Friday, July 10, 2020

#SALE: .99 ASSASSIN'S CURSE by Debra L Martin & David W Small


Blurb:

When elite assassin Jeda received his assignment to kill a witch and deliver her twin daughters to the Countess of Berkshire, he had no idea it would be his last. The witch stuns him with an elemental blast, but not before he's able to throw his knife. When Jeda regains consciousness, the dying witch is performing a compulsion spell between him and her daughters.

Now bonded to the girls, Jeda's old life is forfeit. His only thought is to take the girls and run as far away as he can. He has no idea that the twins are the ones spoken of in the long-lost prophecy of The Witch Stone. Forces are gathering: the white witches want to teach them; the black witches want to use them; the Countess wants her grandchildren back, and the guild has sent their best assassin to bring them back. Jeda must use all of his skills to stay one step ahead of them all, but will it be enough to save himself and keep the children of prophecy alive?


Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Curse-Witch-Stone-Prophecy-ebook/dp/B006T3HN2A

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE:
The boy stood in the middle of the room staring blankly at the wall.
Choose well was all he remembered.
The room was about sixty paces long and probably half as wide.  It was two stories’ high with numerous oil lamps set along the upper walls that provided more than adequate lighting for the entire room.  A balcony ran along three of the four walls and provided a means to observe any event happening below.  There was one door leading in and out of the room, but it was blocked by a large, well-muscled man dressed completely in black.  His eyes were deadpan, like those of a cold-blooded killer. 
The air was relatively cool, but the young boy felt a drip of sweat run down his back.  He tried to hide his nervousness beneath a façade of serenity while staring at the wall, but he could feel the butterflies roiling in his stomach, threatening to unman him.
The wall the boy stared at contained all conceivable manner of weapons, from short throwing knives to elegantly curved swords to long-handled halberds with wickedly curved barbs and spikes.  The boy had to choose something soon or forfeit his chance to test again for another year.  He would not let this opportunity pass, because this was the day he had trained long and hard for, the day he had anticipated for the last three years, and the day when he would finally prove himself worthy.  Today he would test to become an apprentice in the guild of assassins.
The rules of the test were simple: choose your weapon and fight.  Any novice who aspired to test for apprenticeship had twenty short minutes to fight and draw blood from their opponent.  Whatever weapon a novice chose to test with would be the school in which they would be apprenticed if they passed.  There were five schools: Sword, Knife, Axe, Staff, and Bow.  The tests were short, brutal, and bloody, designed to ensure that no one advanced who did not rightly deserve to.  Their opponents were fully trained brothers of the guild who gave no quarter or latitude to the would-be contenders.  Many tested for the honor, but few passed their first time, and some even lost their lives in the attempt. 
Jeda had decided many months ago to choose a pair of fighting knives as his weapon of choice.  He was good with knives, both in hand-to-hand combat and throwing, and liked the way they felt perfectly balanced in his hands.  He had been steadfast in his weapon of choice until the moment he entered the room and saw Brother Mave waiting for him.  A slight grimace passed over his face, but he quickly composed himself.  The last thing he wanted was for Mave to see he was scared.  Mave was dressed in the traditional, assassin color of black, but also wore a distinguishable symbol of red, crossed swords on the bandana holding back his hair.  That symbol marked him as a preeminent sword expert within the guild, second only to the masters in the School of Swords.  Knives were excellent, close-in fighting weapons, but Jeda was not good enough with them to draw blood from a sword expert like Mave.  Now he stood immobilized, staring at the weapons wall, furiously trying to think of what he should do next.  He knew he would have to choose wisely if he was to survive this day. 
Damn, of all the brothers in this guild, how could I be so lucky as to get Mave? Jeda thought sarcastically.  He stepped forward and reached for the weapon he thought he would have the most luck with.
No sense in changing now.
***
Mave saw the boy look his way and inwardly smiled.  He knew the boy was scared, and rightly so.  It was not chance that brought him here today, but a carefully orchestrated scheme to make sure he tested the boy.  He felt Jeda was no more than a third-year upstart who did not deserve the opportunity to test for apprenticeship.  Most novices trained for five or six years before petitioning to test.  Mave was going to make sure that the boy did not pass.  That was as it should be, for it was Mave who had brought Jeda to the guild in the first place.  He should be the one to put the boy in his place and teach him humility.
Jeda finally reached up and took a pair of fighting knives off the wall.
Mave shook his head at the boy’s choice.  I knew it.  The boy may know how to fight, but he knows nothing of winning.
“Begin,” said the dispassionate voice of the master-in-attendance judging the test.
Mave strode forward, closing the distance and eliminating the only advantage knives would give the boy.  Without the distance to throw them, they were completely useless against swords. 
The boy stood stock-still, visibly trembling as Mave approached.  His frozen fear was pathetic and almost embarrassing.  Mave would cut him slightly with his first blade and knock him out with the handle of his second, putting a quick end to this charade of a test.  Twirling his swords in a deadly dance, Mave felt no sympathy for the boy.  Today’s failure would set Jeda back at least a year and give him more time to learn proper respect and modesty, traits Mave felt he was sorely lacking. 
The young fool doesn’t know what he’s in for.   
As Mave swung the first blade to catch the boy across the cheek, something unexpected happened.  Jeda dove forward, under the first blade, and whipped one of his knives at Mave’s exposed side.  Mave deflected the throw with his second sword.  If he had not been such an excellent swordsman, the throw would have a scored a hit.
Maybe not quite the fool I took him for.  Mave spun around swinging the sword in a deadly arc to face the boy as Jeda jumped to his feet.  The swing cut the boy high on the arm and he cried out in shock and pain.  The cut was deep and bleeding heavily, rendering the arm useless.  The boy went down on one knee, but Mave moved cautiously forward.  He would not be caught off-guard a second time by the boy’s cleverness.  When Mave came within a sword’s reach of him, the boy jumped forward into a diving roll and threw his second, remaining knife.  Mave anticipated the move and easily deflected the throw, shaking his head at the boy’s stupidity in throwing away his last means of defense.  As he turned to face Jeda, he realized his mistake.  He felt a blade slice through his trousers, burning and drawing a bright-crimson line along his leg.  Jeda had used the second throw to distract Mave from his true objective: the first blade that Mave had deflected.  The boy had used his diving roll to reach that first blade, left forgotten on the floor.  
How did he get that knife so quickly and throw it so precisely? Mave wondered, looking down at his bleeding leg.     
“Enough.  Blood has been drawn by Novice Jeda,” said the master’s voice from the balcony.  “He is elevated to the rank of apprentice.”
Mave studied Jeda with a smoldering anger.  He was a good fifteen feet away and was wobbling on his feet from loss of blood.  It didn’t seem possible that he could have thrown that knife in his condition.  Mave knew the boy must have somehow cheated. 
This is not over; no one makes a fool of me.

Reviewer’s Comments:

5 stars: "There were a few twists in the book that I didn't see coming--which is always a plus. If you're a fan of fantasy, or just plain ol' good storytelling...grab this one. It's a keeper!" Amazon customer

5 stars: "Fans of epic fantasy or good, old-fashioned, high-quality storytelling will all love this book - highly recommended!!" Amazon Customer

5 stars: "This is an amazing book. I could hardly put it down once I started. The story is well-written and engaging, really pulling you into this world that David and Debra have created...I would highly recommend this read to anyone who loves an exciting read. Geat job!" Amazon customer


Interview with Skye Warren, DIANMOND IN THE ROUGH

 
Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
Thank you so much for having me on Two Ends of the Pen! DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a dark and dangerous and sexy romance.

Don’t only take my word for it…
“Diamond in the Rough is masterfully written, sinfully sexy, and utterly addictive! Skye Warren proves why she is the queen of dark and delicious romance.” – Giana Darling, USA Today bestselling author
“A novel full of intrigue, secrets, lies, and a love that won't be denied, Diamond in the Rough is easily a top read of 2020.” – Celia Aaron, author of The Bad Guy
"Five glowing stars! Diamond in the Rough is the dark and dangerous world that I love from Skye Warren. You will be completely caught up in Elijah and Holly's story from the first page to the last." – New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig

Do you have a favorite character?
I always have a soft spot for the heroine of the book I’m writing! So it changes every time I start a new book, but I absolutely fell in love with Holly from DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. She’s the only heroine I’ve written who’s an author like me.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Oh, this happens all the time for me. Even side characters have to be fully fleshed out in my mind when I’m writing, and if I fall in love with them I’ll want to write their story.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes, and I had a few books published under a different pen name, but I was able to connect with more readers and support my family with my indie name.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
Maybe a year and a half from start to finish? My first novella was self published, but my first novel was through a publisher.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
There are two big things a publisher brings to the table: editorial and marketing. At the beginning it was great to see the editorial process of different publishing houses. Only once I had experienced that did I feel really comfortable doing that with freelancers. Unfortunately publishers were not able to offer me much in terms of marketing.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
I’m only looking to self publish at this time because it’s how I support my family and I don’t write fast enough that I can “throw away” a book that might earn very little.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
At first I did it as an experiment, to see what discoverability was like without any marketing or social media platform. I had no website, no Facebook page for that pen name, nothing. Then readers started asking for more and more, and I realized that even with no marketing, they were more excited for these books than my published ones.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I make my own covers! So, very involved. It’s great for me to exercise that part of my creative brain.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I was in many critique groups at the beginning. Now I only have a few authors I really trust and some beta readers. I think critique groups are helpful in seeing how your work will be received, but it’s important to keep in mind that YOU, the author, are the chef in the kitchen. You must love the book first and foremost, not change it into something else.

Thank you for having me on Two Ends of the Pen! If you’re looking for a new book that’s dark and dangerous and sexy, be sure to check out DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.




Diamond in the Rough
Skye Warren
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance

I’m on my way to meet my birth parents when it happens. A white van. A dark hood. Every woman’s worst nightmare. Now I’m trapped in an abandoned building. The man who took me says I won’t be hurt. The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie. I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls. I’ll need every single one of them to survive.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a new dark romance from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren. Finding yourself has never been so dangerous…

Author Bio:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her new book ESCORT is out now!
“ESCORT is perfection only Skye Warren can deliver—a poetically erotic tale of exquisitely damaged characters, devastating secrets, revenge and redemption.” – Samanthe Beck, USA Today bestselling author
“Hypnotically romantic…this book reads like a sensual dream and I didn’t want to wake up.” – Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author
Don’t miss a release! Sign up for the newsletter to get new book alerts: www.skyewarren.com/newsletter


GIVEAWAY!
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#Excerpt: ENTANGLED SECRETS by Pat Esden


Entangled Secrets
Pat Esden
(Northern Circle Coven #3)
Published by: Lyrical Press
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

A searing battle of hearts, minds, and magic . . .
The Northern Circle coven’s future is in question once again. But this time, hearts and souls are on the line, making the stakes higher, the magic more crucial, and the battle more fateful than ever before . . .
Pregnant and alone at twenty-one, Chandler Parrish sought refuge within the Northern Circle coven’s secluded complex. Never revealing the identity of her child’s father, Chandler has raised her now eight-year-old son, Peregrine, in peace, and used her talent as an artist and welder to become a renowned metal sculptor. But her world is shaken to the core when Peregrine shows signs of natural faerie sight—a rare and dangerous gift to see through faerie glamour and disguises that could only have come from his father’s genes. Worse yet, the boy has seen a monstrous faerie creature trailing Lionel Parker, a magic-obsessed journalist determined to expose the witching world.
But the very man who threatens the witches’ anonymity may also be key to healing Chandler’s long broken heart. As dangerous desires and shocking secrets entangle, new faerie threats and demonic foes close in on the coven and High Council. Loyalties will be tested. Fierce magics will be called upon. And Chandler will have to face her past to save all she holds dear: her coven, her child—and perhaps even her own soul.


EXCERPT:
Burlington’s flying monkeys. The originals were crafted out of steel decades ago.
I created mine out of car parts and garden tools as a gift to my son on his third birthday.

Truly, if I could have made them fly, I would have.
—WPZI interview with artist Chandler Parrish
Chandler set the hand grinder aside and flipped up the visor of her welding helmet. She studied the fist-size heart on the workbench in front of her and smiled, pleased with the results. If she could just find the perfect strands of wire to use for the arteries and veins, the heart would be ready to install.
She glanced across the workshop to where her latest flying monkey sculpture crouched on a rusty oil drum. It was crafted from scrap metal like its predecessors. But this one was going to be an updated model with a trapdoor in its chest and a heart—a cross between the Tin Man and the flying monkeys of Oz fame.
“Mama?” Her son’s voice came from behind her.
“Yeah?” She turned to see what he wanted.
Peregrine stood in the workshop’s open doorway, silhouetted against the autumn-orange leaves of a maple that sheltered the entry. Dirt smeared his jeans. His wild blond hair was tangled. Her chest swelled with joy. If she could ask the Gods and Goddesses for anything, it would be for his life to remain as carefree as that of the eight-year-old he was right now.
“Devlin sent me to get you. Some guy’s waiting in the main house.”
“Who is it?” Chandler asked.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. The guy saw a shapeshifter turn into a loup-garou. Wish I’d seen it.”
Chandler pulled off her welding helmet and thumped it down on the workbench. Damn it. Their mystery visitor had to be the journalist. His spotting a shapeshifter transforming in public—illegally, of course—wasn’t that recent of news, but his dogged interest in the event, and his intrusion into the Northern Circle coven’s ongoing issues in general, was proving to be a major pain. Actually, she was shocked he’d showed up here at the coven’s complex. A couple of days ago, two coven members had paid him a not-so-friendly visit at the fleabag motel where he’d been staying to discover if he truly was a threat to the witching world’s anonymity, or if he’d only come across as crazy to the average person.
“Devlin thinks the guy’s lying,” Peregrine added.
“Even if Devlin did believe him, he couldn’t tell the journalist what he saw was real, right?”
“I don’t think Devlin likes him.”
“That’s because the journalist is a troublemaker.” She walked over to Peregrine and smoothed her hand down his cheek. At twenty-five, Devlin was younger than she by almost four years, but that made him no less wise. He was Ivy League smart, a powerful witch with polished good looks and a kind heart that made him perfect for the Circle’s high priest position. She gentled her voice. “Do you know where Brooklyn is?”
Peregrine nodded. “She and Midas are making dinner.”
“I need you to go help them until the visitor leaves. Okay?”
Peregrine stuck out his bottom lip in a pout. “Can’t I just listen? I wanna hear about the loup-garou. Please?”
“Not this time.” She crouched, looked him in the eyes, and turned on her mama-dragon voice. “You need to stay away from this man. He’s dangerous. Understand?”
“He didn’t look dangerous to me. He just talked kinda funny.”
“No arguing. I want you to hang out with Brooklyn and Midas. I’ll tell you all about it later.”
Peregrine glanced over his shoulder toward the yard, then his gaze whipped back to her. “What do redcaps really look like?”
Chandler shook her head. Peregrine’s ability to shift seamlessly from one topic to another never ceased to amaze her. “Where in the Goddesses’ name did that question come from?”
He tucked his hands into his pockets and shrugged. “Just wonderin’.” He stole another glance behind him. His voice trembled a little. “Do they really dip their hats in blood?”
Chandler straightened to her full height. Hands on her hips, she followed his gaze. There was nothing unfamiliar or strange in their yard or in the parking lot beyond it, except for an old, lime-green Volkswagen Beetle in front of the main house, undoubtedly the journalist’s ride.
A spark of fear flickered to life inside her, a fear she’d prayed she’d never have to face. “Did you see something strange?”
“There was this creepy person-thing next to that guy’s car.”
In two swift motions, she pulled him all the way inside and slammed the door shut. Heat and the thrum of protective magic blazed up the dragon and monkey tattoos on her arms and across her shoulders. She studied the yard again through the door’s window, hoping to spot a fox or a mangy racoon. Something. Anything.
Peregrine wriggled in beside her, his breath fogging the windowpane. “It kinda looked like the drawings of redcaps I’ve seen in books.”
She scrubbed her fingers over the soft bristle of her close-cropped hair. Shit. Shit. Shit. Not this. Anything but this. Peregrine was the age when most witches’ abilities manifested. And—though she rarely thought of him—Peregrine’s biological father possessed the gift of faery sight, an ability to see through the glamour faeries used to make themselves invisible; fae such as redcaps. The gift was rare nowadays because the gene pool of witches with the ability had shrunk to a handful, after eons of them being murdered or blinded by the fae, who preferred to remain concealed. It was an extraordinarily dangerous gift for the few adults who possessed it. But for an eight-year-old boy? For her boy?
She wrapped an arm around Peregrine’s shoulder, snugging him closer. “Are you a hundred percent sure you saw something?”
“Yeah. Uh—maybe.”
Maybe? Her tension eased a fraction. In truth, it could have been nothing more than wishful thinking on Peregrine’s part, combined with an imagination as active as hers. Even if he had seen a faery, it could have been a benign and unglamoured one that Brooklyn had invited into the complex to help with her herbs and concoctions.
A movement caught Chandler’s eye. Something coyote-size and hunched low to the ground was creeping out from behind the Volkswagen. It slunk along, dragging something—
Chandler shrieked. A body! A child.
She pushed Peregrine behind her, then eased the door open just far enough to get a better view. She had to have been mistaken. It couldn’t be carrying a child.
The creature swiveled to look at her. It dropped the body. Tufts of straw trailed from where the child was missing an arm.
Chandler let out a relieved breath. She recognized the child and the creature now. “There’s nothing to worry about,” she said. “It’s just Henry with Brooklyn’s scarecrow.” Well, there wasn’t anything to worry about as long as Brooklyn didn’t see Henry, Devlin’s golden retriever, making off with her straw man. If she did, there’d be hell to pay.
Peregrine wiggled past her to look. “I wasn’t afraid of nothin’. And that isn’t what I saw. What I saw was bigger. A lot bigger.” He fanned his arms, indicating something twice as tall and large as the scrap-metal rhinoceros that she’d sold to a client last month, impossibly larger than a redcap.
She gave him a side-eye look. Now he was fibbing, except…
A chill traveled up her arms, prickling against the magic in her tattoos. But what if—other than the size—it wasn’t a fib? What if he did have the sight like his father?


Author Bio:
Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts.
She is the author of the contemporary fantasy Dark Heart series from Kensington Books, and the Northern Circle Coven series. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society's Mythic Circle, George Scither's Cat Tales Anthology, and the Fragments of Darkness anthology.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

CHRISTMAS IN JULY Event by N.N. Night's Bookheaven


https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/bookpromos/categories/christmas-in-july-fete


I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, HIS CHRISTMAS SPIRIT is featured today. Wait until you read what I love most about the holidays. You won’t want to miss it.
Bookmark this event and tell your friends:
https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/his-christmas-spirit-cijf

Blurb:
As Anna Brown watched her best friend Callie marry Tom Sullivan, she wondered if she would ever find her own true love. No stranger to dating, Anna had yet to meet anyone she would even consider to be marriage material. Do such men even exist or had Callie snagged the last good one?

Liam Sullivan was a busy ER doc as well as one of the doctors for Doctors Without Borders. His life was busy helping those less fortunate. He was content until a chance meeting at his brother's wedding. Could Anna Brown be the key to his future happiness?
Amazon buy link:



Giveaway Information –
 
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Open internationally 
Runs July 1 – 31 
Drawing will be held on August 1.

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#Excerpt: HEAVEN by Bobbi Smith



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bobbi Smith will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:


Hi everybody!

I just wanted to tell you a little about the story behind Heaven. When it first came out, I was honored to have David Alan Johnson, the very first Romantic Times Cover Model winner, as my hero on the cover! What fun! David and I did book tours together and had a great time meeting all our fans. I’m including a picture of David’s cover for our blog tour. Hope you enjoy Heaven!

Best,
Bobbi Smith


For archeologist’s daughter Alexandra Parker, the Crown of Desire isn’t just a priceless and mysterious artifact—it could mean the difference between life and death.

And to find it, she must embark on a dangerous journey in the company of a man she hardly trusts. Wealthy Englishman Winn Bradford is seductive, charismatic, and the last person she should fall in love with. But Alex, too, has a secret—one that puts Winn’s safety at risk, and will force her to choose between loyalty and an extraordinary love…

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Rich-Adventurer-Risked-All-ebook/dp/B07VXXM4HC/
 

Excerpt:

Winn knew Alex would be angry when he told her the truth, but it would be easier to face her anger than to let her continue to believe that she had tempted him from his vows. He made his way toward her cabin and found her standing at the rail, gazing across the river.

“Alex…”

Alex had been lost in a dream of Father Winn, reliving that one precious moment when they’d been just a man and a woman with nothing to keep them apart. She gasped as she recognized his voice and seeing him again set her heart racing.

“What do you want?”

“We need to talk. Please, invite me in.”

“All right.”

Winn followed her inside her cabin and waited as she closed the door.

“Alex, there’s something I have to tell you.”

“No, Father Winn, please…I shouldn’t have kissed you. It’s just that…I care about you deeply. So as far as I’m concerned our kiss never happened.”

Winn gazed down at her, wondering how he’d gotten himself into such a mess. “Alex, I should have told you this long ago, but until tonight it was impossible.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I came to you tonight dressed this way for a reason. As you can see, I’m not wearing a collar anymore.”

She was shocked. “You can’t forsake your vows!”

“Alex,” he said softly. “I’ve taken no vows.”

“What?”

“I’m not a priest. My uncle, Edward Bradford, was the priest. I’m Winston Bradford. I couldn’t live with the lie any longer or with the pain I was causing you.”

He reached for her and drew her to him, his lips capturing hers in a slow, tantalizing kiss.


About the Author: 

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.

Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million copies of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List and the Wal-Mart Best Seller List.

The rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Russia and Sweden. Bobbi has also written two faith-based contemporary novels – Haven and Miracles – using the pseudonym Julie Marshall.

Website: http://Bobbismithauthor.com

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Interview with Olivia Wildenstein, NOT ANOTHER LOVE SONG

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
I’m usually a series girl but Not Another Love Song will be a standalone. I loved Angie and her crew, loved writing about music and Nashville (a city I ironically only visited after I completed the book), but when I set out to write NALS, there was no doubt in my mind that every subplot would be neatly tied up by the end. My other reason for not wanting to expand on the universe of NALS is so I can travel somewhere else. There’s nothing more exciting for authors than meeting new characters and plotting their lives.

Do you have a favorite character?
I always have a favorite, and it’s never my main character. I suppose that’s because the main character feels too much like ourselves, especially when you write them in the first person. In NALS, my favorite was Nev, Ten’s little sister, the underdog on the brink of teenagerhood struggling to find her place and her people in the world.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Ooh. I did. Repeatedly. Most indies have attempted the trad route at some point in their career. Or at least, this was true back when I started off (6 years ago). Back then, the indie business neither had a great reputation nor the traction it’s gained in recent years. After multiple rejections, though, I decided to strike out on my own. The learning curve was steep and the road bumpy, but what a great great adventure it’s been.


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I always write to music. At the start of every manuscript, I create a new playlist on Spotify, and every week, I’ll add songs to it. And then I’ll listen to them on a loop until the lyrics and melodies blur into white noise.
You can find most of my playlists here: http://oliviawildenstein.com/music/

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Before I start writing, I’ll type up a 5 to 6-page outline. Do I follow it? Never. But somehow it helps organize my plot. What I find most important is compiling a character chart: a file with pictures for every character in your story (even the minor ones) that lists their physical attributes as well as their likes, dislikes, pet peeves, scents, jobs, and history.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
That it’s A LOT of work, and not all of it fun. I’ll spend an equal amount of time marketing my books than I’ll do writing them. Not that I dislike marketing, but if I have to choose, I would rather write. However, being able to do both is essential in this business. Another thing I’ve learned is patience. Arm yourself with as much as you can because building your readership takes time.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes. Yes. And yes. Or at least, until the book launches. Once that first week is over, you can finally breathe and give your new story your undivided attention.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Study the market and find your niche, then read everything indie-produced in that niche because that’s your competition! My bread and butter is New Adult paranormal romance. You wouldn’t think it’s a niche, but Amazon just started categories for NA fantasy romance last year.

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’m definitely a cat person. I love dogs, but they’re like small children, and I already have three of those. 
Vanilla ice cream but chocolate everything else, the darker the better.
Text! The commodity I lack the most is time, so texting is definitely more efficient. However, texting is impersonal, so at some point, I crave good, long talks.
I love nights, love their quietness and darkness.
 
What’s next for you?
I’m writing the last book in my Angels of Elysium series, then I’ll be adding a spinoff for my Boulder Wolves trilogy. And, I’m cowriting for the first time ever (almost done with the book actually). It’s been such a fun experience that I hope to co-write many more novels in the future.


Not Another Love Song
Olivia Wildenstein
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

An aspiring teenage singer finds herself playing a different tune when she falls for a boy who could jeopardize her future dreams in Olivia Wildenstein’s romantic YA novel, Not Another Love Song.
Angie has studied music her entire life, nurturing her talent as a singer. Now a high school senior, she has an opportunity to break into Nashville’s music scene via a songwriting competition launched by her idol, Mona Stone. Discouraged by her mother, who wishes Angie would set more realistic life goals, she nonetheless pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.
But Angie’s mother is the least of her concerns after she meets Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.
She’s never desired anything but success until Ten entered her life. Now she wants to be with him and to be a songwriter for Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.
And picking one means losing the other.



Author Bio:
USA TODAY bestselling author Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City and earned her bachelor’s in comparative literature from Brown University. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for the writing life, which made more sense considering her college degree.

When she’s not sitting at her computer, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, and attempting not to forget one of her kids in school.

She has a slight obsession with romance, which might be the reason why she writes it. She’s a hybrid author of over a dozen mature Young Adult love stories.



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#Excerpt: KITTY'S WAR by Barbara Whitaker



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Seeking adventure, shy Kitty Greenlee joins the Women's Army Corps. In 1944 England, as secretarial support to the 8th Air Force, she encounters her dream man, a handsome lieutenant who only has eyes for her blonde friend. Uncomfortable around men, Kitty doesn't think the handsome officer could want someone like her.

Recovering from wounds, Ted Kruger wants to forget about losing his closest friends and have fun before returning to danger as a bomber navigator. When Ted recognizes Kitty as the girl who rescued him two years before, he must choose between dating the sexy blonde or pursuing quiet, serious-minded Kitty even though he knows he's not nearly good enough for her.

As the war gears up with the D-Day invasion, will Kitty and Ted risk their hearts as well as their lives?

Buy Links and Other Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Kittys-War-Barbara-Whitaker-ebook/dp/B01MCU9SOW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kittys-war-barbara-whitaker/1125466321?ean=9781509210909
https://www.bookbub.com/books/kitty-s-war-by-barbara-whitaker
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33303373-kitty-s-war
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kitty-s-war-2
https://www.audible.com/pd/Kittys-War-Audiobook/B07MJ7LFKC
https://books.apple.com/us/book/kittys-war/id1164144741

 
Excerpt:

“Starting Initial Point,” the pilot announced. “McGill take over.”

No dodging it now. The bombardier took the controls for the bomb run.

Seconds ticked away. Ted’s gloved hand clenched the pencil. He forced himself to relax before he broke another one. He couldn’t plot their course on the map without a pencil.

The aircraft reeled from explosions nearby. The bumpy ride made him think of an old truck driving at top speed over a rutted, muddy road in the middle of the night. Unable to dodge the holes, even though he knew they were filled with dynamite. Unable to stop. Just straight ahead until he blew up.

Come on, Come on. Get it over with and get out of here.

“Bombs away.” The beautiful, gorgeous words came through the intercom. The plane lurched upward at the loss of its heavy load. He let out a sigh.

“I’ve got it,” Rollins announced. The pilot took back the controls and maneuvered away from the drop zone.

Ted marked the spot on the map and started his calculations for the return leg.

“Hang on. We’re in the middle of it,” the pilot warned only an instant before an explosion jarred through them.

The plane bounced and shook.

Then another, louder bang.

Ted’s seat collapsed, tossing him to the floor. His head hit something.

Blackness alternated with blurry, bright light.

Fiery pain burned through his thigh. His hand searched for the wound. He gasped for air. His oxygen tube must have pulled loose.

Someone hovered over him. “Kruger’s hit.” It was McGill’s voice. Clutching his tightening throat, Ted watched as Mac stuck the tube of a walk-around bottle into Ted’s mask.


About the Author:

Barbara grew up in a small town in Tennessee where the repeated stories of local and family history became embedded in her psyche. Fascinating tales of wartime, from her parents and her in-laws, instilled an insatiable curiosity about World War II. 

After retiring from her sensible career in accounting, she began full time pursuit of her lifelong love of historical romantic fiction. Enjoying every minute of research, Barbara spends hours reading, watching old, black-and-white movies and listening to big band music. Although Barbara and her husband have been longtime residents of Florida, they both still think of Tennessee as "home." Visit Barbara's website at http://barbarawhitaker.com

Or find her on 
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraWhitakerAuthor.


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