Monday, June 24, 2019

Wicked Passion




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Paranormal
Romance
Date
Published: 6/25/2019

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James Stonewoll is an Elite Assassin for the Under Realm Syndicate—an expert hunter and merciless killer. As a former pirate, he thrives on danger, the more perilous the mission, the better and he can't resist his newest contract: eliminate a rebel shape-shifting magic thief that stalks the border of the
Under Realm kidnapping and murdering innocent Others. But never did the centuries old vampire anticipate playing hero to a mythical temptress with luscious curves, tantalizing lips, and hypnotic eyes.
Captured and held prisoner, Katya Moro was trapped in a seemingly endless loop of
unimaginable agony as her magic was slowly being torn from her soul. A gasp
away from death, she is rescued by a sinful kiss and awakens in the strong arms
of a powerful warrior whose roguish smile, sharp fangs, and intense strength
unlock dormant instincts within her, an all-consuming madness that demands
complete surrender.

Gazing down at her, James knew he had to kill her. Dark Magic Wielders, like the
beautiful female he’d found, were a grave threat to human society and were not
permitted to roam the mortal world. But Katya’s smoky voice and sweet kisses
stir a fierce hunger inside him. She is unpredictable, uncontrollable and
wickedly seductive—his perfect kind of dangerous. To keep her safe, James will
protect her from the magic thieves that hunt her and his fellow assassins until
he can find a way to return Katya to her home in the Under Realm.

Can Katya’s passion conquer the darkness within his soul?



About the Author

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Amanda J. Greene is the author of the captivating Rulers of Darkness and enticing Under Realm Assassins series. Fans of Nalini Singh’s, Gena Showalter, and J.R. Ward will fall in love with Ms. Greene’s dangerously sexy heroes and strong, kick your teeth in heroines.

She lives in Southern California with her supportive military husband and their two fur babies—a sweet cocker spaniel and a rambunctious black mouth cur mix. Between working full time in higher education and family life, she finds time to write and create detailed worlds with exciting characters for her ravenous readers. "Amanda's vampires are seriously sexy and I can't get enough!" - Kristina's Books & More




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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Knightmare Arcanist





YA Fantasy
Date Published: June 18th 2019
Publisher: Capital Station Books

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Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.


My Review
All of this magic and fantasy, bonding with a phoenix, becoming an arcanist…an arcanist is a one of those magical persons we’ve all wished to be…strong, a hero, saving the world. Well that’s how most of them are. I don’t read this stuff BUT, I had a wonderful time with this book. This book has all of the elements a reader wants for a story tale. Good guys, bad guys, action, fantasy, even suspense. It’s all wrapped into a tale we were told in many ways as children but dressed up in a sophisticated way. I enjoyed the storyline. I really like the main character Volke and I of course wanted him to be a hero. Sometime things turn out the way we want and sometimes they don’t. That’s what this magical book is about.

Shami Stovall has created characters and creatures and described them so well, you can almost see them. The scenes and/or descriptions are so vivid it’s like watching a movie. She’s also created words and emotions that make the reader feel. I wanted so much for Volke to win everything. I felt almost passionate about he and his would-be sibling. I hate to reiterate but it’s like a grown-up fairy tale. One I am really glad I read.


I noticed Shami Stovall has several other books published all of which have good reviews.

About the Author




Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Lacewood



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jessica James will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Thrust together by chance. Bound together by destiny. A disillusioned socialite and a special operations veteran find a way to save a small town while healing themselves. A haunting read about the journey to restore an abandoned 200-year-old mansion and the secrets it reveals about a long-lost love.


Read an Excerpt

Will watched Katie move easily around the kitchen, as if she’d lived in this house for years, not mere weeks. As usual, her long blond hair was braided in a single pigtail—but there was no ball cap today. She seemed somehow elegant and refined despite the blue jeans and tank top.

She turned and held a mug toward him. “Here you go.”

Without thinking, Will reached out and touched a tendril of hair that had come loose and lay spiraled near her cheek. “You have paint in your hair.”

She stood perfectly still, her deep brown—almost black—eyes gazing into his with an expression he couldn’t quite read. Slowly, she reached up and ran her fingers through the strands in an effort to remove the hardened glob. “I probably look a mess.”

Will knew he should make a comment, but he didn’t know what it should be. Yes, she looked a mess—but he had a feeling her interpretation of the word didn’t correspond with his. Even though her expensive jeans were marred with paint, and her white tank top was streaked with what might be walnut wood stain, she exuded the type of beauty that could both daze and haunt.

“Do you take sugar or cream?”

It took Will a moment to realize she was speaking to him. She nodded toward the mug that had somehow been transferred into his hand.



Watch a trailer for Lacewood:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHEHQjD5Vac



About the Author:

Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.



She is a two-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers' Favorite International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.



James is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.



Website: https://www.jessicajamesbooks.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001IYTXOG

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-james

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/southernromance/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/586216.Jessica_James

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanticHistoricalFiction

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/southernromance/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjessicajames/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessicajames



Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lacewood-Novel-Place-Jessica-James-ebook/dp/B07PW8BQJ4

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lacewood-jessica-james/1129617849



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Discussion of a Decent Dream

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. E. Curtis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY 



In the fall of 1789, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, a dense, persistent fog enshrouds the village of Ingleton. Shadowed spirits hide in the mist and bedevil the townsfolk, heralding a tragedy that has befallen one of their own.

Edmond continues to search for Alexandra, his fiancée, who disappeared the same night that the mist set upon their town. Presumed dead by all others, he visits Alexandra's empty grave, desperate for any hint of what has become of her. Weary from the sleepless nights on his quest, no longer able to stay awake, Edmond falls into a dream before her headstone and there obtains clues from Alexandra as to her whereabouts.

Haunted all the while by a malevolent spirit, Edmond follows the trail that Alexandra left for him and enters the underworld, only to learn that he has been there before, and in fact, quite often. But more, he discovers how he is to blame for Alexandra's disappearance.

A dark literary novel rich in imagery, Discussion of a Decent Dream unearths the consequences of a child's decision to surrender his heart in exchange for unholy power and transcendent knowledge.


Discussion of a Decent Dream is a Finalist in Britain's Wishing Self Book Awards in the Adult category.

My Review
This is very beautiful writing. It flows like a river of soothing prose and the descriptive writing gives you a picture as if being inside a dream. That being said, I had some trouble getting started and concentrating in the first part of the book. Maybe it was a little too dream-like. I have finally learned that it is ok to put a book down and not finish it, but I did not do that with this book. This will sound like a vicious circle but what I think kept me moving forward until I finally found a rhythm in my reading was Curtis’ skillful use of words. I was rather fascinated with each choice. Sometimes, even using my Kindle to look up a word to see if it meant what I really thought it did.  On the other hand, all of the descriptive flourishing language that I enjoyed so much might have been what made it seem slow at first.  
When I say that it was the story line that seemed to be a bit slow, you must remember that this story has “dream” in its title. I think what I might have found a little sluggish at first, was probably a very good picture of a dream-like setting. This was to me a somewhat sad and yet alluring story.  Decent’s journey seems to weave throughout the story as a picture being drawn. A way of defining a character I am not used to but one I did enjoy.   
While this is not my normal genre, it was as I have said, beautifully written and definitely worth taking the time to read. Kudos to E. Curtis on a first book.


Read an excerpt...
I had seen in dream that which appeared before me, a gloriously lined whirlwind of black. It exhibited itself as odd, twitchy, yet with cohesion, both beautiful and horrible at once, as if the core of this being eclipsed an otherwise unseen dawn. The vapor then solidified and took the form of a man, though its feet made no impression in the sand.


It warmed to me, expressing in that charred face such familiarity and delight. Even for my instinctive recoil, I made no real retreat, for I again wanted to hear it speak.


READ AN INTERVIEW WITH E. CURTIS  HERE


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

E. Curtis draws on personal experiences of the otherworldly for his writing. Through dreams, visions, and waking encounters, his exposure to darkness has motivated him to detail what he has come to know of the preternatural. While a few short pieces have been published on an online literary magazine, Discussion of a Decent Dream is his first novel.





The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.




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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Knightmare Arcanist



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.


So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.


In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.


A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.



Read an Excerpt...
A flash of rain pelted the entire city, but only for a few seconds, as though the heavens coughed and forgot to cover their mouth. The man secured his pack shut, protecting his vegetables.

“Oh, this again,” he said.

“Does this happen often?”

“Storms happen frequently enough,” he replied. “This ain’t no storm, though. It’s those flashy arcanists. They like makin’ a show. Just you wait. You’ll see somethin’ good yet.”

Making a show?

I headed toward the docks. Despite the creeping chill, I moved with energy and purpose. Crowds of people clogged the roadways, making travel by foot damn near impossible, even for an arcanist. Frustrated, I jumped onto the wheels of a nearby carriage and used the extra height to pull myself onto the roof of a building. The A-frame roof made for a steep trek, but the tiles were easy to grip, even when wet.

Once on top, I turned my attention to the nearest pier.

A tremendous flash of lightning lit the sky. Thunder chased after, strong enough to rattle the windows and pierce straight to my bone. Luthair shifted through the shadows as another round lit the sky. I knew some arcanists could control the weather, but I had never seen a demonstration so showy before.

A flurry of snow soon followed, but like the rain, it lasted only a few seconds. People lifted their hands in the air, trying to catch the snowflakes as they approached the earth. Most evaporated before anyone could hold them, but I managed to catch a few on my tongue.

The ocean waters beyond the docks swirled into whirlpools. Two cyclones of saltwater rose upward, forming pillars of ocean as thick as forty oak trees, each stretching straight to the sky.

Rapt by the show of magic, I almost didn’t notice the massive leviathan snaking through the ocean. Its shiny scales glistened with each new flash of lightning. The serpent-like body must’ve been as long as ten galley ships and as thick as a three-mast sailing ship. Although the mystical creature never lifted his head out of the water, I already knew who he was.

Decimus—Gregory Ruma’s legendary leviathan.



About the Author:Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.



Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GameOverStation/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAStovall/



https://www.amazon.com/Knightmare-Arcanist-Frith-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07QMKVFJM


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Monday, June 17, 2019

Lacewood



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Women’s
Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Date
Published
: 6/18/2019

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Sometimes
love is just too powerful for one lifetime…

MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie
McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s
enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the
haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.

Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters
in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of
Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story,
Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key
to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.

The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his
own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so
many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might
have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the
shadows for centuries is fulfilled.

Part love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about trusting in
fate, letting go of the past, and believing in things that can’t be seen.

A powerful and poignant tale that vividly conveys the heartache of war, the
tragedy of loss, and the fulfillment of destiny…even when souls are separated
by centuries. Lacewood takes readers on a journey that connects the past with
the present—and the present with eternity.






Excerpt

Turning in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled and peeled above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. On the far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, stood a mammoth fireplace with an ornately carved hearth. And above the mantle hung a captivating painting of a woman in nineteenth-century dress.

“Who is she?”

The sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy carved guilt frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history kind of got lost with the house. Everyone around here calls her the Widow of Lacewood.”

Katie stood spellbound. The woman was dressed completely in black, but the
magnificence of the gown gave the impression of sophistication and class. Her
chin was slightly elevated as if to project strength, yet there was more than a
hint of sorrow and pain in her eyes.

“She looks so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could she be a widow?”

The sheriff had already started to walk away, but he turned back and glanced at the painting. “Not sure, but they say she never remarried. She’s the one out in the cemetery, too, I reckon.”

Katie’s heart suddenly struggled to beat. The anguish in the woman’s eyes kept her riveted. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was missing that could never be replaced. Katie had felt such loss before. In a
way, that’s why she was here.

“You coming?”

Katie heard the sheriff calling from the next room, and turned to follow. With one quick glance back, she noticed particles of dust now swirled and danced in a shaft of light, almost like a living thing. Her breath caught in her throat as the dust seemed to materialize into the form of a woman, her eyes dull with the same tortured despair and disbelief as the one in the portrait.

Katie jerked her head around for a closer look and blinked. The woman was gone.


About the author:

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Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.

She is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers' Favorite International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of
libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.


Contact Links

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Come a Little Closer



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chrissy Brown will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Read more to sign up for the Giveaway.

Sophie was the love of my life. Okay, we were twelve the last time I saw her but still. I've tried everything to move on—whiskey, women, weed. Nothing seemed to fill the void. Now, ten years later, she shows up out of the blue. The problem, I'm not the boy she used to know. I have a reputation that could ruin everything. Still, I have to try. Even if nothing happens between us, having Sophie in my life as a friend is better than not having her at all. Come A Little Closer is the second installment in the Georgia Boys Series. It can be read as a standalone novel.

Read an Excerpt...
Kevin shrugs. “It’s morning Soph. What do you expect?”

What do I expect? Well for starters I don’t expect my leg to be assaulted by your massive…Oh. Em. Gee. My eyes flick down to his boxers. It’s huge! Eve covered by a thin piece of fabric, and it’s enormous. My cheeks burn hotter. How did I not notice it last time he slept over? Maybe because last time he didn’t give me a naked hug.

Keep it together, Sophie! It’s just a penis. You’ve seen a penis before. Hell, you even touched one…once.

About the Author: Chrissy Brown lives in Fort Myers, Fl with her hubby, two beautiful girls, one dog who loves to cuddle and another dog who pees on everything. She enjoys going to hockey games, reading romance novels and having “Netflix and Chill” nights.

She’s addicted to everything related to the amazing emotion of love, and has been referred to as a "hopeless romantic" which she took as a compliment. It may not have been and she’s okay with that.

Her Georgia Boys Series is New Adult romance that has three novels published in 2018. She has a young adult romance standalone in the works as well as an erotic New Adult standalone started. She’s a busy writer, but she loves it.


Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Come-Little-Closer-Georgia-Boys-ebook/dp/B07MF9BVY1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0



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Monday, June 10, 2019

Demon's Grotto

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kate Hill will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY 




Ben wants Laura to reconsider staying overnight at Demon’s Grotto, and he has information about the club’s history that should convince her. He tells her three creepy love stories, hoping she will change her mind.


Rise of the Creature: When a mad doctor brings a dead man back to life, only his beautiful assistant can make that life worth living.

The Demon Within: A man on the run stops to rest at a rooming house, not knowing that it’s the hunting ground of a gorgeous succubus bent on devouring handsome guests.

Don’t Cry, Wolf: An ad for a maintenance man at a bed and breakfast is answered by a former soldier who’s harboring a hairy secret. The business’s lovely co-owner becomes involved with this sullen hunk who’s more than she imagined possible.

After hearing these stories of love and murder, will Laura decide to spend the night at Demon’s Grotto?




Read an excerpt...

“Forgive me, Cora,” Cyril said, his anger fading. “It’s just that I’ve worked so hard for this.”

“I know you have,” she said. “Maybe both of you need rest.”

His brow furrowed. “That actually makes sense. I don’t want to leave him, though. In case he wakes.”

“I’ll stay,” she said, glancing toward John. “If I notice any changes, I’ll call you right away.”

Damp looked hesitant. “I’m not sure.”

“What if he doesn’t wake for days? Are you going to spend every moment at his side? You have to sleep sometime.”

“All right. I’ll rest on the couch in my office, but you’ll call me at the slightest change?”

“You have my word.”

Damp sighed and ran a hand through his wavy reddish hair. He walked to his office, but paused at the door and glanced at her over his shoulder.

“The slightest change?”

“The slightest,” she said.

He stepped into the room, closing the door behind him.

Cora dragged a chair close to the table where John rested. She sat, staring at him. Impulsively, she took his hand, noting that it wasn’t as cold as before. He was alive now. Maybe he felt cold.

She stood and retrieved a blanket from a cabinet and covered him with it, raising first one heavily muscled arm and then his other so that they rested on top of the blanket. She looked at his face again. The rigor of death had vanished, softening his expression. At the moment, he looked like any other unconscious man.

He was quite handsome. Impulsively she ran her fingertips through his short blond hair and over his cheek. The lips peeking through his golden beard were no longer the blue-gray of death, but alive and pale pink. She wondered how they would feel against hers.

Shaking her head, Cora sat in the chair. Had it been so long since anyone had touched her gently that she was contemplating kissing a man who had until a short time ago been a corpse on a slab?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.

When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, spending time with her family and pets and running the Compelling Beasts Blog, dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes and paranormal creatures. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby.

Author Links:
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Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Warwick Gleeson will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY 




WORLD WAR OZ from coast to coast.

An adult fantasy that takes one of America's favorite tales and transforms it into a dark and epic landscape few can escape much less understand. Imagine Potter meets Avengers in Emerald city and you're getting close.

After a homicidal alien from Orion arrives on Earth intent on annihilating human life, the 21st century's greatest sorcerers create a network of seven Oz-like city worlds designed to harbor the human race in a newly formed utopia while also protecting it from the alien entity. But the alien is far more magically powerful than anyone suspected. Piper Robbin, ancient daughter of the Earth's greatest sorcerer inventor, Edison Godfellow, must sacrifice all to defeat the implacable force that calls itself "The Witch Queen of Oz," and quickly, before Earth becomes only a cold cinder floating among the stars.



Read an excerpt...
PIPER ROBBIN WAS HELPLESS. WORLD WAR OZ had exploded up and down the Pacific Coast following the dramatic ejaculation of Pentagon armor, Deplorables, and tripods from the Mojave base. Nothing could stop it. Given the prevalence of strong EMP deployment on both sides, nearly the entire western U.S. remained immune to virtually any type of destructive or useful Tao wavelength, magic or no. Thus the New Humanity Fleet, the Shadow Broker mages, the Dio Soldati brigades, and other magi-tech combat units were severely hand tied.

     
A grim reality faced the forces of Oz.
            The Witch Queen was winning.
     
The U.S. Army, prodded by her phony Galaxians, pursued Oz and Martian “sympathizers,” while California, deemed a hive of rabid discontent, became a primary target for retaliation. Several million human beings from Sonoma Valley in the north to San Diego in the south were potentially at the mercy of rampaging war machines and flocks of Deplorables wielding blades. The east coast too was in flames, the Atlantic surf red with blood down to South Carolina.

Guest Post...


However, if You Must Have a Critique Group

Here are some categories and criteria for engaging in critique of novel-length fiction. This will help guide your writer's group and make the critique more focused and less arbitrary—assuming they are faithful to it and believe in it.


Premise and Plot

Does the premise or story concept sound high concept? Original? If so, why? Defend your conclusion. What makes it unique when compared to published novels or nonfiction in the genre? You must effectively argue this case for or against. If against, present examples why it might not be sufficiently original to capture the interest of an agent or publisher.

Are you able to discern the primary source of dramatic tension and complication that creates the major plot line(s)? Can you or the writer create a conflict statement for the novel that demonstrates, for example:

The Hand of Fatima

A young Moor torn between Islam and Christianity, scorned and tormented by both, struggles to bridge the two faiths by seeking common ground in the very nature of God.

Summer's Sisters

After sharing a magical summer with a friend, a young woman must confront her friend's betrayal of her with the man she loved.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy

As an apprentice mage seeks revenge on an elder magician who humiliated him, he unleashes a powerful Djinni who joins the mage to confront a danger that threatens their entire world.

Part II

Is the first major plot point that changes the course of action and begins the second act of this novel clearly defined? Can you state it? Keep in mind that the first major plot point begins the plot line noted above, i.e., the rising action of the story as a whole.

Insofar as you know, does the story as presented to you display the mandatory tropes of the genre? If so, how? Be inclusive with your response. Demonstrate knowledge of your genre and its tropes. Does the author do anything to present or frame the tropes in a unique manner?

Does the novel possess a setting and/or unique world that works to high-concept the novel, or at least make the story much more interesting and unique? If so, what features of this setting do you find unique or valuable to the story when compared to others? Do specific circumstances or characters evolve from the setting that make it valuable? If so, what or who are they?

What novel(s) published in the last few years does this story most closely compare to? Why? This must be supportable with specifics and not general statements. Does it compare favorably? Is it sufficiently unique despite the comparison? If so, why?

Why is this story, as presented, one that publishers will buy? To put it more simply, why is this story one that readers will pay to read? Respond to this with clarity and detail.


Narrative, Scenes and Style

How does the story read? Each one of the following bullet points must be addressed.

Is the prose itself completely free of errors and ambiguity? Does the writer say more with less or is she/he wordy? Are the verbs sufficiently active or too much variation of "to be"? Also, is the writer good at description? Not sure? Ask them to provide examples of description of objects, events and people.

Is the reader oriented spatially or do characters feel disembodied? If this narrative were film, would it make sense?

Is the narrative sufficiently engaging? If yes, what makes it engaging? If no, what should be done to make it engaging? Be specific.

Does the narrative include, as a whole, the three primary levels of conflict, i.e., internal, social, and plot related? If so, list them one at a time, and their context. If not, what should be done to include them?

 Part II

Are the scenes set properly? Do they have a defined beginning, middle and end? Do we get a clear concept of who/what/where, etc?

Does the prose itself evidence mastery of the form given the demands of the genre? If so, how? If not, why? What can be done to improve it?

Does the narrative present situations, issues, circumstances, characters or plots that seem too predictable or stale from overuse? Or would you term the narrative more unpredictable and original, insofar as possible given the demands of the genre?

If more than one point of view, does the writer juggle the multiple POVs with skill? If so, how? If not, why not? Ask for more narrative samples as necessary.


Characters

The main thing here is to focus on the manner in which the characters reveal themselves in the course of the narrative, via dialogue and action.

Do they feel real or simply two dimensional?

Do we observe them at their best or worst in the course of performing an action?

Is the author using show-don't-tell techniques to portray them or simply delivering exposition?

Do you feel any sympathy or empathy towards them? 

Is there anything unique about them or do they feel overly stereotypical?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Warwick Gleeson is a dedicated writer of screenplays, short stories, novels, and poetry. He
has lived in both LA and NYC and worked many different jobs in his life, everything from roofer to waiter to small business owner to government analyst. He was the major writer, creator, and senior story editor for another project published by Del Sol Press called "War of the World Makers" that debuted in 2017. The novel has since won four national novel awards (two first place and two place) for SFF. Warwick is a big fan of great SFF television writing, like the kind you find in Emerald City, Gotham, The Expanse, and Umbrella Academy. He now lives in Tuscon, AZ, with a fat lazy cat and his most wonderful wife who is also a writer.


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