Friday, May 30, 2014

Interview with urban fantasy author K.S. Augustin

Today’s special guest is KS “Kaz” Augustin. She’s touring her book The Complete Check Your Luck Agency with Goddess Fish Promotions. The book explores the myths and legends of the melting-pot that is south-east Asia. Come for the food, stay for the monsters! (Ghosts included at no extra charge.)

Kaz will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during her tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and comment there, too.

Kaz Augustin is a Malaysian-born author of SF, fantasy, romance and combinations thereof! She has worked on three continents and is currently based in the steamy tropics, one degree north of the Equator. She is also Chief Editor of the online magazine, Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, which is full of release information, opinions and an original fiction piece, all geared towards the genre of SF romance.

Welcome, Kaz. Please tell us about your current release.
The Complete Check Your Luck Agency is actually five books in one! It's an omnibus that follows the adventures of Ursula Formosa, paranormal investigator. Now Ursula is a bit of a stubborn character. Although she has psychic abilities, they scare her, and she pretends that they don't exist until, that is, she's forced to confront reality.

What inspired you to write this book?
As much as I like urban fantasy, I found it very much geared to Celtic mythology. Coming back to live in Malaysia after years away, I was surrounded by such different beliefs that I knew I had to attempt to get some of it down in a book. To be honest, I think I only scratched the surface, but I hope that readers like what I managed to include.

Excerpt from The Complete Check Your Luck Agency:
“Did you have any difficulty finding the house?” Evelyn Long asked as she led me up a short flight of concrete steps.

“Well, the taxi driver wasn’t too keen to drive down the lane.”

Evelyn nodded her head. “The ignorant fear what they don’t understand,” she said.

I made a noise that might have indicated I agreed with her sentiment, and left it at that.

“I’m afraid Alfred is still meditating,” she began.

“I’m sorry,” I cut in, a shade too quickly, “I knew I shouldn’t have come. Perhaps I could pay him another visit some other time?”

I turned as if to leave and Evelyn Long grabbed me by the arm. No, “grabbed” was too gentle a term for it. Although her movement was smooth and she appeared to hold me lightly, I knew I would not be able to wrench free of her grasp without breaking flesh or limbs, or both, all of them mine. I looked up at her, startled, but saw nothing beyond polite interest. There wasn’t an ounce of strain on her face, nothing to show that she had me manacled with her slim, delicate-looking fingers.

Who – or what – was Evelyn Long?

“He won’t be much longer,” she said, as if commenting on the weather. “He’s been waiting to see you for more than a month now. We’re both glad you visited.”

And I suddenly realised that nobody knew where I was. Long and his supernaturally strong wife could do whatever they wanted with me, dispose of my dead body no doubt in the acres of primeval jungle behind their house and nobody would be the wiser. A wave of energy suddenly thrummed beneath my feet, a surge so strong I was sure that Long’s wife was able to feel it pulse through my body and travel to hers at our menacing point of contact.

“Why don’t I get you something to drink? You can relax while I fetch Alfred.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I've got a couple of SF projects on the go at the moment; they're ongoing books in two series, both of them space operas. But I'm also plotting out a new fantasy series involving a thief, a dragon and a curse, although the first book won't be out till mid-2015. I like to plan ahead! :)

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I was eleven years old when a story I wrote was chosen to be included in our school annual. It's been a love/hate affair ever since! LOL

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Oh how I wish I could write full-time! No, in between writing, I also homeschool my two teenage children and run Sandal Press (, a micro-press that my husband and I own. I set aside several afternoons a week and late nights to do my writing and find that having a writing plan really helps keep me focused, so I don't waste too much time on distractions. (You know what kind of distractions I mean, I'm sure.)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write a full synopsis of a book, and have it critiqued by one of my wonderful editors, before I even sit down and type “Chapter One”!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh, that's easy, a palaeontologist! I love teh dinosaurz!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
There are no guns in this book! It's all down to brains, skill and friendships.

My website is at and a list of my books can also be found at I occasionally tweet as @SandalPress.

The Complete Check Your Luck Agency is available from:

Thanks so much, Kaz! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New interview with Amy Sprenger, a writer full of humor and fun stories

Today’s she’s telling us about her newest book, a memoir titled, Yes Mommy: The Mayhem and Madness of Not Saying No.

Amy Sprenger is the author of Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not Quite True Story of Surviving Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family (first-place winner of the 2013 Shirley You Jest fiction contest), Over My Dead Potty, and Yes Mommy: The Mayhem and Madness of Not Saying No. Amy has three young kids and a penchant for getting herself into ridiculous situations. A former news and sports reporter, Amy lives with her husband and children in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood where she silently judges all the other parents.

Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Amy.
Thanks for having me again!

Please tell us about your newest release.
My newest book, Yes Mommy: The Mayhem and Madness of Not Saying No is a memoir about the month I decided to stop saying no to my three kids. Spoiler alert: I’m still alive, so it didn’t actually kill me. It just felt like it some days. The outcome was surprising and sometimes silly and made me take a hard look at my parenting techniques. My husband also got a surprise “yes wife” day out of the deal and booked himself three vacations during that twenty-four-hour span. That was much worse than any request the kids made.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was sick of being the mom who always yelled, who helicoptered her kids, who freaked out when her kids mixed Play-doh colors and didn’t put the puzzle together starting with the outside pieces first. So I jokingly told my husband one day that I was going to stop saying “no” and let them go all “Lord of the Flies” and the more I thought about it, the better the project sounded. It was also a fun party trick to tell other moms about my plan and watch their horrified reactions.

What’s the next writing project?
I’m about to start on a completely fresh novel that won’t feature me or my kids, but will appeal to a broader female audience. Writing fiction is actually more challenging for me than writing memoirs, even though everyone thinks it’s easier because “you can just make stuff up” so this will be a good creative exercise.

What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book?
The biggest challenge for me when I write is actually sitting down and banging it out. I look for any reason to procrastinate and have to actually discipline myself to put my butt in the chair and stop reading US Weekly’s breathless updates about Kim and Kanye’s wedding and ignore the blinking Facebook status bar that shows I have new updates.

What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
Like all world-famous authors, I have a dedicated writing room with cozy furniture, spectacular natural light, a wall full of my favorite books and a pristine desk and comfy chair. Ha, I kill myself. In reality, the actual office in our house is in the basement, doesn’t have a window and is littered with my husband’s papers and is overpowered by a large elliptical machine that no one has actually used in the entire four years we have owned it. Instead, I dragged an old Ikea desk and chair into the upstairs hallway and write in front of a window so I can at least see daylight. This is also the desk that features the desktop computer the kids use, so it’s littered with “Frozen” drawings, second-grade math equations and broken Hello Kitty pencils. It’s as glamorous as it sounds.

What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
I just finished Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell and absolutely loved it. It was the perfect mix of snarky and sweet with the most amazing dialogue I’ve ever read. It’s hard to capture young adult angst and she really did it so well.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
I hope you’ll check out Yes Mommy – it’s available in both ebook and print on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and iTunes.

Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Interview with YA author K.D. Van Brunt

I’m featuring a special interview with K.D. Van Brunt today. He’s touring his debut young adult urban fantasy novel, Win the Rings with Goddess Fish Promotions.

During his tour, K.D. will be awarding a $50 Amazon or / gift card to one randomly chosen commenter. To be entered to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Blurb for Win the Rings:
Jace has been the property of the U.S. Army since they found out about her when she was five, and now she has become one of its most valuable weapons. But Jace is not the only one of her kind. Gray is one too, but with the help of his sister, he has spent most of his sixteen years hiding from the Army.

Now, the Army has found out about Gray and they cannot allow him to roam free. Operating on the theory that it takes one to catch one, Jace is sent out with a special ops squad to hunt Gray down. But Jace is not the only one pursuing Gray, and the competition is after her too. What ensues is a desperate chase through city after city as duty and honor collide with love and sacrifice.

Excerpt from Win the Rings:
“I’m Mark,” he says.
“Tina,” I blurt out before I know what I’m doing.
“Princess Tina from the kingdom of Berwick,” Mark says with a wolfish grin.
I can’t help myself.  I shoot him a flirtatious smile.  I’m about to tell him that he looks like Justin Bieber having a bad hair day, in a kind of blended compliment-insult thing, when Nia’s words crash into my head.
Gray, I think it’s him.
By Au Bon Pain.  He has a dark green trench coat on, but I saw a flash of the hoodie underneath.
“Shit,” I say out loud, grabbing the wheel back from Tina.  I toss the paper and bolt for the restaurant.
“Hey, wait a sec,” the Biebs shouts to me.
As I turn the corner of the newsstand, I hear Nia’s frantic words.
He’s pulling something from his coat.
I see him now.  He’s standing in front of a plate glass window looking in on a crush of people inside, sitting at tables and queued up behind counters to buy lunch.  He’s pulling back a slide on an automatic assault rifle, preparing to pump the first of a hundred rounds of bullets into the crowded restaurant.  There’s no time to find a policeman.  In seconds loony tunes will be shooting.
We have to stop him, I say, and then I see Nia sprinting at him like me.
We both slam into him at the same time just as he’s leveling the gun to fire, and all three of us tumble to the hard, icy concrete.  I’m lying on my side facing Peter Eklend and he’s on his side facing me.  I’ve wrenched my shoulder and it’s too painful for me to sit up.  Peter Eklend shoots a glare of such hatred at me that I flinch.  Then I see that he still has the gun in his hands.  Nia is on her feet now, but before she can do anything, Peter pulls the trigger.  The explosion brings a sudden quietness to my ears, as if I’ve just gone deaf, and I feel a stabbing hot pain in my chest, as if I’ve been impaled on a red-hot fireplace poker.  I cough, sending a froth of blood spraying out of my mouth.  I need to breathe, but my lungs aren’t working.
Then my ears start working and I hear Nia scream.  Others are now wrestling with Peter.  Another shot goes off.  It doesn’t hit me. 
Gray.  Shift.  You have to shift!
I’m losing consciousness.  I can’t breathe.  My lungs are filling with blood.  This body is dying.  I can feel it.  I’m seconds away from the last, icy embrace of death.  I have to get out of this body, leave it behind and flee to another body—a healthy, unwounded body.  I need to shift now.  With one last shred of will power, just as awareness winks out, I shift back to me.
A crowd has gathered around me by now, and I hear a collective gasp when they see me shimmer and change.  I’m lying on the ground in a sticky, syrupy pool of blood, but I’m back in my own body now—my own bullet-free body.  Nia is immediately at my side pulling me to my feet.   Some of Tina’s blood stains my pants and sweatshirt as I roll away from Peter Eklend.  I’ve shifted away from death in the nick of time.  A strange exhilaration causes my skin to tinkle and a rush of adrenalin floods through me.  I’ve evaded eternity by mere nanoseconds.
Run!  Nia says, bringing me back to the moment.

What do you think you’re really good at?
In terms of my writing, I like my characters.  I feel what they feel, I sense what they sense, I hurt when they hurt.  It defines my writing.  I also like my plotting.  I try to keep it tight and focused.

What do you think you’re really bad at?
Patience.  In my writing and everything else, I want results now.  I find it hard to sit back and wait, but sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
In many ways, yes.  The one big difference is that it was about two years ago that I started this book series, and every ounce of free time goes into that now.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
No.  I missed out on that one.

Do you have any phobias?
Heights and spiders.  I can’t  watch scenes in movies involving people teetering on the edge of a high building, and I avoid all spider movies.

Ever broken any bones?
Yes, but all during a period of excessive clumsiness.  In 4th grade, I broke my wrist playing football on our front lawn, in 5th grade I broke my nose running into a post (that took a while to live down), and in 6th grade I broke my thumb playing baseball.

K.D. Van Brunt has been writing professionally his entire career and has published an extensive list of nonfiction works. Win the Rings is his first fiction book. When not writing, he reads and listens to audiobooks during his daily drive through the sea of gridlock that is commuting in and out of Washington, DC. A long time resident of Maryland, he can often be found tromping around the many civil war battle sites in the area. To find out more about K.D. Van Brunt, including bonus content relating to Win the Rings, check out his website and follow him on Twitter.

Other links:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Interview with Timeless Escapes anthology author Julie Rowe

I have the honor of interviewing Julie Rowe today as part of the virtual tour for the anthology Timeless Escapes: A Collection of Summer Stories happening now with Goddess Fish Promotions. Julie is one of the five authors involved in the project.

The authors will be awarding several prizes during their tour to lucky commenters. The prizes are:
  • First prize - $50 gift certificate plus e-book Timeless Keepsakes: A Collection of Christmas Stories by Ruth A. Casie, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye, Nicole S. Patrick, Julie Rowe
  • Second prize - $25 gift certificate plus 3 e-books 1) Molly Gets Her Man by Julie Rowe 2) Knight of Runes by Ruth A. Casie 3) Timeless Keepsakes: A Collection of Christmas Stories by Ruth A. Casie, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye, Nicole S. Patrick, Julie Rowe
  • Third prize - 3 e-books 1) Love at Christmas by Lita Harris 2) Time for Love by Emma Kaye 3) Keepsakes: A Collection of Christmas Stories by Ruth A. Casie, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye, Nicole S. Patrick, Julie Rowe 

To be entered for a chance to win a prize, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Julie Rowe’s first career as a med lab tech in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details and a lot of adventure in her romance novels. Julie writes contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. You can reach her at, on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page:

Welcome, Julie. Please tell us about your current story, "A Pirate's Vacation" in Timeless Escapes: A Collection of Summer Stories.
A year ago, Emergency Room doctor Josie Zizzo lost her husband to the violence in war-torn Syria. Watching him die while bullets rained down on their makeshift hospital, left her suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. Returning to work in the ER proved impossible, the PTSD throwing her back in time to the awful day her husband died. In an effort to heal, Josie buys a B&B in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the property needs more repairs than she anticipated. Her best friend promises to come help, but it’s her best friend’s brother who steps off the plane, firefighter Mark Durant. Mark is the last man she dated before meeting her husband, a man she loved, a man who walked away from her when she asked for more than a casual relationship.

Mark has come to help Josie because he’s suffering his own PTSD nightmare and hopes the sun, sand, and time spent with the most giving woman he’s ever met will help him heal. It isn’t until he steps off the plane and sees Josie’s shocked face that he realizes his sister has set them both up. Now he’s sharing a house with a woman he wants more than his next breath, who’s also fighting her own terrifying memories. It isn’t until a storm hits the island that they’re forced to face their pasts and all the ghosts that haunt them. Can love survive nature’s wrath and their personal demons?

What inspired you to write this story?
Every story I write involves recovery from loss or trauma in some way. Doctors, nurses, firefighters and other emergency response people are often traumatized by what they see and do. Many of them cope as best they can, but sometimes it can get to be too much and they need to take time away to get themselves sorted out. Some (like me) never go back. I believe telling their stories is important.

Years disappeared and it felt like yesterday when he’d last kissed her, put his hands on her body, and made love to her. It weakened her knees and turned her breathing into something totally optional.
Well, wasn’t this just ducky. Hell of a time for her libido to come out of hibernation.
Josie sighed, put some starch in her legs and refused to succumb to the seduction of her memories. She would be polite and friendly, that was all. “Come on, you’re here. You might as well get the nickel tour.”
He didn’t move. “Not necessary. I can grab the first plane going back to mainland USA.”
That duffel bag was full. He hadn’t planned a short trip.
She raised one eyebrow. “Did you take time off to come here?”
He froze like she’d just caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. “Um, yeah.”
Shit. “How long?”
“Four weeks.”
That rocked her back on her feet.
“From the pictures, I can tell your new place needs a lot of work.”
Heh, she should have asked his opinion before she bought it. And he’d come all this way to help her, despite knowing the status of the B&B.
“What made you decide to want to help me?” She tried that smile thing again, maybe this time it’d work. “I mean, we haven’t seen each other in a few years.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“We haven’t seen each other in five years.”
He kept track?

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on a military romance series that features a team of infection disease specialists who respond to biological emergencies around the world.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing poetry and shorter works of fiction in my teens.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write, or perform writing related tasks, full-time and work part-time at my local college where I teach a variety of communication workshops to adults and corporate clients. I spend about a quarter of my day on social media, email, etc. I tend to write in 30- to 60-min blocks throughout the day. I find I stay more energetic if I change tasks every hour or so.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm, probably my love of the words “look”, “smile” and “just”. I’m always surprised at how many times I use those words and always have to edit a lot of them out.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a doctor. Now I write about them, so I’m pretty satisfied.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is no different than suffering from diabetes. There are coping strategies, therapies, and lifestyle choices that can help. Nothing can magically cure either disorder, but lots of things can make them easier to live with.

If you or someone you love needs help coping, please check out The organization was started by Andrew O’Brien, who attempted suicide himself. He’s been there and can help.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Interview with multi-genre author Hadena James

Today’s guest is multi-genre author Hadena James. She’s talking about her newest novel, Dark Cotillion, while doing a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. This novel is a bit different from her other novels… find out why.

Also, Hadena will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.

I began writing at the age of eight. I finished writing my first novel in junior high school and it was terrible. However, during my teens, I did get some short stories published in magazines. I graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia with a degree in history and took the time to become fluent in German while I was there. When I’m not writing, I love to travel and camp. I’m also very active in a steel-tip dart league in Columbia, Missouri, where I live and travel to tournaments in the Mid-West regularly. My other goal is to help aspiring novelists and I co-run a critique/hand-holding group with author Liz Schulte specifically for that purpose.

Welcome, Hadena. Please tell us about your current release.
Dark Cotillion is a fantasy novel that I wrote with the intention of not making it a fantasy novel. It’s more of an alternate history. My main character is a demon-witch, who is not very demonic or very witch-like. Despite the character being 30 years old, she’s more like an 18-year-old, trying to find her way in the world and figure out who she is. It just so happens that she is important and a lot of bad things are about to happen to her. The series as a whole is about her growing as an individual as well as saving the world.

What inspired you to write this book?
It was a fluke. I had always written mysteries or thrillers and I wanted to expand. So one night, while talking with some friends, they suggested I put my history degree to good use and write an alternate history using fantasy characters. I grabbed some mythology books and some ancient gods and the story grew from there.

“I have silverware; there are at least a dozen boxes of assorted disposable utensils in the drawer.”

“Metal utensils?”

“Uh, yeah, my mom gave me a box of old silver when she gave me the china dishes.”

“China dishes?” He rolled his eyes as Gabriel snickered. “Do you have anything except antique Bone China place settings?”

“Ewww, they are made of bone? One more reason to use paper plates. Stop setting those things on my damn table.” I looked pointedly at Gabriel.

“No, Ani, she has almost nothing in her kitchen, except disposable and fine antiques that should be used only on very special occasions.” Gabriel looked back at me and stuck out his tongue.

“I tried to give the fine stuff back to mom, but she refused to take it. She said some nonsense about every homeowner needing a good set of dishes.”

“Let me get this straight,” Anubis shook his head again, “you have no food and even if you did, we couldn’t cook it unless it was microwavable, and then we would have to eat it on plates that are probably a couple hundred years old, with silverware that is probably older?”

“Sounds accurate,” I lit a cigarette. “I’m sorry; I’m just not very domestic.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am releasing my fourth novel in my thriller series this month and during the summer, I hope to release the first book of my new fantasy series. The new fantasy series is started, but it’s still pretty hush-hush.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure I consider myself a “writer,” even now. I write, to be sure, prolifically, but I think of myself as a storyteller more than a writer. However, if I had to pick a point, when I was nineteen, I was offered a contract with a publishing company for a novel I had written. I’d say at that point I was a “writer,” despite not accepting the contract.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a full time writer with a part time job. I work as a book keeper for a small non-profit about 25 hours a month. Thankfully, the job doesn’t require much time, so I always have writing time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write really fast, averaging 2,500 words an hour, after dark. With the sun up, I only average about 1,000 words an hour. If I could make myself write for a full eight hours with the sun down, I could write a novel every two weeks. However, if I tried to do all my writing during the daytime, the same novel would take me two months.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to grow up to be an archeologist or Sherlock Holmes, either was acceptable. Obviously, neither worked out. I realized archeology wouldn’t work because I didn’t want to be stuck in some dusty room with poor lighting or worse, some excruciatingly hot geographic area with extra-large bugs. As for Sherlock Holmes, it’s very hard to grow up to be a fictional character. I tried, but it just never worked for me.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for taking the time to read about me!

Ways to connect with me:

Buy links:

Thanks for the fun interview! Happy writing!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book blast for No Hard Feelings, A Kate Stanton Mystery by Marta Tandori

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marta will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Some secrets can’t stay hidden, especially when they involve murder…

Liz Farrell is still reeling over the murder of her mother almost a year earlier at the hands of her father, Leo Bauer, when she receives the startling news that she’s inherited her estranged father’s sizable estate. Unable to come to terms with her father’s unspeakable legacy, Liz and her grandmother, Kate Stanton, visit Leo’s property in Benedict Canyon, desperately hoping to find closure. Instead, they find a bunker hidden under an old hunting lodge that had been used by Leo at one time to hold Liz’s mother captive. Horrified by the discovery, Liz immediately orders the bunker filled and the lodge destroyed but the ensuing demolition quickly comes to a grinding halt after a man’s remains are discovered in a shallow grave at the base of the old lodge. Once the press get wind of the gruesome discovery, rumors quickly surface, linking the remains to a murder spree that took place at the same address almost half a century earlier; a murder spree conveniently covered up by the governor at the time who also happened to be Leo Bauer’s stepbrother. Liz and Kate’s efforts to uncover the truth behind the murders are soon hampered by family secrets and a killer who’s intent on finishing the job started almost fifty years ago.

Enjoy this excerpt:
The older attorney looked at his colleague before placing a comforting hand over Kate’s. “We apologize for upsetting you … both of you. My colleague and I cannot even begin to imagine what you’ve gone through, and although we wish there was some way to avoid having this meeting, there isn’t.”

Kate blinked several times, forcing herself to remain stoic. “I understand. Please continue, Mr. Ludlow.”

He cleared his throat uncomfortably. “After your—Karl Bauer died, he left the bulk of his estate to his son, Leo. It appears that Mrs. Sanborn and Leo had had a falling out a number of years ago, and as a result, she left her family fortune to her older son, Irving. However, the bulk of her personal estate, valued well in excess of a quarter billion dollars, she has left to Maria Weaver.”

Liz’s head shot up. “But my mother’s dead!” she cried harshly.”

Nigel Hawthorne held up his hands. “Yes, we are, of course, well aware of that. According to California succession laws, since the named heir to Mrs. Sanborn’s estate is deceased, the estate then automatically reverts to Maria Weaver’s children … in this case you, Ms. Farrell.”

At a loss for words, Liz stared at him blankly”

Nigel Hawthorne glanced at Kate, but she sat there holding her granddaughter’s hand, saying nothing so he forged ahead. “And your father, Ms. Farrell—.”

“Please don’t call Leo Bauer my father!” The words were torn from Liz as tears spilled unwittingly down her cheeks.”

The attorney reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief, which he held out to Liz. “We’re again very sorry to have upset you both.”

“It’s not your fault, Mr. Hawthorne,” Kate told him firmly. “My granddaughter and I realized coming into this meeting that it would probably bring up some very painful issues. Please continue.”

He nodded. “Ms. Farrell’s father, Leo Bauer, also left his entire estate to Maria Weaver.”

Liz jumped up. “Is this some kind of a sick joke?” she cried. “First, he kills my mother, and then he leaves her everything?”

“Leo Bauer’s will was executed back in the late seventies and was never updated,” he explained. “And again, because your mother is deceased,” he paused delicately, “you are your mother’s heir by succession.”

Liz shook her head. “I don’t want it … any of it.”

About the author:
By the time Marta Tandori reached fifth grade, she was an avid reader and writer with a stack of short stories collecting dust in a box under her bed, but it wasn’t until she began studying acting in her early twenties at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York that Marta realized acting wasn’t really her passion – writing fiction was. 

What followed were years of writing workshops as well as correspondence courses in writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut. She credits the award winning author, Troon Harrison, as the instructor who helped her find her literary voice. Marta’s first work of middle-grade fiction, BEING SAM, NO MATTER WHAT was published in 2005, followed by EVERY WHICH WAY BUT KUKU! in 2006. 

With her more recent endeavors, Marta has shifted her writing focus to mysteries and suspense having “strong female protagonists with closets full of nasty skeletons and the odd murder or two to complicate their already complicated lives.” To learn more about Marta, please visit her website, her Facebook Author Page, or follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Interview with romance author Alexandra Forry

Today’s special guest is romance author Alexandra Forry. She’s touring her new (third) novel, Wildflower.

During her tour, Alexandra will be awarding 1 lucky commenter a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.

Alexandra Forry was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has Cerebral Palsy but that doesn't stop her from doing what she wants! Omerta Affair was her first novel, then she came out with Timeless Endings, which is the same story line as Omerta Affair, but aimed as a woman’s romance. Alexandra is currently working on her fourth novel. She enjoys being a member of the Las Vegas Romance Writers as well as RWA.

Welcome, Alexandra. Please tell us about your current release.
Wildflower is a book that I've been working on for a long time, such joy to see it published. Wildflower is set in the heart of Sedona, Arizona, It’s a delightful read about a teenage girl and her aunt opening a coffee shop in Sedona and how their life's turned upside down when they meet a billionaire and his daughter.

What inspired you to write this book?
My grandma had a sandwich shop back when, and she had told me all the store’s about it while I grew up. I always want to write a book that was based on stories on her shop. I made the billionaire part up, sorry there was no sexy billionaire that came into my grandma’s sandwich shop 

“Why don’t we open a business? Like a simple sandwich and coffee shop,” Sydney announced with a glimmer of hope in her eyes.

“A sandwich shop?” Blanche asked, looking surprised and a bit taken aback.

“Yeah, why not?”

While Sydney waited for an answer, Blanche just looked at her, dumbfounded

“Sydney, I would love to open a sandwich shop, but it takes a lot of money--money that we just don’t have.”

“Oh please, Aunt Blanche! I bet you can get a loan from the bank. It will be exciting!” Sydney pleaded.

“I don’t think that your uncle will approve. Sydney I love your idea, truly do! I was taken aback at first, because it has always been a dream of mine to open a little shop of some kind on Main Street,” Blanche said wistfully. ”It costs a lot of money to open up a business, besides I have an offer for a job in Prescott.”

“Pooh on Uncle Dean, and turn down that job. For me, please? You can ask Annette how to open a business--she will know, since she owns her own business.” Sydney said begging her aunt.

“I will think about it, okay, Sydney?” Blanche said making her way to her closet and picking out a dress.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Why does everyone asks me that? Don’t you know that a great author don’t tell all? LOL!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer since I was little. I first truly consider myself as a writer at a small writing workshop. I’ll never forget that day.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m lucky to say that I write full time. Lately I been busy promoting my book’s

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to say I act out parts of the book before I write it down on paper, it help me to get into the minds of my characters!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Like I said up above. It’s was my childhood dream to be an Author. I was born to write and be an author. Hopefully a famous one someday.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I want to share that I was born with Cerebral Palsy but it only effects my motor-skills, speech and walking other than that, I am like anybody else. I’m happy to have Cerebral Palsy, I lead a normal live to the best as I can!

Ways to connect with me:

Where to buy: Amazon

Thanks, Alexandra!  Happy writing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book blurb and excerpt for Mind Games by Christine Amsden

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $100 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn winner (via Rafflecopter) during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.  NOTE:  Book One of this series is on sale for only $0.99 during May!

Beware your heart and soul…

Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him…irresistible.

Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the non-magical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Rick was still on some tirade about the heat, possibly trying to blame an August heatwave on sorcery, or perhaps the wrath of God, when I got the oddest sense of foreboding. It was a tingle, one of those things that is easily dismissed in the moment but, in retrospect, makes you think, I had a feeling…

Upon entering the diner my impression of danger strengthened, though it took me a minute to pinpoint the source of the threat. I noticed two things at once: First, Mrs. Meyer’s oddly shifty gaze as she worked the cash register, and second, the nervous expression of the stooped, middle-aged man standing opposite her.

The tinkle of bells startled the man in front of the register more than it should have. He turned slightly, took a good look at Rick and me in our deputy’s uniforms, and let out a cry of alarm. The next thing I knew he held a pistol in his shaking hands. “Don’t move!”

I froze. In that microcosm of time between instants, I gathered that Rick and I had interrupted a robbery and the man probably thought someone had called the cops. There was a sense of desperation about the man that made him seem wild and unpredictable – a dangerous combination, especially for a man holding a deadly weapon.

When time resumed, everyone in the diner began to panic. More than a few people screamed. Dishes fell and broke. Everyone scrambled for cover, most sheltering under tables.

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective ($0.99 in May)
Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

First Chapter

Cassie Scot ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot #1) Buy Links:
Amazon |  Barnes and Noble | Audible (audiobook)

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2) Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible (Audiobook)

Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3) Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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