Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Paranormal/Humor Spotlight: The Getaway Girls #Giveaway

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/thegetawaygirlsbydeirdregage/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/9/15 – 3/9/15
Genres: Paranormal, Humor






Blurb:
Four girlfriends on a weekend trip to New Orleans attract the attention of flesh-eating Scavengers. The women must rely on their wits, a cocky Irish movie star, and a dodgy deal with vampires to survive the night during this wild adventure through the Big Easy.


Excerpt:
The clock struck midnight at the Columns Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. A mild, damp breeze stirred old Mardi Gras beads dangling from the heavy branches of the live oak trees shadowing the porch. Aging white columns framed a massive wooden keyhole door and laughter spilled out from an open window where patrons sipped Pimm’s cups in the dusty velvet-upholstered booths of what used to be a grand dining room. A streetcar rattled quickly past on St. Charles Avenue, leaving a flash of old trolley and the faint buzz of electricity lingering in the air.
Half a dozen tables sat vacant on the porch, chairs long since pushed back and the tops stripped bare of crumpled white table cloths. One lone table remained occupied by four women, laughing a little too loudly as they sat back in tipsy satisfaction; a cluster of empty glasses and a dirty crystal ashtray evidence of their evening’s entertainment.
Somewhere in the Garden District, a church bell tolled the late hour, causing the women to jump a little at the sound. A dark-haired woman in purple nodded toward the direction of the echoing bell and quipped, “Sounds like God wants a cocktail.”
The woman on her left, a short curvy blonde in a tight black dress snorted; spewing the remains of a dirty martini all over her friend.
“Damn,” said the brunette as she patted a tiny cocktail napkin uselessly around the table cloth, and then looked down the deep v-neck of purple jersey covering her breasts, now damp. “My dress is getting drunk.”
A third woman, slender and graceful with silky straight black hair drawled, “Audrey, stop bringing up God when you’re intoxicated. It’s tacky.” She eyed the blonde, adding, “And Beth, honey, don’t order martinis if you’re going to slop them all over the table. Sloppy girls don’t get asked to the prom, if you know what I mean.”
The fourth woman was tall and busty with skin the color of milky coffee. She wore a glossy candy apple red wig, a sparkly silver sheath, and fake python boots that gave an extra six inches to her already statuesque frame. She drained her glass before declaring, “Evie, we all passed prom more than twenty years ago, so drop the Junior League shit. Besides, sloppy women do get laid.”
Evie pursed her lips in disapproval. “Syd, do you always have to be so crude?”
“Fuck yeah,” the redhead snapped. “I’m on vacation.”
Evie winced.
“Oh, calm down,” Syd said with a wink. “You just need another drink.” She wiggled her fingers in the air and a young waitress seemed to magically appear from inside.
The waitress sighed as she surveyed the dirty table. “Ladies, you ready for another round?”
Syd beamed. “Honey, you read my mind.” She looked around at the otherwise empty porch, adding, “hope we haven’t chased away your customers.”
The waitress gave a tired smile and said, “No, you ladies are just fine.” She gathered up glasses and asked, “Y’all celebrating somethin’ tonight?”
Audrey looked up from the futile task of patting her dress dry. “Yeah. I just got a divorce and Syd here turned forty.” She pointed to the redhead and gave a low, vodka-loosened laugh. “Now we’re all over the fucking hill.”
Syd gave her an evil eye. “And that’s why we’ve had to buy our own drinks all weekend.”
“Sorry,” Audrey replied as she tossed the napkin on the table and resigned herself to wet cleavage.
“Hey girls,” the blonde yawned. “Weren’t we talking about something naughty before I made such a mess?”
“Ooh, thank you, Beth,” Syd replied with a nasty gleam in her eye. “The list!”
“Ah, the list,” Beth’s lips twisted in a wry smile as she pointed at Evie. “Your turn. Five celebrities you’d sleep with if you weren’t married.”
Evie groaned. “The list? Really, Syd. Aren’t we too old for this?”
Syd gave her a stern glance and answered, “Evie, we’re forty. The only thing we’re too old for is American Idol. The day I can’t get drunk and fantasize about hot guys I’m not married to, you can plan my funeral.”


Buy Link:
Amazon




About the Author:
Deirdre H. Gage is a Texas writer who has claimed half a dozen other places as home, including Kentucky and Chicago – but her heart belongs to the Big Easy. She has been published in the Darker Times Anthology Volume Three, Cosmopolitan Magazine and Appalachian Heritage literary journal. The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms is her first novel, and book one in The Getaway Girls series.


Connect With The Author:
Twitter 
Pinterest
Website
Facebook 


Giveaway:
Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon gift cards on The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem, and Moms Tour and Giveaway! Open WW 2/9/15 – 3/9/15.


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Monday, March 2, 2015

Paranormal Romance Spotlight: Delicate Devastation

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/paranormalromancedelicatedevastationbyrosewynters/

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/11/15 – 3/11/15
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Free with Kindle Unlimited










Blurb:
Book Three, The Endurers

Who knew the priest could be such a bad boy?

Peter Rynalt is every woman's sinful dream. The other Endurers might call him a priest, but there's nothing saintly about his seductive desires. He gets what he wants, but he sticks to one cardinal rule... he never goes back.

Kim Jones hasn't forgotten Peter since the night she made a play for him. He's the one man in New Orleans that she can't have. She doesn't think she'll see him again, but one night he rescues her from a demonic attack, and the heat between them can no longer be denied.

Demons are roaming the streets of New Orleans. To survive, Kim will have to remain with Peter, but it comes at a price. She'll have to pay for her protection with her heart...




About the Series:

Once upon a time, the world was just a black void. Then one day man came, but he wasn't alone. He was followed by an ancient evil, a scourge determined to steal his soul. Centuries passed. Humanity did all it could to protect itself against the evil ones, but they weren't equipped to fight this battle. Instead, all they could do was pray that Hell didn't set its eyes upon them.

It got to be too much. Something had to be done.

Born out of desperate need, warriors were chosen. Immortality was granted to those strong enough to fight the battle that would never end. No longer mortal, these men have stood in the path of dark and horrifying evil, bearing the load when there was nobody else that could.

It's all coming to an end. Time has ran out for humanity...


Excerpt:
“Why in the hell are you so damn thin? Are you sick, or have you been dieting?” He spat the last word out at her, as she pulled the towel free from her hair to comb through the silky strands.

He suspected it was the latter, and he couldn't understand why women were so obsessed with it. She was so damned beautiful, exuding a raw sexuality that was making the caveman in him roar to life. Desperately he fought the sensual weave she was unconsciously weaving, but it was a battle he was losing fast.

“You look like death, and you're way too slender. You're lucky to still be alive.”

She narrowed her eyes at him, as a look of irritation and something unidentifiable flickered across her face. Her arms crossed across her chest before she briefly looked away, her cheeks pink. When she turned back to him, she was completely in control.

“Get laid much, Peter? If that's your approach, I'm surprised you aren't a virgin. My weight isn't any of your business, so butt out. Besides, men love my body.”




Buy Link:

About the Author:
I've often been asked how I'm inspired to write about werewolves, immortals, and zombies. The answer is easy. I adore them.

Be it the Wolf Town Guardians or the Endurers, these characters have been a joy to write about. And why not? What woman wouldn't love a sexy immortal male or a long-lived werewolf that is destined to have them?

Not all of my books contain plus-sized heroines, but many of them do. I believe in true love and true love isn't based on a size tag. If you agree with this, I think you will enjoy my books.


 
Connect With The Author:

Giveaway:
Win an e-book copy of Delicate Devastation & a $10 Amazon GC (two winners will receive both) on the tour and giveaway! Open worldwide, enter 2/11/15 through 3/11/15 for your chance to win.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Jagannath VBT - 5 Tips on Reaching & Engaging Your Target Audience & Increasing Book Sales

Today Horror/Science Fiction Author Kerry Alan Denney has dropped by The Best Indie Books to Read with a guest post in regards to marketing your book and his newest release Jagannath. 

5 Tips on Reaching & Engaging Your Target Audience & Increasing Book Sales

This one is not only my gift to all you published authors and soon-to-be published writers out there, but also to you wonderful readers who wish to chime in and share your thoughts and ideas with writers so we can learn how to make your reading experiences lots more fun.

  1. You’re a published author. You have a brand new shiny website you want to share with the world, and a novel or three you want readers to love. So you post a sample excerpt of your work on your website, an irresistible teaser to compel readers to read more, and buy your book. However... instead of doing that, post a link to the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon, or the “Preview” feature on Goodreads, which will take readers directly to the Sneak Preview on your product sales pages. Readers take a look, start reading your work, and when they get to the end of your sample, they can’t stop! They want more. Voila, looky there: the “Buy now” button is right there behind the sample! Who can resist, once they’re hooked? This is a great tool and method to drive up sales and increase your fan base, as well as generate interest in your future published works. The “Look Inside” feature on Amazon creates a separate link for your Sneak Preview, which is superimposed over your book’s product sales page. Tweet the link with hashtags associated with your genre(s), and post it on your Facebook author/ fan pages and author-and-reader groups. Ask your readers, fans, and friends to share it with others, and watch your sales go up, your visibility as a published author increase, and your target audience/ fan base skyrocket.

  1. Attend and participate as an author/ vendor in Book and Literary Festivals every chance you get. They’re easy to find: Just Google them or use your favorite search engine with the keywords “Book Festivals” and “Literary Festivals.” If you don’t have a big name publisher who arranges your book signing tours, contact local booksellers and set up signings. Get to know them and get them to know you, and increase your visibility. Check with your local libraries to see if you can participate in various local author events. Join a local Writers’ Club and learn all you can about how to market your work. Meet fellow local successful writers and learn how they make their work visible and increase their sales. Make sure to publicize your scheduled appearances via your social media sites everywhere you can and every chance you get! I participated as a vendor/ author in the famous 2014 Decatur Book Festival, and at times could barely keep up with readers interested in purchasing a signed copy of my paranormal thriller Soulsnatcher. I’m scheduled to participate as a vendor/ author in the Dahlonega Literary Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia on March 28-29, 2015, where I’ll be selling and signing copies of my new sci-fi/ horror thriller Jagannath as well as Soulsnatcher, and mingling with fellow authors and readers. Make your public appearances a success for you as well as for readers and fans both new and established!

  1. Write a Book Announcement Press Release for your book, and contact a professional press release distributor to distribute it to prominent journalists, reviewers, radio and podcast shows, and bloggers who will act on it and share the news with the world. Don’t know how to write a Press Release? Sites abound on the Internet with instructions on how to create your own professional press release; just Google it and get started writing yours! Press Release Distribution Companies abound on the web. Find one that best suits your work and budget, contact them, and set up a plan to distribute your Press Release. Be prepared to act promptly on the responses you get! These are professional contacts that you can utilize in all your marketing campaigns. Develop amicable but professional working relationships with these contacts, and watch your visibility and recognition soar.

  1. If you’re a writer, whether published or seeking to be published, you MUST have an author website! Don’t wait to get started creating one until you’re published: Do it now! If you don’t know how to create and maintain your own site, seek professional help. Website designers abound on the Internet. Contact fellow authors, study their sites, and ask them for help and advice in designing yours. Most authors are happy to share a tip or two, or at least share links where you can learn more about how to create and maintain your own site. Feel free to check out my author website Kerry Alan Denney is The Reality Bender at www.kerrydenney.com, and see how I set up my various pages, along with my blog, and how I make navigating from page to page not only easy, but also fun. I got my website free through weebly.com, and only pay about $26 every two years to keep the domain name, but there are an infinite number of website providers available, many of them for free. Remember to develop and maintain friendly relationships with your fellow authors, and you will be inundated with ideas and suggestions on how to make your website work for you.

  1. I can’t stress this last tip enough: Develop and maintain friendly relationships with prominent bloggers and reviewers in your genre(s). These are the book-loving people who will help get your work seen, read, and spread all over the world. There may very well be no greater publicity for your work than to have positive reviews posted on blogger and reviewer sites in your genre(s). Be sure to thank them for every post they share on your work! And whenever they do post reviews of your work, be sure to share their direct links on all your social media sites, including your website (see mine for examples under the “Reviews” tab here). Note how I always provide links to the blogger’s site! By doing this, you will not only direct Internet traffic to the bloggers’ and reviewers’ sites, you will also ingratiate yourself with them for increasing their SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which increases visitors to their sites and often brings them new subscribers to their email newsletters and creates new fans of their hard work. They love having their featured authors and subscribing readers share their links with others, and it’s a mutually beneficial endeavor!

I hope these tips are helpful in giving you a jump start on your own professional marketing campaign. Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions in the Comments section! I’m always happy to hear from readers, fans, colleagues, authors, reviewers, and bloggers, and best wishes to you all for unlimited success in your promotional efforts and writing and publication adventures.


http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/jagannathbykerryalandenney/

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/9/15 – 3/9/15
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Suspense, Thriller, Action/Adventure, TEOTWAWKI








Blurb:
The monster from your nightmares is here. It’s destroying civilization. Soon the human race will be extinct.
The year is 2037, and Corporal Kimi Jayden has one chance to rescue the lone refugee girl who is miraculously immune to Reaper absorption. Twelve-year-old Lily walks the deserted streets of Savannah alone, ever since the Reaper absorbed her family—and tried and failed to absorb her—a year ago. An amorphous creature that has nearly wiped out civilization, growing as it feeds, the Reaper assimilates its prey’s intelligence when it consumes flesh and blood. Growing smarter with each human it absorbs, the Reaper transforms into monsters created from our darkest nightmares—and it loves tormenting its victims.
Kimi and her fellow survivors in the North Georgia Renegade Enclave believe Lily’s DNA holds the key to mankind’s survival. But the Reaper covets and abducts Lily, and Kimi must battle a ghastly horde of Reaper incarnations to preserve humanity’s last hope against extinction.
JAGANNATH reveals the resilience and determination of the human spirit in an action-filled tale of terror, selfless courage, and ultimate triumph and redemption.


Reviews:
What an exciting story and non-stop action! Set twenty years in the future, JAGANNATH is about a monster from the depths of the ocean, awakened by its hunger and its need to feed… and it feeds on humans. After devouring more than half of the world’s population, it has grown to epic proportions and is seemingly unstoppable. There is one remaining chance: a little girl named Lily. Hop aboard for a thrilling adventure!” – Deborah D. Moore, bestselling author of The Journal: Cracked Earth and The Journal: Ash Fall

Jagannath is a hair-raising, fantastic, adventurous ride. Brilliant, amazing, and impossible to put down. A must-read for all sci-fi/ horror fans. Highly recommended!” – Lynda Fitzgerald, critically acclaimed author of If Truth Be Told, Of Words & Music, and the LIVE mystery series.


Excerpt:
A tentacle as thick as a railroad tie burst out of the gap in the crumbling wall. The sinuous limb shot toward the Renegade soldier like a giant compressed spring releasing. Before the soldier could aim his flamethrower at it, the tentacle coiled around him and squeezed.
He shouted for backup, and two soldiers raced toward him. They aimed their wrist-mounted nozzles at the transforming tentacle. Tight streams of blue gel spurted toward the creature’s extended limb, but the soldiers fired too late. The tentacle seeped under the soldier’s visor and touched bare skin, and the Reaper began to absorb him.
Kimi scowled, studying the holographic video of the battle against the Reaper in the dead city of Savannah, Georgia. Safe within the War Room of the North Georgia Renegade Enclave, she had a bird’s-eye view of the chaos and destruction from two days ago. The scene stoked an ever-smoldering fire inside her.
The Reaper had killed her whole family fifteen years ago, one day before her thirteenth birthday. She had hidden, helpless to stop the creature as it consumed them. The loss left a gaping wound inside her that only vengeance could heal.
Her shoulders tensed as she remembered watching her hometown of Jasper, Georgia burn. The raging flames had surrounded her as everyone she knew and loved was absorbed. The Renegade soldiers who came to rescue the survivors were too late to save anyone but her.
Kimi was an orphan in the truest and bloodiest sense of the word.
Joining the Renegades was inevitable. She signed up two years after her rescue at the lawfully acceptable age of fifteen. Ever since that day, she wore the red, blue, and orange insignia of blood, life, and flame with honor and pride.
Though the holo-vid was painful to watch, Kimi’s duty was to observe and learn. She kept her eyes on the soldier, knowing he would respond with the only avenue of escape he had left.
“Fall back!” the soldier called to his buddies. “I’m hitting the fail-safe!”
His voice was loud and close through the War Room’s speakers. He was doomed, but he didn’t cry out as the Reaper soaked up the skin on his neck and jaw. The creature’s pseudo-flesh shifted shape, forming a cocoon around him. But the soldier popped off the cap covering the recessed red button on his hand-grip control before he was immobilized.
Not for the first time—or the last—Kimi wondered why they didn’t call the fail-safe button by its true name: a suicide switch.
The two standing soldiers trained their flamethrower nozzles on the creature as they backed away. Tight streams of fire shot out and ignited the Reaper’s viscous muck, too late to save the dying soldier. But the flames started frying the isolated portion of the creature into yellow smoke and charcoal gray ash.
The doomed soldier pressed the red button, and the potent explosives in his helmet and body armor did their job. The force of the blast made creature-gook spray outward in all directions—along with various body parts.
Kimi gritted her teeth. Had the soldier pressed the suicide switch in time, or did the creature absorb his brain before he died?
When the Reaper rose up out of the oceans’ depths and came ashore sixteen years ago, it seemed like nothing more than an amorphous sludge with the limited intelligence of the aquatic mammals it ingested, a creature of transforming slime that imitated living organisms. It separated into portions like a deploying army, and quickly developed a ravenous appetite for human flesh and blood. But when it began metamorphosing into human form and mimicking people, the evidence was conclusive: the creature was growing smarter, accumulating knowledge with each person it consumed.
The Reaper was not only feeding on their flesh and blood; it was absorbing their minds, and assimilating their intelligence.
And it grew as it fed.
Kimi’s scowl deepened as she watched the holo-vid. She still heard her mother, father, and little sister’s screams, heard them even in her dreams. Being assigned to fly in the follow-up search-and-rescue mission with the eleven other Renegades gathered in the War Room had her stoked.


Buy Links:
Amazon
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google Play




About the Author:
Colleagues and readers alike have dubbed Kerry Alan Denney The Reality Bender. The multiple award-winning author of the paranormal thriller Soulsnatcher (Lazy Day Publishing, April 29, 2014 – ISBN 978-1499251777) and the post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller Jagannath (coming from Permuted Press February 3, 2015 – e-book ISBN 978-1618684134, trade paperback ISBN 978-1618684127), as well as numerous short stories and eight novels, Kerry blends elements of the supernatural, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror in his novels and short stories: speculative fiction at its wildest and craziest. With joy, malicious glee, and a touch of madness, he writes reality-bending thrillers—even when the voices don’t compel him to. His protagonists are his children, and he loves them as dearly as he despises his antagonists… even when he has to kill them.
Kerry lives near Stone Mountain, Georgia with his Golden retriever Holly Jolly, a professional Therapy Dog, and is currently writing his next supernatural novel and trying his best to remain rooted in this dimension—and trying to decide which characters he’s going to kill.
For more information, please visit www.kerrydenney.com



Connect With The Author:
Kerry Alan Denney is The Reality Bender
Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender Facebook Author Page
“JAGANNATH: The Monster From Your Nightmares Is HERE!” Facebook Online Book Release Party Saturday February 7 – 1 to 4 p.m. EST
Kerry’s The Reality Bender Blog
Kerry’s Amazon Author Central Page
Kerry’s Goodreads Author Page
JAGANNATH – The Monster From Your Nightmares Is HERE – YouTube “JAGANNATH 2015 Book Blog Tour Extravaganza” promo video
Kerry on Twitter
Kerry on LinkedIn
FREE Sneak Preview of Kerry Alan Denney’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi/ horror thriller JAGANNATH
FREE Sneak Preview of Kerry Alan Denney’s paranormal thriller SOULSNATCHER


Giveaway:
Enter to win the following on the JAGANNATH by Kerry Alan Denney 2015 Blog Tour with Fire and Ice Book Tours: 5 E-Book Copies of Soulsnatcher, Five $10 Amazon Gift Cards, an Ebook Copy of Deborah D. Moore’s The Journal: Cracked Earth, or an Ebook copy of Deborah D. Moore’s The Journal: Ash Fall! Twelve Winners! Entry dates are 2/9/15 – 3/9/15. Open Worldwide.


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Monday, February 16, 2015

The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms by Deirdre H. Gage

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/thegetawaygirlsbydeirdregage/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/9/15 – 3/9/15
Genres: Paranormal, Humor


Guest Post From Deirdre H. Gage:
Self-publishing is a growing trend, yet one I never expected to join.  I wanted the validation of a publisher, and had early on decided that if my writing wasn’t good enough to capture an agent’s attention, then it wasn’t ready for publication.

After writing my first novel, I spent a year sending out manuscripts to publishers, then another year querying agents. Then I actually got one.  This, I thought, was it.  Not quite. The temporary triumph of “getting signed” was followed by years of rejection notices from publishers who liked my characters, but not my story. Then I worked with a freelance editor in an effort to amp up the plot, but the book turned into something that no longer worked for me or my agent.  Somewhere in there, I moved three times, got married and had two children. But at the end of the day, my original story was not in fighting shape. So I started writing another book, and sent that manuscript to my agent, who turned it down. 

Days after I received her rejection letter, I boarded an airplane bound for a girls’ weekend in New Orleans. The magic of my favorite city stuck with me, even when I got home, inspiring me to write The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms. I sent it to my agent, but heard no response. I debated on what to do. Starting over on the agent query train seemed exhausting. And I was in the middle of an exhausting year already, with more house moves on the horizon.  The idea of exposing myself to the “ridicule” I imagined would come with self-publishing sounded terrifying.

Which meant, of course, that I had to try it.

First, I started with a book cover. I figured if I spent money on the cover design, then I’d have no choice – I’d have to publish or the money would go to waste.  I’m lucky enough to know very talented people, two of whom agreed to design my cover for a ridiculously low price. Next, I researched various options for self-publishing before deciding to start with the Amazon Kindle Direct platform, which was fairly easy to understand and format.  Then I uploaded my book. This was not 100% easy or foolproof. I uploaded the wrong version with typos multiple times. I had my book sent back from review because I hadn’t sized the cover correctly.  But, ultimately, I got it up there.
 
Now, I’d like to say that I had a fabulous marketing plan, which I launched in strategic phases and everyone lived happily ever after.  But that would be lying. Despite having been in advertising/marketing for most of my professional life, I did not even think of how to market the book. So that part? Don’t do.  Marketing your book is like going to a party alone and then seeing how many people you can get to ask for your number. Hopefully, that sounds like an exciting challenge, and you’re ready to conquer the book world with your whiz-bang campaign. If that prospect makes you ill, you might want to look online at the various indie book promotion resources, or ask your buddy in marketing (unless she’s me, in which case you’re  screwed).

What I would do, is give the following three suggestions to anyone considering self-publishing:

1.    Amazon Kindle was the easiest to start with, but a lot of folks want mobi files, too, so you don’t want to rely on that alone. I used Smashwords, as well, which was a pain, but it’s important to get your book out in multiple formats.

2.    “Soft-launch” your book to a smaller group before you launch a full-scale marketing campaign, to give yourself a chance to correct issues/errors, because they’re pretty easy to make – but also, not a huge deal to fix. Give yourself time to make it perfect.

3.    That marketing campaign I mentioned in #2?  Get one. Seriously. (And then share it with me).

 








Blurb:
Four girlfriends on a weekend trip to New Orleans attract the attention of flesh-eating Scavengers. The women must rely on their wits, a cocky Irish movie star, and a dodgy deal with vampires to survive the night during this wild adventure through the Big Easy.


Excerpt:
The clock struck midnight at the Columns Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. A mild, damp breeze stirred old Mardi Gras beads dangling from the heavy branches of the live oak trees shadowing the porch. Aging white columns framed a massive wooden keyhole door and laughter spilled out from an open window where patrons sipped Pimm’s cups in the dusty velvet-upholstered booths of what used to be a grand dining room. A streetcar rattled quickly past on St. Charles Avenue, leaving a flash of old trolley and the faint buzz of electricity lingering in the air.
Half a dozen tables sat vacant on the porch, chairs long since pushed back and the tops stripped bare of crumpled white table cloths. One lone table remained occupied by four women, laughing a little too loudly as they sat back in tipsy satisfaction; a cluster of empty glasses and a dirty crystal ashtray evidence of their evening’s entertainment.
Somewhere in the Garden District, a church bell tolled the late hour, causing the women to jump a little at the sound. A dark-haired woman in purple nodded toward the direction of the echoing bell and quipped, “Sounds like God wants a cocktail.”
The woman on her left, a short curvy blonde in a tight black dress snorted; spewing the remains of a dirty martini all over her friend.
“Damn,” said the brunette as she patted a tiny cocktail napkin uselessly around the table cloth, and then looked down the deep v-neck of purple jersey covering her breasts, now damp. “My dress is getting drunk.”
A third woman, slender and graceful with silky straight black hair drawled, “Audrey, stop bringing up God when you’re intoxicated. It’s tacky.” She eyed the blonde, adding, “And Beth, honey, don’t order martinis if you’re going to slop them all over the table. Sloppy girls don’t get asked to the prom, if you know what I mean.”
The fourth woman was tall and busty with skin the color of milky coffee. She wore a glossy candy apple red wig, a sparkly silver sheath, and fake python boots that gave an extra six inches to her already statuesque frame. She drained her glass before declaring, “Evie, we all passed prom more than twenty years ago, so drop the Junior League shit. Besides, sloppy women do get laid.”
Evie pursed her lips in disapproval. “Syd, do you always have to be so crude?”
“Fuck yeah,” the redhead snapped. “I’m on vacation.”
Evie winced.
“Oh, calm down,” Syd said with a wink. “You just need another drink.” She wiggled her fingers in the air and a young waitress seemed to magically appear from inside.
The waitress sighed as she surveyed the dirty table. “Ladies, you ready for another round?”
Syd beamed. “Honey, you read my mind.” She looked around at the otherwise empty porch, adding, “hope we haven’t chased away your customers.”
The waitress gave a tired smile and said, “No, you ladies are just fine.” She gathered up glasses and asked, “Y’all celebrating somethin’ tonight?”
Audrey looked up from the futile task of patting her dress dry. “Yeah. I just got a divorce and Syd here turned forty.” She pointed to the redhead and gave a low, vodka-loosened laugh. “Now we’re all over the fucking hill.”
Syd gave her an evil eye. “And that’s why we’ve had to buy our own drinks all weekend.”
“Sorry,” Audrey replied as she tossed the napkin on the table and resigned herself to wet cleavage.
“Hey girls,” the blonde yawned. “Weren’t we talking about something naughty before I made such a mess?”
“Ooh, thank you, Beth,” Syd replied with a nasty gleam in her eye. “The list!”
“Ah, the list,” Beth’s lips twisted in a wry smile as she pointed at Evie. “Your turn. Five celebrities you’d sleep with if you weren’t married.”
Evie groaned. “The list? Really, Syd. Aren’t we too old for this?”
Syd gave her a stern glance and answered, “Evie, we’re forty. The only thing we’re too old for is American Idol. The day I can’t get drunk and fantasize about hot guys I’m not married to, you can plan my funeral.”


Buy Link:
Amazon




About the Author:
Deirdre H. Gage is a Texas writer who has claimed half a dozen other places as home, including Kentucky and Chicago – but her heart belongs to the Big Easy. She has been published in the Darker Times Anthology Volume Three, Cosmopolitan Magazine and Appalachian Heritage literary journal. The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms is her first novel, and book one in The Getaway Girls series.


Connect With The Author:
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Giveaway:
Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon gift cards on The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem, and Moms Tour and Giveaway! Open WW 2/9/15 – 3/9/15.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coming of Age Spotlight: Rise: A Novel - Rejection is a lie... by D.U. Okonkwo Blog Tour/Giveaway

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/coming-of-age-book-tour-giveaway-rise-a-novel-rejection-is-a-lie-by-d-u-okonkwo-12615-22315/

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/26/15 – 2/23/15
Genres: Mainstream, Literary, Spirituality, Coming of Age







Blurb: Riana “Ria” Ofor is a gifted sculptress whose beautiful creations could draw crowds. But due to the childhood accident that left her facially scarred, she avoids selling her work publicly, instead scraping a living through online sales. However, when a home repossession notice arrives, both her love of sculpting, as well as her home, suddenly come under threat.

Now she is forced to step out of her comfort zone and enter the very public world of gallery showings. When she does land a gallery contract, she then finds herself the target of a rival artist after the very same contract. Using malicious lies about Ria, he intends to make her regret taking what should have been his. Now, Ria must look to find a truth that conquers all lies.

Excerpt:
Chapter one.
Ria appreciated the beauty of the headless female sculpture standing before her. A sculpture without its head has its own particular beauty. Strong sculpted legs, intricately crafted torso and powerful shoulders – the beauty of creation.
She squatted in front of the sculpture and ran a slender hand over its flanks. The modeling clay she had chosen had done its job; its durability ensuring the legs of the sculpture came out strong and smooth, the hips gently curved. Seven weeks into the making, this piece would be larger than any piece she had previously sculpted, and certainly more challenging.
Here in her art studio, which spanned the basement of her small house in London’s Island Gardens, clay statues of ancient kings and queens graced the long wooden shelves resting against ivory walls. A small sink sat at the far right end against the wall beside a large white storage cupboard, snug beside a two-seater. A small stereo, which she only turned on when sketching, rested on the table beside it.
Time to begin the head, she decided, as she rose gracefully to her feet. Creating the head was her favorite part. If the legs, shoulders, and torso possessed their own particular beauty, then how she created a sculpture’s head showcased its personality – laughing eyes, a slanted mouth, and a molded chin. These will bring out the figure’s humorous manner.
Ria got to her feet. A slim young woman with close-cropped, tightly-curled black hair; she had a dewy, dark chocolate complexion. And with a delicate oval face, even the faded pink burn scars that ran from the apples of her cheekbones down to her collarbone, her classic beauty couldn’t be marred. 
She reached for her apron and tied it around her long-sleeved white t-shirt and soft faded blue jeans. Sculpting was arduous and messy work, but one of the perks of being a full-time sculptress was that she went to work in her most comfortable clothes.
She moved to where the armature waited atop the worktable. Shaped like an egg, an armature’s rigid metal framework ensured effective structuring of a sculpture’s head.
Collecting an armful of old newspapers from the storage cupboard in the corner, she rolled the papers into balls then began to fill the armature with them. Once thoroughly packed, she secured the head in place with a small plastic bag. Now for the clay. She took a moment to relish the solid, yet light weight of it in her hand. Then, detail by detail, piece by piece, she began adding more and more clay to the stuffed plastic bag, melding and smoothing it against the bag’s slippery surface. She hummed as she worked, following the measurements she had set out when the idea had first came into her head. Her deft and skilful fingers, armed with her trusted sculpting chisel, manipulated the clay.
The sharp slap of the letter box upstairs stopped her. She stretched her arms high over her head, working out the stiffness in her shoulders caused by bending over the armature. She crossed to the sink and washed her hands, then proceeded to leave the studio, heading up pink carpeted stairs to the ground floor.
She plucked the white envelope lying on the doormat. Early morning sunlight shone through the glass panel in the front door, and the click of women’s heels sounded on the pavement outside as they carried a neighbour to work. Once the morning rush was over as everyone had either left for work or school, she would go for her daily morning walk and then fuel up with a green juice.
She broke the seal of the envelope and pulled out the letter. 
Dear Ms. Ofor,
Account No: 17032007-55GM Property: 55 Garden Mews
 Please be informed that payment due on the above-referenced account has not been made. We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact you. Our records show that your account is in arrears by £11,509.
 Please make arrangements to clear the outstanding amount within 28 days, otherwise the case will be escalated to our solicitors, whereupon they may be forced to take legal action resulting in the repossession of the property.
 If you have since made arrangements to clear the aforementioned amount, please ignore this letter.
 Ria’s stomach dropped somewhere below ground level, and the noose of the repossession notice only tightened further around her neck, almost choking her.

Buy Links:
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Kobo
Nook 





 

About the Author:
D. U. Okonkwo was born and raised in London. An avid reader from childhood, she began writing her own stories at the age of ten. She holds a BSc Hons degree in Business with Spanish, and is currently working on her second novel.

Connect With The Author:
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Giveaway:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card on the Rise: A Novel – Rejection is a lie… by D.U. Okonkwo book tour! Open WW. Enter 1/26/15 – 2/23/15.


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Contemporary Romance Spotlight/Giveaway: Rescue My Heart by Jean C. Joachim

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/contemporary-romance-tour-giveaway-rescue-my-heart-by-jean-c-joachim/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/6/15 – 2/3/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance







Guest Post:

WRITING ABOUT NEW YORK CITY
By Jean C. Joachim
 

I’m blessed with one of the most interesting landscapes to write about. I love writing with New York City as my backdrop. RESCUE MY HEART and all the other books in the series take place in Manhattan, where I live.
Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in New York City. We have acres and acres of parkland. Tons of history, with monuments of all sorts peppered around various places, from Cleopatra’s Needle, a 6,000-year-old Egyptian artifact to a statue of famous sled dog, Balto.
We have restaurants serving every type of food imaginable. From Japanese to Turkish, from Southern to Korean, you can dine on the exotic or the mundane. We have the theater, sports teams, the most expensive stores in America right down the street from dollar stores. My point is that we are diverse.
In a place as varied as this City, inspiration abounds. From news stories to charming, tiny townhouses dating back three hundred years tucked out of sight on cobblestone streets, to enormous monuments to technology built of glass and steel.
I have a friend who sells high end real estate and through our friendship, I have been privileged to see some apartments that took my breath away. These luxurious, spacious abodes in a city of cramped living spaces inspire their own stories.
Researching for me often involves simply hopping on a bus, staring out the window and visiting a neighborhood I haven’t been to in a while. RESCUE MY HEART is the first book in The Manhattan Dinner Club series. If you like the big city, this series will take you to the best places and make your mouth water for a weekend adventure in the Big Apple.
 

This pug picture was graciously provided by the author.



Blurb:


*Pug rescue is  a recurring theme in The Manhattan Dinner Club series. The author’s experience as a volunteer convinced her of the importance of saving dogs. To promote this cause, she has included website addresses for about 80 pug rescues across the country in the back of each book.*
While walking her pug in Central Park, Rory Sampson is run down by a bike. She presses charges against arrogant biker, Dr. Hack Roberts, veterinarian. Horrified at the surprising sentence from the judge, Hack plans revenge, only to find himself attracted to the sharp-tongued, soft-hearted writer, who rescues pugs. Will he ignore a previous commitment and go with his true feelings or will he guard his heart?
The judge turned the tables on Rory, thrusting the unwanted, smug Dr. Roberts into her life. Wary after a breakup, she protects her wounded heart from the handsome doctor with a barrage sarcastic come-backs, designed to keep him at arm’s length. Does she remain aloof or will loneliness force her to give in to her desires?
Meet the members of the Manhattan Dinner Club, four women, all pug owners, who meet for dinner once a week. This is the first book in the series.
Excerpt:
“Baxter! Stop!” Rory screamed. Shoving Bruce aside, she raced full speed after the pug. In her mad dash, she didn’t see the bicycle traffic whipping around a curve and speeding down the hill. She pounced on the dog right before a bike crashed into her, sending her and Baxter flying.
Rory landed hard on her arm. Pain shot through her body, freezing her. A loud yelp told her Baxter was injured as well. She tried to catch her breath, her gaze searching for her pet. She spied him nearby, spread out flat on the pavement. He was still breathing. “Baxter,” she called.
A crowd began to gather. A pair of concerned, dark brown, male eyes stared into hers. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
“No, idiot brain. I’m fine. Does it look like I’m fine?” Attempting to push to her knees from the pavement, she grimaced and let out a moan. A long scrape on her leg was bleeding, her shoulder ached, and gravel was embedded in her thigh. Tears clouded her eyes.
Bruce raced over. “Rory, you okay?”
“Baxter looks like he’s hurt worse than I am.”
A patrolman appeared and asked Rory if she needed an ambulance.
“I already called,” Bruce piped up. The wail of a siren in the distance drew closer.
“This numbskull was doing sixty, I swear,” she said, pointing to the tall, brown-eyed man.
“That’s ridiculous. I wasn’t doing sixty.”
The policeman turned to him. “Sir, can you confirm your speed?”
“There’s no posted speed limit for bikes. I did kind of lose control around that curve.”
“Kinda?” Rory muttered. She lay back down on the ground.
“I.D., please.” The officer put out his hand. The man handed over his driver’s license.
“Dr. Hanson Roberts,” the cop said, writing in his pad. “A member of the real estate Roberts family?” He looked up at the doctor.
“Yeah. A ticket? What for?” Dr. Roberts shifted his weight.
“Reckless biking, speeding, causing bodily injury to this young woman.”
Rory gave a half-smile. “Serves you right. What about my dog?” She turned worried eyes to Baxter, who lay still, whimpering.
“I’ll take him,” the doctor said.
“Over my dead body…which you almost have…”
“I’m a vet…”
“I don’t care if you were in Afghanistan…”
“A veterinarian. Hack Roberts,” he said, extending his hand.
“A vet? Save him.” She ignored his offer to shake.
“Without x-rays, I can’t tell the extent of his injuries, but he’s awake and alert.”
“Dr. Roberts, you’ll have to take some responsibility for this young lady…what’s your name, miss?”
“Aurora Sampson.”
“Aurora? What an odd name,” muttered Hack.
“Oh? Like Hack is normal?” she replied, hostility oozing from every pore. Bruce tried to help her up, but she crumbled under the pain.
“Miss Sampson, I’m giving you his contact information. He’d better make good on these injuries. My card, in case he doesn’t. I’m considering criminal charges, Doc. You can’t speed like that in Central Park. You messed her up.” The patrolman gave Hack a dirty look.
“Officer, would you mind helping with the dog?” Hack asked, looking away.
“Where are you taking him?” Rory asked. When the ambulance drew near, the siren drowned out his words.
He whipped out a business card and handed it to her. “Here’s the address. Call later to find out how he’s doing.”
“She’s going to be in the hospital, you jerk,” Bruce said.
“We’ll keep him until you can get him. Hey, I’m sorry about this.”
“Yeah? Sorry and a Metrocard’ll get me on the subway.” She turned an angry stare toward him. Before she could continue her diatribe, the EMTs approached. She answered their questions, craning her neck around them to watch Hack and the policeman as they picked Baxter up carefully and put him on the patrol car’s backseat. Her eyes, blinking back tears, connected with Hack’s as the car drove away.
“Want me to go with you?” Bruce asked. He combed her hair back from her forehead.
Rory shook her head. I wanted you to love me. But you don’t. Don’t drag this out. One sharp pain, and it’s over.


Buy Links:
Amazon
iTunes
All Romance Ebooks
Barnes and Noble
Secret Cravings Publishing




About the Author:
Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America. The Renovated Heart was chosen Best Novel of 2012 by Love Romances Café, Lovers & Liars was a finalist for Best Novel of 2013 by Love Romances Café.
Her series, Hollywood Hearts was a finalist for Best Series of 2013 and Megan Davis and Chaz Duncan (from If I Loved You) finaled as Best Couple, 2013 by Love Romances Café. The Marriage List tied for third place from Gulf Coast RWA Chapter and, most recently, Lovers & Liars was selected as a 2013 Reader’s Crown Finalist in Contemporary Romance by RomCon.
Jean has over 27 works of fiction published. She prefers to write series. Find her books at all retail online sites, read about them on her website: www.jeanjoachimbooks.com.
Married and the mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her family. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued pug, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice. 

Connect With The Author:
Website
Amazon Author Page
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Giveaway:
Win a $25 Amazon GC on the Rescue My Heart Romance Tour & Giveaway! This giveaway will run 1/6/15 – 2/3/15. Open worldwide.


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Longing

Longing
Resist #2
by Lilly Avalon
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Genre: Erotica Romance

Synopsis

It's been two months since Allegra walked out of Devlin's hotel room. Well, two months and five days, but she's not counting. She needs to move on, but before she can, Devlin shows up again...as her new coworker.
Seeing him at work every day is enough to make her lose her mind. Allegra tries to stay away from Devlin, knowing the effect he has on her, but she can't. The more she's around him, the more she's tempted to have something more with him. After everything that's happened in the past, it's a slippery slope that may land her in a place she never wants to revisit. Something is happening to her heart, though. A longing is building up that isn't one-sided...and doesn't feel temporary.

He wants her. She wants a forever. Is it possible to have it all?

*Longing is a full-length erotica novel, and the sequel to Resist*

Purchase Links

Resist (Resist #1)
Longing (Resist #2)

Excerpt

I expect him to leave, but he continues standing in front of me. That panty-dropping cologne enters my nostrils again and I can't move. “Um, I need to...work...stuff.”
“I don't want to walk away just yet.”
What does he mean by that? My breath catches in my throat. “What are we doing?” I whisper.
He tilts his head. “Whatever you want.” His fingers graze across the edge of my jaw.
Focus, Allegra. “I...uh...” I heave a heavy sigh. “Look—we had a great night together. But that's all it was—it's what we agreed to.” A one-night stand is a one-night stand for a reason. This reason right in front of me.
“I promised you one night of passion. I didn't promise that it would be the last.”
“I never said I wanted more than that.”
He comes closer, our breaths now mingling. “Your reaction to me begs to differ.”
“Just because you can turn me on doesn't mean I want you.”
His lips quirk into a smile and he whispers into my ear, “I think that's the definition of want, princess.”
This is bad. He's twisting up my insides in several different ways. It's okay to let go once, but not twice. He's not the one. I can't give in to the temptation again without the threat of opening what I call the vault—my Pandora's Box of heartbreak. I can't think about the fact that I want to run my fingers through his soft brown hair, pulling him down closer to my face as he...
I push him away with one palm flat on his chest. He willingly steps back. “I have to get to work,” I tell him, straightening up.
“Very well. As you were.” He gives me one final glance, and then walks off.
Well, I know now that he's still interested. What I don't know is if I'm the reason he came here. It's only a matter of time before he reveals the truth to me. I just have to hope I can keep it in my pants in the meantime.

Meet the Author

Lilly Avalon is the author of the erotic romances Here All Along and Resist, and the upcoming novella More Than Words. 
She's somewhere in the midst of her twenties and lives mostly in the stories in her head. When she's not enveloped in the worlds she creates, she's out in the real world making stories happen. That or reading other romances. It's a toss-up.

Giveaway

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♥Thank you to all the Blogs Participating!!♥