Athena’s Oracle Cover Reveal

I’m pleased to have an author here today many of you might know. Paranormal author, Ms. J.D. Brown, has a new book release and she’s sharing it with me. *rubs hands gleefully* Entitled Athena’s Oracle it looks to be a good read. Shall we check it out? Okay.

Here’s the blurb:

 

For sale August 18, 2014…

Athena’s Oracle: An Heiloom Vampyres Novella
by J.D. Brown

Leena’s ‘gift of sight’ secures her place as the next great oracle of Athena. Instead of being groomed for wifehood like other girls, Leena spends her days within the walls of the Acropolis, shuffled around by the clergy and doomed to be a virgin forever. Before her ascension, Leena decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her father’s book of alchemy, she casts an incantation calling forth her own personal hero. But when that hero turns out to be a rogue vampyre prince with a haunted past, Leena begins to question if her feelings for him are the work of divine intervention, or a love spell gone horribly wrong.

Athena’s Oracle is a prequel to the novels Dark Heirloom and Dark Liaison, also by J.D. Brown. Set in 4th century B.C.E., Athena’s Oracle chronicles the romance between Leena and Jalmari during the very early trials of their immortal lives.

Oh my gosh! That sounds awesome, doesn’t it, folks? Ready for the pretty cover? Okay, Continue reading

H. L. Burke – Dragon’s Curse – The Dragon and the Scholar Tour

I have another guest for you today, fantasy author H.L. Burke has stopped by and she’s brought dragons! Don’t worry, they don’t really look hungry. ;) They’re just kinda guarding us. So do come sit by the fire, have some coffee, or ale, whatever you like best, while H.L. Burke tells us a little story about the latest in her fantasy series, The Dragon and the Scholar … H.L.  And do check out her giveaway below. Without further ado, H.L, The floor is all yours.

ABOUT H. L. Burke

Author H.L. Burke

Author H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Dragon's Curse by H.L. Burke

 
 On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous. Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family?

Dragon’s Curse is available on Amazon.com.

H. L. Burke on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Burke/e/B00EYQ1HLW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

H. L. Burke on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter

H. L. Burke on Twitter:https://twitter.com/typativemamacat

H. L. Burke on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7230868.H_L_Burke

H. L. Burke’s Author Website:http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

Click here to fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway

More about H.L. Burke

There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” ~G. K. Chesterton

A long time lover of fairy tales and folk tales, I’ve always had an affinity for a “fairy tale” romance, but I’ve also been amused at popular perception of what a fairy tale romance is. Even the Oxford dictionary defines “fairy tale” as Denoting something regarded as resembling a fairy story in being magical, idealized, or extremely happy: a fairy-tale romance.”

This wouldn’t be my definition. When someone describes a love story as “fairy tale,” I want to know whose toes got cut off, who had to spend a year hopping about the swamp as a frog, and if there were any dragons involved. Usually such inquiries lead to disappointing stories about idyllic dates and rose petal paths and the like. I always wonder, have these people actually read fairy tales?

Fairy tale love can fall into the shallow, cliche of love at first sight and princesses sleeping while they wait for first kisses, but if you dive deeper into the collections (basically past anything that has been adapted by Disney) you’ll find so much more.

Love endures much in these stories. People are sent upon impossible tasks. In The Blue Bird the heroine must walk until she has worn out three pairs of metal shoes. Other leading ladies ride upon the wind, discover the Water of Discernment, and wash shirts . . . well, washing shirts may not be thrilling stuff, but it is practical. Also, sometimes heads are cut off.

As a child reading these stories, I never imagined being rescued by a prince charming. Yes, a portion of them feature this, but my favorites involved a lady–princess or peasant–going on quests to find her stolen love. Perhaps she lost him due to her mistakes. Like Psyche she could not resist lighting that forbidden candle. Other times the fault lies with a jealous stepmother or rival who set a trap to turn her love against her (and in her lover for not seeing through it).

So to me a fairy tale romance is one where the lovers face insurmountable odds and defeat them through sheer determination.

Fairy tales also do not always involve the unions of “beautiful people,” at least not right away. In fairy tales love conquers physical repulsiveness and focuses on true positives. Princes and princesses deprived of their beauty win their loves because they are kind or brave or clever.

Having the love interest cursed to another form brings the appealing prospect of being loved for a sense of self beyond physicality. The king may merely be a voice in the darkness. A bride may be a clever frog. A girl may turn to a frail old woman with the waning moon. Love truly can make any being beautiful.

And this is why I love fairy tales romances. Because they are anything but “fairy tale.”

The dragon, Gnaw, has survived a battle with Sir Roderick. Worried about him, Shannon comes to his cave to see to his wounds.

“Gnaw lay in the dark, trying not to concentrate on the throbbing puncture in his wing. It was a flesh wound and a clean one at that, but it still hurt like the devil and the prospect of infection worried him.

When he heard the approach of another person his heart skipped a beat. He had not the energy for a second battle today and fleeing, in the dark, with a wounded wing, would be difficult. He breathed deeply. The approaching human smelled of crushed herbs, tea leaves, and books. He sighed in relief.

“Gnaw! Gnaw!” Shannon called out. He managed enough of a flame to light the pile of branches and illuminate the cavern again. She rushed to his side. “Are you all right?” she stammered.

“Aye, no thanks to that rabid lap dog you set on me,” he snorted. “My advice, put that one down.”

“I didn’t set him on you,” she sniffed.

“Well, he seemed convinced you wanted him to do it,” he said. “Of course, he was obviously insane. He kept coming after me when most men would’ve been lying on the ground in tears or running for the hills.”

“And you still let him live,” she smiled at him.

“I did? That was careless of me. I’ll be more thorough next time.” He lay his head back down.

“Thank you; he’s too much of an idiot to see that you had mercy on him, but for myself, I thank you. If you had killed him he would have died because of me, and I don’t know if I could sleep at night with that on my conscience.”

“You wouldn’t be responsible for his idiocy.”

“Are you hurt?” she pressed.

“No, well, not much.”

“May I see?”

He unfurled his wing towards her. She winced.

“I’ve never bandaged a wound like this. I mean, the wound isn’t unusual but . . .”

“It’s on a dragon?” he pointed out.

“Well, in a wing, I was thinking. During my training, I treated an injured bird, but the structure was a little different and a lot smaller. I think I can figure out something, however. Hold still, please.”

He winced a little bit but didn’t make a fuss as she cleaned and bandaged his wound.

“All done,” she said. “I’m so sorry you were hurt.”

“I’ve had worse.” He carefully folded his wing back against his body and lay still. He glanced out of the cave. “It is well after dark. You trip over your own feet enough in the day time. It’s a miracle you made it up here without breaking your neck.”

She grimaced.

“Well, I was worried about you, and I couldn’t exactly ask Roderick if you were all right. Still, I hope you are fine with me staying the night. I don’t want to make the descent until sunrise.”

“Of course. I can fly you down at dawn,” he said.

“Are you certain that is a good idea?” She caressed his wounded wing.

“I’m hardly crippled,” he scowled. “It will be fine.”

She nodded and rubbed him behind the ears. His ego bristled. He wasn’t a lap dog or a barn cat. What did she think she was doing? Oh, that felt good.

He shut his eyes with a contented moan as she continued to rub the back of his head and neck.

“I am not sure if you are a witch or an angel,” he murmured.

“Semantics,” she teased.

He laughed.

He let himself doze off, only marginally aware of what was going on around him. After a while he realized she had stopped her massage and opened his eyes to find her asleep, her head, arm, and shoulder draped over his neck. He curled his head back again to form a cradle for her body and listened to her breathe.

Such a pretty little thing. Would it be wrong to keep her?

 

 

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it folks? Thank you for stopping by, H.L.! Good luck with Dragon’s Curse. Folks, if you’d like to get a copy, again, Dragon’s Curse is available on Amazon.com.

Enjoy the rain…Well. Maybe.

keepcalmrainTwo stops on the blog tour tonight, if you’d like to see them: Coffee, Art and Books, with a guest post about Changeling’s Crown and Peace Love and Writing. It’s been a rainy, thundery day today so I did way more plotting than anything (yep, I’m writing again!).

 

Pick your favorite rain related song and have a great one! :)

A brand new tour

I’m going on tour again…yes, another webtour. This one courtesy of Fire and Ice Book Tours, I’ll be visiting a whole new set of sites. We’re also featuring another giveaway so do follow along by checking out the following schedule.

Fire and Ice book tour banner
Master (past) Schedule.

And there’s a giveaway. One winner will win any title (ebook only) from my backlist. Enter through the Rafflecopter.

Do stop by! It should be fun. :) My thanks to Shelly–and Cherry Mischievous!–for setting this up for me.

****
Past stops:
8/12 Fantastic Indie Author’s (Interview)
Stop 2 The Book Recluse (Review)

8/13 Literary Chanteuse
Stop 2 Teen Romance Books List
Stop 3 Memories in a Box

8/14 Peace Love and Writing

Stop 2 Coffee, Books, and Art (Guest Post)

8/15 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

8/16 Underneath the Covers

8/18 Fiction Zeal (Guest Post)

8/19 Cryptic Reads (Review)

Stop 2 Book Skater

Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole Delacroix

I have another guest for you today, this one an up and coming Science fiction/ fantasy author I met via the Bewitching Book Tours, Ms. Nicole Delcroix. Grab a copy of coffee or your favorite cup of tea and get ready to take a few tips about one of my favorite subjects: Research. :) Nicole, take it away!

Research… It’s Not Just for Journalists Anymore!
By Nicole Delacroix

Say the word research and most writers’ eyes will glaze over like a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but the truth is every writer has to do some sort of research to get their story off the ground. Done well, research can help make a writer’s job easier, help the writer broaden the scope of their writing and make a writer more knowledgeable. While most writers will relegate research to the realm of academia, every writer can benefit from well done research.

Research is For Journalists and Academia
Professional writing is the realm of journalists or news organizations, blogs and magazines, and requires research to give both the writing and the writer credibility. Articles must be well researched to spark interest in the subject and properly target the intended reader. Professional writing is directed at a particular demographic and the writer must know their audience to keep them engaged. There is nothing more destructive to a writing career than misquotes or sloppy research. Know your subject and know it well and your reader will rave about your subject matter. But mislead or misquote and you’ll never earn the readers trust back and you’ll be demoted to gossip mags and labeled a hack writer. Readers of professional writing are a fastidious group; they won’t trust easily and won’t forgive a breach of that trust.

Fiction Writing Doesn’t Need Research… Does It?
Research is equally as important in fiction writing as it is for professional or academic writing. An author who wants to write better fiction can benefit from a little market research. Knowing what the audience looks for in a story or in a novel can help an author write fiction that will be well read. Similar techniques of market research for professional writing can be used for fiction writing.
Also, researching locations will help an author chose appropriate settings for his or her fiction and describe them well. A little research helps an author keep historical or current facts within the writing correct. Researching for fiction writing can also be as simple as “people watching” for inspiration and character development ideas. Studying the actions and attitudes of real people helps with creating interesting characters.

In closing, research is an invaluable tool for any writer; it helps the writing remain informed, authoritative and credible. Moreover, it helps a writer reach more readers with better writing. You simply wouldn’t attempt to write a non-fiction piece if you knew nothing about the subject and expect it to come out well written; fiction should be approached in the same manner.

Your world should be flawless; you need specific knowledge and facts to ensure your concepts work. Remember, research isn’t about you; it’s for your readers. Good research can sweep your readers up into a more wonderful, strange, terrifying and real new world or it can make them question your dedication to your craft. Build an epic world for your readers and they will flock to your stories. It boils down to credibility and realism. In a fictional world you need even more research, how else can your reader suspend their disbelief?

 

Thank you for your informative post, Nicole. I do agree–but then, I am a geeky research nerd fan of researching, myself. Folks if you’d like to check out  her work, Nicole’s novel,

Glimpse of Darkness.

Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole DelaCroixSynopsis:

Charlene (Charlie) Bennett is a simple waitress in the wilds of Hyder, Alaska whose father has just gone missing. Isolated and alone, her fathers’ disappearance is nothing new to her, but this time things are a little different.

For starters, there is a handsome stranger, Daniel that has come to town and while Charlie has never taken more than a passing interest in strangers, she has an immediate and intense attraction to this one. Secondly, she’s soon to find out that this stranger isn’t what he appears. He’s about to throw Charlie’s entire world into a major upheaval.

Now Charlie has to decide if she believes this strangers’ incredible story and follow Daniel or if she wants to stay in the only home she’s ever known for an uncertain future and an absentee father. As she comes to terms with what Daniel shows her, she realizes that he’s the only true thing in her life and leaves everything she knows behind to follow the handsome stranger.

Glimpse of Darkness Available now at Amazon and in paperback from Createspace.

Nicole is also doing a giveaway for her tour.

 Up for grabs are:
5 sets of signed paperback copies with beaded bookmarks
5 beaded bookmarks
Open to US Shipping

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form here.

 

More books and about that vacation

As i said in a previous post or two I went on vacation last week, so didn’t get a whole lot of books like usual. I went to visit family and also got to tour the Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga battlefields in Tennessee. (Y’all saw the “ghost” right? It was the only one I *might* have seen. If there were more there, they were being gentlemen. (See why Caitlin loves her soldier ghost in the Antique Magic series, folks?) Anyway, the battlefield tour was so totally cool! :) I’ve been geeking out over the history of the two since then and reading whatever I can on it (slowpoke though I am about reading). Oh my gosh! It was so neat. Fear of heights, mainly forgotten. For a little while anyway. :) (Yes, I am a geek)

So these are what I got my hands on and am starting to poke through.

shermaninvadesjscalesSherman Invades Georgia by John R. Scales (who, yes, I went to the battlefield with so it is signed to me by the author! :)See that line above about geeking out at Lookout Mountain ;)).

Synopsis:

A longtime Special Forces officer with a Ph.D. in systems engineering presents a new perspective on one of the legendary campaigns of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman’s invasion of Georgia. Unlike most Civil War books that either treat individual battles and campaigns in a historical sense and give short shrift to planning, or study campaign planning with snippets from various campaigns to document specific features, General John Scales’s book takes advantage of modern planning techniques to fully examine what went into the Georgia campaign. He has limited the information in his book to that possessed by General Sherman at the time, as documented in his correspondence during the campaign and not in his after-the-fact reports and autobiography. Laid out in chapters that follow the format of an “estimate of the situation,” this book doesn’t simply recount the facts or attempt to provide a definitive history – other books do that – rather it offers a narrative of the campaign that illustrates a logical decision-making process as formulated in modern times. Published in cooperation with the Associations of the United States Army, the book serves two audiences: military professionals can use it for training purposes and Civil War buffs and interested laymen can gain a sense of the uncertainty that real commanders face by not having all the records of both sides at hand.

I also got: Union Soldier of the American Civil War (a Visual Reference) by Denis Hambucken and Chris Benedetto. (Yes, I bought a book about the North on the Southern battlefield’s store. Why, yes. I was blushing and ducking! But it’s for research,I swear!)

(Yes, I do kinda wish I’d gotten the companion Confederate Soldier of the American Civil War too). Are they suggesting story ideas? You bet. I’ve already got a WIP cooking. (*shh* If the muse hears me talking she’ll throw a  hissy fit). We’ll see what happens.