Monday, September 29, 2014

It's been a long time since I've had just a normal post here on the blog. Hope you've been enjoying all the guests and book reviews and previews and cover reveals as much as I've enjoyed hosting them.

Today I thought I'd update you on what's going on for me.


Hockey season has started. My son is playing Bantam A Travel for the B-Senators. They split the weekend with a win for their first game and a loss for their second. It looks to be a fun (travel-filled) season.



Quest of the Hart was chosen as part of a special, limited time release for $0.99 through iBooks. If you haven't read it (or Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston, Tex, the Witch Boy by Stuart West, or Nightmares by Donna McDunn) this is a great time to grab it.



Cover by Anita at race-point.com
Faery Marked has gone through a complete overhaul and is now in the hands of my talented editor. Stay tuned for release date information and some special offers I'm hoping to be announcing soon!





I have started the process to turn The Mystery Prince into an audio book and will soon be looking at print. I will update you when I have news!




If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, now's a great time. I'll be sending out a special story to subscribers only, as well as giving first dibs on some upcoming specials. You can find the sign up on the upper right side of  MaryWaibel.blogspot.com

Well, that about covers all of my new stuff. What's new with you?




Friday, September 26, 2014

A New Home, A New Author Name, and A New Cover~ The Prophecy by Erin Rhew

I am super excited to be part of this unique cover reveal for THE PROPHECY. See, not only does THE PROPHECY have a new cover (another absolutely gorgeous one by Anita B. Carroll at race-point.com) but it has a new home, and it's author has a new name.

What's THE PROPHECY about? I'm so glad you asked!

Back Cover
Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

Sounds great, right? It is. Here, see for yourself with this excerpt:

Even though she had no chance to escape now, Layla shoved the Elder with all her might. The blow sent him flying into the baker’s door, which splintered under the force, and she darted forward. The Vanguard soldiers moved to block her.

“We are all Vanguards,” she pleaded. “Please let me go.”

For a moment, they hesitated. Layla used the opening to slip around them. She ran as fast as her legs would carry her, but they proved to be too slow. Within moments, the soldiers leapt upon her, knocking her to the ground. Wrenching Layla up by her hair, they dragged her back to the Elder, whose face now bled from his encounter with the baker’s door.

“I see you’re going to be trouble.” He brushed the dirt off his robes. “You can’t escape your destiny, girl.”


Okay, I know. I've teased long enough. Here is the new cover from the super-talented Anita B. Carroll at race-point.com







THE PROPHECY by Erin Rhew will be releasing from BookFish Books (it's new home) 
on October 1st



Erin Rhew is an author and fitness trainer. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing.

Find Erin online:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Milayna by Michelle K. Pickett

COVER REVEAL:

MILAYNA by Michelle K. Pickett


In the battle for her soul, which side will she choose?


Series Name: The Milayna Series
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
CTP Content Rating: YAm
Release Date: March 17, 2015

From the bestselling author of PODs comes an unforgettable tale of action, intrigue, and following your heart in the midst of betrayal.

It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.

With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who's sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?

When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Milayna by Michelle K. Pickett

Milayna %20 %20

%20 %20

by Michelle K. Pickett

Giveaway ends November 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Did you add Milayna to your Goodreads TBR List?


ABOUT MICHELLE K. PICKETT:

Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.

Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.​

Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014. 


Keep up-to-date on her current and future projects at www.michelle-pickett.com.


 

More from Clean Teen Publishing:

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Kai Strand's Damaged Goods Blog Tour


Hey everybody, my name is Kai Strand. I was unpacking books at a signing and came across a copy of King of Bad with a torn cover. Bummer. I can’t sell that! But my loss is your gain. Because I can hold a giveaway instead!

Along with a slightly damaged copy of King of Bad, I’m also giving away several sets of character trading cards. These cards have been specially designed for book one in the series. There will be a separate set of cards designed for each book – so be among the first to own a set.







Reviews:
I found myself falling in love with all the characters in the book. I loved the different abilities each one of them have. Kai did an outstanding job writing this book. I could not put it down. It is filled with lots of action and even some romance. Everything you want in a book. Victoria for Page Turners Blog

Can't wait for the sequel! – Christopher White for Amazon


About the book:

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

Available in print or electronic: Whiskey Creek Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

“I guess I’m not comfortable being something. I’ve never aspired to do much of anything and it seems like a lot of pressure to suddenly learn I’m supposedly a super villain and that I have to learn how to do it right.”

“You don’t have to do anything, kid. You are what you are. We are just here for you if you want to learn how to do more.” Pyro leaned back in her chair and crossed her leg. “Let me start closer to the beginning. Once upon a time…”

Jeff curled his lip and grunted. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Yes, I am. This is no fairytale.”

“How many of us are there? Is this the only school or are they everywhere? What happens if I decide not to get training?”

“Whoa, boy! Rein in the questions. I’ll get to them.” Pyro’s foot bobbed as she studied Jeff. “I don’t usually recruit. I work in administration, a fundraiser. They asked me to take you on because they suspected you had fire. So let’s start there.”

Pyro explained Mr. Sims initial encounter with Jeff and how he’d reported to Tubs. “That’s when Tubs got me involved. See, Sims felt your S.V. energy when you blew to fan the flames. Since you were playing with fire, Tubs suspected you had it and he knows that fire is a dangerous new ability and best taught by someone with experience. You know, when I first saw you, kid, I thought they were making way more of it than was needed. You were hanging out with your friends. Giving your sister a hard time. Taking out the trash like a good son, but there was nothing about you that struck me as special. Or even super for that matter. But then you did something that changed my mind completely.”

Jeff sat up straight in his chair then slouched back down again. He felt very conflicted hearing that Pyro had been shadowing him for so long and he hadn’t even known it. “What? What did I do?”

“You blew out a match.”

Jeff frowned. “How could blowing fire out prove I have fire in me?”

“It didn’t. You have fire in your hands, just like I do.” Pyro raised her right hand, palm up. Her fingertips were already swollen and throbbing. A spark emitted from each finger and flowed together in the center of her palm. A marble sized ball of fire ebbed and crackled in the middle of her hand. She studied it. “When you learn control, you’ll be able to start fires whenever you want. But what is unique about you, is you will also be able to douse them.”

Pyro held the fireball in front of Jeff. “Blow.”

Jeff shrugged and blew on the fire as if extinguishing birthday candles. A thin frost doused the flame and coated Pyro’s hand. Jeff blinked, thinking he was seeing things. He scraped a finger through the frost on her palm and touched it to his tongue. Cold and wet.

Pyro wiped her hand on her pants leg. “Fire and ice. I can’t even begin to imagine how you do that. But, Jeff, I can tell you no one has ever had opposing elements. Ever.”




About the author:
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 18, 2014



ELIXIR BOUND 
YA fantasy
by Katie L. Carroll





Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone. 

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.



Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:


Signed paperback giveaway on Goodreads until September 28: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15821579-elixir-bound






About the Author:

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote ELIXIR BOUND and the forthcoming ELIXIR SAVED so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app THE BEDTIME KNIGHT and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at www.katielcarroll.com and follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll) or Tumblr.











Monday, September 15, 2014

Always Holly by HK Carlton

The final installment of the Always Cambridge saga released September 2. As excited as I was to read this final book, I was also a little sad, knowing my time with Holly and all her men had come to an end. But what an end! (You can read my spoiler free review here)




Once again, I welcome back HK Carlton, for a little Q&A about Always Holly. I love that you gave Holly a happy ending. I know from previous answers that it wasn't always supposed to go this way, but the characters insisted this was where it was to go. So, which character was the biggest pushing for this ending? Holly so she could experience happiness with both her men? Victor so he could be rewarded for his selfless act? Or Randy so Holly could truly be happy?

HK: Definitely Victor. As much as Holly couldn’t resist him, neither could I.

When I first started this story (the first time), it was supposed to be a girl who loved one boy her entire life. Holly and Randy. Period. One of those love stories. There was no affair with her FBI liaison, Alex. He just helped her shut down the two mob families. Randy came back into her life. Holly and Randy entered Witness Protection together. He was never a cop/detective, he was just a man searching for his woman, a bodyguard trying to protect his charge.

But Victor changed everything. Holly and Randy may have been the Genesis of Always Cambridge but Victor was the driving force that turned this story into a saga. [I am so glad this happened. While the initial story you described sounds like a fun read, where you ended up with this was just so much more.]



I think the real turning point was when the scene from the mall came to me. I never intended it to be part of the story. I wrote it down because, as I said, Victor took up residence in my head and he dictated. This was when I was still writing everything long hand. And I hadn’t had a book published yet. I was just writing for me. And to that point, I wrote things down to get them out of my head. It seemed once I’d put it to paper, I could move on. 

But once I finished that scene, I realized, oh boy, this could be big. Victor was so charismatic, but so vulnerable at the same time. And he and Holly got each other on a level that even Randy didn’t. And I came to the conclusion that Victor had just thrown a wrench into my one boy for a lifetime theory.

But I was still hesitant, because in my mind this was Holly and Randy’s happily-ever-after. I kept trying to give them their happy ending as the story continued to evolve but every time I thought I had, Victor was still there, insistent that we were not finished. And he was right. We definitely were not done. [I'm so glad he insisted and you listened!]



MW: I absolutely love the interactions between Maur and Victor and Ty and Holly. And of course those between Ty and Maur. Do you have any plans to give them a book? Maybe a novella or something?? I know I"d love to see the entire gang back for a wedding :-)

I really loved Tyler and Victor’s relationship. I was happy with how that turned out and changed as Ty (and Victor) matured. (But I also really enjoyed Randy and Maura’s interaction as well.) [Oh, they were great, too. They really understood each other and loved each other.]  At the moment there are no plans for a Tyler / Maura spin off or novella. :-( For now, I’m about Cambridged out.

MW: 
 I totally understand that. But, I might keep nudging you on this one. Inquiring minds and all that :-) From a writing standpoint, what was the hardest part of this series? 

HK: The hardest part was knowing when to end it and also each installment, I think. I was also worried about how the novels concluded with to be continued. So I tried to make sure that was prevalent in all my promos. Once the saga was complete, I knew there was no way that the books could be stand alones. But I wasn’t sure how much of say Always Cambridge, to rehash in Running, so that the reader wasn’t sick of the repetition or why I was trying to show that Holly was still in love with Randy so often. But that thread was a big part of the past and also future plot. That’s partly why Running is from Alex’s POV. Because as Holly’s FBI liaison, he could dig into her history and her psyche and I hoped it wouldn’t be boring for the reader. I could retell Holly and Randy’s history to that point, through Alex’s observations. And then Alex got a little action too. 


But then at the end of Running, I was worried about where to begin Misfortune of Birth. What if someone bought MOB just because they like the cover? (and let’s face it, the depiction of Victor on that third cover, well, let’s just say, as a reader I would have bought it just for him) [Mm hm. What a cover!]  LOL But as a reader, I would have been none too pleased to find out there were two books before this one and I’d picked up a book that was in the middle of a story. Definitely, working out the installments was the hardest. 

MW: What was the best part?


HK: The best part of writing this series, was that the ideas just kept coming. And with all that creativity going on came a real excitement that this might be something really special. (at the same time, I was also knee deep in a little story entitled The Devil Take You) [Wow! I had no idea this was at the same time. And if you haven't read The Devil Take You, you really should. Amazing piece of historical romance.] And to me AC and TDTY are my best work to date. My real fear, is I won’t ever create anything as good. I have tons of ideas and I am writing all the time, but none of my WIPs have the same ‘feeling’ as those two did. I also wrote Lost Time [another great read with time travel] around the same time as well. It was a real creative streak, that I’m sure I’ll never recreate.


MW: I think you need to harness that fear and shove it in a corner and write. I'm amazed at not only the variety of works you write, but the depth of the characters in them. You create these amazingly flawed people in terrible situations and tug on our heartstrings as we watch them fight for the love they so desperately want. It's one of the reasons I find myself drawn back to these tales time and time again. 

Now, having gone through all the ups and downs of releasing a series one book a month, would you do it again?



HK: I would do it again. The best part about having the release dates so close together was that, I’d already finished the series. I wouldn’t do it if it was not complete and I had deadlines. There are too many things that could go wrong on the publishing side of things, let alone plot problems or inconsistencies. That would have just sent me into a tale spin (see what I did there) :D with all the other things that were going on as well. The key to consecutive release dates like that, in my opinion, is to have the work complete before hand.

This series was with me so long and had so many different versions, I think that’s why I was able to submit it as a whole and not contingent on further installments to be written. I’d already worked out the bugs myself. (I hope) The problems I had, didn’t stem from the close release dates. Yeah, I’d do it again in a heartbeat, if I’m ever lucky enough to have such a creative burst again.


MW: Would you 
do anything differently?

HK: What I would do differently, would be promo. I had every intention of setting up some kind of blog tour but the first release date was moved up an entire month SURPRISE, ahead of schedule, so I was kind of scrambling and had other releases for a different publisher and edits to contend with as well during that time. I feel like that could have been handled better. I’m also not great at picking out interest catching tag lines or the best excerpts. I don’t have big banners or ads. Nor am I good at that kind of thing to make my own. 




But I have to thank my author friends for helping me get the word out. Like you Mary. I can’t thank you enough for these wonderful segments that you’ve run on your blog and the shout outs on social media. I’ve had a blast answering your questions. It’s been such fun. Not to mention the amazing reviews and the wonderful meme’s you’ve created for my Cambridge Gang. I am truly grateful. 

MW: It has been my pleasure to help with that. The memes let me have a creative break of a different kind :-)  Thanks so much, HK, and best of luck!!




Follow the saga from the beginning… Always Cambridge

The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years, into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.


Always Cambridge

Running

Misfortune of Birth

Law and Order : Crime and Chaos

Afterlife

Always Holly


About the Author
H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres, including contemporary, paranormal, historical, family saga and erotica.


I enjoy writing in many different genres. I write where the muse takes me and make no apologies for it. By now, it’s quite safe to say I will never pick just one genre and stick to it. There are just too many possibilities and stories left to tell. Today time-travel, tomorrow sweet historical romance—the next release might be, down and dirty erotica or ménage. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Variety is creativity’s playground—It’s where you’ll find me.


H K's Blog Pick a Genre Already




Thursday, September 11, 2014

THE LAND BEYOND ALL DREAMS by Bryan Fields


Today I welcome fellow MuseItUp Author Bryan Fields and Ingrim Thain, villain of The Land Beyond All Dreams, sequel to Life with a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend. Bryan is giving away a copy of the book in the winner’s choice of Kindle, epub, or .PDF format, and a bookmark (see photo below) . Comment and share to enter the drawing.And now, here's Bryan!


Thank you, Mary, and thank you for joining us today, Ingrim.

Em hotep nefer, khenmasi. Have great peace, my friend. To those who consume these words, Ankh! Udja! Seneb! Life! Strength! Health!

Ah, um, thank you. To begin with, could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

How I became the monster I am, you mean. 




Well, I wouldn’t put it that way…

I know what the living have called me. Every person who died at my hand, or who fell to my armies, who saw the corpses of their loved ones rise and obey my will, all of them died cursing me. Every vile name you can think of, every horrible fate you can imagine, I have had leveled at me, ten thousand times over. No matter how grand or vile their words, in the end, they were all calling me a monster.

They’re right, of course. I am an uncaring, inhuman, merciless monster. Legions have appealed to me, without success. The pure, the debauched, the upright, the craven, the wise, the foolish, and the wanton, all have begged, and bartered, and threatened, and betrayed all they held dear, seeking to sway my heart. They all failed. They failed, they died, and they rose again in my service. So, tell me: have I done evil enough to become a monster in your sight?

All right, I’d say you qualify. Why, though? Did you just wake up one morning, have breakfast, and decide to slaughter everyone on the planet?

Nothing like that at all. I was—well, you’d call it a Cardinal, except that we did have power to command those below us. Our faith…was demanding. In your Book of Coming Forth by Day, you can see the trials the deceased must overcome to enter the Field of Reeds and live forever. We beseeched the same gods, and faced the same trials. I don’t know how many of your people passed the trials, but, of my people, many, many failed, and the Eater of Filth devoured them.

Paradise was never meant for everyone. The trials winnowed away the chaff, allowing only the elite to attain bliss. After all, would you want eternal life in a paradise full of illiterate, uneducated commoners? Of course not! In hindsight, the revolution was inevitable.

You’re saying only the rich got into paradise, because they could buy the scrolls with all the spells and answers to get them past the trials.
The poor could learn to pass the trials as well as the rich; we taught all equally, and at no charge. Further, only the head of the household needed to pass the trials for the rest of the immediate family to attain paradise as well. This was intended as a compassionate measure, but the unworthy sought to use this mercy to cheat their way to paradise.

To carry out the cheat, two families combined their wealth to buy a copy of the scrolls. Then, they combined themselves. The elder husband divorced his wife, who then married the younger husband. The older husband then adopted the younger as his son and only living relative. Now head of both households, the eldest husband took ownership of the scrolls, and walked on a snake. It takes four days to pass to the Field of Reeds. At the fifth dawn, both households drank hemlock and entered paradise.





Like all priests, I knew about this…loophole. We referred to it as ‘sheep-shit becoming honeycomb’. Normally, we would see an occurrence every two or three years. It was acceptable, because perceiving the loophole required knowledge and wisdom, thus proving the worth of the individual. 

Then it came to pass that a scribe wrote an account of how the cheat was done, and it sold in mass numbers. Commoners forsook their duties and put all their efforts into carrying out the loophole directions.

You see the problem, of course. Not only was the entire workforce dying in vast numbers, the Field of Reeds was being overrun! To save society, I proposed that the bodies of all who died in such a state should be animated and forced into endless labor as punishment. It was done. We called them shabti, after the clay figures one is buried with. They labor for you in the Field of Reeds, so you do not have to. These shabti were flesh, and labored in this world. But, the heresy spread, and I commanded the shabti became soldiers in a holy war to exterminate the heretics. All who died became shabti. The war went on, until all the faithful were dead, and only heretics still lived. I, the last priest, used the most sacred of rites to live on after death, forsaking the Field of Reeds forever. I finished the war, but by then, all the world was dead.

So, you won.

I won an empty world. In time I found another, and embarked on the journey that led me here, to your world.

Why attack our world? Your gods aren’t worshipped anymore, and you’ve made no attempt to rebuild their faith. What is it that you want?

That makes your world one full of heretics; should it not be purged? Honestly, though, why bother? I’ve grown tired of killing heretics. What caught my attention here was your obsession with fighting the undead. It’s not a recent obsession, either. The living dead have occupied your people since before you learned to make fire. It seemed a great irony for the gods of this world to allow your people to dream of such creatures, but deny you the magic required to create them. I have that power; I needed only to find a means of implementing it. The idea of distributing the spell using a weight-loss drug appealed to me. After all, the pounds do tend to just fall away after death.

I had no reason not to destroy this world with the greatest force and speed, but, frankly, I was bored. I decided to give your world the war it craved. It was my hope that such a war would produce what I craved: a challenger. When David Fraser stepped forward to assume that role, I was delighted.

What makes him the challenger you were looking for?

His heart, what else? And I do mean his heart. During our first confrontation, I summoned the Feather of Ma’at and weighed his heart against it, just as is done during the trials of the deceased. David Fraser passed, proving his worth. Who could be a better challenger than a righteous, noble soul?

I don’t suppose you’d consider moving on? Finding a different world to attack?


Kill someone else’s family and friends, you mean. Have you read the works of your Marcus Aurelius? I was quite impressed by his thoughts. One statement I particularly liked was, “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” It applies so well to every aspect of your society. I’m offering all of you a chance to embrace life, to know what it is to seize every moment, to rip the marrow from each day and devour it as though it were the very food of the gods themselves! Such a gift, and you would reject it.

But what if we don’t see this war as a gift? Even if it makes life more meaningful, or makes us value it all the more, fighting every day just to stay alive doesn’t sound like fun.

Have you ever tried it?

Of course not, and I have no desire to.

Then you should pray and make sacrifice for David Fraser to find a way to stop me. He doesn’t have much of a chance, though. I have the universe on my side. There is another passage by Marcus Aurelius you should know, and take to heart: “Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.” Even if Mr. Fraser should find some means of defeating me, it will mean nothing. All will die in time, and I will still win.

“Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.”


Description:

In this sequel to Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend, David Fraser has a world of trouble on his hands. Well, more like three worlds of trouble…

His mother is dying of lung cancer. His employer’s experimental weight-loss drug is turning people into flesh-eating psychopaths. And Ingrim Thain, an undead necromancer, has murdered the program’s research director and taken over his body. If all that weren’t enough, a cat with working thumbs just moved into David’s house.

Thain doesn’t even want to be enemies—he offers David wealth and power beyond anything he’s ever known. He even offers to cure David’s mother and spare those he loves from the coming war. All Thain wants is for David to stay quiet about the drug’s side effects.

Do the right thing and his mother dies. Do the wrong thing, and his mother lives while billions of others die.

For David, the solution is simple. Thain’s appetite for conquest endangers not only Earth, but Rose’s world and every other world Thain learns about. Thain must be stopped.

But how do you kill someone whose will has already proven stronger than death itself?
















Excerpt:

I turned the wounded cop over to the EMTs as soon as they arrived, and collected a warm blanket in trade. Wrapped in the blanket, I stood where the OIC pointed and waited to give my statement. The marauders were all in custody, and a good sized crowd was gathering. I started to relax, until I saw the guy walking across the grass toward me.

He was bare-chested, wearing a white linen kilt, gold bracelets, a beaded gold necklace, and a full-head mask of Anubis. His skin was patchy and dry, his clothes decrepit and threadbare. Some bits of him were missing entirely. It had to be Thain.

He looked over the area, ending with the cluster of handcuffed attackers sitting on the ground. Some were still struggling against the cuffs and trying to lunge at anyone who came close to them, but most were sitting still and not moving at all.

Thain waved his hand, and all semblance of them being living human beings vanished. They were partially-decayed corpses—some more animate than others. Thain used his finger to write hieroglyphic symbols in lines of fire on the air in front of him. When he finished, the letters blazed for a moment before vanishing. All the handcuffed corpses fell to the ground and crumbled to powder.

Thain wasn’t finished with the magic show. He held his fist out toward me, and a shining ostrich feather struck me in the chest. It passed through skin and bone, settling into my heart. Falling to my knees seemed to take forever. I heard each beat as my heart slowed and stopped. I raised my head enough to stare into the eyes of the Anubis mask. All I saw there was shadow.

Something moved in the grass at his feet. A crocodile raised its head, grinning as it waddled toward me. The crocodile was wearing a gold headband, and it had the front claws and chest of a lion. The back half of it looked mostly hippopotamus, stomping along on legs that seemed far too short for such speed. The scary part was that I recognized it. It was the goddess Ammut, the Devourer of Souls.

Which meant the feather was the feather of Ma’at, and it was weighing my heart to see if I was a good person. If I failed, Ammut would consume me. No rebirth, no reincarnation, no Summerland. Sometimes I hate being well educated in all manner of weird shit.

Ammut crossed the street in easy bounds, slowing to a stop in front of me. She snapped at me, but didn’t get any closer. She just shifted from paw to paw, watching, jaw hanging open in a feral grin.

I stared back at her, trying to think of what I needed to say. I have not committed sin. I have not slain innocents. I have not lain with my neighbor, nor his wife. I have not spoken against the gods. I have not defiled the temple. I have not farted in elevators. I— I have not—

The roaring in my ears drowned out any other thoughts. Dark red blotches filled my vision, blocking out everything but Ammut’s slavering jaws.

Thunder sounded. Again. And twice more. I opened my mouth and drew sweet, sweet air into my lungs. The thunder diminished into regular heartbeats and the red miasma retreated from the edges of my vision. I got to my feet. For a brief moment, an ankh burned over my heart, glowing like molten gold. It vanished, taking Ammut with it. It left me bursting with energy and ready to take on the world.

I glared at Thain and spit on the ground in front of him. “You hit like a bitch.” I summoned Kindness to my hands and charged. 








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Monday, September 8, 2014

BUMPED BACK IN TIME by Penny Estelle

September 13, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort McHenry and the writing of what would eventually become the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. 

But once again, historians have left out some important information. Sammy (Samantha) Brown, a 7th grader in Miss Wickware’s history class, played a key role in the whole process. Without her, Mr. Key may have never been on the boat that gave him a bird’s eye view of the whole battle which prompted the famous poet to….maybe you just have to read the story yourself.


Bumped Back In Time, Book 4 of The Wickware Sagas. Available at:

MuseItUp Publishing

Amazon


Amazon Author Page




Excerpt:

A full moon lit up the bedroom. Sammy lay on the feather mattress in the dark, staring at the ceiling. The window was wide open, a breeze stirring the curtains, though it did nothing to take away the mugginess of the night air. The nightgown Sarah had given Sammy was drenched with sweat and it stuck to her like a second skin.

She got up and walked to the balcony. Dr. Beanes had been right about his wife. Sarah had sat Sammy down and got her a bowl of left over wild turkey and boiled sweet potatoes, which she inhaled.

The older woman tisked her tongue and her head shook in sympathy, distressed at the poor girl’s story. “Your mother must be worried beyond belief,” Sarah said.

“Oh, I’m sure she’s freaking out all over the place,” Sammy snorted. “And like she’ll ever buy this story!”

“I don’t understand. You write stories to sell to your freakish mother?”

Sammy had to chuckle at that one. “No. She’s just going to kill me.”

Outraged, the woman came to her feet. “She will do no such thing. William will make sure that you are safe!”

Staring into the night, Sammy smiled at the memory. She had assured Sarah it was only a saying, but the woman did not seem convinced.

The sound of horses, riding up to the Beanes’ home, brought Sammy out of her reverie. At least ten men, all in red coats, jumped off their horses and headed toward the house.

A serving girl tapped on Sammy’s door before opening it. “Please ma’am, Mistress Beanes would like you to come to her room, quickly.” She turned to lead the way without waiting for a reply, Sammy, hurrying to catch up.

The scene that greeted Sammy when the bedroom opened had the hairs on the back of her neck, not only standing straight out at attention, but screaming “run…hide…wake up!” Goose bumps broke out on her sweaty body.

Dr. Beanes was sitting on a chair putting on his shoes while Sarah was wringing her hands and pale as the snow-white nightgown she was wearing.

Before Sammy could utter a word a BANG BANG BANG came from the door downstairs and that’s when all hell broke loose!

* * * * 


Thanks to everybody for stopping by to take a look. Bumped Back in Time is the fourth story in the Wickware Sagas. There are five all together.


Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare

Ride of a Lifetime

Flash to the Past

Bumped Back in Time

Riches to Rags


These are all short, time travel adventures involving seventh graders in Miss Wickware’s history class. They must draw a name from a box and do an oral report. SOMEHOW, they end up back in time to get up close and personal with their drawn subject!


I also have a printed version of the Wickware Sagas. This can be found at Amazon

Due to the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner, MuseItUp is offering Bumped Back in Time for 99 cents for the first two weeks in September. Check it out at MuseItUp Publishing

Thursday, September 4, 2014

War Unicorn by SL Carlson




Reg is content working in his family’s apple orchard—or as content as a fourteen-year-old magician can be digging holes—when he unearths an antique ring and releases a rude unicorn. 

She claims she belongs to the king, but after her long imprisonment, she can’t tell Reg which king that might be. Reg promises to bring her to the capital and deliver her to the palace, and suddenly a simple three-day trip turns into the adventure of a lifetime for a boy who dreams of freely practicing his magic.

War is building on his country’s borders, and even with the help of Reg’s new friend Iggy, and Gwen, the general’s daughter, it’s going to take all the courage—and magic—Reg has to find the unicorn’s rightful king.

Promises will be made, the bonds of family and friendship will be tested, and war will change everything.

Can an apple farmer and one rude war unicorn save their country from the approaching enemy?


Bio:

S.L. Carlson loves being outdoors more than in. She has climbed mountains, swum in oceans, and crossed deserts with her two boys and husband. She has rounded up cattle, escaped wildfires, hid from tornadoes, and had encounters with wild boar, rattle snakes, and seed ticks. It took her twenty minutes to bait her first fishing hook with a very dry worm, but only a day and a half to learn to ride a motorcycle and pass the tests – in the rain. She has helped build houses in Iowa and Michigan, painted an orphanage in Mexico, sung in assisted living residents, and cleared debris in Louisiana after a hurricane. S.L. is first a storyteller, but has been writing ever since she wrote on her first lilac leaves as a kid with a stick. Besides a family-comes-first motto, S.L. is a former teacher who may or may not have seen mythical creatures while alone in the woods.

Available now at MuseItUp PublishingAmazon and other retailers.