MY WEBSITE CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.ANNGIMPEL.COM

Book Blog Tours

This page will showcase other authors' work. Please check out some of these amazing writers!

Also, I just started as a tour host for Bewitching Book Tours. Interviews, guest posts and reviews will be found on this page.
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"By the light of the Lunar Eclipse—let them see!"


There is something seriously wrong in Kirra Munro's head. Besides suffering from amnesia, night after night she is plagued by dark dreams of other worldly rituals and a past she has no right in remembering—or does she?

Psychology professor Cayden McKinnon has the ability to unlock the blockages in her mind, but after one visit things begin unraveling far too fast. 

Time is running out...or has the battle for one woman's soul just begun?

Available in print and digital April 25th, 2013!


Beyond her heavy eyelids, Kirra knew she was no longer alone. In the darkest shadows a presence had joined her.

The being didn’t breathe. Her sensitive hearing would have detected the slight whoosh of air filtering through the spongy mass of a living lung.

It also wasn’t human—her tongue would have tingled from the imminent promise of a blood offering.

Whatever the thing was, she had never encountered its kind before.

A slight shift in the air to the left alerted her to the creature’s exact position. Part of her wanted to be afraid but her stronger essence knew there was nothing to fear.

A prickling began in the tips of her toes as she pushed the comforting thought into every corner of her brain. Curious about the cause, she stilled her mind and focused on the heat spreading from her feet throughout the rest of her body. Not an entirely unpleasant sensation, it was much like bathing in a gentle wash of warm water.

Once the sensation penetrated her brain she knew all her past actions were being picked apart and judged by the invading heat. Somehow she understood that the being held her life in its hands. Despair saturated the infrastructure of her spirit but ceased almost immediately, leaving a sense of weightlessness at her soul’s core.

“Only the pure of heart can receive my protection—all others perish during the purging.”

The edict slipped into her thoughts like soft feathers turned to a thick warm liquid. Through the haze washing over her reflective process, Kirra sensed her body being lifted off the slab of stone and was unable to resist the movement.

To be cradled against an essence exuding such strength and vitality made her want to cry. All she’d been lacking in her heart flooded her system, choking the breath from her lungs.

“Weep not...”

The voice drifted off into unintelligible murmurings as the shadows behind her eyes turned pure black and Kirra’s thoughts were no more.


Pre-order your print copy today!

Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Alex and SJ Byrne are just trying to make their way through the insanity that comes with creativity. Writing is SJ's passion—life is her muse—Alex is the force that brought this long anticipated novel to light after 17 years in a box.


Connect with SJ via:


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Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Luke Romyn!!



The Birth of a New Christ

 

My life has often taken me to strange places – not just literally, often merely figuratively. Dark, despoiled locales haunted by miscreants and lost souls alike, where hatred is your only brother, a blanket to keep you warm against the chill of a torturous world.

I never intended to write books involving God. My main aim in penning my first tome was to exorcize some of my inner demons, but without intending to, I somehow stumbled onto a deity I had long forgotten.

Is He real?

Ha! Good luck answering that one. I’m not going to fall into that trap, nor am I likely to be found preaching the word of the gospel – far from it. I find the thought of quoting from a two-millennia-old textbook ridiculous. It has some good stories, sure. They’re meant to teach the reader lessons about life, not be used as condemnations against those you hate.

And then I find myself preaching….

THE DARK PATH touched on certain religious aspects, and it got me thinking. Images trickled through my late-night ponderings – usually as I lay in bed trying to sleep – and I found myself wondering what might happen were Christ actually reborn. Would he shoot from the womb spouting philosophy? Or would he be birthed a man, a mere hominid, one with a task of colossal importance awaiting him, and he had to decipher all answers on his own?

I took this concept and played with it – tearing at the edges as I do in order to dirty things up a little.

What if this man were raised in the wrong environment? What if those supposed to nourish and support him instead tortured and bullied him, screaming script from the Bible at him as they whipped his fragile mortal frame? Would he still turn out the epitome of God, or would he morph into something a bit darker?

And that’s how CORPUS CHRISTI began….

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 Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Joyce Strand!!

 
 
Joyce T. Strand, Author

ON MESSAGE and OPEN MEETINGS

Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Q: Why do you write mysteries?

 Mysteries engage and entertain. They challenge us to solve a puzzle while we enjoy watching a protagonist remove a villain’s roadblocks and avoid false leads.  Sometimes we appreciate a little romance as well.  Basically I enjoy reading  a challenging,  well-thought out mystery. Therefore, I strive to write them as well.

Q:  What do you consider to be the key elements of a good mystery?

 A good mystery offers a puzzle you want to solve, an interesting protagonist you care about—either professional or amateur—, a clever villain, evolving clues to drive a conclusion, red herrings to stifle success, a supporting setting, some humor, a little suspense and tension, and perhaps a touch of romance. I personally prefer less violence, and more puzzle to my mysteries, but the tension of some villainous mischief can add to the fun.

 Q: Is Jillian Hillcrest (your protagonist) based on you?

Jillian Hillcrest is an attractive, intelligent woman at an ideal height and weight. Her PR promotions usually are successful.  She enjoys eating at fine restaurants and drinking California wine. On the other hand, she cannot sustain a relationship. She allows herself to be pulled into all sorts of trouble, and enables the villain to take advantage of her.

I don’t resemble many of these characteristics: like Jillian, I practiced public relations, I do l like to eat at fine restaurants and I certainly enjoy drinking red wine.  However, I am short and round, and I never encountered a murder in my career.

 Q: Where do you get your ideas for your mysteries?

 I draw Jillian Hillcrest mysteries from real California cases, although I definitely fictionalize the stories. I based ON MESSAGE on a murder of a retired biotechnology executive in La Jolla, Calif. OPEN MEETINGS is centered on a crime network of police and retired police in the San Francisco area, although no murders were committed as part of the real crimes.  I am focusing the third mystery (underway) FAIR DISCLOSURE on insider trading and an expert networking firm in Silicon Valley; again no murders were involved in the real case.

Q: Are there any other genres you can imagine yourself writing in?

I plan to write a historical mystery next about a judge in early 1940s California. I’m intrigued how to solve a mystery without a cell phone and the internet during a war and depression.

Q: Do you outline your stories or do your characters push you around?

 When I start to write, I know what the crime is, my opening scene, and the conclusion. I let my characters lead me through the puzzle pieces, introduce us to new characters, and create some suspense. Sometimes I have to cut back on their enthusiasm, which can require a significant amount of rewriting, but on the whole they seem to know what they’re doing.

 Q: Do you listen to music when you write? What kind?

 I wish I could listen to music while writing. I love Broadway tunes, jazz, and classical music. However, I am one of those people who needs to go to the library to study. Therefore, when I write, I make much more progress if the room is quiet.

 Q: What do you do when you're not writing?

 If I’m not writing, blogging, facebooking, or tweeting. I enjoy attending live theater – particularly musicals—and movies. I also like eating at nice (and not-so-nice) restaurants, visiting wineries, and reading mysteries. I avoid housecleaning, sewing, and yardwork.  As  you might anticipate given my love of mysteries, I do watch Castle, White Collar, Bones, NCIS, Mystery Theater, and CSI on TV.

 









Biography: Joyce T. Strand
 Mystery author Joyce T. Strand, much like her fictional character, Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder. Rather, she focused on publicizing her companies and their products. Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA She currently lives in Southern California with her two cats, a collection of cow statuary and art, and her muse, the roadrunner.
 
OPEN MEETINGS
 Jillian Hillcrest returns as a PR Executive to join with a local Silicon Valley reporter who is uneasy about the supposed DUI death of an informant. He solicits Jillian’s help along with that of her neighbor, a retired police officer, to look into events in his hometown north of the Napa/Sonoma wine country. Jillian’s ex-husband grows more and more certain he wants to re-marry her.  OPEN MEETINGS was inspired by a network of criminal ex- and current police officers in the broader San Francisco Bay Area.
ON MESSAGE
Murder intrudes on PR Executive Jillian Hillcrest's routine as head communications executive at a small Silicon Valley biotechnology company. She is eagerly staying on message to inform investors, the media and the community about her company and its products. When someone near to her is murdered, a determined San Francisco police inspector involves her in the investigation, convinced she is key to solving the crime. She co-operates fully only to find that solving a murder is more hazardous than writing press releases. On Message is the first in the Jillian Hillcrest mystery series. As with all the novels in this series, it was inspired by a real California case.
 
LINKS
 
Twitter: @JoyceTStrand
Purchase sites – Amazon.com
On Message
 
Open Meetings


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Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Scott Prussing!!


What inspired you to write your first book, Scott?

I’m going to give a somewhat complicated answer to a simple question, because I have two “first books.” One (Unturned Stones) is actually the first one I wrote, but nothing ever happened with it. The second (Breathless) has been moderately successful and has led to 4 sequels.

A friend of mine, who is an avid reader, read Unturned Stones and loved it. He knows how hard it is to get anything published and said offhandedly: “You should write something with vampires in it. Anything with vampires sells.”  

I decided to make write a “Twilight type” book that was not really like Twilight, if that makes sense. I started thinking about what I could do differently, but still appeal to that huge audience. Instead of making vampires the lead characters, I made them the catalyst for the action. I also made them more traditional. I invented supernatural vampire hunters I call volkaanes and created one-fanged vampires, who are crippled versions of the real thing. I made sure I had an engrossing storyline with several subplots. I think I succeeded pretty well, because there are now 4 sequels to Breathless, with plans for a fifth.

 







Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Sure, I remember exactly. Shortly after college, I read an article in the local newspaper about a boy who was writing a Lord of the Rings type novel. LOTR is my all-time favorite book, and I thought “I could do that.” So I started writing—in ball point pen on a legal pad. I ended up with an 800 page Lord of the Rings rip-off. The story wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t very well-written. It’s what got me started, though. Thankfully, that manuscript no longer exists.

 

How does your take on vampires differ from what is already on the market?

My vampires are closer to the traditional than to the sparkly, high school attending vampires with special powers in Twilight. The sun hurts their skin, but does not kill them, so they prefer the night or cloudy days. They live communally in underground caverns, following certain rules to keep from drawing too much attention to themselves. They can pass as human when necessary, and some of them mingle with people now and then. I also invented one-fanged vampires, who I call grafhym. They are crippled versions of the real thing, far less powerful, and they are shunned by other vampires. Grafhym play a critical role in book one, Breathless.

 

What makes your stories different?

I think my paranormal romance novels have more mystery and suspense than many books in the genre—an offshoot, I think, of having started my career with two suspense novels. I also try to create a few new things in my books, such as the one-fanged vampires and supernatural vampire hunters called volkaanes I invented for my Blue Fire Saga. In Heartless, book 5 in the series, I added another new invention—xenorians. They are members of an ancient sect that believes all magic will eventually turn evil and so must be destroyed.

 

You have VERY creative worlds, yet the emphasis of your books seems to be more weighted to the story. What are your feelings on world building vs. character building vs. storyline?

 I think all three are important. If readers don’t like your characters, they’ll have a hard time enjoying the story. I’ve always been more of a “story guy” than anything else, so that comes easiest to me. I think that’s one reason people way beyond my core audience love the Blue Fire Saga books.

My books are usually set in locations I know well, so there is little “world building” needed for that. Since I invent and use some different kinds of supernatural characters, I do have to build a way to fit them into the everyday world and to make it logical and real. It’s kind of like world building with the real world. The last thing I want is for a reader to say about something is “that doesn’t make sense.”

Description doesn’t come naturally to me, so I have to remind myself every time the location changes to spend at least a few sentences describing the new place (sights, sounds, smells, etc.) I don’t enjoy reading books that go on and on with descriptions, so I try to be very descriptive without using too many words. It’s actually been a very pleasant surprise to me when readers and reviewers call my books things like “wonderfully descriptive.”

 

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of writing?

My favorite thing is when I write a section that I KNOW is really good in some way—clever, funny, inventive, creative, flowing, etc. It could be a scene, a piece of dialogue, a description or even a character. My least favorite part is when I get stuck, where I know what I want to say but can’t figure out how to say it in a way that is smooth, flowing and clear. Sometimes it can take longer to write three sentences than it does to write an entire page.

 

What do you do to help you write? Do you down the energy drinks? Eat junk food? Blast the tunes? Do tell.

I’m kind of boring here, I’m afraid. I just sit down at my computer and start writing. I hate to admit it, but writing is usually (but not always!) pretty easy for me. Sometimes I have the radio playing, sometimes I don’t even remember to turn it on. I don’t eat or drink anything while I’m at my desk. If I get stuck, I’ll sometimes stretch out on my bed with my eyes closed to think (my computer is in my bedroom). For some reason, if I’m really stuck, a shower helps. Like I said, all in all, pretty boring.

 
Readers can stalk Scott Prussing at:


Amazon Author Page:



                   http://www.facebook.com/BreathlessFampires.


 

eBook links to Breathless:


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 Robin is a fellow Liquid Silver Books author. I think you'll enjoy this historical romance novella.

Prince Mathis wants nothing but peace for his kingdom, while his brother, Prince Talin, seems determined to align his own kingdom with their family’s sworn enemy through an alliance in the form of marriage. Mathis will be damned if he will witness the ceremony binding his brother to the daughter of the man rumored to have murdered their father.

Talin’s most trusted captain, Nadia d’Arcy, is ordered to abduct Mathis and bring him by force to Noventia for the wedding, a marriage that is not what it seems to be.

Mathis and Nadia’s mutual attraction tests both the captain’s loyalty to her prince and Mathis’ already worn patience. As a rebellion begins to threaten all that they hold dear, Nadia must choose between the life she has always known or surrender to the handsome prince who is determined to make her his.




You Tube Trailer


Robin Danner writes sweet and sexy historicals and lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. When she is not writing, she enjoys watching reality television and singing karaoke … quite possibly off-key!

She is a graduate of Troy University and published her first novel not long after earning her degree in Biology. She currently works full-time as a billing clerk and shuffles her time between writing, work, and her family. Find out more about Robin at http://robindanner.webs.com.

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Rogue’s Pawn Excerpt
“Enough,” a male voice said.

As if I’d ceased to exist, Tinker Bell blinked her eyes and regained her lovely self, face smoothing, shining once again in sunny elegance. Reboot and resume program. She gracefully stood and glided to the tray, set the bowl precisely in the center, lifted the tray and left the room without hesitation.

Booted footsteps crossed the room toward me. Act II, scene ii. Exit Nasty Tinker Bell, Enter God-Only-Knows-What-Now. My face was sticky with whatever the brothy stuff had been, my hair wet and fouled. I stank. I hurt. I was chained to a bed in a place so completely unknown I couldn’t begin to understand it. I tried to squeeze my legs closer together, but the chains seemed at the limit of their reach. The energy of my brief triumph evaporated, allowing tears to well up again.
Oh, please, please, please, do not cry. The threatening sting worsened. I closed my eyes and one tear leaked out. He stopped next to me, surveying me.

“You’re certainly a mess.” His wry voice was rich and smooth.
My eyes snapped open to glare at him through the blur. Fifty different smart remarks flew across my tongue, most along the lines that any failures of appearance on my part could be laid on the doorstep of someone besides myself. But even the buzz of the first word on my vocal chords brought searing agony. Relieved to have a legitimate reason for the tears, I almost welcomed the searing sensation.

“No, don’t try to talk—no one needs to hear what you have to say, anyway. Not that we can help it, since you think so loudly. And you have a decision to make. We have a quandary.” He began pacing, boots echoing against stone. “No one can heal you while you’re bound in silver and we can’t release you from the silver until you have yourself under control. Which will take a considerably long time—perhaps years of training—if you’re even able to accomplish it at all.”
I thought of the birds crashing in increasing cacophony with a small shudder.

“Exactly,” he confirmed. “And yes,” he said from the window behind my head where he seemed to be gazing out, “I can hear most of your thoughts—another reason to save trying to speak aloud.”
My stomach congealed in panic. Had he heard my secret thoughts? Don’t think of them, bury them deep, deep. Think of other things…like what? Think of home, think of Isabel. Isabel, my cat—Clive hated her. What would happen to her now? How could I not have thought of her until this moment? Abandoned, wondering why I never came home for her… And my mother—she’d be frantic. How long had I been gone? They could be all dead and buried, lost to me forever. The anguish racked me.

“Shh.” The man sat on the side of my bed now, heavier than Nasty Tinker Bell. He brushed the hair back from my forehead, then placed his long fingers over my brow and, with his thumbs, rhythmically smoothed along my cheekbones, wiping away the tears that now flowed freely.
I stifled a sob. I had cried more in the past day than I had in years. The sweeping along my cheekbones soothed me, melting warmth through my skull. The rhythm became part of my breathing. Deep breaths. Smooth, easy. The awful tightness in my chest gave a little sigh and released.

“Let’s try again, shall we?” The man pulled his hands away. I could hear him brush them against his thighs. Soup, tears and blood. Yuck.

My eyes cleared enough for me to see him. Ebony-blue climbed over half his face. The winding pattern of angular spirals and toothy spikes swirled out of his black hair on the left side of his face, placing sharp fingers along his cheekbone, jaw and brow. For a moment, the tattoo-like pattern dominated everything about him. Ferocious and alien.
Once I adjusted, I could see past the lines. His face echoed Tinker Bell’s golden coloring. He could be her fraternal twin, with those same arched cheekbones. But where she was golden dawn, he was darkest night. Midnight-blue eyes, that deep blue just before all light was gone from the sky, when the stars have emerged, but you could see the black shadows of trees against the night. He shared Tinker Bell’s rose-petal mouth, but with a curious edge to it. I suppose a man’s mouth shouldn’t remind one of a flower, and there was nothing feminine about this man. Where she wore the pink sugar roses of debutantes and bridal showers, his lips made me think of the blooms of late summer, the sharp-ruffled dianthus, edges darkening to blood in the heat. His bone structure was broader than hers but still seemed somehow differently proportioned, his arms hanging a bit too long from shoulders not quite balanced to his height. Inky hair pulled back from his face fell in a tail down his back. One strand had escaped to fall over his shoulder and I could see a blue shimmer in its silk sheen.

He arched his left eyebrow, blueness in the elegant arch, repeating the deep shades of the fanged lines around it.

“Shall we?” he repeated.

I stared at him. What was the question?




About the Author:

Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. An erotic novella, Petals and Thorns, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, an erotic short, Feeding the Vampire, and another erotic novella, Sapphire, have hit the shelves.

Her contemporary fantasy novel, Rogue’s Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, will be published in July, 2012. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training. Find her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeffe.Kennedy) and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website http://jeffekennedy.com/.

















Rogue’s Pawn
Review
Doctor Jennifer McGee is a University professor, presumably at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, though that’s never mentioned precisely. The author notes Interstate-90 which cuts close to Laramie, though. In any event, Doctor McGee isn’t particularly happy with her chosen field of study. And she detests her boyfriend, Clive. It’s mentioned that he’s a “good catch”, but he seemed like such a jerk I couldn’t figure out why a woman with an advanced degree—who’s presumably quite bright—would put up with such patronizing behavior from her partner for very long.
Doctor McGee has had it up to here with Clive. She stomps out of a fancy gathering and lets her car take her where it will. She ends up near Devil’s Tower. In the morning, still in her dressy clothes and heels, she finds herself cutting off a hank of her hair, painting it in blood and attaching it to a post. The ritual—that she knew nothing about before engaging in it—lands her smack in Fairie.
Without inserting spoilers, Doctor McGee is renamed by Rogue, a local lord. Her new name is Lady Gwynne. It would be nice to know why he renamed her. There's some intimation at the very end of the book that she's the reincarnation of someone very powerful, but that is never spelled out in any sort of detail. It's just a guess from the name Rogue calls her towards the end: a much longer variation of Gwynne. In addition to being renamed, she is also healed from significant injuries sustained while traveling from the modern world to Fairie. Once whole, she’s tortured to ensure her compliance and set up as the “Lady Sorceress” to help Fairie in various ways. Over time, she comes to understand her place is in Fairie with Rogue.
Ms. Kennedy has painted an interesting depiction of Fairie; one that is very different from any other I’ve seen. It has an Alice in Wonderland slant, but on the whole, Fairie feels a lot like the modern world. The inhabitants use U.S. slang and expressions. And there are plenty of humans living in Fairie. Most of whom seem to have been born there.
The book is relatively free of errors. It is written from Jennifer/Gwynne’s POV with very few POV slips. So, from a technical perspective, the manuscript was enjoyable.
Places where the novel needs shoring up are pacing, which is very uneven. The beginning is too slow, the end too rushed. And there are many long passages throughout that could have been cut substantively—or eliminated entirely—without losing any of the plot. The other issue is that when authors write fantasy, the magic systems they create need to make sense, be coherent and cost the magic wielder something. There was only a single instance in the book where Gwynne’s use of magic seemed to cost her. And that was only because she inadvertently pulled lightning down on herself and Rogue. It seems all Gwynne has to do to use magic is to visualize what she wants to happen. And it works just as well heating bath water as it does ginning up a bunch of mermaids and Sirens to divert a battle. While adding to the Alice in Wonderland feel of things—where nothing is quite what it seems—it is a bit disconcerting to have a protagonist who can do everything with only a few short weeks of training. I think it would have felt more "real" if Gwynne were stronger in some areas and weaker in others just like she is in the life she left where she admits to being klutzy and not good at picking up social cues.
This is the lead book in a planned series. It will be interesting to see what direction Ms. Kennedy takes it in now that Gwynne has thrown in her lot with Rogue.
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Lore of Fei by Kathleen Allen


I recently released (okay, it was in April) a book about faeries and their fight for their land from the warmongering humans. It’s called LORE OF FEI, Fei is the name of the land where the faeries reside. The main character, Ariela, is a wingless faerie with no faerie magos (magic) of her own. Or at least she doesn’t think she has magos. The faerie land has always been protected by the Veil of Enclosure, a mist-like substance that surrounds and protect Fei from anyone entering their land. Something has happened to the Veil and it is eroding in spots. These spots are no longer protected and this allows the humans to come into Fei and steal the faerie children in order to enslave them. The humans already have rules the faeries must adhere to if they enter the human world of Hege. They must wear a jacket-like covering to hide their wings because wings are offensive to humans and to show even a bit of a wing is punished severely. Humans clip faeries wings so they no longer can fly and lose their magos or the wings are completely severed and the faerie dies. The Faerie Council is concerned and are at a loss to get the faerie children back. They come up with a plan. Ariela, since she looks human, could pretend to be human and find out more about what plans the humans have for the faeries and their beloved land of Fei. At first she refuses, the humans killed her faerie parents. Why should she live among them?  Finally, she agrees. And the journey into Hege begins.

 EXCERPT:

“I am not a human girl, Duri. I am a faerie, like you. I was born without wings.” His eyes widened, but he still did not speak. “The Old Ones sent me to find a way to stop the humans. There can be no war on Fei. I need to know what the humans plan and when they will raid Fei again. You can help save Fei from extinction, Duri. Will you help me and be loyal to me and to Fei?”

He nodded. It was a slight nod, but it was a nod.

“Thank you Duri.” I sensed relief from him. “Sunvi, of the Old Ones has been captured and is ensconced in the food area. His wings have been clipped, too. He will help us restore Fei to the land it once was.”

I moved away from Duri toward the dragons. Tashie spotted me and flew over. She gave me a look, and I laughed at her. I sensed hunger from her. I reached in my pouch and pulled a sweet out. She took it and gobbled it down. I scratched under her chin, feeling the happiness flowing from her into me. I looked over to where Duri had stood, but he had gone back to the Lair. I hoped I could trust him. Faeries were much harder to read than humans.


LORE OF FEI-YA faerie fantasy book

Faeries vs humans, who will win in the battle for the faerie land of Fei?


Release Date: April, 2012 from Muse It Up Publishing




Authors note: If you read it, please consider putting a review on Amazon/Nook/Smashwords for me, thanks!

Kathleen S. Allen

Websites: 



Twitter: @kathleea

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kathleea/ 
Facebook: http://ow.ly/cWMFB 
Guest blogger every 5th and 19th of the month on: www.downtownya.blogspot.com
Books available online and in print
Book trailers available on You Tube

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Please join me in welcoming Mary Holland. I know her through Broad Universe, a nonprofit organization that promotes women writing genre fiction.
Mary has just independently published her second fantasy novel, The Bone Road. The cover was done by Rhea Ewing, another member of Broad Universe.

All the buy links are listed here: http://mholland.squarespace.com/bookorders/

Mary's primary website is http://www.mary-holland.com

Plot Summary:

A divvy, a dying woman, and a promise

Rhona has the divvy gift; she can see who is fertile and who is a cursed and outcast Shun. The people of the Deom depend on the divvys for survival, but it is a hard and brutal gift. As long as Rhona’s mother was alive, Rhona had followed the old ways, but now her mother is dead and Rhona is free. She has one last promise to fulfill: to find her mother’s friend Selina and help her.

Rhona finds Selina, only to become enmeshed in Selina’s vengeance against the body-stealing Rider, who has destroyed Selina’s son. Selina’s plan fails and she dies. Or does she? With the Rider pursuing her, Rhona flees across the land of Deo, desperate to keep her word and hide the one thing that might destroy the Rider. Rhona, her son Jak, her lover Matteo the Shun, and the strange girl called Aniles work together to discover the secrets of the Rider — and the true nature of the land of Deo.
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The original source of sword and sorcery

You know the story: A knight in shining armor does brave acts of chivalry, with help or opposition from a sorcerer. The knight also serves an unobtainable princess with total devotion. And he's unbeatable in battle.

This fantasy meta-story has been floating around in the European collective consciousness since ... well, if you're well-read, you know that Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote de La Mancha to ridicule these stories. And that's probably all you know.

Here's your chance to learn the truth.

In the Middle Ages, troubadours circulated stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table throughout Europe. In Spain, these stories coalesced around one knight, Amadis of Gaul, who lived before King Arthur and was the greatest knight in the world. The stories were collected and expanded in a novel by Garcí Rodríguez de Montalvo right when the printing press became big business.

This novel became Renaissance Europe's first best-seller. It spawned dozens of sequels and a hundred spin-offs, popular with emperors and peasants alike. Nobles dressed up and re-enacted the stories. A century later it had gotten so silly that Cervantes cashed in with a satire.

And yet, even he insisted that Amadis of Gaul was so good it deserved to be read.

You can do that. I've been translating Amadis of Gaul from medieval Spanish to modern English a chapter at a time at http://amadisofgaul.blogspot.com, and now I've collected the chapters for Book I of the four-part novel into a book.

It's the Middle Ages in its own words, and you might be in for a surprise.

First of all, there's sex. All that repression and chastity belt nonsense was invented in the Renaissance or later. Amadis is born out of wedlock, in fact. And although Amadis is too pure to accept carnal thanks from the damsels he rescues, other knights do.

Then, there's violence. Knights hack each other to death bit by bit with swords as body parts fall to the ground. Or they smite their opponents in one gruesome blow with a lance. Or chop their heads in two with axes. Amadis always wins, but sometimes just barely. At one point, he's trying to hide his identity and is recognized by the scars on his face. This book drips with blood.

As for the sorcerers, even the good ones do creepy things, and the bad ones are arrogant and evil. The worst sorcerer of all, Amadis's sworn enemy, ought to be smote but somehow he keeps getting away while his minions get burned at the stake.

Be prepared for a typical medieval story, too: interweaving plots. This isn't just about Amadis. This book tells the story of his family, his friends, his king, and their families and friends. Everyone has adventures.

Finally, you can discover why women treasured this novel to the point that religious authorities became alarmed. It wasn't just over the love and sex, although the love story between Amadis and Princess Oriana does get scandalous. In the Middle Ages, women filled important roles, and as their lives became more and more restricted in the Renaissance, they could escape to the past with this exciting book.

And if you're a writer, remember what Antoní Gaudí said: "Originality consists in returning to the origin." Here's where it all started, the story that was eventually turned into the watered-down trope that fills so many bookstore shelves today. Here is the real medieval fantasy.

This book drove Don Quixote mad. What will it do to you?

Amadis of Gaul Book I. Buy it at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1466475714/

Biography:

Sue Burke was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lived briefly in Austin, Texas, y'all, before moving to Madrid, Spain, in December 1999. She has worked as a journalist and editor, and began writing fiction 20 years ago. She also teaches English to Spanish teenagers, which is an education for them and for her. Her websites are http://www.sue.burke.name and http://mount-oregano.livejournal.com
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At night, when the quiet enters and my mind settles, I ask myself the question. My breath is deep and my exhale long and slow. I am tired, my eyes burn with the lateness of the hour and the knowledge that I am not yet done. Again, I ask myself the question. Through the fatigue and the strain, my eyes focus on the answer. They show me that what I’ve been working so hard for is no longer just a dream. At night, when the quiet enters my mind, I ask myself why I write. The answer stares back at me from my shelf. I write in the hopes that one day my work will help or inspire another in need.
I write military/suspense/romance novels because of my intense respect and admiration for our Warriors. It is within the pages of my works that I honor those brave men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice for their country and the civilians they protect. Without their inner strength and ability, our world could be a wounded shell of a former democratic reign. Blessed are we to live in countries where freedom prevails. My gratitude to those brave individuals who keep liberty standing strong runs deep. My need to give thanks in the only form I know how, takes me to dark places in the souls of our heroes. Our countries need to recognize just what the Warriors take on to allow us our complaints on more trivial matters. These men and women serve their country until the day they die. There is no retirement from the demons that haunt a wounded body and mind.

It is with utter respect and humiliation that I write for those who fight. I will tell their stories. I will walk in their shoes. I will offer my support. This is the least I can do. I wish it were more.

‘Love And Liberty’
Captain Dana Jenkins of the United States Army is about to embark on a mission that will change her life. This isn’t Dana’s first deployment, but it is proving possibly to be her last. As part of the platoon traveling from Camp Liberty, Iraq to Camp Taji, Dana’s convoy gets ambushed. She and the surviving soldiers are taken prisoner by the merciless Iraqi rebel group, Al-Moofoona. Their only hope lies in the hands of their fearless leader, Captain Jack Parsons—the man with whom Dana has fallen hopelessly in love.

Captain Jack Parsons can only sit and watch as what is left of his platoon is ordered into the back of a truck. Along with his men, they’ve taken the only woman he’s ever allowed to penetrate his heart. Jack is going to do everything in his power to save them all before it’s too late.


‘Love And Liberty’ as well as other books Lee-Ann has written are available at:
www.gypsyshadow.com/Lee-AnnGraffVinson.html
www.amazon.com/author/leeannvinson
http://www.amazon.com/Love-and-Libery-ebook/dp/B0073YCGJE/ref%3dsr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1333129108&sr=1-5
www.bttbonline.net.


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Alayna Williams Delphi Oracle Series






DARK ORACLE

Delphic Oracle #1

Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439182796

June 2010



DARK ORACLE is a scientific, paranormal read that takes readers on a wild chase. A subtle romance lends to the entertainment this read offers. Tara is a strong female who has many stories till waiting to be told. An interesting new series that is not quite like anything else! (4 stars) -RT Book Reviews

“Dark Oracle is a lot of fun.”
-Elizabeth Bear, Realms of Fantasy Magazine, December 2010

Can an oracle change the future she sees?

Tara Sheridan swore off criminal profiling years ago. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, she narrowly escaped the grasp of a serial killer who left her scarred for life. She put down her cards and withdrew from work and society. Now, Sophia, a member of an ancient secret society connected to the mythic Delphic Oracle, asks Tara to find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive secrets of dark energy. Tara resists— she fears reawakening her long-buried talents and blames Sophia’s Daughters of Delphi for the death of her mother. But, grudgingly, she agrees to search for the missing scientist, Lowell Magnusson.

Tara travels to Las Alamos National Laboratory, the location of Magnusson’s disappearance. She meets the serious, impatient, and highly attractive Agent Harry Li— and re-encounters her old partner, Richard Corvus. Corvus is now chief of the Special Projects Division, a position Tera might have held, had she not dropped out of investigative work. Corvus considers Tara mentally imbalanced and not to be trusted— but it may be Corvus who is untrustworthy.

Tara’s investigation and Tarot cards tell her Magnusson’s daughter, Cassie, may hold the key to her father’s plans, and that they both are in grave danger. Meanwhile, Corvus and the Daughters of Delphi have their own plans...and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Available now from Amazon.com and Barnes& Noble.

ROGUE ORACLE

Delphic Oracle #2

Pocket Juno Books

Mass Market Paperback, $7.99

ISBN 978-1439182819

Feb. 22, 2011

Alayna Williams writes with power and poetry, combining old mythos with complete ass-kickery. You don’t want to miss this series.”

-National bestselling author Ann Aguirre

The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around - and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards - and Tara's increasingly ominous dreams -suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi's Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…

ROGUE ORACLE is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Author Bio:

Alayna Williamshas an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses. Like the Pythia in Dark Oracle, she's been known to belly dance. Unlike the Pythia she'd never consider herself a professional

Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE.
More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here: http://www.salamanderstales.com/

Laura/ Alayna’s blogs
http://www.salamanderstales.blogspot.comand http://delphisdaughters.blogspot.com

She’s at Facebook
And Twitter...@Laura_Bickle

Sparky the fire salamander from EMBERS and SPARKS has his own Twitter account, @SparkySalamandr
Two of Swords: The Balance






















by Alayna Williams
I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections among characters
One of the cards that's intrigued me most over time is the Two of Swords. It shows a seated woman wearing a blindfold. She balances two swords over her shoulders. At her back is the ocean and a crescent moon. It's a very mysterious card, one that takes on a different meaning with each reading.
The suit of Swords is tied to the element of Air: communication, mental faculties, logic, and messages. In numerology, the number two is about love and harmony - and it's ruled by the intuitive power of the moon. The Two of Swords usually signifies compromise, withdrawal, denial...and sometimes a stalemate. The woman is holding the swords to shield herself, and she is blindfolded against considering options. The ocean, representing the vastness of emotions, is at her back...and she's trying her hardest to put her head down ignore it. The moon has risen, and the moon-driven tide's going to rise and engulf her unless she rouses herself and takes action.
The concept of the card reminds me of the myth of Eros, who is often depicted as wearing a blindfold. Eros was the son of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. But even that was up for dispute...some scholars believe he was a primeval force that came directly from Chaos: love, passion for life.
In ancient Greece, Eros was not the chubby cherub we know today. He was a handsome man who carried a bow and arrow - whoever he shot fell hopelessly in love. The idea of the blindfold - which came later - signified the idea that love is blind. Love can make us powerless and make no rational sense. We love whomever we first lay eyes upon after we are struck by the magic arrow.
With that idea in mind, I consider the woman in the Two of Swords. She's blindfolded herself to avoid considering her emotions - the ocean behind her. But all's not lost. She can still hear the ocean. And the lesson of the card is to listen to intuition, to love. She must consider these with as much weight as the tangible, rational swords on her shoulders.
Not that she should cast them away...the swords are sharp, useful weapons. But she needs to remove her blindfold, face the tide. When she listens to her intuition and her intellect, the Two of Swords becomes a balanced force to be reckoned with.



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Live and Let Fly Blurb:
For a dragon detective with a magic-slinging nun as a partner, saving the worlds gets routine. So, when the US government hires Vern and Sister Grace to recover stolen secrets for creating a new Interdimensional Gap--secrets the US would like to keep to itself, thank you—Vern sees a chance to play Dragon-Oh-Seven.

No human spy, however, ever went up against a Norse goddess determined to exploit those secrets to rescue her husband. Sigyn will move heaven and earth to get Loki—and use the best and worst of our world against anyone who tries to stop her.

It's super-spy spoofing at its best with exotic locations (Idaho--exotic?), maniacal middle-managers, secret agent men, teen rock stars in trouble, man-eating animatronics, evil overlords and more!

A Little About Karina:
f there’s such a thing as ADD of the imagination, Karina Fabian has it—in spades.  Craft books, devotionals, serious science fiction, comedic horror and chilling fantasy—she follows her interests and the characters that tell her their stories.

Even before she could write, Karina strung tall tales about everything from making human pyramids in Kindergarten to visiting alien worlds.  Her first attempt at novel writing was in fourth grade; she completed her first novel in college.  However, her first published work was an anthology of Christian science fiction, Leaps of Faith, an EPPIE finalist for best anthology in 2006.  Her next anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God, featured Catholic characters and themes and won the EPPIE for science fiction.   The second Infinite Space, Infinite God anthology came out in 2010.

Watching the comedy improve show, Whose Line Is It, Anyway, inspired her noir-style dragon detective, Vern.  Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, have solved mysteries and saved the Faerie and Mundane worlds numerous numerous times in the DragonEye, PI stories and novels.  Their serial story, World Gathering, won a Mensa Owl; and the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Fabian’s first published novel), won the INDIE for best fantasy in 2010.

At a friend’s request, Karina wrote a funny story about a zombie exterminator, which grew into the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator novels.  The first, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, won the 2011 Global E-Book award for best horror.

She also writes serious science fiction.  Her first SF novel, Discovery, is currently under consideration, and she’s working on a second on, The Old Man and the Void, based loosely on Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, but taking place in the accretion disk of a black hole.

Karina has a strong faith, which she explored in her devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, which she wrote with her father Steve Lumbert, and which won the 2011 Christian Small Press Publisher Award.  She also writes Catholic school calendars and has written three craft books for the Little Flowers/Blue Knights clubs.

Fabian is married to Colonel Robert A. Fabian of the USAF.  They have four children, a dog and a cat.  When not writing, teaching writing, or chatting about writing, she’s hanging out with her kids or swinging a sword in haidong gumbdo.

Find Karina at:
Website: http://fabianspace.com, http://dragoneyepi.net
Blog:  http://fabianspace.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karina.fabian
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/KarinaFabian
Google +:  https://plus.google.com/103660024891826015212

Find Live and Let Fly at:






















http://tinyurl.com/liveandletfly (Publisher link) and

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Please join me in welcoming a friend and fellow author, Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson. This is a timely post what with Mother's Day coming up. Lee-Ann collaborated with her daughter on Queen Emily's Enchanted Kingdom. If you have children in your life, I'll bet they'd love this little book about a young child's secret life that unfolds in her dreams.

   Queen Emily’s Enchanted Kingdom is a series written for and about my eight-year-old daughter. The stories are created in her very active imagination and penned the second they are told to me. They need to be exactly as my little girl imagines them, or its back to the keyboard for edits.

   We have such a wonderful time adding to the tales and watching them grow into stories we can share with other children. Neither of us are true artists, but we wanted to keep the book just between the two of us, so we took on the role of illustrators as well. We try our best. Sometimes the pictures work right away; other times we could be at one picture for hours. We look at it this way, as long as we are happy with our work and we have done our best, then that is all that matters.

   Originally, I wanted to self-publish our picture-book as I believed no publisher would allow the two of us to illustrate our own book as we are not artists. We wanted to see the book in print and sitting on her very full book shelf. She also wanted to be able to take our story to school and share it with her friends. When Great Minds Publishing offered to let us not only write and illustrate our book, we were over the moon. Not only that, but we have a contract to do more stories in the series.

   ‘Sugarland’ is the first in the series of our “moral stories”. It was after a day of eating too many treats, when my daughter came up with this tale. We chatted at bedtime and made up the wondrous childhood fantasy of a world filled with treats and what would happen if everyone ate nothing but goodies all day long. The story was written in about forty minutes and was not sent out until it got my daughter’s final approval.

   Creating humorous stories together is one of our night time rituals. We laugh and chat about all the silly things in this world that just don’t make sense and then we weave our thoughts into stories with morals. This is our time to bond. As a Mother and an Author, I have to say there is no better way to connect than over a book created from the mind of my own child.
Want to purchase your own copy of ‘Queen Emily’s Enchanted Kingdom’?


    Paperback Version:  https://www.createspace.com/3832950

More from this author can be found at these locations:

www.gypsyshadow.com/Lee-AnnGraffVinson.html

 http://www.leeanngraffvinson.blogspot.com/

Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson is a freelance writer, ebook author and blogger. She is the blog author of the Best Day Ever series, which will soon be published in print and ebook format. The Queen Emily series is based on her daughter and is a joint venture with Emily using her talents to draw most of the illustrations for this book. Lee-Ann is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild and the Canadian Romance Authors Network. She lives in Vancouver, Canada



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THE NIGHT SERIES - Book One by Lisa Kessler



Title: Night Walker
Author: Lisa Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
http://www.entangledpublishing.com/night-walker/

Book Description:

He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…

Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.

They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.

About the Author:

Lisa Kessler is an avid reader and writer of dark fiction. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

Lisa recently signed a 4 book deal with Entangled Publishing to release her Night Series.  The first book, Night Walker, is scheduled to be released August 5th.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com
Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.

http://lisaslair.com/
http://lisakessler.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/LdyDisney
http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter

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My guest today is Faye Frost, author of The Haunting of Lovesong House. It is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Damnationbooks.com, and various other ebook and paperback venues online.  Faye's website is www.spiritofthesouth.net

Looks like this book has a strong Gothic flavor for all of you who love that genre!

Blub:
An old southern mansion sits lonely, hidden within the shadows of mossy, dripping oaks. But, not even the strong oaks can hide the mansion from its history of pain and horrors. The tortured spirits who dwelt within the walls are forever left in limbo unless they can force Massey to notice them and help them find what they have pined for since death. Ghastly faces in mirrors, a hauntingly sad song, and phantoms within the attic and cemetery drive Massey to near madness until she stumbles upon an ancient journal that brings the suffering and truth to light. Turning to a handsome young priest from the local diocese to rid her and her home of the terrors within, she discovers that love is hidden in the most unlikely places. Nightmares, strange orbs of light, visions of death and blood, disembodied voices singing, and eventually, the appearance of two suffering spirits push Massey to near insanity before she finally discovers the answers to the haunting of Lovesong House.


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Blurb:
The choice: Serve the undead or become one of them.

Toshi never expected the strange visitor who one evening stepped foot inside his master's shop. A samurai smelling of the sea, dripping on the ground, algae strung from his armor. For the first time in his life, he discovers that monsters do roam the earth. And this one has been specifically looking for him.

Dragged from his home and all he has ever known, Toshi must now use his acquired skills in foreign maps to help the creatures who have taken him. Yet at every turn there are problems. There are even those seeking to terminate his very life, not wanting his new master to succeed in his assigned task. And when they do find it, Toshi discovers his new master's enemies have prepared for their eventual arrival, leaving him the only one capable of recovering what has been lost. Can he do what even the undead cannot? Or will he fail and be forced to wander the world as one of them?

Sample Chapters available at http://www.gloriaoliver.com/samurai.html

Available for Purchase At:






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Please welcome my very first guest, Sandra Ulbrich Almazan. I know her from Broad Universe, an incredible group of women who write science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Lyon's Legacy: Catalyst Chronicles, Book One

Sometimes being a geneticist isn’t enough to understand your family....

When scientist-in-training Joanna Lyon learns her rich uncle plans to have their rock legend ancestor, Sean Lyon, cloned, she’s disgusted. Uncle Jack pushed her into music when she was younger, and she hated it. So it’s particularly galling that he wants her to travel through a wormhole to an alternate universe and sample Sean’s DNA. She only agrees to go so she can secretly sabotage the project. But meeting Sean forces her to re-examine her feelings about her family, including her estranged father. Can she protect the unborn clone from her uncle, and will she have to sacrifice her career and new-found love to do so?

E-book:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lyons-Legacy-Catalyst-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B005T82Z0G/ref=sr_1_10?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1318043466&sr=1-10
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lyons-legacy-sandra-almazan/1106468355?ean=2940013232457&itm=2&usri=lyon27s%2blegacy
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94420

Paperback:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lyons-Legacy-Catalyst-Chronicles-Volume/dp/1475056230/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334290048&sr=1-12

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