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Monday, October 16, 2017

The Wishing Stone #3: Mesmerizing Mermaids by Lorana Hoopes | Renee's Author Spotlight

Originally posted by Renee's Author Spotlight:


Lorana Hoopes is an English teacher turned writer. Though she typically writes inspirational romances, she decided to start a children’s series after reading early reader books with her son. While she loved that he was reading, the simple sentences bothered her, so she decided to try something just a step up and The Wishing Stone series was born. Dangerous Dinosaur is the first book in the series, followed by The Dragon Dilemma and now Mesmerizing Mermaids. Stay tuned for Book 4 coming soon! You can follow Lorana’s Amazon author page to find out about the newest releases!





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About the Book


Spenser was an ordinary boy who hated reading until he was given a magical stone that allowed him to be transported into the books he reads. In this first book of the series, he goes back to prehistoric times where he must help a cave boy save his village from a dinosaur. Will Spenser be able and how will he get home?

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


I decided to start a children's series when my son first started reading. All of the early chapter books were simple sentences, and I wanted him to be challenged just a bit more, so I created my own series with my kids as the characters.

Do you have a "day job"?


I am a full-time teacher by day, but I teach mainly middle and high school.


What genres do you write?


I write inspirational romances and this children's fantasy series.

What inspires you to write?


People. I love to people watch and so something they say or something they do gives me inspiration.


How often do you write?


Every day, though my writing time now is usually at night after my kids go to bed, I always try to write a little.

How long does it take you to write a novel?


In the summer I can do it in a month. When I'm working, it's three or longer


What are your goals as an author?


To quit my day job. I'd love to be selling enough books that I can just write for a living and spend more time with my kids.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?


Some. My husband doesn't really understand why I write so much and he teases me about being on my laptop all the time, but I think he secretly likes it.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?


I had a reader download my book thinking it was a devotional, but then she liked it so much she stayed up all night reading it cover to cover.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?


Kickboxing, singing, and acting

What is the best thing about self-publishing?


Having control over my words, my cover, and my pricing

My Latest 5 Star #Reviews on #Amazon | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


The Delohi-Saqu, a saviour or a curse!
By lana turner
Now, this is an exciting hell of a book!! It’s about shadow stalker’s particularly about the young Auren who is said to be the prophesied Delohi- saqu and who the Galvadi emperor and his army want to see destroyed because he has brainwashed everyone through torture which he calls cleansing to fear this particular shadow stalker. Auren has been trained by her foster father Kado but no way is she prepared to face the war on her own but face it she must!! I love the excitement in the book but hate the torture inflicted on Auren and the stringent measures she was expected to obey even when on the dark isle of the shadow stalkers themselves. It’s definitely a different book and one not to be missed!!
Enter at your own risk! This book will capture you, heart and soul, body and mind
ByMizPat
I don’t usually do fantasy, but this book made me eager to read more! I picked up the second book and devoured it too. If I hadn’t spent my book allowance on other, unknown, books, I’d have books three and four already! They’re the very first books I’ll buy when I get my next book allowance and I plan to follow this serial to the last episode. Do likewise; you won’t regret it.

Get Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episode 1 – 6) Free and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)

Free
Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy. *** This book may or may not be listed as free on Amazon. They will sometimes mark it up to $1 for price testing purposes, so if it's not free, try Smashwords. Smashwords has the Mobi edition, which can be read on Kindle readers and apps. Sorry about the hassle, but it's out of my control. *** More info →
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Painted by Kirsten McKenzie

If art can capture a soul, what happens when one of those souls escapes?


When art appraiser Anita Cassatt is sent to catalogue the collection of reclusive artist Leo Kubin, it isn’t only the chilly atmosphere of the secluded house making her shiver, it's the audience of portraits clustered on every wall watching her.

Kubin’s lawyer didn’t share the detailed instructions regarding the handling of the art, and Anita and her team start work in ignorance of the very instructions designed to keep them safe. Safe from the art. Art which doesn't want to stay on the walls...


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Sprig of Holly by J.A. Clement

Greta lives with her grandfather in a cabin in the mountains. The winter is harsh and they are running short of wood. Their handsome neighbour Matthias would help - but he is still trying to get back from the town.

Greta and her grandfather must venture out into the snow to cut more wood or freeze to death, but when disaster strikes, who can help them? Will she ever see Matthias again?

And what is the significance of the little sprig of holly?

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Give in to the Feeling by Sarah Zama | Renee's Author Spotlight

Originally posted on Renee's Author Spotlight:


Bookseller in Verona (Italy), Sarah Zama has always lived surrounded by books. Always a fantasy reader and writer, she’s recently found her home in the dieselpunk community. Her first book, Give in to the Feeling, comes out in 2016.

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About the Book


Even in sparkling Jazz Age Chicago, spirits can trick you into believing they’re men.


When Susie comes to Jazz Age America, she knows her life will change. Back in China, spirits mingle in the mists of the rice fields and trick humans into believing they’re men so to steal their soul, and the expectations of a daughter are unimportant and ignore. Here in Chicago, Simon gives her the carefree life of the New American Woman, the freedom to dress daringly and do things once only reserved for men--drinking, smoking and dancing with strangers. It’s an exciting life and she considers the loyalty Simon demands of her a small price to pay.

Until she meets Blood.

Blood lets Susie speak her mind and listen to her heart. He commits himself to her and asks nothing in return. Through his eyes, Susie begins to see her loyalty to Simon as the bars around her “freedom”. But she knows Simon will never let her go.

Here in Chicago spirits can mingle in the smoke and jazz of speakeasies and trick humans into believing they’re men. They can still steal their soul. And if Susie doesn’t see the spirit behind the mask of the men fighting for her, she might lose much more than her freedom.


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Keep reading for a character guest post:


Susie's Bio (in her own words)


It’s the weirdest of things, thinking about that life now. It feels like a dream, a sweet dream, sometimes. But so far away that I’m not even sure it was ever my life. I know it will never be again.

I was born on the Dragon Backbone Mountains in the south of China, in what I used to think of as a village and I now would call a group of huts among the rice paddy fields. It was a beautiful place, I knew it even then. I remember the sun on the liquid terraces, the mists before the sun rose. The sweet summers. I do have many nice memories of my birthplace.

I remember running barefoot with gangs of kids, playing jokes on our elders, going hunting for rabbits and other small games. I was quite a good hunter, considering I was a little girl.

My father would always say I was a double disgrace for him. First, because I was a women, the first of five sisters. And second, because I should have been a boy as it was clear by my personality. He would always say that, before proceeding to beat some sense in that stupid head of mine.

I wonder now whether my father was a violent man. I don’t think he was. He never treated my sisters the way he treated me, but maybe my treatment was education enough for them never to do what I did: speak back, speak my mind, act like a tomboy. If this is the case, I’m happy I spared my sisters that fate. By my teen years I had learn do curb my tongue and think twice before speaking up even when the words strangled me in my throat.

I hardly remember what I felt when my father told me he had found a husband for me and I was to cross the ocean to reach him. I had always expected to leave my house, of course. And probably, back then I didn’t really know what it would mean ‘crossing the ocean’. Maybe my father saw it as the only option he had for a difficult daughter like me: selling me off to someone who couldn’t possibly check on me before marrying me. I know – because I discovered later – the man paid quite a handsome amount of money to get me, which was a huge amount of money in my little village. I’m sure my parents lived well enough after that, and my sisters found a good house to be married into. I consider that my last service to my family, because I know I will never see any of them again.

I don’t remember the journey across the ocean. I don’t want to remember. But sometimes it comes back in my worst nightmares. The dark, the choking heat, putrid food. The smell of so many bodies pressed together. The short moments of fresh air each of us where allowed.

I’m glad I don’t remember.

But I do remember when I finally landed in San Francisco, alone. It was a nightmare of its own. It was hell. Nothing was familiar. Not the language. Not the smell of the city and the people. Not the colour of the sun. Not the sounds that assailed me and confused me. I remember the inspection, and the papers handed to me which I wasn’t even sure what were for. I stood in the street with my papers in hand, staring at those incomprehensible words and thinking that was exactly what my life looked like from that standing point.

How did I find the place where my husband was waiting for me? Maybe an old couple of immigrants helped me, someone who had come before me and knew the city. Yes, it was an elderly couple who took pity on me and helped me find the house.

When I got there, finally… my soon to be husband was dead.

Was I shocked? I can’t say so. I was already overwhelmed with everything. This news was just one more brick in the wall I was banging my head against. I didn’t care. I was lost anyway. There wasn’t a place for me in this new land, I knew it from the moment I set foot on it.

But my husband had an associate, they did business together. Import/export from home, as I understood it. Ma Shu took an interest in me. He had indeed carved his niche in San Francisco, but now he wanted to travel somewhere else, to a place he could call his own. I liked that. I liked his drive.

He said he had bought a place in Chicago and asked me whether I wanted to go with him. I didn’t know what Chicago meant, but what did I care? Could be any place. I didn’t care to stay in San Francisco.

I went with him. I went with him in all possible ways.

Chicago did shock me. It is cold, colder than home in any season. And in the winters it’s dark, and freezing. The lake sends wind and snow our way. Always. Always.

Contrary to San Francisco, there aren’t many Chinese in Chicago. Ma Shu set up his place, a speakeasy, he called it. A place where people can drink (which is forbidden by law, crazy as it sounds) and dance to jazz. All night long, if they wish.

I love jazz. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t sound like anything familiar to me, still when I listen to it and especially when I dance to it, it’s like a part of me is set free. Free, like I’ve never been. So free sometimes I’m scared by that feeling, but never so much not to go back to it every time.

Ma Shu has never be opposed to my dancing. I’ve even joined the show. I dance with other dancers, dance with customers. Ma Shu let me do anything American women do. I can drink, if I want. I can smoke. I can wear shockingly short dresses. He’s never tried to stop me from doing anything. He’s taught me to speak English. He’s taught me to deal with Americans. He’s given me a gorgeous house, beautiful dresses, anything I want.

I owe him so much. I owe him everything.

And now… now I don’t know what to do.


Thunder Moon by Tonya Coffey

Micha, King of Ancients, hoped the fighting between the realms would ease since the treat had been eliminated, yet the forest is filled with enemies who are not what they seem. They can be a plant, animal or even disguised as a friend. While Micha battles Shifters, old enemies and himself, Jessa struggles to regain her life. A friend, in the spirit world, guides her through the adjustments of the truth, allowing her to uncover the Wars true beginning and of a man who will stop at nothing to obtain the True Power.

Get it today on Amazon!

Author Spotlight: Song by Jesse Teller | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Jesse Teller visiting with his latest in The Manhuntersseries, Song, and he’ll be sharing an excerpt from the book.
Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

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About the Book

Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be enough to save him.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

The serving boy’s face was stained green with disgust and horror. He looked about to be sick, about to flee, about to weep. Rayph saw the trembling lip and the panic in the eyes, and he knew what the boy was carrying. It was small, maybe a little over a foot wide, spherical, and covered with a towel. The boy wove a path through the reclining bathhouse patrons and made his slow, methodical way around the main tub to the corner where Rayph sat with his good friend, playing crease and taking in the steam.
As the boy drew closer, the dread that rose up within Rayph prompted him to turn to Dova and grimace. Rayph moved his tile, tapping it lightly with his finger, and shook his head.
“I’m afraid we are about to be interrupted,” Rayph said.
The boy trembled beside the gaming table. His white, sweating face held the world’s shock, and Rayph nodded at him. “Set it down.” He waved his hand across the boy’s eye line and muttered an incantation. The serving child’s face smoothed clear of all trepidation, and he let out a long-held breath.
“Where did you get it?” Rayph asked.
The boy’s dark eyes looked troubled even through the effects of the spell. “He hurt me,” the boy said.
“Hurt you how?” Rayph asked.
The boy pointed to his temple. “He got in here. He burned me.”
Rayph clenched his fist and anger bubbled deep within him. “What did he look like?”
“He was trimerian, but his third eye,” the boy rubbed his forehead, “it seemed to be flaming. He stunk of sulfur.”
Rayph’s blood ran cold, and he stood. “Watch the boy. Lock down the house. If he returns, do not engage, just defend, Dova. He is beyond even you.”
He looked to his ethereal friend, naught but churning wind where his body sat. The towel draped over Dova’s shoulders and tied around his waist, the only indicator of his form.
Rayph grabbed the boy’s shoulders a little too rough, just a little too hard. “Where did he go?” Rayph tried not to let fear get the better of his voice, but it trembled.
Dova exploded with a slight puff of wind. The towels fell to the floor. Rayph could feel his friend fill the room, warm air, fluttering and vibrant with life, swelled, blowing curtains in a flurry. The doors to the bathhouse slammed shut.
“Where did he go, son?” Rayph asked the boy.
“Who said he’s gone?” The voice held a new lilt of arrogance to it, a soft tinkling, musical and filled with spite.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Special Features: Blackmark (The Kingsmen Chronicles #1) by Jean Lowe Carlson | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


“Like George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie, Carlson writes in this genre for grown-ups, with flair and elegance. A complex world with characters that develop well, this story reveals as it builds!” – Daniel F., Amazon Review
“Smart epic fantasy! If you loved Wheel of Time or Game of Thrones you should give this a shot.” – Anders C., Amazon Review
“Blackmark is spellbinding! Strong development of characters, fully integrated storylines with intriguing plot twists, and deep world building. Takes you on a journey you never want to leave!” – Michelle G., Amazon Review
Wrongfully accused of treason, veteran Kingsman Elohl seeks the truth of a betrayal that caused the Kingsmen to vanish a decade ago. Inked with the Blackmark and despised for it, Elohl uncovers the truth and exposes ancient enemies. Now, he must give everything to shatter the hidden sect that usurps power from the throne. A bloody war will be reaped in the shadows, that will burn nations and bring kings to their knees.
This dark and gritty sword and sorcery series from award winning author Jean Lowe Carlson explores a complex world of treachery, passion, sex, and magic. Readers who enjoy George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles, or Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time will love this fantastic adventure.

Get it Free today on Amazon!

Hell on Earth by Tony Urban

In a world ravaged by the undead, 12 strangers have one goal in common: survival…


Wim Wagner gave up on humanity long before the sickness. He would’ve been perfectly content with only his livestock and a few acres of land to keep him company. But when the undead overrun his farm, he can no longer ignore the crumbling world he thought he’d escaped…

As the death count rises and the dead reanimate, Wim isn’t the only person faced with the horrifying cost of survival. From convicts to soldiers, suburbanites to millionaires, no one is safe and no one can be trusted…

With civilization crashing down, Wim and 11 other survivors must do what is necessary to live another day. Sometimes it takes a little zombie apocalypse to learn what you’re truly capable of…

Hell on Earth is the first gruesome story in a saga of post-apocalyptic zombie novels. If you like large casts of characters, offbeat humor, and gory details, then you’ll love Tony Urban’s blood-soaked tale.

Buy Hell on Earth today to arm yourself for the end of the world…


Get it today on Amazon!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#ISWG: New Motivation | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!


I’ve been really struggling with my writing recently. As per normal, it’s because of brain fog issues related to Hashimoto’s Disease. It can be extremely frustrating, especially when I’m aching to write, but my brain is so muddled I cant focus.
But I’m always looking for ways around it, and every once in a while the universe comes through for me.
The other day, I got an email from the ProWritingAid crew. For those who don’t know, ProWritingAid is a really good editing tool. I use it regularly (along with a few others). They’re definitely worth checking out if you need help with checking grammar and other issues in your stories.
Anyway, one of the things they had in the email was a competition. They teamed up with BeemGee for the Plot of Gold competition. For 30 days you get a free premium BeemGee membership, and you have those 30 days to create an outline for a new novel. They send 10 emails over the 30 days with tasks you have to complete. The top winner gets a lifetime premium membership to both BeemGee and ProWritingAid, which would be absolutely perfect for me.
But here’s how it’s motivated me to get out of this slump I’ve been in! 
I’ve been working on trying to plan out my new novel series as well as the new serial, and well, when your brain doesn’t want to work, it’s really difficult to focus. The creativity side of things is still there, but I just can’t stay focused long enough to get what’s in my head onto the screen.  It’s also hard to stay focused on any one thing when you’ve got tons of things going on in there.
BeemGee is a browser-based story development tool. The thing that works great for me is it starts with the characters, and all of my stories are built from the characters up. So far I’m still on the first task, which is getting all your characters in there, but they make it so easy. I just have to answer each question… and there are dozens, as well as tutorials for each question to help you answer it. It goes deeper than the general questions you see on character sheets too.
But it also helps you build the plot and everything else involved in planning the story up to and including the outline. Each task in the competition is set to help you work through using their tool so that you get a finished outline in about 30 days. I’m actually going to plan out both stories I’m working on this way, so for the following few months, I only have to focus on writing.
Now that I have something that helps me to stay focused on the little tasks, I can finally get some headway on the big task. Maybe I’ll even be able to take part in NaNoWriMo this year. That’s always the hardest part of planning a story for me is staying focused. If you’re a story plotter, what is your biggest obstacle to getting your stories planned out? CC

Co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!