Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Rosinanti By Kevin J. Kessler


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Rosinanti (The Rosinanti Series Book 1)

By Kevin J. Kessler


Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure
238 pages

BLURB:
The Rosinanti Dragons are no more. Since their extinction nearly one thousand years ago these primal powerhouses have fallen into the obscurity of history’s forgotten lore. In that time, humans have come to dominate the world of Terra, peacefully ignorant to one horrifying truth: ancient evil stirs around them, waiting to reclaim its lost world. For Valentean Burai, animus warrior of the kingdom of Kackritta, the details surrounding humanity’s victory over the Rosinanti are more than just a history lesson. The long-buried mysteries of this archaic conflict may hold the answers that he has so desperately sought regarding his own past. As the awful truth of the Rosinanti’s supposed demise comes to light, Valentean must stand together with Seraphina, a magically gifted princess, to embark upon a mission to maintain order and light throughout Terra. Only together can these two lifelong friends face down the resurgence of the Rosinanti legacy, and combat the greatest threat their world has ever known.

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Also Available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback

5 OUT OF 5 STARS!!!

“Brilliant” ~ Tim Hamlin

“MUST READ FANTASY” ~ Peace & Patriots

“What a way to make a debut!!!!!!!” ~ Allie

“An amazing page turner by Kevin Kessler” ~ Amazon Customer



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ALSO AVAILABLE

Rosinanti: The Decimation of Casid (A Rosinanti Novella, Volume 1.5)
By Kevin J. Kessler

Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure

58 pages



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While an entire world away, men turn into dragons and ancient magic ignites the air, Casid lived on in peaceful ignorance. This tiny village and its people existed outside of the conflict which threatened to swallow Terra, until the day chaos itself landed upon its shores.

Now, one lone warrior seeks to protect his family, his friends, and the woman he loves as demons rise from the flames to burn everything he has ever loved to ash. This man is no god, no fundamental force of nature. He is simply a man, alone against the fury of chaos.

Casid will be decimated, consumed by the same blaze which threatens to overtake all of Terra. But what will rise from the ashes of this once perfect haven, forged in the fires of tragedy and loss, might become the most fearsome opponent the darkness has ever known.

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Also Available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback

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AUTHOR BIO

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Kevin J. Kessler lives in Orlando Florida, where he owns the White Dragon Podcast Network, which puts out weekly podcasts on a variety of topics from Walt Disney World, to movies, television, comic books, video games and more.

A lifelong geek, Kessler can often be found at the many theme parks and local attractions in Orlando.

He developed the story for Rosinanti as a sophomore in high school, sixteen years before the book’s release.

Since an early age, Kessler has been an avid reader, often found lost within the magical worlds found within the pages of fantasy novels.

"It was always my dream to create such a world of my very own," he said. "Even as a kid when my friends would want to play Power Rangers or X-Men, I would always create a new Ranger or Mutant rather than portray an established character. There is power in creativity! Creativity breeds creation!"

CONNECT ONLINE!
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: www.authorkevinjkessler.com
TWITTER: @KevinJKessler
INSTAGRAM: @WhiteDragonPN
OFFICIAL ROSINANTI FAN GROUP: www.facebook.com/groups/rosinanti

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Saturday, 28 January 2017

Interview with Kristi Cramer, author of Last Shot at Justice

Last Shot at Justice
By Kristi Cramer
Suspense, urban, murder, inspirational, kidnapping, police, female protagonist.

AJ & Storm: What did you love most about this story?
Kristi: I love my hero, Blue, and his "gentle giant" nature. He learns some hard lessons about life, and what he's willing to do to save the woman he has sworn to protect, and I feel for him when things don't go the way he tries to make them go. Does anyone remember the line from the first episode of Firefly? When Shepherd Book is with Inara, and he says "I think I'm on the wrong ship." Book put all this emotion into that one line, and he's a lot bewildered by the situation he found himself in. Blue is kind of like that. He has all the best intentions, but when he gets a chance to reflect, he wonders what he got himself into.

AJ & Storm: What is it you love most about writing?
Kristi: I love to let the characters tell me what they would do in the situations I put them in. They're kind of like armchair quarterbacks, telling me when I've done something wrong. I'll fight back by throwing them a curveball, and then let them tell me how they'd react to it. I've written myself into more than a few corners, but eventually the characters help me write them out of it. That kind of inspiration feels magical - if more than a little insane. I mean, I swear I hear voices in my head sometimes. But the end result is me re-reading my books and wondering if I really wrote them.


AJ & Storm: If you could invite any writer for lunch, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Kristi: I would love to have lunch with Elmore Leonard (in Heaven, I guess) and talk with him about the way his writing is, at its core, about people who unleash things they cannot control. From the first time I saw Get Shorty, to the first couple seasons of Justified, I just watched and marveled at the way things go so spectacularly wrong for people. From things literally blowing up in their faces, to picking fights with the wrong bad guy - or good guy. OH! And he writes such smart dialog, that I can't help thinking he would be the coolest guy to have a conversation with.

AJ & Storm: Tell us about a mistake you made in writing or publishing and what it taught you.
Kristi: I guess my biggest mistake has been that I trusted my own judgement about my covers. I lack any sense of what makes a book cover great, attractive, noteworthy, etc.

My very first cover I built using the cover creator feature. I took a landscape photo I had taken with my phone and uploaded it, tacked on the title and my name, and called it good. Then I remade it using some stock photo, but basically doing the same thing. I used a similar tactic for my second book.

By the third book, I knew I had to spend some money, and I hired a designer. I loved what she did, and she remade covers for the first, second, third and fourth books. But I still wasn't selling, and I was hearing murmurs from people I trusted that my covers just didn't express what the books were about. So I asked a group of complete strangers what they thought, and the responses were overwhelmingly negative. Combined with my blurbs, people were just confused. The cover photos looked romance-y, the fonts looked tacky, the blurbs suggested suspense. Just what were my books about? Nobody was inclined to find out. So I got recommendations for a new cover artist, and put him to work.

I like the new covers well enough, but when I put them out to the same group of strangers, the response was now overwhelmingly positive. So what I learned is that I know nothing about art, and the things I like aren't necessarily what is going to attract readers.

I also learned to ask strangers before friends, and find strangers who will honor my request for honest feedback. My friends are lovely, and not likely to want to hurt my feelings by telling me they're less than impressed with something I show them. But I find I need the brutal truth, so that I can make the best decision - which is to let someone else tell me what is going to help sell my books. Now, if I could just get a handle on blurb writing!


Stalker Links





for links to the various songs mentioned in her books, and photos of actors or models
Kristi thinks represent the characters in her books.

for opening chapters of published works and sneak peeks at works in progress.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Review: Spy Game: Romantic Suspense by Suz deMello


Spy Game: Romantic Suspense
by Suz deMello 
Published: March 24, 2011
Words: 72,910

This is not so much a romantic suspense novel as a sexy romance with the spy stuff added in to provide a bit of context and glamour. The main thrust of the story is the relationship between Ani, the extremely sexy and fashionable heroine, and her ‘target’ the rich and sexy Richard Rexford, CEO technocrat. It contains spanking, bondage, domination and sex but for all that, it’s very mainstream romance, not erotica. Overall this is attractive light reading, excellent for a rainy afternoon or a day by the pool.  

I was sent an ARC to my kindle by the author and reviewed voluntarily.

Above is my Amazon review. I'll add here that I was a bit disappointed by the lack of depth. The plot was really rather incidental, and it was clear who the bad guy was right from the start. I think it's more a Mills and Boon type of story than a spy novel. For what it is, it's fine but it could have been so much more. 

It also made me think about my writing. The blurb says that Suz deMello is an award-winning, best-selling author and although I'm not certain what award or on whose best seller list, she's written a few novels so I was interested in her style.

In short, Suz loves adverbs!  They're everywhere. And you know what?  It was a lot of fun. I like the way people frowned worriedly and spoke urgently and turned fluidly and so on. It made the lightness of the tale a lot more sparkly. The fashion details were excellent too. I suck at that because I have no interest in clothes but I can see I have to work on this.

I was also interested in the sex. I was totally taken aback at the spanking. It seemed totally out of character and out of context for the people involved. Having said that, I did admire the way Suz described the scene without moving into erotica and while avoiding the often sexless terminology found in mainstream romance. It was beautifully done and I'm going to read those bits again and learn from them.

All in all, it was very profitable reading. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Flightless By L Duarte

Title: Flightless
By: L. Duarte
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Publisher: LD Publishing LLC
Genre: Romance
Cover Designer: Okay Creations
#flightlesstour
Everyone has a story. Mine went like this: Once upon a time, I met a boy. He was the most handsome fella in the land. I fell in love. Together, we had cosmic chemistry. I believed I would live a life of unending bliss. Until he broke my heart. Shattered it to pieces. And I lived unhappily ever after instead. The end. Or so I thought. Life found a way to reunite us. But to change that unhappy ending, I had to learn how to forgive. And my heart seemed unable to do so. This is a love story. But it is also, much more. It’s the story of how I coped with my shortcomings, my fears and rewrote my destiny. Everyone has a story. This is mine.
Check out these other amazing books from L. Duarte
 AMAZON -  http://amzn.to/2jKjjiu
 AMAZON  - http://amzn.to/2jLA6ly

I stepped back. Not literally, just figuratively. I did that with every concert. I allowed my mind’s eyes to hover over me and my fans while I analyzed and dissected the unique relationship between us.

As I watched the multitude of people—a beautiful kaleidoscope of different races and social statuses—my heart, in utter bliss, roared.

The audience held their hands upwards as if in an offering or a request. I never knew which. In perfect synchrony, their arms rolled in waves like the swaying of a stormy sea. Their voices cried out my name, and the smell of their sweat and the heat of their mingled bodies emanated from them, unfurling to me like the sweet perfume of incense.

I held the mic near my motionless lips and stared at them. At that moment, I became one with thousands. At that moment, I took back from the crowd all the energy I had fed them. And their vibe made me high and drunk. It was my personal Nirvana. The kind of rapture that can only be attained through uttermost intimacy. A oneness I had only felt with one other person. A person who had severed that connection and shattered my heart into a million shards of pain.

I worshiped them as they adored me. The exchange of atomic energy contained nuclear power. I was drained from giving. They were wasted from receiving. But we were both impossibly happy and satisfied.

My motionless lips finally moved, uttering the final words for the night. The parting words. “Good night, Sydney!” I waved a hand back at them. “You looked beautiful tonight. All forty thousand of you.”

I bowed. They deserved my reverence. People had spent their time camped outside the venue waiting for a closer glance at me. They had spent their precious earned money to see my performance. They were worthy of my respect and gratitude.

Another wave of a hand. A kiss. Another bow. And I was out. Another show was done. Eight more to go.

I jogged backstage and gave the mic to Jeremy, my makeup artist, in exchange for a bottled water. He opened a portable case containing all the potions that would quickly improve my appearance for the meet and greet. 

Before I took a swig from the bottle, Clara, my assistant, brusquely interrupted my post-concert ritual. She snatched the bottle from my hand and returned it to a confused Jeremy. “Gray. With me,” she demanded, grabbing my elbow and urging me toward my changing room.

I glanced back at the stunned face of Jeremy. It was time for meet and greet with the VIP’s. I needed to freshen up. My makeup had all but melted under the stage lights.

Once inside the privacy of the room, I demanded, “What’s going on?”

She raised a finger and said, “Wait.”

I opened my mouth to protest. Instead, I swallowed the words. Clara was usually a chatterbox; her clipped words quickly clued me in that something was seriously wrong.

As I waited, Clara dialed a number on her phone. Her silence became as unnerving as the red glare of an alarm light.

“Betty, I have Gray,” Clara said. Wordlessly, she shoved the device in my hand. The door closed with a thud after she exited in a flurry of silent drama.

“Mama?” I asked holding the phone to my ear.

“Hey, Puppy,” Mama said in a soft, almost regretful tone.

“What’s going on?” I asked. Silence filled the other end of the line, only increasing my concern. Mama knew I had just left the stage. She followed my tour from home. Minute by minute. It was unusual for her to call me so soon following a show.

“How was, um, the, um, concert?” she asked.

“Mama, did you call me to ask how the show went?” I furrowed my brows and every hair on my body stood at attention. Mama knew my routine during a tour. After a performance, I had a brief meet with fans and then I would go on hours of silence to rest my vocal cords. Although she knew she could call me at any time, she never called until at least ten hours following a show.

“Mama?” I prodded after a long silence.

“I have cancer,” she said bluntly.

The phone connection was perfect. No static. But Mama’s words hummed in my ear with a tunnel-like quality. Distorted, altered, garbled. My mind, however, had remained sharp and alert. Without much thought and after a brief pause, I uttered the words, “I’m coming home.” I hadn't said those words in over a decade. Somehow, they didn't taste as foreign as I had imagined they would.

  ***

“Gray,” I said. The word hovered on my tongue, saturating my taste buds with an acrid taste. “Gray,” I repeated, letting it roll off my tongue. I did that a lot. It was my name.

Often, I mused about my name. It hadn’t been given to me because it was fashionable. Nevertheless, it had a history. My history.

When I was little, I liked to fancy its origin. The sky, I would think, was painted gray the day I was born. I loved the theory. The unattainability of the infinite mass of gray made it a great namesake. Whenever gray clouds hovered in the sky, I would lay on my back and stare at them, dreaming that when I grew up, I would build an enormous ladder, climb it, and touch the gray painted dome. It was all, of course, a foolish child’s dream, born out of vain imagination. I wasn’t born during the day, nor was the sky gray. And it was most definitely not the inspiration behind the choosing of my name.

I was born in a graveyard. Serene Hills Cemetery, it was called, though its surface was flat. It was a fall night, October 20th, approximately 11 pm.

They found me covered in vernix. I used the term ‘they’ loosely. A dog found me. A female German Shepherd mix that went by the name of Sunshine. Her fur was golden. Shiny like sun rays. I had a newspaper cut-out of her. It’s black and white, but it described her that way. In the shot, she looked straight at the camera, two vivid round eyes dotting a long and alert face. She had the knowing stare of someone who was aware she had done a good deed.

Obviously, I don’t recall the details surrounding my birth. I was an infant. But I had Mama tell me the story so many times, which after a while, the images ingrained in my brain like the roots of a tree embedded in the fertile soil. They became so real in my imagination that it felt as if they were my recollections.

I was a born a preemie. Weak, small, and blotchy-faced. I was skin and bones with a mop of black spiky hair, and a bad case of a cold.  

A miracle, they called me. But I knew I was no wonder. I happened to have the perfect concoction of healthy lungs and a loud cry. These, and the sharp canine sense of hearing and smelling had saved me. I didn’t believe in miracles. Not anymore.

When they found me, decay from the trees covered the ground on a fascinating palette of colors—an array of red, yellow, purple, brown, orange, golden, bronze.

I used to question why the leaves change colors and fall off the branches. According to a scientific explanation, leaves are a weak and feeble part of a plant. So, before the weather gets severely cold, the trees should toughen up to protect themselves. Or simply dispose of the leaves, the weak part.

Personally, I believe they turn colors before falling as revenge. A personal vendetta. And for that I applaud them. They turn their death into a poetic and alluring sight. That line of thought made me believe death was beautiful. It fascinated me. It’s more interesting than birth, although similar.

I had been abandoned under a pile of dead foliage. According to the police investigation, it appeared my birth mother had buried me under the leaves. Hid me. Like a criminal attempting to cover its tracks. Supposedly, I spent the night under a cocoon of leaves. The tree’s decay was soaked with blood and amniotic fluid.

According to Sunshine’s owner, they were walking on the sidewalk by the cemetery when she heard a whizzing sound. Sunshine’s owner discarded the noise as being the cry of squirrels.

Sunshine didn’t. At odds with her sweet nature, she became agitated and broke loose. She squeezed through a small gap in the fence and disappeared between the gravestones, leaving her owner in a frenzy.

Less than a minute later, Sunshine returned. Her mouth muzzled around my small waist, my umbilical cord dragging, rattling the decayed leaves.

I found my story fascinating, unique. Or so I told myself whenever I got teased at school.

The hospital staff called me the Graveyard Miracle. Soon after, Gray for short. It stuck.

I spent three months in the hospital. That’s where Mama worked. The graveyard shift. She fed me. She bathed me. She caressed my skin. “My heart had not a chance. It fell madly in love with you,” she said, whenever she told me my story. Her pale hand, dotted with freckles, caressing my black, straight hair.

 When I became her child officially, she quit the night job. “I had brought home my very own Graveyard Miracle.”

She found a day job at a pediatric clinic, occasionally helping at the hospital for extra income. She continued working at the clinic throughout my childhood, adolescence, and after I left home. She remained there until cancer said, “No more.” Until cancer said, “I want your time. From now on, you are going to dedicate every waking hour to me. I’m egocentric. I want it all. I want your flesh and the total sum of your soul.”

That’s why I was there, sitting in the back of a limousine Clara had rented to pick me up from JFK airport and take me home.

“When should I schedule your flight to LA?” she had asked. “Only a one-way ticket for now,” I responded.

32 Lorelai Lane, my childhood home. It was a small Victorian-style house, built in 1929. The colorful foliage of a maple tree and an oak tree framed the dwelling as if it was extracted from the pages of a fairy tale book. When I was little, I used to fancy my house was lovely. The most enchanting place in all realms. Staring at the house, I discovered that I still thought that. It was the most magical place in the world because it was the place that humans refer to it as ‘home’. And home is a thing of fairy tales. Rare and pure.

The car door was wide open, awaiting me. I climbed out. The driver stood straight as a pole. His hands perfectly folded in front of him, his face impassive. I wondered how long he had stood there, waiting for me, questioning my sanity. The luggage was lined up at the front porch. His face remained expressionless when I pulled a generous tip from my purse and handed it to him. “Thank you,” I murmured.

He drove off, the sound of the engine trailing off into the quiet street. It was late at night. The crisp air smelled of burnt wood and autumn, reminiscent of bonfires and fireplaces.

I crossed the stone path leading to the front steps.

The hinges of the front door squeaked, and Mama slowly appeared as light spilled out from inside the house. She leaned against the doorframe, cocked her head, her eyes fixed on me. She knew me so well. She knew I needed the time.

I peered up, carefully examining Mama’s face. It had been only two months since I had last seen her, but she appeared decades older. Even under the porch’s pale yellowed light, I could detect the lines circling her mouth. Small bags sagged under her eyes, and her plump skin appeared loose, dripping like melting wax. Her hair showed inches of gray and her usual square and proud shoulders were smaller, fragile. But what got my attention the most were her eyes. Their vivid green had turned opaque.

The grief and sorrow in her stare set my feet in motion, and I climbed the steps.

When mama stepped forward, the old wooden floor groaned and creaked under her feet. She came to a halt at the top of the stairs. Her lips curved into a small smile, and her arms spread open in an inviting hug.

As I stepped forward, my legs felt wobbly with the weight of so many years of absence.

I have found that there is only one thing better than reading, and that is writing. I am always torn between the two. I am also frequently torn between chocolate and coffee. However, I emphatically do not like the month of February, lies, and flies. For me, bravery is defined by the courage to do what we fear the most. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two children. Drop a few lines. I would love to hear from you.
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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Boys, Toys - OH MY! Volume 2 by A.M. Willard

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Boys, Toys – Oh My Vol 2

By A.M. Willard

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Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

About Boys, Toys, Oh My! (Volume Two)


Is this what my life has become… Selling novelty items to couples…

I walked away from it all – the job, and the guy because he thought I was a stripper… The problem, I still want the guy, and I still blush at the word penis. Not as much, but the heat still rises when I stop to think about what I’m saying.

Yes, this is my new life and I have to find the confidence to live it like I own it.

I knew allowing her to walk away that night was a mistake… Now I have to find a way to show that I truly care about her, and maybe then she’ll understand that I can’t live my life without her.

The problem is she only wants to be friends, if that’s the only way I get her then it’ll have to be enough.

 

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****4.6 OUT OF 5 STARS***
“Laugh Out Loud Five Star Read!” ~ Iowa Gal
“Can’t go wrong with this book!” ~ Angi DeMonti
“Awesome funny read :)” ~ Caz
“Sweet, funny Rom-Com” ~ Xkoqueen
“Ohmigod…You need to One-Click now!!” ~ pb loves to read

Grab book one while it’s on sale for .99¢ (limited time only!)


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About A. M. Willard

International Bestselling Author, A.M. Willard resides in Savannah, Georgia. She joined the Peach State many years ago after leaving the crystal blue waters and sugary white sand behind from the Panhandle of Florida. She’s also known for being a wife, mother, and caretaker for her farm animals. A.M. loves anything sassy, glittery, and is a sucker for the Hallmark Channel. That last one might be the reason she believes in soulmates or it could be because she married her high school sweetheart almost twenty years ago.

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Connect with the Author…

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2gHSCep
Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2cvozRF

Monday, 23 January 2017

It Started With A Kiss By Melanie Moreland

  Title: It Started with a Kiss
By: Melanie Moreland
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Designer: Monark Designs
#itstartedwithakissblitz
It started with a kiss. Then it became so much more. Love at first sight. Avery Connor doesn’t believe in it. But what about love at first kiss? A favor for a friend. Kiss a stranger and walk away. But what if that favor, and that stranger, prove to be the turning point of her life? What if that kiss leads to something more? Dr. Daniel Stewart is certain it will. He is determined to make her see him. To feel what he feels. To have the effects of that kiss last forever. A story about taking a chance, opening your heart to the moment, and falling in love.

AMAZON CA - https://goo.gl/kn9e62
New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.
Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

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Vindication, a Tri-Stone Trilogy, Bk 3 by Anne L. Parks

Blog Tour Vindication Anne L .Parks Release Date: March 28th 2017 Kylie Tate is the happiest she has ever been since a...