Catherine Stine's Blog

April 27, 2017

Do you like witchy paranormal tales? You're in luck! This witchy storybundle features lots of spooky great novels. Plus part of every sale goes to cool writerly causes like Girls Write Now and Mighty Writers, which help aspiring authors to reach their dreams. Here are the books, including my Witch of the Cards. Below I'll tell you how to order and start reading!

All About The WITCHY BUNDLESpring has always been a time for witches, magic and the influence of the Other World in pagan folklore. The Celtic festival of Beltane is traditionally observed on May 1st, and April 30th is also known as Walpurgis Night – or in Germanic folklore Hexennacht, literally "Witches' Night." What better time, then, to partake in the Witchy Bundle, your chance to grab a collection of ten truly magical books that involve witches of one sort or another.

This collection takes us across our own world and into others. There are American witches and witches battling the Nazis in war-torn Europe. There are dark twists on fairy tales and witches in the wild west. There are witches who don't know they have the power or the sight until dire need comes upon them. Thrillers, fantasy, romance, horror, mystery –These ten books feature bestselling authors as well as rising stars. The list includes Simon Kewin's urban fantasy Hedge Witch, first in the Cloven Land Trilogy. We also have my Witch of the Cards, David Neth's The Full Moon, the first in his Under the Moon series. Christine Pope gives us Darknight, a Witches of Cleopatra Hill tale, and Alesha Escobar has her thrilling Gray Tower trilogy. Matthew S. Cox contributes his Nine Candles of Deepest Black and Sara O. Thompson her Muddy Waters, the first in the Otherwhere series. Milo James Fowler's Coyote Cal omnibus takes us to the gunslinging weird west and Steve Vernon gives us his spine-chilling Tatterdemon omnibus. NY Times bestselling author K. N. Lee's book in the bundle is Academia of the Beast, a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

At StoryBundle name your price — whatever you feel the books are worth — and a portion of the proceeds goes to Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now. For $5, get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE. If you pay $15 (or more, if you feel generous), you'll get the five bonus books as well. The Witchy Bundle runs for three weeks only.
The five initial titles in the Witchy Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are: The Tatterdemon Omnibus by Steve Vernon •    Hedge Witch by Simon Kewin •    Coyote Cal by Milo James Fowler •    Academia of the Beast by K.N. Lee •    Muddy Waters by Sara O. Thompson
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get the regular titles, plus these five more:   The Full Moon by David Neth •    Nine Candles of Deepest Black by Matthew S. Cox •    Darkknight - The Witches of Cleopatra Hill Book 2 by Christine Pope •    Witch of the Cards by Catherine Stine •    The Gray Tower Trilogy by Alesha Escobar.

This bundle is ONLY available until May 18 via this link. So if it sounds good nab it before the time flies away.

Storybundle allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as other ereaders via file transfer, email, and more. Also, give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code to redeem any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery. Get quality indie reads for only about 67 pennies per book while you donate to great writing programs! What a cool source of curated quality titles for thirsty readers.
*******On another note...


I am an attending author May 3 to 7 at RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta, Georgia! Come visit my Catherine Stine/Kitsy Clare booth at the RT Roundup on Sunday, May 7 from 10 am to 1 pm! Reader Roundup tickets here.  To see all of the attending authors click here. Or head over to my events page for details. I will also participate in the Teen Day Match Game on Saturday, May 6, which you can read about there too. So, if you're in or near Atlanta, stop on by! Want to reserve copies of my signed books? Click here.
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Published on April 27, 2017 07:06 • 5 views

March 19, 2017

 The NYC Teen Author Fest kicks off this week. All events are free, and there's a stellar lineup of signings, forums and themed symposiums with everyone from debut authors to veterans like Laurie Halse Anderson.
I will be on a panel on Friday, March 24th at 3:55 pm at the New York Public Library, at 42nd Street (and corner of Fifth Ave), South Court Auditorium. So, if you are in or near the city I would love to see you! Here are details of my panel:

3:55-4:40:  Difficult Characters
moderated by Melissa Walker

Explanation: Many of the best YA characters take readers outside their comfort zones – they may not be instantly likable or understandable, but over the course of a novel, they come to have an effect by coming to life (in all its messiness) on the page.  This is a conversation about writing “difficult characters” – where they come from, what they’re like to deal with as an author, and what response do they get from readers (and does that response matter?).

Panel authors:
Kayla Cagan, Lisa Selin Davis, Pete Hoffmeister, AR Kahler
Amanda Panitch, Alyssa Sheinmel, Catherine Stine
***To see the full March 24 NYPL free Symposium lineup click here. 
To see the entire Teen Author Fest event lineup click here

Soon, on Idea City will be sneak peeks of the forthcoming Spirits in the Water anthology (Elements #4), out this fall with Untethered Realms, including an excerpt of my story. In the meantime, I leave you with all the pretty Element covers. Start reading them now. 


Cheers, Catherine
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Published on March 19, 2017 10:18 • 7 views

February 5, 2017

In my second blog post of 2017 it's a Valentine's Hop sponsored by ABA (awesome bewitching authors) to celebrate the fabulous FEB season of love! Have fun visiting these blogs, discovering new recipes, ebooks and much more. 
Plus my romantic suspense, PRIVATE INTERNSHIP is on a limited time SALE! 
Enter the rafflecopter to win one of TWO $50 gift cards.
Lastly, comment below on why you like art and artists to win a FREE eBook of my MODEL POSITION novella.
The blogs in the hop:
Casi McLean  A Time For Love, Anna Durand's Spunk & Hunks, Mary Morgan,
Sorchia DuBois  Love Potions & Charms, Peggy Jaeger  He said he wasn't the romantic kind of guy, but... , Gini Rifkin  Love and War, Kayden Claremont - Sexy Chocolate Cakes, Devon McKay 50 Great Date Ideas,
Tena Stetler  Hearts Abound, Darlene Fredette, Maureen Bonatch - A Time for Love,
Judy Sterling  Souls Forever Bound, Barbara Bettis  Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day,
Holland Rae, Jana Richards - A Simple Romantic Dinner,
Kathryn Knight  Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense, Elizabeth Alsobrooks  Book Bling,
Kim Mcdermott  Sweet Romances, Lisa Voisin, Kitsy Clare - Catherine Stine’s Idea City,
Linda Nightingale  Wordsmith, Bridie Hall - Romances & Recipes, Amber Daulton,
Hywela Lyn  Out of This World Romance, Karen Michelle Nutt - Time for Love,
Brenda B. Taylor  Historical Heartbeats.

To celebrate the Valentine's season PRIVATE INTERNSHIP, my romantic suspense is on SALE (Feb - March 2) for $0.99, down from its normal $2.99. Available here:
Amazon Kindle US, UK, CA, AUS,  B&N/Nook, Kobo, Apple/iBook

About the book:

Sugar's not so sweet and secrets can be deadly... especially with matters of the heart.

Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—shirtless and swinging from chains while he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish testing Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.
She knows she should get away. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and unearths his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz. This is the second in the Art of Love series, but the books can be read in ANY order.
***TO WIN a FREE eBook of  MODEL POSITION, the Art of Love novella that started Sienna's journey, comment below on what you love about art and artists, along with your email.
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on February 05, 2017 16:09 • 9 views

December 25, 2016

I'm wishing everyone a fun holiday season and inspiration for 2017!
via GIPHY


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Published on December 25, 2016 17:31 • 36 views

September 30, 2016

Hi dear blogging, reading, author community!

I've missed you all. I kind of fell off the face of the earth toward the end of June. Well, maybe a bit before that. The highs and lows:
A high * I got super-busy trying to get ready for a bunch of amazing book conventions.
A high * I splurged for my first professional author photo (this one).
A low * I got bedbugs at one of the conventions!!! So did the unlucky photographer. Luckily, my exterminator had me well trained and I took care of business the second I hit home. NO bugs survived my war to the death. But my bites and resulting scars lingered for months. Yuck!
A high * I hit the USA Today bestseller list with a boxed set I'm in!!!
A high * I went to a writing retreat in Cape Cod and wrote every day, all day. Except for our sailboat ride and long dinners. Oh, and watching the Olympic Women's Volleyball teams kick some serious you-know-what!
A change * I broke my LONGSTANDING rule to never post on Facebook about politics. This election cycle is just way too important. And scary. And it's my only pulpit. So, yes, I'm for Hillary, the political wonk who is experienced and qualified and will keep her steady hand off the nuclear button.
My one and only political
post on here, promise!A low * Yes, I've lost Facebook "friends" over this. And I've tried not to, but I've gotten into some arguments over Trumpty Dumpty, and how Gary Johnson didn't even know what and where Aleppo was, and would not put one dime into fighting climate change. So, yeah, unfollow me here and now if that offends you (or forgive me), because things are just getting way too real to be fake.
A high * That said, I will NOT use this blog as that pulpit. For that, I am using Facebook and Twitter. I do want to make this a safe space. Except for this one and only pink pix. Promise!
A high * Attended a different book con in Saint Louis, sold lots, made new friends and had a blast! Penned Con to be exact, which gives all of their profits to Action for Autism. Mad respect to founders, Amy and Rick Miles!
***I've had a long time to think about the blog. Whether I want to continue it, if so, how often I want to post, and more importantly, WHAT I want to post. I realized that part of what was making me weary was that it was becoming a giant online ad for everyone's book launch and cover reveal, and nothing else. It was no longer personal... telling you all what I feel about books, about readers, about retreats, about life. I want to get back to more of this. I will post a bit less, but I will post. And yes, I will post about amazing books, and my own books... because I do love books and I do write. Just not 24/7.

The new Fireseed series covers Ghosts of Fire anthology,
Untethered Realms Elements book 3 Shades of Prey, book 2 So, happy fall, and wow, the Halloween season! And, I do have book stuff. A re-release with new covers and sales/freebies for my future shocker Fireseed series, including a new sequel novella called Blue House Magic. Untethered Realms has new story anthology out, Ghosts of Fire, book 3 of the Elements series. My story in this is Rollerskate Boys. Put the anthology on your Goodreads TBR list if you like. And I'll be doing a bunch of Facebook parties like Haunted Halloween Spooktacular on OCT 20 from 4 to 5 (EST),  A Witchy Halloween on OCT 27 from 8 to 9 pm (EST), A Magickal Samhain on Sunday, OCT 30 from 12 to 1:30 pm (EST) - all to help spread word of Ghosts of Fire and other spooktastic boxed sets I'm in, like Shades of Prey, Mystical Magic. Join the parties to chat with lots of authors and play games for giveaways if you like!!!
I'm happy to be back, and blogging. I will be checking into my fave old blogging haunts, and new ones, too.   xo Catherine
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Published on September 30, 2016 13:52 • 54 views

June 7, 2016

Today Idea City has an interview with UK fantasy author Nicky Peacock. We also have a fun cover reveal for C. Lee's forthcoming middle grade novel so make sure to scroll through the whole post!

Hi, Nicky, what are some of your newest books?Bad Timing is the second in the Battle of the Undead series and hot on its heels was the free read prequel, Traitors' Gate, which takes the reader back to where it all began. This spring saw the release of my new series with Evernight Teen, The Twisted and the Brave. The first book, Lost in Wonderland is a dark, supernatural thriller. Tell us about your main charactersBritannia is the heroine in the Battle of the Undead series, she's an old vampire with a dry sense of humor and the kind of violent tendencies that makes her the perfect weapon against a zombie apocalypse. She has an unspoken obsession with perfection, especially when it comes to how she looks and she's spent too much time on her own and needs to learn to rely on others. Tell us about a main theme. What fired you up to write on this theme?The main theme is co-operation throughout the books. That only by working with others can you get through impending disaster. I've always believed this in life. I also though it fit really well with vampires as a species. Zombies naturally run in groups, but vampires can be quite solitary in nature. So pitting them against one another with these very different social habits makes for an interesting fight. Give us your favorite line from your protagonist: Britannia: "He gave me a sly smile, as if he was trying to get away with something. Like he’d farted and was waiting for me to smell it."From an antagonist: Nicholas: "Britannia. I am acutely aware that you hate me. I am equally aware that our survival”—he motioned around us—“is dependent on you not being such a bitch.” An emblematic, teaser paragraph from Bad Blood:   Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He, of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”  I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.  “Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.  “I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” With that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.
What keeps you going when inspiration flags? Inspiration is my one thing that never flags. I have far too many ideas for stories to write. It's more my time and energy to actually do the writing that I can struggle with. When that happens, I try to change my surroundings. I go somewhere different to write, somewhere I can focus on what I'm doing and not be a slave to the demons of procrastination. What truly inspires you and fires up your vision? The vision of my future as a professional full time writer. That's the dream. Like most modern authors I need to maintain a full time job to ensure I have those luxuries in life such as food and shelter. I'd love to not have that worry. To just wake up every day and know that I can do the one thing I love and get enough money from it to live a comfortable life. Best words of advice you ever received? You can't please everyone (great advice, especially for writers)  Worst? What's meant for you won't pass you by (can make you lazy and fool you into thinking that life owes you something) Some writing advice to aspiring and new authors? Join a writers' group. Writing can be a very lonely pursuit, having like-minded people around you can help to motivate you to keep going and inspire you. I run an adult and a YA group in my home town.  Which do you enjoy writing most: action, romance, setting, dialog? I love writing it all. I'd hate to think that I was weak on one aspect. I am guilty of including more action that most books in my genre, but I think that if the story warrants it, you shouldn't shy away from action scenes. A hint of what you’re working on next? I'm currently working on two books. The next book in the Battle of the Undead series, Bad Karma and also the 2nd book in my new series, The Twisted and the Brave, called The Assassin of Oz.Buy Lost in Wonderland (The Twisted & the Brave Book 1) from Amazon, Amazon UKBuy Bad Blood, Bad Timing & other great Nicky Peacock books at Amazon, Amazon UK
******* Where to find Nicky on the web: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, Authorgraph
Nicky's Bio: I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?Writing was really a natural progression for me. So far I’ve had 35 short stories included in anthologies produced by publishers all over the world; my latest was included in Little Brown Book Group’s Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. I have two YA series with the publishers, Evernight Teen:Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave. I run a local adult writers’ group called Creative Minds Writing and have been asked by my local library (Corby, Northants, UK) to run a group for budding authors aged 13-25.
*******And now... drumroll... here's C. Lee's spectacular cover for her upcoming middle grade fantasy Sign of the Green Dragon! It launches on August 3rd, but put it on your Goodreads TBR list right now! The novel summary:This hasn’t been the best year for Sam, and it just got worse. Right when he thought he’d found a permanent home, his finicky guardian tells him he’s shipping Sam off to private school. This means Sam won’t bat for his team, and if he doesn’t, Haggarty Elementary won’t win the baseball championship again this year. His two teammates, Joey and Roger, are determined to stash him in their secret cave—at least until he brings in the winning run.While the boys explore the hideout, an earthquake crumbles a wall, revealing a hidden room—and it’s not empty. A dragon-carved chest opens to reveal a human skeleton, its hand-bones clutching a note with a crudely drawn map. At the top of the map is scribbled, 1859.
Sam, Joey and Roger learn about a treasure lying in wait, if only they can locate something called the Dragon Twin, reveal the truth about an old murder, and return a person named Mei Ling to her ancestors in China.
The boys are up for the challenge. But how? They only have the map showing the way to an old mining town, and some strange symbols they can’t understand. None of them can make sense of the note. Who’s Mei Ling? And what the heck is a Dragon Twin?
With time running out before he’s sent packing, Sam and his friends set out on an adventure that has much higher stakes than any baseball championship—one that gets them into trouble with a modern crime, pits them against ancient Chinese dragons, and reveals the true meaning of treasure for each of them.
In case you haven't read C. Lee's other rollicking Pete Riley books, check them out here!Buy Alligators Overhead at Amazon & Nook/B&NBuy The Great Timelock Disaster at Amazon & Nook/B&NCheck out everything C Lee McKenzie at her website, on Facebook, Twitter & on Instagram
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Published on June 07, 2016 06:14 • 52 views

May 25, 2016

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Today on Idea City we have a spectacular cover reveal for Liz Long's Heroes of Arcania trilogy! You can not only check out all of the covers here, but you can pre-order ALL three books!
The titles in order:SuperNova (HoA #1), Fortune’s Favor (HoA #2), Unbreakable (HoA #3)
HOA_FINAL-ebooksm
The streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?  
Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.
Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.
Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.
PREORDER ON AMAZON
Fortunes Favor_FINAL-ebooksm
Nova will learn it takes more than sheer strength to be a superhero. Her world implodes when Fortune strikes back for all the trouble she’s caused. His dangerous games put everyone around her at risk, especially when he decides to turn Arcania against its precious Heroes. Nova wants to protect Arcania, but how does she save a city that doesn’t want her help?
Cole has no idea how to deal with his sister Penelope, especially now that she’s learned the truth about their family secret. Thanks to Fortune, she’s headed down a dark path, one with no return. Torn between helping Nova and protecting his sister, Cole will be forced to make a choice. Tensions rise as Cole and Nova discover war will come to Arcania if they don’t get Fortune off the streets…or preferably six feet under.
Nova and Cole might have each other, but will they lose everything else in their mission to save Arcania?
PREORDER ON AMAZON
Unbreakable_FINAL-ebooks,
Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune?
Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life.
Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?
PREORDER ON AMAZON
About the Author:
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Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.

The Donovan Circus series has best been described as "X-Men meets the circus." Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister's soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.


To learn more about Liz, including info on her books, plus writing, marketing & social media tips, visit her website.
*******
Have a great Memorial Day weekend, all.
Happy almost June!
Catherine
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Published on May 25, 2016 22:15 • 32 views

May 4, 2016

Idea City has fresh new books to load onto your eReaders.

From Inkspell's Bridie Hall comes On the Slopes, a sweet sports romance.
A summary:
Snowboarding means everything to Charlise, but she hasn’t met Sam Miller yet.
Charlise is a snowboarder with a promising career ahead of her. Despite the fact that her father hates her risking her life on the slopes that had taken the life of Charlise’s mother she is determined not to give up her career the way her mother did when she fell pregnant. Charlise wants to win medals, lots of them.
The last distraction Charlise needs is the American freestyle champion, Sam Miller, who utterly enthrals her with his wit and friendliness. Refusing to risk her career for a relationship, Charlise returns home for Christmas, determined to sort things out with her father. But the holidays culminate in an epic fight, and with a repeat of the painful breakup with Sam. However, new discoveries from her family’s past might change Charlise’s mind about Sam.
Get it at Amazon, iBook, Kobo, B&N, All Romance eBooks

About the author:
Bridie Hall writes YA and NA contemporary stories. She sold her first story at fourteen. Since then, she's written dozens more, translated books, studied writing, and started writing novels. Her days revolve around stories and words, her sleepless nights involve plotting and inventing fascinating new characters. Visit her: Website & Facebook
***Next up is Christine Rain's steamy romance series Sasquatch Susies from Ellora's Cave. Zowie!

Pictures tell a thousand words, do they not? To learn more and nab your copies, head to Christine's special erotica page.
*** Next we'll switch gears to present a sci-fi anthology with a story from fellow Untethered Realms author, Cherie Reich and other talented speculative fiction folks. The collection is called Parallels and here's a summary:
Enter the realm of parallel universes!

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!
Get your copy at: Amazon, iBooks, Kobo. See it at Goodreads
*** And finally, a spectacular boxed set of space fiction called Galactic Empires, with a novel from an Untethered Realms author, M. Pax.
Summary:
The Backworlds by M. Pax - A man struggles to survive in the harsh world of humanity’s outer settlements and prove his father wrong.
Ambassador 1: Seeing Red by Patty Jansen - To look an alien superior in the eye is a deadly offense. To accuse him of a political murder…
Alien Hunters by Daniel Arenson - A scruffy alien pest controller faces an alien threat the likes of which the universe has never seen.
Hard Duty by Mark E. Cooper - Hostile aliens nearly eradicated humanity. Will the next encounter finish the job?
Bypass Gemini by Joseph Lallo - A disgraced racer pilot gets mixed up with a mega-corporation. Now he has to stop them.
Sky Hunter by Chris Reher - Sent to a human outpost to investigate sabotage, a pilot finds more trouble than she bargained for.
The Galapagos Incident by Felix Savage - A genocidal AI attacks the solar system, and a Space Corps agent has one chance of saving a bunch of asteroid squatters she was sent to evict.
First Conquest by David VanDyke - To find a home and keep humanity safe from hostile aliens, Task Force Conquest must fight to seize a new star system.For more details and ALL buy links, head here.
Wow! Lots of great reading for spring. Happy May.
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Published on May 04, 2016 22:32 • 44 views

April 25, 2016

Today on Idea City I'm pleased to present Libby Doyle's debut novel The Passion Season, Book 1 of her Covalent series. In her interview, readers can learn details of her book and projected series. But first, a summary:
In loving Ranier, Zan overcomes her pain, but to discover his true identity would shred the reality she thought she knew.
He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic. Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to keep the elemental forces of Creation and Destruction in Balance. The Covalent Council exiled Barakiel to the Earthly Realm as the price of the treachery of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against it. Lucifer also relentlessly pursues his son. The Council thinks Lucifer views his son’s power as a threat, but Barakiel knows his father seeks to destroy even the memory of love. 
She is Alexandra “Zan” O'Gara. FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk. Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never encountered anyone like the stunning Rainer Barakiel. Zan believes Rainer is a wealthy businessman with expertise in edged weapons who can help her with a case. From the moment she meets him she wants him more than she’s ever wanted anything, but her intense attraction is as frightening as it is thrilling.

This is their love story. As Zan’s deepening feelings for Rainer lead her to confront her emotional damage, he struggles to meet the demands of his home world so he will be free to love her, and to reveal his true nature. Through the gruesome crime that first brought Zan to his door, Barakiel learns that his presence in the Earthly Realm has placed some of its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as Zan rescues him from centuries of a deadened heart.
Interview:Tell us a little about your main characters.My male hero is Barakiel (ba-rack-ee-el), also known as Rainer (ry-ner). He is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who keep the elemental forces of Creation and Destruction in Balance. The Covalent bond the elemental forces to prevent them from transforming into each other in an endless cycle. Without these aliens, the elemental forces would crushing everything into oblivion. The Covalent sit at the still center of everything that exists. Barakiel is a warrior Covalent. He constantly gathers energy from his surroundings and turns it into unassailable strength and speed. He is a born weapon, and sees violence as the solution to most problems, but he has another side. The Covalent cultivate Balance, the equilibrium of attraction and repulsion, order and entropy, love and hate. Balance is the source of their power. This means Barakiel loves as mightily as he fights. He is ardent and sensitive and open with his feelings. He is a hopeless romantic.
When the story begins, Barakiel has been banished to Earth. He is mistrusted and feared because he is the son of Lucifer, who rebelled against the Covalent Council and was driven from the Covalent Realm. Far from being in league with his father, Barakiel is the focus of Lucifer’s murderous obsession. Lucifer sends his demon minions against his son at every change of seasons – the solstices and the equinoxes – when the Earth’s axis shifts position relative to the Sun and creates a rift between dimensions.
Fighting demons gives Barakiel a sense of purpose, but he isolated from his kind. He is saved from complete loneliness by Pellus, who was a close friend of his mother’s. Pellus is like a father to Barakiel. They clash, as fathers and sons often do, but Pellus is much more than a stand-in parent and mentor. He is a traveler adept, a type of Covalent who can manipulate the properties of matter and energy. Pellus can travel between dimensions using rifts in the fabric of existence that only a traveler can see. As an adept, he has achieved such mastery that he can bend light and create solid barriers out of the air. He can break through even the most sophisticated computer encryption as easily as walking through an unlocked door. He is calm, rational, and deadly. Pellus is also cautious. He discourages Barakiel from pursuing serious relationships with humans because they are against Covalent Law. When Barakiel meets Zan O’Gara, it doesn’t take Pellus long to realize the warrior will not listen to him. Barakiel is drawn to her. He tells Pellus that she carries herself like a warrior, and he waxes poetic over her flawless skin. He “burns with Creation, all for her,” as Pellus puts it.Barakiel needs and wants love, but he never found a woman who could match him until he met Zan. Despite his need, Pellus’ warnings do have some effect on him. He hides his true identity. He passes as human.
Zan, my female hero, is an FBI agent and a decorated army veteran. She is from the mountains of Idaho and has the toughness and self-sufficiency often found in people who hale from a rugged landscape. She is dedicated to her job. Too dedicated, according to Melissa Romani, Zan’s FBI partner. Mel is also Zan’s best friend and is always trying to set her up with men.Although Zan tried dating, it was always tepid or horrible. She filled her life with other things. She is an excellent guitar player and fronts a rock-n-roll band. Between her job and her music, she doesn’t have time for men. She thinks it’s just as well because she is a recovering alcoholic, and like many women who abused a substance, she has an ugly history with sex. Zan thought her scars meant romance was not for her. When she meets Rainer, she lusts after him and she likes it, but he also makes her feel things she doesn’t understand. It terrifies her.
What is their biggest challenge or quest?Barakiel’s quest is to discover if there is a connection between his presence in the Earthly Realm and a grisly murder. Zan’s quest is to solve the same murder. A man was gutted at the winter solstice, his internal organs removed. His body was left on display near Barakiel’s home. Three months later, at the vernal equinox, a similar ritual takes place in the national historical park in Philadelphia. The park rangers find a human spleen in the bushes. They call the FBI.Zan begins an investigation, where she meets Barakiel. They begin to explore each other with a fiery passion. At the same time, Barakiel struggles to meet the demands of his homeworld and deal with his father’s efforts to kill him. His time with Zan gives him strength, but as her investigation brings her closer to the truth about the murder, Barakiel is afraid he will lose her. 
Give us your favorite line from your protagonist:“Zan, it’s a beautiful, sunny day. Let us go to the ocean. We can consign our pain to the waves, and listen to them whisper their comfort.” – Barakiel to Zan, after they’ve had an intense, emotional discussion.But when I look in his eyes, I feel like nature. – Zan to herself, musing about she forgets all her fears and misgiving in Barakiel’s presence.  
From an antagonist:“I can feel your hatred, hard and sharp as a blade. I live inside you. Return to me and we will subjugate the realms. Return to me or die.” – Lucifer to Barakiel, invading his mind, seeking to make Barakiel his slave. 
An emblematic paragraph-long excerpt:Here's an excerpt from the day Zan and Rainer first meet. She expresses an interest in blades, so he invites her to see his collection. He gives her a sword to examine. Unbeknownst to her, it is his Covalent sword, an alien weapon. To see her handle it gives him a thrill.***Zan took the gargantuan blade with both hands and did a simple block stance, then a thrust. Rainer raised both his eyebrows.“I’m surprised you can lift that to shoulder level.”“I’m a strong woman.”“I can see that,” he replied in a low voice. The way he looked at her made Zan almost drop the sword. She adjusted her grip.“This sword is unbelievably well-balanced.”“Exactly.”Did I just impress him? God, I hope so.“Ah, see now,” Zan said. “My arms are getting tired, so you weren’t far from right. I could never actually use this sword.” She pivoted and held it out to him with a slight bow. “Your sword, sir.”Rainer smiled as he took it. Zan realized he hadn’t been smiling before, not a real smile. This time it was like strong sunlight falling on a person who’d been trapped in the bitter cold.“You’re trained?” he asked.“A little. I used to study kendo in college, Japanese sword fighting, but I don’t have the time now. For the job, we’re mostly trained in firearms, but we get a decent amount of training in hand-to-hand, some other weapons. How about you? Is your interest more than aesthetic?”“Yes. I’ve studied the fighting arts since I was a child.”“Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.”Rainer tilted his head and regarded her, his lips pressed together.He doesn’t know what to make of me. I don’t know what to make of him either, but oh, those lips. I better get away from this man. I’m on duty.
What keeps you going when your inspiration flags?Discipline. I’m a former journalist, trained to write on demand. Writer’s block is not acceptable when there’s newspaper to get out. I’ve also found that the act of writing itself creates inspiration. It touches some mysterious part of my brain.
What truly inspires you and fires up your vision?Natural beauty. I love mountains. They make me feel insignificant, which is good if you need perspective. Their beauty soothes and renews me. Also, music. A great song gives me a tremendous feeling of wellbeing. In addition, when I’m frustrated or angry, punk rock has a great cathartic effect.  Best words of advice you ever received?Once, on a trolley, an old woman said to me, “You’re going to have a wonderful life some day because you’re not afraid to be your own person.” She was a stranger, but her words have stayed with me. They’re not really advice, but I’ve tried to live by them. 
Worst?To take a job as a corporate attorney because it was a “good opportunity.” I knew I would hate it, I didn’t last long. I’ve never been a climb-the-ladder kind of gal.
Where’s your favorite place to write?My office. I have big bay windows that let in a lot of light, and my cats come to visit me. 
Which do you enjoy writing most: action, romance, setting, dialogue?I love to write dialogue. I love imaging conversations and people’s reactions to each other. I have to take care that my writing doesn’t have too much. I often get carried away. Of course, I enjoy all the others as well. Depends on the day and the circumstance of the story.
More on the series: The Passion Season is Book I of the Covalent Series. Writing a series is great because I get to tell an epic love story, set in two different worlds, with subplots featuring crime, political intrigue, war, betrayal, stealthy rescues and inter-dimensional travel. Plus, sweet words, tenderness and lots of hot sex. I’ve rarely had so much fun, and I’m a woman who’s had a lot of fun.I have five books in my head, one finished, one halfway there, and one outlined. The drawbacks? You get impatient. You want to get it all out. Also, I’ve heard that readers hold off buying books in series until the whole series is available because they like to binge. That’s a long time to wait for people to read your stuff. That’s a lot of money to lay out for no return until some distant date. 
A hint of what you’re working on next?The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series! Zan and Barakiel’s epic love story continues. I’ll give you an impressionistic synopsis of the beginning from Zan’s point of view: Terror, determination, anger, grief. The Pain Season will be released on the autumnal equinox, September 22, 2016. The writing is going swimmingly thus far. 
Get The book: Amazon, iTunesB&N, CS paperback, Kobo, 24Symbols, Scribd, Inktera
About the Author:Libby Doyle is an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes the mundane by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.
Follow her on Social Media: Website, Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest

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Published on April 25, 2016 06:18 • 54 views

April 19, 2016

I've attended two very different book conventions this spring: Roanoke Author Invasion (RAI) and RT Booklovers (RT) convention in Las Vegas. Rather than write a text post, I thought I'd give you a photo journal. Hope you enjoy it... First some from RAI, then RT. If you want to also read a written report, click here for my post on Untethered Realms.
RAI authors With Cherie Reich at RAI
My line dance instructor,
Jocqueline at the after-party


My personally designed greeting card swag Readers rule at RT!
A cover model saving the world
Rockabilly girl at the Palms buffet at RT
YA panel at RT (I'm on top left)
RT tablemates, left to right: Colleen Houck, me, Sarah Schmitt, Ginger Scott Britany Spears riding a giant guitar at her Planet Hollywood performance Sitting at the Sons of Anarchy slot (not playing it) Willy Wonka Slots - love the slots ART!
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Published on April 19, 2016 04:29 • 24 views