The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme #giveaway

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The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme ~ Genre: YA Fantasy

A bold girl, a kingdom under attack, magic everywhere—I devoured it in one sitting! This book is one wild ride!” —Tamora Pierce on Stormrise

Nothing is quite as it seems in this thrilling YA fantasy adventure by Jillian Boehme, The Stolen Kingdom!

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

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Jillian is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

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Would you like a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme.

A Beast So Beautiful by Carlyle Labuschagne #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

A Beast So Beautiful by Carlyle LaBuschagne ~ Genre: Dark Fantasy

A darkness falls over the land when the Queen of Rurith dies.

Consumed with grief, King Ivar blames their son, Prince Leif, for her demise, and locks him away in the castle.

The Prince is left in total despair, until a girl, with hair the color of a red sunset and green eyes shows him mercy.

For six years she visits him in secret, giving him hope where none existed before.

But Ruith hides many treacherous things that threaten to bring the Kingdom to its knees.

Until the Prince and his beastly curse are released.

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Carlyle is a USA Today Bestselling, international bestselling and international award winning South African author – with a flair and passion for mixing genres, adding loads of drama to every story she creates. Carlyle has traveled the world with her books in hopes of connecting with all kinds of book loving people, to learn as much as she can from other book cultures with the hopes of bringing the knowledge back to her home country.

Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.
Carlyle uses writing as a healing tool, and that is why she has started her very own writers support event – SAIR Book Festival.

Founder of SAIR Book Festival
Co-Founder of Fire Quill Publishing.
Founder of Help build a library in South Africa.

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Would you like a chance to win a Queen Crown Pendant or Metal Feather Bookmark? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about A Beast So Beautiful by Carlyle Labuschagne.

The Avean Chronicles by G.R. Thomas #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

I grew up in Melbourne, Australia in the 1970’s when entertainment came in the form of sport or a good book. I chose both. An avid love affair with my pinto horse ensued as well as a healthy diet of any book I could get my hands on. English and history were always my favourite subjects so logically I studied to become a Critical Care Nurse! Books, particularly historical fantasy, have remained my number one go to for a healthy retreat from the craziness of the real world. After having a beautiful family and bringing a wonderful nursing career to a close, I finally took the time to write down one of the many stories that have been swirling around in my dreams for years. My dreamscape is rich with fantasy that both inspires and frightens me at the same time. I am pulling out those threads and spinning them into the type of stories I love to read. I’m finally letting out all my angels and demons.

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Awaken (The A’vean Chronicles Book 1) by G.R. Thomas
Genre: Urban Fantasy

SOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.
With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?

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Surrender (The A’vean Chronicles Book 2)

Sophia Woodville’s life is anything but ordinary. You can’t be ordinary when you’ve discovered you’re an Earth-born Angel. Alone and suddenly powerless in the stinking heat of the Daimon realm, Sophia has been betrayed by the one person she trusted most. She must find a way to escape and continue her quest to unravel the clues left for her eyes only, fighting the Zombie-like Rogues to preserve the prophecies of Enoch. Only then can the Fallen Angels return to their homeland and humanity be released from the grip of Yeqon and his evil horde.

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Allegiance (The A’vean Chronicles Book 3)

Paranormal urban fantasy that gets darker with every turn of the page.

“The safer you feel, the more danger you’re in…”
Sophia Woodville has survived Yeqon’s clutches to return to the safety of Kaymakli. Despite loss and the kidnapping of her best friend, she gains strength, knowledge and a healthy appetite for revenge in a world overrun by Daimon. Whilst focused on Enoch’s clues for the portal, she doesn’t notice that there is another danger rising, a new enemy with a different agender. At a time when she’s pulled between loyalty and obligation, between those she loves and the strange prisoner called Ben, Sophia has to find a way to bring everyone together, to know friend from foe, and to end the bloodshed, to save humanity from destruction.

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Redemption (The A’vean Chronicles Book 4)

A’maggedon is coming.

“Vengeance…a comforting echo…a warm hug that tantalised the darkest of thoughts.”
Despair has left Sophia prey to the same evil she is trying to overcome. It’s only those she’s brought together that help her face the evil sisters, Anjou’elle and Neph’reus who have elevated themselves as the new darkness… or are they? Unusual and brazen vampire attacks across the world are terrifying humanity to the brink of war and sending the fallen angels of A’vean to ground for their own survival. The weight of Sophia’s destiny is heavier than ever. With more than one enemy, with a world in chaos, will a devil be her saviour, will an angel be her downfall?

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Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card, an eBook set of the entire A’vean Chronicles series, or a signed copy of Awaken? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about the A’vean Chronicles by G.R. Thomas.

Melissa K. Magner ~ Author Interview

Today, I’d like to welcome Melissa K. Magner, author of The Underground Moon, as my guest.

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Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…

  • What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My name is Melissa. I use my full name (Melissa K. Magner) for my official author name. 
  • Where do you call home? I grew up and currently live in Saratoga, California. Pretty soon, though, I will be making the move to San Luis Obispo, California. 
  • Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Right now I’m attending Pepperdine University Graduate School to get my masters in clinical psychology. My goal is to be a therapist who works with children and adolescents. I’ve always been passionate about mental health (especially when it comes to kids – I feel like they are often overlooked), and this has been a dream of mine since middle school. I worked with kids part-time throughout college as a princess at birthday parties, and I currently work with a small group of kids as a tutor to help them out with distance learning in the pandemic. I really love children – they’re such a light in life and so much more complex than we give them credit for. I’d love to work with them in a way that allows them a safe space to grow, learn, and confront their struggles in a way that feels comfortable for them.
  • What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I’ve been writing since I was four or five. Of course, the first few “books” I wrote didn’t make much sense at all! It was really my grandmother who inspired me to get more serious about writing. She was a writer herself who passed when I was 14 years old. I came across all of her old writing and absolutely devoured it. One of the short stories she had written – “Jinx” – resonated with me so much that I rewrote it and published it under both of our names as a “debut” novel of sorts. That was what really jump started my passion.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story

  • What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? My most recent book is titled “The Underground Moon.” It’s a dark urban/YA fantasy that explores trauma and loss of childhood innocence through a supernatural lens. 
  • How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bespoke Book Covers for both of my books (and I plan to work with them in the future). The process mostly involves me sending Peter (who designs the covers) art I like and a synopsis of my book. He takes it from there. He and his wife (Caroline) run the company, and I am blown away each and every time with the professionalism and creativity of their book covers. 
  • Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? I listened to a lot of Justin Hurwitz (“First Man”) when writing “The Underground Moon.” The soundtrack is haunting and sad at the same time and really helped me orient myself emotionally when writing. For “Jinx,” I listened to the movie soundtrack from “Coraline” – it’s creepy and almost otherworldly, which resonated with the plot of my own book. 
  • How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? For my debut novel, “Jinx,” the title was my grandmother’s idea, so I stuck with that. The title is a bit of a play on words, because while it’s the main character’s nickname, it exists more as a reference to curses and dark magic. The title for “The Underground Moon” popped into my head at random one night back in 2019. I had watched Pan’s Labyrinth and was in the process of brainstorming for my next novel, and for some reason “underground” and “moon” merged together. 
  • Tell us about your book trailer! Yes! All current trailers are available on my YouTube Channel, which is under my name – “Melissa K. Magner.”
  • In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? Rosella is the lead character in “The Underground Moon.” She’s a fifteen-year-old girl who is struggling for responsibility with her seven-year-old sister (Hettie) and her severely depressed mother. As a person, Rosella (nicknamed “Ro”) is mature for her age (perhaps as a facade, but also because she views herself as more of a mother than an older sister). She’s a bit hard on herself, but at the end of the day is a truly loving person who strives to bring normalcy to her family despite the trauma they’ve shared. 
  • What are your character’s greatest strengths? Ro is incredibly resilient. Resilience amongst teenagers was a trait I wanted to explore in greater depth, and Ro allowed me to do just that. She bounces back from truly traumatic events with determination to care for and protect her sister.
  • And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? She’s a worrier, and her anxiety often manifests in “bossiness” (which Hettie often accuses her of) or coming across as overly-mature, uptight, and sometimes even a bit rude. At times, her attitude is her way of regaining agency in situations where she feels like she’s lost control, but it certainly grates on her younger sister (as well as some other characters). 

Let’s talk now about your writing process

  • What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I’m a total pantster. Writing is an intuitive craft for me. I’ll have a vague idea of the story and themes, but my first draft is entirely organic and intuition-based. Sometimes I’ll make notes while I’m writing to remember where I want to go, but I lead by the heart more often than not. 
  • Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? I think the biggest challenge overall is orienting myself in the realm of publishing in general. There are so many avenues – each one with pros and cons – and choosing the best route for me was a process that took nearly half a year. I wanted to have a solid understanding of types of publishing (traditional, indie, hybrid, etc.) before I released my book. I wrote lists, read books, spoke to other authors…it was a lot of work! I’m still learning and growing in the industry, and as such, there are always things you learn after you publish, but I’m doing all the research I can and trying to stay on top of an ever-growing industry. 
  • If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? I had a feeling from the get-go that I wanted to go indie. I think a lot of people are surprised to hear that I never queried or looked for agents because that route is chosen less often when it comes to publishing (although, I would say in recent years, the popularity of indie publishing has been growing, which I love to see). There were a couple of reasons I chose to go indie (and will likely stay that way for the long run). First off, indie publishing offers a lot of creative freedom and control. Writing is a hobby and a passion for me – not a career choice. Because of that, freedom and control mean a lot to me. Having the ability to choose cover designs, hire my own team, and maintain the rights to my work is incredibly important to me. I also tend to blend genres – i.e. “young adult” and “dark fantasy/horror” – and going indie allows me the freedom to write within my own unique niche without being pushed to conform to market trends. For example, I tend to subvert the traditional YA trope of romance (simply put, I don’t include it at all). That’s pretty rare in traditional YA, but indie publishing allows me to do just that. At the end of the day, writing (for me personally) is something I do out of love for the craft itself. Understanding my motivations and goals was paramount in my decision to take the indie route, and it’s offered me the creative liberation I need to continue doing what I love on my own terms. 
  • What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Don’t get too hung up on perfection. Writing is a constantly changing craft, and you will always have learning and growing to do as an author. Writing, like most forms of art, is subjective – what you write won’t be “perfect,” and there’s no way everyone will like it. Getting hung up on pleasing everyone is the best deterrent to writing – so make a conscious effort not to do it!
  • What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? More often than not, you have to be passionate about what you’re writing. There are some authors who will specifically alter the content of their work to conform to the market, and for some people, that works perfectly! Personally, though, passion is my driving force. If I am not passionate about what I’m writing, I won’t write well. I won’t put in the needed time to edit, re-write, edit again, (and so on). So my advice – based off of my own experience – is that finding your passion will ignite the flame needed to burn the midnight oil and do the best writing you possibly can.
  • Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melissakmagner/ , Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18506292.Melissa_K_Magner

Black Winter by Beauregard M. Neville and Cole Neville #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Black Winter by Beauregard M. NeVille & Cole NeVille ~ Genre: SciFi Fantasy

In the near future the planet is covered in snow. Nobody knows why. A group of people are living inside a military facility that was designed to be self sustaining and can last forever. So long as the food doesn’t run out. Captain Alec Winter is among the people trying to survive and they will all be tested with the arrival of two strangers and something lurking in the shadows of the storm. Alec will have the fight for his life and everyone that he cares about. He just has to avoid becoming the very thing that threatens everyone’s survival.

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Beauregard M NeVille

I was born in Rocksprings Wyoming, but grew up in various parts of Utah, from Provo to Brigham City. By the time I was in 4th grade was when I moved to Brigham and stayed there until after high school and I left to pursue my own life. I’ve always had a love for writing and knew it was what I wanted to do. I also love sports, played most of them throughout school and still try and play basketball when I can. I love the outdoors, going hiking and camping and would spend every day on a lake if I could. I love my family. My wife Amanda is a wonderful, hardworking mother that still manages to be in school, work as a teacher and still provides time for our children. I have three amazing boys, Kaden, Ryder and Maverick. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing them grow and getting to have fun with them. I love dogs and my Dog Mya was my inspiration for the dog in Black Winter. I owe everything I have to my parents for teaching me hard work and the value of a family. I’m forever grateful for the blessings in my life and I look forward to what the future will bring to me and my family.

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Cole NeVille

I was born in Brigham City, Utah. I have lived in several states but Utah is my home. Reading and writing has always been a big part of my life. I used reading to escape from a lot of things when I was growing up. I also have played sports my whole life. I grew up playing football and basketball, and still play basketball whenever I can. I love everything outdoors whether it is hiking, camping, golfing, or fishing. Being able to get out into the wildlife and smell the fresh air is something my wife Sarah and I love to share together. We both love dogs and love our dog Kumba.

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Would you like a chance to win a signed copy of Black Winter or a $15 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Q&A with Beauregard.

Where were you born/grew up? I was born in Rocksprings Wyoming. Was moved to Utah within days so I never lived in my birth town. Grew up in various parts of Utah from Provo to Brigham City. I consider Brigham City my home since I lived there the longest and that’s where I was living when I graduated from High School and my parents live there still.

What are you passionate about these days? Besides my writing and finishing the Black Winter series, I’m passionate about my family. I have 3 boys, ages 9, 7, and 4 with a fourth child on the way. Nothing brings me more joy than spending time with them and seeing them grow. Being a father is the greatest blessing and experience a man can have.

How do you find time to write as a parent? It’s challenging. I rarely do the things I enjoy when I can be home with my wife and kids and spend time with them. I get most of my writing done when they are at school and work or even late at night when they are sleeping.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I was in the 8th grade. This is when I really started to write stories down in my notebook at school. By the time I was a senior in high school I knew that writing novels was something I wanted to do.

What inspired you to write this book? Truthfully it was a number of things. My family loves all sorts of story formats, whether it be a movie, book or even a video game. When I first started writing the book for the first time in January of 2009, I had a very basic idea. A soldier and his Siberian Husky in a mountain, snowy setting. The more I wrote the more I would take inspiration from many stories I had previously seen or read, and even a couple video games that I had recently played. For starters, the idea of a government facility deep in a mountain I got from Gears of War. The dog with the soldier I got from the cover of Fallout 3. I really didn’t what the story was then. Just small details from other things that I really liked. It took a couple years from that point before Cole and I knew how the first book would really end. Once we had the complete story for Black Winter, the rest of the story was easy.

How did you come up with the title for Black Winter? The title didn’t come until several years after we first started working on it. Not until after the story was complete. Originally, Alec Winter was actually Alec Ryker. But as the story was ending, I really like the idea of having the title of the book have a double meaning. So that’s when we decided to change Alec’s last name to Winter. You have this never-ending winter along with a soldier who’s name is Winter and they sort of battle each other throughout the series. The true meaning of the name of the book though you will have to discover as you read the series.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead? Originally that was an easy answer. Henry Cavill. I actually had to do a screenplay as an assignment in college that was a lot of fun. Part of the assignment was casting real actors for the roles in the movie. I picked Cavill as Alec Winter because of Cavill’s size and hair color. The only issue was his eye color which was an easy fix with contacts or even CGI. Now that many of the actors that I cast for the characters are all older it would be a little more difficult to pick new ones. I’m looking forward to fans of the book to come up with their own ideas though.

Are any of your characters based off of real people or did they come entirely from your imagination? A little bit of both. There are a few characters in the book that are completely based off of real people in terms of their names, and others in terms of how I perceived them as people. Two of my friends have their full names in the book, because of how unique their names are. The character in the book are criminals though so they are very different than the people they are based on. There are other characters in the book that are a complete likeness, only their names are different. For some of those characters they are people that I despised, so I made them into characters that the readers would despise as well. Alec Winter is completely from imagination, but the way he interacts with his dog and his overall voice and how he talks is based off of me. He talks like me and loves his dog as much as I do.

What are your top 10 favorite books or Authors? My favorite books are the Eragon books by Christopher Paolini. I’ve read the entire series about ten times and it never gets old for me. In fact, some of my inspiration for the relationship between two characters in Black Winter comes from that series. You’ll have to discover what I’m talking about by reading the book. I don’t want to give any spoilers. I also really loved the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It’s a very long series, but the writing is incredible. I don’t know that I’ll read it again, because of its length, but I’m glad I read it and I would definitely recommend it along with Eragon.

What is your favorite genre to read? Oddly enough, Black Winter is a Science Fiction novel, but I don’t actually read much of that genre. I prefer fantasy as you can see with my two favorite authors and book series.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Both. I like it to be quiet, but most of the time I like to listen to music when I write. Different songs help me to feel the mood of a scene I’m trying to write. If it’s really distracting noise though I can’t concentrate. Like if my kids are yelling and fighting, I won’t be able to focus. I could easily sit in front of the tv and write though.

The final thing I’d like to say answers several questions. Writing is very time consuming and requires a lot of dedication. Black Winter took 12 years from start to publication. Mostly the reason why it took so long was due to life getting in the way, writers block or just simply procrastination. The sequels will definitely come out much faster than the first, but mostly they will because we know what the story is. We know exactly where the characters will be at the end of the story and how they will get there. So getting there will be less of a challenge. Plus, now that Black Winter is officially out there for the world to see, the desire to complete the series for everyone that reads it gives me the motivation I need to sit down and put in the time to write the rest of the books.

Q& A with Cole

How did you become an author? My path to becoming an author is a little unique. Growing up I loved reading but I hated writing. As I got older I realised not only was I good at writing, I actually started enjoying it. I started working with Beau on his book by helping him with different ideas throughout Black Winter. Finally after years it had turned into as much mine as it was his and I couldn’t be more grateful to share that with Beau.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at once? Both. We wrote Black Winter before writing any of the sequels. But as we got deeper into the story we slowly wrote the beginning and end for all of the books. We found that by figuring out different directions we wanted to go with the sequels helped add things into Black Winter.

What do you do to unwind and relax? I am a big gamer so once everyone has gone to bed I enjoy starting up my PC and gaming. I have always enjoyed video games but right now I love playing Warzone. I also enjoy sitting down on the couch with my wife and watching a tv show.

What are your top 10 favorite books? Top 10 books are a little hard so I will go with my top book series. My favorite book series would have to be Eragon/The Inheritance Cycle. Eragon was the first book that really got me into reading, I also love everything that involves dragons so that helped as well. My second favorite book series is Harry Potter. Harry Potter was a book series that really helped me escape from reality at times when I was a kid and even sometimes still to this day. My third favorite book series is The Ranger’s Apprentice.

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Black Winter by Beauregard M. Neville and Cole Neville.

Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne ~ Genre: YA Paranormal Time Travel Romance

Abby Parker planned out her whole life: complete her final year of high school, go to college, get a job, move away from her insane family, stay best friends with Jessica.

But, that was before she broke into the nearby tourist attraction and unwittingly answered a call from a centuries-old spirit who dragged her into the 19th century.

Now she must solve a Victorian mystery without getting herself killed, or worse, spend a lifetime trapped in the past, leaving behind everyone she loves and altering their lives forever.

When she meets gorgeous Benjamin, the future looks a lot like wreckage.

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Nancy Thorne is an award-winning author inspired by the romance and courage of youth. Her debut novel VICTORIAN TOWN won First Place for the 2019 Dante Rossetti Award.

Nancy’s short stories have recently appeared in literary journals and magazines, including The First Line Literary Journal, The Blake-Jones Review, Edify Fiction, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Born and raised in Toronto, Nancy fostered a passion for creating stories in grade school but hid it much too well. Eight years ago she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of telling them.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Toronto Romance Writers. She lives with her family just outside of Toronto along with an energetic labrador and entertaining corgi.

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Would you like a chance to be one of three winners to receive a $10 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information on Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne.

Emi by Ian Primeaux #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Emi by Ian Primeaux ~ Genre: Fantasy

One night while waiting for her father to get home, ten year old Emi wanders around her home when she accidentally drops her teddy bear into a mysterious chest. Anxiously going in after it, Emi falls into the chest and is teleported to a strange new world. Not long after waking up in this new world she is saved by her teddy bear who has come to life and grown several times her size. During her journey to find a way back home Emi meets several new friends including a royal guard, a scientist, and many others. Her focus changes from looking for a way home once she begins uncovering clues that her father may actually be in the strange land also! With the help of her new friends Emi embarks on a journey that will change her life forever.

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Would you like a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Ian Primeaux is a new independent author from a small town in Louisiana. His first book “Emi” is the beginning of a new fantasy series reminiscent of adventures like “Alice in Wonderland” or “Wizard of Oz” with a few components inspired by classic role playing games. Apart from working a full-time management job, Ian spends most of his free time writing and crafting extensions of the world created in “Emi” to ensure that there will always be a new story ready to be told.

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I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing Emi by Ian Primeaux.

Toni Verticelli ~ Author Interview

Today, I am happy to welcome Toni Verticelli, author of Chaos Calls, as a guest.

Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…

  • What is your name and do you write under a pen name? Toni Verticelli, my maiden name.
  • Where do you call home? Ocala, FL
  • Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I was a CNA for 14 years up until recently. I absolutely loved it, I found it very rewarding. I had to stop because of problems resulting from being hit by a drunk driver.
  • What is your family like? They are a big bunch of loving weirdos, just like me.
  • If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like? I moved a lot actually, Navy brat.
  • Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love to sing and have done several benefits for the performing arts, and one for the Alzheimer’s Association. I also really love gardening and painting furniture.
  • What is your greatest dream? Watching my daughter grow up. Living the dream now.
  • Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? Yes, married him. Also divorced him.
  • What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I had an amazing teacher in the 7th grade who realized I was dyslexic and got me into writing.
  • What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? I desperately wanted to be a singer. Became a writer that sings for fundraisers and benefits. Life throws some pretty strange curveballs.
  • Who is your role model? I admire so many people that I couldn’t pick just one.
  • What is your greatest fear? Caving. I have a terrible fear of caving into the things that frighten me. We  really are our own obstacles in life.
  • Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? Yes, I prefer all of them. 
  • Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it? Oomph, ask the hard question! I’ve read the entire Pern series by Anne McCaffrey several times.
  • What is your opinion of novellas? I don’t have one. There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, on what makes you happy. If you like novellas, awesome. If you like graphic novels and comic books, awesome. Play, fabulous. Read what makes you happiest.
  • Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I was pretty young when I came across it in a library. I had never seen a book where the dragon fighting hero was the princess. I own both The Hero and theCrown and it’s companion, The Blue Sword.
  • What is your favorite film based on a book? The Labyrinth.
  • What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Again, I don’t have one really. I pick up books, I read them and I either read more by that author or I don’t ever go near the book again. 
  • What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? The Master Harper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. I’ve lost count how many times. Paperback.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

  • What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? Currently I am working on Chaos Calls. 
  • Is the above book part of a series? I’m hoping it will be
  • How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I haven’t had a cover done yet.
  • Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? Classical. Auditory brain food.
  • How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? A line in the book, actually.
  • Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? No, and I haven’t ever made one in the past.
  • In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? Katya Malloy, 6th of the name. Her family is a powerful matriarchy.
  • What are your character’s greatest strengths? Perseverance and sarcasm.
  • And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? Gullibility and stubbornness
  • What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? Adaptability. With everything that’s thrown at her, she is able to adapt to the situation better that she realizes.
  • Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? I hope they will love her character. She is easy familiarize with.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

  • What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? Total Plotter. 
  • Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? RESEARCH, and English classes early on.
  • Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? Self-published currently, though looking to publish Chaos Calls traditionally.
  • If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? I had no intention of publishing my first books, they were more therapy for me. I had just left my ex husband, had a toddler and was starting over. Writing gave me an outlet, 
  • What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Get it all out on paper, then organize when you run out. Don’t edit as you go, or you are going to be stuck in a perfection rut.
  • What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? Do it, even if it’s just for you. Get it all out.
  • Where can your readers follow you?
  • FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ToniJVF
  • TWITTER: https://twitter.com/vxvgypsyvxv
  • BLOG: https://authortoniverticelli.blogspot.com/
  • WIXSITE: https://vxvgypsyvxv.wixsite.com/toniverticelli
  • SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ToniJV
  • GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452558.Toni_Verticelli
  • Basically just google ‘Author Toni Verticelli’.

the HALF that you SEE #giveaway

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The Half That You See ~ Genre: Horror Anthology

Edited by Rebecca Rowland

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
-The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether by Edgar Allan Poe (1845)

Poe’s classic tale told of a state of the art hospital boasting a curiously experimental treatment, but things were not as they seemed. In The Half That You See, twenty-six writers from around the globe share their literary optical illusions in never before seen stories of portentous visions and haunting memories, altered consciousness and virulent nightmares, disordered thinking and descents into madness. Take a walk down the paths of perception that these dark fiction raconteurs have tunneled for you, but keep a tight grip on your flashlight: the course twists and turns, and once you’re on route to your destination, there is no turning back. That which creeps about in the poorly lit corners of the human mind has teeth, and it’s waiting for you.

“Chalk” by Elin Olausson

A young man rents a room at a bed & breakfast and meets a girl who sleepwalks during the day and is only herself at night. 

“Winnebago Indian Motorhome by Tonka” by Eddie Generous

Chasing down nostalgia, Josh Dolan buys a vintage Tonka Winnebago, but it isn’t quite like the toy he’d had as a kid; this Winnebago knows the future, and it knows Claire Dolan’s secrets.

“Sepia Grass” by Sam Hicks

A young man begins to question the recurrent visions he has always believed to be flashbacks to a childhood drug overdose.

“Prisoner “by T.M. Starnes

Kidnapped prisoners sometimes survive, but that’s when their terror truly begins.

“Turn a Blind Eye” by Kelly Griffiths

An explosion leaves an ornery pharmacist with shards of mortar in his eyes and disturbing changes to his vision, especially when he looks in the mirror.

“Falling Asleep in the Rain” by Robert P. Ottone

A man recounts his youth through a dream, revealing as a young boy his experiments with love for another boy, only to face the ire of his murderous father.

“Black Dog Blues” by Luciano Marano

In a story inspired by an actual urban legend popular among American truckers about a spectral black dog that appears to drivers just before a lethal crash, a haunted man recounts his own devastating encounter with the creature and sets out for revenge with a hapless hitchhiker reluctantly in tow. 

“Imaginary Friends” by Nicole Wolverton

Julie Strawbridge is called in to see the principal of her nephew Augie’s school after he is expelled for selling imaginary friends to his classmates for a dollar.

“Boogeyman” by Susie Schwartz

One boogeyman; two perspectives, and the horror of mental illness that torments them both.

“Safe as Houses” by Alex Giannini

Carrie and Will moved into a new home, into a new phase of their lives. But every love story is a ghost story, and theirs is no different. 

“The New Daddy” by Scotty Milder

A crumbling marriage and a new home is filtered through the eyes of its smallest witness.

“Cauterization” by Mack Moyer

A woman on a methamphetamine binge harbors a dark secret from her past that begins to manifest in vivid waking nightmares that may, or may not, be real.

“The Tapping at Cranburgh Grange” by Felice Picano

When an American couple leases and then buys a manse in England, they become aware of a strange noise only some people can hear. 

“Elsewhere” by Bill Davidson

Colin lives a stressful life in an overcrowded flat with a sick daughter and a mother with dementia, in the middle of crammed and noisy London. More and more, however, he is elsewhere.

“Daughters of the Sun” by Matt Masucci

A retired homicide detective living in Florida finds that a past case investigating a dark nature cult twists into his reality.

“The Coffin” by Victoria Dalpe

A young woman still grieving a recent loss discovers an exhumed coffin on the street. 

“Old Times” by Mark Towse

A man suspects his wife is cheating on him, and when she leaves for the evening, he considers the possibility over a bottle with an old friend.

“Lonely is the Starfish” by Lena Ng

Many people have pets, but one lonely young man becomes too close to his pet starfish.

“Hagride” by Justine Gardner

A cormorant speaks, and Josie tries not to listen as it begins to resemble ghosts from her past.

“Raven O’Clock” by Holley Cornetto

A man seeking shelter from the tragedies of his life finds more than he bargained for in a mysterious cabin.

“Officer Baby Boy Blue” by Douglas Ford

An eye injury and a grotesque gift from a police officer in a hospital emergency room ultimately leads a young man to special properties of sight.

“The Intruder” by Lamont A. Turner

Suspecting someone has invaded her home and the homes of those close to her, a woman struggles with delusions that may not have originated with her.

“Alone in the Woods in the Deep Dark Night” by Edward R. Rosick

Trapped in his cabin by a howling snowstorm in the desolate wildness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Gary Chandler finds that freezing isolation is only the beginning of a descent into bloody madness.

“Mesh” by Michael W. Clark

A regular guy wants too much control in the modern global community: over both his home and his wives.

“Der Hölle Racht” by Laura Saint Martin

A victim of domestic violence embarks on a drug-fueled journey and rampage.

“The Red Portrait” by Mahlon Smoke

A frustrated artist spies a forgotten portrait in a shop and finds himself consumed by its beauty.

**Get the anthology for $5 off or get $10 off the book/candle set HERE!**

Goodreads * Amazon

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or a Mystery Box of Books? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

The Half That You See is written by twenty-six authors from five different countries, including Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalist Felice Picano, Feature Writer of the Year recipient Luciano Marano, and honorees from Ellen Datlow’s most recent Best Horror of the Year, Bill Davidson and Sam Hicks. Editor Rebecca Rowland is a dark fiction writer whose previous Dark Ink anthology curation work includes Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness and Shadowy Natures: Stories of Psychological Horror. Dark Ink Books is the proud home of UnMasked, the best-selling memoir of horror legend Kane Hodder, and Savini, the special effects icon’s coffee table biography.

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing The Half That You See.

What Really Scares Me: Addiction in Horror

What Really Scares Me: Addiction in Horror by Holley Cornetto

I have a confession to make. Most horror doesn’t really scare me.

Horror writers primarily deal in fear, and what frightens one person may fall flat for another. I’ve found this to be true in my reading and writing. Some reviewers may call something terrifying, while others call it boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing about ghosts and monsters and deranged killers wielding chainsaws, but those things don’t keep me awake at night.

So then, what does scare me? The death of a loved one. Sickness. Grief. Insanity. Sleep paralysis. Snakes. Addiction.

Most of my fears, snakes aside, have to do with a lack of agency or a loss of control. To date, two of my short stories have dealt with the topic of addiction. It is this particular fear that I wrestle with most often. In part, because addiction is a scary thing, but also because addiction is so often stigmatized in society, that those who suffer because of it often fail to seek out help.

In his article titled “The Compassion of Addiction Horror,” Mark Matthews discusses addiction as possession. In this view, addiction to and withdrawal from substances is akin to “…being spiritually occupied and living through a painful mutation of your physical self” (2020) It is worth noting that the fear here is twofold. It manifests both in addiction and in withdrawal. People who suffer from addiction may feel a loss of control over their bodies and minds. Friends and loved ones may notice a change in the person that they attribute to the substance abuse. Withdrawal has its own set of horrors as addicts suffer a plethora of physical and psychological effects as the drugs leave the system.

Possession stories aren’t the only narratives that include elements of addition. In the article, “How the Horror Genre Helped Me Understand my Addiction,” Tabitha Vidaurri writes that “Vampires are a pretty thinly veiled allegory for substance use disorder if you swap out blood for alcohol/drugs” (2020). But the article doesn’t stop with vampires. Werewolf narratives also allude to substance abuse wherein “people are always waking up the next day, naked, in a field with fuzzy memories of the night before and a bad taste in their mouth” (2020). Whereas possession narratives focus on the changes a person may undergo while under the influence, or during withdrawal, these vampire and werewolf narratives borrow from addition itself. The insatiable need, in the case of the vampire, and in the case of the werewolf, the consequences of our actions when we are not in full control of our faculties.

Addiction in and of itself is a scary thing, not only for the above stated reasons, but also because it is something that society often neglects to discuss openly. In the past, society has stigmatized addiction, often blaming addicts for their own condition. In recent years, thanks to advances in mental healthcare, we’ve learned that there is so much more to drug addiction than bad choices. In many cases, there never was a choice. Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from a range of other health issues, from mental illness to chronic pain.

So, how does this relate to horror? Horror has always served as a venue in which society can safely discuss and work through the fears that lurk in the shadows and dark corners of our minds. Horror does not shy away from bleak or upsetting subject matter; it specializes in it. It celebrates it. Horror serves as a safe space to work through the scary shit that bombards us each day when we walk out of our doors (figuratively speaking, for those of us in lockdown). It may seem like an oxymoron to refer to horror as a safe space, but when reading horror fiction, or watching a horror movie, you are directly in control of the situation. Unlike real life, when the book or movie becomes too much, you can choose to put it aside or turn it off. You can sample the fear in small doses, at your own level of comfort.

I firmly believe that society needs horror fiction as an outlet. Horror readers and writers are some of the kindest and most well-adjusted people that I know, and I can’t help but think it is in part because we work through our problems in fiction rather than bottling them up inside ourselves. Horror helps us learn and practice empathy, and empathy is something that we could certainly use more of, as far as I’m concerned. 

So, now that you know what scares me, go out there and write a story. One that will terrify me. One that I can (hopefully) read in small doses, and at my own pace.

In Holley Cornetto’s story in The Half That You See, “Raven O’Clock,” a  man seeking shelter from the tragedies of his life finds more than he bargained for in a mysterious cabin.

Holley Cornetto was one of 26 authors that contributed to the horror anthology, The Half That You See!