Monday 29 April 2013

Distraction by Tess Oliver

Title:  Distraction

Series:  Years from Home Trilogy, Book One

Author:  Tess Oliver

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance- mature YA

Page Count:  236

Buy Links:  Smashwords    Amazon    BN    Kobo    Itunes
Book Description:
  As false accusations of witchcraft consume Salem Village, eighteen-year-old Poppy Seabrooke, a true witch, is content to stay away from the hysteria and more importantly from the relentless advances of Angus Wolfe, a powerful warlock masquerading as Salem’s pastor. 

When Poppy uses her magic to help a young boy, she is arrested. Angus is the only person who can help her, but, in return, she must promise her hand in marriage. In desperation, Poppy’s grandmother sends her two hundred years into the future to hide. Poppy finds herself years from home in the middle of a strange place called Montana where rooms light up without candles or sorcery, steam puffing dragons roar across fields on tracks, and cows sprout horns as long as tree trunks. And while Poppy hides from the man who turns her heart cold as ice, she discovers the man who can set it on fire.

Cade Tanner has always lived fast and hard, and he prefers it that way. The last thing he needs is a girl to distract him from running the cattle ranch his father left him. But Poppy, the sweetly innocent beauty with the soft smile and dark eyes, who seemingly fell from the sky, is tough to ignore. But Cade soon finds that falling for Poppy comes with a dangerous price.

5 of 5 stars
This was such a great story! The premise was definitely unique, time travel with a twist. Poppy is an 18-year-old who lives with her grandmother and her sister in 1692 Salem. When Poppy is accused of witchcraft, her grandmother – a witch – sends her 200 years into the future to keep her safe. But instead of ending up in a future Salem, Poppy ends up in 1892 Montana.

Poppy is such a great character. She is innocent due to the time and place she grew up in and curious about the new world around her. It was really fun to watch her explore each new thing she discovered. Everyone seems to fall in love with her, even when they are trying hard not to. Caden is also a great character. I loved him. He has a roughness to him that makes him irresistible, but can also be so sweet. I enjoyed both of their points of view throughout the story.

As far as historical fiction goes, this did not disappoint. The author's writing and language seemed realistic for the time periods within the story and really helped to bring the story to life.  

View all my reviews

Q & A with Tess Oliver:
Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
A:  Poppy Seabrooke, the heroine, is an eighteen-year-old witch who lives in late seventeenth century Salem, Massachusetts with her grandmother and sister. She is three-quarters mortal and therefore her powers are weak but they still manage to get her in trouble. She is smart, independent and sometimes a little too empathetic. She loves to draw and dreams of someday falling madly in love, but it definitely won’t be with Angus Wolfe, a powerful warlock who has an obsession with Poppy. Cade Tanner is a late 19th century cowboy, with a penchant for danger and pretty girls. He’s cocky, hard-edged and fearless. Cade’s not really the settling down type. At least not until Poppy falls into his life.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
A:  My favorite scene to write in any book is always the first scene where the two main characters meet. It’s the same for Distraction. The first kiss would be a close second.

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A:  That all depends on what time of year it is. During the school year, I’m teaching during the day and only have time to squeeze in writing at night and on weekends. But during breaks from school, I like to write really early in the morning when everyone is still sleeping.

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A:  I had an amazing mom who loved reading. She took us to the library every week and we’d sit around for an hour after dinner and read. She was also a hardcore romantic which definitely rubbed off on me. Unfortunately, I lost her years ago to cancer. But her love of books and romance lives on in me.

Q:  If you could be any character from your book, who would you be and why?
A:  I guess I’d have to go with the obvious choice and pick Poppy. I mean who wouldn’t want magic powers and the heart of a hot cowboy.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  I love to hike, ride bikes and sit in the lazy-boy chair with my dogs piled in my lap. Between teaching, writing, and taking care of a family, I prefer my down time to require no thinking.

Q:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A:  Anywhere in the British Isles. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a full-fledged anglophile. I love everything British. I think I have Jane Austen to blame for that. I think Europe intrigues me in general because there is so much history there.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  I am currently reading non-fiction books about medieval England because book three of my Years From Home trilogy takes place in fifteenth century England. I love to read books with historical settings.

About the Author:

 Tess Oliver is a teacher and writer who lives in California with her husband, kids, a small pack of pampered dogs, and the recent addition of three ridiculously cute pygmy goats. She loves horses, chocolate and Jane Austen books. She has a BS of Nutrition Science, and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction. She is also an author published by Barron's Educational Publisher.




Sunday 28 April 2013

Q & A with Martyn V. Halm

Author:  Martyn V. Halm

Genre:  Thriller

Page Count:  430 

Book Description:  Blessed with an almost non-existent conscience, Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, views assassination as an intricate and rewarding occupation. Hidden behind her male alter ego Loki, Katla receives anonymous assignments, negotiates the terms with clients through electronic means, all to protect her identity. Her solitary existence satisfies her until she meets a blind musician whose failure to notice a ‘closed’ sign causes him to wander in on Katla’s crime scene. And Katla breaks one of her most important rules - never leave a living witness.

Recovering alcoholic Deborah Stern reluctantly re-enlists with the DEA as a liaison in The Hague, where her language skills are valued to counter suspected sabotage by Dutch law enforcement officials. After a U.S. Army officer dies on a German NATO base from a heroin/cocaine overdose, the trail leads to Amsterdam. The DEA and the Dutch IPOL launch a joint undercover operation, but not everyone is playing by the same rules.

Reprobate is the first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. With authentic details and fast-paced action, featuring an uncompromising heroine and a supporting cast of unusual characters, Reprobate gives a rare glimpse in the local Dutch culture, information on the famous Dutch capital, the narcotics trade, computer hacking, motorcycle gangs, mehndi bridal tattoos, martial arts, and the brutal effectiveness of disciplined violence.
Buy Links:  Amazon  B & N 
About the Author:

Martyn V. Halm lives in Amsterdam, with his wife Maaike, two children, two cats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.

Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work. Martyn is a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction, even if that requires learning new skills. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche’s abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first kill. And, apart from being an accomplished prevaricator, Martyn already possessed several skills that qualified him to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series.

Martyn always enjoyed stories about assassins, but his opinion on assassins differed from the books he read. Since most fictional assassins are antagonists, they are often warped individuals, with freaky childhoods. However, Martyn has come across mercenaries (basically the same field), who are pretty regular people. Sure their view of the world differs from ordinary citizens, but they’re not ‘warped’. This made him want to write about an assassin who has no deep-seated frustration or
abused childhood, but who just realised that killing was what she was good at and who had the appropriate world view and lack of conscience to pull it off.
Q & A with Martyn V. Halm
Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main character, Katla.
A:  Katla Sieltjes is a young woman who works as a freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter. To protect her identity she never meets in person and uses a male alter ego, Loki/Low Key Enterprises, when she discusses contracts with clients. Katla specialises in disguising homicide, using a variety of killing methods and her knowledge of forensic sciences to thwart police investigations. She's an 'Einzelganger', someone who prefers to be alone, convinced that an intimate relationship would require her to deceive her partner, and anyone she can deceive would not be worthy. On the other hand, anyone who'd figure her out would become a liability.

 Her intention is to make enough money to retire, and then simply disappear and reinvent herself. Her life changes when she breaks one of her cardinal rules and leaves a blind witness alive. In the downtime between contracts, when she's exercising, Katla sees the blind man again and wonders about the person whose life she spared. She shadows the blind man like she would a potential target and gets more and more interested in his personality and way of life, so different from her own. When an opportunity arises where Katla can reintroduce herself, he doesn't seem to recognise her. Taking her chances, Katla gets closer to the blind man to satisfy her curiosity, but the consequences are unexpected.

Q:  Do you have anyone in mind who would be perfect to play Katla in a movie?
 A:  One of Katla's main traits is her ability to go unnoticed, and she regularly changes appearance to enhance that feature. I've seen quite a few movies with female assassins as protagonists (La Femme Nikita, The Assassin, SALT, Haywire, Smokin' Aces, etcetera), but in every case, their faces are memorable, which is a flaw common in fiction. In reality, the best spies and assassins are people who don't look like spies or assassins. The ability to blend in makes it difficult to find an actress willing to become so unobtrusive that she could portray Katla adequately.

 In addition, Reprobate is a 113,000 words (the average paperback is 80,000), and to condense a complex multi-layered story into a two-hour movie would mean that only the most obvious suspense elements would survive. I don't think I'd want to see such a barebones version of Reprobate.
I hope that answers the question. I think it's in everybody's best interest if Katla is never portrayed by anyone, so that readers can form their own picture in their mind and not be disappointed by another person's vision of what Katla looks like. Which is also the reason that my covers have no images of characters.

Q:  How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
A:  My father worked as an editor for a Dutch publisher of children's/YA books, so I had shelves full of quality books to read. I was (am) a voracious reader and I had a need for telling stories. I used to embellish my experiences, but I found out that people started to regard me as a liar. However, if I made someone else the protagonist of my stories, I was praised for my imagination. Projecting my need for telling stories into writing fiction is also cathartic, I can express myself through my characters, mixing real experiences with research and pure fiction, creating a world that entertains and maybe even educates.

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A:  I'm a stay-at-home dad with two young children, and I also give courses in conflict resolution and physical self defines. I use Scrivener on my MacBook, and sync unfinished scenes with SimpleNote on my iPad, which I take everywhere, so while the children play at the playground I'm on a park bench creating fictional murder and mayhem. Most of the time, my writing is subordinate to my other tasks, so I mostly write when the children are asleep or distracted.

Q:  Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
 A:  I've read so many books, that I must undoubtably be influenced by all the different styles. If you check my website you can find lists of authors I enjoy and music I enjoy, but I don't think I'm 'like' any of the authors I enjoy to read. My reason to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series has to do with not being able to find certain stories I would enjoy.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  I read, both for recreation and research. I listen to music, entertain my children, train in martial arts, ride motorcycles, sidecars and scooters [the Vespa on the covers of the Amsterdam Assassin Series]. I live in Amsterdam, so I often just go out and walk around, often carrying a digital camera. I also enjoy doing research, which takes me to the strangest places and teaches me skills that are probably superfluous unless there is a zombie apocalypse.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  I have a TBR list on my Kindle, and I recently have rated and reviewed some of the books I read on GoodReads, so if people want to keep track of my reading and reviewing, check my profile on GoodReads.

Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?
A:  I do, but if I told you, they wouldn't be hidden, would they? Suffice to say that I share many but not all the talents of my characters.
Thank you Martyn V. Halm! 
Don't miss  Reprobate - A Katla Novel in Read It & Reap Sunday, April 28!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

More Than Friends by Jessica Jayne

Title:  More Than Friends
Author:  Jessica Jayne

  Contemporary Erotic Romance

Number of pages:

Book Description:  Jeni Acerna’s longstanding sexual relationship with her best friend, Brian Hamilton, is both blissful and troublesome. She’s been unable to commit herself to another relationship because no one compares to Brian in or out of bed.

Prior to attending a friend’s wedding together, they place a wager…the first to beg for sex owes the other $500. After a tortuous night, their passion erupts and their sexual relationship picks up where it left off…hot and heavy. However, this time, Brian wants Jeni… and not just in his bed. Can he convince her the risk is worth taking?

Buy Links: Cobblestone Press BN ARe Amazon

4 of 5 stars
This was a fun, sexy short story. Jeni and Brian have been friends forever, and while their relationship has been more than that of friends, they have always kept a bit of distance between them, afraid to take the next step for fear of losing what they have.

I love Jeni and Brian together! Their interaction with each other and responses to each other was perfect, and the chemistry between them was sizzling. It was just enough to make you want more!

View all my reviews

Chapter One More Than Friends

Staring out the tiny airplane window, Jeni Acerna watched as the vehicles below transformed into matchbox cars and the slight cityscape of Tampa soon became a miniature play set. She was on her way to Cleveland for her college roommate Bethany’s wedding…alone.
Jeni had recently ended yet another relationship. Stephen Weller. He was a corporate attorney at a large firm in Tampa, Florida, working his way to senior partner. Handsome. Intelligent. And addicted to his work. He had to actually schedule time for Jeni on his Outlook calendar. Even when they had some time together for dinner or such, she had to regularly battle for attention with his iPhone. Jeni did not consider herself high maintenance. She was a small town Ohio girl, who moved to Florida like many northerners. She did not need constant attention. But she never expected to have to call her boyfriend’s secretary in order to arrange a dinner date with him. Stephen was reluctant to let the relationship go. He told her he truly enjoyed their time together, even if it was minimal. Jeni had some reluctance as well. She was twenty-eight years old and several relationships deep. But she wanted a relationship that involved spending time together and allowed for some spontaneity. At this point in Stephen’s career, that was not going to be possible. They went their separate ways.
It looked as if Jeni would be attending Bethany’s wedding solo. Not a big deal. Several of their college friends would be there, so Jeni would know more than enough people to keep her from feeling lonely. But a part of her dreaded the thought of going without a date. Many of her college friends were either married or engaged. Weddings were a great reminder that she was still so very far from having one of her own.

Instead of sulking to the wedding single, Jeni did what she inevitably did every time she traveled back home to Ohio—she called Brian Hamilton. Brian and Jeni grew up together. They had been best friends, but Brian had always been more than a friend. He was Jeni’s sex addiction and perhaps one of the big reasons none of her romantic relationships seemed capable of succeeding. She either compared her boyfriend at the time to Brian or could not keep herself from fucking Brian when she saw him.
“Hey, Jeni,” Brian said. He answered the phone in his usual cheerful manner.

“Hey, Bri,” Jeni replied. She was grateful to hear his voice, even though it had only been a couple weeks since they had actually spoken. “How are you?”

“Usual. Busy and bored,” he said with a laugh. Brian still lived in Canton Falls, Ohio, their small town about an hour south of Cleveland. He was a CPA working for his dad’s accounting firm, which consisted of Brian, his dad, and his older brother, Phillip. Brian enjoyed the work itself. He was always a numbers kind of guy. But living in Canton Falls could be suffocating. And Brian had made his way through most of the local attractive female population.

“Maybe I can brighten up your day and add some excitement. Would you want to meet me in Cleveland this weekend and go to Bethany’s wedding with me? I’m flying in on Friday evening.”

“You’ll be in Ohio next weekend and I am just hearing about this now?” he asked, pretending to be hurt. “Oh, wait! You must have broken up with dreamy Stevie, and now you need a date for the wedding.”
“Cute, Brian. And yes, I did.” He knew Jeni so well. Too well.

“Ha-ha,” he said with a laugh. “I knew it wouldn’t last. Jeni Acerna does not take well to being second fiddle. He’s a fool!”

“Thanks for the positivity,” Jeni said. “So, you’ll come with me?” To be honest, Jeni could not think of another person with whom she would rather spend the weekend.

“This is kind of short notice,” he said. “You know my social calendar is jam-packed.” He laughed. In their last conversation a couple weeks ago, Brian told her he had taken Samantha Franklin out on a date. She was the much younger sister to one of their high school classmates. Sam had had a crush on Brian since she was a little girl. When asked how the date had gone, he chuckled and said there was zero chance of them getting serious, but that it was fun to date a twenty-one-year-old again.
“You already have plans?” Jeni tried to disguise the disappointment in her voice.

“Tentatively,” he said. “Besides, it would be nothing but trouble for us to see each other.”

“Why would you say that?” she asked.

“Didn’t you say you wanted to ‘cool things off’ between us?” he asked.

“I suppose I did,” Jeni replied. She had made that request when she thought she and Stephen might have a chance at a real relationship. Brian always complicated things, because Jeni had an almost impossible time resisting him, and Jeni made regular visits to Ohio to see her parents, siblings, and friends. Brian had not been overly thrilled with the request, but he respected her and agreed to her “cooling off.” Jeni could kick herself now for ever suggesting that to Brian. There was little she wanted more than a dose of Brian Hamilton.

“Jeni, you know you are to me what alcohol is to an alcoholic. When I am around you, I can never get enough…no matter the situation.”

Jeni’s heart skipped a beat at the fact that she still had such a profound sexual effect on him. He, of course, still made her knees weak and her panties wet.

“I’d never be able to keep it cooled off spending the weekend with you. You should know that.”

And she did know it. They had seen each other only twice since the cooling off began several months ago, and both times were planned with many of their friends around them so as to avoid the one-on-one time. Even then, they had a difficult time keeping their hands off each other. She found his hand at the small of her back or on her thigh during dinner. She couldn’t stop from ruffling his silky, brown hair or nuzzling into his neck when they said goodbye.

They had had a secret love affair or rather sex affair for years. But she knew that it had never actually been a secret to anyone. They had known each other since they were born. Their parents were good friends and had gone to high school together in Canton Falls too. Since Jeni and Brian were fifteen, they had a magnetic attraction to each other. Their sexual relationship started in high school, continued through college, and carried on even after Jeni moved to Florida five years ago for warmer weather and a job in hospitality marketing at a large resort in Clearwater. Anytime she returned home to Ohio to visit her family and friends, she and Brian found a way to be together. And when she saw Brian, Jeni had an extremely difficult time not fucking him.

When they were in high school, they had tried the boyfriend-girlfriend thing. At the time, neither of them wanted a serious relationship, so they agreed to be friends with benefits. Since then, they never approached the subject of a “relationship” so as not to ruin the good thing they had. And it was good. Very fucking good!

“Are you turning me down because you might not be able to fuck me?” Jeni asked. Brian laughed.

“Might not? I’m turned on just thinking about being in the same room as you,” he said. “There is no way either of us would get out of that hotel room not completely sated.”

“Maybe the cooling off period can be over,” she teased. “Could we make a game out of it?” A thought popped into her head that could make it a challenge. Brian could hardly resist a challenge, especially against her.

“What kind of game?” Brian asked, intrigued.

“Every time we meet up, we are fucking within ten minutes,” Jeni said.

“It’s one of the many pleasures of getting together with you.”

“I’m not saying I don’t enjoy that aspect, because, of course, I do. But it might be fun to restrain from our natural instinct even if just for a little bit. Let’s agree not to have sex for the first twenty-four hours I’m in town. That still leaves about forty-eight hours to play.”

“That’s such a waste of twenty-four hours,” he said. “What do I get out of this?”

“The challenge,” she replied. “I know you can’t last that long being in a hotel room with me with nothing but our clothes separating us.” She heard him snicker on the other end of the phone. Brian could never pass on a challenge. He was way too competitive. “Whoever begs to be fucked first owes the other five hundred dollars. So make sure you bring cash when you pick me up from the airport.” Jeni knew they would not likely make the twenty-four hours, and she did not mind coming home with a little extra cash.

“You know me too well, Jeni,” he said. “I’m always up for a challenge. I’ve got you on this one! You’ll be begging me to fuck you well before that twenty-four-hour period is over. Keep the money in your bra. I’ll find it!”

About the Author:
I am a born and raised small town Ohio girl, who moved to the Sunshine State after graduating from college. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English because I could not imagine doing anything else but reading and writing. It is such a pleasure to be able to share all the stories in my head!

In the journey of life, I also became a wife and a mother of three children. So, life is always an adventure. But the love of writing has never died.

My favorites: I love to read and write... obviously! But I also enjoy all sports, especially college football and the Ohio State Buckeyes! Go Steelers! Go Rays! I LOVE to travel... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel. And I love sharing my love to travel with my children. I love to drink Teavana teas! I love a good glass of wine, especially if it comes from a bottle made by the FOOLS wine club… yep, I’m a member of that! J I love hanging out with my family and my friends! Big fan of music, but love nothing better than putting on my jean shorts, tank top, cowboy boots and hat and watching Tim McGraw belt it out! I’m a sucker for a cowboy hat! J

Favorite quote: “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.”!/pages/Author-Jessica-Jayne/388268367912903


Sunday 21 April 2013

A Matter of Fate by Ellie Heller

Title:  A Matter of Fate
Author:  Ellie Heller

  Paranormal Romance/ Contemporary Fantasy Romance

Release Date:
  April 22, 2013

Book Description:
  Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.

Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.

First, though, they need to stay alive.

Chapter 1

Her head bowed to the winter wind, Mona strode across the parking lot to the mall, her concern and curiosity about Raine now verging on dread. Since the frantic call from her normally unflappable friend, the scenarios flitting through her mind kept getting worse. Had she been mugged? Detained by mall security? Why? Raine had given no explanation, only saying she needed Mona's help now. Even if they didn't see each other much these days, their best friend bond was unshakeable.

The wind slid under her collar and raised goose bumps along her back. Fuck-a-duck, it was cold! As soon as she finished her training she planned to move someplace warm and get out of Buffalo. Not somewhere too far south though—her light skin sunburned far too easily to be out in the sun all the time.

Avoiding the revolving door out of habit—she felt trapped when she was neither in nor out—she yanked open the side door, thankful to be out of the frigid temperatures. All elves had their quirks, but she knew she had a few more than most. Growing up outside the Folk enclaves, where she might have learned about magic a lot earlier, hadn’t helped.

Mona looked around, expecting to see the management office since she’d been directed to use this entrance. Instead she spotted Raine on a bench at the far end of the hall. Mona was relieved for a split second—until she took in her usually tidy friend’s unkempt appearance. Poorly dressed for the winter, she had no coat and wore open toed shoes and a loose, cap-sleeved sweater over a lightweight dress. Huddled over, legs and arms crossed, the thin sweater tented her body. If Mona hadn’t known the woman, she would have avoided her, and not just because she could see the glow of evil intent surrounding her, but because Raine looked as if she’d been living in her clothes.

As she came closer, Mona concentrated on reading the magic, a bit difficult in the florescent lights. Definitely a spell had been placed on Raine. And in her. Twisted, violent sigils, showing the intent of the spellcaster, controlled the power runes at the base of the working. Mona would have cringed if she hadn’t been stuck dumb by shock.

Oh no, oh no, this was all so wrong. Raine was mortal—aware there were Folk, but mortal. And mortal or not, no one should have a working like this on them, complicated with many intricate mini-spells encapsulated in the larger one. Mona was very, very thankful that Raine had called her. If anyone who created spells, and not just saw them, like she did, had touched the working it would have been a disaster. Even now she worried that Raine’s actions may have triggered the warning beacon placed at critical junctures of the spell.

The magic in Raine would slowly kill her, Mona could see that much. Mona sucked in her breath at the shock. A world without Raine, no matter how infrequently they saw each other, was unthinkable. But what, if anything, Mona could do about it was unclear. She had to be able to do something. She was in training to be a Warder, to protect Folk and humans from misused magic. Even before her training a spell like the one Raine displayed would have drawn her to attempt to fix it; the need was part of why she'd been called to train. Mona took a deep breath; she needed to be calm. The working would shift, speed up, if Raine got overly upset.

“Raine?” she said once she was sure she could keep her anxiety out of her voice.

Raine jumped up. Standing, the heavily pregnant bulge of her belly became apparent. But last time Mona saw Raine, six months ago before her training had become so hectic, Raine was just starting to date someone and had reiterated she was not doing the baby thing until she had a ring on her finger. What had happened? Now that Mona saw the growing baby, the spell was even more sinister, tied up in the tiny person inside her friend. Whoever set the spell either hadn’t known about the pregnancy or, worse yet, did.

“Mona!” Raine slapped her hand to her chest, hysteria lacing her voice. “You scared the crap out of me!”

“Raine, you okay?” Because, shit, this looked bad. Really bad. She couldn’t believe it, but she actually wished her mentor, Smythe, was here to help her figure out how to deal with a spell of this complexity and magnitude. The old coot’s pedantic lecturing when they were working was beyond annoying, but she’d put it up with it in a heartbeat if he could help.

“Yeah,” Raine said. She took several deep breaths. “I will be. Shit, no one’s snuck up on me that bad in ages.”

“Let’s go in,” Mona said. “Can I get you something to eat?” Cracked acorns that spell was convoluted! Nothing like the clear, linear ones with simple branches she’d seen before, this one looped and twisted like a tangle of yarn.

“I—” Raine jumped at the noise of the revolving door screeching.

They turned as a man in tan slacks and an unbuttoned blue blazer headed their way. In Mona’s eyes he glowed with the same tainted residual as Raine. His spell was new and strong enough that she could almost make out the working despite the distance. Mona's read of his Folk abilities made clear he was a shifter, although he wasn't what the Weres called “strong,” and didn't have the balance of elf and human blood needed to shift at any time. Which was good, because the last thing they needed was for him to transform in the middle of the mall. And he definitely had weak magical resistance given the spell compelling him to act looked to be lightly set. Lightly set or not, the compulsion rune on the top layer honed in on them.

About the Author: 
After living in several cities east of the Mississippi, but never quite out of the snow belt, I've settled down in SW Ohio with my three kids, two dogs (one of whom thinks he's a cat) and one cat (who thinks he's a dog).

I write paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy, all with a suspenseful edge. A MATTER OF FATE, a 'traditional' paranormal romance, will be available this spring from Crimson Romance. My first published short (GLBT sensual), "Ginny's Capture" is available now.

I'm also an acquisitions editor (i.e. slush reader :-) ) for Curiosity Quills Press using my full first name, Alison.

Saturday 20 April 2013

Q & A with Dean MacAllister

Title: The Misadventures of a Reluctant Traveller

Author: Dean MacAllister

Genre: Travel/Fiction/Adventure

Page Count: 310

Buy Links:  
Amazon   B&N

Book Description: Tagden fitts has a problem, besides his name. His sleepwalking self is a traveller; a past-time he would rather avoid and his travels are beginning to take over his life. Destroying any chance of a relationship or career, he spends his life chasing after his own body, dreading the night he will finally wake up in a situation too deep to handle.

Q & A with Dean MacAllister

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
A:  Imagine you had no control over your nocturnal actions…and that your whole life consists of surviving one disaster after another. This is Tagden Fitts. A sleep walker that finds himself constantly waking up in different parts of the globe, always in trouble. His friends Terry and McKay are people that also have sleeping problems and try to help out as best they can. Also there are the myriads of travellers Tag meets on the road and some other characters that take a sinister interest in his unusual condition.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
A:  There is a scene in the desert where Tag starts an intensive diatribe about how he is feeling, saying everything that comes into his head as he stumbles along. It was fun putting myself in his shoes (or lack thereof) for a while and venting my frustration through him. I got a lot of positive feedback about this scene.

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?
A:  I haven’t been to any writing classes, or had any formal writing schooling at all. The way I think is the way that I write. I guess I just spill my mind on the page. Luckily for me…my mind is organically twisted, which I’ve been told makes my writing fun to read.

Q:  Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
A:  I actually designed the front cover of this book myself. I had a picture in my head that I didn’t want someone else to make a version of. I wanted something precise…so I spent the time and pain-stakingly pretty much designed it from scratch….using a crossing-sign as my muse. I like being in control of every aspect of creating a book.

Q:  What do you see as influences on your writing?
A:  I love any kind of art that makes you feel something. Books, songs, movies, anything. I wanted to write a book that would have you invest in a character and then suffer and rejoice every time that he did. I like writers that immerse you in their stories…like Jeff Long and George R.R.Martin. Also, my books are completely influenced by my travels and experiences, my inspiration behind writing.

Q:  Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
A:  Robbing service-stations to feed my drug habit. I don’t know….I have been asked that a lot. I travel to a new country every year…so I guess I see myself lost somewhere new, with a fresh idea for a novel.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  A wise crustacean once said: “Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter. Take it from me.” I find that my mind and heart-rate only slow down when I am diving. It’s like life in slow-motion. Where nothing above the water matters. Actually…where did I leave my wet-suit….?

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  Despite trying my best to avoid book series, I have begun the seven book series of Game of Thrones.
There goes my next couple of years….

About the Author
Dean is a mad traveller. He travels the world looking for new experiences, stories and tries, occassionally successfully, to keep out of trouble. He has done extensive travel through every continent, from Laos to Antarctica, Brazil to Madagascar. He writes travel-fiction and is currently writing his second novel for publishing. He enjoys getting lost, diving, wine, photography and trying something new.

He lives with his wife in Melbourne.