Monday, May 21, 2018

Asta and the Barbarians by Becca Fox


Becca will be awarding custom made bookmarks, coasters, and magnets to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The book is $0.99 during the tour!

Asta heard about King Torvald's crusade and watched her people fortify the town's defenses, but she never imagined foreign invaders would come to her peaceful shores. In one fateful night, she loses everything she holds dear and somehow gains the favor of the warrior god. Has he given her the tools she needs for revenge or does he have a greater plan in store?

Read an Excerpt:

“Why did you help me?” I asked. “I have nothing to give in return. You must have known that.”

Bryn smiled softly. “A very wise woman once said, ‘A world without kindness is a dark and hopeless place.’ And that isn’t the kind of world I wish to live in.”

My eyes stung with the coming of new tears.

Viggo rolled his eyes and turned to leave. “I’ll see you at dinner, Bryn.”

“Until then,” Bryn said over his shoulder. His glowing eyes fell on my face again. “What’s your name?”

“Asta.”

“I would like to hear your story, if you are willing and able to tell it, Asta.”

I rubbed my face against the blanket. “You won’t like it.”

“We are rarely fond of the truth,” Bryn said with a shrug. “Tell me anyway.”

About the Author:
Becca Fox was that strange girl in high school, who always seemed to have her nose in a book. She didn’t talk much because, more often than not, she was daydreaming about different fantasy worlds. During class, under the guise of taking notes, she wrote scenes for her works in progress.

Becca is a bit more social now but still enjoys reading, writing, and daydreaming. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a fat orange tabby cat, and a forever-puppy. She has published three books to date, I Dare You to Love Me (a young adult romance), In the Dark (a new adult paranormal romance), and Asta and the Barbarians (a new adult fantasy.)

Links:

Blog: https://fanofthefiction.wordpress.com
Website: http://becca-fox.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Becca-Fox/e/B076PTNPV9/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17274613.Becca_Fox
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bears_Goose1?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beccajfoxauthor
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/beccajayfox/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rjagundez.5/?hl=en
Buy Links for Asta and the Barbarians:

The book is $0.99 during the tour

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Asta-Barbarians-Becca-Fox-ebook/dp/B07BGCRV9V/ref=as_li_ss_tl
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Barbarians-Becca-Fox-ebook/dp/B07BGCRV9V/ref=as_li_ss_tl
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/803680
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/asta-and-the-barbarians/id1359718982?mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/asta-and-the-barbarians
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asta-and-the-barbarians-becca-fox/1128197571

Becca will be awarding custom made bookmarks, coasters, and magnets to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 20, 2018

To My Muse by Nicola M. Cameron



Ever do something really, really dumb?
When too much tequila and an enabling BFF put Lily Nayar's romance novel Feast of Lovers into the hands of its inspiration, sexy British actor Tom Morrison, Lily is horrified. Now she's determined to get her book back, even if that means breaking into Tom's hotel room to do it.
With the help of a strategic lie and a charismatic knight, Lily's screwball plan catapults her into the middle of her very own Cinderella story, Hollywood style. But will a vengeful actress ruin Lily's shot at a real life HEA with Tom?
Excerpt available here.
  • Contemporary romance, romantic comedy, MF
  • Word Count: 67,000
  • Heat Level 2
  • Published By: Belaurient Press

Excerpt

Giving Theresa a thumbs up, I closed the door and turned my attention to the hotel room. It had already been cleaned and the bed was neatly made. A suitcase sat on the valet stand next to the TV, and the dresser and desk held various pieces of paper, notes, and a couple of plastic shopping bags, all the usual stuff when you’re stuck in a hotel room for a couple of weeks.
Of course, the fangirl part of my brain was screeching like a gibbon at me that I was in Tom Morrison’s hotel room. He’d slept in that very bed last night. Sat at that desk to check his email and Facebook. Took a dump behind the closed door of what I assumed was the bathroom. The prosaic nature of that last bit helped me regain some self-control, and I tiptoed (why, I don’t know, I’m an idiot) over to the desk. There was what looked like a script for GearShifter on it, as well as a MacBook Pro, but no Feast of Lovers. Bad Tom, no leaving your expensive computer equipment out where people can steal it.
I wanted to leaf through the script so badly, but I ignored it and kept looking for Feast. Not on the desk top, not on the dresser, not on the TV. I was starting to worry that he’d taken it with him to the location when I noticed the suitcase. I truly, honestly hated the idea of going through his personal stuff, but he might have stuck it in there. I could just lift the lid, take a peek, maybe it was in plain sight—
I had the lid in hand when the bathroom door swung open and a tall, beautiful blonde in a towel strutted out. “I thought I heard you—” she purred, before she saw me. Both face and tone iced over. “Who the hell are you?”
I let out a noise that could have been used as a sound effect for a creaking vault door. The blonde stalked closer, looming over me. Up close, I could see some fine lines around her eyes, but she was still ridiculously gorgeous. “What are you doing here?” she snapped.
Oh. Oh, shit. My brain informed me that I was currently sharing a room with Claudine Ellery, the actress playing Tom’s antagonist/love interest on the show. What the hell was she doing in his bathroom? Were they dating in real life? Why was I asking stupid questions when I should be turning and running for my freaking life?
And then Fate decided that she needed an even bigger chuckle because the room door opened and Tom Morrison walked in. I caught a glimpse of an apologetic Theresa hovering in the hallway before she was eclipsed by Tom, who was staring at Claudine and me.
Oh, God. He was even better looking in person. Not all actors are, but Tom—he was edible. Curly black hair, eyes the color of dark chocolate, and lips that I’d wanted to kiss since the first time I saw him on screen. With faded jeans that fit him perfectly, a dusty white button-down with rolled up sleeves, just the right amount of chest hair peeping out of his collar, and the cutest smudge of dust across one laser-sharp cheekbone, he was every one of my fantasies come to warm, tall life right in front of me.
And I had broken into his hotel room.
That was it. I was going to jail, assuming that the cops didn’t just see “brown person” and shoot me when they got here. At the very least I’d get fired from Golden State. Mom and Dad would disown me, Dada and Dadi would die of shame, and Derek would probably take out an ad in the LA Times saying that I was adopted. My only hope was that Theresa had gotten the hell out of here. There was no reason for both of us to go down for my stupidity—
“Lilian, darling, what are you doing here?”
My brain skidded to a halt. Words had come out of Tom Morrison’s mouth. Friendly words. While he was staring directly at me. Looking, if I may say so, as if he was talking to someone he knew. Which he didn’t, because I may not have remembered sending him my book but I would definitely remember meeting him.
“Um. Hi?” I waved weakly.
“I thought you decided not to come out this weekend.” He crossed to me, slipping an arm around my shoulders as he stared at Claudine. He squeezed my shoulder once, kind of hard, then did it again.
Even with my brain in fangirl vapor lock I can take a hint. I had no idea how he knew who I was, but he wanted me to play along. Plastering a grin on my face, I slipped my arm around his waist and squeezed back. His torso felt like warm rock, and he smelled so good.
“Well, I figured I needed a road trip,” I extemporized, giving him a bright smile. “And I didn’t think you’d mind.”
“Not at all, angel,” he purred. Up close, I could see a hint of relief in his eyes. It disappeared as he turned to Claudine. “Claud, why are you in my room wearing a towel?” he asked politely.
She planted hands on slim hips, cocking her head to the side. “Seriously? You have to ask why?”
“Yes, because if I remember correctly, I told you that I had no interest in going to bed with you. In fact, I’m quite sure I informed you of this on numerous occasions. And when I walk into my hotel room and see you wearing nothing but terrycloth while my girlfriend,” this time his squeeze was gentle, “is standing there looking gobsmacked, I have to wonder what the actual fuck you’re up to.”

My face went rigid as it tried to hold onto my smile. Girlfriend? Eeeeeeeee…

Where to Buy


About the Author

Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of "y'all," much to her Chicago family's dismay.
Despite a healthy interest in romance and sex since puberty, it wasn't until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to speculative romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).
 


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Outlaw by Angela Verdenius

Today I'd like to welcome Angela Verdenius, an Aussie sci-fi/romance writer who has written a fantastic tale of vengence and love set in another galaxy. 

Jennifer:  Hello! Thank you so much for visiting my blog with me today! It’s such a pleasure to chat with you. So tell me…

How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters? Did you study psychology, because they seemed very true to life, especially the two couples, Darvk and Tenia, and Maverk and Reya -

Angela: No, I never studied psychology! I have to admit that the characters just came to me and developed as I wrote, each one with their own temperament and ideas. They present me with very different and interesting characteristics!

Jennifer:  Is this book part of a series? If so, can you tell us about it?

Angela:Yes, this is the first book in the Heart’s Desire Soul Destroyed series. Each book is a stand-alone story that features side characters from another book as the main characters in their won story. The couples come from a wide range of backgrounds - bounty hunters, warriors, outlaws, soldiers, traders, prisoners, space pirates, witches, demons and others. Some of the stories are darker than others, some lighter, some sensual, it all depends on the storyline. I wanted to represent different stories with different situations. Though the series is now quite old, I am in the middle of revising/re-editing/rewriting it, bringing it up to date!

Jennifer: Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?

Angela:It was originally only going to be a stand alone story, but as I wrote it the other characters started to come forward and needed their stories told, so the one book turned into a series!

Jennifer:  What gave you the inspiration for your book?

Angela:I’d only read historical romance until I picked up warrior’s Woman by Johanna Lindsey, and my love for sci-fi romance was born.

Jennifer:  Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

 Angela:Mostly they’re planned out, but different characteristics start to appear as the story develops.


Jennifer: What are your upcoming projects?

Angela: I’m currently writing a contemporary romance, then plan to start revising the 2nd book, which is Reya’s story.

Jennifer: That's good, because I loved Reya's character! Her banter with Maverk (or rather, his banter and her icy stare were a lot of fun to read about!) 


BLURB:

Outlaw (Heart's Desire Soul Destroyed Book 1) by [Verdenius, Angela]Murder, betrayal, danger and despair…
A time when outlaws are hunted and sold…
When legends are born amidst blood and lies…
When you may not like what you discover…

He’s never believed in keeping slaves, in buying and owning another person, but a soft-heart and an unexpected attraction has made Darvk, the Daamen captain of a trading crew, break his belief, and he’s now the new owner of a notorious outlaw.

She’s beautiful and feisty, she’s injured, and she has blood on her hands.
One of an outlawed race of warrior woman, this Reeka is intent on escape.
Escape for her could mean capture and death, and he can’t let that happen.

The legends are bloody.
The bounty hunters are on her trail.
But so is the Inka Empire.

Tenia’s hell-bent on finding her sister - both blood kin and warriors, but escaping the Daamen captain isn’t as easy as it looks.

He says he’ll help her.
She’s been betrayed before.
Can she trust him…and her heart?

From the Outlaw Sector to the Lawful Sector, nothing is as it seems, there are allies and enemies in a vast universe…and a secret that loops back to the very bloodline of the Reekas.

EXCERPT: 
The hover tray halted, drawing her attention back to the present and the huge trading spaceship that stood alone in the docking bay. Wooden crates and heavy sacks were piled near the cargo opening, and a ramp was down. Traders, their heavy muscles bulging and cheerful voices laughing and cursing, busily loaded the crates and hover trays.
They were a tough looking crew in leather vests that hung open, and coarse material pants tucked into boots. A couple of the traders wore headbands to keep long, shaggy hair out of their faces, while others had their hair tied back at the napes. All of them had a small, silver hoop in their left earlobe. She counted quickly - twelve traders, including Darvk and Maverk.
“Hey, Darvk, what’ve you got there?”
“What the hell you been trading, Cap’n?” Another dropped the sack he was carrying onto the ramp. “That’s human cargo!”
Leaving their chores, the curious crew gathered in a wide arc around the cage, their gazes surprised as they stared at her.
“Bloody hell, ‘tis a wench!” one of them blurted out, sounding shocked.
So, this was to be her fate. Plaything to a crew - to be raped, used by them all, until they tired of her. Well, she wouldn’t go down without a fight. Once aboard the spaceship, she was lost. Escape was only possible while still on this planet.
The cage door opened and the hover tray operator looked warily at her narrowed eyes.
He drew back quickly. “You bought her, you get her out!”
~*~
A red-haired trader gaped. “You bought a slave?”
Darvk scowled. “Nay, I didn’t.”
“Well, in a sense he did, Red.” Maverk grinned. “Though to be fair, he did it because he felt sorry for the wench.”
The crew exchanged questioning looks.
Reaching into the cage, Darvk noted the warning glower in the lass’s eyes. “Give me a hand, Maverk.”
“You need assistance for one helpless lass?” Red was appalled.
“Helpless?” The operator guffawed while handing the golden death mask to Red. “Your captain bought himself an outlaw.”
“Outlaw?”
“None other than a Reeka warrior.”
A fair-haired trader gazed at the occupant of the cage. “I heard they were all dead.”
“Not this one,” Darvk answered from the cage where he and Maverk were leaning in, trying to grab the lass who strained back against the bars. “Damn it, wench!” he added in frustration. “Come here!
The cage was too small for the outlaw to avoid his long arms, and she was dragged out. Not wanting to spook her, especially when she tried to jerk away, he steadied her with a hand under her elbow.
“Here.” The operator handed Darvk the keys. “Keep the chains, you’ll need them.”
After slamming the cage door shut, he jumped into the chair at the head of the hover tray and skimmed off down the road back towards the settlement.
“She’s a Reeka?” Aamun, the ship’s engineer, raised his eyebrows dubiously.
“Don’t be deceived by looks.” Maverk grinned.
As the outlaw looked around, Darvk realised he didn’t even know her name. Though she was tall for a woman, he still had to bend down to look her in the eyes. She glared defiantly back at him. ‘Twas not going to be easy, he could tell, but he smiled reassuringly. “What’s your name, lass?”
Sucking in a deep breath, Tenia moistened dry lips with her tongue.
Noting the sympathy on some faces, Maverk drawled, “She bites.”
Red cast him a dubious look. “Seems harmless enough. You sure the wench is a Reeka?”
“What the…” Borga pointed at her left thigh. “She’s been branded. Damn it, Darvk!”
“’Twasn’t my idea!” Darvk’s face reddened as he met the accusing eyes of his crew.
“’Tis your name,” Aamun pointed out.
“The slaver did it before I realized.”
“What else did he do? The poor lass is bleeding like a stuck pig.”
“What? Bloody hell!” Darvk stared at the blood starting to soak through the side of the skirt. How could he have missed it? “Get her inside now.”
Jerking on her chains, the lass gazed up at him appealingly.
“Unchain her so she can walk properly,” Aamun advised.
“I don’t know if that’s wise…” Darvk began, but was immediately howled down by his appalled crew.
“The poor little thing!”
“Never thought I’d see the day when you feared a lass!”
“She’s injured! What would your mother say if she found out?”
Shame filtered through him. They were right, she was injured. “All right, all right.” Darvk unlocked the wrist cuffs and they fell to the ground. Kneeling down, he fitted the key in the lock of the cuffs encircling the booted ankles.
Maverk frowned at the bowed golden head. “Better hurry.”
Hearing the concern in his friend’s voice, worried that she was so docile - she must be very weak - Darvk unsnapped the cuffs, pulled them off and started to straighten up. “Come, we’d better check those injuries - ooff!
The wench’s boot slammed down onto Darvk’s shoulder to send him sprawling face down into the dirt, while she jabbed Maverk hard in the stomach with her elbow. As Maverk jack-knifed forward, her arm snapped back in a short, sharp arc; the back of her fist slamming into his nose and sending him staggering backwards blinded by tears.
As Darvk pushed upright, he reached for her but she moved fast, lunging forward.
Morgan grabbed for her, but she dived beneath his arm and snatched up the sword that someone had left lying on a crate, rolling away and coming to her feet with the spaceship at her back. She slashed the sword savagely from side to side, forcing the traders back.
“Thank the stars she didn’t get hold of a laser,” a trader muttered.
“Got your answer now, Aamun?” Darvk asked dryly as he straightened and eyed her.
“I guess she is a Reeka,” Aamun replied faintly.


BUYING LINKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A member of both the Romance Writers of Australia & the Australian Romance Readers Association, I live in Australia, where I am happily ruled by my cats. When not procrastinating and sneaking peeks at books, or at work as a nurse, I can usually be found at my trusty computer… procrastinating by playing on the internet…




Monday, May 14, 2018

The Renaissance Club by Rachel Dacus




Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate? That’s the question my heroine, May Gold must answer in this time travel love story. And she has to answer it in three short weeks, on a tour of Italy. A college adjunct teacher, she often dreams about the subject of her master’s thesis—17th century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man whose passionate art invented the Baroque style. But in reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and older boyfriend. She considers herself a precocious failure and yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit. May finds she has to choose: stay in a safe but stagnant existence or take a risk.

Read an Excerpt:

In Bernini’s Studio

That smile of his ought to be illegal. She was standing too close to him for a biographer. Nevertheless, she moved closer. “You’ve made him so noble. Really, he wasn’t this beautiful,” she pointed out. From his surprise, she gathered that he wasn’t used to having his work critiqued. Of course, he was Bernini. Only his patrons had the power to criticize his art, and they seemed to universally consider it fabulous. The matter of fidelity wasn’t an issue in his time the way it was in hers.

“I show his stature in his eyes and forehead,” he said. “I reveal the rest of his nature in the face below the nose, where I capture his fondness for feasting. And even that is beautiful.”

“Beauty in his fat jowls?”

He laughed. “They say he has expansive meals.” He ran a loving hand over the clay. “I captured his face when he was about to speak, so you can read his lively thought. Perhaps it was of mutton!”

They both laughed, and she said, “This king’s image is beautiful in your eyes and under your hands.”

“I tried to imagine what would move this man. You’re a poet. You must be able to feel it when the strings of your heart make a music that becomes a stream of light. You stand in that light and fold your hands. If you are sincere, truth comes as the body of an angel. A visitation.”

She stepped closer and bowed. “Cavaliere, you are my stream of light.”

He laughed and pulled her up. “I was simply answering your question.”

About the Author:
Rachel Dacus is the author of The Renaissance Club, a novel called “Enchanting, rich and romantic…a poetic journey through the folds of time.” Dacus’ book Gods of Water and Air is a collection of poetry, prose, and drama. Her other poetry collections are Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her fourth poetry collection, Arabesque, is forthcoming in August 2018 from FutureCycle Press. Read more on her website: racheldacus.net. Follow on Twitter: @Rachel_Dacus.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Renaissance-Club-Rachel-Dacus/dp/1946143421/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-renaissance-club-rachel-dacus/1127621372

Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sneak peek at Storms Over Babylon



Get ready for the storm - it's coming June 14th!

Ashley knows Alexander is going to die, unless she can somehow trick the Time Senders. In Babylon, everything is coming to a head.

In the month of May, the weather took a turn for the worse. Thunderstorms boomed over the city and there were swarms of hungry mosquitoes at night. Alexander had to oversee religious celebrations, some lasting until very late, and one evening he came back with a slight chill. I didn’t think much of it. Usse gave him some hot tea, and we lay down in bed. Plexis was already asleep, lying in his own bed next to ours. The mosquito netting moved slightly in the breeze. It was much cooler than it had been all week; the rain had cleared the air. During the night, Alexander developed a high fever. The next morning he could hardly move, his muscles cramped and he was drenched in sweat. It was malaria.
‘How do you feel now?’ I asked him for the hundredth time that day, after Usse gave him his medicine.
Alexander opened one eye and stared at me. It was his blue eye, I noticed. ‘I would feel better if my head stopped hurting,’ he admitted. ‘The fever is making me thirsty. Do you have any water nearby?’
‘Of course.’
I poured water from the pitcher into his golden cup and held it for him as he drank. The muscles in his throat worked as the water went down. Then he lay back on the bed with a sigh. ‘Do I die of malaria then?’ he asked. He tried to grin, but his mouth trembled suddenly. I leaned down and kissed him on his lips. They were hot and dry despite the cool drink.
‘Are you afraid?’
‘I thought I wouldn’t be.’ He took a shaky breath and let it out slowly. ‘But that was when I thought the only thing that counted was my kingdom.’
 ‘And now?’ I asked him.
‘I’ve had time to think. When you saved Plexis that’s when things began to change for me. I realized something I hadn’t known before. I want to stay with you. I love you, Ashley of the Sacred Sandals. I have told you that twice before. I should have said it more. Now, with this fever making my bones ache, I will tell you a third time. I want to see the babe you carry. I want to grow old surrounded by my loved ones. I no longer want to die. Does that answer your question? Yes, I am afraid.’
‘Don’t be afraid. I love you too, Alex.’
‘So why do you cry?’ He reached a hand to my cheek and brushed tears away.
‘Because I never dared hope that you would let go of your dream.’ My tears fell faster now. Teardrops sparkled on his hands like diamonds.
‘It took me long enough to understand that my dream was an empty one without you and Plexis by my side, and that my future was an illusion. Ashley, don’t cry. Please. I feel as if I’ve woken up from a long nightmare. All the battles and bloodshed, all the good men who died following me, they will lie on my conscious for ever. Only you will be able to ease my mind. You have seen the future, so you can tell me that it was not all futile.’
‘Of course not, Alexander. Nothing you did was futile.’
‘It feels that way now,’ he said. His eyes were very bright. I frowned at him. He was starting to sound distinctly un-Alexander-like. I put my hand on his forehead and jerked it back with a muffled cry. He was burning up.

Preorder Now! 



Saturday, May 12, 2018

In the Eyes of the Beholder

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 Someone asked me recently what it felt like to be told I was beautiful. The question is hard to answer because everyone likes to be appreciated, and beauty is something that we all seem to value. But at the same time, beauty is fleeting and only skin deep, so it's the kind of compliment you can make to someone without really caring about the person.
When I was growing up, I was gawky and painfully shy.  I was not beautiful as a child. I was not particularly interesting or smart or athletic - I mostly had my head in a book, or was dreaming about horses. I could care less about my looks, I just wanted to ride horses.  So becoming beautiful was more of a shock than anything else. Telling me I was beautiful seemed to be the easiest way a boy had to ask me out on a date - as if the only thing that counted was that I looked good with him. I didn't hear the expression "trophy wife" until many years later, but it reflected what I thought a lot of times when I was out with a boy, and I understood that I didn't interest them in the least - the only thing they saw was my body. If I had the temerity to say "no", I usually made an enemy, and I can remember one humiliating night when I stepped into a bar popular with my friends, only to have the guitarist stop playing and announce over the microphone that he wouldn't continue unless I left - I'd dared turn his friend down for a date. So I was not expected to have any opinions about who I dated.

Welcome to Paradise by [Macaire, Jennifer] Teen years are boring, so I'll spare you the sordid details - but you can read "Welcome to Paradise" if you like, a coming of age story about a girl in the Virgin Islands. I wrote it from memories of growing up on a tropical island although it's mostly fiction... When I went to NY, after graduating, I worked at my first, disasterous job and became the first punk in New York City.  When people told me I was beautiful, I mostly ducked and ran. Beauty was something you had, but couldn't share. A compliment about being kind, smart, or generous - those were things that you could be proud of because you'd worked at it.  When someone tells you you're beautiful, it sets you apart, and I hated feeling isolated, even because of a compliment. If I was with a group of women, and a man made the compliment, the other women would look at me differently.

When I started modelling, I was suddenly in a world where nearly everyone was more beautiful than I was. Often, when I arrived at a shoot, the crew would take me for the makeup artist, or for the hairdresser. I rarely wore makeup outside work. Most models, I discovered, wore no makeup when they weren't working. They were the first grunge girls - models were grunge long before it became "in". It was a way of deflecting attention.

 In a shoot, the model is on the bottom rung of the ladder. Everyone's opinion counts except the model's. The photographer, the art director, the makeup artist and hair dresser - they all have their say. Only the model is silent, like a piece of clay or blank paper, waiting for the inspiration of others. Once I opened my mouth to suggest something, and the photographer looked up and said, "The model speaks! What is the world coming to?" Everything from my outfit to my hair style, to how I had to stand, walk, sit, or smile was decided by others. I always had a book in my bag, or a notebook where I wrote notes, poems, short stories - but I had no confidence in myself - I was sure that everything I said or wrote was stupid - models were stupid - everyone knew that. The only thing redeeming about models is their looks. After a while, it begins to wear on you. Especially when I started to date (my husband), and his family told him, "You can't go out with her - she's a model!" They had pinned higher hopes on him than a dim witted model - and an American at that!

 Models come off badly in fiction - the pretty girl is always the snobby one, or cruel,or empty-headed. So after a while, I stopped telling people I was a model. It was just a job to me - and not a particularly interesting job at that. On location, we were up at 4:30 or 5 am to get makeup and hair done - we couldn't go out in the sun, we couldn't wear clothes that left marks on our skin (tight socks, sleeves, watches...), we couldn't show up with dark circles under our eyes from lack of sleep, or put on any weight. It's not the glamorous job everyone thinks it is - and no, we don't get to keep any of the clothes! (In all the years I was a model, I only got to keep a hat and a bra). Most of the time we have to do our own hair and makeup, and more than half the time, we never see the photos we posed for - they come out months later, and we've already forgotten about shooting them. And that's like beauty. It's here today, gone tomorrow!

Jack the Stripper


Jack the Stripper 
Welcome to The Purple Dee. Pull up a chair and get settled in, the show will start soon! Our featured performer tonight is Jack the Stripper. He's Jack Severn, newly back from the dead. He's magical, he's hot, but evil he's not! Jim Ling-Li, Necromancer extraordinaire, brought him back to life, gave him some extra features, and, as you'll see, made him irresistible --Especially to Jack's ex-girlfriend Brianna. Jack's sexier than ever, and they're better together. But she doesn't want to risk her heart, not again, and definitely not with a zombie.Jack also has a mission. He's back to catch the Heart Taker, the mutant that's been terrifying human and undead alike. His current obsession's none other than Jack's Brianna.So give a big hand for Jack...he's going to need all the support he can get to catch his own murderer.


"...The story is really enjoyable as Ms Winston deliciously brings on the zany dark humor in a manner that really appeals to the fan of the macabre in me. The humor is not too overpowering or too farcical - just enough to keep me laughing. There is already a beautiful kind of poetry in the premise, what with a hero who lacks a heart, but is in love, and who is supposed to be dead but ends up a hero instead. The story doesn't disappoint in delivering a fun Tim Burton kind of romantic adventure where I am concerned."
~ Mrs Giggles eBook review


And here is a post from when I was writing the book! I’m in the middle of finishing up a book about a zombie. The idea came to me last year and I wrote out an outline (which, when I started the book, died writhing in agony as most of my outlines do, lol) The characters took over and I had to dump a whole chapter where I was desperately trying to follow the outline and my characters were gleefully messing it up. So now I’m just letting my characters lead me along. They are: Jack, a zombie, who has come back for revenge. Brianna, a private detective, who is helping jack with his revenge (and with a few other things) Dee, who owns a nightclub and offers Jack a job as a male stripper (with disastrous consequences) and Mamie Hoya, a voudon queen who just happens to have a zombie handbook for Jack. Also in the book are Ling, necromancer who works at the city morgue, his lovely zombie daughter May, and the terrible mutant Heart Taker, who can move so quickly he is invisible to human sight. All these characters decided that my outline sucked and did their best to sabotage it, which is how I lost several characters like Charisma Finch, who I will have to put in my next zombie book, and Carlos the cop with x-ray vision… Well, back to work!

Asta and the Barbarians by Becca Fox

Becca will be awarding custom made bookmarks, coasters, and magnets to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The book...