Umbra by Yana Barbelo #giveaway

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Umbra by Yana Barbelo ~ Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

“A chilling and deeply psychological horror work that forces us all to face the deepest fears of our souls…” ~ K.C. Finn, Readers’ Favorite

Ohno Hoia is a custodian of a mysterious collection of seeds and a lonely soul tormented by her hideous, malignant shadow. What world did she come from? What century? She can’t remember. She is a stranger to herself, a God’s mistake.
Driven by the desperate wish to break free from the shadow and save the seeds, Ohno arrives at present-day California’s desecrated shores. There she plants a garden the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Eden. While the garden’s extraordinary power shocks humanity out of despair and transforms the land, Ohno’s shadow grows fiercer and soon begins to threaten everything she holds dear. Now Ohno has no choice but to follow her tormentor as it takes her into the surreal, terrifying wilderness of her own soul – The Forest of Everlasting Night.
There she must meet the demons of her own making and ask the question she is dreading most: Who am I?
A spellbinding blend of horror and satire perfect for fans of Clive Barker, “Midian Unmade,” Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman.

“Dark fantasy at its best, Umbra is a story that is symbolic, fertile in the interpretations it allows readers… A spellbinding story that had me enthralled and completely pulled in. This is a story for readers who are seekers.” –  Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite

“I never read anything so beautiful and unnerving at the same time.

Yana Barbelo crafts a tale that is imaginative yet intriguing, delighting readers and frightening them at the same time. The writing is incomparable… You need to read this story to discover its beauty.” -Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

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Yana Barbelo is a Russian-American writer, illustrator, psychiatrist. She is fascinated with fringes, edges, brinks, and all manner of liminality. She writes Literary Horror/Weird fiction, which explores the darkest contradictions of human nature.

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Class of ’95 by Laurie Oknowsky #giveaway

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Class of ’95 by Laurie Oknowsky ~ Genre: Contemporary Romance

What would you do if you got a second chance at true love? When Eunice Rysner meets the sexy Jake Castellano, she already knows he’s going to be trouble. Though she tries to push him away to spare them both a lot of heartache, Jake is persistent. But his vindictive girlfriend and Eu’s nemesis since eighth grade, Geri Thompson, is determined to keep him all to herself-by whatever means necessary.

Even twenty years later, when the three meet up again in Long Island at their high school reunion, Eunice-now a successful novelist-can’t deny the feelings she still has for Jake. As she reacquaints herself with the now-divorced love of her life, she can’t help but wonder if this is finally the time to stand up for herself and give in to true love. But if she does, Geri may just steal everything she’s ever wanted from her yet again.

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Laurie Oknowsky had her start as a community author on Wattpad and Inkitt. As her success morphed into something worth trending about, she made the leap into the world of traditional publishing. Class of 95’ is her debut book being published with Ukiyoto Publishing House. Not only is this a work of fiction, it is also a very personal account of a time of awkward adolescence into the hopeful aspirations of a chaste adult.

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Captive of a Dark Prince by Lasasha Flame #giveaway

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Captive of a Dark Prince (Dark Immortal Flames Book 2) by LaSasha Flame ~ Genre: Paranormal Romance

Discover A Scorching New World Of Immortals In Lasasha Flame’s Tale Captive Of A Dark Prince! A Short Story In The Dark Immortal Flames Series.

Tiffany’s Life Is Turned Upside Down When She Is Abducted By A Dark Fae, Who Plans To Hand Her Over To A Sadistic King, Set On Making Her His New Queen. Rationally, She Knows She Should Hate Her Captor, But Her Heart And Body Long For His Touch.

Keanu Thought His Life Was Torture Being Enslaved To King Nimru, A Sadistic Fae King. After Meeting Tiffany, His Fated Mate, He Soon Realizes What He Has Endured Is Nothing Compared To Being Forced To Give Up His Mate To A Hellish Existence Or Sacrifice His People To Keep Her. Rationally, She Is Just One Life For Millions Of Innocents To Live, But Every Second In Her Presence Forces Him To Realize He Can’t Live Without Her.

Keanu Makes A High Stakes Gamble To Risk It All For Love And His People, But Will Odds Land In His Favor Or Will Everyone He Loves Pay The Ultimate Price For His Selfish Desires?

If You Enjoy Paranormal And Fantasy Romances With Dark Fae, Dangerous Males, Strong Female Characters, Explicit Language, Hot Sex Scenes, And Enemies To Lovers This Is The Book For You! Can Be Read As A Standalone But Be On The Look Out For The Main Series.

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My Name Is LaSasha Flame. I Am A Young Author From Chicago, Hoping To Bring Some New Heat And Sizzle To The Romance Genre.

My Favorite Genres Are Paranormal And Dark Romance. I Love Reading A Good Book But I’m So Busy In Life That I Only Gets To Enjoy Audiobooks. It’s The Only Way I Can Get Lost In A Good Book Nowadays. And You Know What? I Half Prefer An Audiobook Over Print Any Day! I Have A Long Standing Membership At Audible And I Plan To Publish Audio Books For Busy Bookworms Like Myself! Yay!

My Love Of Writing Started When A Friend Of Mine Encouraged Me To Write A Short Story And Just See What Happens. Turns Out I Had A Knack For Writing Because Everyone Loved My Short Stories. From Then On I’ve Worked On Improving My Craft. Growing From Flash Fiction To Novels.

I Would Like To Introduce The Series I Have Been Working On. I Am Basically Writing Thirteen Books At Once. Claimed Is The First Installment Of My Dark Immortal Flames Series!

And Not Only Do I Have The Main Series In The Works But I Will Be Releasing Mini A Series And Several Short Stories That Take Place Within The Same Multiverse Of The Main Dark Immortal Flames Series.

I Am Really Looking Forward To Sharing Some Of The Twisty Goodness I Have Planned!

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The Witches of Vegas by Mark Rosendorf #giveaway

Mark Rosendorf ‘s writing is based on the personalities and experiences he has come across throughout his life, coupled with his own wild “if only I could do that” imagination. He is the author of the young adult series, The Witches of Vegas. He is also credited with The Rasner Effect series, a suspense/thriller trilogy published between 2009 and 2012.

Born November, 25th, 1974, and raised in Queens New York, Mark holds a Master’s Degree from Long Island University’s Human Development and Leadership program. He is a licensed Guidance Counselor for the New York City Department of Education’s special education district. He began his counseling career in September, 2001. Prior to that, he worked in the hotel industry.

Mark has also moonlighted as a professional magician. Today, he teaches magic and Illusion to his students in order to teach teamwork while developing their confidence.
Having accomplished his goals of becoming an author, Mark decided on an early retirement from writing. Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into Mark’s brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it. Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas was born.

This is Mark’s first young adult novel.

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The Witches of Vegas (The Witches of Vegas Book 1) by Mark Rosendorf ~ Genre: YA Fantasy

Where can Witches and their vampire mentor practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted?

By using their magic, the Witches of Vegas become the number one act performing on the Las Vegas Strip—a great achievement for them, but not so much for the magicians—who can’t possibly keep pace.

Isis Rivera is the adopted fifteen-year old daughter of The Witches of Vegas. Zack Galloway is the teenage nephew and assistant to the last magician left in the city. Although they should be rivals, when Valeria, a four-hundred-year-old witch with a long-seeded grudge against humanity arrives in Sin-City, both teens act to bring their families together to stop the evil hag in her tracks.

But can the combined witches’ powers and the ingenuity of the magicians be enough to stop Valeria from taking over the city and possibly the world?

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They say every author has some weird habit when they write. For the most part, this is a true statement as creativity comes with quirks. I’m no different. My weird habit: I do most of my writing in the shower. I’m not sure why, but that’s where most of my ideas flow just like the water that hits my body from the faucet. Unfortunately, my ideas are like lightning—one bright flash, then it’s gone. That’s why I have notepads and a pen tacked up on the wall next to my shower. When I have an idea, I stick my arm out of the shower and write it down. It’s part of my writing process.

The Witches of Vegas is a story about a family of witches, and their vampire mentor, who hide in plain sight as magicians on the Vegas strip. It is an award-winning young adult novel that has taken its audience by storm. It was also, mostly, written on notepads from the shower. The same can be said for the upcoming sequel, Journey To New Salem, which is scheduled for an early 2021 release. Both stories are clean, and so is the author.

Every writer has a weird writing habit. Now you know mine. What’s yours?

~ by Mark Rosendorf

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Witches of Vegas by Mark Rosendorf.

The Secret Circle by P. Sawyer (giveaway)

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P. Sawyer is a romance author that loves to read as much as she loves to write! Fascinated with bringing the “real” version of lo ve to readers, P. strives to show how mess love can be and how happily ever afters aren’t always what they seem.

P. grew up in New England and currently lives with her husband, two children and dog in CT. When she is not creating less than perfect love stories, she can be found reading or watching Hockey.

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The Secret Circle (Children of Chaos Series) by P. Sawyer ~ Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal

Sage Pope is your typical teenager. High school student, avid softball player…until she turns sixteen. One week before Sage’s birthday, she is thrust into a world she only thought existed in legends. A world full of magic, supernatural powers and secrets.

Adopted by Pennies after her mother’s death, Sage is kept away from the world of the Circle, an elite Wiccan coven tasked with protecting the ancient powers in Salem, MA. However, Sage has been summoned and the fate of Salem rests on her shoulders and the powers she doesn’t even know she possesses.

Join Sage and the Four as they navigate power manifestations, secrets, and a rouge coven looking to use her to siphon the ancient powers.

**Only .99 cents!!**

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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski (giveaway)

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With an education in Mass Communication–and an engrossment in all that is curious and bewitching–Brianna Sugalski is an author and blog editor at the Parliament House Press.

The Filipino-American author was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, but travels the country every few years with her husband and two children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing up reading period literature, folklore, and fables has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.

Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives on society and systemic prejudice, and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.

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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski ~ Genre: YA Dark Fantasy Romance

A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst…

Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger-and, unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest-she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.

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Saving Grace by D.M. Barr

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic.

But that’s not to say I haven’t wanted to…

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Saving Grace by D.M. Barr ~ Genre: Psychological Thriller

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at it’s core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

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What inspired you to write this book? Saving Grace is about a woman who wonders if her husband plans to murder her for her inheritance once her rich father in Florida dies. My father lives in Florida and my husband has asked more than once about my expected inheritance. I started thinking, what if…

What can we expect from you in the future? My next book, just finished, is a contemporary romantic comedy about pursuing second chances.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? I based my favorite character, Zev, on the Hasidic men I met at my last job. They always made me laugh and so Zev provides the much-needed comic relief in the book.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Saving Grace? The protagonist is Grace Rendell, a 45-year-old New Jersey wife and mother who is the only child of an ailing billionaire and has been treated for paranoia since she was six. Her husband is an advertising exec named Eliot who grew up poor and appears to be cheating on her. She has two sons and a father named Barrington who lives with his “chippie of the month” Caprice. Grace’s therapist is Emma Leighmann and the woman who helps her write her book is Andrea Lin, whose pen name is Lynn Andrews. Tom Druthers is the poisons expert who helps her and becomes a love interest.  Andrea’s brother “Hack” and his friends also play a big part in the novel.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Actually, I rewrote this book around ten times, so I guess what I liked most is when I was finally finished.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?  Once Grace goes off her meds, she comes to believe that once her father dies, her husband will kill her for her inheritance. So she decides to write a novel, with the main character in the same predicament, so she can subtly expose his plot to the world without destroying her life and her family’s life if in fact, her views are a result of her resurgent paranoia and are completely wrong 

How did you come up with the title of your first novel? As a Realtor, I specialized in Expired Listings. It seemed like a great title for a book where a serial killer was offing all the real estate agents in a small town.

Who designed your book covers? Each was designed by a different artist. Kim Killion worked with a photo and concept I selected for Expired Listings, and I had a second, less graphic cover designed by Syneca Featherstone. There are two covers for Slashing Mona Lisa, one designed by Carl Graves and a second by the artist at Beachwalk Press, and for my current novel, the cover was designed by David King, the inhouse designer for Black Rose Press, again using a photo and concept I chose.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? My first editor for Saving Grace was Elf Ahearn. If I could do it all over again, I would have listened to her suggestions from the start. In the end, I used them anyway, but it took a long time for me to accept her criticisms were right on.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? Prowritingaid.com is an invaluable tool.

If your book were made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Sandra Bullock would make a perfect Grace.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers? When you read the metaphors, if they seem odd or strained, remember that Grace experienced everything she knew of life from books. Also keep in mind that Saving Grace is an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms. To me, it’s about women who are forgotten by society after they’ve had their children and “served their purpose.”

How did you come up with name of this book? Not only is Saving Grace an expression, it is also a perfect description of the plot.

What is your favorite part of this book and why? I always love the funny scenes, so I love the scene that satirizes critique groups. I also love every scene with Zev, especially the one where he’s in Hack’s home and some bullies throw a note attached to a rock through the window and he holds it up to Hack and says, “I believe this is for you.”

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? A combination. There are parts of me in all my heroines: I was a Realtor like Dana Black, I was a reporter with weight issues like Camarin Torres, and like Grace Rendell, I’m a housewife and mother of a certain age who sometimes feels like no one sees me anymore.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?  My characters always do things that surprise me. In Expired Listings, I didn’t originally intend for Aidan Cummings to become a love interest but once Dana saw him, there is was. In Saving Grace, Zev is a character who came from nowhere.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. It’s a unique concept, the idea of a woman who couldn’t write a book to save her life, until she had to. Not that many books out there who weaponize literature.

Have you written any other books that are not published? No, happy to say everything I’ve written has been published, except my newest book which I hope to sell in the next few months.

Originally Hack’s story was much more elaborate and ran concurrently with Grace’s. There were elements I hope to include in a sequel.

Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I had the opportunity to interview Brad Parks and ask him how he was able to make Carter Ross so likeable. You can see the interview at www.author-groupie.com, where I interview authors with a new adult fiction book just out, or one that’s in pre-order.

I’m glad to be one of many hosts sharing information about Saving Grace by D.M. Barr.

First Second Coming by Jeff Pollak (giveaway)

Jeff Pollak, the author of First Second Coming and sequels to come, was raised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx by a single mom and two grandparents who lived eight floors up. After graduating from college in Buffalo, Jeff headed west to Los Angeles for law school and spent his entire legal career in and around civil litigation. Now retired, writing fiction is Jeff’s new passion.

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(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.)

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card, choice of Paperback or ebook of First Second Coming – 1 winner each! Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

First Second Coming (The New God Series Book 1) by Jeff Pollak ~ Genre: Supernatural Romantic Suspense

In 2027 the deity known as NTG – short for New Testament God – retires after more than two thousand years of minding the store for his employer, Milky Way Galaxy, Inc. The new god, a planetary turnaround specialist, must decide whether Earth’s dominant species should or should not be included in his plan to bring the planet back into full compliance with Milky Way Galaxy, Inc.’s planetary operation standards.

Earth’s new God introduces himself to humanity by unexpectedly appearing on the Ram Forrester Hour talk show. Ram, an atheist, and co-host Brendali Santamaria, a devout Catholic, are stunned. God’s interview, beamed worldwide, shocks and infuriates viewers. They learn that a sixty-day conference will take place in Los Angeles to determine whether humans are capable of helping him implement his planetary turnaround plan. To earn a coveted spot in this God’s good graces all mankind must do is eliminate religious violence forever, without his heavenly help, within sixty days. Failure means extinction.

God designates Ram and Bren as the conference’s only authorized media reporters. This assignment, fraught with peril, ignites their romance. Not only must the harried couple attend the conference meetings by day and do their show at night, they must also outwit a fanatical religious group bent on killing them. When rising conflicts within the conference intensify, it’s up to Ram and Bren to do whatever it takes to protect their budding romance and mankind’s very survival.

REVIEWS:

“Jeff Pollak’s debut novel, First Second Coming, combines suspense, romance, and theology in an imaginative, unique adventure!”

            —Mark Moses, Actor (best known as Paul Young on Desperate Housewives and Herman “Duck” Phillips on Mad Men.)

“Wow! What an outstanding debut novel! Jeff mixes a wide genre to create this intriguing novel. Plenty of romance, action and some theology to keep things lively! Not a mix I’ve seen before but in the ratio he writes=perfect! A fab read. Looking forward to the next book!”

         — Becca Thompson, The Book Club

“An absolutely fascinating concept mixed with the perfect blend of action, romance and theology. Will humans choose to set aside their petty arguments and live peacefully, working to solve the world’s problems side by side, or will the planetary turnaround specialist assigned to Earth as the New God have to take the ultimate action to ensure the planet’s survival, even if that means human extinction? This book will grab you and keep you reading to the very last page. Can’t wait to see what comes next!”

       – Kristine Pfeffer Fox, Author

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Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Although First Second Coming is primarily intended as entertainment, the book’s message is about intolerance. Hopefully readers will pick that up. There are two sets of intolerant religious groups in this story. One demonstrates intolerance of other views in an aggressive manner. The other group exercises passive resistance. Examples of tolerance abound within the novel, but these two intolerant groups put mankind’s future at risk.    

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Because I came to writing fiction from a long career as a trial attorney, I often find my writing style lapse into the stiffer, more formal style that’s normal for writing such boring things as legal briefs, client reports and trial documents. When editing I’m on alert to this tendency, and fix the verbiage whenever I find it unless the character – such as God in First Second Coming – actually has a formal manner of speech. 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

 First Second Coming is my debut novel, so by default it’s my favorite.   

If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

That’s a very interesting question! On a whim a few years ago, I searched the internet to try to find actors bearing a resemblance to the two main characters in First Second Coming. I was unsuccessful in finding anyone close to my visualization of Ram Forrester. However, a British actress of half Norwegian, half Nigerian descent turned out to look so much like how I pictured Brendali Santamaria, who is Latina, that it was eerie. The actress, Hannah John-Kamen, has been in British TV shows, notable American ones such as Game of Thrones (as Omela), and films including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ready Player One and Tomb Raider. She has enough experience to at least audition for the lead role as Brendali. She’s the right age, and although she isn’t Latina she looks it. If she’s not interested or fails her audition, I would want a Latina actress in the role. 

When did you begin writing?

 I never pictured myself as a fiction writer until roughly 2014. That’s when I began to consider what I’d do with my time once I retired. The idea of trying my hand at fiction made sense. An avid reader, I always enjoyed the writing aspect of litigation, which is very writing-intensive. Of course, I had to learn the ropes of fiction, develop a suitable writing style and practice. First Second Coming took eight drafts, the first few rather amateurish, but that’s a phase we all have to go though. Fortunately, I improved.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

 It’s hard for me to answer this question. I wrote part-time from 2015 to 2019. Trials are all consuming, and I had several of them in this time period – four in 2018 alone. Each trial prevented me from writing any fiction for several weeks at a time. Occasional family obligations also took precedent over writing from time to time. So I can’t even estimate what the answer might be in terms of days or hours, but five years did pass while I worked at it.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

No, but I am inspired to improve enough to become as good a writer as any of my favorites – David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks); Iain Pears (Arcadia); Haruki Murakami (1Q84); or Daniel Silva (The English Girl).

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Editing. I liken the writing process to sculpture. Michelangelo began the Pietà with a huge chunk of Carrara marble. He chiseled away at it until what was left became arguably the most impressive piece of sculpture that’s ever been carved. Writers start with a concept, nothing more. The first draft, equivalent to Michelangelo’s block of marble, is what we chip away at it until we’re left with our humble version of the Pietà, however distant that may be from a sculpted masterpiece. I enjoy hammering my story until it becomes as true, and as fully rendered, as I envisioned it in my imagined plotline.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

 Suspense, romance, fantasy – blended.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Although First Second Coming is primarily entertainment, the book’s message is about intolerance. Hopefully readers will pick that up. There are two sets of intolerant religious groups in this story. One demonstrates intolerance of other views in an aggressive manner. The other group exercises passive resistance. Examples of tolerance abound in this novel, but these two intolerant groups put mankind’s future at risk.     

The internet has plenty of information about all types of intolerance, but whether the information posted on any given website is accurate can often be questioned. Posts from universities or organizations dedicated specifically to one type of intolerance or another are more credible. (For example, religious organizations often deal with intolerance to their faithful.) Museums of intolerance, which exist in Los Angeles, New York City, El Paso, Albuquerque and other locations, are worth a visit. Simply seeking out people for respectful conversations, to learn from them and compare beliefs or opinions, is invaluable.  

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

9/11 was the inspiration for this book. My law firm hosted annual conferences at the World Trade Center each spring for our clients in the New York/New Jersey area. We were there in May, 2001, four months before the attack. I had clients in the building, had become acquainted to staff members in the WTC’s conference facility at the top of the building, and I grew up in New York City. As I watched the tragedy unfold, all these connections I had with the building brought to mind a random thought – that we need a new god trained as a planetary turnaround specialist.

Admittedly that’s an odd thought. I didn’t dwell on. But somehow the idea stuck with me, coming back to me once I decided to write fiction. A rudimentary plot, characters, the concept and theme spilled out. So I went with it, developing the story over until it became what’s now this book. 

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?  

This book is the first in a series in which Earth’s new God tackles our many global problems, one or two at a time. So the global issue subject tackled in First Second Coming, the religious violence behind 9/11, became a test of humanity, not a one-off concept. I’m satisfied with the book as a foundation for the future ones that will address other topics of global concern that need attention.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Sure – I’d be very, very pleased to have some! Seriously, I began to write this novel simply as a way to enjoy my retirement. People in my critique groups, or who had access to all or parts of the story, urged me to publish. I had to be talked into it and eventually gave in. Now that First Second Coming has been released, I hope it does connect with readers, and that they become fans who will read the sequels and spin-offs, too.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoy editing the most, believe it or not. I liken the writing process to sculpture. Michelangelo began the Pietà with a huge chunk of Carrara marble. He chiseled away at it until what was left became arguably the most impressive piece of sculpture that’s ever been carved. Writers start with a concept, nothing more. The first draft, equivalent to Michelangelo’s block of marble, is what we chip away at it until we’re left with our humble version of the Pietà, however distant that may be from a sculpted masterpiece. I enjoy hammering my story until it becomes as true, and as fully rendered, as I envisioned it in my imagined plotline.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m working on two novels concurrently. One is the sequel to First Second Coming, which has a working title of Earth’s Peril. A spin-off, called The Recycling Center, is the second book. I intend to focus my writing on the New God Series for the foreseeable future, with the occasional spin-off if or when they pop up.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing fiction in 2015. Before that I’d written non-fiction for decades in the form of legal briefs, motions, trial documents, articles for legal publications, etc. Fiction requires a different writing style, and it took me a year or so to develop mine. I enjoy filling up a blank white screen with letters which form words that turn into sentences, paragraphs, chapters and, eventually, a book worth reading. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in First Second Coming?

Happy to oblige! I’ll do the three main characters for you.

Ram Forrester is a 38-year old atheist in 2027, the year First Second Coming takes place. He was the evening news anchor at KJCR-TV in L.A. until he was shot by mistake on Valentine’s Day. The shooter was aiming at his ex-wife and missed her. Ram’s doctors called his survival a medical miracle. While he was recovering in the ICU, Ram’s girlfriend of three years, Kate Chung, broke up with him. When Ram returned to the station as the host of the Ram Forrester Hour he’s a more mature man, ready to finally settle down with his “angel” – if only he can find her.

Brendali Santamaria is four years younger than Ram. She’s an extroverted bilingual Latina, a native of Southern California and a devout Catholic. Brendali’s spent ten years as a television news reporter in Veracruz, Mexico, hunting down and exposing narcotraficante corruption. However, when the drug lords put out an order to kill her and murder her boyfriend as well as her best friend, she has to flee. Bren feels guilty for living when she should have been the one to die. She’s also angry at being unable to execute her version of the Golden Rule – that revenge is best served cold. She meets Ram, becomes the co-host of his show and, before long, they’re truly (and literally) a match made in heaven.

Earth’s new, unnamed God takes over management of the planet from NTG – whom we know as the New Testament God and by other names. He’s a planetary turnaround specialist, sent here by Milky Way Galaxy, Inc., his and NTG’s employer. This god is a cross between a more sophisticated version of the Old Testament God and current day corporate turnaround artists, but with a more humanitarian streak he would strive to deny.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters from First Second Coming who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

Brendali’s been talking to me and narrating what’s taken place in the book since the early drafts of the story. We’ve become good friends although she wakes me up at night to pass on the latest twist in the story. Now that I’m working on the sequel she’s doing that again, but I don’t mind. I enjoy our interactions, so she’s my pick.

We’d start with lunch at Porto’s Bakery in Glendale, a Cuban restaurant well known to Angelinos. Their meals, pastries and cakes are superb. We’d lose the calories by hiking the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains trails that wind through Pasadena’s Eaton Canyon. 

To finish the day, Bren and I would attend a Gaby Moreno concert. A Guatemalan born singer/guitarist who lives in L.A, Gaby belts out her songs in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Bren and I consider her a favorite, so we’ll enjoy the concert regardless of whether Gaby’s playlist consists of Blues, Jazz, Soul or R&B selections. We’d invite Ram, too, though he’s more a rock ‘n roll guy.   

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Because I came to writing fiction from a long career as a trial attorney, my writing style sometimes lapses into a stiff, formal style that’s normal for writing such boring things as legal briefs, client reports and trial documents. When editing I stay alert to this tendency, and fix the verbiage where I find it unless the character – such as God in First Second Coming – has a formal manner of speech. 

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I don’t actually own an Ipod, but some of the most played songs in my iTunes library are Copperhead Road by Steve Earle; Unintended by Muse; Come Unto Me by the Mavericks; Dreamer by the Lil’ Band O’ Gold; Lend a Hand by Jakob Dylan; King of El Paso by Boz Scaggs; Furr by Blitzen Trapper; Chocolate Jesus, a cover of Tom Waite’s song done by Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart; Quizas, Quizas, Quizas by Gabi Moreno and Killybegs by The Chieftains. I listen to a fairly broad range of musical genres.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

During the time I was writing First Second Coming, I was part of two critique groups. One was a three-person group, including me. None of us were published. The other group consisted of eight, several of whom were already published. As part of First Second Coming’s pre-publication process I sent my manuscript to four beta readers and one sensitivity reader, the latter to make sure Brendali, my Latina main character, was realistic and not in any way stereotyped or inaccurate.   

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading the newly released novel by David Mitchell, one of my favorite authors. It’s called Utopia Avenue. I’m about 25% through it at this point and it’s very enjoyable, though so far only occasionally up to his usual “relentlessly brilliant” writing style. The quoted phrase belongs to Ursula K. Le Guin, herself a brilliant writer.

How did you start your writing career?

There comes a time in life when you look ahead to mull over what you’ll do in your free time during retirement. That time came for me in 2014. Because litigation is a very writing intensive profession, and I enjoyed the writing aspect of it, I concluded that doing something related to the written word would fit me well. And since I’m an avid reader, the idea of trying my hand at writing fiction made sense, too. I embarked on a self-imposed crash course to learn the craft by attending writers’ conferences, scouring the internet for online websites, and becoming friendly with writers and a few instructors I met at the conferences. I also bought books such as Stephen King’s On Writing and pored through them.  

Tell us about your next release

 I’m working on two novels concurrently. One is the sequel to First Second Coming, which has a working title of Earth’s Peril. A spin-off called The Recycling Center is the second book. Earth’s Peril is probably the next release, but I’m in the early stages of both books so that could change.

I’m glad to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about First Second Coming by Jeff Pollak.

Black Frost by Willow Rose (giveaway)

The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.

She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won’t see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.

Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Website* Facebook* Twitter* Bookbub* Amazon* Goodreads   

(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.)

Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Black Frost (Emma Frost Book 13) by Willow Rose ~ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

From Multi-Million-Copy Bestselling author Willow Rose comes the next chapter in the #1 Bestselling Emma Frost Mystery Series.

Emma Frost is tied up in a murder mystery that seems out of this world.

When a young girl disappears one night from the park, then turns up again the next morning in a different place on the island, people start to talk about her.

Was she drunk and just doesn’t remember what happened?

Did she go home with a guy and won’t admit it?

What happened to her, and why is she insisting that she doesn’t know?

Emma Frost is fighting for Victor’s best friend, Skye.

Emma is trying to get her back from the people who took her in the night, but having no luck when a guy falls into her arms in the street and dies a few minutes later.

The autopsy shows he has frozen to death, but it doesn’t seem possible. When a young boy from Victor’s school turns up frozen as well, and things start to get cold around her own house, Emma begins to fear for her loved ones’ lives.

Once again, Willow Rose has written a story so compelling that it leaves the reader in almost unbearable suspense until the surprise ending is revealed.

Buy BLACK FROST today to indulge in an engulfing mystery dripping with suspense!

Goodreads * Amazon

I’m glad to be one of many tour hosts sharing information on Black Frost by Willow Rose.

The Bourbon Country Series by Chris Bostic (giveaway)

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Chris Bostic is the author of exciting adventure thrillers. From his home in suburban St. Louis, he turns family vacations and Boy Scout trips into gripping survival novels. The Northwoods Trilogy was his first series, with the setting chosen thanks to a BSA High Adventure trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Then came his SciFi series The Savage Horde, as well as a trio of standalone novels. He’s now rolled out a new series set in the Smoky Mountains.

Chris continues to build on his brand of epic adventure books. This year featured a three book set – The Bushwhackers Series – set in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The books are: Prepper Mountain, Shadow Warriors, and Jailbreak.

Then came another three book set, The Bourbon Country Series, to close out the year. Whiskey Thief, Kentucky Hug, and Barrel Strength mark a departure from teen fiction into a mature audience blend of psychological thriller and romantic suspense.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

(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.)

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Whiskey Thief (The Bourbon Country Series Book 1) by Chris Bostic ~ Genre: Psychological Thriller, Romantic Suspense

When their Kentucky bourbon tour takes a turn for the worse, two engaged couples join up with strangers to seek shelter in the ruins of an old distillery. Grace encounters more than abandoned spirits on the decaying property, bringing her semi-comfortable world crashing down.

Tensions pull at the group, splintering the couples into teams. Only it’s hard for Grace to know what side to be on when bonds are tested, and opposites no longer attract. Questions abound. Who really are the strangers they paired up with? Should she break convenient bonds for a risky one? Then again, does it even matter if they don’t make it out alive?

Please be advised – The Bourbon Country Series features fast-paced adult psychological thrillers where sexual assault, PTSD, self-blame, and functional alcoholism combine to form a potent blend. Recommended for mature audiences, ages 18+

Goodreads * Amazon

Kentucky Hug (The Bourbon Country Series Book 2)

It’s been six long months since Grace’s world turned upside down. She unexpectedly finds herself back in bourbon country with Vince, dredging up memories barely concealed. Anxiety builds when a mysterious stranger shadows them, but it’s her own indecisiveness that first leads to misadventure.

Just like a flight of unfamiliar bourbons, Grace can only wonder if each of her trials will unleash a rot gut burn or a warm Kentucky Hug. More likely a mixture of both.

Please be advised – The Bourbon Country Series features fast-paced adult psychological thrillers where sexual assault, PTSD, self-blame, and functional alcoholism combine to form a potent blend. Recommended for mature audiences, ages 18+

Goodreads * Amazon

Barrel Strength (The Bourbon Country Series Book 3)

After another nine solid months, things couldn’t be going much better for Grace. Life has settled into a comfortable routine. So, of course, she’s headed back to bourbon country with Vince. Maybe not the destination wedding she’d been dreaming about more recently, but the venue couldn’t be any more perfect. Or so they thought.

Wedding day should be a joyous occasion for the couple, but nothing is ever easy for them—especially when a manhunt locks down the venue and spirits flow from sleeping barrels.

Please be advised – The Bourbon Country Series features fast-paced adult psychological thrillers where sexual assault, PTSD, self-blame, and functional alcoholism combine to form a potent blend. Recommended for mature audiences, ages 18+

Goodreads * Amazon

How long have you been writing?

Over 8 years now.  I am up to 18 published books, all self-published.  Five of those books were originally Indie published, but I have the rights back to all of them now.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

I generally try to flesh out every character all the way down to names and characteristics before I am through the first chapter.  Sometimes they change a little bit as the story progresses, but I like to have an idea of quirks, flaws, appearance, etc… ready to go on page one.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Most all of my books are based on places I have been—often as family vacations. I’m the planning type of vacationer, so I spend hours on the ‘things to do’ part of a vacation. That all comes in handy when it’s time to write.

Do you see writing as a career?

Not for me. I wish, but not yet. After 18 books it feels a whole lot less like a hobby, but it’s just not to where I can support a family. Maybe a retirement job. I can definitely see that.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I used to read a whole lot more, but after I started writing I found myself not wanting to spend the time reading when I could be working on my own books.  I’ve always been a fan of military history, dystopian societies, and the occasional SciFi.  But less SciFi these days. That was more of a childhood thing.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I tend to like background noise.  My music choice varies with the scenes I write too, with harder rock music when I get into some conflict scenes.  It’s funny, but sometimes I find song lyrics blended into my rough drafts. It’s some kind of weird subliminal thing I do.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I have never worked on more than one book at a time. I don’t know how well I could do two. I get in the writing zone and obsessed with completion, so I don’t know that I could focus on one book if I was trying to wrap up another. About the only thing I will do is write down is ideas for other books while I’m working on a different one.

Pen or type writer or computer?

Definitely computer.  Sometimes I will put some notes on my phone if an idea strikes me while I am out, but I do 100% of my writing in Microsoft Word on my laptop.  I don’t even pencil down notes if I can avoid it.

A day in the life of the author?

I only write about half the months out of a year, or less. I won’t start a new book unless I know I have at least a couple weeks of free time to where I can write from start to finish on a draft.  When writing, weekend days look a lot like: wake up early, write until breakfast, work in a few hours of writing time in the am and pm around chores and family fun time, then several hours later in the evening.  Weekdays meaning writing for an hour on lunch break, and then a few more hours that evening after supper.

Describe your writing style.

Pretty linear. I’m not big on jumping from one scene to somewhere totally different. I like to take a small group of characters and develop them through the challenges they encounter. Typically it’s a normal day that turns into a real adventure. Most of my books span the events of a single day, maybe two.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I like to start writing with a general idea where I’d like to end up. I’ve tried to outline stories, but it hasn’t always worked out the best for me.  Once I had three pages of what I thought were great notes.  I was so sure it had the makings of a great story, but by the time I started writing I was through all the notes by about page 35.  Needless to say, the story took off and evolved from there. Now I outline a few chapters ahead, writing down ideas and scenes for what could happen, then filling in the details.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I’ve been told that I’m actually rather good at it.  I don’t know how exactly, but several of my recent books have a female lead, and I’ve not once had a negative reaction. In fact, several reviewers have commented that they would never know it was written by a man.  Not sure what that says about me….

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

About two months or less of actual writing/editing time.  I try not to start anything until I can devote enough time to finish the draft.  So I tend to rough it the whole story in 10-20 days (generally 2 weekends and the nights in between).  Then I take a little time off.  Editing is another full week, or more if it needs extra work. Then another week of editing and proofreading after that.

I’m happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about the Bourbon Country Series by Chris Bostic.