Monday, April 29, 2013

"Crippled by Love" - excerpt

Another of my works in progress - Crippled by Love

Ian Yarrow is rich and reclusive, hiding himself away from the rest of the world. At least that's what Cynthia Marshall is told when her boss at the newspaper sends her to do an in depth article on him for the society section of the paper. What she finds surprises her, a handsome young man in a wheelchair. His self-confidence gone, he withdraws from those around him, erecting walls and roadblocks in order to protect himself. Cynthia has some hard questions for him, a few he doesn't really want to answer, but getting to the truth is the only thing that will set him free.

“Something about you girls with the fiery locks that makes a man weak,” he sighed.

“All me.” She tossed her short hair. “Well, some highlights, but the red is all me.”

He wasn't staring at her hair. She was wearing a flimsy T-shirt and no bra. He could tell by the way her breasts jiggled when she moved. He was mesmerized.

“Hello? The face is up here,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest.

Instead of covering her breasts up, the crossed arms popped them up and outward. Her nipples seemed to chastise him for looking at them. He couldn't help it, he was fascinated. She was beautiful, intelligent, confident and very much her own woman. She'd put up with him when he was acting like a spoiled child, then turned around and gave him one of the best nights of his life.

She snapped her fingers in front of his face. “Excuse me! When I need you to stare at my tits, I'll tell you. I think you'll do a bang-up job. You seem to be talented in that area already.”

“Sorry,” he grinned apologetically. “They're very nice tits, Cynthia. Extraordinary, in fact.”

“One pair is tits is like another.”

“You say that because you have them. See, when you're on the receiving end of tits, not sporting a pair, you notice the differences. Some are perky and pert, round and firm—the compact model. Others are saggy and well worn, the sedan model. Then there are those that are extra round, excessively pert, ultra soft, and firmly delicious—the sporty model. And those are what you have.”

“I've got sporty tits?” She didn't know whether to be flattered or horrified.

“Oh, yeah.”

“Thank you. I think? Is that a compliment?”

“It sure is from my perspective.”

“Which is what?”

“The perspective of a man who's strongly attracted to you.”

“Why do you date married women?”

“Why would you ask me a question like that? I just told you I'm attracted to you.”

“Why?”

“Why what? Why am I attracted or why do I date married women?”

“Both.”

He sighed heavily, rolling his eyes. “They don't expect a commitment. They don't want anything but the sex and to feel desirable for a little while.”

“And me? You told me Thursday, you'd do anything with the right equipment.”

“An exaggeration. Once in awhile, I indulge in some naughty, meaningless sex with a willing female—married or not. It's not every night, not even every week. We have a mutually satisfying encounter. Is that a crime?”

“But why me? I mean, you've done super models and trophy wives. I'm not like any of those women. For one thing, my parts are all original.”

“I don't know, Cynthia. There's something about you....”

“What? What is there about me?”

Frustrated, he leaned back on the chaise, arms crossed. “I don't know. You excite me like no other woman I've met. I don't understand it. There's just something about you....”

He was angry that he couldn't put his feelings into words. That had never happened to him before. He could always say what he thought.

“What is there about me? What? I need to know, Yarrow, before this can go any further.”

“You look past the chair and you see me—me! You don't pretend to like me because I'm rich. You argue with me and make me angrier than anyone else I've ever met, then you show me that somewhere under this worthless set of legs, there's still a whole man.”

Frustrated beyond words, he levered himself upward and got into his chair. It took him a lot longer than he liked. It was hard making a strategic retreat when he had to move his legs with his hands, but he did it with all the dignity he could muster. He was headed toward the door when her voice stopped him.

“At least now you're being honest with yourself.”

He bridled at her remark. “You think I'm dishonest?”

She walked over to him, gazing into his remarkably expressive eyes. “I think you lie to yourself about a lot of things. It's easier to lie than see the truth.”

“What do I lie about?” His tone and demeanor were defiant.

“About not wanting commitment. About the fact that sex is meaningless to you. But when you talk about how irritated I make you, you're honest. And you're honest about your attraction. When you finally put the thoughts into words, you were honest about that too.”

“So, what's your opinion of all this honesty?”

“I haven't decided yet,” she said with a secretive smile. “I'll be sure to tell you when I do.”

She strutted out, swinging perfect hips and a heart shaped ass at eye level. Sometimes being short paid off. Admiring the view, he watched her until she reached the stairs. He couldn't follow her up, but he could stare at her as she climbed the stairs. Was it his imagination, or was she purposely adding an extra swing to those fabulous hips? He laughed softly, his lopsided grin pulling at his lips as his eyes devoured her, his imagination running wild.

Dear God, she's amazing! Maybe soon I can do more than just....

“If you like my ass so much,” Cynthia called down the stairs. “Maybe you need to ask yourself what you can do to earn it. Goodnight.”


For more of Dellani's books, check out Indian Summer, Lone Wolf and The Ninja Tattoo on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

© Dellani Oakes

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Excursion – Ruth Davis Hays



Our last Fantastic Blog Hop stop is once more in sultry Florida where we visit the home of Ruth Davis Hays for a final time. Ms. Hays has another special guest visiting and this one makes us all a wee bit nervous. He's behaving (for now) and agreed to sit down and chat. Welcome, sir. Tell us about yourself.

I am Dharromar Weiss. Some may call me the anti-hero from The Translations from Jorthus series.

What is your biggest fear?
If this is confession time, I will admit to having an intense dread of a certain underground creature known as a Rokworm.

What would you give up everything to have? 
Haven’t I already given up everything? Wait, perhaps the answer to that would be - vindication. That would be a worthy last request.

What is the biggest mistake you've ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?
Betraying someone who trusted me. That remains to be seen.

What food would you never eat? 
I think I already ate it. One does do strange things in order to survive.

You've dressed to impress. What are you wearing? 
The garments typical of Culetan, a human city on the western side of the continent Verdaillia.  A loose sleeved tunic, jerkin, and leggings. I prefer riding boots, and my cape is a necessity. Of course, I keep my sword close at hand. One never knows what will happen. 

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life? 
Validation for being alive.

What is about to change for you? 
I may loose my freedom or my life at any moment. Circumstances have ripped me from a well plotted life, and I smell chaos on the wind.

Where do you live? 
I reside, for the most part, in a transdimensional manor house with an anchored door on Jorthus, in Byton Grove. It is my area of safety; untouchable by the uninvited.

Who are you?
That’s a tricky question. I could say that I am a lord. Or I could say that I am a bastard. Both would be accurate. Some call me daemon. Others call me changeling. I am fae. That is all I will attest to at this time. 

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
I see what I was taught to see by “loved ones”:  unworthiness and disappointment. 

Who do you hate and why? 
Everyone. Not all for the same reasons.

Gods below, this conversation took a turn for the morose, didn’t it? Forgive me. Questions about myself inevitably lead to dark places.


The Excursion - A Review


Book three of Ruth Davis Hays' 'Translations of Jorthus' series is even more exciting than the first two – which I totally loved. Well, I fell in love with this one too.

Picking up where Book Two, The Convergence, left off, Hays follows her wonderful characters through this fast paced fantasy.

In the seeming safety of Calder, in the heart of a volcano caldera, Lilith and Keinigan once more find themselves facing great danger. This time, they have some new friends:

Trevalin – an honorable knight with an intricately crafted silver hand, fights by their side.
Rachel – a girl from Earth, has somehow traveled to Jorthus.
Hamlin – a simple peasant has found his way to Calder, running away from his home after committing a crime.
The only one missing from their number is Dharromar, Lilith's former lover and mysterious, dark assassin.

As the planet Quorrelles draws near, life on Jorthus is threatened. Nightmare creatures of unknown origin have overrun much of the country, slaughtering all in their path. It is up to the companions to fight these creatures and find a way to open a portal to distant and dangerous Quorrelles in hope of finding a way to save Jorthus from disaster.

Hays has woven a wonderful tale rich with beautiful imagery, creating a fantasy tapestry for the reader. Her characters are wonderfully well rounded and endear themselves to the reader. One can even find sympathy for the dark and chaotic Dharromar. Although he's the baddest of the bad boys, there's something about him that makes us cheer his successes.

I must say, my favorite character is Keinigan, the faerlin thief. He's come a long way from the wayward pickpocket of book one, The Dawnstone Tale. Though he's grown a lot, he has more to go.

I highly recommend all three of Ruth Davis Hays' books: The Dawnstone Tale, The Convergence and The Excursion. I can't wait for the next book so I can once more travel in the world of Jorthus.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes

Friday, April 26, 2013

And So It Goes....


April is almost over and with it, the Fantastic Blog Hop draws to a close. It was fun as well as a learning experience. We learned that we're not nearly as organized as we like to think we are. We also learned that putting together a multi-level blog hop isn't the easiest thing we've ever done.

But it was fun. With a little luck, it boosted our sales a little. Honestly, selling even one book or getting even a handful of new followers, we'll deem it worth it. I know, maybe that's setting my expectations low, but none of us had any idea if it would work or not. I guess when we get our royalty checks, we'll know for sure.

I worked with an exceptional bunch of ladies and I'm proud to say I was a part of the Fantastic Blog Hop. Who were our Hoppers?



Crimson Kildare



















Kat Marlow













                                   

             

Dellani Oakes





















Karen Vaughan





                                                                   

 











                                                                                                               
Rachel Rueben


















Ruth Davis Hayes














Ladies, it was lots of fun and we will do this again! Next time, we'll know more what we're doing. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I'm pleased and proud to call you friends and sisters of the heart! ~ Dellani















Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eternal Bond - Rachel's Vampires Don't Sparkle


Our tour bus has chugged its way back to Cleveland to get a glimpse of Rachel Reuben's upcoming book, Eternal Bond. You think vampires are glittery and sweet? You won't after you read this!



Eternal Bond Excerpt

Taking the only road out of town, Clara went as quickly as she could.  Her nervousness and glee made her heart race as she briskly walked out of town and out of Lester’s life.

There was only a small glow of light left from the sun, putting the landscape in shadows.  Soon, the only thing illuminating her path would be moonlight, and she cursed herself for not bringing a lantern.  Only ten minutes into her journey, the cobblestone road ended.

Realizing she had reached the city limits, she continued on the dirt road straight into the countryside.  This was a harrowing journey for someone who had never left Norwich in her whole life.  She remembered all the stories told to her about witches and thieves who would victimize night travelers.  Nonetheless, breaking this hex was more important than anything, so she pressed onward into the dark countryside.

It wasn’t long before everything was covered by a blanket of thick darkness.  In near blindness, Clara struggled to keep herself on the road.  It took almost an hour before she gained confidence and suddenly the night didn’t seem so terrifying.  Just as Clara was starting to feel good, she heard rustling in the grass just next to the road.

Stopping in her tracks, she heard it again.  Not knowing what to do, she stood there completely still hoping it would just go away.  That’s when she heard the sound of growling directly next to her.  It was a wolf that and it had been stalking her for a distance.

In sheer terror Clara bolted, only further convincing the wolf that she was prey.  Running, she screamed as loud as she could before realizing it was no use.  Trying to wear her down, the wolf casually galloped behind her.  Just when it seemed Clara was doomed to become a chew toy, her salvation came in the form of a sign post which she ran smack into.

Dazed, Clara tried to get back up, but soon discovered her leg was dislocated.  Seizing the opportunity, the wolf pounced, grabbing her by the back of the neck.

Desperate, Clara picked up a stone and started hitting the wolf.  In this demented frenzy she not only killed it, but mauled it.

Within minutes, it was over and the victor stood in silence, hovering over the battered carcass.  Casting the stone aside, she slowly circled the body dragging her mangled leg behind her.

Taking notice of the blood on her hands, she smiled and licked her fingers.  In this euphoria she found herself delighted by her own savagery and in that moment Elizabeth ceased and Clara reigned.


Author Bio:

Rachel Rueben went to school to become an administrative assistant but instead, wound up an author.  In her defense, she tried freelance writing, virtual assisting, and blogging to pay the bills, but creating worlds was her one and only passion.

This past summer, Rachel entered the sacred order of authorhood with the release of her first novel “Hag” which made it to #10 on the Amazon’s Women’s and Girl’s Literature list.

To find out what Rachel is up to you can check out her new site at: http://www.rachelrueben.com


She continues to blog about her publishing journey at: http://www.writingbytheseatofmypants.com

You can also find Rachel on Twitter @RachelRueben

And catch her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRachelRueben


Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Convergence - Ruth Davis Hays - with Special Guest, Keinigan

Today, the Fantastic Blog Hop heads back to Orlando, Florida to talk once more with Ruth Davis Hays. She has a special guest visiting her, the handsome and intriguing Keinigan. Welcome, milord! Tell us a bit about yourself.
What is your name?
Keinigan Laphae and I am the protagonist from The Translations from Jorthus series.


What is your biggest fear?
The Journeymen Council finding me. That, and pointy metal going in my skin…yes, that’d be bad, too.

What would you give up everything to have?
Everlasting love!

What is the biggest mistake you've ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?
Stealing that figgin’ money from the Wayward Inn. Oh! I’m still paying for it, and may be doing so for the rest of my life.

What food would you never eat?
I’ll try most things, but I draw the line at eating human or fae flesh. I know that sounds strange, but it is not unheard of on some worlds.

You've dressed to impress. What are you wearing?
Oh, just something I found…pick up…er, stole from someone. I prefer frock coats with lots of pockets, and comfortable breeches. A nice, embroidered linen shirt helps! It impresses the ladies.

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life?
Getting Lylith in my bed. I’m not writing it off completely, yet.

What is about to change for you?
I have a feeling that my entire life may be changing. Where I call home; my opinions on who I can trust and who my friends are; how I view myself. I’m a bit scared, frankly.

Where do you live?
I wander around the cities of Myretrae, mainly. That’s a continent on Jorthus. Just so you’ll know where to find me.

Who are you?
I am a Faerlin, a noble fae race by most accounts, but we have our flaws. I’m an opportunist, a scavenger of valuable items, a trader (as it were). But, most just label me a thief. I may not be well educated, but I get by; mimicking those around me.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Frustration. Some days, I just can’t bear to look myself in the eyes. I’ve done some things that I’m not terribly proud of in the past, and for the sake of self-preservation, I continue to do some.

Who do you hate and why?
Several people, I suppose. I hate those that take advantage of others, it’s unjust. And, anyone who is trying to kill me. That usually puts people on my hate list.


The Convergence - A Review


Picking up about a year after The Dawnstone Tale ended, The Convergence follows the lives of Dharromar, Keinigan and Lylith once more. Though cast apart at the end of The Dawnstone Tale, the three former companions' paths seem destined to cross once more.
Subdued by her betrayal by Dharromar, Lylith returns to her secluded home. There, she begins magic lessons with her father's friend, Master Calbraum, a dwarf magda. She decides to present herself to the magda grand council for acceptance in their ranks.
As he travels home from Daie, Dharromar encounters beasts that even the Changeling learns to fear. Almost killed, he makes his way home to heal. Even as he's occupied with added dangers, his mind dwells on Lylith and the relationship he's lost.
Locked in the king's dungeon on Daie, Keinigan discovers he has a new talent—he can see the future. Though this saves him from death, he'd far rather give the gift back. The young faerlin thief feels compelled to warn people of the things he sees, often making things worse. A free man once more, he is delighted when he finds Lylith again.
Though it answers many questions left dangling after Dawnstone Tale, The Convergence poses many more of its own. The novel is fast paced and well laid out, making it easy for the reader to follow the divergent character lives.
The Convergence introduces new friends—and complications—for the three former companions:
Rachel – a young woman transported from our world to the world of Jorthus.
Hamlin – a farmer warned by Keinigan, who then finds himself running from the law.
Trevalin – a bold warrior who catches Lylith's eye.
Oramatsu – an elf unfortunate enough to cross Dharromar's path not once, but twice.

Ruth Davis Hays has a real flair for descriptive passages. Her words set the scene beautifully, capturing the reader's imagination. Her characters come alive, hopping off the page to guide the reader through the story. I found myself drawn back into the world of Jorthus and look forward to my next adventure there.
I highly recommend The Convergence to any reader who enjoys a well spun tale, especially those who love true fantasy at its best.

Five Golden Acorns.
© Dellani Oakes


Friday, April 19, 2013

Dead on Arrival – Karen Vaughan



Today, the tour bus stops once more in Peterborough, Ontario. We're here to find out about Karen's book, "Dead on Arrival" and chat with Laura Hamilton, the story's heroine.


Laura Hamilton didn't know what she was expecting when she got up that Monday morning, but it sure wasn't finding a dead body in her living room. Yes, a dead man, apparently delivered sometime over the weekend, currently adorning her living room carpet.

Jeff Gibbons, the inspector called to the scene, isn't quite sure what to make of Laura, but he has a gut instinct. Even if she does know the victim, she's not guilty. A fact which is brought to light when it becomes apparent that someone's out to get her.

Gerry, the building super, is a long term friend of Laura's. Insisting on protecting her, he takes Laura into his home to keep her safe. Soon, he's sharing his space with Laura and her Siamese two cats—Sean and Seamus.

No matter what she does, Laura keeps getting dragged deeper into this ridiculous set of circumstances. When more dead bodies show up, she decides enough is enough. She and Gerry do what they can to help Inspector Gibbons find the killer.

"Dead On Arrival" is a wonderfully lighthearted mystery that moves at a lively pace. Vaughan's humor adds an interesting dimension to her story, keeping it from being too grim. Her dialog is sprightly, fleshing out the characters. Even minor players have very distinct personalities.

I enjoyed Laura and Gerry's amateur sleuthing as they muddle through, trying to keep Laura safe while they figure out who's trying to kill her and why.

Five Golden Acorns for Vaughan's debut book. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a lighthearted mystery with plenty of intrigue.

Interview with Laura Hamilton-Fitz

What is your biggest fear?

I fear that one day all my amateur sleuthing is going to catch up with me. Gerry or I could get really hurt or Gerry could get sick of me playing Nancy Drew and leave.

What would you give up everything to have?

Children

What is the biggest mistake you've ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?

Hmm that’s a hard one but getting to involved in the Leena situation in OVER HER DEAD BODY. I could have been Killed and it nearly ended me and Gerry. I tried to lay off but again death found is in DAYTONA DEAD.

What food would you never eat?

Entrails- I don’t do liver, tripe, tongue or kidney –makes me want to yack

You've dressed to impress. What are you wearing?

Me a fashion maven? I am most comfortable in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt.

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life?

Motherhood and a winning lottery ticket.

What is about to change for you?

I am not sure but Gerry and I are trying for that all important baby. The clock is ticking.

Where do you live?

We live in the north end of Toronto in Canada. We just moved from Scarborough.

Who are you?

Building superintendent for a high rise building and amateur sleuth as it turns out. Some even call me a corpse magnet.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Some one who is trying to find herself and who is insecure.

Who do you hate and why?

Not really hate but I do have a few people I would be happy not to see again. Tiny Todd Crawford (DEAD ON ARRIVAL), Leena Dubois Brown (OVER HER DEAD BODY) and Killer T. Ford (DAYTONA DEAD)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Meet Bob O'Connor, Author of The Return of Catesby



Today we have a guest post from Bob O'Connor about writing historical fiction. Bob's book The Return of Catesby is currently on tour with Walker Author Tours. Enjoy, and pick up your copy of the book at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-8206-1.

It is often said of fiction writers that we don’t have to do any research because we can make everything up. I do not operate that way.  I spend months and sometimes years gathering information from individual soldier’s military records, personal letters, regimental histories and the like to gather information I need. I find undiscovered “nuggets” in military records, diaries, etc. I build my story around that information.

When I write I actually add footnotes. That allows me to go back at any time and check figures or specific information. I delete all the footnotes on the final draft before the book is published.

In novel “The Return of Catesby” I follow Catesby’s journal.  Obvious I have added the dialogue. I use maps and photographs to add to the authenticity of the story.

A historian asked recently why I spend all that time researching and then write fiction. The answer is complicated. First and foremost, fiction gives me creative license that I would not have with non-fiction. Secondly, it allows me to fill in holes in the story. Thirdly, it is much more fun to write fiction. And finally, more people purchase and read fiction than non-fiction.

In this book, many of the events such as the trial of Henry Wirz, the funeral of Robert E. Lee, and the happenings at Storer College are well documented and really happened. So is the disenchantment of the Harpers Ferry townspeople of having a black college in their midst. By researching what historians say really happened, it is easier to develop some side stories that fit in and quite possibly have also occurred.

Because many have read “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War” they already know some of the characters that spill over into the second book.

I try hard to make the story interesting and believable. Many historians cannot tell when I am telling the truth and when I am making something up.

“The Return of Catesby” is available on line at www.boboconnorbooks.com or at amazon.com.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Translations From Jorthus Series by Ruth Davis Hays




Today on the Fantastic Blog Tour, the bus is stopping once more in Kississimmee, Florida at the home of the fabulous Ruth Davis Hays. Ruth spoke to her characters recently and they answered a few questions for us.

Ladies first, so let's begin with Lylith Antinon, protagonist from The Translations from Jorthus series.


Today on the Fantastic Blog Tour, the bus is stopping once more in Kississimmee, Florida at the home of the fabulous Ruth Davis Hays. Ruth spoke to her characters recently and they answered a few questions for us.
Ladies first, so let's begin with;Lylith Antinon, protagonist from The Translations from Jorthus series.


What is your biggest fear?
I fear losing those I care about most.

What would you give up everything to have?
Complete knowledge of the universe, seeing worlds beyond number. That would be wondrous.

What is the biggest mistake you've ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?
I’m not sure. At the moment, I would say that I regret becoming a victim of passion. I underestimated the emotions involved and the lingering lusts. It can be devastating to both involved when the relationship is severed.

What food would you never eat?
I believe I would try anything. When visiting new cultures, one can’t be too picky. I might insult my host.

You've dressed to impress. What are you wearing?
Nothing, actually. I don’t need clothes. This thick filmy substance that clings to my skin is a manifestation of the majiks. It can change shape on my whim. It’s quite fun, unless I fall unconscious. Then, I need a cover.

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life?
Having a child.

What is about to change for you?
My understanding of my place in this world of Jorthus.

Where do you live?
I stay in my family tower in the northern Arbin Forest, mostly.

Who are you?
I am a magda, a sengheir. That is to say, I use spellsongs to weave matter into whatever I need. I commune with the spirits of nature and the world around me. I seek wisdom and peace.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
I don’t have a mirror. But, I would have to say…a woman on the verge of eternity; excitement and a touch of longing.

Who do you hate and why?
No one. 


THE DAWNSTONE  Translations from Jorthus:  Book One
Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Dawnstone-Tale-Translations-Jorthus/dp/1442109262/
On Kindle:  http://www.amazon.com/Dawnstone-Tale-Translations-Jorthus-ebook/dp/B007YJ75DK/
On Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dawnstone-tale-ruth-davis-hays/1108335940?ean=2940016323398

THE CONVERGENCE  Translations from Jorthus:  Book Two

Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/Convergence-Translations-Jorthus-Two/dp/1450514553/

On Kindle:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Convergence-Translations-Jorthus-ebook/dp/B0080PROT2/

On Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-convergence-translations-from-jorthus-ruth-davis-hays/1110615306?ean=2940014358088

THE EXCURSION Translations from Jorthus:  Book Three

Coming soon to Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com


Friday, April 12, 2013

Daytona Dead - It Will Drive You to Death!


Karen Vaughan is, by her own description, a Canuck. She has an amazing imagination and a comic style that leaves you laughing even as the killer sneaks up behind you. Today, our Fantastic Blog Tour bus is stopping once again at her front door. This time, we're going to talk to Karen's character, Laura Hamilton-Fitz from Daytona Dead.


Interview with Laura Hamilton-Fitz

What is your biggest fear?
I fear that one day all my amateur sleuthing is going to catch up with me. Gerry or I could get really hurt or Gerry could get sick of me playing Nancy Drew and leave.

What would you give up everything to have?
Children

What is the biggest mistake you've ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?
Hmm that’s a hard one but getting to involved in the Leena situation in OVER HER DEAD BODY. I could have been Killed and it nearly ended me and Gerry. I tried to lay off but again death found is in DAYTONA DEAD.

What food would you never eat?
Entrails- I don’t do liver, tripe, tongue or kidney –makes me want to yack

You've dressed to impress. What are you wearing?
Me a fashion maven? I am most comfortable in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt.

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life?
Motherhood and a winning lottery ticket.

What is about to change for you?
I am not sure but Gerry and I are trying for that all important baby. The clock is ticking.

Where do you live?
We live in the north end of Toronto in Canada. We just moved from Scarborough.

Who are you?
Building superintendent for a high rise building and amateur sleuth as it turns out. Some even call me a corpse magnet.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Some one who is trying to find herself and who is insecure.

Who do you hate and why?
Not really hate but I do have a few people I would be happy not to see again. Tiny Todd Crawford (DEAD ON ARRIVAL), Leena Dubois Brown (OVER HER DEAD BODY) and Killer T. Ford (DAYTONA DEAD)





Excerpt from Daytona Dead - Coming Soon!

Photo Kiosk Scene

Plans for the next day included getting some of our pictures saved on a CD, so I could clear the card in my camera. So I figured I might as well develop the ones from Lou’s camera.  I was at a Kodak kiosk doing just that, when I felt the hair on the back of my neck prick up, so I whipped around to find the creepy cop behind me.

“Ok, this is getting old really fast. Do you have an odd fixation with following tourists around? Or are you just being a jerk?”

“Mrs. Fitz, dear, no need for a meltdown. I just happen to be at the same photo kiosk as you “

“Ya, I bet!”

“Oh my, someone is paranoid.” he laughed, “Maybe you really are guilty of that guy’s murder and used the road kill scenario as a cover up. Maybe, you staged it to divert attention. I may have to take my thoughts on this to the detective on the case.”

People were staring at us and backing away out of the store. The police officer was in his civvies and couldn’t do anything at that point.  He was grinning evilly, thinking he was getting the better of me. 

I stood straight up, “Too late Fife, we’ve been cleared of all charges so don’t even go there.”

His weasel-like face turned bright red, “Quit calling me Fife, my first name isn’t even Barney! It’s Dave, Dave Meecham. With that he turned and stomped away from the kiosk.  

Okay, so now my would-be stalker had a name, should I need to use it?  I continued to copy the photos from my card and printed off the ones from Lou’s SIM card.  I went to pay for my pictures and the clerk looked at me oddly.

“What do I owe ya?” 

“Um, six dollars.” She was clearly rattled by clash with the creepazoid.

It’s okay, dear, I’m not going to rob or kill ya. There’s no need to be nervous. My friend who just left is highly delusional…thinks he’s a cop or something. Most people have a thing for FBI or the CIA. He just wants to be at home in Mayberry with Andy, Aunt Bea and Opie”





Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Brief Interview by Thornton Larson



The New London Gazette
Wyverian Lord Thwarts Political Plot and Discovers Iceman!

I was recently allowed to accompany Charles Latimer, the amazingly wealthy Hotelier on his quest half way across the globe to visit with the wild men of the far north. I am not yet at liberty to express the purpose of Mr. Latimer's business there, but I can share an interview I was allowed with one of the honored Northern Lords about the mysterious whispers afoot in their country.
TL: Who and what are you?
IY: I'm Idris Price Yates, a Hunter and Lord of the Wyveria.
TL: Can you explain what that means exactly?
IY: The Wyveria are the people who live far to the north and Wyveria is also the name of our land. I come from a small village called Drysor Y Ddraig, it means Dragon's Treasure. It is the King's village and all the noble houses are in that village. I was noble born and have earned a place amongst the Hunters of our people due to my power, my ability to affect the elements, speak to wee creatures and slip my form from man to Dragon.
TL: That's amazing, is your nation a large one?
IY: No. We are perhaps 10,000 in number and not many can change their form. That is why it is so greatly prized.
TL: I see… and you are one of those that can. I’ll have to take you at your word on that.
IY: You should, yes.
Is it true you found a man buried in the ice from before the great cataclysm? What was that like?
IY: Yes. We'd gone out hunting a bear that was ravaging the village. We tracked it near the ice caves. When we went into the caves to see if it was home, we found a large block of ice that had floated in and gotten stuck by way of an underground stream fed by the nearby river. Inside the ice was a man. We thought him dead at first, but then I sensed something, his magic. So we built a fire to thaw him. What was it like? It was odd and fascinating. He is an interesting man, an educated one and full of tales of the world before the great cataclysm. You should hear them.
TL: Perhaps one day I will; I would be most interested. I've heard that there was some excitement in your village recently; can you tell me about that?
IY: I cannot say much at this time...we are still looking into the details. However, our King Trevor Crewe was murdered. I have been tasked to find his killer.
TL: How do you feel about being put in the position you’re in?
IY: How do I feel? I am grieved at the loss of a man who was like unto a second father to me. Who saw to me and mine when my father was ripped from us without warning. Now he has been ripped from his family and I will see this wrong addressed.
TL: If you succeed, might you be rewarded by a position of honor?
IY: I already hold a position of honor amongst my people. If you speak of taking Trevor's place? That is not how such things are determined.
TL: I see, well I thank you Lord Yates for your time and sincere words.
IY: You are most welcome to them.
I could not draw more out of Lord Yates, but is this not enough to whet the appetite of our readers? Should we not all seek to learn more of the men of the north, who claim the ability to slip their skins and become dragons?
Thornton Larson
3rd May, 7013





Excerpt of In The Wyverian Wilds

The Village of Drysor Y Ddraig was laid out at the foot a large, sloping hill. The back end of the hill and the far edge of the village were bordered by a rushing river that flowed over the edge of a cliff. It was a lush, green land full of trees, plants, wild life and small insects. A view filled with beauty and tranquility.
Jamie sat on the lawn behind the house of Yates looking out over the cliffs at the roaring water of the falls. He was lost in thought when the older man, Henry, who’d come with the visiting dignitaries walked over and sat down beside him. He looked up and offered him a small smile. His eye wandering over to see Idris still deep in conversation with Charles and …Val…Val was walking down along the edge of the cliffs on the far end of the lawn. He really, really needed to talk to Val, but where to begin?
Henry watched Jamie for a few minutes and then chuckled. “You’ve so many things on your mind at once you can’t form a single coherent thought about any one of them can you young one?”
No, I guess I can’t. I…I just have so many questions…” Jamie answered.
May I ask what sort of questions?”
About how I got here to begin with…I mean yeah I was frozen and they thawed me out, okay…but how is that possible after all this time, without…any kind of medicine or science…with nothing to help them but a fire?
Henry looked at Val and then at Jamie and gave him a smile in return. “This is where you wish to begin? Talking with me, about the nature of things?”
Jamie spared a guilty look for Val whose back was turned to him in that moment. “I…I…yes, because I don’t know how to begin…anything else…”
Henry nodded as he errantly picked a few blades of tall grass and began to weave them in an intricate pattern as he considered the concerns mentioned.
You have old knowledge Jamie, compared to what is known to most now. However compared to what I know and more importantly what Thera knows it is the knowledge of the young, of a child. Long, long ago, before the times your people were able to map out and attempted to explain with their analysis and sciences there was another world, another people. These people, they were the first ones, the first of all peoples, of all beings.
They were not like you or I or anyone you’ve ever met. They were beings of…possibility. They took form as it pleased them, from them came all the variety of life that has ever existed from the smallest to the largest, from the most benign and powerless to the most clever and powerful. These people had knowledge to be sure, but their knowledge did not come from learning or analysis, but from the source of all things. They were born knowing. They also had healing and power, but theirs was made of the essence of all that is. You would call this magic. They did not have medicine, science or tools, because they did not need them. They had will. There came a time when some of these first ones grew to like physicality, to favor various forms and they chose to take on these forms permanently. This is where life on this world as we know it now and as you once knew it came from.
Now I could explain this all in much greater detail, as I used to do for Charles and his brother Cedric when they were young, but my point is that Thera, the land, the earth herself she knew what was coming. She is part of all that is and is connected to it still. She knew that great rock in the sky would come and hit her. She knew the cataclysm it would bring, the harsh reality that would be brought to bear on the peoples on her surface. So she spoke to the Great Mother and together they began to make preparations…they began to rework the nature of the people so that they might survive. They rewove the power of their will for them, giving them back the magics they had abandoned long ago…
Okay, okay whoaaa Nelly! So what you’re telling me, is that the Earth, who you call Thera, and the Great Mother…by which you mean the spirits of all nature and the planet re-engineered the DNA of the people to give them magic, because they would be robbed of all their tools and sciences?”
Exactly.”
Okay…And even “IF” I choose to believe that, it explains what happened to me how?” Jamie asked.
Easily. You are sitting on the ground in the land of the Lords of Wyveria, a people who can slip their skin and become Dragons. A people who can cast spells and affect the elements, who can speak to the wee creatures and you find my explanation what…too farfetched? How does it explain you? Do you not listen when others speak to you Logan? Did you not yourself hear Idris say he felt you in all that ice, sensed you were there, that you were pulsing with life. Does that not ring any bells for you, as it were?”
Are you saying that I…have some sort of…magic?” Jamie asked.
As you said yourself, you were frozen in a block of ice for many thousands of years and yet you thawed out whole and undamaged, not even the biting of frost upon your fingers and toes. What else would that be, but a great ability to heal oneself?”
Jamie blinked, “You mean I can…regenerate?!” he asked startled.
Henry merely nodded and smiled. Then he looked at Val again. “You have it in you to be a great healer Jamie Logan, go start now. Heal with words, heal with your heart.” He said nodding toward Val and gave Jamie a small shove.





Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Hag, a Young Adult Novel by Rachel Reuben



Next on the Fantastic Blog Hop, we stop once more in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, we're chatting with Desmond, one of the main characters in Hag. He's chatting with Jamie Livingston. Let's see what he has to say.

Hi everybody it’s Jamie Livingston and today, I’m here with a very controversial figure, Desmond. Do not adjust your headsets, you heard me right, the ex from hell, is here to answer questions about his role in Rachel Rueben’s novel, “Hag” and I can’t wait to get started…


I’m gonna get to the point, why on earth did you date Audrey? I mean what was the point?
Desmond: “I don’t know, you just can’t be real in a town like Cleveland. It’s not the most sophisticated place in the world. You saw what they did to Roddai. There was no way I was going to be the ‘here and queer poster child!’”

So you’re insecure about your sexuality?
Desmond: “I ain’t insecure about a damn thing! It’s called smarts, if you wanna survive, you play by the rules. I don’t hate the players, just the game!”

What does that mean?
Desmond: “I didn’t get to make up the rules, I didn’t choose to be born in a homophob town, and I didn’t choose to fall in love with my best friend.”

Which one Roddai, or Audrey?
Desmond: “Both”

So you’re bisexual?
Desmond: “Don’t know. Jeez lady I’m only 17. Who knows, I might decide to marry a chick and have kids. You know, live the American dream, out in the burbs and all.

How did those boys find out?
Desmond: “My guess is Roddai, I’d been frontin’ for years. I was an expert at it. Roddai, not so much. He just couldn’t hide it.”

Do you regret how your life ended?
Desmond: “Man I ain’t got time for regrets, okay, maybe one… I should’ve had more backup at that damn fight!”

Hag is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo both in print and ebook form. The first three chapters are free to check out in Goodreads, Wattpad and Amazon.

You can also sign up for Rachel Rueben’s newsletter to get updates and discounts on her next novel “Eternal Bond” a vampire novel series that will knock your socks off.   

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Epic Fantasy from the Mind of Ruth Davis Hays


Ruth Davis Hays is one of my favorite fantasy authors. Jorthus, the world of her imagination, astounds me. Her characters are well rounded, her dialogue snappy, her plots unique. I'm delighted to have her as my guest today at Writer's Sanctuary.



Where are you from?
I live in Kissimmee, Florida. Born in Jacksonville, I moved to Orlando with my husband in 1997.

What sparked your interest in writing?
Reading, really. I grew up listening to my mother read bedtime stories, and I enjoyed any creative writing assignments I was given in school. Once my teachers began encouraging me, I pursued every composition class I could find.

What components, in your opinion, makes a great story?
I think the classic elements of character development are essential. Without characters that entertain the reader, I find even good plots can fall flat.

How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
I would say they are fantasy adventures, with a touch of indelicate romance.

Do you set your books/stories in your home town, or do you prefer more exotic locations?
The stories that I'm writing now are set on another world, one similar to Earth in the past. Only where we advanced through technology, they use a spiritual kind of magic.

How much of your writing is based on people or events familiar to you?
Since it is fantasy, events are out of my ordinary realm of everyday life. But, the interactions between characters involve emotions that I've dealt with in my life, and some aspects of the characters are taken from personalities of friends and family.

What inspired you to write the Translations from Jorthus series?
I've always loved fantastical/fairie tale settings. And, growing up, many games that I would play with my sister or friends were acting out of our imaginations, whether play-acting or role-playing. I took a few elements from some of our more original or memorable adventures and expounded on them with characters that I had created with my friends. The inspiration to put them in story form came when I would share the new ideas in letters with my best friend.

How did you come up with the title?
Well, I wanted the stories to seem like tales chronicling another world, but filtered, or translated through our own understanding here on Earth. So, I referred to them as story translations from Jorthus, the main world. THE DAWNSTONE TALE is, of course, the story of how the major characters encounter the mystic crystal known as The Dawnstone. It's simple, but I liked the ring to it. With the second and third book, I tried to think of one word that would describe the major action in the books.

What was the hardest part of the story to write?
The scenes that connect between major action scenes. Sometimes they are necessary, but I just wasn't inspired and had to drag them out of my brain. The first draft would seem so dry, until I could integrate them as part of the whole.

What was the easiest part of the story to write?
The dialogue. I can hear conversations between the characters in my head all the time, so I try and catch the good parts on paper.

Was there much research involved?
I love researching, always have. I try to draw on things that I learn from history, the humanities, word origins, geology, astronomy, and psychology. I'm fascinated by all of those.

Is there a message in your story you want readers to grasp?
I write to entertain, but I think each of my main characters carries a message for me. Readers usually see different things in a story than the writer does, and that's what makes it special.

What do you feel is your biggest strength as a writer?
I'm not sure. Keeping track of a plot timeline without having to write it down, I suppose.

When your first started writing, did anything about the writing process surprise you?
Editing and how much I had to cut out.

Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
I usually indulge in something naughty, like eating some decadent chocolate thing.

Do you have a set writing routine?
Not really. I should, but my days are so erratic.

Do you listen to music when you write?
Most of the time. Usually something instrumental because if I know the words, my brain insists on singing along instead of concentrating.

What do you like least about writing?
Previously, I have had an awful time with the number of files that I used. I would be writing on one computer and save my work, and then find myself writing somewhere else later, like my laptop or a new hard drive, and would end up saving the work under a different name. This led to my biggest headache with the first two books, comparing and condensing all the files into one master file. Too many backups! Now, I just keep one name and one backup copy.

Give us a mini-tour of your writing space.
I usually sit on the living room sofa with my laptop on my knees and earphones on, so I don't hear too much of the television. I dream of having a desk someday.

Which authors do you feel have influenced your writing most?
Probably a mix of Anne Rice's early work and Douglas Adams.

Name a few titles I’d find if I browsed through your personal home library.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, Salem's Lot (or most Stephen King circa 1970's and 80's), Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, Dragonlance, a collection of Greek myths, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

If you could go back in time, what author would you most like to invite to share a chat and a bottle of wine?
Edgar Allen Poe.

You’re marooned on a desert island. What’s the one book you’d want with you, and why?
I suppose I would want my big ol' works of Shakespeare, because it has a little bit of everything:  love, betrayal, drama, fights, tragedy, comedy, gore, and plenty of cross-dressing!

Have any new authors caught your interest?
I recently read a short story by Tori Truslow that I found beautiful and fascinating. I’m also enjoying some writings by Tracy Angelina Evans. They both have poetic style prose that envelope the reader and whisk her/him away to dark, intriguing places.

What’s next for you?
I am going to finish up the plot-line started in THE DAWNSTONE TALE. It may take two more books, but there is an ending to that cycle from which I just can’t deviate until it is completed.

Can we look forward to a new story in the near future?
Yes. After the Translations from Jorthus series is done, I hope to start a more personal series, based on one of my main characters called The Northgate Papers.

Who supports your writing activities most?
My husband, my sister, and my best friend. Oh, and my son talks about my books a lot, even though he's too young to read them. Some parts are not exactly G-rated.

What does your family think of your writing?
The ones that don’t normally read Fantasy have a hard time with my writing, but the ones that enjoy ‘other worldly’ stuff seem to really enjoy it. They are all encouraging me to write more.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Write what you enjoy. Create a story that you'd like to read. Because if you don't like it, then who will?

Name a few of your favorite non-writing activities.
Listening to music, watching good movies, drawing, designing costumes, chatting with friends (of course), working on film/play sets, and traveling.

How can readers reach you?
ruth@booksofjorthus.com


You can find more information here:
www.booksofjorthus.com
www.jorthusbooks.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/the.worlds.of.jorthus

Friday, April 05, 2013

Karen Vaughan - Woman of Mystery!

Welcome to the next stop on our Fantastic Blog Hop Tour. The bus is pulling into Canada next and stops at the home of Karen Vaughan.


Karen Vaughan is one of my favorite authors. No doubt about it, she's got a flair! Her mystery novels not only have well paced action, they have wonderfully funny moments as well. 


Karen lives in Peterborough Ontario with her husband Jim and a four legged off spring named Sugar. She is the mom of a 22 year old daughter and four grown step children and a 2 1/2 year old grandson named Ike. 

DEAD COMIC STANDING is her second novel. Her first novel DEAD ON ARRIVAL garnered praise from friends, family and online gamers. She also enjoys doing crafts and other hobbies. Her latest book is called OVER HER DEAD BODY is the second book to DEAD ON ARRIVAL. DAYTONA DEAD is the third in that series which is soon to be released.


Where are you from?
I live in Peterborough Ontario Canada
What sparked your interest in writing?
I always liked creative writing in school and it just carried on in my  
adult life. I did it to keep myself amused and I ended up with a
published book DEAD ON ARRIVAL

What components, in your opinion, makes a great story?
Loveable/hateable characters, amazing fast past plots and its gotta have some humor.

How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
Light mystery, some people even call them cozies.

Do you set your books/stories in your home town, or do you prefer more exotic locations?
Most of the books I write take place in the Toronto area but I did place DEAD COMIC STANDING in Edmonton Alberta. I want to keep it Canadian. I also sent Laura and Gerry to Daytona Beach for their honeymoon in DAYTONA DEAD.

How much of your writing is based on people or events familiar to you?
I based Laura on me. It might sound egotistical but hey “write what you know.” I have used some of my friends as shells of characters and I am currently killing off a former boss in my work in progress.

What inspired you to write Dead comic standing?
I had the opportunity to perform stand up comedy. I used this in a plot concerning a serial killer who hates comedians and starts slashing.

How did you come up with the title? I thought of Last Comic Standing and substituted dead.

    What was the hardest part of the story to write?
    Getting inside the head of a psychopath was rough. I am nuts but that
   was over the top.

What was the easiest part of the story to write?
The Comedy acts were a riot.

Was there much research involved?
I watched a lot of comedy showcases and researched serial killers

Is there a message in your story you want readers to grasp?
Not really I just want to entertain people.

What do you feel is your biggest strength as a writer?
I feel I do dialogue well and that I can incorporate comedy into the story.

When your first started writing, did anything about the writing process surprise you?
Editing sucks but it’s a necessary evil.

Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
I usually wait till the book is released.

Do you have a set writing routine?
No I am too lazy. I just write when an idea hits me.

Do you listen to music when you write?
Yep classic rock from the 70s

What do you like least about writing?
Editing

Give us a mini-tour of your writing space.
My kitchen table. I use a laptop but the tabletop is cluttered.

Which authors do you feel have influenced your writing most?
Janet Evanovich, Charlotte Hughes and Leslie Langtry. Name a few titles I’d find if I browsed through
your personal home library. The Thornbirds, The Stephanie plum collection and Beach Road by James
Patterson.

If you could go back in time, what author would you most like to invite to share a chat and a bottle of wine?
Charles Dickens

Have any new authors caught your interest?
I have discovered a lot of new talented writers since being on facebook.


COMING SOON! Look for an excerpt and interview with Laura Hamilton-Fitz Friday, April 12th

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