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Cover Reveal – Jewel of Ramstone by J.M. Powers

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Categories: book feature, New Releases, Uncategorized, Tags: , , ,

 

 

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Blurb

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Awaking in the forest, a young maiden recalls naught—including her name. Equally conflicting is her desire to both slap and kiss Sir Galeron, the knight who claims to have protected her while she was unconscious. Much to her chagrin, he dubs her “Ruby of the Forest”, due to her red hair, and insists she find refuge at his home of Ramstone. Prickling at his demanding ways, but with no other option, she accepts his offer. And although his kiss flames her attraction even more, Galeron dashes it with a confession. The brute is trothed to another.

Ruby’s journey is filled with laughter and weeping, daydreams and discovered abilities. But never does she feel complete. Her heart longs for a future that her past may destroy. Evil lurks, treading on each tidbit of memory she recovers. Will Ruby ever recall her past? And after an attack in the village that sparks a horrific nightmare, does she even want to?

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oMG! Can you guys get over the fact that it’s nearly November already?? Good thing it is though because it means we’re getting closer to being able to read this awesome new release! You guys are going to love it… I swear!

JM Powers, Jewel of Ramstone, excerpt

“Ask me anything. Mayhap I can help.” His deep voice broke the silence.

How was he to help? “Pray tell, how did we come to share the forest?”

“I shall explain.” He bent and picked up a twig, then proceeded to peel the bark off. With each curl he tossed aside, she grew more frustrated.

‘Twas better to allow mistrust. Stand strong. She gasped. Unexpected, the thought rang with such clarity, it seemed someone else had spoken. “Perchance you should be honest. Did you drug me? Spell me?”

He tossed the twig aside. Though his eyes remained on her face, her whole body felt his scrutiny. “‘Twould do you well to hold your tongue.”

“I am beginning to dislike you,” she said, knowing full well the opposite was true. She truly wished her insides would cease…prickling? And her head. Damn, it ached so. Tingles and pain aside, she tried to focus. “Do you intend to explain or not?”

“I seek a means to tell you gently.”

With a slight shrug, she said, “No need for gentleness. You already tossed me about.” She grinned despite the truth in her statement.

He sighed. “It appears you are lost.”

“God’s eyes, knight!” She shook her head. “You must be a great sorcerer to possess such insight.”

“Your tongue shall be your undoing. Best you still it.”

Twice he attempted to stifle her. She clenched her teeth. “Still it?”

Galeron’s jaw twitched and she wondered if he were quelling a smile. “I found you here in the woodlands. I did not hold you captive, drug you, or harm you.” He blinked slowly. “Hold to that.”

She nodded. “Forgive—”

“Nay need. I understand. You now stand a day’s ride from Ramstone. Have you heard of it?”

He pushed off the tree and came to sit beside her, his thigh nearly touching her own. Nearly. It took a moment for her answer. “Nay, I do not recall Ramstone.” The fact she did not recall much of anything choked off the rest of her response.

“Odd,” he said, more to himself than her.

Sighing, she realized how badly her masquerade of bravery was faltering. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his hand come toward her. Surprised at the urge to lean into his touch, she remained still and allowed him to brush back the wisps of hair from her brow. His hand lowered in a fist, yet his voice was laced with tenderness.

“It pains me that I cannot give you answers.” His gaze strayed from her face, lowering to her neck.

Covering the neckline of her tunic with both hands, she glared at him. “Focus elsewhere.” He sees me as a woman after all. She dashed the thought away. Almost.

“I intend nay disrespect. The bruising on your neck concerns me.” Gently brushing her hand aside, he took a closer look. “Fingerprints.”

It took all she had not to cry out. Who harmed her?

“When we discovered you, there was nay sign of anyone else.”

She glanced around. “We?”

“I sent my men home.”

She blinked. Then blinked again.”Your men.”

“My brother, a healer, assured me your wounds were not serious, so I decided to wait—”

She put up her hand. “Why not leave me under the care of your healer? Or leave me in the nearest village?”

He swallowed hard. “It matters not! Are you always so…so…inquisitive?”

Ah, this man was not used to being questioned. She tried to ease his surly mood. “A shame your men were sent on their way. No one laid witness when I kicked you and bashed your comely face before you so unceremoniously dropped a maiden to the ground.”

He blew a long breath. “You insist on repeating that. Had you dressed appropriately, I would not have thought you a lad.” His chuckle made her grin. “Although you certainly fight like a maiden.”

She swiped her hand through the air. “Carry on.”

“Carry on,” he muttered. “I fear you shall interrupt again.” He looked up through the trees, ignoring her huff. “We still had several days before reaching our destination when we found you. With that in mind, I postponed the journey and sent my men back to Ramstone.”

“I see.” She studied the frayed edge of her tunic. “How long have I been here?”

“I watched over you a single night. How long you were here remains a mystery. I was only gone a short time for I needed to boil meat into a broth to sustain you. Had I known you were a maiden, I never would have left you alone.”

Her head snapped up. “Yet you would a lad? I am not defenseless simply because I am a female.”

Galeron’s eyes hardened. “Aye, ’tis so. I returned to find you brandishing a dagger. I left it in case you awoke and felt unsafe, not to use against me.”

She ran her hands through the leaves and shrugged a silent apology, too stubborn to utter it out loud.

“Fair one?”

Damnation, she hated when he addressed her with those words, and yet it awoke something in her, for he said it with tenderness. She glared at his smiling face. “Why are you calling me that?” To her chagrin, what she’d meant as snide came out as quite curious.

He splayed his hands in question, “Would you prefer I call you lad?” Two furrows appeared on his brow at her silent glare. “Because, you have yet to give your name.”

Disarmed, she swallowed her spiteful attitude. “If I only could.” She locked away her tears, her dismay, and did her best to keep her voice steady. “I hoped you would know…would say it by now. Sir Galeron, I…I recall naught before I saw you standing before me.”

Seeming to battle with her revelation, Galeron’s expression flitted from stunned to confused. Then his gaze bore into her with such tenderness it nearly undid her. “Nay memory?” he finally whispered.

She shook her head. He guided her head to his shoulder. Barely a moment passed before he released her, rose to his feet, and strode away. Unsure of why he left so abruptly, she frowned when he looked back.

“I regret I cannot ease your uncertainty.” He stooped to gather twigs. “However, I am able to ease your hunger. After breaking our fast, we shall take leave.”

She dabbed her impending tears as soon as his back was turned.

“We should arrive at Ramstone by nightfall.”

“I am to stay at your home? What shall your wife think?”

“There is nay wife.” He grabbed a branch and added it to his arms. “But there is plentiful family about.”

Holding the tree for support, she stood, waiting for the dizziness to subside before she followed. When he turned, she picked up a branch, embarrassed at how silly she looked traipsing on his heels. Gathering an armload of kindling, she stole glances at him, each time wondering how it would feel to remain in his arms. She piled the branches then watched him arrange them.

“Building a fire?” Hark, she was a fool.

“Nay, I am building an abode.” And he solidified the fact.

“I want my own chamber then.” Several paces away, she sat. Sunlight peeked through the forest canopy. She closed her eyes and raised her face to the warmth. Like a constant itch, she felt his gaze. She slowly peered through her lashes. Aye, he was staring—no—studying her face. Her gash. Her ugly face. She sighed and looked to the sky instead.

“God’s eyes,” he muttered.

She turned to him. Very well, if he finds a need to gawk, I shall give him a full view of my battered face. “Sir Galeron, what worries you so? Has my plight delayed your duties?”

“Nay.” He jammed the skinned carcasses on a sharpened branch.

“I heard your curse. Was it in frustration of not reaching your destination?” Oh, how she wished to smirk at his rudeness, but she kept her poise.

“I was not delayed from anything that could not wait.” Keeping his eyes shielded, he placed the meat across the spit before offering a weak smile. “I pray forgiveness for my curse reaching your ears.”

Wrapping her arms around her legs, she rested her unscathed cheek on her knees. “Curses are naught. I am simply thankful you helped me, Sir Galeron.” Apparently he was too kind to mention her affliction. She hated the pity.

Seemingly distracted, he arranged kindling then retrieved a piece of hammered steel and flint from a pouch on his belt.

“I pray you can forgive my initial rudeness.” When he didn’t respond, she added, “Ah, I gather forgiveness shall come with time.”

Galeron struck the steel with a bit of flint. “I never held ill will. I understood the reason you lashed out.” He blew on the kindling until it caught. “You are forgiven for bashing your head into mine as well.”

“Ha!” She rose and strode to the fire. Her gaze flitted over his body. He looked up, catching her stare, and alas, stared back. Heat crept up her neck, spreading to her face. Surely, ’twas the fire’s heat causing her flush—she hoped he believed the same lie.

Galeron grinned. His demeanor was infuriating. And endearing.And more confusing than her loss of memory.

“Sit.” He continued to tend the fire.

She paid no heed to his demand, and thrust her hands toward the fire. To her dismay, the sharp smell of the rabbit caused her stomach to roar with hunger.

Galeron’s blue eyes sparked with mischievousness. “I gather ’tis been some time since you ate?”

“Apparently.” She plunked down on a fallen log, certain her face turned countless shades of crimson.

Taking a seat beside her, Galeron chuckled and poked at the fire. He was so close she could smell the woodsy scent on his skin. She inhaled deeper, tucking the fragrance into her mind to savor when she was left to her own.

He cleared his throat. “Allow me to tend to that cut.”

Inwardly cringing, she changed the subject. “How long before we eat?”

With a quick wink, he leaned back and rummaged in his saddle pack. Taking her hand, he placed an apple in it, keeping one for himself. His smile highlighted the dimple in his chin and she found herself offering a genuine smile in return.

“Ah, glorious,” she said, grateful he didn’t see how his touch affected her. Waving his offer to use his dagger, she bit heartily into the fruit, and moaned, relishing the explosion of juice across her tongue. “Naught could taste sweeter in this moment.”

Oh, but she did know one thing that might. Tasting the nectar on his lips would certainly qualify. She sensed his tension when she took a bite. Mayhap he had the same thought? He grunted and crunched into the apple, mumbling something about a damn green-eyed mystery.

Were her eyes green? Damnation. Her mind was truly addled.

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Date Night

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Categories: Guest Posts, Uncategorized, Tags: , , ,

heartIt’s Friday and for many people Friday night is traditionally date night. I’ll be honest, any day of the week makes a great date night.  What Friday has going for it is that you can stay out late and sleep in tomorrow… and that’s not to be sneezed at.  Listening to my friend Dee planning for her date tonight, it got me wondering what constitutes the “ideal” date night?

Dominic believes that the ideal date night changes depending on what type of girl you’re planning the date for… We’ve covered that before.  To a degree he’s right.  The more I think about it, the more I realise that an “ideal date night” doesn’t exist as a standard, defined thing.  Think about it… it would be like saying that all children are the same. When the parents reading this have stopped laughing… give it some thought and you’ll see that I’m right.  Date nights differ depending on who is planning the date and who is attending it.

So… instead of trying to define the “perfect” date night, I thought I’d see if I could define my perfect date night.  Hmm.  Not as easy as you’d think.  Turns out that it differs depending on what mood I’m in *grin*.  Typical woman huh?

I’m all for a great restaurant or a romantic outing.  Believe me, I love being wined and dined and given flowers as much as the next girl and heaven knows my fancy shoes need the odd outing!  However, I also love being treated to a home cooked meal, some chinese takeout or even a picnic on the living room floor.  Even popcorn and a DVD can be the perfect evening.

Date night isn’t only for those in a relationship.  No, I’m not going to be talking about anything battery operated *sigh*… I’m talking about the fact that even the single man or woman can plan a great “date” night for themselves.  Spoil yourself with a great meal, watch a movie, have a facial.  Whatever it is, take the time to treat yourself well.  After all, you can’t rely on other people to make you feel special all the time.

So what does my idea date night look like today?  Well, it’s a long, hot bath followed by my favourite pizza, some lovely chilled wine and a few of our awesome books on my eReader.  I’ll be curled up on my sofa with a fuzzy blanked over my knee and at least one of our cats to keep me company.  As for Dominic?  I believe he’s going out on the town with some of the guys… who knows what could happen next!

So tell me… what is your ideal date night like??

Until next time…

Domino xx

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Meet Conall from His Cemetery Doll by Brantwijn Serrah

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Categories: Character Spotlight, Interview, New Releases, paranormal, Tags: , , , , , ,

HisCemeteryDoll_200x300Click HERE to order your copy now!!

Conall knows the angel standing in his graveyard is only a statue. After all, he carved her with his own two hands. Can she possibly be…alive?

There’s a woman in the graveyard.

Conall Mackay never put stock in ghost stories. Not even after thirteen years serving as the cemetery keeper in the village of Whitetail Knoll. But things change. Now, his daughter is dreaming of a figure among the tombstones. The grounds are overrun by dark thorns almost faster than Con can clear them. White fog and gray ribbons creep up on him in the night, and a voiceless beauty beckons him from the darkest corners of the graves.

When the world he knows starts to unravel, Conall might finally be forced to believe.

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October is definitely the month for things that go bump in the night… whether it be in the best possible way or just plain creepy!!  Today, the mistress of spooky, Brantwijn Serrah, has brought her hero, Conall Mackay from His Cemetery Doll, to visit us.  Let’s chat to him and find out what makes him tick.

Hi Conall and welcome.  Why don’t you tell us about yourself.  What got you in the crosshairs for your author?

I’ve been through a lot of evolution with Brantwijn. I’ve existed as part of her stories in some form or another for more than a decade. The story she finally found for me, though, is quite new. And I find I like it. 

So in essence you’ve been haunting her until you could be reborn in a tale of your own?  Makes sense in the grand scheme of things *grin*. Tell me, what was it that drew you to your mate?

I tell you…it was a strange thing. She comes to me out of the fog in the night, this sorrowful grey lady. When she comes, it’s like she’s looking for something. Most of the time I think it’s me she wants, but other times…

Women… we’re always a little bit mysterious… Here’s a naughty one for you… where was the wildest place you seduced her?

Er, well…my doll comes to me in the graveyard, and we…we occasionally find ourselves making love atop one of the tombstones.

That’s a little too creepy for me thanks!!  *shivers*  What’s your take on underwear?  Boxers, briefs or commando?

Personally, I prefer to wear jock shorts.

Hmm… Fill me in, if your partner wants to seduce you, what’s one sure fire trick she can play?

In all honesty, while I certainly wouldn’t turn down some of her more intimate touches, it is her kisses which truly light the fire for me. I love when my cemetery doll kisses me, when we kiss over and over. The touch of her lips thrills me from head to toe.

I have to agree, kissing is one of the most sensual and wonderful activities… but enough about me, what is the one place on your partner’s body that you know will drive them wild-in and out of bed?

I’ve discovered she quite likes it when I caress her breasts. They are lovely little breasts…just a handful…but they are gorgeous, and I love the way she shivers when I stroke them.

Breasts don’t need to be large to be wonderful, as you well know!  Here’s a chance to spill… What was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in His Cemetery Doll?

Let’s just say there’s a bit of “solo” scene she threw in…

Really??  Brantwijn is full of surprises *grin*.  Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

Take it from a man who knows…the next time you hear a ghost story, don’t take it lightly.

Oh, I never take a ghost story lightly!

I hope you’ll all go and buy a copy of Conall’s story.  He’s certainly waited long enough to share it with you all!

Until next time,

Domino xx

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The Dreaded Bad Review

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Categories: Author Tips, Interview, Writing, Tags: , , , ,

Reviews_Icon_ISHIMR_2013_v3Ok, let’s face it, no one sees a 1 or 2 star review of their book and jumps for joy.  I know, I have a talent for stating the obvious *grin*.  I have to tell you, Domino gets her knickers in a knot when any of our authors gets a bad review, but then, we’re quite protective.

There are a few things in the life of an author that are unavoidable.  Deadlines, edits, blurbs, synopsis writing… and bad reviews.  That 1 or 2 star wonder is enough to drive fear into the heart of even the toughest writer.  “What did I do wrong?” “Why don’t they like me?” “What did I do to deserve that?” and invariably at some point in the dealing with it all… ”Hmph, horrid little twerp just feels like putting me down!”  Don’t shake your head… everyone has done it at some point!

Here’s my personal take on it all for what it’s worth.

  • Yes, there are internet “trolls” who habitually give low star ratings and bad reviews.  If you are targeted by one, accept that that is simply how that person operates and let it go.
  • If you get a low star rating or a poor review from someone who seems to give a healthy mix of good and bad reviews, take the time to see what it is that they’ve said about your book.  If they’ve offered something sensible or logical, take it in for next time.  If not… let it go.
  • If you get a poor star rating with no accompanying review… well, you have no way of knowing what that person was thinking.  Will stressing about it change the rating?  No?  Let it go.
  • If you get a review that basically just tears you and the book to shreds, take a step back.  Is there any merit in anything that is said?  If so, take that with a bucket of salt.  If not?  Let it go.
  • Sometimes the review will be negative for the dumbest reasons ever!!  I’m not kidding.  The reviewer purchased a book that is 22 pages long and leaves a negative review because the books is “too short”… um??  Or one of my favourites, comments that there was too much romance.  In. A. Romance. Book!!  Take a moment to appreciate those reviews, have a good giggle and then move on.
  • Sometimes the review will be negative purely because it didn’t suit the reviewers personal taste.  Confused?  Well, it could be that the reviewer bought or was gifted your book and discovered something that they didn’t expect.  Perhaps your story took an unexpected twist which ruined it for them or there was too much unnecessary swearing in the story or even the way a sex scene was written with too much use of crass wording… Think of it this way.  I love milk chocolate and Domino adores dark chocolate.  They’re both chocolate and we’re both chocolate lovers, but if you handed me a bit of dark chocolate in a taste test, you’d get a low review from me because I am just not a fan of dark chocolate.  My “review” of that chocolate would be 2 star.  The chocolate itself could be an award winning recipe and 90% of the world would love it, but for me it would be a ‘no’.  Does my 2 star review mean that the chocolate itself was bad?  Not at all. It’s just my opinion.

As you can see, getting a low or negative review doesn’t necessarily mean that YOU are a bad writer or that your book is bad.  It’s purely the opinion of the reviewer.  As for how these reviews influence me as a reader?  Well, I am naturally suspicious of books that have “over 750 5* reviews on Amazon” with only a few dozen 3* or lower.  Equally, when I am looking for something new to read, I will look at the good reviews and the bad reviews and then form my own opinion anyway.

It’s not easy and it’s not fun, but those reviews are not the end of the world.  Anyone who would skip your book based purely on a low star rating from a reviewer or two… well, that’s their loss… but then again that’s just my opinion *grin*

Chat soon,

Dominic

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So What is NaNoWriMo?

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Categories: Author Tips, Breathless Press Authors, Writing, Tags: , , , ,

nano_logo

The great thing about writing and the writing community is that every day there are fresh people joining and fresh dreams just waiting to be realised.  This also means that every day there are new people discovering publishers, writing groups and opportunities like NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month”.  To quote their site, it’s “a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing”. In essence, on 1 November participants begin working on their goal of writing a 50 000 word novel by 23:59 on 30 November.

Sounds a bit daunting doesn’t it?  I’m the first to admit that the idea of NaNo scares me.  After all, I have work commitments, family stuff, friends to see and no-one knows what will crop up unexpectedly.  Surely I’d be nuts to sign up for something that works on the premise of you writing 50 000 words in a month?

Even more so since I’m happy to admit that some months I fail to complete even a 5 000 word short!

The truth is though that there are more reasons to sign up and participate than there are to skip it.  Yes, all the reasons I listed are real and valid.  However, most of us are writing every day amongst all those same things.  Is it just the 50 000 word target that scares us?  Could be.  However, a brief polling of our authors reminded me of a few reasons why everyone should do this at least once…

  • It’s a lot of fun and you’ll meet awesome writers facing the same struggles as you!
  • Best case scenario?  You’ll write a 50 000 word book (or longer)
  • Worst case scenario? You’ll have written more words than if you didn’t try at all (even if it’s only 10 000)
  • Other benefits? You won’t be alone – in 2013, 310 095 participants took part!

As far as I can see… it’s a win-win!

To quote their site….

“Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”

Until next time…

Domino xx

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Book Signing: Meet Rebekah Lewis

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Categories: Author Spotlight, Book Signing, Breathless Press Authors, Print, Tags: , , , , ,

VictoriaHere is another opportunity for you to meet one of our talented authors in person!  The wonderful Rebekah Lewis will be hosting a book signing at the Barnes and Noble at the Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah Georgia tomorrow (18 October).
I would definitely recommend that you take the time to go and meet her.  She’s not only fun, fiesty and supremely imaginative in her writing, but she’ll also have 25 printed previews of the first 2 chapters of her next book Mercury Rising with a coupon code in it for the full novella that comes out on Halloween!  There’s bound to be plenty to talk about and I know she’d be happy to answer any questions you’ll have!
http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4739574
Don’t miss out, it’s going to be fantastic!!
Chat soon,
Dominic
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WickedSatyrNights 600x900Wicked Satyr Nights: The Cursed Satyroi, Book 1
Click here to purchase your print copy
Click here to purchase your ebook copy
Some creatures want to be found.
When Dr. Katerina Silverton travels into the Pine Barrens to make a documentary on the Jersey Devil, she doesn’t believe she will find evidence of anything supernatural. However, Kat soon finds herself face-to-face with the very creature she was sent into the forest to capture on film.In Ancient Greece, the god Pan made a terrible mistake which resulted in the creation of a race of immortal satyrs. Centuries later, he lives secluded in the Pine Barrens, frightening the mortals by taking the guise of an abhorrent local monster. When a beautiful woman shows up in his forest looking for proof of his existence, Pan can’t resist revealing himself to her.

But outside forces may be manipulating them both, pushing them together for nefarious reasons. Kat must decide if she could learn to love a satyr or if his appearance is more than she can handle. Can she resist Pan’s wicked nature, or will she give into the temptations beyond her wildest fantasies?

***
UndertheSatyrMoon_200x300Under the Satyr Moon: The Cursed Satyroi, Book 2
Click here to purchase your print copy
Click here to purchase your ebook copy
The only cure to the satyr curse is a nymph. When Ariston finds one spying on him, can he win her over?
Under the Satyr Moon a curse was wrought, and under the same moon shall it be reversed…if the Fates allow.A freelance photography job goes downhill fast when Lily Anders’ boyfriend dumps her and disappears from the campsite, leaving her stranded in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Feeling lost, heartbroken, and afraid, Lily follows a mysterious melody through the wilderness. She never would have guessed the source of the music would reveal that legendary figures of Greek mythology really existed, and she could be one of them.

Ever since he was cursed, Ariston has only wanted one thing—to be human again. He has searched the globe for a nymph to free him, but over three thousand years of failure has pushed him into a life of solitude. Ariston believes he’s finally found the salvation he’s longed for when he catches Lily spying on him in the forest. Unfortunately, he has to convince her to like him first.

What seems to be the Fates bringing them together in time for the Satyr Moon proves to be an elaborate scheme with macabre intentions. Dionysus has sent Ariston’s estranged brother, Adonis, to ensure the curse cannot be broken, and nothing tosses cold water over the flame of seduction like a twin seeking vengeance.

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Meet Avan Noxturna from Point of No Return by Torie James

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Categories: Character Spotlight, Interview, New Releases, paranormal, Tags: , , , , ,

Click HERE to order your copy now!!Point of no Return 200x300

Full of seething, sensual shadows and hidden faces, the annual Masquerade Ball at Lymbo Resort is one event anyone would sell their soul for.

One night a year, impiety and temptation take center court at the invitation only event hosted by the mysterious Avan Noxturna. Decadent darkness, burning lust, and wicked intentions hide behind innocent masks in the most innocuous places.

The fires of hell may blaze hot, but the flames of passion consume common sense when obsessive memories escape to ignite an inferno of intimate bliss that will sear both saint and sinner.

***

I hope you’re all having an awesome week so far?  Mine has been great, but it always looks up when I get the chance to hang with the ultra nice Torie James and her interesting cast of characters!  Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you all to Avan Noxturna from Torie’s latest book - Point of No Return – which releases tomorrow!

Hi Avan and thanks so much for joining us today.  Why not tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author?

*throaty laugh* Let’s just say we have a business arrangement. I’ve fulfilled my end, now it’s her turn. Shame she hasn’t read the fine print, though.

Oh yes?  Sounds like an interesting situation… care to tell us more?

You’ll have to read my story to find out more.

Fair enough I suppose *grin*.  Ok, how about you tell us what it was that drew you to your mate?

*clenched teeth* He’s not my mate. He’s a thorn in my side. A fly in my ointment. My cross to bear. No pun intended. *low growl, then sigh* He’s not entirely unappealing. I just resent his position in my life and his overall arrogance in thinking I’d be anything other than pissed. To err is human, to forgive is divine and hell hath no fury like me when scorned, hungry and inconvenienced. 

Tell us how you really feel *grin*.  I’m guessing this is going to be a really fun read!  Here’s a great question for you – and just a little bit naughty - where was the wildest place you seduced your partner?

You mean my prey? *wicked grin* I gave Adam Lambert a hand job on the Spinning Teacups at Disneyland.

That is a really wild place indeed!! Let’s hope that Adam never finds out that you shared that info with us… Tell us, boxers, briefs or commando?

I say commando for a man. As for me, it depends. Sometimes the feel of silk or satin against my flesh is deliciously sensual.

Good to know! I’m sure our readers would love to know what one sure fire trick is that your partner can play if he wants to seduce you?

I’m the seducer. Not the seduced…*winks*

Never been seduced?  You don’t know what you’re missing… to each their own though I guess *grin*.  Alright, what is the one place on your partner’s body that you know will drive them wild-in and out of bed?

*thoughtful look* It depends on the lover.

Not giving much away are you!  Hmm… here’s a great one, what was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in Point of No Return?

She never embarrassed me, she betrayed me. *arches a brow* Lovely of her to conveniently blind my senses to what was stalking me. I won’t forget it anytime soon, either.

Oh dear Torie, sounds like you’re in for some trouble from this one… not that you’re not fully capable of looking after yourself!  So Avan, is there anything else you would like to add?

Why take the stairway to Heaven when I can show you the highway to Hell?

And that ladies and gents is a pretty cryptic and intriguing reason to order this Flirt from Torie James!!

Chat soon,

Dominic

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Writing the Blurb

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Categories: Author Tips, Musing, Writing, Tags: , , ,

quill-penIt’s a strange thing, but one of the elements of completing your book that trouble most authors is writing the blurb.  You would think that asking someone to “sell” their book to you would be simple… after all, who better to sell the book to a reader than the person who wrote it.  However, it’s not really as easy as it sounds.  Sometimes, it can be a case of being too close to the story to be able to break it down or perhaps it’s the act of trying to condense your story into just a few sentences that is the struggle?

Here is something that I found on the Digital Book World site (full article here) that really helped break it down for me and I hope that you’ll find it just as helpful.

Here is the formula:

(1) Situation. Every story has to start somewhere, with some people in some sort of circumstances. Describe them simply here.

(2) Problem. Every story (every interesting one, anyway) has some sort of hitch that either makes that situation untenable or makes change inevitable. This part of the description often starts with the word, “But…” or “However…” or “Until…”

(3) Hopeful possibility. Here’s the potential to overcome the crisis. This “cool thing” or “longshot opportunity” makes your audience want to read your story. Yes, the situation (above) seems doomed by the problem (above). Still, there’s hope because of this new twist. Parts 1, 2, and 3, if concisely written, together create the drama that propels the story.

(4) Mood, tone or spirit of the story. Finally, readers want to know what kind of emotional state they’re going to get into while they’re reading this book. Is it a dark, dystopian tragedy or humorous chick lit cotton candy? This is where you set the tone and clinch the deal, turning browsers into buyers.

Now, the other great advice I will give you is this… go and look at some of your favourite books.  Read their blurbs.  What is it about that blurb that made you want to read the book?

Finally… the only way this will get any “easier” is if you practice!!

Until next time…

Domino xx

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Talking Reviews

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Categories: Author Tips, Fresh Blog, Musing, Reviews, Uncategorized, Tags: , , , , ,

review-starsIt’s strange how you see patterns on Facebook… it’s like an ocean and you can follow the progress of an idea around the world by seeing when your distant friends share something.  The latest wave – which started as one small post and then started to crop up on various pages – is the question of reviews.

Let me be more specific.  The questions that were raised were as follows:

  • Is it ok to ask for reviews?
  • Is it ethical to suggest exchanging positive reviews?
  • Is it right to offer a 5 star review on sites even if you haven’t read the book?
  • I hated the book.  Is it ok to say so in my review?

You may think that this is a no-brainer and I’m sure that to almost everyone reading this blog, it is a no-brainer, but in case someone is new to the review thing… let me elaborate a little.

  • Is it ok to ask for reviews? 

    Yes, it is completely ok to ask for reviews.  Especially if you’re asking fellow authors or friends and relatives.  You should even encourage readers to post reviews by mentioning it on your social media and in your newsletter (if you have one).  You can even offer a random prize to be drawn from people who post reviews and share links on your Facebook page.  All of this is ok.  The only time you head into murky water is if you are offering to pay for a review.

  • Is it ethical to suggest exchanging positive reviews?No.  It would be far better to suggest that you will offer an honest review in exchange for the same.  This means that both parties should be aware that if one of you didn’t enjoy the others book… you’re going to say so.  Nicely.
  • Is it right to offer a 5 star review on sites even if you haven’t read the book? 

    Um… no.  I’ve seen professional “tour and review” companies and individuals offering this service.  “10 5 star reviews guaranteed”.  This is not something you want for your book.  I for one would by far rather that my reviews (good or bad) came from people who had actually read the book.  At least then you don’t end up with an inflated idea of how many people you’ve reached!  After all, if I don’t have to read your book to review it… you won’t be getting many sales will you?

  • I hated the book.  Is it ok to say so in my review?

    This falls under the category of being honest, so yes.  However, my answer comes with a condition.  By all means say that you didn’t enjoy the book, but remember that a human being wrote that book and worked really hard on it.  When saying that you don’t enjoy the book, give clear, concise reasons for that.  Bear in mind that if you read a book on vampires and you don’t like vampires, that is not a good enough reason to not like the book.  If you felt that the characters were underdeveloped or you felt that the ending was a let down or the plot twist ruined a good story arc, find a way to say so while offering suggestions on how the author could avoid a similar situation in future books.  Be nice, be considerate and don’t just slam a book to feel “big”.

In short, reviews are a vital part of the publishing journey for all authors whether published by a mainstream publisher, Indie publisher or even self-published.  Reviews are a physical sign to potential buyers that others have read your work and hopefully recommend it.  Be respectful of readers and writers and above all… have fun!

Until next time…

Domino xx

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The Observation of Whiskers the Cat

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Categories: Fresh Blog, Musing, Uncategorized, Tags: , , , ,

Cat_paw_(cloudzilla)We have a cat.  Well, to be honest, we have a few cats… Domino isn’t very good at saying no to a feline in need!  One of these is a fluffy tuxedo Tom called Whiskers.  Just for something different, I decided to hand the blog over to him today!  Without further ado… here is the guest post I got back *grin*

***

Sunday, 12 Oct.
09:47am

I have been watching the female human closely as she sleeps.  Apparently it is “Sunday” and although I have no idea what that means, I can tell you that it is the day of the week when the humans traditionally give over to their inner cat and sleep a bit later.  They certainly sleep far too little and I suspect that it’s part of what makes them occasionally so very grumpy.

10:31am

I have decided that it is time that I am fed.  The others agree with me.  We put it to a vote and I will now walk across her face until she wakes up.  Sleeping is necessary, but food is vital.

10:36am

I have woken the female human.  I wasn’t expecting to be swatted off the bed, but as long as there is movement I will consider it a successful campaign.  I will now rub against her feet to show her that she is behaving appropriately.

10:53

Food has been successfully ingested and the human has taken up my favourite spot on the chaise in the sitting room with a cup of some revolting brown mixture.  It must have some sort of nutritive importance because she cannot go a day without it.  Yuck.

11:22

I was trying to nap on the desk, but have been put on the floor so that the lightbox can be placed in my spot.  Sigh.  The human will now spend hours making clacking noises while staring into that light.  It seems to be a larger cousin of the nefarious red dot.  Poor human, her paws are moving so quickly, but she’s no closer to capturing the light.  I will let her play for a few minutes and then I will attempt to help her capture the light.

11:27

I have been kissed (ew) and cuddled and told “no”.  Fine.  If you don’t want my help, you may continue to suffer at the hands of the device and the light.  I’m going to nap.

14:10

I don’t know when she tired of the light, but that infernal clacking has mercifully ceased.  She has hidden the light by putting its face on the table.  Good.  I can now lie on top of it so it won’t distract her any further.  Wait… she’s moving to the sofa.  Hmmm… I think I’ll just lie here a little longer in case the light regains its strength….

15:00

*stretch*  That was a great 50 winks.  I think it’s time that the human was reminded that I am worthy of praise and attention.  She is holding one of those papery blocks that seem to mesmerise her so much.  They’re great for rubbing my head on though… *climb onto her lap and rub head on spine of book*… ah yes, that’s fantastic!  Hmm… the human is getting annoyed that I’m moving the object and is now stroking me.  Excellent.  My plan is working.  Nap time.

17:55

Time to remind the human that my food doesn’t serve itself.  Stretch, insert all 20 claws gently into her lap.  Purr loudly.  Jump down, miaow pitifully.  What does “just one more page” mean anyway?  I’m starving here!

With love, purrs and all my own fur,

Whiskers xx

 

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