Crimson Tides by Eliza Tilton

Title: Crimson Tides
Author: Eliza Tilton 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Blurb:
Back in Lakewood Avikar finally learns the truth about his father—and the lies he’s been told since birth. Since King Corban doesn’t believe his tale about the shapeshifters, it falls to Avikar to find a way to route out the beasts from the lands and stop them once and for all.
Lucino has left Jeslyn in Mirth to go fight the Kuuni.  When he arrives on the black shores, ready to slaughter them all, he finds that killing is no longer as easy as before. His human side is becoming stronger, and the repercussions of his love for Jeslyn will put his race and every plan he’s ever made at risk.
In Book Three of the Daath Chronicles, two very different boys will discover who they thought they were is nowhere close to the truth, and sacrificing themselves is the only way to save the world they love.

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BA in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. Her YA Fantasy series, The Daath Chronicles, is published by Curiosity Quills Press.
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Wind rattled the wooden shutter on the open window, banging it against the home. An annoying sound, and no one came to close it. Why? The bang echoed through the silent forest. Where were the owls, or even a wolf? Uneasiness filled each of my steps as we slowly walked to the door. I expected an arrow to come flying my way. Two strangers knocking on the door of a secluded cabin in the middle of the night … how could we not get an arrow in the face?
Raven stayed behind me, her hands resting on the hilts of her daggers. My palms sweat and my mouth went dry. I wanted my sword in my hands, but if I approached while holding a weapon, they might attack. Holding my breath, I knocked on the door, and it swayed open beneath my touch. A stringent odor wafted out from the cabin and I covered my nose.





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Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie

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Title:  Eun Na and the Phantom
Author:   Erica Laurie
Published:   February 2nd, 2016
Genre:   Fantasy
Synopsis:
One man’s immortal curse.
The precious gift of a dragon’s soul.
And a woman who can set him free.
A logger is in debt to his landlord, and he must pay up or hand over his daughter, Eun Na as payment.
Hardworking and kind, Eun Na attracts the attention of a mysterious man from the mountains. When an accident renders her father unable to work, the handsome young man steps in and offers his assistance. Yet he is not what he seems.
Eun Na and the Phantom is a magical story set in a fictional world based on historic Korea. It is sure to please both readers of fantasy and viewers of K-dramas a like.
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Excerpt from Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie:

“Are you a ghost?” Eun Na asked as she looked and saw Tae Kyung standing there. He was leaning up against a tree. His eyes went wide briefly, as a bit of color left his face. Was he surprised to see her? No, it wasn’t that Eun Na reminded herself. It was something else. He had called to her first.
“Something like that,” Tae Kyung replied.
“Well that would explain it” Eun Na walked to the side of the road where Tae Kyung was standing and sat down next to him. Eun Na removed her worn shoe. One of the pieces of twine was broken. She would need to mend it.
“What would explain what?” Tae Kyung asked as he joined her.
“Ghosts would explain my wound,” Eun Na said as she pulled off her sock and revealed the angry looking red streak on her leg. Its dark color became lighter. “It’s even healing right now, before my eyes.” If she hadn’t seen it fade, she’d not have believed it.
“Mmm,” Tae Kyung murmured as he reached over and put a hand on her head. She felt a tingling sensation on her scalp from his touch. “You must have hit your head when you fell into that hole.”
“Is that your polite way of saying I’m going crazy?” Eun Na said, turning her head to look at him as she spoke. The smile he gave her made her heart rate speed up. She moved to cover her feet when Tae Kyung spoke.
“There’s nothing wrong with your leg.”
“Huh?” Eun Na looked at her leg. Tae Kyung was right; the angry red wound was gone. “Maybe I am going crazy.” Eun Na gave Tae Kyung a pondering look, and then leaned over and pinched his arm hard.
“Hey! What did you do that for?” Tae Kyung shouted, leaning away from her.
“Sorry. I was just checking to see if you were real.”
“Shouldn’t you have pinched yourself to see if you were awake?” Tae Kyung grumbled, rubbing his arm and watching Eun Na warily.
“I am awake. That’s the problem,” Eun Na replied. “My life is turning into a huge mess it seems.”
“I think you need new shoes,” Tae Kyung informed her.
“What?” His sudden change of topic confused her.
“I bet that’s why you were limping. So, put your sock and shoe back on, and let’s go see what we can find.”
“That’s all right. I’ll make do with these. My family can’t afford shoes just now,” Eun Na explained as she finished putting her shoe back on and stood up. “Well, I must be going.”
“To buy shoes,” Tae Kyung said as he moved swiftly. He took one of Eun Na’s arms at the wrist, and in a fluid motion, lifted her onto his back, her legs to either side.
She had no choice but to wrap her arms around his neck and shoulder. “Hey! Put me down.”
“Only after we buy you a pair of shoes that are not worn out to strings.”
“They are made of twine,” Eun Na laughed.
“As I said, they are nothing more than strings,” Tae Kyung said, winning the argument.
Eun Na decided to rest her head on his strong shoulders and just enjoy the moment.

About the Author:Erica-Laurie

Bookworm. Shutterbug. Story writer. LDS. Wife. Mother. Loves dragons and Korean dramas.


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Dark Attraction by Alexandrea Weis

Title: Dark Attraction
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Blurb:
Sam Woods has a secret.
She keeps it hidden from the world … the world of the living, that is. 

When Doug Morgan moves into her apartment building, Sam is intrigued by her sexy new neighbor. She struggles to keep her ghostly ability from him, but Doug isn’t interested in her spiritual sense. He’s after something much more … sensual.

A Dominant with dark tastes, Doug offers Sam a glimpse into his world. He invites her to take part in an experiment to explore the extremes of pleasure. Seduced by his lifestyle, Sam agrees. There’s just one little catch … Doug also has a secret.

Someone Sam never saw coming. 

Sometimes, the dark side of pleasure can turn deadly. 

From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.


Sebastian hated this part; walking into the ICU from the waiting room. The beeps, bells, and whirring of the machinery, which kept the occupants of the ICU alive, upset him. They were alien noises that grated against his nerves.

He did his best to not let the sounds get to him, but as he went to his mother’s room, he felt his skin prickle with that well-ingrained fear of hospitals. The result of a precocious childhood.

When he reached his mother’s doorway, he spotted the pretty nurse, the one who insisted on being called Sam and not Samantha. His eyes drifted from the nurse to his mother in the bed. Her color was better, but she was still hooked up to the ventilator. Shit!
Falling at her home, she had hit her head and been knocked unconscious. The surgery to relieve the bleeding in her skull had been successful—or so the doctor insisted—but she was still not awake.

“She’s doing better today, Mr. Reinhardt,” the attractive brunette nurse with the long ponytail said to him.

How many times had he told her that his last name was Dane, not Reinhardt? Still, she called him by his stepfather’s name. His palms itched to correct her, but he refrained. 
“Has she woken up at all?”

“Yes, she opens her eyes now and then, which is a very good sign. We should have her off that breathing tube in a day or two.”

He followed the nurse’s perfect profile. Sebastian thought her almost doll-like. Even down to her porcelain skin and petite, almost little girl figure, everything about her reminded him of a doll.

“Thank you, Sam. You’ve been so encouraging these past few days. I thought for a while she wouldn’t make it.”

“I told you she would make it.” Sam stretched her pouty lips into an attractive smile. “I have a sense about these things.” As if hearing something in the outer hallway, she raised her uncanny eyes to the door. “I’ll be back.”

She was gone before he could ask any more questions. Sam always did that.

It was as if she looked through him, and not at him, whenever he came to visit his mother. What he wouldn’t give to have her see him, to have the little nurse with those amazing eyes see him for what he really was. Ah, but that was for another time and place. 

He walked closer to the bed and held his mother’s hand. Still warm and soft the way he remembered it as a child. With the ugly purple bruise on the right side of her face and the thick white bandage on her head, she didn’t resemble the mother he had known. Gone were her fancy rings, diamond bracelets, and designer clothes. The blue hospital gown made her look paler than usual, and without her always fastidiously applied makeup, she appeared older, much older than her sixty-five years.   

 “I’m here, Mother. You’re doing better. Much better.”

He felt the slightest pressure on his hand, as if she had heard him.

“That’s it, squeeze my hand. Let me know you can hear me.”

This time, her grasp was stronger and more deliberate.

His heart soared with relief. It was a small step, but it was progress. 

“Looks like she’s coming out of it,” Sam surmised, entering the room. She pulled a penlight from her white jacket pocket and flashed the light in his mother’s eyes.

His mother frowned.

“Did you see that?” he demanded. “She frowned when you shined the light in her eyes.” 
Sam shrugged her shoulders, not seeming very impressed. “Like I said, Mr. Reinhardt, she’s waking up.”

Her dismissive tone made that certain itch come alive in Sebastian. The one he always got when he discovered a new … project.

Sam went back to her table outside the room door and made some notes on his mother’s chart.

Giving his mother a kiss on the cheek, Sebastian whispered, “I’ll be back tomorrow.” Exiting the room, he stopped by Sam’s table. “Thank you for taking such good care of her.”

Sam never looked up from her notes. “I’m glad she’s doing better.”

“Will you be here tomorrow?”

Sam shook her head and became distracted by a patient in the room next door to his mother’s. “I’m off for a few days, Mr. Reinhardt. I’m sure your mother will be gone by the time I get back.”

He never got to ask her anything else. She ducked into the other patient’s room and went to the monitor above the bed.           

Sebastian grinned. He would see the pretty little Sam Woods again. He wasn’t going to let this one get away. 


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Blue Dresses Have More Adventures by Audrey Greathouse

Today’s guest post comes from Audrey Greathouse, the author of The Neverland Wars!

The Neverland Wars
Audrey Greathouse
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

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The Blue Dress Theory: Blue Dresses Have More Adventures

 I can’t be the only one who has noticed this. Have you ever been reading a book or watching a movie, and when you see a girl in a blue dress, you know that fantastic things are about to happen?

I feel like the girl-in-a-blue-dress is an archetype, cemented in our cultural canon by a few great works of children’s literature. Still, no one ever seems to talk about how anytime a young girl puts on a blue dress she becomes destined for a wonderful journey to a strange and magical new world.

aliceI think Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland started it. The idea of children’s literature as we know it was pretty much invented by the Victorians, and Lewis Carroll wrote the defining children’s book of the nineteenth century. Alice might just be sitting around in a field listening to her sister read, but she’s sitting in a blue dress, so it’s no surprise that moments later she’s tumbling into Wonderland, using that dress as a parachute.

June106More than half a century later, J.M. Barrie wrote about Wendy Darling’s trip to Neverland, and her blue nightgown became an iconic image through centuries of adaptations. From Mabel Lucie Attwell’s original illustrations to the animated Disney movie, the one thing everyone seems to know for sure is that Wendy would be in a blue dress.

And let’s not forget L. Frank Baum’s contribution to this ppattern Whether she’s in ruby slippers or silver slippers, on page or on screen, Dorthy Gale is always depicted in a blue dress when she makes her way to Oz.

dorothyI’ve always thought of Alice, Wendy, and Dorthy as a holy trinity of brave girls, capable of navigating impossible worlds beyond their own. Each is a blue-dress adventuress, who can take the strangeness of magic in stride until she makes her way home once again. I think the world could use more stories about bright girls who can handle themselves in dangerous other-worlds, and when I put Gwen in a blue dress, it was a homage to more than just the traditional depictions of Wendy Darling. I want to bring this trend of competent, feminine smarts and beautiful blue dresses back. I know it’s not dead, because one of the best children’s books that was published while I was growing up did it, too.

Coraline_JonesYou’d better believe Coraline was in a blue dress when she stumbled into her alternate reality and found the enchanting, bewitching Other Mother. Neil Gaiman knows whats up, and so do I. Girls in blue dresses have more adventures, and I’m excited that with The Neverland Wars I can add to the collection of excited, delightful girls who put on a blue dress and go off confidently adventuring, into enchanted new worlds. When Gwen leaves her modern home in suburbia in a blue dress, it is to fly beyond the stars, guile information out of mermaids, outwit other lost children, face-off with a crocodile, and more… because the world needs more girls in blue dresses.

Author Bio:

Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University’s online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com

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Guest Post by Radha Vatsal, Author of “A Front Page Affair”

How did your personal background and coming to live in the U.S. from India as a teen shape this book?

frontCapability “Kitty” Weeks, the protagonist of A Front Page Affair, arrives in New York in the spring of 1914 when she’s just 19 years old. She has spent the past decade of her life in boarding school in Switzerland, and before that, traipsing behind her American businessman father as he travels through Asia and the Middle East for work. Kitty is American by birth but she’s never lived in the United States before, so she comes to New York with fresh eyes. It’s her outsider’s perspective that enables her to see what others miss, and to sympathize with the plight of foreigners in the city–and at the time nearly a third New York’s population was foreign-born. Kitty is also well-off, well-educated, young and pretty, so she blends in. She can enter the best drawing rooms in town and that’s what makes her an attractive assistant to her boss, Helena Busby, editor of the Ladies’ Page of The New York Sentinel.

When I was creating the series I knew that my lead had to be someone who could move around New York easily, but who also had a slightly different perspective from others—which would allow her ask different questions. I grew up in Mumbai, India and came to the US on my own when I was 16 to attend boarding school in Connecticut. I understand what it’s like both to fit and not to fit in, to come to a new country and to have to adapt to new ways. It’s easier to adapt when you’re young, but you also retain the perspective of someone who grew up elsewhere, and so you don’t take the status quo for granted.

Funnily enough, my life in India also seemed to have many aspects in common with life in New York City in the 1910s. Back then, Mumbai (Bombay) was a buzzing metropolis with a small town feel, just like New York City.  My grandmother ran a house with a full staff, as many wealthier families in 1910 New York did; and we were never alone. There was always some kind of activity, some kind tradesman, whether a tailor, carpenter, upholsterer or jeweler going in and out.  Those kind of one-on-one relationships where you know the people who make the clothes you wear or furniture you sit on, is more similar to life in New York in 1915 than my life in New York now.  When my husband is at work, and my kids are at school, and I’m writing, I’m all alone. I don’t speak to anyone. That wouldn’t have been the case for Kitty—she would always have had someone around her—and it wasn’t the case for me growing up.

These aren’t elements that are essential to the story but I think my upbringing gave me a feel for Kitty’s world and makes me enjoy writing about it.  I can imagine the people in it and the dilemmas they face because they remind me of people and situations from my childhood.  If you would like to know more about life in the 1910s—everything from cars, to customs, books, movies, Europe’s royalty and more—please check out the World of Kitty Weeks Tumblr.

About the Author

Vatsal--photo--blackandwhite+JPEGRadha Vatsal is a writer based in New York City. She was born in Mumbai, India and has a Ph.D. from the English Department at Duke University. Her debut novel, A Front Page Affaircomes out this May from Sourcebooks Landmark. You can write to her at radhavatsalauthor@gmail.com or friend her on Facebook.

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Writing Great Villains by Kat Ross

Today’s guest post comes from Kat Ross, the author of The Midnight Sea!

The Midnight Sea
Kat Ross
(Fourth Element #1)
Publication date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

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Despicable You: Writing Great Villains

I have a confession to make—one that some of you might share. My favorite characters are usually the awful ones. The ones who do terrible things without a shred of remorse. The ones that I’m dying to see get their comeuppance, but not before they push our beloved protagonist to the very edge and nearly destroy everything in the story we care about. Yes, I’m talking about the villains.

Think the viscerally creepy Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. The icily elegant Mrs. Coulter from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Elizabeth Wein’s SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden in Code Name Verity, who we only meet second-hand but is terrifying nonetheless.

Villains can make or break a book. When they’re boring or one-dimensional or clichéd, there’s no tension and the plot deflates with that sad wheezing noise balloons make when you stick with them with a hatpin. But when they’re done right, meaning that they are an actual character and not simply a clunky device to test the hero, they help keep the stakes of the story high and the reader turning pages late into the night.

In The Midnight Sea, King Artaxeros II is the obvious villain, but he’s also a bit abstract—you don’t meet him until more than halfway through, and then only briefly. So I needed another antagonist. One who you really get to know. One who has some admirable traits but, as the pressures of the plot slowly pile up, becomes something much darker. Without giving away too many spoilers, I’ll just say that I spent as much or more time thinking about him as about my main characters, Nazafareen and Darius. If you’re going to have a colossal betrayal, the reader had better care about everyone involved or it just won’t have much emotional impact.

So here are a few tips on writing unforgettable villains.

First off, all this is very subjective. What gives me cold sweats might make you laugh yourself silly. So you might start by think about which villains in film, TV, books, wherever, have resonated the most and why. Is it the prosthetic hook? The creepy Malkovich-esque voice? The mask of sanity they wear with their family when they’re not committing grisly deeds? Once you know what disturbs you in the deepest, most primal part of your monkey brain, channel that quality in your own bad guy.

Okay, this one I cannot emphasize enough: give the villain motivation that readers can relate to, even if it’s totally twisted. So they’re power-hungry. Why? Is it because they have a secret crush on someone they want to impress? Or maybe they’re compensating for a horrible childhood, or their dog needs an expensive operation, or their ideas of right and wrong are simply skewed beyond repair? I like to think that even the worst villain has something they care about. Balthazar, a necromancer who gets a starring turn in the second book of my series, is madly in love with his wicked queen. Yes, he does terrible things. But everything he does, he does for her.

Rachel Aaron has an awesome blog post on character development where she breaks it down into the deceptively simple formula below. The key is to understand that what a character wants and why they want it are two separate things and as a writer, you need to be very clear on both.

What do you want? (Goal)

Why do you want it? (Motivation)

What’s stopping you? (Conflict)

If you have trouble, you can also try flipping the story and imagining it from the villain’s point of view. You might be surprised at what you discover. Setting aside hockey-masked killers and comic book arch-bad guys, a good villain could potentially be the protagonist if he or she weren’t quite so extreme.

In my first book, the sci-fi thriller Some Fine Day, one of the most despicable characters is a military doctor who’s deliberately infected innocent people with a super-nasty Level Four virus. But as she calmly explains to the main character, the project is simply a response to their enemies engineering a similar plague. From her point of view, it’s a matter of self-defense.

Effective villains often embody an exaggerated version of the same things your hero is conflicted about. That’s very much the case in The Midnight Sea, where both Nazafareen and her antagonist face a similar choice but react in opposite ways. This is where we dig down deep and see what our characters are made of. Often, it is the villain’s inability to change and grow and face the truth (external or internal) that proves to be their undoing.

So now that you’ve got a fantastic, fully fleshed out villain that rivals Moriarty or Lecter, what’s the best way to get them across to the reader? Well, if the story is third person, you can give your villain their own POV. Jack Torrance in The Shining is one of my all-time favorites because we get to watch him slide slowly into madness over the course of several hundred pages. But the scariest part comes just before he’s lost it completely. We know he’s probably going to do some very bad things, but there’s still an unpredictable quality to him. In our hearts, we still vainly hope that his love for his wife and kid will somehow triumph over the evil ghosts running the Overlook Hotel, which makes it SO much worse when Jack finally, irretrievably snaps.

As King says, “This inhuman place makes human monsters.” And those are always the scariest kind.

Anyway, thanks for reading! For tons more on villains, I highly recommend Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction by Jessica Morrell.

Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

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Sleuthing Women – A Collection of Mysteries

Sleuthing Women

By Lois Winston, Jonnie Jacobs, Judy AlterMaggie ToussaintCamille MinichinoRP Dahlke, Susan Santangelo, Mary KennedyHeather Haven, and Vinnie Hansen

COVER-SLEUTHING-WOMANSleuthing Women is a collection of 10 full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by 10 critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in this set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries.

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…

MURDER AMONG NEIGHBORS, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.

SKELETON IN A DEAD SPACE, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

IN FOR A PENNY, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

THE HYDROGEN MURDER, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends’ funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn’t realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

RETIREMENT CAN BE MURDER—A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

DEAD AIR, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME’s On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A DEAD RED CADILLAC, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

MURDER IS A FAMILY BUSINESS, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

MURDER, HONEY, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.

About Lois Winston

lois-winston-med-res-fileUSA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Website:www.loiswinston.com
Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
Twitter:https://twitter.com/Anasleuth
Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/anasleuth
Newsletter signup:https://www.MyAuthorBiz.com/ENewsletter.php?acct=LW2467152513

Check out the Webpages of the other Authors:
Jonnie Jacons – http://www.jonniejacobs.com/
Judy Alter – http://judyalter.com/
Maggie Toussaint – http://maggietoussaint.com/
Camille Minichino – http://minichino.com/
RP Dahlke – http://rpdahlke.com/
Susan Santangelo – http://babyboomermysteries.com/
Mary Kennedy – http://marykennedy.net/
Heather Haven – http://www.heatherhaven.com/
Vinnie Hansen – http://vinniehansen.com/
Purchase Links: 

Kindle http://amzn.to/260z0T6
Nookhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sleuthing-women-lois-winston/1123663544?ean=2940153179940
Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/sleuthing-women-10-first-in-series-mysteries
iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sleuthing-women-10-first-in/id1103428642?mt=11
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Advice for those who want to write or new authors by D. F. Jones

Today’s guest post is by D. F. Jones, author of the Ditch Lane Diaries!
Anna’s Way (Ditch Lane Diaries Book 2)
By
D. F. Jones
Released May 3, 2016
About the Book:Anna's Way Cover
It’s a pinch of City of Angels with a smidgen of Constantine and a dash of Michael. The Ditch Lane Diaries begins in 1977 and follows three childhood friends (Anna, Ruby and Sandy) from college to adulthood. Love and joy, heartache and tears, held in the hands of destiny by divine supernatural forces and powers. A healer, a dreamer and a soul reader on life’s journey of discovery to true love and how to use their divine gifts.

A spelunking adventure changes Anna’s life forever. She receives the ability to heal through a divine power and meets her guardian angel, Ralph, who teaches her how to use her gift. Anna’s power grows stronger with every passing year as does her drive to become a doctor. When Anna receives an out of state scholarship for medical school, her love for Jerry has her torn. She has been in love with Jerry for most of her life. Does she pursue her dream, her divine calling at the risk of losing true love?

The Ditch Lane Diaries is a paranormal romance that includes angels and demons with metaphysical and visionary elements fighting an angelic war over Earth’s humans. The many twists and turns give the reader plenty to contemplate over life choices. The Ditch Lane Diaries is for readers Adults 18+ and trending Women 35+ with a medium heat level.

To read a free preview or for buy links go to http://dfjonesauthor.com/

Advice for those who want to write or new authors

 It is important to cultivate friendships with other authors. They have been where you are now. Write daily and never give up. See your story through until the end. Anytime I get an idea I write it down. Whether it’s a napkin or my IPhone. I have thousands of pages of notes. I came by this quote, the writer is unknown, but it has stuck with me “Get it written, then get it right!”

If you are going to self-publish find a good editor, proofreader and formatter. Hire a professional to design your cover. 

Editor: A good editor will make or break your book. You don’t have to stay with an editor or a publisher if you are uncomfortable with their feedback or lack of feedback. Read the fine print of any contract. If your gut is telling you something isn’t right, trust it and move on. Writer’s Beware is a site which offers insights on individuals and companies that do not have good reputations. Review this site!

You need to find an editor that works in your genre. It’s important to relate well with your editor. If it doesn’t work or your stressing about it, look for someone else.

Beta Readers: During your second pass find Beta Readers They’re a godsend. Listen to their comments. If you have two or three beta’s saying the same thing, then it is a good rule of thumb to revisit your manuscript for a tweak.

Proofreader and formatter: You may want to find a good proofreader after your manuscript has finished its last pass. By the time you make it through your third pass, your brain has a tendency to auto correct mistakes. My brain auto corrects in any pass….And then lastly, find a good formatter. You want your manuscript to be polished. An editor, proofreader and formatter will help you accomplish your goals.

Bookcover and marketing. Hire a professional. If you are not a designer, then don’t design your book. If you want to be taken serious, then have a seriously professional book cover, website and even social media ads.

Once you’re book is published, don’t rest on your laurels. Start writing again even if you only write scenes. Remember, not everyone will like what you write, at the end of the day, it is your book. As long as you love it and you’re happy, then someone out there will love it too.

Meet the Author:

D. F. Jones

After years of developing creative advertising for my clients through my media company, I had the compelling desire to write something for myself. If you love to read and get immersed into the characters of a book, then you will catch a small drift of how incredible it is to write your characters and breathe them into life. I fell in love with writing and trust you will enjoy my books.
A little about me: After graduating MTSU, I landed a job as a broadcast consultant at the ABC Affiliate in Nashville, which led to me opening my ad agency. I’m happily married to the love of my life and my best friend, KJ. We have two gorgeous sons whom I love and adore more than life itself. I love to laugh, and my husband keeps me in stitches!


Connect with D. F. Jones:
Twitter: @Author_DFJones

Other Books by D.F. Jones
Ruby’s Choice, Ditch Lane Diaries, vol. 1

Anna’s Way, Ditch Lane Diaries, vol. 2

Sandy’s Story, Ditch Lane Diaries, vol. 3 coming soon

Antique Mirror, a short story
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BEHIND THE MARQUESS’S MASK by Kristen McLean

BEHIND THE MARQUESS’S MASK
The Lords of Whitehall #1
Kristen McLean
Released April 30th, 2016
Young Ink Press

 

Even the mask of an expert spy is no defense against his own heart.
With a reputation as dark as his appearance, Greydon Sharpe, the Marquess of Ainsley, ought to have been the last agent assigned to the daughter of a well-respected Member of Parliament. However, when she is brutally attacked and left for dead, it becomes clear he is the only one with the skills to keep her alive. All it will take are a few lies to keep her breathing long enough to capture the villain. Then he can send her on her way. If she would only behave herself, he might be able to complete his mission before she turns his contentedly miserable life into a chaotic mess.
Marriage is not an option … until it is.
Lady Kathryn Bryant, the adventure-seeking socialite, has no plans to behave. Kathryn would much rather spend her time in subterfuge, nabbing villains and finding clues. However, when her memory is lost in an attack, she has little choice but to trust the handsome Marquess. Though she is almost certain he is hiding something, she is helpless against his disarming smile and warm touch. Eventually, his lies will come to the surface, leaving only one question: Is England’s deadliest spy equipped to save a broken heart?
 BUY NOW

 

Kristen has always had a love of novels, with a special place in her heart for historical romance. After reading enough of them to fill a rather impressive library, she decided to write her own. Now she has the pleasure of writing at home, tucked away in a forest with her husband, two children and her cat. Her husband is loving, and impressively patient, her two beautiful children strive to embarrass and exhaust her, and her cat hates everyone, but tolerates—well, she tolerates whoever will feed her.

 

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Dangerous Kisses by Alice Lake

Miss Lavinia Halls is a member of the Guild of Hybrids, a secret society dedicated to helping women in need. When faced with a terrified new client, Lavinia declares that her client’s fiancé must pay for his sins. The fact that she can’t take her eyes off the man’s kissable lips only spurs her resolve to bring her assignment to a quick conclusion.Eric Yorke, Viscount Mathieson, wishes nothing more than to distance himself from his treacherous fiancée, but in his quest to do so, he finds himself trapped in the clutches of the unconventional Miss Halls. The delectable yet annoyingly persistent woman seems intent on ruining his life no matter how much he tries to thwart her attempts.

Her efforts to seek and destroy meet their match in his determination to foil her plans, until their struggles collide in a scandal of enormous proportions. Fated together, they must overcome ruin, danger and heartbreak. Will they be able to survive their past or is their future together doomed?

Excerpt

Lavinia’s eyes darted to the back of the room, the door the only goal on her mind. When she turned forward again, she flinched as if burned. Lord Mathieson was standing before her, obstructing her view.

He sat next to her without asking for permission. Their thighs touched and she flushed as his warmth penetrated her skirts. She inched away as much as possible, but the narrow bench did not make allowances. Determined to ignore him, she stared straight ahead, her fingers clasping her reticule tightly.

“Good evening, Miss Halls,” he whispered.

Lavinia inclined her head but continued staring at Miss Pool up ahead. If she would turn to look him in the eyes, she’d see his full lips dangerously close to her own.

“It would have been remiss of me not to greet you properly.”

She licked her lips, not knowing what to say. She sensed his eyes dart to the movement of her tongue, reminding her how she had done precisely the same thing during the card game to garner his attention. It had worked then, much as it was unfortunately working now.

“A few days have gone by without our running into each other,” he said, “and I found myself quite missing your dismissive chatter.”

She turned sharply with narrowed eyes.

“And here I find myself in the most unusual predicament,” he said with a grin, “as I am sitting next to you, and for once, you are at a loss for words. I never thought the day would come.”

She racked her brain for something to say, anything intelligent. Anything at all! Dear God, I am turning into a ridiculous fool.

“Did I catch you by surprise?” he whispered, leaning toward her. She, in turn, leaned away. She felt her face flush to the very roots of her hair.

“I find I quite like you this way,” his voice vibrated in a low, husky tone. “Silent and submissive.”

Anger flooded through her. “How dare you,” she said, not as quiet as she had intended. Someone up ahead turned to look at her and she cleared her throat and straightened in her seat. That unfortunately brought her closer to him.

“Have I offended you?” he whispered in her ear.

Her eyes widened in alarm as his breath grazed her skin. Heavens, he was indecently close. She instinctively moved away again and winced at her own cowardice.

“I’m glad to see that I have,” he continued. “I did not think blood ran through your veins, but it is good to know you are human after all.”

She turned to stare at him. She wanted to push him away, to shout, to do anything to get away from him, but was unable to do any of those things for fear of attracting too much attention. So far, other than the one person who had looked back a moment ago, nobody had even noticed the two of them sitting in the back of the room.

“This seemed as good of an opportunity to talk to you as any,” he said. “And since you insist on ridiculing me every time another person is within earshot, this might be an even better opportunity yet.”

“There is nothing for us to discuss, sir,” she said in hushed tones.

“Oh, but there is, my dear Miss Halls.”

“I am not your dear anything, Lord Mathieson,” she snapped, “so please refrain from addressing me as such.”

He smiled and inclined his head. “As I was saying, there is something I wish to talk to you about.”

She looked at him expectantly. The brown of his eyes was so clear at such close distance, she felt as though she was an object of his study. A few stray wisps of his light-colored hair reflected the candle light at various angles and she had the sudden urge to move them back into place.

“Why have you made it your goal to destroy my life?” he asked, taking her off guard. That she had not seen coming.

“I don’t know what you mean,” she sputtered.

He let out a slow breath. “My dear lady, I suggest you cease the games and tell the truth. There is obviously a reason you have put it in your head to hate me.”

“Lord Mathieson, I suggest you discard your foolish notion and listen to Miss Pool’s recital. You are doing our hostess a grave injustice by ignoring her daughter.”

“Now there is the lady I have come to know,” he said. “Always quick to point out my shortcomings. Why is that?”

She looked at him frustrated. What was she supposed to say? That his fiancée had hired Lavinia to ruin his reputation? That was out of the question. But no other reason came to mind.

“As I have said before, I don’t know what you are talking about, sir.”

“If that is indeed the game you wish to play, I promise you, you will be sorry,” he whispered.

She stared at the woman singing another song and the people thankfully gathered around the young lady. Had any of them heard their conversation? Lavinia prayed that they had not.

“I wouldn’t be a gentleman if I were to talk about things quite unsuitable to a lady’s ears, but be assured,” he said and paused, “that you would not be rid of me.” His raspy voice echoed in her ears. “It is your decision to make. Will you cooperate and reveal why you have been making my life a living hell, or will you ensure that your life mirrors mine?”

Another person turned to frown at them. Lavinia cleared her throat once more.

“If you are threatening me, sir,” she said quietly, “I assure you that the living hell you have experienced thus far will seem like heaven on earth.” She smiled sweetly into his eyes.

His pupils darkened and his gaze traveled to her mouth. “Do I take it we are threatening each other?”

“It would appear so,” she said, louder than intended. A cluster of people turned and definitely shushed them this time.

“Both of our miseries could be avoided if you tell me what it is that I have done to offend you,” he clarified.

“As of right now, the list of offenses has no end.”

Author bio

Alice Lake’s interest in the unusual is reflected in the stories she puts down on paper. Along with her passion for romance and 19th century history, she is a champion for women’s rights. Who said women had no voice, no say and no choice during Victorian times? According to Alice, they had all that and more. They could teach and build, fight and heal, and do so many other things not traditionally deemed proper.Alice is an unusual case herself. She grew up in three countries and on two continents. Suffering from a lack of cultural identity, she borrows whatever traditions suit her. Nothing is rigid and fluidity encompasses her world. This philosophy of open-mindedness spills into her writing, making for unexpected romance stories.

Alice also writes contemporary romance under the name Mila Rossi.

When she’s not writing, she’s beating her husband at whatever they’re currently competing over, or chasing her girl around the house.

Social Media Links
Twitter – @AliceLakeAuthor
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