Monday, December 8, 2014

Claudia Must Die and Happy Holidays

Today I'm excited to share the new release by TB Markinson, Claudia Must Die. Congratulations, TB! If you don't already know TB you should really check out her work. She is a prolific and talented writer and a super nice person to boot. 

One quick note before I get to the book. I don't think I'll be blogging the rest of the month so I want to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year now! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. I am getting back on track with writing and blogging and life in general and I'm looking forward to starting fresh on the blog in January.  

And now to the book!

Blurb:

Claudia doesn’t feel like herself anymore—she feels like prey. Her husband’s hired goons have stalked her all the way to Boston and will only stop their pursuit once she is dead.

Divorce is not an option. Instead, she has stolen a bunch of her man’s money to disappear into another life.

In order for Claudia to live, someone else must die. A lookalike college student becomes the target capable of freeing her from an awful marriage. 


The plan goes horribly awry. Instead of murdering Claudia’s double, the assassins shoot the woman’s lover who is the cousin of a powerful Irish mobster. Claudia becomes hunted by all involved. Can she survive? Should she? 

Excerpt:

At first, everything had been roses and wine. When others warned her about Dennis, Claudia laughed it off.
“Use your head,” Claudia’s mother had said. “How could a man in his early thirties make so much money owning a handful of run-down bars in two small towns in the West?”“What, you think he’s a drug dealer or something?” Claudia had broken into hysterics. “He hardly looks like a gangster, Mother. Dennis doesn’t wear any jewelry. Not even a wedding ring.”
In Claudia’s mind, a gangster would at least wear a gold necklace. And, he had excellent table manners. There was no way Dennis could be a thug. How many scrawny five-foot-six guys were?
         They had married after seven months. Neither had intended to marry so quickly, but they had visited Vegas for a long weekend, got drunk, and got hitched. It wasn’t until Claudia moved into Dennis’s house that she started to notice things. He wouldn’t come home for days, and when he did, he refused to tell her where he had been. He racked up a lot of mileage on her car, not his. When Claudia asked about it, his reply was a cold stare that made her legs feel like jelly. Granted, one of his bars was in Greeley, but that was only a twenty-minute drive from their home in Loveland. How did the miles add up so quickly?         After a year, they started to fight constantly. Verbal arguments. After another year, the fights turned violent. Claudia ended up in the hospital—still nothing serious enough for her to walk out. Not yet. Instead, she started hoarding cash. In the beginning, it was a little bit here and there. It was simple. Claudia would request cash back when she used her debit card at the grocery store. Dennis liked her cooking; he never questioned how much his wife spent on food. When she realized her embezzlement plan would take years, not months, The Hunted chose a more drastic solution. The next time her husband crossed the line … 
Purchase links:


About the author: 

T. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. T. B. has published A Woman Lost, Marionette, and Confessions From A Coffee Shop.   

Mailing List:
Sign up to TB’s New Release Mailing List here. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.

Links:
Twitter        Facebook        Blog        Goodreads     Amazon Author Page


Best of luck to TB and Happy Holidays to all! See you in January. :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Beacon by Angela Brown


My Untethered Realms buddy Angela Brown has an exciting new release with Evernight Teen called Beacon and I'm happy to host her today as she kicks off her blog tour. Please join me in saying congratulations and best wishes to Angela! Now I'm turning things over to her for an intriguing (and creepy!) look at Beacon. 

You are Colony Material


You should be glad you wake up to a world where murders, burglaries and sexual assaults are a thing of the past, only items you read about in your most recent digital historical texts, vagrancies of The Fold and the failed America of before. There are no physical books to weigh you down, no book bindings to stretch on your fourth read through of your favorite Colony-approved novel, no new book smell to bother your senses. All your basic needs and some of your wants are taken care of, all for one small price: a fresh bag of your blood, once every quarter, for the rest of your life. The rules in The Colony may seem a bit much, but they’re for your own good.

C: Execute command: Cancel Communication

Hi! You don’t know me, and as long as I do my job right, you never will. I’m just a Net pirate hacking The Colony’s comms server. They send little broadcasts like that crap above on the regular to the registered citizens. I can’t help wondering how many of the poor schmucks know they’re being brainwashed…or if any of them know, do they even care? I try to NOT let questions like that bring me down. I know some out there realize all this “Colony perfect” is too good to be true. Just as everything walking on two feet ain’t human or vampire (Frag calling them “vampeer”. I never liked their re-imaging campaign.)

There’s more you can learn about The Colony in this book, Beacon. It’s got one thing going for it from the jump: It’s NOT Colony-approved, so you know it’s good.

You can find out more about Beacon below. I better get back to deleting a few more of these brainwashing gimmicks from the communications queue before The Colony realizes I’m here.
Your friendly Net pirate.
Out.




Beacon - For seventeen-year-old Macie Breen, life in The Colony is a daily norm of being the odd girl out, that is, until everyday predictable slams to a screeching halt. Forced to the capital city of Bliss, Macie's life becomes a horrific unraveling as she confronts daunting truths about The Colony as well as who, or what, she really is.

Buy links: Evernight | Amazon

Excerpt:

            The corner of Thane’s lips curved in his infamous smirk. “I’m here to protect you from you, silly.” The elevator dinged our arrival to our floor. Thankfully, floors for the Attendees were guarded by other Surreption agents, to prevent citizens from accessing them by surprise––and to keep out the expected rebel against Bliss.
            I fell silent, thinking about Thane’s answer. Any other day, it would have been a joke. We’d ha, ha, ha, laugh it off as Thane being the smartass he was. I’d punch him in the shoulder. He’d feign pain and we’d move on. But now, what if he was right? Not just keeping me from taking my anger out on some pink-haired guy making fun of me. But from whomever—or whatever—I really am. What if it was the world that needed protection from me?

Author bio:


Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Contact links:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Coming out of a funk & celebrating Thanksgiving

I've been in a funk for the past few months and have spent most of my time sitting around making sad faces just like the little pug above.

But if you're going to get out of a funk, I'd say Thanksgiving is a great time to do it. And thanks to a great experience I had over the weekend I'm officially feeling over my funk.

I haven't written much of anything in months and had gotten to a point where I had gone from being excited about writing to deciding I couldn't stand anything I'd ever written and I'd never write again and what was I thinking starting all this anyway? I whined that I hated marketing, I hated social media, I hated my blog, and I basically hated everything. In all honesty I needed someone to do this to me:


Fortunately though I was able to snap out of my funk without having someone slap me in the face.

On Saturday I spoke to a class taught by a friend at the university where I work. The class is designed to support local authors and one of their assignments had been to read my book The Ghosts of Aquinnah. I had been excited about the class when I agreed to participate back in May but as the day drew closer I dreaded it and wished I could simply back out.

I couldn't back out though and that turned out to be a great thing as I had a wonderful time with the class. They were enthusiastic about the book and it was such a treat to hear them talk about my story and my characters and which ones they liked or disliked, etc. Some had brought their books with them for me to sign and a few told me that my book was their favorite of all they had read for the class.

I walked out of the class on cloud nine and I haven't slipped back into my funk since. When talking with the class about my books, it was easy to remember exactly why I had "started all this."

No work I've ever done has given me the sense of personal fulfillment and pure joy that writing and blogging has. I'm so fortunate to have found this outlet, however late in life I did, and I'd have to be a complete idiot to ever give it up.

I can definitely be an idiot but I don't think I'm a complete one. :D

Source: publicdomainpictures
So again, I can't think of a better time to come out of a funk than at Thanksgiving. My family and I have a lot to celebrate this year, as my mom is doing well in her cancer fight and we are cautiously optimistic. But I also want to remember how thankful I am that I started writing and blogging and became a part of such an extraordinary community.

To my American friends, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. And to everyone else, a wonderful week ahead. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG & Wickedly They Dream Release Day!



It's hard to believe it's already November and time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. To see the list of group members as well as this month's co-hosts, visit Alex's site here

I really don't have much to write about this month as I am still simply feeling insecure about blogging and writing and life in general. In addition to my mom's cancer, I've had some other personal stressors pop up and I'm having a terrible time focusing on anything writing related. It's safe to say 2014 has not been my year! But I have to force myself to focus this month as I'm working with my editor to get my Polar Night sequel Polar Day ready for a February, 2015 release date. Even though it's a lot of work, it's actually great for me to have this editing as a distraction, especially as I'm super excited for the release. 

For today though I'm turning the blog over to my friend Cathrina Constantine and her book Wickedly They Dream, which is officially released today!! Yay, Cathrina!!

To add to the fun, Wickedly They Dream is on sale for 99 cents. That's a steal for one of Cathy's books so I would encourage everyone to get a copy ASAP. Here is all the info on the book and the giveaway Cathrina is holding to celebrate the release. 

**Happy Release Day** **GIVEAWAY**
Wickedly They Dream
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Fantasy
Publisher: Black Opal Books How Far Will Jordan go to rescue her mother. It will cost her everything--even her angel, Markus!
Buy Links: Amazon

Author Cathrina Constantine resides in Western New York. When not with her family, you'll find her in the forest behind her house walking the dogs and conjuring a new tale.
You can find Cathy Here:

Monday, November 3, 2014

National Animal Shelter & Rescue Appreciation Week


Today marks the start of National Animal Shelter & Rescue Appreciation Week, which was founded by the Humane Society of the United States in 1996 and is celebrated each year during the first week of November.

I adopted my Nate, shown above doing his best impersonation of a jaguar perched in the trees, from the Kenton County Animal Shelter in Northern Kentucky when he was just four months old. All of my pets have come from shelters or rescues and they are/were all the greatest pets in the world, so I have a great deal of respect and affection for these organizations and the people who keep them running. There are between six and eight million homeless animals in the United States each year and only about 3,500 shelters to help them, so it's clear that all rescues have their work cut out for them.

In honor of the week, The Humane Society offers ten tips for helping your local shelter or rescue, some as easy as "liking" and sharing about rescues on Facebook and other social media. Other ideas include donating supplies such as towels or cleansers or even making your own toys for the shelter animals in your area. To read the article and see the whole list of ideas, click here.

Nate didn't want me to include a dog in this post but I saw this video last week and I think it captures the value of animal shelters and rescues more than any words ever could. It's such a feel-good story that even Nate had to relent and he agreed that it fits perfectly with Shelter & Rescue Appreciation Week.

Kudos to this shelter and all the others across the country!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Treat: The Turnagain Arm Free on Kindle

I love vintage postcards! :D

I'm hosting my own little Halloween party and offering The Turnagain Arm for free on Amazon today and tomorrow. Get your free copy here!


If you have time to share about the promotion on Twitter or elsewhere I'd really appreciate it!

Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Meet The Character Blog Hop

I was tagged in the Meet Your Character Blog Hop by my good friend Cathrina Constantine, who is an absolutely fantastic writer. If you haven't read her books yet I highly recommend checking them out!

Cathrina is the author of Wickedly They Come (and the upcoming sequel Wickedly They Dream) and Tallas. Find Cathrina at her blog, Twitter, and on Amazon.

Thank you for tagging me, Cathy!


What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?

My character is Vasyl Dzubenko. He is totally fictional.

When and where is the story set?

The story is set in 1917 in a railroad camp in Alaska. Vasyl and his wife Lara run a saloon called The Turnagain Arm in the camp. The saloon is named for a nearby waterway, which is a real part of Alaska.

What should we know about your character?

Vasyl is a middle-aged man who moved to Alaska after moving across Russia while working on the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway. He is originally from Ukraine which was part of the Russian Empire at that time. Vasyl is devoted to his wife but he has a very big secret that even she doesn’t know. Vasyl is a witch, but he hasn’t practiced his craft since leaving Ukraine. The last time he practiced things went very bad very quickly.

What is your character's goal?

He simply wants to run his saloon in peace with his wife at his side. He is happy in his adopted home of Alaska and is thrilled that Lara is pregnant. He can't wait for his child to be born.

What is screwing up  your character's life (main conflict in writerly speak?)

Unfortunately for Vasyl, a Russian vampire named Aleksei Nechayev turned up at his saloon. The peaceful camp has never been the same since Aleksei arrived.

What is the title?

The book is called The Turnagain Arm and it is available on Amazon Kindle. It is a novella and a prequel to my novel Polar Night.

I am really bad about tagging for a hop because I can never decide who to tag. So anyone reading this who would like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. :)