Tuesday, January 22, 2019

An Awesome New "Emotion Thesaurus" for Writers!


I have a secret to spill! 
For the last month, I've been part of a Street Team for Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers, who are launching their new writing book on February 19th. Because they are known for showing, not telling, they decided it would be fun to keep the thesaurus book's topic a secret until the book cover reveal...WHICH IS TODAY! 
It's been hard keeping quiet about this, so I am thrilled I can finally announce that The Emotion Thesaurus Second Edition is coming! Many of you writers know (and possibly use) the original Emotion Thesaurus. It released in 2012 and became a must-have resource for many because it contained lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 emotions, making the difficult task of showing character emotion on the page much easier. Many people have asked Angela and Becca to add more emotions over the years that they decided to create a second edition. It contains 55 NEW entries, bringing the total to 130 emotions. This book is almost DOUBLE IN SIZE and there's a lot more new content, so I recommend checking it out. And you can. Right now.

Preorder Alert!

This book is available for preorder, so you can find all the details about this new book's contents by visiting  AmazonKobo, Apple iBooks, and Indiebound or swinging by Writers Helping Writers. You can view the full list of emotions included in this new book, too.

One last thing...Angela & Becca have a special gift for writers HERE. If you like free education, stop by and check it out. (It's only available for a limited time!)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Here Walk the Dead: a Gothic Romantic Suspense with a Giveaway

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Here Walk the Dead
By Brynn Chapman

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

The year is 1910, and Arabella Holmes has met her lifelong dream of becoming a purveyor of abnormal science for the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Philadelphia. But academics and forensics were never a problem for Bella. People. Navigating people and the nuances of relationships is far more vexing than any anatomical puzzle or mystery...

Mythical Books - Review

"...the author succeeded to get my attention with the main plot but also with the romantic aspects well embedded in the general flow of the story. . . . The pace is an allegro, but there are also scenes in adante and presto tempos, depending on their nature and purpose. As the whole, they support the increasing tension that culminates in a life and death situation. Casualties? Yes. The possibility of a new chapter? Yes, and I cannot wait to read it!"

Oh Hey! Books. - Interview

Did you ever have a rough patch in writing, where nothing in the story seemed to fit or make sense?

Writing, is rough. Period. I’ve never met a writer who didn’t have periods of extreme productivity, and then periods of desolation. For me, the words are never the issue, its whatever extraneously may be happening in my life that whisks me away from my inner vortex.


"It goes deeper into the relationship between Arabella and Henry and the book is also generally a bit darker with lunatic asylums, social darwnism and shady medical practices. . . . I might add that it's also a bit refreshing seeing characters with Aspergers written in a "proper" way and not being a comic stereotype."


"I enjoyed the banter/romance between Bella and Henry, and can see readers really enjoying this! . . . I’m so happy that I read this series!"

Kimber Li - Guest Post

For Fans of the BONESEEKER SERIES, Why the wait?

BONESEEKER was released several years prior, with accolades from NY TIMES BEST SELLER Grace Burrowes, “Meticulously researched and terrific fun!” and was that years winner of the Young Adult Golden Leaf Award. Then…..several years past….

Wishful Endings - Excerpt & Review

“Frostbite can occur at zero degrees within five minutes for the first stage, which results in pain and tingling and most likely a full recovery. The second degree, the body pulls blood away from the extremities, resulting in blisters that may harden and blacken.”

I then recall the moulages he crafted of stage-four frostbite. My heartbeat goes wild. “Find! Newton! Find!”

He yips.

Newton bounds out of sight, and we all stumble forward, awkwardly plowing through the gathering mounds of snow.

"HERE WALK THE DEAD is a thrilling ride as Bella and Henry try to fit into society's expectations while also trying to figure out why girls keep disappearing and where they go. Recommended to readers who enjoy gritty Gothic mysteries with sizzling romance."


A Visual Tour of Here Walk the Dead

In case you’re new to the series…here’s where we are.

Arabella Holmes—yes, daughter of that Holmes—wants to return to her job as a purveyor of abnormal science. She has temporarily been demoted to a botanist, until her love interest, Henry Watson—yes, that Watson—can help her get her less-than-professional outbursts in check. Henry is tired of his new role as doctor, tired of the lack of adventure, and tired of keeping Bella's escapades out of the papers. Five girls are missing. Gone from locked rooms in their own houses. Arabella and Henry are called upon to help solve the kidnappings, but all they unearth is more danger...


"a spellbinding adventure, with friends and fiends both old and new, embroiled in one over-arcing sinister plot. . . . Filled with thrills and chills and let's not forget about romance, fans of Sherlock Holmes will love the world this talented author has expanded upon. I adored the development of these characters and the way the plot echoed the struggles our heroes were going through. Excellently paced and rife with wit and charm, Boneseeker is a historical suspense series you will gladly sink your teeth into."


Prologue

The Lost

The reek of chloroform.

I thrash, instinctively wrenching away from the stench of the cloying rag, but too late. There is a simultaneous prick and burn as a needle jabs the crook of my arm.

I’ve had too many inhalations. I battle my eyes open.

Two men rummage through my personal effects.

The carriage—gone. In an instant, I am slung over one of their backs, dangling limp as a child’s rag- doll.


Oliver

I leave The Bell in Hand and stand stock-still in the middle of the road. The moon is white and full as a pearl, suspended in the black, sooty sky. I cannot go home and face my dreary one-room solitary confinement at the boarding house. Staring at the ceiling as the uninvited images of Arabella enter my weary mind.

That ruddy Englishman. He has ruined every plan I made. All I needed was time, first to befriend her. Then…

Sleep will not come, regardless, but…

Baroness Book Trove - Review & Interview

"Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead by Brynn Chapman is a compelling novel. Very different from the first one but still very Sherlock Holmesy. His daughter though is at it again and getting things done her way. . . . I am still in love with Holmes and Watson the next generation. . . . I recommend this book to fans of Sherlock. It is a good read."

What was your favorite character to write and why?

Henry and Bella have been living in my head for a very long time now…so, just like my children, I love them for different reasons.

I love Henry for his heart, his compassion, and his fearlessness under fire. And his uncompromising love for Bella, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

I love Bella for her complexity. Her innocence, and her pain, and her courage to continue to try to connect with Henry and others she loves, despite it being nearly unnatural for her.


"This is an eerie, compelling tale. . . .The characters are diverse, intriguing and the reader will feel involved in their lives. . . . it was a very captivating tale."

"Book two of the Booneseeker is even better than the first book! . . . The added characters are [just] as diverse and interesting as those in the previous novel. . . . The tale ends solidly, leaving the reader eager for more."


"This is one suspense filled and fun read. I had to have it read in one sitting. . . . I hope there will be another book in The Boneseeker Chronicles series. I enjoy catching up with Arabella and Henry and seeing what adventure they will get into next. They are quite the pair and I love how they interact with one another. . . . I recommend Here Walk the Dead, as well as, the beginning to this series, Boneseeker. "

Colorimetry - Guest Post

WHERE ARE WE?

Setting. It matters.

As I write historicals, I do my utmost to visit if not the actual place, then a facsimile of it. There is not a substitute for experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of wherever a book takes place.

That goes for readers and well as writers. For HERE WALK THE DEAD, I toured an asylum in the state of West Virginia, twice...


"Here Walk the Dead is a wonderful follow-up to Boneseeker. . . . you are going to love Here Walk the Dead. . . . I love this story because it is super suspenseful, and much of the plot is historically accurate. . . . I highly recommend Here Walk the Dead and Boneseeker!"

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Here Walk the Dead
(The Boneseeker Chronicles #2)
By Brynn Chapman
Historical Romantic Suspense, Gothic
Paperback & ebook, 250 Pages
January 14th 2019 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc

Arabella Holmes—yes, daughter of that Holmes—wants to return to her job as a purveyor of abnormal science. She has temporarily been demoted to a botanist, until her love interest, Henry Watson—yes, that Watson—can help her get her less-than-professional outbursts in check.

Henry is tired of his new role as doctor, tired of the lack of adventure, and tired of keeping Bella's escapades out of the papers.

Five girls are missing. Gone from locked rooms in their own houses. Arabella and Henry are called upon to help solve the kidnappings, but all they unearth is more danger.

Bella ventures undercover into a lunatic asylum, where a mute woman assaults her and scrawls the chilling words—Here the dead wake. Plus, a vial of Bella's research poison has gone missing. Bella and Henry must find it, and the missing girls, before charges can be brought against her.

Praise for HERE WALK THE DEAD:

"Dark twists and turns abound in this fast-paced and riveting gothic thriller. I consumed it in one sitting!" ~USA TODAY BESTSELLER, Lea Nolan
Other Books in the Series

Boneseeker
(The Boneseeker Chronicles #1)
By Brynn Chapman
Historical Romantic Suspense, Gothic
Paperback & ebook, 213 Pages
January 10th 2018 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc

Aspiring scientist Arabella Holmes doesn't fit the role of a 1900s lady. Her father, Sherlock, landed her a position at the Mütter Museum to pursue her dream of becoming a purveyor of abnormal science, or what her father calls a "Boneseeker."

Henry Watson’s two-fold mission at the Mütter Museum is to join their team of forensic anthropologists in unearthing unusual antiquities and to watch over Arabella. If only he could get her to speak to him, instead of hurling knives in his general direction. Assigned to a most secret expedition to investigate a mysterious skeletal hand discovered in upstate New York, Arabella and Henry are soon caught in a scientific debate, and the search for the truth may have deadly consequences for those involved.

Are the bones from a Neanderthal? Or are they living proof of fallen angels known as Nephilim?

Watson and Holmes must put aside their differences, trust their instincts, and rely on one another to survive to uncover the truth.

*This is a new version of a previously published edition

Praise for BONESEEKER:

Winner of the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest

"Creative, meticulously researched, and terrific fun!"  ~Grace Burrowes, NY Times Best Selling Author

"The characters, the setting, the descriptions and the mysteries and relationships all work together seamlessly to create a truly wonderful story that I completely adored." ~Best Books Ever Blog

"The settings are intriguing and the way they are described make you feel as if you are immersed in the story. I could feel the gloom and damp. That is rare in so many books! Boneseeker is a book I highly recommend, and I give it 5 stars!" ~Christy's Cozy Corners Blog

About the Author


Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love--not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger's syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society's downtrodden. In fiction, she's a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. Her ancestry tree claims she's a descendant of the House of Stuart.


Tour Giveaway


- GRAND PRIZE: One winner will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card and a Print Copy of BONESEEKER
Two winners will receive an Audiobook of BONESEEKER
One winner will receive a Print Copy of BONESEEKER
- Open internationally
- Ends January 23, 2019

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Friday, January 18, 2019

No Safe Place: a Romantic Suspense Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
No Safe Place
By Sherri Shackelford

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

Welcome to this blog tour! I'm excited to share the journey with you. My latest release is near and dear to my heart because this book starts a new adventure for me...

The Power of Words - Guest Post

Forensic Accounting
“Follow the Money”

Accounting might not seem dangerous, but hiding money is integral to nefarious activities. In the opening scene of Jack Ryan on Amazon, Jack is seen tracing the financial dealings of a suspected terrorist. What Jack discovers leads him on a harrowing adventure to the Middle East, but the spark of his investigation was a rather mundane series of financial transfers...

Splashes of Joy - Review

"I thoroughly enjoyed “No Safe Place” by Sherri Shakelford! I love fast pace detective stories and this one kept me on the edge of my to seat the entire time I was reading it. In fact, I read this one in one setting! . . . “No Safe Place” will take you on a wild and scary journey, through more horrific scenes than you want to think about, but in the end, it will leave you thinking about this book and the characters long after you finish reading."


Her heart racing, Beth took the stairs two at a time and pushed open the door to the parking garage. Only a couple other cars remained. Keeping her back straight and her gait purposeful, she crossed the distance.

The sound of her heels striking the concrete echoed through the cavernous, empty space. Pausing beside the car, she dug in her purse for her keys. Normally she kept them at the ready when exiting a parking garage. Corbin’s unexpected appearance upstairs had distracted her.

As she fumbled with her purse, she dropped the bag. “Calm down, Beth.”


"In my experience, this particular imprint is notorious for grabbing you by the throat straight-off the first page and never quite letting you feel released til you conclude the story! No Safe Place accomplishes this. . . . Ms Shackelford has a knack for Contemporary drama - she alights you inside her scenes with a certain kind of polish and flair for understanding the ready details you need to see in a scene to know its the modern era. . . I love finding Contemporary authors who are in-tune with this modern era and who can write realistic impressions of the people any of us could meet on the street."

Colorimetry - Guest Post

Homeland Security

The details are sketchy, and the government has been tight-lipped, but various reports have concluded that the worst cyberattack in US history started in a cybercafe in Afghanistan. An American Pentagon worker (presumably), using the internet services of a foreign café, picked up a ‘cyber worm’ on his computer. He then transferred data from the infected computer to a thumb drive. The virus hitched a ride. When that same thumb drive was plugged into the Pentagon computer system, the worm went wild...


"This is an action packed, suspenseful, romance novel you will not want to miss! . . . Each chapter leaves the reader anxious to discover, "What happens next?" . . . The characters seemed very real, and the scenes were well described so the reader felt he/she was a part of them."

Simply Kelina - Review

"I really enjoyed the writing style. This is not the first book written by the author, but it is the first within the suspense genre. I would not have known this while I was reading. I think she did a great job with the pacing and thrilling aspects of the story."


"Great tension between the characters, and a well paced plot, there is a lot going on. I liked the complexity of the plot perfect within this format, it fit well and kept me hooked, there was a lot going on but I never got lost. A book well worth reading, and great first foray into suspense for Ms. Shackelford!"

By The Book - Review

"If you are looking for an adrenaline-laced, romantic suspense to start off your reading new year, then you need to check out No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford! This book has it all — engaging characters, danger and intrigue aplenty, and romantic sparks. . . . All in all this book would be a great companion for a weekend getaway or staycation. Suspense and HEA — what are you waiting for!"

Wishful Endings - Guest Post

My Favorite Suspense Books

Like many people, I got hooked on romantic suspense after reading the classic, Rebecca by Daphne DuMauier. Lately, I’ve been addicted to the Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz. Another favorite is Alex Kava, whose first book was set near where I live. The latest book I read was The Far Empty, by Scott J. Todd...

Heidi Reads... - Review

"This is my kind of suspense book. Not so intense that I'm biting off all my nails and can't go to sleep, but engaging and compelling and has me turning the pages to see what happens next. . . . This is a story that I didn't want to put down and felt that great feeling of satisfaction as I finished. Highly recommend to fans of light romantic suspense!"

Faithfully Bookish - Guest Post

Tips on Hiding

When I bought the book, Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, my husband was a little worried. The book was written by Elizabeth Greenwood, and I used her name as the inspiration for my heroine, Beth Greenwood.

The book is a fascinating look into the underground world of ‘making people disappear.’ Believe it or not, there’s an entire underground industry dedicated to helping people fake their death—should the need arise...


"I enjoyed No Safe Place. . . . Beth and Corbin’s story was one that kept me on the edge of my seat. I never knew where they would end up. I could not put the book down until the end."

Among the Reads - Review & Interview

"Sprinkling just enough wit throughout the story to keep it from being overly suspenseful, author Sherri Shackelford has Corbin and Beth fleeing from one place to another in an attempt to elude their pursuers. . . . Readers who enjoy authors such as Dana Mentink and Tanya Stowe are bound to enjoy this one as well. . . . I want to be sure to read more books by this author!"

Can you tell us a little about what inspired No Safe Place?

I really enjoy stories about regular people who are forced into extraordinary circumstances. I liked the idea of someone with a very ho-hum job in a boring office building who is thrown into incredible danger. I also like stories where people are ‘on the run’.

Book by Book - Review

"No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford gives readers a quick, suspenseful (and romantic!) read, and I quite enjoyed it. . . . I recommend adding it to your TBR today!"

The Becca Files - Review

"Fast paced with plenty of action, No Safe Place was a rather quick read for me. I finished the whole book in just two sittings and in less than a day. It quickly grasped my attention and held me until the end. . . . I’d easily recommend it to fans of suspense."

EmpowerMoms - Review

"I absolutely loved it! . . . Great characters, great story line, clean romance. I highly recommend reading this suspenseful, action packed book! I read it in one night because I couldn’t put it down-it was awesome! I can’t wait to read more books by this author."


The accountant was running. Innocent people didn’t run. She’d been Corbin’s first suspect since her name had come up in the previous audit. Didn’t help that she’d spent the past week behaving like a textbook example of a guilty person. She was edgy and jumpy—rarely leaving her desk—even for meals. She didn’t want anyone messing with her computer. She didn’t want anyone to know what she was doing. Innocent people had nothing to hide.

Strike one.

Corbin pushed open the door to the garage, and his blood froze.


"I loved the page turning suspense and the push-pull of the romance. . . . This was a fast paced suspense with a good romance topped with relatable characters."


"Sherri Shackelford delivers up non-stop adventure and suspense in a race for survival that crosses state lines. . . . I really enjoyed this book and I am definitely looking forward to more exciting romantic suspense from this talented author."

Harlie's Books - Excerpt & Review

There was a bullet hole in the hood of his car, and the woman sitting next to him had become a liability to a terrorist cell laundering money. Corbin didn’t know the extent of her knowledge, and he wasn’t letting her out of his sight.

She raised the canister once more. “All right. But I have the pepper spray, remember?”

“I’m not likely to forget.” That stuff was potent. Residue had both their eyes watering in the confined space of the car. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I did save your life. A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice.”

"Corbin is a dream. He is definitely going on the book boyfriend shelf for me. . . . Beth is just one of those heroines that you truly root for in a book. . . . The plot itself is [relevant], very fast paced (love), realistic and interesting. Yes, interesting. . . . I really loved this book. Corbin and Beth stole my heart and I have a new author to read from a beloved Harlequin line."


"No Safe Place is a fast past and well written book. From beginning to end I found myself completely caught up in the lives of Beth Greenwood and Corbin Ross. . . . I thought this book had the perfect amount of suspense, well-developed characters and most important, a surprise and oh so sweet sending."


Beth shut the train’s inner door and tugged the curtains over the square window of her private 
roomette—a tiny space featuring two facing seats and an overhead bunk that pulled down. The heels finally chugged, and the train lurched. She exhaled her pent-up breath. As the station faded into the distance, her pulse gradually slowed to a normal rhythm.

An hour into the trip, she almost felt as though she could breathe normally again.

A knock on the door sent her heart leaping into her throat.

Remembrancy - Review

"Shackelford maintains a perfect balance of intense action and personal moments between Corbin and Beth, making their building attraction natural and authentic. . . . Corbin and Beth are people of faith with an inner strength that makes them do the right thing no matter the personal cost which had me rooting for them from the get-go. . . . I hope to see more romantic suspense reads from Shackelford in the (near) future."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

No Safe Place
By Sherri Shackelford
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
January 1st 2019 by Love Inspired Suspense

He lives by the law.

She’s running for her life.

After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?


About the Author


A former naval reservist with a top-secret security clearance, Sherri writes rapid-fire suspense featuring captivating characters and heart-pounding romance. She's authored more than a dozen novels for Harper Collins publishing, including both historical and contemporary suspense.


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will win "A Little Bit More Romance Box," which includes the following items in a Decorative Box (pictured):
- Romance Bubble Bath
- Classic Cover Harlequin Notebook
- Collectible Addition Book of Romance Poems
- Romance Bath Bomb
- Scented Candle
- Fuzzy Socks
- Books: No Safe Place and His Substitute Mail-Order Bride by Sherri Shackelford, and Undercover Memories by Lenora Worth

US only
Ends January 23, 2019

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Author Geralyn Wichers Channels Anxiety into an Otherworldly Serial

This new science fiction story has a deeply personal bent to it. No, Geralyn Wichers has never helmed a covert expedition through an inter-dimensional portal, but like Charlane, ex-army officer and lead character, she never feels quite good enough. “As women today, we face pressure from every side,” says the Canadian author. “Be it our career hopes, expectations of family, or body image, it’s everywhere. It’s right on the phone in our hand. No wonder so many of us live with anxiety.”

bridger cover 1


Bridger: a Dystopian Serial is a science-fiction story told in episode form. It’s set in a world bled dry by global war and swiftly running out of resources. With her mental health and career in shambles, Char has left the army for a remote research facility. But when a humanoid creature from another world appears, Char agrees to helm a covert mission to follow the creature back to his world. The mission: find new resources and gain an edge in the war. But an encounter with her estranged husband leaves Char torn between saving her country and saving the love she didn’t know still lived.

As she wrote, Geralyn felt a kinship with Char, who had given everything she had to advance her career. “Char thought if she just got one more promotion, she’d feel worthy of love and respect,” Geralyn says. “In my own life, I catch myself thinking ‘if I would just lose a few pounds, if I would get nicer clothes, if I wasn’t working a dead- end job—then people would like me.’” But this isn’t a morality tale. Geralyn leads readers on a cross-world adventure full of danger, lies and romance. Visit bridgerserial.com to subscribe and read for free.


Processed with Snapseed.  Geralyn Wichers is a science fiction and fantasy author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her previous works include urban fantasy trilogy Society of Immortals, sci-fi dystopian story Sons of Earth, and We are the Living, an apocalyptic romance. Geralyn is a journalism student, coffee enthusiast, and recently dabbled in stand-up comedy. Visit her on Instagram and Twitter @geralynwichers.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXIX: Visit Maluhia with C.S. Johnson

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name: C. S. Johnson

Title of book and/or series: The Princess and the Peacock, (Birds of Fae, #1)

Brief summary of the story:

Kaipo carries the vivid memories of his mother’s death in his heart, just as surely as he bears the scars from the fires that killed her—the same scars that mark . But he also has in his heart a dream—he wants nothing more than Princess Mele to fall in love with him. When he hears Princess Mele is searching for a suitor, he and his adopted brother Rahj make their way up the Forbidden Mountain where the Fae Queen Jaya resides. For those who make it to the top of her mountain, she grants a wish of their choice—but she does it in her own way. Kaipo might wish for the beauty that will win Mele’s heart, but Jaya has another idea in mind …

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The island of Maluhia is located in the Indian Ocean, with a Hawaiian influence around the 1850s. For several generations, the kings of the island have allowed them to flourish as a small island.

If we were to visit Maluhia as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

There are several places to visit. In the capital of Shanthi, there is a bustling marketplace, with lots of different goods to examine. The big draw of Maluhia is the natural beauty of the surrounding seas, the sandy beaches, and the high peak of the Forbidden Mountain. 

What dangers should we avoid in Maluhia?

The kingdom trains its warriors to protect their island, but it is always best to watch out for abuses of power, bribed fighters, and vengeful families raging against each other over generational battles. There are also traders who would kidnap and sell people into the sex trade on other nearby islands. In addition to this, sickness and superstition runs through the island.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Maluhia?

There are plenty of fruits and fish, with other birds that are served—including peacock!

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common?

The island lore is beholden to sharks as animals of power and rage, so a lot of their weapons have shark teeth that decorate the blades of their daggers and swords.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Maluhia?

So far, only boats have come.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Maluhia that we don’t see on Earth?

The Forbidden Mountain is the key feature of Maluhia. It is a very tall, steep mountain that reaches into the clouds. The mountain offers a barrier to the capital city on the inside of the island, but the poorer villages are situated all around the mountain.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Maluhia?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

Jaya, the Fae Queen, resides at the top of the Forbidden Mountain, where she has created a small, supernatural bubble in which she can live. Her Fae magic—inborn, as a child of a fallen angel—leaves her with “Eden’s Curse,” in that if she is not careful with her magic, it can ultimately overtake her. She cannot stop using it, however, just as she can’t stop from causing mortals trouble.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Maluhia?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.

There is nothing that would qualify as “unusual,” unless you count the Fae Queen, Jaya, who has taken up the peak of the Forbidden Mountain as her home. She offers a bit of magic to the islanders, but they know not to worship or trust her entirely. It is only because he is so desperate that Kaipo even attempts to see her at all.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Maluhia.

There are plenty of sports, but most have come from their warrior training traditons.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Maluhia as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?

They go by the seasons more than the years, but they keep track of things based on the stars. There are feast days, but more of them are regulated to the culture more than religion.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Maluhia?  Please describe what it involves.

Since it was founded after Christianity came to Hawaii, but there is a mix of cultures, there is a general monotheism that is mixed with older superstitions. That is why Kaipo’s scars make him alienated from culture, and the whispers of Rahj’s birth damage their family.

What is the political or government structure in Maluhia?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

The kingdom is on an island, and they are traditional monarchy that rules through bloodlines. King Ahanu is in charge, and he is a gracious and understanding ruler. He recently lost his wife a few years before, and since then, he can’t say no to his daughter.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Maluhia?

They are a culture of respect, so it is important to make sure you are being respectful, as much as you can. They value strength and cunning, and beauty, too, but their most celebrated value is loyalty.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

I have traveled a lot, and I have a cousin I call my “Hawaiian Princess cousin.” She is just so pretty, and I used her as inspiration for Princess Mele. The best part is that she is exactly like Mele in that she wants to add beauty to others’ lives and she does this as a teacher. One of her students is even named “Kaipo.”

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

One of the more indirect elements of the book is dealing with the Indian eunuch culture. While it is less rare today and there is not a lot of vocal news on the matter, India’s “third gender” has been growing in its awareness. Some of the eunuchs are taken from childhood and others chose that direction, but overall, I wanted to bring awareness to the table, that there are broken men who have been castrated and while some have been content with their lives, some of them are quite devastated. I wanted to, in my own way, speak to them that their life is still capable of beauty and still worth living. There are people who love them and no matter what suffering they’ve faced, they are still able to be loved and cherished as children of God.

Author Autobiography:

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.


Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.



Where can readers connect with you online?  


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Maluhia.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Stuck: a Dystopian Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Stuck
By Samantha Durante

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

I am *so* thrilled to be kicking off the Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) tour! We’ve got lots of awesome stops planned with exclusive Stitch Trilogy content you won’t find anywhere else, plus a big giveaway to celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited conclusion of the series!...


A Tale of Three Book Covers

Even a writer has to admit that (as the saying goes!) a picture is worth a thousand words. It comes as no surprise, then, that *almost* as much thought must go into cover design as into the book itself.

When designing the covers for the Stitch Trilogy books, I had several goals in mind:
Captivate: Of course, a cover needs to get readers interested, and one of the best ways to do that is to make it pretty!

Signal: The cover’s job is also, naturally, to give readers some clues as to what is in the story by referencing the genres and major plot points.
Unify: And, finally, knowing that this was going to be a multi-book series, I needed to come up with a consistent theme that would tie each cover together.

So how did I accomplish all this? By driving my cover designer crazy, of course! :-) ...


2.) Tell us about the rest of the series.


Over the course of the trilogy, you join our protagonists as they uncover the sordid truth and dark history of their society, Paragon, a place set in a world much like our own but with some important (and chilling) differences. In fact, some members of this society are so blinded to the truth that they don’t even realize they are, in fact, living in Paragon… which is something you get to experience firsthand in Book 1. (Trying not to give away too many spoilers here!) In Book 2, we learn more about how this world came about, and in Book 3, the main characters struggle against nearly insurmountable odds to try to bring those responsible to justice. And of course, there’s some romance along the way!

Paulette's Papers - Guest Post

Playlist: Music to Go with Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3)

It’s no secret that I love words (I am, after all, a writer). But sometimes, nothing captures a feeling *quite* like a song. So without further ado, here is a selection of hand-picked songs to go with several of the most pivotal chapters of Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3):...

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Not a Bear

“But how can we continue to keep this from everyone?” Janie interjected. “It’s not right. They deserve to know!” she hissed.

Alessa shrugged in defeat.

Yes, she thought, just like Isaac deserves to know that his brother might still be alive – but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything about that, either, knowing the guilt would eat him alive. She at least had to be sure first. She had to know it was really Joe.


" I really liked the first two books in this series, and I waited 5 years between book 2 and this one. There was one point I know that I even reached out to the author to find out if this one was coming soon, because I needed to know what would happen next. . . . There was just so much going on in this book! . . . if you haven't started the series yet, you are the lucky one to get to start with all three of them out now. You can sit down and read them all, back to back, and get all the feelings that will come with a good series."


"I've waited a long time to read this last book in the Stitch Trilogy. I loved this series from the first book. It was so unique and had so many twists and turns that kept you reading. Guess what? Things haven't changed in this third book: It's still has so many unique things in the story line and the the twists just keep on coming. . . . If you like the Dystopian and Sci-Fi genres, you need to put the Stitch Trilogy on your To-Read list immediately."

FUONLYKNEW - Review

"There’s plenty of action, intrigue and betrayal. But there’s also bravery, romance and hope. . . . A perfect finale to a series that fueled my imagination and captured my heart."

Bri's Book Nook - Review of STITCH

"This premise for a science fiction novel is so unique, and that truly drew me in. . . . I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA or NA science fiction trilogy with a strong female main character."

Colorimetry - Excerpt

Happy Pills

“Seriously, Alex?”

Deion chuckled and shook his head at the sight of his best friend – shirtless, sweat gleaming off his abs – precisely positioned so that anyone passing by the construction site would get an eyeful of his chiseled physique.

“First of all, it’s only 50 degrees out –”

“58,” Alex argued, heaving another stone on top of the wall he was building for this set of Paragon’s latest drama. “That’s almost in the sixties.” He paused to swipe a dusty, rippling forearm across his brow, brushing the fringe of straight black hair from his striking, angular eyes, which were narrowed against the sun.


"It's been a privilege to follow along with Samantha Durante since this trilogy first started! I felt a little woeful as I started to read Stuck, only because I knew that this was the end of my time with these characters. After completely falling in love with the last book, I knew that this finale was going to be a rough read for me either way. It's the end of an era, really. It's been fun! . . . If you haven't started this trilogy yet, you're in for such a treat. I envy you. I really do.

Lovely Reads - Spotlight

Chapter Break - Interview

Is there anything you would like people to take away from your book?

There are SO MANY things I’d like people to take away from the Stitch Trilogy! First, that things aren’t black and white. Just like real life, no one in my books is infallible, and anyone can make a mistake that can really hurt other people – and this can happen on a small or very large scale, even with the noblest of intentions. Second, that anyone can make a difference. It would be easy for anyone living in that world (or any world!) to feel insignificant and powerless, but the characters work really hard and work together to make things better, and they manage to do so even against odds that seem insurmountable. Third, that inclusivity and diversity of thought are good things, especially when it comes to leadership – otherwise you’re almost certain to further exploit already marginalized groups, and foster a lot of ill-will. And finally, that love conquers all. At the end of the day, even (perhaps, especially) when the world has gone to hell, all we have is each other. Be selfless. Be brave. Be kind.


"Stuck is a phenomenal completion to a wonderfully complex, challenging, and heartfelt adventure. My heart jumped for joy when I found myself finally reading the last chapters of this brilliantly original and deeply captivating journey full of heart, hope, and love. . . . I have been looking forward to this elusive ending, and I found myself completely and totally satisfied in every way a story can offer. . . . Samantha Durante has once again left me in awe of the depth of her brilliant creativity and boundless heart."

Books & Such - Guest Post

Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society?

Over the course of the Stitch Trilogy, we’ve gotten to know several different groups within the society of Paragon, from plucky rebels and manipulated citizens to mastermind Engineers and bloodthirsty Stuck. Where do you fall amongst these ranks? Take this quick quiz to find out!...

fundinmental - Interview & Review

1. What made you decide to be a writer?

I don’t know if it was a *decision* so much as a compulsion! I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was a kid. I got away from it for a few years in college and afterwards, but even as a software engineer, I managed to“sneak” writing into my job. So when it came time for a major life change (moving back across the country to be near my family), I knew it was a good time to see if I could shift gears and get back to doing what I’d always loved.

"If you love having your emotions ramped up to a fever pitch, if you love white knuckled reading, if you love apocalyptic/dystopian novels and are looking for an original storyline, you may want to grab the Stitch trilogy."


Style in Dystopia: 3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit

Dystopian societies aren’t often known for their embrace of individuality and free-thinking… which unfortunately means their fashion trends tend to lean towards the sterile and conformist, at best.

But don’t let that post-apocalyptic thinking get you down! As the characters of the Stitch Trilogy show, there are lots of ways you can buck the trend and give that old standard-issue jumpsuit a fresh spin...

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Stuck
(Stitch Trilogy #3)
By Samantha Durante
YA Dystopian, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 306 Pages
December 15, 2018

3, 2, 1… BOOM.

Things are finally looking up for the Resistance. Sure, Alessa is still processing the revelation that the best friend she’d presumed dead is miraculously alive, though far from well… And her boyfriend is being manipulated under threat of blackmail. But her quest for justice against those behind the systematic extermination of the world population is so close to victory she can taste it.

And then in a matter of seconds, everything Alessa believes in is shaken to the core. Months of preparation are obliterated. The people she cares for most are lost.

But Alessa is still standing. And Paragon must pay.

The odds are grim, but unexpected allies surface in the most unlikely of places: A new pair of citizens still under the colony’s rule who notice something amiss in the latest drama. An old adversary who realizes the error of her ways. And a veritable army of inhuman power and terrible strength, with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. The trustworthiness of each of these factions is yet to be proven, but without many other options, Alessa may have to take what she can get. Especially since the Engineers, never to be outdone, also have a few more tricks up their sleeves…

The long-awaited final installment in the riveting Stitch Trilogy, Stuck will have readers gripping their seats as Alessa and a handful of intrepid survivors usher their harrowing journey to a close, risking everything as they endeavor – once and for all – to set things right.

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Samantha lives in Westchester County, New York with four of the five loves of her life – her husband, son, younger daughter, and cat – and carries her fifth love, her stillborn daughter, in her heart. An avid reader herself, Samantha’s dream is to bring the same delight to readers that other authors have brought to her life. In addition to penning novels and writing candidly about grief, she is also a sometimes freelance writer/consultant – though more often than not these days she’s on full-time mom duty! A former software engineer, Samantha said goodbye to the corporate world in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and lifelong love of writing. Learn more at www.samanthadurante.com.


Tour Giveaway


- 1 First Place Winner will receive: Signed Print Copies of All 3 Books in the Trilogy, a Limited-Edition Stitch Scarf, Bookmarks, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card
- 3 Second Place Winners will receive: eBook Copies of All 3 Books in the Trilogy for You *and* a Friend, plus a $5 Amazon Gift Card
- Open internationally
- Ends December 27th

Grab Our Button!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXVIII: Visit Falling Waters Shrine with Arthur Daigle

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name:
Arthur Daigle

Title of book and/or series:
Tales of Ever After in the Fellowship of Fantasy series.  Short story title is "Believing Fairy Tales", which is set in the same world as William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins (pictured above).

Brief summary of the story:
Four criminals attack Falling Waters Shrine under the cover of darkness, taking the shrine’s attendant Nestor prisoner.  The criminals believe an old fairy tale there is a blessed sword hidden in the shrine, a weapon worth a fortune, and they’re willing to kill to get it.  But not all fairy tales end happily ever after, and Falling Waters Shrine holds more secrets than the sword.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Falling Waters Shrine is on the world of Other Place, home to many races and fantastic monsters.  The shrine is in a mountainous region too rocky for farming, and is next to the Truly Might Jostle River (known to goblins as the Won’t Shut Up River).

If we were to visit Falling Waters Shrine as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Falling Waters Shrine is an ancient pilgrimage site, famous for its statues and collection of religious texts.  The area around the shrine is beautiful, but ear protection is necessary for long stays, as the Jostle River includes a waterfall so loud that it can render men deaf if they stay too long.

What dangers should we avoid in Falling Waters?
Monsters occasionally approach the shrine and can be dangerous.  Magic wards protect the shrine if it is attacked.  Rumors say that there have been several such attacks, all failures.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Falling Waters?
Locals make what they call meal bread, a mix of dried tomatoes, shredded beef, cheese cubes and spices wrapped in bread dough and slowly baked over a low fire.  Meal bread travels well and has all a man needs to keep healthy.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Falling Waters?
Falling Waters Shrine is owned by the Brotherhood of the Righteous, a religious organization that prefers to deal with problems through negotiations whenever possible and consider any loss of life a tragedy.  On those rare situations when violence is unavoidable, the brotherhood has small teams of heavily armed paladin, be they human, dwarf or ogre, to deal with dire threats.  Brotherhood priests are also capable of calling upon divine aid, typically healing, but combat spells are also used.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Falling Waters?
The land around Falling Waters Shrine is so rocky that it was never truly settled, and the river so fast and rough that boat travel isn’t safe.  People going to the shrine do so on foot or ride donkeys.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Falling Waters that we don’t see on Earth?
Other Place is home to many intelligent races like men, elves, dwarfs, ogres, harpies, sirens, dragons and more.  It also has countless species of monsters, some extremely dangerous.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Other Place?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic exists but is not relied upon.  It’s generally easier, faster and cheaper to do a job by hand than to hire a wizard.  Monsters are rare in most areas and not to be trifled with.  There are a lot of magic items for sale by dwarf corporations, but these items are notoriously unreliable and not under warrantee.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Other Place.
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is an enthusiastic supporter of music and sponsors music schools across Other Place.

Is there a particular religion practiced in  Other Place?  Please describe what it involves.
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is similar to the Catholic or Orthodox Christian churches on earth.  They favor grandiose architecture and elaborate religious ceremonies.  The brotherhood is highly organized and can bring millions of followers and untold treasures to bear when faced with a problem.  The brotherhood is also actively spreading to new regions with missionaries and holy men.  Not all kingdoms like the brotherhood, because when they are strong in a nation they can make the kings follow the rules.

Competing religions include the Servants of the Cause, elf Temples to the Perfect Way, dwarf Churches of the Great Maker, and the rare elf doomsday cult called The Repentant, who actively sabotage their fellow elves from achieving world domination.

What is the political or government structure in The Brotherhood of the Righteous?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is a hierarchy with a pontiff, followed by cardinals, bishops and priests.  The current pontiff is Gregory “Because I Said So” the 8th, who works tirelessly to prevent regional wars by greedy, vengeful and often bigoted kings.  Needless to say, it’s a difficult job.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Falling Waters Shrine?
Falling Waters Shrine is open to pilgrims and tourists any day of the week.  Donations are accepted, and we ask that visitors please be patient with staff members, as some of them are dealing with personal issues.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I was inspired to create Falling Waters Shrine after visiting Holy Hill basilica in Wisconsin.  The grounds around Holy Hill are indeed quite rough with lots of ups and downs, and the basilica is beautiful in ways words can’t fully express.

Author Autobiography:
Arthur Daigle was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He received a degree in biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which sounded like a good idea at the time. This led to work as a zoo intern at Brookfield Zoo, an assistant fisheries biologist at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and a research assistant at Morton Arboretum. Most recently he's been employed grading high school essay tests and working as a garden associate (yeah, the job market is that bad). In addition to writing, Arthur is an avid gardener and amateur artist.

Arthur is the author (no jokes, please, he's heard them all) of six books. These include William Bradshaw King of the Goblins, William Bradshaw and a Faint Hope, William Bradshaw and War Unending, William Bradshaw and Fool's Gold, Goblin Stories and Dr. Moratrayas Mad Scientist. These books were almost inevitable given that the author has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since he was old enough to walk. Arthur is also a regular contributor to the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology series. Major influences include the works of the puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson and the British artist Brian Froud. Expect more books in the Will Bradshaw series, as all attempts to stop Arthur from writing have failed.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
All books in the Fellowship of Fantasy series are available as paperbacks and free ebooks on Amazon.com.

Where can readers connect with you online?  

"Believing Fairy Tales" is a short story in the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology Tales of Ever After, which is available for FREE! Find out more below.



Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.

The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.

This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Falling Waters Shrine.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima
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