical forest. The tale begins with a Machiavellian uncle plotting to kill his nephew, the heir to the throne.  Managing to escape, the young prince is lost in the magical forest, where he’s saved by the mysterious Fey who transport him to their realm and teach him their ways. When the prince comes of age, he decides to return to the human world and right the wrongs of his uncle, now the ruler of the kingdom.

Even writing this now fills me with a sense of creative excitement but—and this is where the sheer frustration creeps in—every time I attempt to set the tale down all I come up with are stale, clichéd characters and a sort of paint-by-numbers narrative that bores me even as I’m writing. The last time I attempted this was ten months ago. Then, I decided to use the 500 words a day/ just get it down approach. Well, I did and was over fifteen thousand words in before I was forced to admit it just wasn’t working.

I decided I couldn’t give up this time so went back and started revising what I had, trying to add more details, give characters a more distinctive voice and any idiosyncrasies which might work well. (I know Dean Koontz constantly re-works a single page over and over before moving on to the next one). I did this, but instead of improving what I had, the story got away from me, changing completely.

I found I simply had no control over it.

What I have now in its place is a rough draft of a steam punk, sci-fi, horror-fantasy that I had no intention of ever writing. It couldn’t be less suitable for a young audience. Don’t get me wrong, I think I have something with this new version, but I’m as far as I ever was in realising my fantasy series.

In frustration at so much work producing so little in terms of output I decided to return one last time to my sci-fi series, Dragon,  as I felt there was one more story to tell. I realised I’d never fully explored the backstory and inner psychology of the main character, Sillow, a cowardly yet also restless elf with an advanced ship which allows him to punch above his weight. He’s an orphan, driven by insecurity and a sense of not belonging. Although the tale is still very much light-hearted, action orientated speculative fiction; it has more depth than the previous books, with the character study being as important as the narrative.

I’ve now submitted this to Class Act Books (who have published several of my other works, including the Dragon series), so I’m hoping they’ll also like this one. If they do, it should be out sometime in the next few months, tentatively titled DRAGON: The Prisoner of Alathia.

jamesaustinmccormickAbout the Author:

James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England and in my free time enjoy writing speculative fiction, mostly science fiction, horror and a little sword and sorcery fantasy. He is also a particular fan of classic Gothic and Victorian horror tales and is currently in the process of writing updated versions of these with a science fiction spin.

More about James at:

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/jimbomcc69

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9860555.James_Austin_McCormick

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/James-McCormick/e/B00F3F9SGY

Class Act Books http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/james-austin-mccormick

BLURB for Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane:

Now a reluctant solo agent, Sillow is called upon to undertake his first mission, investigate the Tower, a high-tech prison complex along with the oligarch who runs it, a mysterious nobleman who calls himself Tamerlane.
Seeking evidence to prove Tamerlane is responsible for a series of terrorist attacks, Sillow quickly uncovers the sheer scale of his plans, a lethal military strike on all four humanoid home worlds. Caught and imprisoned however, the Sylvan finds himself helpless to warn the Alliance of the coming danger.

EXCERPT from Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane:

Laser fire and shouts echoed as Sillow was thrown headlong into the cell.

“What are you?” a female voiced asked. “Some type of green midget?”

Sillow groaned and tried to get up. He settled for a slumped kneeling position.

“I’m a Sylvan,” he replied. He squinted into the shadows and saw a figure seated on the upper berth of a bunk. He could make out little apart from a muscular, yet shapely pair

of legs. “Who are you?”

The figure jumped down from the bunk. She was an Amazonian, strong and athletic with an impressive cleavage and long chestnut hair falling around her shoulders. She was

also extremely pretty despite the artificial eye and cheek implant. She stretched out a perfectly formed silver arm, extending her hand. “Titanya.”

Sillow’s eyes widened. “The Pirate Queen?”

The woman nodded.

The Sylvan took her cybernetic hand and let himself be hauled to his feet. He found himself head high to her magnificent chest.

“Sillow,” he replied, smiling at her breasts. “I’m from the Alliance.”

“Up here, short stuff,” the woman told him.

Slowly and very reluctantly, Sillow turned his attention upwards. He grinned. “Nice to meet you.”

Outside, cries and weapon fire continued to echo through the halls.

Titanya frowned. “Any idea what all that’s about?”

“Whole place is going crazy,” the Sylvan replied. “Something got into Tamerlane’s AI system.”

The woman took a couple of tentative steps toward the door. Screams echoed through the walls.

“Sounds like a warzone out there,” she remarked. “You sure the AI is causing all this?”

Sillow frowned. “You know, this is going to sound kind of crazy but…” he paused, running a hand over his pointed chin.

“What?” Titanya demanded.

“Well, it kind of looks like the one causing all this is Darius Drake. You heard of the guy?”

“Oh yeah,” the Earth woman answered. “We’ve met.”

“Well, somehow he’s put himself into the computer system.” Sillow gave an embarrassed shrug. “Sounds sort of off the wall I know.”

There was a sudden explosion and flames tore through the slits at the top of the door.

“Look out.” Sillow threw himself at Titanya, knocking her off balance and sending her tumbling to the floor. The Sylvan landed on top of her, head buried in her thick auburn

locks. A fireball tore past them, turning the bunks into cinder.

It was some moments before Sillow glanced up. He found himself looking at the stern, beautiful features of the Terran woman.

“You okay?” he asked. “Just so you know, that was me protecting you.”

 

“Just so you know,” Titanya replied, “under any other circumstances I’d have busted your jaw for that.”

Sillow grinned. “You mean saving your life?”

Titanya flung the little Sylvan back onto his feet. “Yeah, right. I can’t believe a pipsqueak like you got the drop on me.”

BUY LINKS:

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/science-fiction/dragon-the-tower-of-tamerlane-593-detail?Itemid=0

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Tamerlane-James-Austin-McCormick-ebook/dp/B011MNZQ52/ref=la_B00F3F9SGY_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470566864&sr=1-7

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Tamerlane-James-Austin-McCormick/dp/1938703634/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470585322&sr=1-7&keywords=James+Austin+McCormick

My Guest Darcy Flynn with Double Trouble from Barbara Edwards

Double Trouble by Author Darcy Flynn
Why did you write this story, Darcy?
 
51serlvvy5lI’ve always loved romantic comedies, especially mistaken identity stories. And what better way to confuse my heroine, then identical twin brothers. Some of my dearest friends have been identical twins, from my early childhood, until now. Six sets, to be exact. I’ve always loved being the one who could tell them apart, the best friend who shared their secrets and their pranks. I thought it was time to write a story for them. 
 
Buy Links:
 
 
 
 
Blurb:
 
From the first moment coffee mogul, Will Carrington, gazes into the fiery, green eyes of Clare Sullivan, he’s hit with the feeling she does not like him. Not. One. Little. Bit. Used to being the proverbial prize by some gorgeous gold-digging fortune hunter, he’s learned to be careful. But with his hunter instincts now on high alert, he’s determined to find out the why behind her stormy-eyed glances.
Top home designer, Clare Sullivan, wants absolutely nothing to do with arrogant, self-assured Will Carrington, especially after he called her half-sister a gold digger. When she gets the opportunity to design his multi-million dollar Miami penthouse, she arrives at his office ready to decline his offer, and to tell him exactly what she thinks of his cruel and un-warranted comments. 
While there, she overhears his one-sided phone conversation, which seems to further insult her sister. Assuming the worse, Clare makes the rash decision to accept the job and charge him a fortune in the process. Someone needs to teach him a lesson and what better way than with a swift kick in his wallet.
Since she and her sister have different surnames, Clare conveniently hides the connection to her sister. But while she works with Will, she discovers another side to this self-assured, woman-hater. A Jekyll to his Hyde. Charming and professional, he’s nothing like the man she’s heard about. What she doesn’t know is Will Carrington has a few secrets of his own.
 
Snippet:
 
Will loved it when a plan came together, and this one was flowing along beautifully. So well in fact, if he wasn’t careful, Clare might be inclined to get up and run. And that wouldn’t fit in with his plans at all.
And if she gnaws any more on her bottom lip, there won’t be much left to kiss.
He held out his arms. “Come here.”
Her eyes widened, and her jaw dropped two inches.
“In your dreams.”
“There is some truth to that.” He made a deliberate show of getting out of his chair, and an equally deliberate one of removing his jacket and tie.
After tossing both on the back of his chair, he took a step in her direction.
“What are you doing?” Alarm filled her eyes.
“Getting comfortable and finishing what you started this afternoon.” He undid the top button on his dress shirt, then the next. “Do you mind?”
“Yes, I mind.” She shot to her feet, snatched up the shawl and held it to her chest. “This has gone far enough.”
He shook his head. “Not nearly.” He stopped in front of her, gave her the slightest of smiles, then scooped her up in his arms as if she were a child.
She sucked in a breath and push hard against his chest. “Put me down.”
“That’s the plan, sweetheart. The question is, where?”
 
Bio:
Darcy Flynn is known for her heartwarming, sweet contemporary romances. Her refreshing storylines, irritatingly handsome heroes and feisty heroines will delight and entertain you from the first page to the last. Miss Flynn’s heroes and heroines have a tangible chemistry that is entertaining, humorous and competitive.
Darcy lives with her husband, son, two English Setters and a menagerie of other living creatures on her horse farm in Franklin, Tennessee. She raises rare breed chickens, stargazes on warm summer nights and indulges daily in afternoon tea. 
  
 
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