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.

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.

 

Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell #Free July 19th and 20th

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Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell

Winter Angel

by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance

Release date: 25th June 2014

Length: Novella

Blurb:

She was on holiday. He was tricked into returning.
Neither of them wanted to be there, but neither could avoid it.

Amy wants to be back under the sun in Portugal. However, when her suggestion is overruled in favour of a skiing holiday, even she can’t turn it down. What she couldn’t have predicted is that the holiday could make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to get into a serious relationship again.

When Amy first sees Luke, she knows something is wrong. He’s struggling to cope with everything and her need to help people makes him the perfect distraction from the cold. He hasn’t been to the Alps in five years and he swore to never ski again. But as his defences are broken by Amy’s persistence, the winter paradise begins to reawaken his desires.

However, with constant flashbacks triggering his anxiety, he’s torn, battling conflicting emotions as he becomes increasingly captivated by Amy. She has a rule though. She didn’t go on holiday to fall for someone and the last thing she needs is to ignore her own advice. Whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.

 

Winter Angel is a standalone, young adult romance novella, but is the second book in the Seasons of Change series.

Download it now for FREE!
Only free 19th & 20th of July

Add to Goodreads

You can also download Summer Demons: the
first, bestselling, standalone novella in the Seasons of Change series for
99c / 77p.
Excerpt
White. Gazing out of the small, circular window, it was the only colour he could see surrounding him. The bursts of light—which had broken through the heavy, grey clouds—were reflected back as the ground grew closer with each passing second. Not too long ago he had been blissfully unaware of the location his sister was dragging him to for a holiday. A bubble
of excitement had surrounded him throughout the early morning as he got up, and stayed with him through travelling to the airport and catching the flight. However, it had burst as soon as the icy tips of the mountains appeared and the plane began its descent. Until that moment, he had hoped his guesses had been wrong.
His sister had carefully planned the trip, making sure to hide all clues as to where they were heading, and as she glanced across at him, it seemed as if she had been successful. Luke’s
knuckles were white on the arm rests. He had claimed both of them, gripping them so hard they looked like they would snap under the force, or at least be moulded to the shape of his hands when he removed them.
Ellie watched as he took in a shaky breath, but she heard no exhale.
“Luke?”
The silence that filled the space around them was icier than the Alps they had just flown over. Her brother’s gaze remained fixed on the window, watching as the ground, and his fate, drew
ever closer. Deep, ragged breaths steamed up the window, which was almost touching his nose. Desperately, he tried to control the tremors shaking his body, and his pounding heart, from the fear that washed over him in waves.
“Luke, please, say something.” Worry had crept into Ellie’s tone. She had thought her idea would do him good, that forcing him to face everything would turn him back into his old self.
Ellie missed the brother she had grown up with and wanted him back. However, seeing his eyes wide with fear, his jaw clenched in anger, and his arms tense with both, suddenly she wasn’t so sure about her plan.
“You promised, Ellie. You swore you wouldn’t pressure me, and I trusted you with that. You know how I feel about this.” His voice was sharp and curt as he spoke through clenched teeth,
trying to keep a hold on his emotions.
The urge to flee surged within him. He wanted to go home, to get off the plane and board the next flight straight back to England, but he couldn’t. Not only was the plane still minutes
from landing—trapping him in the confines of economy class, which felt even smaller as realisation forced him to understand Ellie’s plans—but he also refused to waste more money on the pointless trip Ellie had conned him into taking. If he was going to use the money he had earned from before everything changed, it would be on his own terms.
“You’ll enjoy it when you’re there,” Ellie stated, brushing off his comments like they meant nothing to her.
“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to live with, or through, what I have.” Luke was trying hard to control his voice. Had they been in private, he would have already been
shouting. The cramped environment meant that Ellie was getting off lightly, but he swore that when they reached their chalet, he would not hold back. She had no right to interfere with his life.
“Never tell me I didn’t live through it, Luke. I was there when it happened, in the hospital, and when you got home. I was there through it all. It may not have been me, but it wasn’t
like it had no effect on my life,” Ellie hissed. It was the only way she could convey her anger without disturbing other passengers.
“Why though, Ellie? Why is this such a big deal to you?” Luke’s eyes were full of sorrow as he turned to face his sister for the first time, begging to understand her reasoning for putting
him through something she knew would hurt him.
 
About the Author
 
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.
 
With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.
Connect with Mia:
 
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon Author Page or subscribe to Mia’s Newsletter for information on: ARCs, giveaways and new releases
 

 

 

Victoria Adams’s New Adult romance novel A Guy and a Girl

Romance author Victoria Adams has a new book release this week, a New Adult romance entitled A Guy and A Girl.

 

Tagline

Lies, deceits and secrets – not a good way to begin a relationship.

 

A Guy and a Girl by Victoria AdamsBlurb

After an ugly past forced Hunter Connolly to escape to Europe, the talented hockey player is back in North America and determined to land a position with a professional team. But he can’t hide from his past forever, especially when his beautiful classmate, Chelsea, forces him to reexamine his life. Soon, hockey is not his first priority anymore.

Chelsea Henderson is a bright co-ed working towards her dream of being a professional dancer. She forms a unique friendship with one of her father’s newest recruits and would love nothing more than to take it to the next level. However, there’s just one small problem. He doesn’t know she’s his coach’s daughter.

Amid the deceptions, danger lurks closer than they could ever imagine. Will fate contrive to rip the young lovers apart? Or will Hunter and Chelsea have their shot at love?

 

Excerpt:

“Come on in.” Hunter called from his spot sprawled on the floor in front of his sofa.

Chelsea walked into the living room. “Hey.”

He nodded, grabbed the remote and muted the television.

Chelsea spun a kitchen chair around and sat on it. “Okay, the silence’s killing me. I’ll start with some lame conversation and you just leap in. How was the bio midterm?”

“Passed it. Should write all my exams with a hangover.”

She tapped her fingernail on her thigh. “Guess that was the end of the conversation starters.”

Hunter levelled a glare at her. “What do you want, Chelsea?”

“I want you to sound less angry. I want to talk. I’d like to try and explain. First off, I’m so sorry the cops hauled you in.”

“No.”

“No?” Her voice squeaked.

“Todd was stalking you. The cops had no idea if it was him or me. And from the questions asked, I’d say some pretty weird things’d been happening.”

She shuddered. “I kept thinking I was being paranoid or something. But that’s not why I’m here.”

Hunter slammed a fist on the carpet. “I damn near slept with the coach’s daughter! Why the hell didn’t you tell me?”

Chelsea watched the tiredness in his eyes shift to rage. “Because… because….”

“I wouldn’t date you if I knew who you.”

“Yea and that’s not fair.” She sat up taller and matched her gaze with his. “It’s not my fault your coach is my dad.”

Hunter closed his eyes and sighed. “I don’t know what to do, Chelsea. My head hurts too damn much to think.”

“Damn it, Hunter, I really like you. I don’t want to lose you as a friend. I don’t want to lose us.”

“I don’t know if there’s going to be an us anymore.” He rubbed his temples.

Chelsea sat behind him on the sofa, slipped her hands under his and began massaging his head.

Hunter pushed her hands away. Although it hurt him to say it, he said, “Go home, Chels. I need time to think.”

He refused to look at her. He couldn’t. He knew he’d give in, wrap his arms around her and beg her to stay.

***

I’m Victoria Adams. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband and pets. Daughter’s grown up and is now teaching. I like to garden, cook and belly dance. In the summer, cars slow down when they pass my front yard and the passengers gaze at my flower beds. Friends love to be invited over for supper as the meal is going to be good, good for you and nowhere near low-calorie! No dieting allowed at dinner parties. As to belly dancing, find a class and try it. It’s a blast!

I’ve been writing since I was little. Being an only child, long car rides were filled with making up stories in my head about the people I saw out the car window. When my daughter was younger, I made up stories that she suggested. I’d say – Once upon a time there was a…. She’d shout an answer – chicken! And the story went from there. Great creativity exercise as it turns out. Now, my writing style has taken a split to contemporary romance for adults and contemporary romance for new adults.

Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Guy-Girl-Victoria-Adams-ebook/dp/B00L2GRD1U

Where to find me:

Blog – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

FaceBook – http://www.facebook.com/victoriaadams.romancewriter

Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Adams/244325918978641

Facebook – Circles Trilogy Page – http://www.facebook.com/CirclesTrilogy?ref=hl

Twitter – http://twitter.com/_VictoriaAdams

Website – http://victoriaadamsromance.wix.com/victoria-adams

Google+ – Victoria Adams

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/VictoriaAdams

Plus – Triberr, Amazon AuthorGoodreads etc

Thanks for sharing your new release with us, Victoria! Good luck with it. :)

 

Summer Splash hop 2014

I’m taking part in the Indie Writers Unite Summer Splash. There are (or will be) lots of interesting authors involved, so pop by and see them… here.

 

Summer Splash 2014

GRAND PRIZES #1 and #2: Kindle Paperwhite and a $50 Amazon Gift Card GRAND PRIZES #3 and #4:  40 free eBooks gifted by our authors and 15 autographed books

and even more listed on the hop’s main page. Aside from the overall hop prizes, I’m personally giving away a copy of my brand new book CHANGELING’S CROWN and a faery themed goody made by  Kitty Britches Boutiqu. In case you’re curious, this is the fairy wand I’ll be giving away:

 

If you’re curious, here’s the synopsis for Changeling’s Crown:

 When Ianthe began her career as a faery godmother, she stumbled so badly that Snow White will probably never speak to her again. After a long suspension, she’s finally been given a chance to redeem herself…but everything on this latest assignment is going wrong.

But why?

Worse, she definitely doesn’t need an attractive mortal man distracting her from her duties. Of course, needs and wants are two different things.

Briak has had his eye on Ianthe for a very, very long time, but he’s been waiting for just the right moment to make his move. Despite the fact all hell’s about to break loose on his watch, he can’t resist the opportunity to insert himself into her earthly assignment. Can he convince Ianthe of her true calling and thereby win her heart? Or will his subterfuge ultimately cost him her love?

Do you believe in faery godmothers? ;) Leave me a comment with your email address, so I can contact you if you win.

(Addendum: I probably should add: my portion of the giveaway is US only)