December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays!

......Greetings! I wanted to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday. :)
......Want an easy holiday cookie to make for yourself and/or loved ones? Visit my alter ego's blog HERE for the holiday treat I'm sharing.

......All my best ~

December 17, 2013

A Look At Hawk MacKinney & 'The Lady of Corpsewood Manor' ( @GoddessFish #mystery #suspense )

Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, those who know me know I'm an eclectic writer and reader, and along with romance, I love a dark, gritty read whether it comes in the form of horror, mystery, suspense, etc. I'm sure I'm not the only reader/writer like this, and it's one of the reasons I have guests of varying subjects visit my corner of the web. Today I'm happy to welcome back, Hawk MacKinney.

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.
* Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.
* "Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East." ~ Barbara Casey, President of Barbara Casey Literary Agency

What book are you sharing with us today?
~ Blurb ~
* In the spacious den of Moccasin Hollow, his ancestral South Carolina home, part-time PI, exNavy SEAL Craige Ingram examines a platinum brooch designed like a dragonfly inside a jeweler’s box that he has discovered at the crime scene of Corpsewood Manor. It is a remarkable piece of art…its wings and body worked in exceptional detail. Focusing toward the expected bulbous round eyes, his suspicions jar full throttle. Instead of a head, the empty sockets of a skull leer at him. His gut feelin’s tell him his SEAL buddy Grayson MacGerald’s investigation is considerably more than arson and a double murder trying to hide the theft of classic automobiles. The smoldering rubble of secluded Corpsewood Manor leads Ingram and another of their SEAL Team, Colorado Aspen ski buddy Spinner Krespinak, into a seedy tangle of smuggling crisscrossed and an unexpected encounter with a dead assassin from one of Spinner’s “closed” cases.
~ Excerpt ~
* “You been told to stay away from Corpsewood.”
* Kenyon said, “Ain’t got no other place ‘cept them leaky sheds out behind the garage. They don’t leak much. Least before the fire I had a place to sleep. Got kicked out of my other place. They let me sleep here.”
* “I’ll just bet they let your sweet cheeks sleep-over. You’re just the kind of meat they liked to sucker in.”
* “Now I got no place, an’ nights are gettin’ colder.”
* “They the ones that hooked you on crystal?”
* “I told you. I don’t do drugs.”
* “Cut the crap…I heard all the stories. Nothing out’a your mouth ever made sense—only a bunch of your twisted whining.” Somewhere between a snarl and a chuckle, “I’m suppose to believe you never done meth,” raven-black stab of a look. “Sure…you’re clean all right except for pushing crank or whatever up your nose or stoking it in your arms,” glanced at the needle tracks on both arms. “Got a problem? Run out’a veins in your arms? Using the ones in your ankles? Clean yourself up. Wash your greasy stringy hair and get it cut. Stop acting like some fool animal that needs to be caged. Take a bath. Get a job. Quit blowing your money, you’d have a place of your own.”
* “I don’t snort crystal or Nazi dope,” Kenyon griped. “You’re like ever’body else, judging someone by the way we live.”
* “I don’t care what you’re on, but anyone fool enough to supply you is askin’ for trouble. We got enough trouble with the Corpsewood fire and that goddamn homicide Lieutenant MacGerald nosing around with his friggin’ PI SEALmate Ingram helpin’ him dig.”

Buy The Lady of Corpsewood Manor here...
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Find Hawk MacKinney here...

Thank you for joining us here today, Hawk MacKinney! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENT! One randomly drawn commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! Comments on this blog do not count toward the contest. So be sure to visit the official tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions-book-tour-lady) to comment for a chance of winning!

December 13, 2013

A look at Paranormal/Urban Fantasy stories with C M Michaels ( @UFAuthor @GoddessFish #erom #paranormal )

Hi all! Grab a cup of tea – or whatever it is you like to drink – and join in the discussion. Today we have C M Michaels visiting and giving us a look into his writing & his thoughts on the paranormal/urban fantasy genres.
About our guest, C M Michaels:
* C.M. Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.
* He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.
* When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.
* C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Now for his: 5 musts every paranormal / urban fantasy novel should have...
* I write in the paranormal, fantasy and urban fantasy genres, which comprises the lion’s share of what I read as well. When I think about my favorite books they have several things in common:
1.....A winning formula – Most of the extremely successful books are part of a series, and each book in the series generally follows an established formula. In some cases like Black Dagger Brotherhood (J.R Ward), Blood Shadows (Tessa Dawn) and the Dark Hunter series (Sherrilyn Kenyon), each story has a romance at its core, pairing one of the main supernatural characters with their love interest. You know going in the two will end up together—in spite of whatever Herculean obstacles are put in their way—but somehow that only enhances the enjoyment. For others, the formula involves established POV changes. In Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld series, for example, the protagonist shifts from book to book, giving you a different viewpoint of all of the central characters and putting more focus on whichever supernatural creature is being showcased in that novel (witches, vampires, werewolves, half-demons, etc.). Then there are those I like to call running storylines, where each installment in the series is almost entirely focused on advancing plot elements that span multiple books. Two of my favorite series are great examples of this type (both by Richelle Mead) – Vampire Academy and Bloodlines.
2.....Lovable, distinguishable and imperfect characters – There is a fine line to walk here. While I love the main characters to be flawed and to make mistakes they need to do so without coming across as idiots. The reader should be able to understand why they make the decisions they do, even if we know they are wrong and will lead them into trouble. The characters also need to have unique traits as far as how they talk, dress, think and carry out their daily routines. I should be able to tell who is speaking without relying on speaker connotations.
3.....An interesting and original supernatural angle – In order for a series to become a favorite of mine the author needs to offer a unique take on whatever sub-genre they are in. Whether that is accomplished by creating an entirely new species, providing wicked and unique powers, or dreaming up a never thought of before explanation for the origin / governing rules of your creepy crawlies, the story needs to differentiate itself and make me feel like I’m reading something original.
4.....An overall series plot arc – While following a formula for each individual novel is great, those that are more on the stand-alone installment side still need to advance plot elements that stretch across the entire series. I need to know that the time I invest in a multi-book series is leading somewhere.
5.....Engaging prose and a strong narrative voice – Whether told in first or third person, the narrative voice needs to offer me an intimate look into the mind of the main characters and make it easy to visualize what’s being described on the page without putting me to sleep with six hundred word descriptions of what a tree looks like. If I find myself skipping ahead or skim reading on a regular basis it will be the last book I buy in the series. As a society we don’t have the patience we used to for overly flowery prose. We all have a million things competing for our free time and far shorten attention spans. As for the syntax, when done right, the speaker attributes and action beats totally blend into the prose. If I’m noticing these connectors it’s likely because they are either repeated too frequently or are too generic – she smiled, he laughed, etc.

A look into his story
~ Blurb ~
* For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she'd do anything to escape.
* The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice.
* While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace, clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain.
* Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven "sister," and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is just the beginning of her journey.
~ Excerpt ~ (Emily meets Daniel)
* I quit watching him and let myself enjoy the feeling that dancing always gave me. A couple of songs had passed before we were close together again. I couldn’t believe he was the same guy. Daniel blended in perfectly with everyone else on the floor and looked like he’d been club dancing for years. When the song ended we made our way over to an empty table.
* “I can’t believe how much fun that was!” he shouted.
* “I’ve never seen someone pick it up so fast. You’re a natural!”
* “Yeah, right—more like you’re a hell of a teacher.”
* “Thanks, Daniel.” The affectionate, almost star struck look in his eyes reminded me of what Ruby had said. If I didn’t want to hurt him, I couldn’t afford to wait any longer. But like the true blue coward I was, rather than taking the plunge, I chose to study a particularly interesting piece of lint on the floor.
* “What’s wrong?”
* “I need to ask you something that is going to sound really bizarre.”
* “Okay…” Fear of where this might be headed had him gathering his legs underneath him like a coiled up house cat preparing to leap out of danger.
* After a long pause I met his gaze. “You can sleep with me tonight if you want to.”
* “Jesus, Brooke, we—”
* “Please let me finish,” I interrupted. “I’m a virgin, which I can’t exactly fake, so I’ve obviously never done anything like this before. If you say yes, I’ll expect you to make love to me, and all I can offer you is tonight—it’s your choice.”
* “Why only tonight?” The disappointment and sadness in his words was palpable.
* “I wish I could explain, but I’m afraid it’s extremely complicated. Part of saying yes is agreeing not to ask questions I can’t answer.”
* We sat in silence for a few uncomfortable seconds before he reached out and took my hand, gripping it like he could make my question disappear if he only squeezed hard enough. “I’m a virgin too. I get my ass ridden constantly for it but I’m not ashamed—I sure as hell didn’t come here expecting to go home with someone tonight. I get the feeling that you did, and I just happened to be the guy you picked."
* Daniel pressed his forehead against the palm of his free hand and closed his eyes. "Damn it! I really like you, Brooke, but I gotta know why you’re so desperate to lose your virginity tonight, and why you can’t have a relationship with the person you give it to. If you can’t or won’t answer those questions, then I’ll have to say no.”
* The stinging pain of rejection filled my chest as I pulled my hand away. How could it hurt this bad to be turned down by someone I just met? Did I really like him that much already? Trying to salvage what little pride I had left, I stood up and turned to leave, tears streaming down my cheeks.

Buy Dangerous Waters here...
Freya’s Bower (Paperback) | Freya’s Bower (eBook) | Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | All Romance eBooks | Kobo

Find C M Michaels at:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Book trailer

Thank you for joining us here today, C M Michaels! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENT! The author will award a $50 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter! [Comments on this blog do not count toward the contest. So be sure to visit the official tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions-virtual-book-tour-dangerous-waters) for a chance of winning!]

December 6, 2013

A Look At Lara Reznik & 'The Girl from Long Guyland' ( @GoddessFish #thriller #kindle )

Today we have author Lara Reznik visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Lara Reznik grew up on Long Island but escaped to New Mexico in 1970 in a Karmann Ghia that she and her boyfriend jump-started cross-country. As an English major at the University of New Mexico, Lara studied under esteemed authors Rudolfo Anaya and the late Tony Hillerman. She also attended a summer program at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop.
* Ambidextrous from birth, Lara preferred her right-brained creative side, but discovered she could make a better living with her left-brain skills, so entered the I.T. field in 1985.
* Lara published her first novel, The Girl From Long Guyland in November 2012. The novel ranked #1 during its recent Amazon Kindle promotion and has over 115,000 Kindle downloads. In addition to her novels, Lara has written and optioned three screenplays that have garnered semifinalist and finalist wins in the Austin Heart of Film, Southwest Writers, TV Writer, Chesterfield and Writer's Digest contests. Currently, Lara is working on a new novel based on her screenplay, The M&M Boys.

What story are you going to share with us today?
~ Blurb ~
* Laila Levin enjoys a successful marriage and a thriving career as an I.T. executive in Austin, Texas, but she can't quite shake her lifelong sense of not truly belonging anywhere.
* When her company announces a major layoff, Laila finds herself caught between an unscrupulous CEO and her promiscuous boss. Then news of her college roommate's suicide stirs up a dark secret involving three devious friends from her past. One has betrayed a vow, another wants to rekindle their romance, and the third is out for revenge.
* Suddenly for Laila, it's 1969 again. She's only seventeen, and she's left her sheltered home in Long Island for college in Connecticut. Amid protests of the Vietnam War, she's tempted by the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll that rule her generation. Laila gets swept up in a deceptive love triangle with two older locals and initiated into their unethical hippie family. Too late she realizes her search to belong has led to tragedy.
* Laila must now juggle the demands of her perplexed husband and her baby boomer past forcing her to make choices that endanger her survival and challenge her conscience.
* She learns that the lines between right and wrong are often blurred, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.
~ Excerpt ~
Austin, TX 2012
* We both rise and hug. The cigarettes and beer on his breath jet me back in time to Bridgeport. I want to scream at him but suppress my anger. I remind myself it’s important I stay calm and collected.
* “Ben was right. You look awesome,” he says.
* He’s definitely changed a lot. The cute blonde guy I remember has vanished. His face has the bloated look of an alcoholic with his veiny red nose and blanched skin. In comparison, Ben looks much better for the wear.
* He gestures to the waitress who drops off menus and a Budweiser for him. I order a glass of Chardonnay.
* “So, tell me about yourself, Laila,” he says.
* Should I commence with what a creep I think he was for deserting Katie and me thousands of miles away from home? Or how furious I am that he broke the pact and deflected Juanita Bonita’s investigation from him to me?
* No, best to let the past go and mine as much information as I can about his conversations with Juanita. If it means acting friendly, then so be it. I’m a lot older and wiser now and can play his game. While I don’t like it one bit, I’ll do what it takes to survive.
* I provide a brief synopsis about Ed, the boys, and my I.T. career, ending with the recent visit from our new board member. The part about Ivy is a test to see how he responds.

Buy The Girl from Long Guyland here...

Find Lara Reznik here...
Website | Facebook

Thank you for joining us here today, Lara Reznik! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENTS! Lara will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour! [Comments on this blog do not count towards the contest. Please visit the official tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions-virtual-super-book-blast-girl-from-long) to enter on the official blogs for a chance of winning!] Also, The Girl from Long Guyland will be on sale at Amazon for $0.99 on December 7!