Tara Tyler’s Beast World is Back — with Merfolk! And a Giveaway!

When I took the test to see what manner of beast from Tara Tyler’s Beast World series I was most like, the answer was — Merfolk! I think it would be so much fun to be a mermaid and swim the seven seas. So today, Tara is here to tell us all about those mysterious underwater dwellers. Take it away, Tara!

Merfolk!

There are so many legends about mermaids. Wouldn’t it be cool if they were real? My favorite mermaid movie is Splash! Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, adorable and so much fun! Splash! is followed closely by Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the animated movie that sparked a comeback – and it has an excellent soundtrack!

Splash ver2.jpgImage result for the little mermaid

More recently, I like the revelation and true twist of how mermaids are depicted in Harry Potter and even in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 – beautiful but deadly!

Image result for harry potter mermaid Image result for pirates of the caribbean mermaid

My merfolk are not monsters. They’re a combination of all the stories I’ve read and images I’ve seen from my youth on up, plus my own added special qualities. As with all my beasts, merfolk are the result of human experimentation and mutation. They have human upper bodies and ichthyoid (fishy) lower extremities that shift to legs out of water. Their tears have healing properties and part of their mutation instilled longer lifespans.

Rove, Gabe’s best friend, is a werewolf, but his mother is a mermaid, so he has turquoise eyes instead of brown, plus webbed feet. The sweet story of how Rove’s parents met is in Broken Branch Falls.

Wouldn’t it be cool to live in a world with fantastical beasts? The next best thing is to read about them! In Beast World, each species has shared qualities, but there are those who stand out. Complications in dealing with differences among their own species, plus all the differences between beasts, makes a great story!

What’s your favorite beast?

Thanks for having me, Lori! I love talking about the beasts!

WELCOME BACK TO THE FOREST!
 
CRADLE ROCK, Beast World Book Two

by Tara Tyler

Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans–horrible creatures of myth and legend–may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!
 
Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.
 
But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.
Check out the Book Trailer!


Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

Talk to me!
Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog

I’m also giving away signed copies of Broken Branch Falls and Cradle Rock, some Beast World swag, and a $20 GC!

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image credits: Splash!, The Little Mermaid, HP Mermaid, POTC Mermaid

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Spotlight on Crystal Collier’s New Release: Timeless, and Medieval Funnies!

Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and some medieval funnies!

 

timeless_ebookcoverIn 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

 

Amazon| B&N

 GUEST POST

Thank you Lori for having me here today!

Writing is my hobby (a little more than a hobby if you couldn’t tell). It gives me a reason to dream, a reason to stretch, and a reason to LEARN ABOUT EVERYTHING. How cool is that? (You might hate research. That’s fine. All the more for me!) But you have something you love. One thing I’ve learned from studying across time periods, the environment may change, but the humans have always been the same. We’ve always craved love, survival, and healthy recreation. (Or sometimes not so healthy.)

This month, TIMELESS, the third book in my Maiden of Time trilogy is out! (Knights, battles, time travel, an epic love story, and special powers…WHAT?!) Today I’d like to share some medieval hobbies with you. (Pick your favorite, eh?)

PE (Physical Exercise)!

Language!
Music!
Technology!

Oh wait, how did that get in there?

Hobbies have always been a part of life, but how wonderful when someone (ME) can share my happy place with others (YOU)? And now the shameless plug: go buy my books. What hobby would you most miss if you lived in medieval times? What is your favorite medieval movie/story? What’s your favorite hobby?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her online HERE.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

 

The Prizes! Click prize photo to Enter

The Prizes!
Click prize photo to Enter

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

Spotlight on Joylene Nowell Butler’s New Release: Matowak Woman Who Cries — My Review and a Giveaway!

matowak-woman-who-cries-tour-banner

Welcome to everyone following Joylene Nowell Butler’s epic book tour! To those who haven’t met Joylene, I’m happy to introduce you to an excellent writer of psychological thrillers. Be sure to check out my review and the giveaway below!

matowak-woman-who-cries-by-joylene-nowell-butler

 

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…

 When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…

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Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is available in eBook at the following sites:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C

 

The print copy is available at:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

*****

My Review

I didn’t have much experience with police procedural murder mysteries when I picked up Matowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler, but the story intrigued me and drew me in. Leland Warner, retired Canadian Minister of National Defense, is found murdered in his home. Corporal Danny Killian, an Aboriginal Canadian with the RCMP, must track down the murderer. One of the suspects is Leland’s long-suffering wife, Sally. The story is told in first person from Sally’s and Corporal Killian’s points of view.

As the story unfolds against the backdrop of the murder investigation, the reader is sucked into the lives of these psychologically damaged people. Beaten down by years of emotional abuse, Sally hasn’t recovered from the recent, devastating murder/suicide of her sons, while Corporal Killian drowns beneath a flood of guilt and pain associated with his wife’s murder. Killian also has to deal with personal and professional racial discrimination.

Matowak is much more than a highly detailed police procedural mystery. It’s a haunting portrayal of two forlorn souls trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. I kept wishing that Fate had dealt them both better hands.

I’d highly recommend it for any reader who likes murder mysteries, police procedurals, and/or psychological thrillers.

*****

author-joylene-nowell-butlerABOUT THE AUTHOR:

When Joylene’s father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father’s Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steam-punk collaboration Break Time. While she’ll admit being published didn’t fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal, and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.

Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

 

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mc-book-tour-logo

Meet Officer Blake Herro from Chrys Fey’s 30 Seconds Before

Chrys Fey and Officer Herro are taking over my blog today in honor of Chrys’ new release, 30 Seconds Before. Catch the exciting excerpt after the interview!

*****

Chrys Fey here interviewing Officer Blake Herro from 30 Seconds Before. This will be a quick interview for a busy man.

  1. Did you ever shoot someone while on duty, and how did it make you feel?

Once. It’s not something I ever want to do, but to protect myself and my partner, I did shoot a man who had opened fire on us. Even in the name of self-preservation, it’s never an easy thing to deal with afterward. The moment when bullets hit our car and I had to open fire replayed in my mind for nights, days, and weeks. The man died, and I struggled with that. A fellow officer sat me down and made me see that, although some officers can go their entire careers without firing their weapons, some of us aren’t so lucky, but that doesn’t make us bad officers.

  1. Have you ever made a mistake?

I think all rookies make mistakes, but I thankfully never made a life-threatening one or put anyone in jeopardy. Well, unless you count going undercover in the Mob. Yeah, that might’ve been a mistake.

  1. I do think that counts. What do you do to de-stress and relax?

I sit back with a beer and watch football if it’s the season for it. I also don’t mind cooking, which I know will surprise many, but my grandmother taught me how to cook, and I enjoy it. On occasion, to shut down after a hard shift, bourbon helps a lot.

  1. Bourbon works. When you went undercover in the Mob, is there something you wish you had done or didn’t do?

I wish I hadn’t been so good at it.

  1. Now I have to ask a question for the ladies. Why are you single?

Because I am my job, and I don’t meet many eligible bachelorettes when I’m in my uniform.

Well, we like a good-looking man in a uniform, don’t we, ladies? Okay, so I’ll stop teasing Blake and let him get back to work.

30secondsbefore_w-11122_750

 

Title: 30 Seconds Before

Prequel to 30 Seconds

Genre: Mainstream Thriller

Page Count: 60 (novella)

 

BLURB:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?

 

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon US / Amazon UK /  Amazon CA

Nook / Kobo / The Wild Rose Press

Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

Blake’s gaze continued to scan the area. Too many officers needed help. Blake strained his eyes to see if the nearest officer was still breathing, but the darkness and flashing lights obscured his vision.

Dread was ripe in his veins, twining his intestines into knots. The assailants who attacked the officers could be lurking nearby, watching and putting him in their sights. Being out in the open with nothing but his Kevlar vest as protection was not where he wanted to be, but the officer he was helping would bleed out if he moved.

Blake studied the officer. His lips were an unnatural shade of blue. He was shivering from the frigid December night as well as blood loss.

“Did you see them?” Blake asked. “Do you know who did this?”

The officer’s lips moved.

Blake leaned forward, bringing his ear to the officer’s mouth. “What was that?”

The officer took a shuddering breath. “Red.”

 

sale-image

30 Seconds, the story that follows 30 Seconds Before, is on sale for 99 Cents. Get it at this discount so you can read the entire story from start to finish!

 

SALE LINKS:

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

75b4b-chrysfeyauthorpicBIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and heads their monthly newsletter.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

Celebrate the Small Things — Today’s the Day! And Lynda R. Young’s New Devotional: Cling To God!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

Today I’m celebrating the Independent Publishers of New England Book Awards! Today’s the day I find out if I’m the Finalist or the Winner. The winner will be announced at the IPNE Book Awards ceremony this afternoon at 4:30 as part of the IPNE 2016 Publishing Conference in Portsmouth, NH. Wish me luck!

I’ll be at the conference over the weekend, so I’ll return comments and visits when I get back. Either result — Finalist or Winner — will feel like a win to me. So exciting!

*****

And now for another super celebration — Lynda R. Young’s new devotional, Cling to God, is here!

cling-to-god-by-lynda-r-young

 

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young


Release date: October 18th, 2016
Published by Freedom Fox Press

 

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

Kindle      Amazon     Nook     B & N     Kobo     iTunes     Goodreads

 

lyndaryoungLynda R Young writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband. You can find her here:

Blog     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads


*****

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Welcome, L.G. Keltner As She Shares The Challenge of Writing a Series in a Year, and an Excerpt!

L.G. Keltner has a new book out in her Self-Help 101 series that is perfect for Halloween: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People. She’s visiting today with a guest post on some of the challenges she faced with her series. And check out the excerpt at the end! Take it away, L.G.!

*****

The Challenge of Writing a Series in a Year

When I first realized the Christmas novella I’d just published was not to be the stand-alone piece I’d originally thought it was, I began to eagerly plan out what was to come next. I felt energized. I was starting a new year with a clear goal in mind, and I was actually feeling confident that I could accomplish all I needed to do in order to make it happen.

Writing a series poses a lot of challenges, though. Continuity is important. Some series pose more of a challenge in this respect than others, but they all require the author to build upon the events of previous installments. Unless you’re doing an anthology style series, of course. Because of the need for continuity and consistent character development, plotting has become a little more challenging with each novella in the Self-Help 101 series. Conflicts that were set up in prior installments need to come to a head later on. If they don’t, readers may feel cheated.

My largest challenge, however, when it comes to writing this series has been time. When I decided to write it, I set the goal of completing the four novellas by the end of the following year. That time frame made sense to me, because the four novellas take place over the course of a year. It also didn’t seem like too much to handle. When you start at the beginning of a new year, it seems like you have all the time in the world. As most of you know, however, life tends to throw up road blocks every now and then, and time tends to go far faster than you’d hoped. I unexpectedly got pregnant, so that left me feeling icky and not up to writing for those first few weeks. As it is, I’m still on track to meet that initial goal, and I’m feeling pretty good about that.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and the challenges have helped me grow as a writer. Try not to let challenges get you down. There’s nothing more rewarding than finding a way to overcome an obstacle and achieve your goal.

What writing-related challenges do you face? How do you deal with them?

 ***** 

Excerpt:

 “This salad has seen better days,” Daniel said as he moved the wilted greens around the plate with his fork.

“I think the same could be said of any food that’s about to be eaten.” I looked around the dining hall. The staff were all wearing Halloween apparel of some kind, and cheesy spiders, spider webs, and pumpkins adorned the walls. No sign of Seth yet. His class had probably run a few minutes late. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Daniel shook his head as he looked at my chicken sandwich. “No, I think your chicken’s worst day was the day it was killed to become food.”

“Yum. Slaughter. Just what I want to think about when I’m eating.” I picked up my sandwich and took a big bite anyway.

“You’ll never take over the world if you’re disturbed by a little slaughter.”

“That’s why I wrote a book about it. I never intended to actually do it myself,” I said. “If I had intended to do it, I would have kept my nefarious plans to myself.”

 *****

 final

 

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People

Author: L.G. Keltner

Genre: holiday/humor

Length: 29,000 words

Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker

Release Date: September 27, 2016

 

Blurb:

Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time. She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world. Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her. Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong. Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.

*****

photo

L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband. Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six. Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

Purchase Links:

E-book:

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Smashwords     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

Print:

Amazon US     CreateSpace

Add it on Goodreads.

 

Spotlight on Diane Burton’s new novella: Mission To New Earth and a Giveaway!

mission-to-new-earth-750-cover

 

Mission to New Earth: a novella

By Diane Burton

Genre: science fiction romance

Release date: August 31, 2016

Length: 88 pages (25k words)

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ ARe ~ Smashwords ~ Barnes & Noble

 

The Story

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

In 2172, Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of volcanic winter—the timeline changes.

With eight years of training crammed into four, Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch. But are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

*****

UNDERGROUND HIDEAWAYS

While the majority of Mission to New Earth takes place on Titan, Saturn’s moon (the launch platform) and the rest on the new planet, which they named Serenity—my shoutout to Firefly—the astronaut teams are aware of what’s going on back on Earth. And the news isn’t good. So far, they’ve had earthquakes, tsunamis, and now a potential supervolcano. Could it get any worse? Oh, yeah, the super-size passenger starships aren’t ready yet. Sara’s team and/or the other two teams had better find a new home. Quick.

Back home, the United Earth Nations government is preparing underground bunkers for Earth’s inhabitants to ride out the next calamities. Caves and mines are ready-made shelters. Think about all the natural caves in the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world. They would have to be modified, of course. Sealed entrances to keep out ash from a supervolcano or floods from tsunamis. Ventilation would need to be upgraded, roadways enhanced, sanitation facilities added. But the main work of hollowing out underground bunkers is already there.

In the story, there’s a brief mention of the salt mines under Detroit. Yes, indeedy, salt mines 1200 feet under Detroit and suburbs, even going under the Detroit River into Windsor, Ontario. Although I grew up in the Detroit area, I never imagined over 1500 acres and over 100 miles of roads underneath my feet.

Photo Credit: Nolan Ross

Photo Credit: Nolan Ross

 

 

 

This cutaway diagram shows the Detroit River with the Detroit skyline in the background.

 

 

 

 

In its heyday, the mines produced over 8,000 tons of rock salt a month. Over time, operations stopped and started. Since 1998, the mines don’t produce table salt. Instead, road de-icing salt, a necessity for Michigan winters.

Photo Credit: Wayne State University

Photo Credit: Wayne State University

 

 

 

If you look carefully, you can see a miner in the middle surrounded by bags of salt.

 

 

 

 

In the 1940s and ’50s, schoolchildren toured the mines. When my husband was in college, he went on a tour of the mines. He said this picture is what he saw.

Photo Credit: detroitsalt

Photo Credit: detroitsalt

A plus for anyone living in the salt mines, besides the cool temperature, is no rats or cockroaches. Nothing for them to eat. With people living there, that might change.

Until I researched for this story, I didn’t know that the Great Lakes rest on the largest salt deposit in the world, estimated at over 71 trillion tons of unmined salt. Imagine if they expanded the tunnels to accommodate more people.

Having learned all this, I started asking myself questions. What about the people who had to live down there? Or in any cave or mine? Talk about close quarters. Little or no privacy. How did the government determine who gets in first? What about those who are claustrophobic? Once settled in, what did people do? Sit around or would they have jobs? What if someone didn’t want to go? Would the authorities force them? What could go wrong?

As I thought about all those questions, I got ideas for more stories. Isn’t that what writer do? Think what if . . .

*****

GIVEAWAY:

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diane-burtonAbout the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Amazon author page

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