Thursday, May 31, 2018

#Excerpt: RENEGADE by Sharonlee Holder

Sharonlee Holder
(Blood Of The Custodians, #2)
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: May 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

He’ll risk his heart to save her soul.
As the war between the Fates and the resistance rages on, Colin Murphy—bastard son of Hades—finds himself caught between his loyalty to Eros and a past that threatens to destroy him.
Pursued by Persephone’s bounty hunters, and with a pissed-off daemon to contend with, there is one thing that Murphy knows for sure – Hailey, the human he now shares his mind and body with, is innocent in all of it. She is a firefly flickering in the darkness of his black existence, and he will do anything and everything to protect her.
Hailey was groomed to be a socialite, with her entire future mapped out for her. Nothing could have prepared her for the abrupt ending to that life—or the impact of living in such close, intimate confines with a forsaken son of Hell. He’s powerful, he’s dangerous…and he’s her only hope of escaping the dark forces that pursue her.
Boundaries will be tested, loyalties questioned, and hearts pushed to the limits in this action-packed paranormal romance that continues the epic Blood of the Custodians saga by Sharonlee Holder.
This steamy, fast-paced paranormal romance series by Sharonlee Holder is perfect for fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward and Sacrificed to the Dragon by Jessie Donovan.

Murphy didn’t bother with the door. He came straight through the hearth, travelling through the fiery elements of his heritage. Mayhem was close. Writhing beneath the surface, tearing at the restraints, howling to be set free.
Clamping down on his base self, he swept the small front room of his mind, a red haze gathered behind his eyes and found …
You’re making a mess,” said the toffee-eyed temptress with hands on her curvy hips and chin jutted at the coals littering the stone flooring.
Murphy glanced down and began to toe aside embers. Wait a fecking minute! This was his house–so to speak.
Growling, he took a step forward. “Where is she?
Hailey–goddamn her–stood her ground, threw her shoulders back, maximising the swell of luscious breasts, and arched a slender eyebrow. “I’m not sure how things work where you come from, but where I come from, you catch more bees with honey,” she stated with all the hauteur of a tiny hive queen.
No. Not gonna happen. She’d tricked him once, and that was shame on her. He wasn’t about to give her another opportunity to force the fool’s hat onto his head. For all he knew, she was working with Valazhor. Come to think of it …
What did she offer you?” he asked.
Candy apple lips parted then snapped shut again, a believable impression of affront arranged across her features. “Excuse me?
She wanted to play it the hard way, did she?
Dainty hands dropped from her hips and tucked into the crooks of her arms when she crossed them under her breasts. Carnal desire hijacked the moment and served up a confused reminder of plush curves undulating against him, open-mouthed kisses along his neck…
You heard me,” he growled, cursing the throaty throb in his voice. “What was to be your reward for distracting me so that the Medusan hybrid could get close enough to deliver Persephone’s message?
Anger ignited in her eyes, flaming cognac over toffee, the scent of burnt caramel licking the air. “I don’t appreciate what you’re implying.”
Anger he could do. Anger was safer. Way safer than the alternative.
Closing the gap, Murphy crowded in, using his size to dominate. Again, she refused to back down and craned her head all the way back, daggers in her eyes. Dynamite, as the saying goes, comes in small packages. The masochist in him toyed with the ignition switch.
Lowering his head, he said in her ear, “I’m only going to ask one more time so think carefully before you answer.” This close, her scent was richer, more exotic. Harder to ignore. “What was the deal Valazhor made with you?
She didn’t move, though her breathing became shallower. “Or what?” Hailey murmured. “You’ll lock me in my room?” She turned her head toward him, her lips millimetres from his, candy scent invading his nostrils.
His mouth watered, and the base of his spine knotted with need. It took greater effort than he wanted to admit to make his brainbox line up the threat he had ready. “Or, I’ll save myself a whole lot of fecking trouble and give you to Persephone myself.
Thick black lashes, swept upward, revealed the brandy fire in her eyes. Her aura in life had read as human. Nothing about her had suggested hybrid, much less witch. Even the background check Ross had him run before allowing her to visit the penthouse revealed little more than a classic case of daddy’s pampered princess. And yet, her eyes burned with a soul fire that intrigued and disturbed him, agitating something deep inside of him.
What are you waiting for?” she challenged in a whisper. “Do it. Hand me over.
Caught in the blaze of her eyes, everything else ceased to exist. In the lull, that thing she had disturbed, rose up. Intensely territorial, fiercely possessive, spiked with a craving so intense… he acted before thought could catch deed.

Author Bio:
South African, born and bred, Sharonlee Holder lives in one of the outer suburbs of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.
Life is a happy and creative jumble consisting of a husband, three grown daughters, one super cute grand-daughter, three dogs, a cat, and a mouthy African Grey parrot.
Endless hours at the keyboard are supported by copious amounts of frothy coffee and ‘What ifs?’. Writing breaks are a blend of the big outdoors astride a motorbike, reading or watching anything and everything to do with fantasy, romance and the paranormal.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Interview with Tiffany Brooks, REALITY GOLD

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Reality Gold is the starting point for two different series. One of them is a series that follows other characters from Reality Gold as they go off on new adventures, and the other one is a series that plays with the idea of characters challenging their reality.
Do you have a favorite character?
I identified most with Riley. Her outward life is not like mine at all—except that we both live in San Francisco—but her inner life is all me. That being said, Maren and AJ were both a lot of fun to write.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes, I’d say both Maren and AJ were minor characters during the early drafts. I always thought it was funny to hear authors say that their characters came alive and moved the story, but I really did find that to be true—they both kept popping up in unexpected spots and working their way deeper into the story.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I’d been an admirer of my cover artist for a long time. Her name is Jill DeHaan and she does amazing work, so I was excited when she took on my project. I gave her some samples of covers I liked, and we talked about mood and plot, but then she came up with the design all on her own.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Definitely. I love my critique group, and sometimes it’s impossible for an author to pick up on dropped plots or a character’s misstep and that’s where a great critique group is essential. It’s great when you can get to the point with a writing group where people are comfortable enough to know the characters and are willing to point out cracks in the manuscript.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I like having music on when I write. Whenever I hear a song, it always brings up memories so when I wrote this book I made a playlist of songs from my teen years—songs that immediately brought me back in time and made me feel as if I was going through the same things my characters were going through.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I really need an outline. I never really stick to it, but I need a road map giving me landmarks or else I can really go off on a tangent.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Yes, Reality Gold is for sale on Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Kobo, and Apple.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes, and that’s something that really surprised me. I was not expecting the time commitment needed for so many things that happen outside the writing of the book!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Reading! I’m also a little bit nuts about my pets, and I have jars and jars of seaglass all over my house. Sometimes I’ll arrange them by color or layer them in stripes. I get a lot of ideas when my mind is focused on things like that. I do a lot of jigsaw puzzles, too.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
I have both dogs and cats, so I can’t choose :)
Definitely chocolate, coffee and texting over talking for sure, and I’m a night owl! That question made me think of a quote from A Wrinkle in Time—“Wild nights are my glory.” I don’t know about “wild” nights, but I do prefer nighttime to morning.

Reality Gold
Tiffany Brooks
Published by: Dunemere Books
Publication date: May 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

“There are only two ways to survive Internet infamy: drop offline and play dead or give everyone something bigger and better to talk about. I’ve tried the first strategy. Now it’s time to try the second…”
A year and a lifetime ago, Riley Ozaki was just an ordinary high school junior in San Francisco, stressing over boys and grades. But an ill-conceived editorial in her school paper brought her an internet avalanche of public-shaming and ruined her life.
Now Riley’s on a helicopter dropping into a deserted island with nineteen other teens, to star in a reality show that will be her redemption. She has no other choice. National attention was what got her into this mess, and only the same level of exposure can get her out. Besides, Riley has a few tricks up her sleeve.
With a cast of vivid characters who will stop at nothing to win the show, a cursed island setting, and a priceless treasure waiting to be discovered, Reality Gold will drop readers right into a scheming web of lies, love, and betrayal.

Author Bio:
Tiffany Brooks lives in San Francisco with her family and a bunch of pets, who luckily don’t object to being featured on her Instagram. The best thing about living on the west coast is she can find out what happens on Game of Thrones three hours ahead of air time. That, plus not having winter weather, means she’ll never move back east, although that doesn’t stop her New England family from asking when she’ll be moving “back home” to NYC or Connecticut. Reality Gold, her debut novel, kicks off the Shifting Reality Collection, a YA trilogy.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

#Review: IT'S ALL ABOUT A DUKE by Amelia Grey

  4 of 5 stars

 Rath, Duke of Rathburne, is trying to make up for a mistake he partaked in in his youth with his 2 friends. They earned the moniker Rakes of St. James and even though they thought their prank had not hurt anyone, they could not understand the far reaching consequences of their indiscretion. In her own small way Miss Marlene Fast wants them held accountable and had secretly been writing a scandal sheet about rakes. She's beyond horrified when she learns her new guardian is none other than the Rath, Duke of Rathburne, the same man she'd been writing about for the past 3 years. What would he do if he found out she was behind Miss Truth's scandal sheet?

I liked Marlena. She was a loyal friend and had only kept writing the scandal sheet after the first year to help her dear friends who needed the income. Her interactions with Rath were amusing and bold for a young lady, but that's what made her unique. Rath was not really a rake anymore and he was trying to do the right thing by his ward even though his attraction to Marlena grew each time he saw her. The plot moved along, but there was a lot of narrative that could have been pared down. It was a relief when Marlena and Rath expressed their feelings for each other, but there was still a secret between them and that lead to misunderstandings. I found the ending satisfying for all the subplots. Fans of regency romance will definitely enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal—but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ella will be awarding a signed copy of the book (International Giveaway) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With her three good friends all recently married, Elizabeth Turley is ready for some husband-hunting of her own. One gentleman in particular sparks her interest. Geoffrey, Earl of Harrington is tall, handsome, and dashing. He’s also just a bit too sure of himself. But Elizabeth has observed enough about the rules of attraction to pique the earl’s attention. Yet once she has it, the discovery of a troubling secret taints her future happiness . . .

Lord Harrington must marry or lose a prestigious position in Brussels, and pretty, well-connected Elizabeth fits his needs admirably. But could it be that he has underestimated his bride? She doesn’t bat an eye in the face of the danger they encounter overseas. She’s strong-willed, intelligent, and more enticing each day—yet also more indifferent to him. Now Geoffrey faces his greatest challenge: to woo and win his own wife, or risk losing her for good . . .


“It would not be only you pretending you might be interested in me,” Lord Littleton explained. “I would be seen to be interested in you as well.”

This still seemed unnecessary. Either Lord Harrington would want her for herself or not. She did not like to engage in deceptions. “To what purpose?”

“My dear lady.” Lord Littleton possessed himself of her hands, his gaze capturing hers.

Good Lord, the man was dangerous. She sent a prayer of thanks to the deity that she was not affected by him. “Do you do that on purpose?”

He shook his head and stared at her. “Do what?”

Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at him. “Look into a woman’s eyes as if she were the only lady on earth you wished to be with.”

“Ah, no,” he said a little sheepishly. “It just happens. I can’t seem to stop myself.”

“It’s like this, Lizzy”—her brother cut in—“any gentleman who’s interested in a lady don’t wish to see another man making up to her.” He gave his friend a disgusted look. “Littleton agreed to help, but you can see how dangerous it is for him to be in Town. He truly can’t help himself from flirting, and he’ll soon find himself in a bumble-bath if he remains too long. He’s not ready for a leg-shackle yet, but he’d be bound to raise some lady’s expectations and that won’t do.”

“That’s it exactly.” Lord Littleton must have realized he was still holding Elizabeth’s hands and released them. “But that’s not the only reason Turley and I thought I’d be the best one. You see, Harrington and I never got on well together. That will give him the extra incentive to court you properly.”

“And,” Gavin added, “Littleton is so full of juice that he is just as eligible as Harrington. Other than the title that is.”

Her brother and Lord Littleton focused their gazes on her, and she glanced from one man to the other. “I understand.” Or she thought she did. Men were such strange creatures. She wondered why Lord Harrington did not like Lord Littleton. He seemed amiable enough. “Very well, then. How do we begin?”

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Portuguese Water Dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. 

She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement. 
Blog: http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom/


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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Have You Thanked a Soldier on this Memorial Day?

We all get caught up in the fun activities of Memorial Day--getting together with friends, BBQs, having a great time, but let's not forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. Soldiers risk their lives every day for our freedom, a freedom that we take for granted. Nothing in life is free and I for one am thankful that we have such brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.  

Dear Solider: Thank you for your Service. Thank you for your Sacrifice. Thank you for your Courage. I Salute YOU. This day honors all of you. 

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

Whatever you decide to do on this holiday weekend, say a prayer and a "thank you" for all of the US military personnel who are serving around the world to keep us all safe.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

#Review: WITH LOVE IN SIGHT by Christina Britton

  4 of 5 stars

Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge, waits in the garden for a willing widow, but he accidentally steals a kiss from wallflower, Miss Imogen Duncan, who has fled to the garden to get away from nasty gossip. Thus begins an unlikely friendship between the two. Imogen is used to be invisible while in plain sight and is delighted when Caleb appears to enjoy her company. Can these two overcome a series of misunderstandings before they find a truly lasting relationship?

I enjoyed this book. Ms. Britton has written a delightful story of Caleb and Imogen. Even though Caleb is painted as a rake, there is none of that behavior in this book. Instead, he is kind, honorable and compassionate, all the while, carrying unbearable guilt around the death of his younger brother. Imogen suffers under her tyrannical mother's thumb, but she continues to shine with her kindness especially in her overtures to Caleb's painfully shy sister Emily. The plot moves along at a steady pace although the internal dialogue could be cut a bit to tighten up the story. Fans of regency romances will definitely enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, May 25, 2018

#Excerpt: THE RENAISSANCE CLUB by Rachel Dacus

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate? That’s the question my heroine, May Gold must answer in this time travel love story. And she has to answer it in three short weeks, on a tour of Italy.
A college adjunct teacher, she often dreams about the subject of her master’s thesis—17th century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man whose passionate art invented the Baroque style.
But in reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and older boyfriend. She considers herself a precocious failure and yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit. May finds she has to choose: stay in a safe but stagnant existence or take a risk.


May Gives Him Up for His Sake

Opening her notebook to a blank page, she took up the pen, a pen that felt lucky because it reminded her of the first time Gianlorenzo had kissed her. She wrote her memory of that meeting in her book.

His glance was like warm light. My shoulders were barer than they have ever been as I posed for him. My breath fluttered like a bird in a cage.

A briny scent from the water wafted to her and made her pause. She watched the diamonds rippling in the dark surface that reflected slivers of the moon. Gianlorenzo had been making a portrait of her as Truth Unveiled. She shivered. A bird’s cry echoed over the lagoon. What kind of bird called out at night? A bird that had lost its mate.

He touched me the way warm sun touches the fields of Umbria and makes lavender burst open with aroma. As Apollo, he held the sun in his hand. That sun was my heart. He pulled it out of me and now it’s consumed. I’m ash, I’m terrified. How much I want to simply burn for love of him and vanish like a paper going up in flame.

She had to do something for him before she lost him for good and then went home. Beginning the letter to Bonarelli, she had no idea if a few strokes could erase the actual Costanza from Bernini’s life, but if they could, she had to. The irony was that no one would ever know, not even Gianlorenzo. She liked the idea of helping him without his knowing.

About the Author:

Rachel Dacus is the author of The Renaissance Club, a novel called “Enchanting, rich and romantic…a poetic journey through the folds of time.” 

Dacus’ book Gods of Water and Air is a collection of poetry, prose, and drama. Her other poetry collections are Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her fourth poetry collection, Arabesque, is forthcoming in August 2018 from FutureCycle Press. 

Read more on her website: Follow on Twitter: @Rachel_Dacus.

Buy links:

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

#Review: TO WOO A WICKED WIDOW by Jenna Jaxon

4 of 5 stars
Lady Charlotte Cavendish has suffered all of her life under a tyrannical father. First, he stops her eloping with the man she loves and then he marries her off to a cold heartless man. Now five years later, she's finally free and never wants to be under the thumb of a man again. All that changes when she meets Nash, 12th Earl of Wrotham. Their attraction is mutual, but she has vowed to never marry again. Nash is in the unlucky position of needing Charlotte's father's support for a bill in Parliament. Lord Cavendish's condition for his support is for Nash to marry his wayward daughter before she brings scandal and shame on the Cavendish name.

This is the first book I've read by Ms. Jaxon and she has written a lively story about a young woman finally enjoying her independence. However, being a widow is still fraught with perils which Charlotte finds out the hard way. When Nash saves her from an embarrassing situation, her feelings start to change toward him. I loved Nash and his code of honor. He wooed Charlotte gallantly, hoping she'd develop feelings for him. When a terrible secret is revealed, will Charlotte give up a chance to have a real marriage? The plot moved along nicely and there was an exciting cast of secondary characters to keep the reader's interest. Fans of regency romances will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


The Newburys were the richest family in the town of Pelican Cove. Although they didn’t share the honor of being the ‘first family’, they tried to make up for it with plenty of wealth. Rumor had it their coffers were full of gold, gold they had dug up from the sea. They had a sprawling ocean facing estate spread over ten acres. Unlike most houses in town, it was newly built. Anything built in the last fifty years was considered new in Pelican Cove.

“But you’ve been open twenty five years, haven’t you, Petunia?”

“That’s just how long I owned this café, dear. It was around a long time before that.”

“So the Newburys never came to the Boardwalk Café?”

“They got rich in the great storm,” Petunia whispered, leaning forward. “And they built that big castle of theirs.”

“Upstarts!” Star snorted.

Petunia rolled her eyes and turned toward Jenny.

“They got rich and uppity, I tell you. I guess they thought coming to this café was beneath them.”

“Then why have they hired us now?” Jenny asked.


Exclusive beach party takes a murderous turn.

Dumped by her cheating husband, Jenny King is trying to build a new life in the small seaside town of Pelican Cove. Locals are lining up at the Boardwalk Café for her tasty cakes and muffins. But when her aunt is accused of killing a stranger, Jenny is forced to set her apron aside and put on her sleuthing cap.

Jenny battles with the cranky local sheriff and quirky local characters to get to the truth. Aided by her new friends, she will move heaven and earth to find out who the dead stranger was and what he was doing in Pelican Cove.

If you like cozy murder mysteries with friendly small towns, scenic settings, yummy food and a touch of romance, you will like Strawberries And Strangers.

Buy now and get hooked on the brand new Pelican Cove Cozy Mystery Series. Book 2 and Book 3 are coming soon in May 2018.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Leena Clover grew up reading mystery books. Some of her favorite authors are Agatha Christie, M C Beaton and Donna Andrews. Now she is trying her hand at writing whodunnits, making them as nail biting as possible while keeping them cozy. Her love for food is evident in all her books. Readers can find yummy treats in the pages of her books, along with friends that last a lifetime.

Connect with Leena at her website or write to her. She looks forward to hearing from you.

The book will be on sale for only $0.99.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better the chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Interview with Matthew S Cox, THE FOREST BEYOND THE EARTH

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
The last novel I finished, Out of Sight, is a young-adult science fiction story about a street kid (sixteen year old Sima Nuvari) who lives on a dystopian future Earth, trying to survive. She gets caught up in a sweep of the authorities attempting to ‘beautify’ that part of the city by getting rid of homeless kids, and coerced onto a starship heading off to deep space to set up a new colony.

Do you have a favorite character?
Althea from Prophet of the Badlands. (It’s a close call with her, Wisp from The Forest Beyond the Earth or Kirsten from the Division Zero series).

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
The closest thing I can think of to this is Pavo from The Daughter of Mars series (The Hand of Raziel, Araphel, and Ghost Black). At the earliest stages of writing the first book, the Pavo character was intended to be a cop attempting to infiltrate the Martian Liberation Front, and Risa (the main character) was going to kill him in the first chapter. However, beta readers didn’t care for that as they said it made Risa seem too unlikable. Originally, she was going to have a doomed romantic connection with a different character (though him being from Earth and her loyalty to Mars would’ve pulled them apart). However, I decided to keep Pavo alive and though he’s still a cop, he’s also loyal to a secret society that has the same goals as Risa… so the two of them wound up falling in love and that completely changed from my original plan for the story.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yep. When I first started, I queried Divison Zero around to agents. They all replied with some variation of “this is great, but I don’t think I’m the right agent for you.” I wound up querying Curiosity Quills (a small press) directly, and they loved it enough to sign it.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
I don’t mean this in a sense of regret, but I was new and they made an offer, so I jumped on it. After seventy some odd polite rejections from agents, I went with the first offer… though to be fair, their contract looked decent and better than what I had heard might happen with small presses.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I’d started co-writing some books with J.R. Rain, and he encouraged me to try self publishing a few as a test. I did so, and they are doing pretty well. Good enough that I’m continuing to self pub more. However, I do still have many books with Curiosity Quills Press.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
While I’m drafting a new story, I need silence. Any music (especially with words) distracts me out of the story’s world. Sometimes I do put on mood music (instrumental) to set the scene, but not often. During editing, music is less distracting but I still typically work in silence.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Mostly outline, but I do listen when the characters have issues. For example, in Prophet of the Badlands, my initial outline called for a certain series of events to happen to Althea… however, an unexpectedly strong emotional bond formed between her and another character and she absolutely refused to be separated from her. As if Althea stood behind me shaking her head, I had to change the outline to accommodate that… and the change rippled through the rest of the six-book series.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Amazon marketing can be fickle. Formatting a manuscript can be a hair-pulling experience, but I’ve got the hang of it. (I’ve recently gotten Vellum, which is an order of magnitude easier to use… however it does sacrifice some control over appearance.)

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes. I loathe marketing. I’m not good at it and I don’t much care for feeling like a spammer. I’d much rather be writing the next book. However, I would also rather enjoy being able to make a living from writing (yeah I know, keep dreaming right?) and to that end, it won’t help much if no one knows my books exist.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Hire a decent cover artist. A cover that looks like your ten-year-old kid drew it is going to make readers run for the hills. Hire an editor – if the reader finds the cover intriguing, you don’t want typos, story problems, character issues, or mechanical flaws in the writing to turn them off. Also, don’t rely on feedback from relatives or close friends. What they tell you will always be affected by their relationship to you. (This could be sugar coating things or being overly harsh.)

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Cats (though I do not dislike dogs). Chocolate. Coffee in the morning, herbal tea later in the day. I tend to text more than talk lately. I’ve never been a morning person. When I was a kid, my mother sometimes had to literally drag me out of bed in the morning. Why they make grade school kids wake up at 6 a.m. is beyond me.

What’s next for you?
More writing! One of these days, I’d like to say I’m living off writing. I have no illusions of becoming rich, but being able to survive at all on it would be a dream come true.

The Forest Beyond the Earth
Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult

Under the watchful eye of the Mother Shrine, twelve-year-old Wisp ekes out a simple, but challenging life with Dad, foraging for food and losing herself in old books from the world that came before. She loves the Endless Forest ― except when the Tree Walkers come for her.
In ages past, the great rain of fire and ash destroyed the Earth, wiping out the ancients and everything they had made. Nature has reclaimed much since then, spreading out in a vast forest full of wonder and dread. Ever in fear of being taken away, she follows Dad’s rules without question while learning to survive off the land.
No longer a small child, she accompanies Dad on one of his treks, her first time more than a few steps away from the cabin. A day exploring with him is the happiest time of her life, but joy is short-lived.
A monster follows them home.
Safe in her Haven, she hides while Dad goes outside to confront the beast. She wakes alone the next morning, and waits. Alas, her hope of his return fades with the daylight. Desperate, she breaks his strictest rule and goes outside alone. Not far from the cabin, she discovers his rifle abandoned next to the monster’s strange footprints.
Afraid but determined, Wisp sets off on her own into the Endless Forest to find Dad ― before the Tree Walkers catch her.

Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour <- after="" also="" and="" cats.="" deliberate="" fiction="" fond="" happens="" he="" intellectual="" is="" it.="" life="" nature="" of="" p="" questions="" reality="" science="" that="" the="" what="">

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Friday, May 18, 2018

#Review: THE DUKE WHO RAVISHED ME by Diana Quincy

  5 of 5 stars

Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, has earned his nickname "Sinful Sunny." Being a duke and enormously wealthy attracts every singer, actress, and widow in London. Adam is never one to turn down a lady's affections or two or three in his decadent "playroom." When Miss Isabel Finch shows up on his doorstep with seven-year-old twin girls and informs him that he is now their legal guardian, Adam is in shock. His lifestyle does lend it itself to him being a guardian of innocent little girls.

This book was very well-written and the twists and turns in the plot kept my interest throughout the story. It was also great to see a couple of the characters from previous books make an appearance in this one. I loved watching Adam's character change as he finally learned how to open his heart and it was especially lovely that it took seven-year-old girls to show him what love meant. The interactions between Adam and Isabel were fun to watch as they went from adversaries to so much more until a misunderstanding threatens to tear them apart. Fans of regency romances will definitely enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.