Friday, April 18, 2014

Spotlight: Excerpt and Giveaway Rising Shadows by Bridget Blackwood

Rising Shadows
World in Shadows
Book One
Bridget Blackwood

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: February 1, 2014

ISBN: 1494891751

Number of pages: 107
Word Count: 32,404

Cover Artist: The Killion Group

ITunes    Kobo

Book Description:

Rachel Ryan wakes up with no knowledge of where she is or how she got there. Thrown into a world she thought only existed in myths, she finds more questions than answers.

Shape shifters, faeries, and vampires hide in plain sight among humans. There’s a war quietly brewing in the shadows. Rachel stands between mankind and those creatures that live in the darkness.

Enhanced with power she doesn’t understand, she’ll tip the scales, but who is the real enemy?

Excerpt #1

Gates is in the center of the club. I follow behind him curious to see what happens next. I should grab Livia and run. I look up at the loft. People are lined up against the railing watching the display below. My eyes are drawn to one man in particular. From my angle and with the low lighting, I can’t tell much about his features or height. His clothes and hair are dark, he rests one arm on the top rail and holds a pool cue in the other hand. His gaze is a penetrating green and I swear they glow, I have to make myself look away.
“Guns are not appreciated here, sir,” says a young woman behind the bar.
Liquid courage, come to mama! Moving around Gates, I walk over and take a seat in front of her. “Can I get a drink please?” I ask politely.
“What do you think you are doing?” Gates grinds out through clenched teeth. He is standing directly behind me.
“You folks had me locked up playing lab rat. I just want a few minutes of me time before the shit hits the fan.”
Gates doesn’t know what to say to that. Patrons watch me curiously. Let them. I am past the point of caring. The bartender grins at me. She has hair that’s a silvery lavender dancing around her shoulders. Her eyes are a mesmerizing shade of purple. She doesn’t seem real. I am spellbound. Not a shifter, what is she? I have to stop myself from reaching out and touching her.
“What would you like?” She asks me breaking the trance.

Back to reality, in a room full of doom. “What would you recommend for a woman’s last drink on earth?”

About the Author:

Bridget Blackwood is a hopeless romantic and a fan of happily ever after. She grew up in East Texas where she met and married her high school sweetheart. Together they moved to Southern Illinois, it's been home for over a decade now. Bridget began telling stories at an early age, she writes in self-defense because the characters in her head are loud and bossy. A social butterfly by nature, Bridget loves to talk and laugh. When she isn't writing she enjoys watching horror movies, playing video games, and not cooking.

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Behind the Scenes of a Sex Scene: Guest Blog and Giveaway with Sidney Stone

Thank you Roxanne for featuring my first novel Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War.  As a special treat to her readers I thought I would give everyone some background on the one long sex scene in my book.  It is between my heroine – Jennifer Ainsley – and her destined soul mate Andrew Walker.  Jennifer is a tall, athletic brunette in the mold of Jennifer Garner.  Andrew is a strong, buff former Marine who also has a romantic sensitive side. Their love is powerful as it must be. Jennifer might be destined to be humanity’s savior in the war against the demons but it is Andrew who one day must be the one to divulge her destiny to her.
This is their fifth date when all hell breaks lose.  The scene is almost 2500 words so here are just the highlights with commentary.

Around the time Prince Rogers Nelson was instructing us to fuck until dawn, with Andrew and I talking softly and holding hands, suddenly all hell broke loose. (See, I told you.  All hell breaks loose as it usually does with Prince singing Erotic City).
Andrew reached over and gave me the most tender, lingering kiss I’d ever felt. I’d been kissed more than a few times; usually it was too hard and sloppy by boys who were too eager to bed me. But this was a perfect kiss—mouth, tongue, and feeling in a sublime balance. The most exquisite chills ran up and down my body. (If only all men knew how to kiss in this fashion).
I definitely was going to follow this marine to battle! “All right, soldier,” I said. “Lead the way, baby.”  (In retrospect, that might be a terrible line).
On the way to my bed, I snuggled close to him and gave him gentle kisses on his face and neck. Andrew laid me down and immediately went to work kissing and touching every inch of my body. He started with my lips…and then moved to my face…and then my neck. So soft and electric, his touch was absolutely expert. He was no fumbling, overeager, rough boy. As he kissed and licked my neck, he unbuttoned my top.  (Men, you need to know how to do this in the dark and without stopping the kissing. They really should have classes for this in high school).
Chills ran down my body as Andrew said, “You’re so beautiful, Jennifer. I’ve never wanted another woman like this before. I love you so much.” (My guy knows exactly what to say and do).
Before I knew it, I was on the verge of the most incredibly intense orgasm I’d ever felt. I bit my lip hard then blurted out, “Oh, God!” which was followed by a sharp scream as I released both physically and emotionally. What surprised me was that when I let myself go, I felt like I had let go of everything—my sadness, my anger, my loneliness, my missing my mother and sister. All I felt now was the passion and goodness that was in my heart for Andrew. After the waves had subsided, I felt a serene peace; tears of joy trickled down my face. (They have not even had sex yet. Well played Andrew).
 “I’m so glad I made you feel this way. Yes, this is how it’s supposed to feel. But this is just the start.”
I looked at him with exaggerated surprise. “What the hell do you mean by ‘just the start’?”  (Humor and fun is a must in a sex scene, both real and imaginary).
Andrew laughed even harder then stood up and slowly undressed in an exaggerated way. He even sang a few lyrics from the (pun alert!) Joe Cocker song “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”
“You’ve got the bod for a stripper,” I told him, “but you’re not quite Magic Andrew.” (This sequence may already be dated.  But it is endearing).
 “I’m a marine, Jennifer. Our guns are always loaded, and we never shoot blanks.” I laughed for the final time. Then, in a softer voice, he said, “It’s the same with me, you know. I’ve also wanted you from the first moment I saw you. And I wanted you before I even knew you. I was in love with just the idea that an angel like you existed, that someday I would find the person who made me belong in this world—someone to give my life a purpose.”
I felt a slight pinch as he fully entered me. I was so nervous because I had no clue what to do next. But we looked deeply into each other’s eyes as his body started to move. I was now as lost in his eyes as he was in mine, and without thinking, my body instinctively moved to match his thrusts. The joking and banter ceased and was replaced by an intensely deep feeling. I thought of a lyric from a Lucinda Williams song I loved—“The way you move is right in time. The way you move is right in time…with me.” Indeed I felt we were moving our bodies as one, right in time. At that moment I knew we were both born for each other. (Combining the humorous with the sexy and romantic.  It is tough to do and hopefully with this scene, and this book, I pulled it off).
 “I love you, Jennifer. I’ve never told a woman that before tonight. But I know it’s what I feel, what I’ve always needed. No one will ever harm you, and I’ll be with you forever.”
“I love you too, baby. And I have as much training as you. I’ll make sure no one harms you either.” (It ends on a tender and again humorous note as Jennifer does not let Andrew forget they are equals. Of course he has the secret of how powerful she really is).
I hope you enjoyed me taking you through a small part of this book and let me illustrate the connection between these two charaxcters. I hope you take a chance on this debut novel, which is off to a good start and has been well reviewed on both Amazon and Goodreads.  Have a great Friday!

Jennifer Ainsley
The Final Demon War
Sidney Stone

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Suspense/
Horror/New Adult

Date of Publication: December 2013

ISBN: 1491200960

Number of pages: 308
Word Count: 102,400

Cover Artist: Pencilbox Studios

Book Description:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” - Matthew 10:34

Demons are preparing to launch the Final War to destroy humanity. 

Can one young woman wielding the Sword of Jesus ensure our survival and redemption?

Will she lose both her love and her soul in the process?

Available at Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats

About the Author:

Sidney Stone is a hiker, deer whisperer and non-pretentious wine connoisseur. An addicted reviewer on Yelp, he is also creator of affordable housing (although technically he is homeless part-time), thinks The Replacements are the best band of the Eighties and loves to boost his LinkedIn count with people he doesn't know.

He lives in both Northern and Southern California while constantly traveling to Orange County to visit his son, who can now beat his father at ping pong and chess rather easily (and is charmingly arrogant while doing it). A graduate of UC Irvine and Pepperdine University, Sidney wishes he chose at least one university to attend that had a college football team to root for.

The first scene Sidney thought of for Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War included a rather large massacre (take that for what it is worth). However, inspired by the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Clive Barker; the book's violence is offset by dark humor and deep human emotion just like in real life where Sidney's darkness is offset by creatively placed sarcasm and an overwrought romanticism. For example, while Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War is a Fantasy-Horror novel, Sidney also still tears up at the end of both Field of Dreams and An Officer and a Gentleman.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Aliens: Guest blog and Giveaway with Annie Nicholas


Nothing grabs my imagination more than aliens. 

Anything goes!

The person who influenced my opinion of aliens the most is Larry Niven, science fiction author. His were the first sci-fi stories I read growing up. He took the environment that the aliens evolved and let that effect their shape and culture. So say the gravity of their planet is stronger than ours then the alien would be stockier, thicker of muscle and much stronger. 
CJ Cherryh does the same thing. She can immerse you in an alien culture and you don’t feel lost. I love this. 

This is what I strive to achieve. I believe in realistic science fiction where the future can be depicted as being believable and where the technology doesn’t seem so advanced that it’s almost magical. I don’t think the aliens we’ll meet will have two legs and two arms or to even breath oxygen. I can’t explore my whole universe in one book though so we’ll take a journey through it in novellas. 

No Refuge introduces the main oxygen breathing species. It explores some of the technologies I see as possible and most importantly, I wanted to focus on the strength of the human spirit. 

No Refuge 
Known Universe
Book 1
Annie Nicholas

Genre: Space Opera/Science Fiction Romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington

Date of Publication:  April 7, 2014

ISBN: 9781616505295

Number of pages: 94
Word Count: 24,000

Cover Artist: Renee Rocco

Book Description:

Hunted to near extinction by an alien race called the Ko, my people have run from Earth and drifted so far among the stars we can’t remember the way back. We live everywhere, but call nowhere home. The Ko want us erased from existence and memory. They don’t even want our DNA in the space dust. Humans disguise themselves as other alien species and hide in plain sight. It’s the only way we can survive.

I believe in the myth of Earth. I’ve even discovered a bona fide book written in the dead language of my people. My man, Brody, dreams of a secret human colony. He’s searched for years, hunting any rumor we’ve run across, and finally he’s made contact. Usually, he’s the one grounding me to station and keeping my head out of the atmosphere. Time for me to return the favor…that is, if I can ditch the Ko who’ve discovered me, thanks to my incessant artifact-hunting. If we don’t make our rendezvous, and the Ko don’t kill me, Brody just might…

CONTENT WARNING: Aliens, cargo ships, and a fast paced race against all odds.

About the Author:

Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.

Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.



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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with K.A. Salidas

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m a pantser. I get an idea, or a character comes to mind. Nothing is ever fully formed, but that one element is there. I explore it, a story forms. It’s fun and frustrating al at the same time. Not knowing what is going to happen next, learning as I write is difficult. Sometimes I write myself into a corner. But, It is the only way I know how to do it. I tried plotting once. And that story never made it to the end. I found myself too constricted and as I wrote the characters took me completely in a direction that my original plot had not intended. It know it works for some, just not for me. I like to write by the seat of my pants. 

Do you write in different genres?

I do. I love to play in everyone’s playground: Romance, Paranormal, Dystopian, Sci-Fi. It’s just too much fun to mix it up. This book series is a mashup of New Adult, Paranormal Romance, in a Dystopian setting. My other book series, the Immortalis Series is more along the lines of Urban Fantasy. And I do have a few fun erotic stories as well, published with my writing partner Willsin Rowe.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. I enjoy seeing where a story takes me and allow myself the freedom to touch on whatever genre I can. I’ve never been a fan of being boxed into one thing or another.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I asked the internet. LoL. Titling a book is something I really suck at. Naming things in general, really. So I posed the question on my facebook page. As this is a series book, I needed the names to sound similar. Book one is Dissension. So, with that in mind I wanted to stick to the –ion ending. Of all the choices people suggested, Complication just “fit.” This book is all about making life more complicated for Mira, so that was it!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Without being too preachy, this series breaks down long held prejudices. Sure they are between humans and immortals, but prejudice is the same. People hating people without true cause. None of these prejudices are worth hanging on to.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

Now that book 2 is done and dusted it is time to work on book 3, Revolution. Now that life has gotten complicated, it’s time to let the pot boil over and bring about the war! That’s the only tease I can give for now. It’s going to be an epic battle though.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Wilsin Rowe is my go-to guy for cover artistry. He has worked on many of my covers and is also my writing partner for erotic fiction as well. He’s got quite a good eye for what works and what doesn’t in covers and is truly amazing to work with. I recommend him to all of my author friends.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing!
Really, there is no better advice!

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I don’t have an official playlist, but I have been following a channel on YouTube which has compiled the music from the TV show Reign. I am obsessed with the show and the music they use is perfect. So that is my current playlist, the music from Reign. LoL. 

Chronicles of the Uprising
Part 2
K.A. Salidas

Release Date: April 14, 2014

Book Description:

Narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Magistrate, Mira travels west, toward the coast. With three weakened human fugitives accompanying her, she searches for the mythical land of Sanctuary.

After encountering a pack of wolf shifters, headed by the charismatic—and brazen—Stryker, Mira learns that Sanctuary is real after all.  Caldera Grove: home of the Otherkin. Hidden in the mouth of a dormant volcano, it has protected its residents from humans since the early days following the great cataclysm. For Mira— a vampire— Caldera Grove is a land of peace; an escape from the relentless persecution of the humans who once enslaved her, and an end to the daily struggle and bloodshed of being a gladiator.

For the humans accompanying her, Caldera Grove means death. Humans, greedy and untrustworthy creatures, are destroyed before they can penetrate its borders.

To plead her case for entry into Caldera, Mira must abandon her companions, albeit temporarily, and follow Stryker into the heart of the city. What she finds within Caldera Grove presents her with an unenviable decision between her own desires for freedom and peace, or honor and the human companions who risked it all for her.

Amazon     Amazon UK      BN       Kobo      Smashwords

About the Author:

Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women,  I can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  I can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, I still find time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). I can do all of this and still have time to write my novels.

Sorry… I can’t even write that with a straight face.

Lies all lies.

Here’s the reality. I’m a sleep-deprived, overworked, mom who just doesn’t know the meaning of the word balance. I try so hard to do it all, (be super mom, wife, & author) and at the end of the day I fall face forward into the couch.

Yes, you read that right, I tend to sleep on the couch. It’s a point of frustration for my hubby and a thing of comedy for my daughter. Imagine waking up to your little child yelling, “Mom slept on the couch again!!!”

Because being supermom (or trying to) means a lot of time devoted to family, writing is often done when said family is peacefully snoozing away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep with my laptop, on the couch. It just happens. Then, bright and early at 7am either my hubby (on his way to work) or my daughter (getting ready for school) wakes me up.

Writing is my passion. It’s a part of me. More than just a hobby, it’s a compulsion. I have to do it. If I don’t do at least one writing related thing each day I get cranky.

Hopefully, my passion can be your entertainment!

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Anita Cox - Character Interview and Drink Recipe

Before we get right into questions, please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Candy Kavana.  Anita’s Dirty White Candy series is about me, my life and my journey to sexual freedom.  Thank you so much for having me today.  Okay, now that the pleasantries are through, fire away!

(Interviewer): So the Dirty White Candy series is about you? How did that name come up?

Candy: Well, my parents wanted to name me Candace, but the intake nurse in the hospital was a bit of a stoner and just wrote “Candy” on my birth certificate so she could get back to her Doritos.  Couple that with my unusual sex therapist and I found myself looking for an adult play date online. I needed a username.  I was being a bit of a smartass and well… it stuck.

(Interviewer): You really go from rags to riches regarding your sex life in this novel.  What do you think the author, Anita Cox, has in store for you in books two and three?

Candy:  Anita is an insufferable whore with an insatiable appetite.  Just when I think I’ve had all I can take, she throws me into another absurd sexual situation.  Sometimes I hate her, I mean, I still blush when I talk to my best friend about sex.  Anita doesn’t seem to be satisfied with my ménage a trois.  I don’t think she’ll be happy until I’m sitting on a bag of frozen peas. 

(Interviewer): What do you think about the moral behind your story? What’s the deeper message?

Candy: Listen, sexual relationships, like any other relationships are all about communication.  Some people are so afraid to talk about sex.  People, not just women, could benefit from more open discussions with their partner(s).  I mean, if you want someone to stick something in your backdoor, how are they going to know unless you tell them?  You’re cheating yourself out of potential orgasms and your partner that blissful feeling of success.
My story is really about finally taking control and owning my sex life.  I own it. I do what I want and feel no shame in experimenting with other men and women.

(Interviewer): So is there any romance in the book or is it just flat out book porn?

Candy: Oh, I love porn!  The trilogy as a whole has a romance that grows, though book one is really more about me finding myself, exploring and experimenting.  There is a special man in the story and you’ll see more of him in books two and three!

(Interviewer): What do you think about the two main leading men in your story?

Candy: Oh Lord! Anita has done a nice job providing me with delicious toys to play with while I experiment.  She knows I have a weakness for men who work with their hands and oh did she provide.  David, my partner in therapy is shy, so I don’t feel so out of my element with him.  But when I discover John and all he has to offer, I just can’t get enough of those big contractor muscles and tight ass. Yum.

(Interviewer): You have a favorite drink in the book.  Can you give us the recipe?  It sounds delish!

Candy: Oh, the Espresso Martini is my absolute favorite.  This drink comes with a warning label though (or it should. I guess I’ll call it a PSA.)  Because of the espresso in the drink, it will help you stay awake and wound up to party.  But it packs quite a punch.

Recipe and Instructions for the Espresso Martini

2 shots Espresso. 

1 shot of each Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua and Irish Cream

Shake over ice. Strain into martini glass. Float a few coffee beans. Sip, don’t gulp.

Three should be your max. Four could be dangerous.

If you’re a starbucks lover, this is fabulous made with Starbucks French Roast.  If you don’t like the particular flavor of Starbucks brand, use a good quality roasted whole bean, French Roast or Espresso Roast if you can find it.  Also use whole beans and grind them yourself.  Floating a few whole beans releases oils in the drink that add an extra layer of flavor.

Thank you for having me.  It’s been a pleasure to visit with you and your readers.
The Beginning
Dirty White Candy Book 1
Anita Cox

Genre: Erotic Contemp Romance

Publisher: Liquid Silver Books

Date of Publication:  February 17, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62210-073-6

Number of pages: 184
Word Count: 50,792

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Book Description: 

Traded in for a younger, newer model by the only man she’s ever made love to, thirty-something Candy Kavana finds herself craving human interaction of the carnal nature. Shy and sexually repressed, Candy turns to her best friend, Stacy, for advice. And what advice it is!

Candy nervously dives into sex therapy and what she discovers is more than mind-blowing sex. She discovers a side of herself she never dreamed existed. Now that she’s whet her whistle, she can’t get enough. Just how far is Candy willing to take her sexual exploration?

About the Author: 

Anita Cox has an affinity with leather and high-heeled boots. The same vivacious attitude can be found in her erotic adventure and erotic romance. With her rock star husband, she plays in the lifestyle in which she writes, adding authenticity to her voice.

Anita likes to add strong female characters, even if they are a bit quirky. Her men are hot with just enough flaws to make them loveable.

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