Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Sarah cannot escape the deadly Ludus—a mind-body dissociation game where bodies and souls don't always merge after the game is over.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Parker's healing touch can bring beings back to life, provided they haven't crossed over. Until now she's managed to keep her gift a secret, but somebody seems determined to expose her and get her back into St. Mary's Orphanage. Four years ago, Sarah was an orphan at St. Mary's who'd lost hope of ever being adopted and faced the gruesome Ludus, a mind-body dissociation game, until Ida showed up. She's lived a dream life since then, but Sarah senses something is amiss. She has pretty much settled into her "new life" when cracks appear in her comfort zone. The last thing Sarah wants is to return to St. Mary's.

When Marcus David, her boyfriend, is accused of murdering a student and Ida is attacked shortly thereafter, Sarah's deepest fears materialize. She loses Ida and Marcus in one breath and returns to St. Mary's. There's no escaping the Ludus and the wrath of her newfound enemies. As Sarah readjusts to St. Mary's, she learns the orphanage holds crucial secrets to her past.

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1. I write because… to me it is as natural as breathing.
2. If I were your favorite cookie, what would I be?
 Choc chip ice cream cookie because I have never tasted one.
3. Plotter or pantster?
reformed panster. Plotting makes a world of difference.
4. What is your favorite type of character to write about and why?
paranormal. Because you have no human limitations.
5. Hamburgers or sushi?
neither.  Does grilled chicken or frid peanut bars count?
6. Name three things on your desk.
Religious deity, my  iPad, pens - lots of pens.
7. What books have influenced your writing style?
Twilight, Fallen (Lauren Kate) and most recently the Percy Jackson series.
8. Tell us a little about your book.

9. What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?
Write, write, write and approach publishers such as Lycaon. Press who have open calls for submission. Editors have valuable advice to offer and writers should take advantage of it.

10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
A new Adult series. Book #1 is due for release on May 2nd. I am working on book #2
Top 5 favorite (pick one) desserts, movies, things to eat, ice cream flavors, bookeat books.


I skip breakfast and leave for school before Ida's even up. I'm rushing down the hall, anxious to catch a glimpse of Marcus when I run into someone.


"I'll survive," a husky male voice replies.

My gaze travels past the solid muscle I rushed into and into a classically beautiful face that could have been ripped right off the pages of Teen. He's hot, and he knows it.

"Armando Perez." He holds out his right hand and smiles, expecting me to shake it and swoon.

He's gorgeous, but I'm not going to show him I think so. "Sarah Parker."

"Pleasure's all mine." He takes my hand, raises it to his lips, and kisses it.

His spontaneous gesture stuns me—I almost ignore the sudden shiver creeping up my spine. "I have to get going."

"See you around, Miss Parker."

I run before he says anything else.

Pri is engrossed in conversation when I join her and Andy. "You guys should've been there." Pri gestures dramatically. "O rocked." Andy and I are sitting on the ledge of the fairy fountain. Marcus hasn't arrived yet.

"What exactly rocked? The crowd? The music?" Andy pops a Smartie into his mouth.

"Everything. The crowd isn't the usual losers only after the spotlight. Last night totally amazed me." She tilts Andy's box of Smarties into her mouth. "I swear I felt totally in my element at O. Antoinette introduced me to the coolest people."

"Will Antoinette help me find a boyfriend there?" Andy asks.

"She can if you're into goths, vampires, and zombies."

"I'm into anything that loves me as I am," Andy says, stifling a grin.

Pri rolls her eyes. "O isn't a joke, Andy. It's a happening place if you're after a rocking evening."

"Who's planning a rocking evening?" Marcus smiles at me before greeting Andy and Pri.

"Me. Andy's desperate for a boyfriend," Pri says.

"Nothing wrong with that." Marcus grins and winks at Andy.

"Yeah. But O isn't exactly a place for casual relationships."

Marcus hangs on to Pri's every word. I had no idea he was into O at all. "Exactly what goes on there?" He's more curious than his voice lets on. I can tell from the way his gaze never leaves Pri's while he waits for her answer.

Author bio:

Sheritha is thirty-something South African writer. She lives on the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Coast where winter is almost non – existent. She has been writing since the age of twelve and often spaced out during Math and biology while dreaming up new plots for her many romance novels. Sheritha shares her home with her family and two canines.

Sheritha is currently developing Lace Higgins's writing  career. There are plenty sexy stories for Lace to write.
Sheritha's publishing credits include:
Cherish – Lycaon Press www.lycaonpress.com
Witch Apprentice – Crimson Volume 2 Anthology short story – writing as Lace Higgins. www.breathlesspress.com
Sheritha loves hearing from readers. Tweet her @Shersinghzn

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Erasing Shadows

What if to save the ones you love, you had to unlock the key to a different reality?

Generations of mystery smash together when a seemingly traditional family must shatter their illusions of normality to confront themselves and their friends, leaving no possibility unexplored in order to rescue—well, who exactly? Watch the Ross family, the High Five Gang, and multiple generations dig into an innovative explosion of imagination where they must confront numerous realities, real-world danger, and worst of all—their own teenage hormones!

In a place where nothing is as it seems and shocks are around every corner, even the people you thought you knew may find themselves strangers in this moving and provocative reality-bender. With breathless pacing and psychological intrigue, Erasing: Shadows and the High Five Gang will keep you guessing until the very end.

Buy Link


Exactly one hour later, six raggedy looking teenagers showed up out of nowhere in the astral, sitting on the ground near a farm. For a moment, they weren't quite sure where they were. Then it all came back to them. The gravel underneath their legs was leaving imprints like always. They smelled hay. It was a sure sign they were there.
The Emergency Meeting Place.
The group surveyed the landscape, and it appeared exactly as it was supposed to be. The field over the hill lay behind Mira's childhood home. Then they caught themselves staring at each other because of the sheer scale of difference between their before and after appearances.
"Wow." Jonathan spoke first. He gaped at Michael, who, true to his word, had come back at about sixteen-years-old. Even his clothes were teenage clothes. "You've learned some things haven't you!" He was impressed.
"From Mira," answered Michael. "And apparently you have too." Jonathan looked obviously older than Michael. If Michael had to guess, he would say Jonathan was nineteen or twenty. "But, I've re-thought this, and maybe I am going to return to age twelve. It’s closer to Mira's age, and I can build more rapport with her."
He didn't mention that also he just plain missed her. If they were both twelve, well, hopefully her former crush on him when they were younger would manifest this time too. In real life she was older than him, though not by much. That was the weirdness of the astral. Playing with ages got really complicated.
Michael amazed the others as he shrunk. Suddenly he wasn't sixteen anymore. Jonathan knew the technique, but the others were in awe.
"Can I do that too?" asked Zac, who was changing into the clothes he brought. Jonathan noted his older clothes were hanging off of him. Zac was the only other one at about age twelve. He was also the only one who hadn't seemed to travel into the correct clothes. He had arrived still wearing his adult attire. Somehow his traveling skills were a bit behind the others, who looked their appropriate ages.
"No," said Michael. "You are the cousin I have that is Mira's age. The more people her age the better."
Trina laughed at Zac's adult clothes falling off. "Okay, Mr. Hobo, about ready there?" she teased.
Then she turned to Onie. "Wow, you're suddenly a cougar , aren't you,?" she said laughing, for Onie had turned up as age sixteen, four years older than her husband.
"Ha, ha," said Zac.
"Yeah, forgive me if I wait until we're back into the real world to um—oh never mind," said Onie.
"So you do only love me for my body!" teased Zac.
"Well," said Jonathan, getting everyone back on track, "we have to be careful how we introduce ourselves to Mira. It needs to be like it was before; except atour current astral age, so we don't freak her out. I'm not sure where she would end up if she got confused and upset, but it wouldn't be good."
"Right," said Michael. He popped a few more Tums. "She could end up in a forest or a storm. Or alone in the desert—you never know what the unconscious will do, so everyone needs to concentrate hard because Mira won't be able to. So I will find her first and try to develop our old rapport. Knowing her, she will want to learn, and then I'll introduce her to Jonathan like before."
"Let's write this down," said Lu.
"I have paper and pen," said Onie.
Lu looked at the group. "We really haven't changed much personality-wise. There's Onie with supplies on hand, Jonathan ordering us around, and Zac falling apart." She laughed.
"I think it will be easiest if we think of this like a play. We all have our parts that are mimicking how we met and acted before. Only don't forget how serious it is," said Trina.
"I agree," said Michael.
The group spent the next hour recalling their collective memories, remembering the old days, and then reenacted some of their initial encounters with Mira. Michael decided to leave out some of the negative events so as not to traumatize Mira. In the end, they had a plan.
"Does everyone feel comfortable with this?" asked Lu.
"Do you mean, do I feel comfortable as a nineteen-year-old?" said Jonathan. "Hell, yeah. Loving this."
Everyone laughed. Perturbed, Zac spoke. "I'm surprised that I'm only twelve. I thought I'd be older. Why am I the only one that was automatically so young?"
Jonathan answered, "Well, it is representative of your inner evolution, so physically you may be older, but astrally, in this world, you haven't really done that much more traveling or advanced your learning so you haven't particularly grown intellectually or evolutionally 'here.' And remember," he added, "when Michael first came back, he was twelve too. And look at him now—he can stretch to any age."
Zac frowned. His wife saw and added, "It's not a bad thing, Zac. Some people get older and can't go back because they've lost their sense of wonder and attitude of learning. Other people never grow up because they never mature. I think we are right where we are supposed to be, and you never know, this adventure may change us a bit."
"Yeah, hopefully in a good way," Zac acquiesced.
Lu and Trina at sixteen voiced no complaints.
"Actually, Onie, this may come in handy, because you know we are not exactly the same ages as when we first met Mira, except for me, so I think Zac being closer to her age is a good thing," said Michael.
"That's a good thought," said Zac. "I feel better."
Jonathan was gathering his things and making moves to go. "It's getting late. Is everyone clear on what to do? And the order to do it in?"
There were nods all around. Michael added, "Okay, from now on, I am twelve-year-old Michael. Is everyone also clear where to sleep tonight, how to eat, and all the practical things? We sleep in the real world, eat in the real world, but if anyone can, someone should bring some real food to the astral next time."
Jonathan volunteered to try.
"Okay, unless there are any last concerns, let's get this show on the road," said Trina.
Onie had one last comment. "Everyone remembers our name, right? We loved it at the time and believed we were so slick. Mira liked it."
Michael remembered back to his younger self. "The High Five Gang."

K.D. Rose is an author and poet and currently has "Heavy Bags of Soul", "Inside Sorrow" and “I AM (Poetry in Motion)” on sale at Amazon.com. "Erasing: Shadows" is the first of a Seven Book Series for New Adults in the Fantasy/Paranormal Genre. K.D. is currently at work on Book 2, Erasing: Shattered.
K.D. Rose is now also an author with Lycaon Press.  
Just like her books, K.D. Rose is edgy, hits you in the gut and gives you the education you never knew you needed. Writing with irony, truth, and a spiked pen, she takes you past the self into self-evolution.

K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art, writing, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who. K.D. is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms that encourage us to expand and explore past the artificial limits we often set for ourselves in order to see the everyday connections that exist among all things.

Join K. D. Rose on the following social media sites:
Website for the Erasing Series: http://kdroseworld.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00830RFC0

Blog: http://www.kdroseauthortales.com

Email: kd.rose@aol.com

Twitter: @kdrose1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/K.D.RoseWriter

Lycaon Press: http://www.lycaonpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6038789.K_D_Rose

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=184204909&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aerenden Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Aerenden Series (The Child Returns, The Gildonae Alliance and The Zeiihbu Master)
by Kristen Taber



Book One: The Child Returns

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.

Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance

Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.

Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master

Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.


  1. Plotter or panster?

Both. Although I do have a general outline and an overall arcing plot for all the books in the Ærenden series, when I sit down to write I generally only know the big things that need to happen. The characters lead me from there. It makes for a rollercoaster journey, to say the least, and probably wastes time in editing, but I learned my lesson after I wrote the first book. I had The Child Returns plotted out in its entirety, and then part-way through it took a turn I wasn’t expecting. At first, I tried to ignore the side stories that bubbled up while I wrote, but they refused to be silenced. After a while, I realized I had more characters than I had met when I initially started writing and a far more in-depth world than I had initially created. At book’s end, I also realized my initial outline would work best as five books instead of one, so I decided to listen to my muse instead of fighting her.

I guess it’s akin to meeting new people. They seem pretty straightforward and easy to pinpoint at first. But as you get to know them, you realize they’re more complex under the surface than they first appeared. Characters, like real people, can surprise you. And they can be pretty insistent about being themselves. It’s sometimes best to get out of their way.

2. What books have influenced your writing?

My primary influence is The Lord of The Rings Trilogy. JRR Tolkien is the master when it comes to world building. Although he tends to be a bit more descriptive than I like to be (I don’t see the point in taking pages to describe food), authors can learn a lot from his example. Our world, Earth, is not painted with broad strokes alone. Every country and city, every culture has its own separate influences, rituals and experiences. It’s important to know these when inventing a world, even if an author doesn’t use every detail directly in a book. Like in real life, these things influence the way we behave and react. They set up conflicts and catalyze love interests. They define who we are. And even if the worlds we create technically aren’t real, they need to be fully nuanced in order to seem real for readers. Middle-Earth was like that for me. I didn’t read Tolkien’s books; I lived within them. It was the first time I had truly understood the concept and the realization stuck with me. It’s the reason I can tell you what the textbooks in Guardian school taught Nick and what cookies the Zeiihbuans use to celebrate. And it’s the reason the world I’ve built feels real to me while I’m writing. It’s probably as real as my house when I’m in the thick of a chapter, and as real as Tolkien’s stories felt when I read them so long ago.

3. Name three things on your desk right now.

My Lego calendar (yes, made out of Lego bricks; I’m proud to be that kind of geek), a picture of my daughter’s first visit with the Easter Bunny, and a large stack of signed, numbered Ærenden bookmarks. If anyone wants some, please email me and I’ll be happy to send one (or twenty). Somehow I wound up with a thousand, so please help me clear off my desk!

4. Heels or flats?

Depends on what I’m doing. I love heels, particularly funky styles like those John Fluevog designs. But lately, I’ve been babe-in-arms 75% of the day, so I prefer flats for stability reasons (mostly boots). I’m sure my calves will hate me when I finally get the chance to switch back to my 3.5” platforms, but I look forward to that painful day!

5. Favorite kind of character to write about?

Imperfect characters, ones who not only have flaws, but have checkered backgrounds and a sense of humor about life. Although I love creating all types of characters—after all, we have all types in our own world—the ones I love writing the most are the ones I would choose as my friends in real life. Cal, for instance, is probably one of my favorite characters in the Ærenden series. He’s a good guy, which is important for the characters I love. I could never like a person who has a cruel nature or does selfish things. But he’s also made a lot of mistakes. He’s taken some risky, and sometimes foolish, chances. He’s a little rough around the edges, yet he’s hung out with and influenced kings and queens. He’s a philosopher, though he would never consider himself that way, and a bit of a drunk. If anything, Cal seems like a contradiction, but at the root of it, he’s “what you see is what you get”, which can be refreshing these days. Plus, his stories are bound to be entertaining. I’m always surprised by what comes out of his mouth.

6. Name one thing that no one else knows about you.
Oooh…that’s a tough question! I’m a fairly open book, so I think there’s always at least one person on this planet who knows even my worst moments. But I guess there’s one thing I can share...

Everyone knows I’m afraid of heights (deathly terrified), but when it comes to the opposite, I’m completely in love. Tunnels, caves, dark underground places—you name it, I’ll be there. In high school, when I found out we had fall-out shelters boarded up around the school, I convinced my principal to let me into them. In college, I heard rumors about tunnels that used to connect the original buildings. After confirming the stories were true, I found out a friend had access to them and talked him into letting me tag along. I’ve been in caves in Ireland and Pennsylvania, and in the catacombs of Paris. The Mary King’s Close tour in Edinburgh and the Seattle Underground tour are two of my favorite experiences. Rome’s ancient catacombs are on my bucket list, and if I could convince the US National Park Service to let me spend the night in the basements of Alcatraz, I’d be in heaven (and probably have a few ghost tales written by morning).

I don’t know what it is about those dark spaces that fascinate me so much. Maybe it’s the stories that swirl in my head when I’m there or the spooky aura. Or maybe I just like to be as far away from high places as I can get, but I can’t turn down an offer to go exploring. And neither can my characters, which is why they always seem to find a cave or two along their journeys!

7. Burgers or sushi?

Sushi, hands down. I love sashimi (the raw fish without rice) and the more unusual, the better (yup, I’m one of those people who loves uni). I’m always on the hunt for an excellent sushi chef who can slice the best fish that has the freshest flavor. Yum. Now you’ve made me hungry!

8. What's next for you?

Writing books 4 and 5 in the Ærenden series. I’m also considering writing a cookbook with recipes mentioned in the Ærenden series (at a fan’s request) and I’ll probably put together a collection of short stories from Ærenden’s history. There are a few I have in mind involving the first Spellmaster and I’d like to explore origin tales for some of my current characters’ powers. Then who knows what else I’ll find. As I delve, I’m sure I’ll uncover some interesting stories the Ærenden people have been trying to keep hidden.

Outside the YA realm, I have a contemporary romance series I may release. I’m nearly done with the first book and I’m three drafts into the second book, so it’s getting close. We shall see, though.

9. Favorite songs to write by?

At present, I write to whatever’s playing on the radio at my favorite coffee shop, though I loathe the days someone decides rap is a good idea. In the past, I’ve preferred the Led Zeppelin Complete Studio Recordings set for writing sessions. I’ve been listening to Zeppelin since I was a kid, so I know their entire catalogue by heart. As a result, I’m able to simultaneously listen and tune them out at the same time, making them perfect background music. I find that great bass, in particular, keeps my creativity flowing at optimum levels.

10. What advice would you give aspiring YA and New Adult authors?

Read and write. As basic as that sounds, that’s the best way to hone your craft. By reading, you learn from other authors (even if you don’t realize you’re learning). You’re able to study different styles and see what else is out there for creativity and plots. You can see what you like to read and don’t (translation: you learn what works for you as a writer and what doesn’t). And by writing—by practicing—you simply get better each time you try. What’s more, you get comfortable with writing, which is imperative for finding your own voice. A new writer tends to be stiff and mimics other writers, while one who has experience is comfortable being themselves. Confidence in writing translates to a seamless experience for the reader, and it’s a must for success.

Excerpt Three:
Standing on the field, this close to the action, the reality of the situation struck her. Not fifteen feet away, she watched a young woman about her age fall from a knife wound to the neck. The middle-aged man who had murdered her raised crazed eyes in Meaghan’s direction before taking an electric orb from Artair. The burn mark the orb left behind seared through clothing and flesh, leaving an unmistakable stench she would always associate with death. The man toppled over his victim.

Behind the piled bodies, another person fell. This man, his wrists free of ribbons, became a symbol of victory for her allies. But he looked no different to Meaghan. She did not see an enemy. She only saw the lifeless form of a human being, the soulless eyes of someone’s father or son. And in that man’s vacant stare, she understood the truth Nick had been trying to tell her. To survive the battle, she would have to take a life. She had trouble killing the fake Mardróch in her field test and he had been a grotesque creature with no hint of humanity left within him. How could she kill someone who looked like he could be her neighbor? How could she stare into the eyes of someone with a recognizable soul and dim that light?

The thought drew bile up the back of her throat. She could not kill. And if that was her answer, she would not survive.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kristentaberauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kristentaber

Google +: plus.google.com/+KristenTaber

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

Buy Links for Book 1

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0084UZ5GM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0084UZ5GM&linkCode=as2&tag=sad06-20



Buy Links for Book 2





Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Last Day King

The most magical figure of royal folklore and legendary British king travels to the future to reunite with the girl he fell in love with. The Legend Lives On. In modern day San Francisco, a young girl rescues a boy king from the treacherous waters. The beloved king of lore longs to reunite with his futuristic fascination. After his trusted wizard proposes a mission to save mankind only days before his prophesied death, the king travels with his mystic companions to our time in hopes of embracing his lady love once again, and to save a world which his rule helped create.

Arthur inhaled sharply, his nostrils flaring slightly. "Who is this lovely maiden?" he said, his voice hoarse.
"Do you not remember?" Merlin asked.
Shifting slightly, Arthur took on the aura of a man who knows the impending strategy, yet waits for the attack to come upon him before defending himself. "Tell me."
"You commissioned this painting the night before you married Guinevere. You gazed at it for hours, then entrusted it to me. I remember a boy who dreamt of a different time, who came back to me descanting of a young woman such as this. A child-woman who dragged you to safety upon a beach. In whose eyes you said you saw your destiny."
"No more than a boyhood fantasy."
"No. More. Much more. What if I were to tell you this woman does indeed exist—that I could find some way to reunite you?"
"I would call you a peddler who preys upon those whose emotion has left them devoid of reason." Arthur rose and surveyed the painting.
In his mind's eye, he watched her walk on the beach, heard the cry of seagulls in the air, and felt her moist, salty lips upon his. He shook himself from his reverie, placing his hands on his hips. His silk tunic felt buttery soft under his fingers. "I remember her hands, softer than the garment I wear, softer than anything I have ever touched before." He smiled boyishly as he folded his arms across his chest. "I, a half-drowned, scrawny rat, whom she saved from the waters, unknowing of what time and place I arrived in. She, a heroine, most fair of face and a body fashioned by none other than God himself, with all of the perfections endowed by the greatest artist. St. Nick and his smelly bed covering." Arthur laughed out loud for a brief moment before composing himself. "I could not speak of her to anyone else. Only to you, Merlin. And now you tease me with my blubbery about the woman who dragged me upon the beach, who has ingrained her image into my memory in such a manner that some nights I cannot sleep for the longing of feeling her touch once again."
"She is real. We can find her. You can protect her from the calamities that will befall her in her era."
Arthur ran his fingers over the woman's image. "What gentle kindness and innocence in her face. What virtue and peace she must be accustomed to. Her style of living. Gracious, no doubt. While I have killed, maimed, and destroyed for the sake of bringing order, only to find irony and chaos has cursed me again. What blessings could I bring to a woman such as this? My hands are stained by the blood of thousands of men, so that I could instill a system of law which is constantly abused. Which crushes the lowly even lower beneath the iron of their landowners."
Merlin's crepe paper lips pursed and turned white. "There is a boy in the dungeons I have heard word of, who I believe can take the sorceress Nimue's place. He has the powers of an incubus. Tales of him have spread wide, for the guards have used him to manipulate the weather to prevail in their gambles upon the joust and other games. His name is Alastair."
"Is he a prisoner?"
"He is an orphaned child. Rumor has it he caused plagues of beasts in the market to vex the vendors, and after they were cleared from their stalls, he stole their goods to survive. The prison guards arrested him, but instead of putting him on trial, the warden offered him a job in the dungeons, in exchange for food and shelter. It is said he is essentially held prisoner there, unable to manipulate the weather or call upon large animals to free him."
"Perhaps the child's powers have interfered with my matches against Mordred," Arthur said, as he twirled a pawn between five fingers. "If that is the case, perhaps Lancelot should deal with him." Merlin's expression remained unmoved at his comment. "A jest," said Arthur. "And very obviously, a poor one."
"Since you choose to revert to boyhood habits, tell me once again from your studies what the five pillars of power are that every stronghold must harness?"
"Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit," Arthur replied. "At five points in a circle. From which can be traced the pentagram, which is a symbol of the harmony of elements and the physical body joining with the higher power of the spirit."
"Precisely the need for the Round Table. For contrary to myth, it is not the Round Table that belies the mystical powers of King Arthur, but the pillars of the five points within. Each of the Mystics is necessary to harness the powers of the pillars, and once these powers are harnessed, anything imaginable can be accomplished. Alastair shall take Nimue's position."
"Could his presence give us the powers we once had?"
"And I would see the woman in the painting again? Someone real, who I could reach out and touch? A woman of flesh and blood and not only a dream?" Arthur asked, his eyes hopeful.

Author Interview Questions:

1. I write because…

I love immersing myself in the sensuous world my characters live in, where touch defines a moment, and sense can influence perspective. So often in life, we are distracted by the mundane tasks of our every day world that we forget to attune ourselves to the sights we see, the sounds we hear, the love we feel. Characters are all of those things, times one thousand. There is a certain thrill in experiencing love all over again as one of my characters would do.

2. If I were your favorite cookie, what would I be?

Whatever cookie you were, I would eat you. As long as you don't have nuts. I'm allergic to nuts. I've never met a cookie I didn't like. Especially a smart one. Heh!

3. Plotter or pantster?

Plotter. I need a blueprint for everything.

4. What is your favorite type of character to write about and why?

Quirky, fun female characters with quick wit and a great sense of humor

5. Hamburgers or sushi?

Do fries come with that?

6. Name three things on your desk.

A cup of green tea, a bottled water, and a snack. I could be here for hours.

7. What books have influenced your writing style?

George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire Series. Although Stephen King is far from a romantic, I love the way he captures his characters patois so authentically. So his books are a definite influence. Also Anne Rice, who weaves a story with such sensory detail as well as intense conflict. I love her mystical side.

8. Tell us a little about your book.

The Last Day King is a Fantasy/Time Travel Romance set in both modern and medieval times. Based upon Arthurian legend, the novel is a new and exciting twist on medieval romance.
King Arthur's future love interest, Lilith Vandy, rescues the legendary time traveler from the perilous waters of Ocean Beach near the city of San Francisco. Smitten by her from the very beginning, King Arthur spends years of his life pining for her, and finds there is a way he may reunite with her again in future times.

9. What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?

Learn the craft, follow the rules, then break them. The grand goal is writing your best work. The success of being published, building a fan base, and hopefully making a little money at what you love to do always comes after writing a great book. Then make sure your next one is even better.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?

I am finishing up edits on Nightfall, the first of The Veil Series, a YA Paranormal romance filled with the ghosts and specters haunting the halls of Addison High School. After that, I will work on the sequels to The Ashes of Windsor, a post apocalyptic tale of the lives of two teens after nuclear war, and Vampire Eden, a novella about vampires and zombies in Las Vegas. However, I'm going through an intense situation in my life and the makings of a new story is percolating. I'd better get to work on knocking out some of my to do list here.

Top 5 favorite (pick one) desserts, movies, things to eat, ice cream flavors, books.
1. The Song of Ice and Fire Series. Mr. Martin cannot write these books fast enough. But at least there's the Game of Thrones Series to pacify me until the sequel to A Dance With Dragons comes out.
2. Chocolate Banana Cake at The Office in Cabo San Lucas. This cake is unbelievable, and I know cake.
3. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. The surgeon general needs to issue a warning to your loved ones about the sugar free version. Your comforter will rapidly become a Dutch oven, much to the disgust of your loved one. My advice: eat the stuff with real sugar. Just have a smaller scoop.
4. Pets! Nothing makes me feel happier than petting a cat or dog. Or even talking to fish. Yeah, I admit it. I talked to fish swimming in a tank for a good minute. Anything with eyes that can focus on you has the potential to make a good listener. If you've gone through a divorce, I'm sure you'll find that to be a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
5. A Cafe Latte with soymilk, my iPad, and a bistro setting filled with fun and fashionable people. Cocola at Santana Row in San Jose is my favorite place to spend a Sunday morning.

Author bio and picture:
About The Author
Liz Newman holds an MA in Clinical Psychology, and a BA in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. Liz Newman worked as an intern at KTVU Broadcasting Station in Oakland, California.  Liz has also worked as a crisis counselor, a community health counselor, and a staff psychologist at a local elementary school.  Liz also contributes anonymously to several texts published to assist children and teens struggling with social and domestic issues. 

Several articles by Liz Newman have been featured in magazines and journals such as San Francisco Socialite, Spirit Song, Highlights, and The Sacramento News and Review, Chic Mom Magazine, Under A Harvest Moon, and Our USA Magazine.   

Several novels and novellas by Liz Newman have been contracted for publication by Breathless Press, Sweet Cravings Publishing, Lycaon Press, and Devine Destinies: an imprint of eXstasy Books.  Her first novel made the Top 10 for Best Print/Electronic Romance Novel of 2011 in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.

Liz is currently working on a paranormal series romance.

Connect with Liz
Facebook: LizRNewmanAuthor
My Space: lizrnewman
Twitter: Liz_RNewman
Goodreads: lizrnewman

Friday, April 11, 2014

The House of Chalice Book Blast

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $20 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of AURONIA, and an autographed copy of THE HOUSE OF CHALICE. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Vartan is lost. His fiancé has just run off with his mortal enemy and now his mother, the Queen of the House of Rose, has disappeared. Venturing into a land with no magic, no army and no fiancé, will he be able to survive?

Lia is in trouble. Clashpeak has a new king who requires a bride, one who has eyes for the young baker’s daughter. During a violent coup, Lia seizes her chance to escape. With every soldier in the kingdom looking for her, nowhere is safe.

An ancient curse lingers in the air, still working its magic. Madness has seized the blood of the royals of the House of Chalice. A battle for power, the likes of nothing Auronia has ever seen, is about to begin…

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Ever since I was a boy, my father would tell me such stories about his adventures. He’d describe this epic battle and detail how he defeated the Raven Queen to save my mother. He’d talk of making pacts with the wood imps and the tree lords. He’d talk of the ancients and how magic was an important part of the land. But,” he says, looking at his reflection in the shining metal, “he never talked to me about what it is like to lose someone.”

Vartan pauses to glance down at the crown of my head, all that he can see of me in the tiny, dark space. I give him no sign that I am listening, yet he continues.

“That’s the one thing we can’t escape, magic or no magic: Loss. Death is one thing. Death I can handle. My life is my own and hopefully my death will be glorious, but still, it will be my death. Loss… Loss ripples out, bashing against the people you love like waves crashing on rocks. It wears them down, turning them to dust and carries them away into a vast sea of nothingness.”

Another pause. He holds his blade to the light. “I saw what losing my mother did to my father. I chased her here, not just to find her for myself, though I desperately wish to know she is alive and safe. It’s my father, you see... I’ve seen your sorrow before. He wears it, curling up in it like a cloak in the dead of winter, but instead of keeping him warm, it only freezes his heart. I can see him becoming bitter and cruel. Without her, we will fall apart. I can’t let that happen. I love my kingdom too much. I love my mother too much. And, above all, I love my father too much to watch him do it.”

He sheathes his sword and grabs me in his arms.

“I know that you want to give up. It is painfully hard to carry on. I may have had an entire kingdom relying on me, but I felt alone in my loss. The thing is…” he pauses, furrowing his brow as he searches for the right words. “…I think the hardest thing to do is to continue on. To die for them would be too easy. Living for them… continuing on… that is the hardest thing of all.”

“So why should I?” I snap, turning away. I can’t bear to look at him. His words hurt me more deeply than my own pain. “Why not let Baston take me? Why not fling myself from the tower window?”

“Because,” Vartan says, resting his hands on my shoulders, “that isn’t the kind of life your parents wanted for you.”

“What do you know about what my parents wanted?” I growl.

Silence. I feel a twinge of guilt, but I can’t get past my own selfish need to lash out at him.

“I don’t,” he says finally. “But… I know it isn’t what I want for you.”

I lift my head and our eyes meet. His words are there, trapped behind those green eyes.

About the Author:
Science Fiction/Fantasy writer in Southern California where the sun shines, the waves roll in and the roads become a backdrop for an apocalypse movie every time the word "precipitation" is mentioned.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up on a sailboat. That did something odd to my imagination, I think. There is a certain type of surreal serenity that comes with living aboard a boat. That undercurrent seems to run through all my books, even though most of my characters have far more conventional backgrounds. Growing up on a boat helped teach me a stable world evolves not from your environment as much as from your perspective. My books are full of strange worlds and even stranger people, but all my main characters seem to have that grip on reality despite being dropped in the heart of chaos.

Blog: http://ttescurel.wordpress.com
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/T.T.-Escurel/e/B00EAHPJKK
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/t.t.-escurel/id741251013?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/t.-t.-escurel
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ttescurel