Q & A with Leeland Artra

Please give a warm welcome to my next victim! —-Leeland Artra!

*****

Leeland-Author-180What would your bio say?

Here lies a great liar. Oh wait you said bio not eulogy. Well my bio is mostly that I couldn’t make up my mind. I started with college, tried the Navy, tried consulting, tried door to door sales, tried working for large corps, tried working for little corps, and am still trying. Yet through all that I loved fantasy and sci-fi. I read books all the time and also enjoy doing some fantasy roleplaying games. And now I have added author to the long list of jobs. Except Author seems a really good fit for my personality, I think I will be doing this for a long time to come.

When did you start writing and why?

I started writing stories in the early 1980s. Most of them were for roleplaying modules of my own design. I wrote a lot of side plots for games I was the game-master for. Later I wrote stories for friends based on little known side plots of our lives (all of it fiction of course). None of these were ever published and most were under a thousand words. I got serious about writing professionally in 2012. I took a series of stories I had written and weaved them all together to make my debut trilogy Golden Threads Trilogy which started with Thread Slivers (a bestseller), will continue with Thread Strands and will end (yes the trilogy will have a real ending, I like those) with Thread Skein.

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Oh that is funny. If you’re a parent it affects everything. And, yes I’m a parent I have a marvelously busy six year old son and an adult daughter. My daughter thinks it’s cool. My son thinks it’s annoying because I spend so much time working on the books, and marketing them. At six the world should and does revolve around playtime and how long until the next playtime. Some of the stuff my son does ends up echoed in the books. I hope when he is older he’ll be proud of me and the works I have done.

Who is your favorite author and why?

This seems to be a favorite question and most authors I know claim to be unable to nail it down to one. I’ll go out on a limb and say I have a long list of authors I love and would recommend to someone based on what genre they love. For fantasy I have to say I love Roger Zelazny. For Sci-Fi that is a hard toss between Philip Jose Farmer and Timothy Zahn. If you want more current writers then I love Lindsay Buroker, Lois McMaster Bujold, Mercedes Lackey, and Trudi Canavan. Why I like all of these authors is easy, they spin great stories that I can dive into and lose hours at a time. The worlds they create, the characters all have meaning and stick with me.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

I am writing the kind of books I love to read. I want to be able to go back in a few years and read my own books and be in love with the worlds and characters again like drinking fine aged liquor. I wanted to see if I liked writing professionally, if I could do it, and if it was a feasible career change for me. So far all it all looks positive. If I can get on a few thousand people’s favorite authors lists I will call this a win-win!

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

Right now I am going with self-publishing (aka indie author). My main reason is I want to know how all of the publishing industry works. I need to learn all the channels, distributions, methods, marketing, and how much it all costs in time and money. Why? So I can be a knowledgeable negotiator should a traditional publisher choose to pick up my books. My first book has already passed the golden “publisher pay attention” sales figures. The question is will my second, third, and forth books do the same. If so I might get some very covernice offers. Based on what I am learning about the marketing and production costs in time, effort, worry, and money I might take up the offer. It’s not a sure thing in any direction, I might be a one hit wonder, or I might actually be a regular bestselling author. All I can do right now is make sure I’m doing my very best on all aspects and measure the results.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing.

It has been a very interesting journey. I spent 20 years building up the worlds and story materials. In 2012 I spent about four months reading everything I could about how to be a good author. I also spent a few months learning the marketing aspects while pulling together the initial manuscript. I had to find editors, artists, typesetters, and much more. It was all very interesting. As a result the second book I believe is going to be even better. Writing the story was very hard, but editing that and getting it turned into the book was even harder.

Tell us about your book (s).

My unique spin on things is that at some point in our future a rather unexpected event takes place causing the races of our galaxy to merge and work with races of another galaxy in a massive effort to save some of their cultures. Ours was a galaxy of science and technology, the other was one of what we would call magic (but really it is just a different kind of technology based on a radiant power source capable of being used at a distance). The result was a new world that had entirely unexpected issues, causing a degradation back to an Elizabethan level of knowledge and technology for all the races involved. Yet some science and technology from both prior galaxies still exists and is still known. So in 20,000 years from today we end up roughly at the beginning of book one. A young strong female mercenary warrior named Ticca gets hired by a young not-so-strong junior mage named Lebuin and the two of them cause a lot of headaches for all involved. Yet they are joined by some unusual individuals and manage to learn enough to stay alive and maybe even stop a rather large disaster.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

These books are using ideas I came up with in the 1980s and have been slowly building and correcting as I learned more over the years. I wanted a rich full world for my games and stories and I built one that could be both fantastic and yet hauntingly familiar. As I love sci-fi as much as fiction I wanted to mix them together. With that said I have a 20,000 year time line of high science, high magic, and a mix of both to play with for all of my future books. I think I can find plenty of stories in that time to keep my fans and myself very happy.

Chapter-13Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

You should love Ticca because she is at heart a farm girl that wanted to be more. She worked very hard and earned the right to carry her dagger. She is smart and resourceful, and her naivety takes a lot of hard knocks in the first book. I think most readers start out hating Lebuin, he is a real pompous idiot, pampered and self-indulgent. But, he grows and learns about the real world. By the end I think most fans will like him too. Duke, well, Duke is Duke as one reviewer pointed out he is a pretty finished character, always has been in this world. But, the sci-fi series I’m writing about his origins we’ll get to see why he is the way he is. Dohma, is your typical honest policeman that got made into a king and he is learning a lot of lessons about that. So I feel a lot of sympathy for him personally. There are dozens of other characters I’d be happy to chat about given the time.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Oh that a serious spoiler alert! Who told you? Even the beta readers don’t know this yet! Oh wait, this is probably a general question you ask. Do many books have a sound track? I thought I was being clever. Yes, there is some musical aspects to the second and third books which is being done professionally. I won’t say more at this time! I need my marketing thunder if you don’t mind. The first book has a fabulous trailer you can watch on Ganxy at http://bit.ly/X1TtFJ

*****

Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer some questions so we can better get to know you! 🙂 You can follow Leeland on his website or Facebook.

 

And you can pick up this book at any one of these fine places!

Thread Slivers eBook available via Viewbook.at:  http://bit.ly/Ym1TUy

Thread Slivers print available via Viewbook.at: http://bit.ly/12PRjZX

Thread Slivers on Ganxy: http://bit.ly/X1TtFJ

Thread Slivers preview link on Amazon: http://amzn.to/Y1RrjB

Thread Slivers on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/Yye0QY

Golden Threads Trilogy on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UQV9Sz

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/woxIX

COVER REVEAL!!! Dragon Twins

Hi everyone! I am super excited to be able to share with you what my lovely designer Miranda Stork over at Moon Rose Publishing  has cooked up for the second novel in the Stan Brookshire series. I cannot thank this woman enough!

Release date is June 30th, 2013!

Please make sure you like the Facebook page to find out more details and to enter giveaways I will be having on various blogs leading up to its release!

The Blurb

Separated at birth…reunited by murder.

Behind the gates of an exclusive Lake City neighborhood, prominent businessman Don Chu’s housekeeper has been brutally murdered and his teenage daughter taken. The high-profile case has the Mayor himself sending the case across Detective Stan Brookshire’s desk. He barely has time to digest the details of the two sinister crimes before he’s called to yet another disturbing scene.

This time, at the other end of the city, another murder and attempted kidnapping ring out with a similarity too convenient for coincidence. As the clues fall into place and the evidence mounts, Stan starts to see a pattern emerge. A DNA match, and the two cases now become one. With the help of an unexpected young ally, Stan begins his search for a victim that may still be alive. It’s a race against the clock and across the globe that will test his skills to the absolute limit. Two murders. Two kidnappings. Twice the danger. 

The Excerpt

A loud noise startled Jade from her slight doze. As she straightened up in her chair, she glanced at the clock on her bedside table across the room that held her textbooks. Eleven thirty-five.

 Leaning back at her desk, she reached over and felt the bowl of soup Wei-Lee, the family housekeeper, had brought. It had been piping hot but now it was tepid. She estimated she was out less than half an hour. 

 Another crash came from the direction of the kitchen. What on earth was Wei-Lee doing at this time of night to make that much noise?

 Jade started to get up when the door to her room flew open and two almost identical Asian men burst into her room. Grabbing her before she could make a sound, her feet lashed out and knocked the books to the floor as they dragged her toward the door.

 “You’re coming with us,” one of the men said in a thick, Chinese accent. “You can either come quietly or we’ll drag you out.”

 “There’s no way I’m letting you take me anywhere!” she yelled, struggling against them. Their grip loosened and this time she racked her nails across one man’s cheek. Crying out in pain, he released her arm to protect his face.

 She ran out of the bedroom and down the stairs hoping to find Wei-Lee or something to defend herself. Jade heard them running after her. Chancing a glance over her shoulder, she saw they were right behind her as she raced through the house trying to get to the kitchen.

 She was almost there when a man stepped out of the doorway, into her path. He was Asian but what caught her attention was the knife in his hand. Red liquid dripped from it onto the tile floor. She managed to duck around him and into the kitchen where she was halted at the sight of Wei-Lee. She lay dead in a slowly spreading pool of blood.

 A hand grabbed her shoulder and tried to spin her around. Her reflexes drove her forward, jumping over the housekeeper’s body she dove for the cordless phone to dial 911. She managed to dial two digits before the phone was knocked out of her hand and it went flying across the floor.

 Rough hands grabbed her and tore her clothing as she tried to get away. It was useless. They were too strong. It was too much for her. The sight of the dead housekeeper, the men in her house…the blood. There was so much blood.

 A hand reached up and put a cloth over her mouth, she fought against it but it was no use. She had no strength left. As her world faded to darkness the last thing she heard was, “Do not hurt her. Ling will not be happy if she is harmed.”

*****

And the moment you have been waiting for ….

The Cover

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00008]

BLOG TOUR: For Everly

EverlyTourBanner3I am so excited to be helping out with this tour! I simply love Raine… (in case you’ve forgotten she did an interview with me a while back…)

*****

Here’s an excerpt from her new novel — For Everly.

Thirty minutes later, she finally arrived at the restaurant. Between traffic and the unfamiliar area of town, it took her longer than she expected to get there. She thought she had given herself extra time, but she was still five minutes late. When she pulled up, she found herself at a valet stand. Rolling down her window, she flagged the valet who eyed her car as though it had just broken down at his feet. He approached with notable reluctance.

Waving at the twenty-dollar valet fee posted on a nearby folding sign, she asked, “Is there self-parking?”

“No, ma’am,” he replied stiffly.

She swallowed and nodded, getting out of her car so he could park it. She only had twenty dollars in cash, and she had intended to pay for her lunch with it. She knew the bank account was low until she got paid again on Friday, but she’d have to risk debiting her meal. Why hadn’t she thought to set some parameters when Cole suggested the restaurant?

Her headache ballooned as she hurried through the front door of the restaurant and looked around without spotting Cole. Frowning, she approached the maître d.

“Miss Wallace?” he greeted her.

Surprised, she nodded.

“Welcome. Mr. Parker is waiting at your table. It would be my pleasure to escort you there. May I take your coat?”

Damn. She probably couldn’t even afford the free bread at this place.

Giving the maître d a wan smile, she shrugged out of her coat, putting her gloves in the pockets and wrapping her scarf around one of her purse straps. She was sure she was imagining it, but she swore the maître d held her Target-brand garment a few inches away from his body as he turned to hand it off to whoever guarded the coat room.

Shifting uncomfortably when he gave her a quick once-over and lingered disapprovingly on her jeans, she took a deep breath and For Everly Cover 1followed him into the dining room. There wasn’t anything she could do about how she was dressed, was there?

Lord, what a hot mess this was.

As she spotted Cole across the dining room at a table with a beautiful view of the outside terrace, another thought occurred to her. How should she greet him? Should she shake his hand since this was a business meeting? Go in for the awkward hug since she was good friends with his brother?

Bow because he looked like a god in his simple black V-neck sweater and gray pants?

She caught his gaze when she was still about ten feet from the table. A variety of expressions crossed his features, so many that she couldn’t read them all. She definitely caught irritation, though, and was puzzled when he ended up smiling.

OhGodOhGodOhGod…

He stood up. The maître d deposited her with a slight bow, so she ruled out that form of greeting. Then it was just her and Cole.

“Hello, Everly,” he said, his voice as smooth as a buttered biscuit.

“Hi.”

Had that been her voice that came out all breathy? She prayed it hadn’t sounded as ridiculous as she thought.

She started to lift her right hand for a shake, then realized he was tilting in for the awkward hug. To avoid hitting him in the crotch, she adjusted her trajectory. He smoothly used his left hand to continue her forward motion so that her hand ended up encircling his neck.

Then before she knew what was happening, her lips were pressed against his.

*****
AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS:

rainetRaine Thomas is the award-winning author of a bestselling series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the Firstborn trilogy. Her latest book is a New Adult Contemporary Romance titled For Everly. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing, or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Ways readers can connect with Raine:

Twitter (http://twitter/Raine_Thomas)
Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/rainethomas)
Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5053436.Raine_Thomas)
Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/raine_thomas/)
Linkedin (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/raine-thomas/53/111/bb3)
Website (http://rainethomas.com)
Blog (http://RaineThomas.com/blog/)

COUNTDOWN WIDGET:

RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Giveaway includes a signed paperback, a custom necklace and bracelet, and a $25 Amazon gift card!! Be sure to check that out folks! 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab your copy of For Everly Today!!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D0TB1CE/?tag=iamboo-20
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/
2940016443065
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17835522-for-everly

Blog Highlight: Pen Possessed

Heres a beautiful Mom of one, Chelsea Falin, who blogs about her books and reviews others! 🙂

A little about Ms. Chelsea, in her own words:

“I was born on June 4th, 1990 at Tampa General Hospital, in Tampa, Florida. My earliest childhood years were spent in the small suburban town of Dade City, which is located in the west-central portion of the state. My happiest memories are centered here in my home town, where I attended both Pasco Elementary and Pasco Middle Schools. To say that I was sad to leave my itty bitty home town is an understatement, but the time came when I was 12. I moved a lot during my childhood, and this move was not all that drastic. I simply relocated to the neighboring town of Zephyrhills. Zephyrhills is a lot larger than Dade City as far as the sheer amount of people living there goes. To put it into perspective for you, Dade City has a population of just over 6,000 people, while Zephyrhills has nearly 11,000. It was a lot different than I was used to, and to be honest, the two years I spent living in Zephyrhills were some of the toughest in my childhood. My family and I were consistently hungry, broke, and lacking necessities. We also lived in a crime-prone portion of Zhills, and we suffered multiple break-ins. We didn’t really have anything, so I’m not sure what it was the burglars were looking for. During these two years, however, I grew closer to my family than I could ever imagine. I attended Raymond B. Stewart Middle School, and moved on to attend Zephyrhills High School. At the end of my freshman year, my family and I made the drastic and life-altering move to southern New Jersey.

I was almost 16 when I moved to New Jersey, and for the first year, we moved a lot. We lived in Somers Point and Pleasantville, before semi-settling in the Pinelands area. We spent a year between Tuckerton and West Creek, where I attended Pinelands Regional Junior High School. We changed locations yet again only a year later, and moved to the itty bitty southern NJ town of Port Norris. Port Norris was both an exciting time in my life, and a terrible one. Port Norris was small even compared to my hometown, with a population barely over 1,000 people. There were two bordering towns- Shell Pile and Bivalve, which had a combined population of 50 between the two. I used to love riding my bike through all three towns, and I would disappear for hours at a time. The town was relatively safe, just as long as I stayed in our half of Port Norris. Being 16 and then 17, I had a lot more freedom. We were still relatively poor, but we made due much better than we had before. Unfortunately, I ended up making some rather normal bad teenage decisions. It was the usual spiel. I got in with the wrong crowd, experimented with drinking and recreational drugs, and snuck out of the house a few times. To be honest, my decisions weren’t as bad as they could have been. I was actually a pretty good kid- I just made a few rebellious decisions. Even during these times, I was the thinking intellectual my mother made me out to be. I declined casual, unprotected sex; I never had a drink and got behind the wheel, nor did I get in the car with anyone who had been drinking; the only drugs I experimented with were weed and a few low-milligram pain killers. Am I embarrassed? No. Experimentation is an important aspect of growing up, and my experimenting was done in moderation.

One night, however, I got caught. My cousin was up visiting from Florida, and the two of us snuck out of my home one night to go to a guy’s house. The guy part of the deal was for her, but we smoked a little pot and had a little beer. I feel asleep in a corner of the guy’s living room floor, and as such, we were not able to sneak home before my mom woke up. To say that ‘hell broke loose’ is an understatement. After a full blown ‘cuss out’ session from my usually sugary sweet momma, I was sent back to Florida with that selfsame cousin. They were living in Ocala at the time, and Ocala is a huge city. My cousin and I went wild for a little while. My Aunt pretty much let us do whatever we wanted to. Top priority was searching for a job, and I enrolled in a community college to get my GED. That never happened, however, because I soon decided my spurt of rebelliousness had ran it’s course. I came to my senses, but when I tried to convince my cousin to come to hers, all failed. I called my real father (my parents had divorced when I was four) and asked him to come get me immediately. He did, and I went to live with him in Brooksville, Florida. I loved where my dad lived. Growing up, I had spent every other weekend, every other major holiday, and one to two straight months staying with him- first, on my grandma’s farm, and then on his and my step moms property…”

You can find Ms. Chelseas blog here —–>www.CFalinHammond.wordpress.com

FREEBIE SATURDAY~Atkinson’s Administration

atkinsons admin large
Book Info:
Title: Atkinson’s Administration (Book 1 in series)
Author: John Paul Bernet (aka JP Bernett)
Page count: 214
Published: March 7th 2012
Blurb:
The reaper has walked among us ever since time began. Our meaning of time is different; three score years and ten give or take the over or under run of sand in the reapers time piece. That is what the ancient philosophers would have us believe.
But now the bells are chiming us into the 21st century and there is a problem. The real reaper system has had a spanner thrown into its works; the repercussions of this could and will end the world as we know it. Can mortals battle with ancient Gods or is this the apocalypse that revelations predicted.“Have you ever wondered what that feeling is when you are falling in your sleep and you wake just before you hit the ground? Well, that is me twanging the cord that one day I will cut in my realm and you will die in yours”.
Atkinson
Author Link:
Coordinator:
Fae Books

Q & A with Judy Walters

Please welcome my next victim! Another mother who writes about one womans journey to motherhood.

*****

a3bd96_84a73d6dd002703bc39f78a80cf6ba3e.jpg_srz_268_398_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00What would your bio say?

Judy Mollen Walters is a Stay-at-Home Mother to two teenage girls who were conceived through infertility treatment, which led her to write her debut novel, Child of Mine, the story of an infertile midwife searching for her biological parents and a way to create her family. Judy spent eight years working as an editor in nonfiction publishing before becoming a Stay-at-Home Mother.

When did you start writing and why?

I started writing stories when I was eight years old, but none of them was any good! I was an English major in college and was always fascinated by the book publishing process.  I began writing in earnest when my younger daughter turned three and ideas for novels would haunt me unless I wrote them.

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

I can only write when no one is in my house, and that is a challenge! I usually start writing soon after I get up in the morning, when I am most energetic, my high schooler has left for school, and my husband is at work. My older daughter is in college so she is away most of the time. 😦

I am always looking to write characters who have parenting issues or challenges – whether, like my midwife, they are desperate wanna-be parents, unable to get pregnant, or like in my upcoming novel about a rabbi whose wife has died, forcing him to raise his two teenage children alone.  “They” say write what you know, so I try to, and parenting is what I know!

Who is your favorite author and why?

Don’t make me pick! 🙂

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?a3bd96_3cb90d3da86c246e6315c0ad24fe6972.png_srz_318_463_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00

I want to tell good stories that transport my readers as well as make them think.

 Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I don’t like the word “or.”  I see so many authors who make this a devisive issue, and I don’t think it needs to be.  There are pros and cons to each path. I’ve actually hybrid published Child of Mine (hybrid is my own made-up term, maybe it will catch on!). I have an agent (Erica Silverman of Trident Media Group) and she tried to secure a traditional deal for me, but after a while, we decided to epublish my book through Trident Media, which now has its own ebook division.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

It’s a loooooong story….When my younger daughter was three (she is now fifteen) I came up with an idea for a novel. I wasn’t trying to write a novel, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone, so I decided to write it.  It was terrible! I put it aside and didn’t think about writing for a couple of years.  Then another idea popped into my head and I wrote that. It was slightly better but still not very good.  I wrote another one; I started looking for agents.  I couldn’t get one, so I wrote another book!  After nine months, I got two agent offers in twenty four hours. I thought This is it. I accepted one of the offers based on the name and reputation of the agency and agent, had a written, signed contract with the agency, and began the revisions she requested.  Three months later, I sent her the revisions. She wrote me a one line email, “I am not the agent for you,” and walked away.  I began revising as I queried some more. Nine months later, I got an offer from my current agent.  We couldn’t sell that manuscript. I started writing Child of Mine during that time; we tried to sell Child, but at the same time, the ebook market began to explode. The agency she works for, Trident Media Group, opened an ebook division and we decided to publish it that way, instead.

 Tell us about your book (s)

What lengths would you go to in order to become a mother? Midwife Katie Cohen-Langer delivers babies for a living, but despite years of intensive infertility treatments and growing desperation, she can’t have her own child.

As families grow under Katie’s careful watch, her husband wants to move on to adoption. But Katie, who was adopted as a newborn, can’t bear the thought of never having a biological connection to anyone.

So she sets off on a journey to the other side of the country, along with her emotionally unstable sister, to find her biological relatives.

What she discovers about her roots –and about the parents who adopted her — rocks her world in a way she never could have expected. And even as she deals with what she finds, she still needs to figure out a way to become a mother.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I believe strongly in writing what you know. I have a great fascination with pregnancy, birth, and family building so I loved writing about a midwife delivering babies. I went through infertility treatment to have my two children; it felt natural to write about that aspect of the story, too.

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

You should love her!  She is a strong, independent woman going through the roughest time in her life.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Um, no. 🙂

*****

Thanks so much Judy for spending some time with us! You can keep up with Judy on her website and blog! And you can find her books at anywhere you can purchase an ebook!

Blog Highlight: Night Writer

Here we have a mom and a lover of vampires Ms Kristin King! Blogging out about everything indie and being a Mom to her boys!

A wee bit about Madam Kristin;

“Kristin King first saw a vampire in a coffee table book of Hollywood monsters and has been hooked on paranormal creatures ever since. Inspired by her husband, adored by her golden lab, embraced by Jesus, and well-grounded by her four sons, Kristin can be found on Facebook (KristinKingAuthor), Twitter, and Pinterest where she enjoys hearing from readers, writers and other publishing professionals. Kristin’s home is wherever the army stations her husband, fellow author Ryan King (http://www.amazon.com/Ryan-King/), and her roots are in Kentucky.

Current projects include the Begotten Bloods Series, an untitled zombie romance, and an untitled dystopian adventure.”

You can find Kristins blog here —–>https://kristinkingauthor.wordpress.com

OFFICIAL RELEASE!!: From The Darkness Within

I am just so excited to be a part of my dear friend Cary Barner-Nelson’s release of her second novel From the Darkness Within. Ill let her handle it from here on out! 

*****

DARKNESS_WITHIN_1000

Blurb: 

 Life isn’t what Summer Tate thought it would be. No one, including Summer, realizes the darkness that has been residing within her from the moment she was conceived. And after a fatal encounter, Summer is forced to find the truths that have been deliberately hidden from her. This is a tale of betrayal, love and self-discovery, set against a backdrop of ancient power games. When you can’t trust your own family, is there anyone in the world you can rely on?

Excerpt:

The more time I spend with Thomas, the more he seems paranoid and over-protective. Last week, for example, while walking along the beach, he was joking and smiling and we chased each other in the surf, like we always do. Then, suddenly, Thomas whipped me up in his arms and ran with me to the bike. Before I knew it, we were speeding down the road back home. Once inside, he relaxed again. Not wanting to spoil our evening, I didn’t ask anything, and he didn’t offer me an explanation, either.

When I ask why he is acting that way, he tells me that he cares for me deeply. I don’t believe he’s telling me the whole truth, though I do trust that he is being protective for a good reason. The only thing that is bothering me is that he won’t tell me what is going on.

Once or twice, Thomas tried to teach me how to ride his bike, but I was too scared to make much progress. He said that’s okay and that we’ll keep on trying, but he’s not mentioned it once since he developed his protective streak. It’s clear there’s something that spooks him, and I wish he’d share it with me, but I’ve never been the nagging sort. He’ll tell me when he’s ready.

On the third Saturday in November, we decide to drive up to the hills and enjoy the view. He stops at a picnic area on Ramsey Mountain. The sun is shining, but the wind is pretty cold. The hot soup and coffee we brought along in our small picnic basket are more than welcome.

After our snack, I snuggle up to him on the picnic blanket and he uses the second blanket to wrap around us. He pulls me from the hard ground and sits me in his lap. It’s much more comfortable that way. We talk and kiss for a few hours. Then, out of the blue, he becomes paranoid again. His head is frantically turning from left to right. Finally, his gaze fixes on the forest behind us.

“Thomas. Thomas!” I nudge and get no response. “Thomas.” I shake him this time.

“Shh,” he whispers. “I thought I heard something.”

“Oh. What did you hear? And why are you whispering?”

“I’m…I’m not sure what it is. We should go. Are you ready to go?”

He’s lifting me to my feet before I get the chance to answer. “Um. I guess. Are you okay?”

“Yes.” His frown tells a different story.

I decide enough is enough and I need some straight answers. “I know you are hiding something from me, Thomas. I want to know what it is. I told you I don’t want to get hurt and right now you’re scaring me.” Horror flickers across his face before he manages to temper his expression down to mild worry. He doesn’t fool me. “What is going on, Thomas?”

He can see my anxiety and frustration, and still says nothing. Ugh! Men! Aggravated by his reaction, I begin to walk away.

“Summer, wait! Please. Let me take you back to your place,” he sighs, “then…I will explain.” He looks sincere, so I nod in agreement.

Before we get to the bike, a voice stops us. “Thomas, why are you leaving so soon?”

We turn to face the source of the voice. A man dressed in jeans and a business jacket is standing a few feet from us with his hands clasped around his back. “Won’t you even introduce me to your lady friend?” His voice is confident and calm, with a proper English accent.

“Leave her out of this, Atley. Your grudge is with me. No one else is going to die,” Thomas snarls at him.

The tension in the air is palpable.

“Come, now, you know you’re in over your head. There’s nothing you can do.” He pauses and inhales slowly. “I want her and I will have her. And you know I always get what I want.” He speaks in a deeper tone, sending shivers down my spine. “Why don’t we cut out all the drama and get to the part where you hand her over to me? That way I don’t have to come and get her.” He brushes his long brown hair from his face. “You never like it when I do things my way. Why live to regret it, as you have done with all the others?”

His words are like venomous tendrils wrapping around my throat, cutting my air supply off. He stands so still that he could pass for a mannequin. From this distance, I can his eyes clearly. They stand out, black with a thin red ring around the pupil.

I’ve never seen eyes like that.

Terror consumes me. My stomach knots causing me to become nauseated. I want to run, but I can’t. Fear has me frozen in my tracks.

Atley stares right at me. The look in his eyes sends chills through me and I can taste bile in my mouth. I try to speak, but nothing comes out. I am positive nothing I have to say could make things better anyway. This isn’t a man who looks like he would listen to reason.

I glance at Thomas; his face is void of all emotion. His eyes are locked on Atley, who smiles pleasantly at me before shifting his gaze back to Thomas. “Would you risk your life in order to save a human’s, as you have failed to do with the rest?”

That is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

“I am trying to keep her out of the arms of a monster,” Thomas says, spitting the words at Atley.

“Really? And what are you, exactly?” Atley’s eyebrows raise in surprise and his gaze falls on me for a second, then shifts back to Thomas. “Have you told her yet? It seems you have become smitten with the young mistress. It would be only fair she knew who she was kissing.” He smiles smugly.

I don’t understand much of that exchange, but I’d do almost anything to wipe that smile off Atley’s face. I don’t feel particularly brave, but someone’s got to say something that makes sense.

“What do you want with me, Atley?” I try to sound strong and in control, but he just looks irritated that I am speaking without being spoken to.

“Young girl, I suggest that you keep your mouth closed until I address you.” His face is emotionless, calm, but I am sure things are about to become ugly quickly.

“Don’t you dare speak to Summer like that, Atley. Things have progressed since the sixteenth century and you’d do well to move with the times.”

I can see Thomas has noticed my confusion, and he doesn’t seem happy about the explanation he has to give me later, or something. Obviously, now is not a good time to stand and chat, but he surprises me by moving to block Atley’s view of me. He looks into my eyes as he swiftly passes me the keys to his motorcycle. He almost got away with it. Almost.

Atley sneers and pumps his fist.” I will only say this once: if you move as much as an inch, you die. I will not tolerate anyone’s disobedience.”

Quicker than I would have thought possible, Atley is at my side, eyes on the keys in my hand. Thomas is a step ahead, though, and pushes me just enough out of Atley’s reach, so that he can’t get to the keys. My heart is racing. I look frantically to Thomas and back to Atley. The ability to make any decisions has failed me. My mind is cloudy with fear and my body trembles.

“Run. Get on the bike and leave. Hurry,” Thomas yells in my direction.

I don’t move. How can I leave Thomas?

He looks at me and I stare back into his eyes. “I’ll be fine. Trust me. You must go.”

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Pieces of the confusing conversation I’d just witnessed fly through my mind. Thomas has apparently escaped Atley before. That knowledge soothes me. I know that there is a church about a fourth of a mile up the road. I can be there in no time, if only I can get the bike to work.

The bike! Atley moves to block my path. How will I ever get to it? There is no way I’m getting one step closer to him. Thomas gives my hand a light squeeze before he leaps at Atley. He knocks Atley down and they roll away from the bike.

I hesitate. I am not sure my back-seat passenger observations or the two ineffective lessons

Thomas gave me a while ago will be enough to help me now. I will probably kill myself, knowing my luck. But what are my options? If I stay, Atley might kill me. If I ride away, at least I have a chance of staying alive.

I just hope I haven’t wasted too much time being indecisive. Without further hesitation, I pounce on the bike like an action hero and jab the keys in the ignition. The first try fails, but the second time it fires right up. I kick at the gear shift and twist the handle the way I’ve seen Thomas do it.

Suddenly, the tires are squealing and throwing dirt and rocks. Incredibly, I hang on. I point the bike toward the church and, knowing that I may not make it home tonight, I say a prayer. I’ve never been the religious type, but right now seems like an appropriate moment to start.

I travel for a few minutes, passing every vehicle in my way. Just as the church comes into view, I hear a whisper in my ear. I look from side to side, but see no one. The church is getting closer now. I hear the whispering again and this time I look up.

Atley is in the air above me, flying.

He. Is. Flying. What the hell?

I look again and he’s gone. I twist the throttle harder, certain that I would not be able to stop, that I’d kill myself crashing into the church wall. I don’t care, it’s still my best option.

Just as I prepare to slow so I can veer off into the church yard, Atley leaps out of nowhere and yanks at my right arm. It throws me off balance and I land on the road with a dull thud. Raising my head, I can see oncoming traffic closing in on me.

At the last second, he swoops in and grabs me. I almost cry in frustration. Why didn’t he just leave me to be run over if he was going to kill me anyway?

I am not sure if he is running or flying. Either way, we are moving at a high speed. He is dodging tree after tree, and I irrationally worry he might get me killed in a collision with one of them. That should have been the least of my worries, I realize all too soon. He plants his feet and stops so suddenly, I get thrown forward. Unbearable pain shoots through my ribcage as the momentum cracks my ribs in his tight grip. I let out a bloodcurdling scream.

“This will have to do. I will kill you here,” he growls.

“What? Why?” I pant, struggling to control the pain. The terror is escalating and I’m not sure how much more of this I can handle. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“Correction: I told you not to run and yet you did.”

“That’s not a good enough reason to kill someone,” I plead. “I was trying to save my life. I have no idea who you are and what you want from me, because you wouldn’t tell me. You can’t blame me for trying to save myself.”

He ponders that for a moment.

“You would have done the same, if you were in my place. Please, let me go.” I search for mercy in his eyes, but find none. He slowly loosens his grip around my waist. I do my best to stand straight, but the pain is crippling me and I fall to my knees.

“You are most certainly correct, young lady, but I always fulfill my promises. Chalk it up to experience. You just made a bad choice. A choice you will not live much longer to regret.”

He kneels down, pulls me closer and opens his mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, I see fangs elongating. Real freakin’ fangs! I’m not sure how much panic I can feel, but it seems to keep outdoing itself.

He moves in so close to my neck that I can feel his cold breath on my skin. My heart is thudding furiously. I try to push away from him, but I don’t budge an inch. He lowers his lips to my neck. I feel him glide his tongue over my skin. He is being sensual.

Gross. Kill me. Kill me now.

I feel him smirk at my disgust. And I swear he lets out a chuckle.

I don’t understand why Atley is taking so long to kill me. I can no longer control the tears. What would be the point in trying? Sobs break out of my throat and Atley stops what he is doing. He backs away and looks me in the eyes.

“I will give you another choice, my dear.” His eyes shift a little, seeming to weigh the options he wanted to give me. “You will not like either option, but it will be your choice to make, nonetheless. Obviously, you know what I am.” His voice is smooth and cold as ice. “I can take your life away slowly by drinking your blood. It hurts, but you won’t feel anything towards the end. Or I could just break your neck. What shall it be?” He studies my face. Patience is an obvious strong suit of his. There is no hint of annoyance.

My breathing becomes even more rapid, turning into gasps of air entering and leaving my body. “Could you just knock me on the head really hard?”

His solemn expression changes to surprise. “Really? You just want me to hit you on the head?”

“Yes.”

The surprise grows even bigger on his face. He doesn’t look serious anymore. “You aren’t going to beg me anymore to let you live?”

I shake my head. The loose hanging tears fall to the ground, allowing more tears to spill from my eyes.

“I like that. I like that you have just accepted your fate. If keeping my promise weren’t so important to me, I’d keep you alive. I am sure you would be of great service to me.” He kisses me on the forehead and gently places each hand over my ears.

“Close your eyes,” he says softly. His tone is no longer icy—in fact, it’s warm. Almost caring.

He removes his hands. I hear the whistling of the wind, and I feel an immense amount of pain only for a moment as he slams his balled up fist into the side of my head, rendering me unconscious.

Bio:

  Hello, Everyone! I am twenty seven and I married the best man on the planet.  He has a beautiful and fun son, who I love very, very much.  Those two guys mean the world to me!  My husband and I do hope to have some kiddos of our own one day.  Family has and will always be so important to me.  I am blessed to have the family that I have. 

     I am a Service Representative for a company in the State of Arkansas, United States.  My daytime job is filled with joy and sometimesJFA_eBook_medium aggravation, but I love it!  The only way I’d leave is if I get rich and can write novels full-time. I began writing in July 2009, merely by accident.  My coworker, Elaine, was telling me about a place she went to on vacation.  For whatever reason, this stuck with me.  That same summer, (the summer before I met my wonderful husband) I met Steven in person.  He and I have been friends since 2006. I met him on the Internet through a social networking site. Ha!  Did you see that coming. 

     Meeting Steven, plus the conversation I had with my coworker led me to daydreaming.  Apparently, I daydreamed a lot, because it didn’t take long before I had the plot figured out for Justice for All.  At first, I didn’t plan on writing a book. I actually thought of it first as a movie.  I dreamed that Channing Tatum would play Alex, so Channing if you are reading this–wink wink.  I knew there was no way I could get in touch with the right people to have a movie made about it, so I decided to write.  After finishing Justice for All in May 2012, I promptly began working on From the Darkness Within and now, I am working on my third novel.

     Growing up, I never imagined writing one novel, much less two or three. It’s fun and exciting. I love exploring the opportunities I can give my characters.

*****

You can follow Cary on her website and Facebook. You can pick up her books Justice For All  and From the Darkness Within on Amazon.

Welcome To The Family Tour

Welcome to the tour for Welcome To The Family! A debut vampire novel by Caroline F Levy, it’s out now at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, and Moon Rose Publishing. Why not check out a little more about the book below?

*****

Interview with Caroline F Levy!

What would your bio say? 

Caroline was born In Chatham Kent in 1970. She now lives in Yorkshire with her Daughter and their five mad cats’.

Her first memories of any book would have been her mother reading The Enormous Turnip.
Caroline grew up with the classics; Little Women, The railway children, but it would have been the house that died and blue beard that she can remember wanting to read.”
Caroline’s first encounter with writing was a school competition. A new school song was needed four verses in total. Being chosen as a winner for one of those verses was great and gave Caroline quite the confidence boost.
Caroline stopped reading so much in her late teens, to her mid twenties. Life seemed to always be too busy, for that pile of books she, so wanted to read.
It was when she went into hospital for a extended stay, to have her daughter, that gave time for Caroline to start reading again.
It wasn’t until Caroline was in her late twenties, that the urge to write resurfaced. Spending a few years trying to complete an on-line creative writer’s course, without much success, this however led her to what she is writing now. So never give up if you really want to write!
Caroline is very influenced by Fantasy fiction / Horror, most of the books she reads are in this genre. Having many Authors influence her over the years, Anne Rice in the beginning, also Laurel K Hamilton, one of her biggest hero’s. Caroline discovered the world of Indie Authors when she moved onto E-books. Having discovered there are literally, well probably thousands of very talented Indie Authors out there, and they are always happy to say hello.
Welcome to the Family has now been published, Nikki’s Revenge should be out late summer 2013, and Protecting the Family towards the end of 2013.

When did you start writing and why?

I have been dipping in and out of writing for a few years but Welcome to the family started last July2012 and I haven’t stopped ever since. Totally a writing junkie…

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

I am a parent my daughter is now nineteen so she tends to fend for herself now. Every now and again she will come in and insist on quality time. Can be torture as she normally makes me watch some reality TV curled up on the sofa with her lol

Who is your favorite author and why?

Laurel K Hamilton is my hero, her puppy piles are fabulous lol, her writing is captivating and I am always sucked into the world of Anita. I have been known to sit and read the book from beginning to end with the minimum of sleep J

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

At the moment I am just enjoying the ride, if I can bring a few people on to enjoy it with me that would be even better.

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I went with an Indie publisher so a little of both really. I have absolute faith in my publisher, plus she has wicked skills, cover art and a great editor. What more do you need 🙂

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

I have been really lucky as I met Miranda on-line a couple of months after I started writing Welcome to the family. She mentioned that she would be starting up Moon Rose publishing and I pitched my novel to her, lucky for me she loved it and I have had a smooth ride. Miranda bends over backwards for her authors, although she is non pushover if you need a *fwap* she is more than happy to oblige.

Tell us about your book (s)

I tend to write in the fantasy fiction genre, paranormal romance.

Welcome to the family fits right into this. There are were-animals and vampires, with a young woman who stumbles into this world not knowing she belongs there.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I have always loved the fantasy fiction genre. I have many authors I love to read. My hero author would be Laurel K Hamilton. I just love her puppy piles 🙂

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

Angela is feisty and stubborn. She overcomes a troubled childhood, and takes on the bad guy’s with gusto. Making sure her friends are safe along the way.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Hmm. Not per say. I did listen to a lot of muse in the edits stage. I would say starlight would be the favorite.

*****

Blurb

“Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?”Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00097]

At only a few hours old, Angela is left on the steps of St Paul’s church. Alone in the world, the only link she has to her past is a pink blanket bearing an emblem with two crossed swords and a snake.

A troubled childhood spent in orphanages leads to Angela attempting to rebuild her shattered life as an adult. Meeting the priest who found her eighteen years previously, she gets a job and a boyfriend, and settles into her new life.

Until she meets Jack.

Drawn to her new boss, she throws herself into work, feeling an unusual bond with people she hasn’t known very long.

Angela becomes embroiled in this new life, feeling a change within herself. A change which isn’t altogether human. Within this change she finds a terrifying secret…a secret which involves her past, her present, and definitely her future…

Trailer

Author Bio

223914_4468341468380_1356943864_nI was born in Chatham, Kent in 1970. I now live in Yorkshire with my daughter and our five mad cats.

My first memories of any book would have been my mother reading The Enormous Turnip. It must have driven her mad, as it was always our first choice when asked what we should read tonight.

I grew up with the classics; Little Women, The Railway Children, but it would have been The House That Died and Bluebeard that I remember wanting to read.

I can remember writing a verse for the school song, and being chosen as a winner for what was then 3rd year juniors. I stopped reading so much in my late teens to my mid twenties. Life seemed to always be too busy for that pile of books I so wanted to read. It was when I went into hospital to have my daughter, that I had time to read again–and thankfully I haven’t stopped since.

However, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I realised I wanted to write. I have spent a few years trying to complete an online creative writer’s course; without much success, but it led me to what I am writing now. So never give up if you really want to write!

I am very influenced by Fantasy fiction / Horror, most of the books I read are in this genre. I have many Authors I like to follow; Anne Rice was very influential in the beginning. I also discovered Laurel K Hamilton and many, many more. I could go on about different Authors I like to read. However, I will say that this year I have also discovered there are literally, well, probably thousands of very talented Indie Authors out there. And a very welcoming and friendly bunch they are too, but I digress–yes, I get very excited about the subject of books!

I have finished my first novel called Welcome To The Family, which will be published April 29th 2013. I also have other novels in the pipeline, Nikki’s Revenge and Protecting The Family, due out later in the year.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!! Coming Soon!

Brookshire Banner

I am excited to announce that the next installment to the Stan Brookshire series will be out soon! It is currently in the wonderful gentle hands of my editor, Joni Lynn over at Blue Harvest Creative.

Before that however you will get to see the stunning new cover made by Miranda Stork over at Moon Rose Publishing.

In the meantime I will be having giveaways and fun contests on the Facebook page! So make sure you join in the fun!